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A Russian Cesspool

As I dive into a rabbit hole of research into contemporary Russia, an endless loop plays in my head.

"Why are they all so fucking corrupt?"

I try to connect the threads and understand why Russia falls into autocracy again and again. Nations are made up of individuals who act based on their paradigms, those paradigms develop in our upbringing, our genetics and our environment. Why do we act the way that we do and continue to fall into the same patterns?

The answer isn't in the last 30 years. The answer doesn't begin in February 2022. We are programmed from our birth. We eat the food that we eat not by conscious choice, but because our parents fed it us. They didn't consciously choose it either, their parents did. I must go deeper into history to understand the bigger picture. Today, however, I need to understand why people in position power act with such short sighted thinking? It can't be just about money.

The level of unvetted corruption is intense. It spiraled out of control. There was no focus on development of new technology. There was a push to nationalize natural resources and heavy industry. The lack of diversification in exports baskets hurt the economy as it was tied closely to oil. Any shock to oil prices had immediate affect on the economy of Russia. Then every decision made just escalated the clusterfuck even further. Sanctions led to more sanctions. Military action escalated, as if dipping your toes in the water before diving in fully. Why was there such a push for manufactured chaos? Wasn't the 10 years of Putin Stability a pleasant break from the "shock" of democracy in the 1990s. Wouldn't it be better to keep the population numb and pacified by feeding more money back into the economy? Or are the people at the top of the government just really that ignorant and greedy?

It could be a rabbit hole that leads me nowhere, but I must explore it further. It cannot be greed. It cannot just be power. It's definitely not love. Who can love a man like Putin? It must be fear. The ones in position of power must be motivated by fear, fear of trying something new. The fear of progress returned them back to a continuation of the Soviet state, an oppressive state and power apparatus, after a rude interruption of democracy in the 1990s.

Fear paralyzes individuals, it stops them from forming new ideas and pushing forward towards growth. Imagine what it does to a nation. If you are on top of the pyramid in an oppressive, chaotic regime, you stay down. You grasp your Rolex, your yacht, your Courchevel tightly and you do what you know. You fixate on natural resources, you nationalize private companies for control and cash flow, you please your strong leader and focus on short term gains.

Fear of progress and change becomes your motivation for self-protection and egotistical ease. Progress is the unknown, you must push beyond your fears to get over the status quo. The ones in position of power are plagued with insecurity, they do not understand their motivators so they fall back to their old methods. Their paradigms, their original programming.

Do they sleep at night? I imagine that they do, but their disintegration must show up in other ways. In form of an ulcer, perhaps? Do they look at their private jet differently? Do they avoid walking too close to the balcony railing?

They've done the mental leaps to get over their morality. What they know is right and the only way forward. Just like the office worker who is unhappy but unwilling to change because they don't know any better. The individuals in positions of power in Russia are motivated by the wrong ideals.

I struggle to understand why corruption breeds like it does, but if I was in their position I imagine that I would also play up to my boss. I imagine I would also not think about the future of my country and the people I'm meant to serve. Technically the people I serve are above me, not the constituents. I probably no longer view them as people. I see them as conscripts, dollar signs or a nuisance. I would need to really disconnect from my subconscious and ensure that my goal is driven by ideals of the competitive plain. So in a way I understand.

Those sad fucks.

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