America and Russia have one thing in common, as the quote suggests: Both nations have a very strong sense of mission to enlighten all of mankind. This isn't unique to them — you'll find similar urges in other nations, particularly Britain and France — but it is very intense in them, and they're both big and powerful enough to implement these urges. Many nations, on the other hand, have no such sense of mission. China, for example, couldn't care less about the rest of mankind, and there are many other nations that feel the same way. Japan seems to think that efforts to enlighten barbarians are futile, and most third-world nations are too bollixed-up themselves to even think about such things.
But Americans and Russians go about this enlightenment in different ways. America has a bit of a Rotary Club attitude, and tries to enlighten the world by selling stuff to everybody. Better products and services will want to world to be more like America, you see. And that form of enlightenment has actually worked to some extent and is pretty benign. But in recent years, with the Neocon/Liberal takeover and the ascendency of Political Correctness/Cultural Marxism, our messianic urge has morphed into something less desirable. We've taken to imposing these new values onto the rest of the world through force and the threat of force.
As for Russia, a bit of reading in 19th Century Russian literature makes it clear that Russians feel a responsibility to enlighten the world through Christianity. But even then, there was also present the somewhat contradictory urge to enlighten the world through revolutionary philosophy — Nietzsche, Marx, etc. — which eventually took over the whole country and brought about a 70-year hiatus in Christian messianism in favor of communist messianism. (The two urges are personified in The Broothers Karamazov by the brothers Ivan and Alyosha.) Now they're pretty much back to Christianity, while the United States seems to have taken over responsibility for the spread of communism, but of course we call it "human rights" instead.
So when communism "fell" with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the communists didn't panic or despair. They just packed up all their pamphlets and moved over here. They're probably teaching your kids freshman English right now.
Quibcag: I have no idea where I originally got the illustration.