The article examines the origin and existence in culture of
two related sayings: «America passed from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between» and «The Russians are rotten before they are ripe». Both of them go back to French literature of the Enlightenment.
America; Russia; civilization; barbarism; westernization; Voltaire; D. Diderot; Catherine II; J. Clemenceau; Ch.-L. Lesur; G.T. Raynal; O. Wilde.