Saturday, October 29, 2005

High School

There are many facets to any human culture, and it takes some time to tease the patterns from the background.

Among modern Russians, there's a pervasive tendency to needle each other, especially in groups. It's very competitive, and meant to deflate people, to put them down, to make them conform. I think this can be found anywhere ... but in Russia there's very little counter force. There's no corrective to the behavior, as we have in the US: 'don't put me down'.

This tendency towards extremely negative and gratuitous criticism, towards one's comrades, is probably a remnant of the Soviet system. A command economy is rather like a cradle-to-grave high school.