Sunday, July 17, 2011

Messed up nation

Background: Moscow government decided to chop down some trees in a park in front of a few apartment buildings to build a parking lot. The people who lived in those buildings — some of whom planted those trees themselves or grew up playing among them — got angry. (This, as an aside, is a beautiful illustration of how well the concept of "public property" works.) Also, they wanted to prevent the rest of the park from being destroyed.

As a protest against chopping down the trees, the people blocked a major highway that runs by the apartment building. People in the cars got angry. People from the apartment building got angry. The government was no longer the villain here: it was one group of people against the other. Not letting people to get to the airport. Driving through the crowds. Pulling out people from the cars and beating them up. Sitting on cars in front of windshield wipers. And so on.



I have always said: people get what they deserve. Yes, Russian society has always been "ruled" by psychopathic lunatics that made their people's lives hell. But it was the people themselves who tolerated these lunatics, and, having gotten rid of them, elected new lunatics of almost exactly the same character. (Psychopathic tzars got replaced by psychopathic communists who got replaced by Putin.)

From reading Russian literature and from my own experience of living in that society for half my life, I get the impression that there have always been two Russias, one (in minority) alongside the other. Now, after the borders have been open for two decades, and most Jews and Russian intelligentsia have been leaving the country, I expect Russia to go into the dumpster.

— I have kids at home.
— Everyone has kids at home.

Typical Russian logic. "My life is messed up, so I will mess up your life and feel justified doing so."

I have always said that Russia is a perfect society to implement libertarianism, but I am actually having my doubts. Giving these people freedom is like giving a gun to a monkey (or a group of them).