The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

    To Live Proudly and Decently

    Here and There

    Fifty years ago, on April 12, 1961, the whole world held its breath watching the Soviet wonder, a man in Space.

    I was then just two years old, but a few years later I learned why that date was so proudly celebrated all over the-then Soviet Union. What I didn’t learn at that time, though, was there were countries on Earth where people didn’t need to spend hours in lines to buy a small loaf of bread or waste decades of their lives waiting to get a small apartment to live with their primary families, not with relatives of parents. Modesty within our lives was viewed as a natural price for national pride. 

    When Gorbachev came to power, many then-Soviet people knew enough about countries with “rude materialism” and were longing for those simple earthy pleasures more than boasting pioneering of cosmos conquest. That longing for more food choices, shorter lines in stores, more apartments for young families, and simple “materialistic” incentives was one of the most powerful expectations that drove the whole communist system to almost instant crumbling.

    To make a complicated story short, I underscore the most essential cause: the new “elite” in Russia, Ukraine and other ex-Soviet countries hold, in its essence, the same views as communist rulers had, but their new ideology allows them much more cynicism and nastiness than their predecessors. 

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    The main point of this ideology is a travesty of the American individualism and cult of material success that replaced the Soviet value of a modest life as a price for “communist pride” (in fact, the Soviet elite never lived to this supposed modesty but at least it was a social value.

    As a result of such cynicism, the new ruling elite shamelessly robs their co-citizens of even a minimum of social security, boasting their “new” status of billionaires rather than investing their extraordinary fortunes into crumbling post-Soviet economy and infrastructure. At the same time, this twisted and nasty ideology suggests for the rest of population sharp resentment for “western consumerism” that should be replaced by “highly spirited,” “specifically Russian” sort of national pride. 

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