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35 The Compromised Latvian Self
In blog 34 this writer discussed how not only was the history of the Latvian people compromised and changed into a fairy tale by the German and Latvian orthodox Christian religions, but how the psyche of the Latvian people was repressed and has ever since suffered from a stunted growth syndrome.
What ought to be the foundation stones of Latvia are unfortunately not widely known and therefore are not discussed. In this bloggers opinion these "unknown" stones speak of the fact that
a) The Latvian community was created with the help of the Herrnhuters (originating in the Moravian Brotherhood);
b) The Herrnhuters accomplished the bringing together of Latvians by introducing choirs and community singing;
c) The practice of democracy was introduced by selecting office holders through the drawing lottery tickets from among qualified participants;
d) The very name of Latvia arises from the Herrnhuter community in Latowice (established 1565), which upon its disassembly by the Lutherans was forced to move on, thus taking the name of Latowice with them to Livonia.
Already in 1585, Possevino, a legate of the Pope, who mediated between the Russians, Poles, and Swedes, referred to Latvians as lotavica.
In short, IF the Herrnhuter community of Latvians had not been repressed by the Lutheran church, and Latvian Herrnhuters had been let evolve as a community free from interference by orthodox Christianity, the character of the Latvian people would have evolved rather differently. It would have been much more comfortable with itself today than it in fact is.
The absence of a Self rooted in real history, rather than its replacement by religious fiction and nationalist myth, prevents many Latvians from seeing themselves as living in a continuum with in-depth roots. The absence of historic depth is unfortunately replaced by a psychic syndrome that visits one who perceives his-her birth as an act of falling out of a wheelbarrow: one blames either the driver or the stone that caused the bump, never one’s self for falling asleep and failing to see the true cause.
To repeat, the true cause of the myopia of the Latvian people--so effectively manipulated by their “democratic” politicians, ethnic prejudice et al,--is to be sought in the suppression of their history.
This is a time of crisis in Latvia and—for reasons stated above—involves to a greater or lesser degree Latvians of all national origins and all political parties. Whatever the outcome of the elections this coming Saturday (October 2), the crisis of Latvian self-consciousness is far from over.
Indeed, one hopes that the crisis of Self continues to gather momentum and forces the government to invite independent historians to do research and reanalyze the history of Livonia whence the Latvians emerged.
This writer hopes that such a reanalysis by historians and cultural anthropologists will place Latvians on a historical stage that has much greater depth and breadth than the present one--the one that has led them to the dead-end of this impoverished day.
Postscript: As most everyone knows, the Latvian media are controlled by political interests and are not independent as they ought to be. It is not surprising therefore that the only media outlet interested in this writer’s point of view has been a Riga Russian newspaper, re Telegraf Click the translate button if you do not read Russian.
Asterisks & Links of Interest
Compulsory voting in the EU Parliamentary elections
The abstentionist elephant
On the Meaning of Voting
Ground Zero for Thought
On the Moravian Brotherhood