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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Russophobia


 

According to Wikipedia, “Anti-Russian sentiment or Russophobia, is dislike or fear or hatred of Russia, Russian people, Russian culture, or Russian policy. The Collins English Dictionary defines it as intense and often irrational hatred of Russia.” However, there is a difference between displeasure and an irrational phobia.

 

Regarding the irrational aspect of such fear, the American Psychological Association defines a phobia as “a persistent and irrational fear of a specific situation, object, or activity (e.g., heights, dogs, water, blood, driving, flying), which is consequently either strenuously avoided or endured with marked distress.”

 

Even under the standard of common parlance, Merriam-Webster defines a phobia as “an exaggerated, usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation.” For context, that which is irrational is considered illogical or unreasonable. Thus, Russophobia concerns irrational fear and not merely dislike of or hatred for Russia.

 

Taking into mind these definitional standards, Russophobia is not a component of rational living. Nevertheless, and prior to armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine that began in 2014 and escalated in 2022, I’ve observed many United States (U.S.) personnel advocating Russophobia.

 

Even by commenting on this matter, I’ll doubtlessly be labeled a Russian apologist, Kremlin shill, or Vladimir Putin puppet. Alas, I’m not self-disturbed by my beliefs about these ad hominem attacks.

 

Through my practice of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), I seek to understand others and not blame, dispute unhealthy beliefs and not shame, and unconditionally accept what is and not rigidly demand what ought to be. Therefore, I don’t exhibit Russophobia.

 

Moreover, I invite people to challenge their unproductive assumptions about illogical and unreasonable fear of Russia, Russian people, or Russian culture. As far as Russian policy is concerned, it’s correlated with though not entirely representative of all Russians.

 

Nevertheless, I understand that colloquially speaking, people often allude to dislike or hatred of Russia, Russian people, Russian culture, or Russian policy when expressing Russophobia. From an REBT perspective, such sentiment functions as an irrational belief related to global evaluation.

 

According to one source, this fundamental attribution error or other-downing belief is used when we “cognitively devalue the other person or dehumanize them in order to make retaliation easier.” Ergo, when U.S. authorities and others relentlessly bash Russia, they foster Russophobia through the process of other-downing so that the population will be more accepting of attacks on Russia.

 

Absurdly, many of these same politicians, journalists, and pundits express outrage for those who aren’t tolerant and accepting of other classes of people. As I provide examples in support of my claim, consider the logic underlying irrational fear or hatred of this sort. Now, contemplate the following syllogisms:

 

Form – Modus Ponens: if p, then q; p; therefore q

 

Example – If Russia invaded Ukraine, then it’s okay to hate Russian citizens. Russia invaded Ukraine; therefore, it’s okay to hate Russian citizens.

 

Comparative example – If some women educators prey on children, then it’s okay to hate women. Some women educators prey on children; therefore, it’s okay to hate women.

 

 

Form – Modus Tollens: if p, then q; not q; therefore, not p

 

Example – If acceptance of Russia is good, then U.S. citizens will sympathize with Russian people. U.S. citizens won’t sympathize with Russian people; therefore, acceptance of Russia isn’t good.

 

Comparative example – If tolerance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, plus (LGBTQ+) behavior is good, then U.S. citizens will sympathize with LGBTQ+ people. U.S. citizens won’t sympathize with LGBTQ+ people. Therefore, tolerance of LGBTQ+ behavior isn’t good.

 

 

Form – Hypothetical Syllogism: if p, then q; if q, then r; therefore, if p, then r

 

Example – If Russophobia is good, then more money may be sent to Ukraine to fight Russia. If more money is sent to Ukraine to fight Russia, then Russia will collapse like the Soviet Union. Therefore, if Russophobia is good, Russia will collapse like the Soviet Union.

 

Comparative example – If hatred of black people is good, then less money may be spent to promote the equality of opportunity in their communities. If less money may be spent to promote the equality of opportunity in their communities, then black people may be subjugated as they once were during times of U.S. chattel slavery. Therefore, if hatred of black people is good, then black people may be subjugated as they once were during times of U.S. chattel slavery.

 

Given the deconstructed arguments presented herein, are you willing to hate women, become or remain intolerant of LGBTQ+ behavior, or advocate hatred of black people? If you respond in the positive, then one surmises you are accepting of bigotry.

 

If you respond in the negative, then one may conclude you would also reject Rossophobia. However, if you respond in the negative though simultaneously affirm Russophobia, might one conclude you are a hypocritical bigot?

 

Personally, I don’t tell people how they should, must, or ought to behave. After all, I’m an REBT practitioner and try to refrain from demandingness of this sort. Nonetheless, I find value is helping people understand how irrational beliefs function.

 

Whether or not people choose to allow their unproductive assumptions to lead to unnecessary outcomes, they can alter the beliefs which cause these consequences (i.e., impoverished mood, uncomfortable bodily sensations, or unfavorable behavior).

 

So, what will it be for you? Will you choose to irrationally fear Russia, Russian people, Russian culture, or Russian policy, advocating the clinical term of Russophobia? Will you perhaps endorse the colloquial usage of this term by disliking or hating Russia and its elements? The choice is yours.

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW

 

References:

 

American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Phobia. Retrieved from https://dictionary.apa.org/phobia

Center for Preventative Action. (2024, March 6). War in Ukraine. Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved from https://www.cfr.org/global-conflict-tracker/conflict/conflict-ukraine

Hollings, D. (2023, October 15). Ad hominem. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/ad-hominem

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Blog – Categories: Disputation. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/blog/categories/disputation

Hollings, D. (2022, October 31). Demandingness. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/demandingness

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (2023, September 13). Global evaluations. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/global-evaluations

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2023, May 18). Irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/irrational-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2022, November 10). Labeling. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/labeling

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2023, January 8). Logic and reason. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/logic-and-reason

Hollings, D. (2022, March 24). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2024, January 4). Rigid vs. rigorous. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rigid-vs-rigorous

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/should-must-and-ought

Hollings, D. (2023, October 17). Syllogism. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/syllogism

Hollings, D. (2022, December 25). The B-C connection. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-b-c-connection

Hollings, D. (2022, December 14). The is-ought problem. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-is-ought-problem

Hollings, D. (2023, February 16). Tna. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/tna

Hollings, D. (2022, July 11). Unconditional acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-acceptance

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Phobia. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phobia

P.gross@gmx.de. (2024, March 6). A slightly mischievous smiling Vladimir Putin [Image]. Playground. Retrieved from https://playgroundai.com/post/a-slightly-mischievous-smiling-vladimir-putin-cltg4s7du0bffs601f36kq3mh

Ray, M. (2024, March 6). Vladimir Putin. Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Vladimir-Putin

Taboas, W. (2016, May). Global evaluations of others & fundamental attribution error. Albert Ellis Institute. Retrieved from https://albertellis.org/2016/05/global-evaluations-of-others-fundamental-attribution-error/

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Anti-Russian sentiment. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Russian_sentiment

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