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August 9, 2004 by AK

Random Russian maxims, part 2

Especially for the Genes R Us illuminati. Based exclusively on exaggerations.

1. Russian women (the numerous best of them) are beautiful, strong, tender, responsible, self-sacrificial and self-reliant.

2. Russian men, even those who have succeeded without losing decency, often seem to lack something. There’s a hidden weakness within: a shortage of conviction-based fortitude.

3. Someone said it is the best men who die in wars. Or the most courageous–I don’t quite remember. If the latter, consider how many people Russia lost in 20th century wars. Millions of civilians died as well, but the toll on the young and not too old men was disproportionately high.

4. The Revolution and the great terror killed millions; no doubt active opponents of the Bolsheviks were overrepresented on the proscription list. In particular, White officers and priests were targeted. An average White officer, I would presume, was a person of deeper conviction and greater resolve than an average citizen. Add to this the effects of post-1917 emigration.

5. It is said that the Revolution, the wars, the emigration and the terror greatly damaged the nation’s “gene pool,” since a great many of Russia’s finest perished or left. I don’t know what a “gene pool” is, but the Bolsheviks partly replenished the elites by drawing on the gifts of Russian peasants and ethnic minorities. Yet the gene of principled courage is still rare among Russian men.


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