After reading Putin Country by Anne Garrels, I was most captivated by how Russians saw themselves. It would appear that part of the integral Russian identity is rooted in this idea of “suffering, pride, and controversy” (Garrels 28). It is a notion that being Russian means to persevere through pain and be tough. In other words only the strong survive and succeed. I find it very interesting how many soldiers mention that they detest the abuse in the military, but regardless would willingly give their life for service. A student mentions how she dislikes rigged elections but “we can’t do anything to change it” (Garrels 108). It’s almost as if pain and unfairness is an expected and accepted part of life. If this is the case in Eastern Europe and Russia, I wonder if it’s justified for America and NATO to interfere? Is it wrong to judge other people’s ways and seek to impose your own so called better values on them?
3 Replies to “Russian personality”
In that section, I found that the “laissez-faire” attitude surrounding mistreatment and inequity in Russia was working against the people. On page 108, Garrels mentions that the classmates “looked away in discomfort” (Garrels, 108). I think that this is a strong euphemism for what the country as a whole is doing when it comes to these pressing issues. In my opinion, it is hard to justify U.S. interference because of accounts like this that state their discomfort but turn the other cheek regardless. I believe that NATO interference could benefit the people because from what we’ve read, it seems that the general consensus is that the public is tired of the injustice that is perpetuated by the government. At the same time, however, it is extremely hard to judge something like this as an outsider because what we think is “better” might not be better for the people of that country (we’ve seen this happen in the past many times).
I believe that the interference of NATO could have been beneficial in many ways as it was evident that a lot of the people were sick of the old ways. It was time for a change in Russia and change is hard so a little help as long as it remained impartial to what the people of Russia wanted. If the values of a different society were forced on the people it would increase the discomfort of the people. If the assistance could be impartial, and gave the people an opportunity to decide what the new Russia they wanted consisted of, then the help would be truly helpful.
I believe that the NATO interference would benefit the people of Russia. It was clear that there was injustice and unequal treatment and opportunities. In certain aspects imposing so called “better” ideas on others is ignorant of culture and policies, but in other cases it is imperative that interference is done.