A Few Thoughts About Russia

Russians have been working at their national economy following the disintegration of the U.S.S.R.. They decided that communism would not work at all and jumped on capitalism. So far, most Russians are not very satisfied with their economy. Economy is supposed to be the easiest thing in the world, at least for a nation full of brilliant minds. Russia is still number 2 in technology and the sole formidable opponent of the U.S., despite a long hibernation after the downfall of the Soviet Union. What’s the problem? High interest rate? Well, you can’t really lower it now, because Ruble will collapse. High tax? Well, that’s about it. The Russian government has to find a different way to make money aside from tax. Usually, the best solution is to use the monopoly power of nationalized industries to feed the government without ever needing tax at all. If tax is just the pocket money for a government, its country can literally run a tax-free economy. So, you sacrifice a few select industries to propel the boom of the overall economy. Strictly speaking, it’s not a sacrifice at all, because you want to buy those businesses and keep the low pricing of certain basic necessities and the high pricing of certain popular soft drugs for your people, such as gas, salt, cigarettes and alcohol. You can always privatize these industries later again, but in difficult times, certain industries are better nationalized. Once the Russian economy is booming, the Russian currency will strengthen, which makes it easy to keep a low interest rate to further accelerate the economy. It won’t run into a virtuous cycle just like that. You always have to remain observant and make necessary changes as you go.

If Russia is booming and willing to respect Ukrainians as well as their language and culture, will Ukraine still seek independence? Probably not. Like Scotland, they may then prefer to stay together. Again, people want to be winners or at least be associated with them. The reason why Ukrainians are seeking independence is that they want to be associated with Europe and not Russia. It had been obvious and explicit in their protests before they lost Crimea. China probably has more than 1,000 different languages or dialects. Why do they want to stay together? Well, they don’t want to be associated with Japan for historical reasons and they know all too well that the West will never accept them as their own due to racism. You can simply ask a Jap. They know the best.

Again, Japan is probably not big enough to be representative of a large ethnic group, because following the rise of China, the image of the East Asians is also rising in North America. Interestingly, France or even Scotland are big enough for Americans, though Wales is not. The farther away you are from the American circle, the vaguer an idea they have about you. My theory is that racism occurs due to stereotyping as a result of overgeneralization, a type of oversimplification as a consequence of knowledge explosion. Most people are not genuinely interested in other people, but they still want to pretend that they know more than they do, so they overgeneralize, greatly reducing the amount of memory necessary to store about other people. Why not? Racism is easy and it makes you look good until education tells you otherwise. Unfortunately, education doesn’t teach you to love people genuinely, so implicit racism still exists. Therefore, they can’t say it, but they still genuinely believe that certain races are inferior, because facts are supportive with their opinion. Reality matters. People smell lies and hate lies. They want facts. They want reality. They don’t want to deceive themselves. Love changes everything. It’s all about teaching people to treat others as individuals and not groups. People have to devote more memory to other people. Nay, I really don’t like to ask people to change for me. Who am I to deserve such a privilege? Nay, you don’t have to memorize my Chinese name. I have an English name for you. See, the East Asian philosophy is that you make people feel comfortable about you first so that they naturally love you. You can require that others change for you, but that usually doesn’t work. Most people aren’t even willing to change for their spouse. It’s sad, but that’s the reality.

It doesn’t change the fact that people always want to be associated with winners. It is how we define winners that matters more. Are they the smartest guys or the prettiest girls in class? Are they the best suckers with their boss or the community heroes you meet on a daily or weekly basis? Observe and act today. Be the hero, and racism will be your last thing to worry about as an individual. However, if you do care about your ethnic group, things get complicated. I think that deep down people, especially Americans, still believe that as a race you are supposed to be able to stand up on your own. This explains why the West never accepted China in their space club until very recently. Of course, you can bring in Russia, Japan and Canada for a comparative analysis. Unfortunately, my conclusion is still that China has a special place in the heart of America, being the only country in the world required to prove itself and start everything from scratch. They either love or hate China deeply.

Back to the original topic. Russians feel discrimination against them, too, all be it a different kind, more like alienation. Americans don’t want to know about Russia, but Russians still feel strongly about their own identity. See, the root of racism is still that we generally don’t care about others. This explains why Putin’s Russian nationalism really sells in Russia, even though he has not much idea about how to improve Russian economy. It’s the loser’s mentality at work. Russians are seeking Americans’ validation, the winners in their mind. They care deeply if Americans care about them. Why do they feel like losers? They are tough on themselves. They really have to be number 1 in the world to feel like winners. It’s a good thing, I say. They need it to survive their harsh winters and it makes them strong as a people and a nation. Being number 2 is never good enough.


About Run Song

Run Song (宋闰) is my pen name for the Moments of Poetry, a collection of poems about the greatest moments of life. If photography captures the greatest moments of life, poetry is the life behind them.
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