The entire Western civilization is happy-go-lucky.
There is a Russian saying:
Its direct meaning is, probably, best translated as “never-been-scared fools.”
Scared of what, you ask? Why, of living in a dictatorship, of course. Of being terrified of the KGB, being taken away at the crack of dawn never to be heard from again. Of ”law” being whatever someone in power decides it is at any given moment.
The point is that American folks are naïve.
Take their abundance, freedoms, and legal protections away, and they will cry like babies. Little do they know in their cushy world what hardship is like.
In other words, Russians believe Americans take their life for granted and see the world through rose-colored glasses.
Worse yet, the ”stupid Americans” think their way is the only right way. And they insist on introducing it around the globe without regard for human life.
How so? Well, in fighting for peace in the Middle East — one of the central themes in world politics — an untold number of people died. Conditions have worsened for many. And, ultimately, there is no peace. Americans, of course, are deeply involved. To a Russian observer, it looks like an American fight for fight’s sake. Kind of evil if we think about it.
Does it mean Americans should give up the fight? I don’t think so. It means things in the Middle East haven’t worked so far. A different approach might work someday. Hopefully, it will be less destructive.
That’s assuming peace in the Middle East is even feasible, which brings up the question of what that is exactly. I don’t suppose anyone knows for sure.
Thomas Huxley wrote:
”Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men.”
So, Russians think Americans and their freedom-to-the-world attitudes are to be avoided like the plague. Or, something like that.
Moreover, Americans are so isolated in their view of Western ideals that they can’t see the faults.
I am an American. There’s a flaw in that Russian view of us.
My opinion is that African-Americans, for example, lived through worse times in this country’s past than many Russians ever did in theirs. If anybody in America knows hardship, it’s Black folks. Not to minimize the suffering of millions of Russians, but there has been plenty of it here.
America has been fighting hard for freedom since the beginning. There was the Civil War and abolishment of slavery, the fight for women’s rights, the fight for an equal employment opportunity, to name a few — hardly a taking-it-for-granted approach.
Spreading peace around is no worse than spreading evil. Russia does the latter. Who’s the fool? If nothing else, a fool is calling another fool a fool.
The main point Russians miss is that, unlike Russians, Americans do have abundance, freedoms, and legal protections. Stripping Americans of these would certainly approximate what Russians experienced over the centuries. But there is no stripping it, and it will always be what’s called Western values. These are no values of fools.
Where it gets tough to argue with the Russian point of view is when we look at America under Trump. Truly, only fools elect Trump.
Having grown up in the USSR, I think what Russians implied specifically was that Americans could never grasp the realities of oppression. Almost as though it was analogous to children being unable to grasp the realities of adulthood while living under their parents’ protection.
Could Russians have a point?
Let Trump run this country long enough, and we will resemble the former Soviet Union authoritarian style.
Take a look at the second amendment. Its purpose was to keep American militias armed so they could keep the federal army in check. This was done to ensure freedom from oppression.
Do you see the gun owners of this country today ensuring freedom from oppression for all Americans? I don’t. But I do see them ensuring only their own. To be exact, the contemporary gun owners behave and talk more like the members of an oppressive army. They are chauvinist, racist, fascist, and armed. To be honest, they have never been any different.
Trump appears to be their representative.
That could one day mean that Americans like myself — opposed to Trump and everything he represents — are out at gunpoint, as it were.
There go the protections, the freedoms, and everything else.
There goes America, unless, we are no fools.
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