And once again after years I traverse your roads,
And once again I find you, the same, unchanged !
Your deadness, immobility, and senselessness.
Your fallow lands
and thatchless cottages and rotten walls.
Your squalor, foul air, boredom, the same dirt as earlier,
and the same servile gaze, now impudent, now dejected.
And although you were freed from slavery,
you do not know what to do with freedom – you, the people…
Is as it once was.
-Turgenev, about Russia, in “The Dream”
“The problems, dilemmas, that faces this (Russian) society, and above all the intelligentsia, the democrats.
For instance, society and the state. How can one involve society in governing the country ? How is the state to be democratized ?
The Russian land, its characteristics and resources, favor the power of the state. The soil of native Russia is poor, the climate cold, the day, for the greater part of the year, short. Under such natural conditions, the earth yields meager harvests, there is recurrent famine, the peasant is poor, too poor to become independent. The master or the state has always had enormous power over him. The peasant, drowning in debts, has nothing to eat, is a slave.
Simultaneously, it is a land rich in natural resources – in oil, in gas, in iron ore. But these are natural resources whose exploitation and profits are easy to monopolize, particularly by a strong bureaucratic – authoritarian state. In this way both the soil’s poverty and its riches undermine the people and bolster the regime. It is one of the great paradoxes of Russia.“ – Imperium, Rapuscinski
Once again, it comes to the idea that society’s structure is often geographical. At first it seems strange that men have little influence over their own collective wills. But then it makes a lot of senses, cause a collective mind is not a mind after all. So what does that say about my country, where one can not live for an hour straight without meeting a whore or an imbecile ? Or, mostly, a thug, a lowlife ? People try to rob you the moment you set foot outside your door, in every ways they can think of, in every places possible. Stealing and selling everything one can touch. Everyone has gutter mentality. All the signs point to one conclusion : this country is going to implode, despite all the facades it puts on, despite all the fake riches, expensive beauties and lit cities. Behind its veil, this country eats its own flesh, and it has done that for so many years. But after writing these sentences, I realize that I wrote the thing everyone knows… Oh well, so be it. A paradox of Vietnam.