Saturday, August 12, 2006

Moscow, Russia 1987

St. Basil's Russian Orthodox Cathedral in the far distance to the left, the State Historical Museum front and center and that's the Kremlin to the right. In between all these building is Red Square. Click the hyperlinks for more info.
photo credit: Yours truly at the brash age of 18.

As a senior in high school I had the opportunity to go to Moscow and Leningrad (St. Petersburg), Russia. This is the first in a series of posts musing on the significance of that trip.

The big XX on the billboard denotes the Twentieth anniversay of something or other being celebrated by the Communist Party which still had a choke-hold on that country at that time.

This picture is symbolic. You have St. Basil's (16th Century), the Kremlin (12 Century), the State Historical Museum (19th Century) all pertaining to Christianity in Russia dating back to the 9th Century. As a superficial layer, just like the superficial billboards, you had 70 year old Communism. The people did not believe in it, they told me so. Rip down the garish billboard and whoola! Communism gone. Losing the Communism, however, was like losing a layer of skin, it left a vulnerable sore spot and a scar. Russia has that today in the miserable corruption, rampant alcoholism, abortion and general malaise.

They should try capitalism with heavy doses of Christianity ala' Poland and the Ukraine. It would, however, require everyone getting off their duff and getting to work. They might also want to refrain from murding their children in the womb, it might stem the population free-fall.


Petrus said...

They killed and imprisoned all of their leaders, so they are now stuck with people who know how to manipulate the system, are blind followers and will do anything to save their neck. Iraq has the same problem.

On a happy note though, I did meet two 12 year old boys that were smart and nice. Hopefully, their generation will be able to do some good.

Thomas Shawn said...

You are talking of the Stalinist purges, yes. The purges and gulags were the crucial parts of the Soviet system that were not really elucidated to me in my high school studies. Reading A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich really opened my eyes to all that.