Russia: a czar living in greatly reduced circumstances

Russia does come across as an old aristocrat, now living in greatly reduced circumstances, that feels the desperate need to maintain appearances. If we can call Russia a person, it does seem to have moved on from communism by selling not just the family silver, but the estate's mills, mines and factories. A lot of land has been lost along the way, and it is now reduced to drinking aftershave to dull its pain.

Meanwhile, it feels the need to keep up with the other lords of the international community, retaining a million troops, nuclear weapons and submarines and the like. It is much like the lord who polishes the Rolls-Royce but can't afford to have the engine serviced, who has the front room kept immaculately but has all the other furniture covered in dust sheets.

A combination of events have conspired to weaken Russian democracy. I can only surmise that it is nationalism that keeps people in line. Mother Russia's call and the desire to be part of a whole that is somehow great even when your conditions are wretched and blinding you to an oligarchy that keeps you down. Quite aside from the racism and homophobia that Russia has seen of late, I wonder where it will go if the population continues to decline.



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