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Kashchenism (Russian: Кащенизм) is a specific style of conversation in forums and blogs used on Russian FidoNet and Internet. Its main feature is provocativeness and mockery while being formally polite. Historically, Kashchenist style uses many words and idioms of Jewish origin; in conversations, Kashchenists often pretend to be Jews, in order to troll antisemites while also causing others to make excuses to prove that they are not antisemites. Kashchenist style also typically uses medical terms, especially from psychiatry; this is because Kashchenists consider themselves jocularly as "network psychiatrists", and imitate either medical staff or, conversely, patients in a mental hospital. The word "Kashchenism" also denotes a philosophy of people who use Kashchenist style in electronic conversations.
The word Kashchenism comes from the name of the Kashchenko mental hospital, which name has become an idiom in Russian (similarly to Bedlam in English). This hospital, in turn, had been named after the prominent Russian psychiatrist Pyotr Petrovich Kashchenko. Kashchenists consider Pyotr Petrovich to be their virtual patron saint.
In the first half of 2000-s, SKL (and Russian FidoNet in general) slowly became deserted, and in 2005 MedBrat led residual Kashchenists away from SKL to the Internet forum kaschenko.ru; SKL worked then for a while but now it is almost dead.
Ideology and philosophy
The basics of an ideology of Kashchenism are laid out in a text called "Kashchenesis".
Also, there is a digest of the Kashchenist ideology formulated in three phrases, a kind of Kashchenists motto; the phrases are:
- Rigorous observance of mutually exclusive points.
- Brutal politrecal correctness. (This is a pun based on homophones: пол-литра (pollítra), half a litre [of vodka], and политкорректность (polítkorréktnost`), political correctness.)
- Total schizophasia.
The same in Russian, (as it is written in an upper part of every page of kaschenko.ru):
- Неукоснительное соблюдение взаимоисключающих параграфов.
- Брутальная поллитркорректность.
- Тотальная шизофазия.
Since those slogans, written in Russian, contain eight words containing 99 letters in total, Kashchenists often abbreviate their motto as 8/99, and use this abbreviation as a greeting (which is in turn a mockery of the Nazi greeting 14/88).
The influence of Kashchenism upon the Russian Internet is quite significant, especially the influence of Kashchenist slang, which is now known and is sometimes used by a big part of Russophone Internet users, though they never were Kashchenists themselves. Also, Kashchenists, who appeared earlier than the well-known "padonki" subculture, contributed much to padonkaffsky jargon, and many of the early "padonki" were former Kashchenists.
- Named so from 1922 to 1994, from 1994 - Alexeeva
- МедБрат in Russian. Медбрат means "male nurse"; a tradition to have nicknames named after medical staff is very typical for early Kashchenists.
- See here (Russian); the name of the text is a parody on "catechesis"— but not in the sense of study of a standard catechism, but instead as an allusion to an anti-Semitic Soviet book called А Catechesis of a Jew living in USSR (Катехизис еврея в СССР), dating from the 1950s. It is similar in content to the much earlier The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and in fact states that it is an abridged version of the Prococols.
- See, for example, an article on kashchenists and padonki by Pavel Protasov(Russian)