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Stereotypical Perceptions
Stereotypical Perceptions and misinformation
Stereotypes damage international relations Old images of the Soviet Union remain in Westerner’s minds.
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The New Russia Russia has emerged out of an economic third world status as, transparently, just an indisputed nuclear world power and a natural resources trader.
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1) Russians are communists…Not true.  Fewer than 5% were  in the Communist Party on average during the life of the  USSR.  However,  Russians  have been accustomed to  being forced to do things together for ages.  The  business/agricultural terms “collective” and “cooperative”  have been used in Russia since the 1800’s, at least. 2) There are lots of lazy vodka-drinkers…On a percentage  basis, most of the big drinking is going on outside of the  major cities.  Drinking is very heavy in the low-producing  rural and agricultural regions.  The Russian saying about  the relationship between poor pay and poor work is telling-  --it reflects basic human nature.  Even with no incentives  or other meaningful options available, they love channeling energy into ANYTHING that for them is meaningful and,  like in most cases, is not related to money. 3) Siberia is a prison camp and bears roam the streets…the  greatest number of prisons are there, remnants of the  Tsarist system and additionally, those great majority added by the Stalinist era and its labor camp system.  There are  still bears around but they rarely venture out of the forest.  4) Russians (knowledgeable people, they) often ask: “If our  country is so rich (natural resources), then why are we  mostly so poor?”  This is because very few people control  the nation’s wealth in all forms, including capital, combined  with the population’s tacit and meek acceptance of same.   For seemingly educated people, this seems odd.   Russians are different in this way.   This contrast, like the  contrast mentioned in the introduction (we Russians  understand ourselves, we understand you, but you cannot  understand us) will soon be clarified. 5) Russia has over 140  nationalities…cultural diversity…etc.    Don’t pay heed to this as important.  The main control  groups are Russian (Government, Business, Crime in  order of importance), Jewish (Business, Crime), and   Chechnyan  (Crime management, Criminal-owned  Business).  In Moscow, the sole base of power, only 35%  of the population is Russian, however.  This is because the power bases for all of the other nationalities represented  during Soviet times still live there, plus a new surge in new  skilled/unskilled immigrant labor required for growth etc.  6) Russia definitely isn’t a tourist destination…very true.   Folks who go there usually go out of curiosity or have been everywhere else.   This is because of general negative  
perceptions combined with remoteness, lack of good  transportation/accommodation, and few sites.  Yet  some of those that do go come back as Russophiles  (about 45,000 total in the U.S., for example), saying  that they have never met such kind and interesting  people.  So what is going on?  Mainly, middle and  lower-class Russians are indeed among the most  friendly, kind, and generous people that can be met  anywhere, since generally people who don’t have  much are usually willing to share, not to mention that  westerners are still a curiosity for most Soviet-era  adults and their offspring.   As well, most foreigners  feel Russians’ emotional levels easily; there is a pure  sense of simplicity, rawness, and civility that comes  through very easily. However, when all classes are  considered together in how they treat their own kind,  behaviors run on a flat, trampled bell-curve between  unspeakable cruelty and kindness, with less emphasis  on kindness.  7) Lastly, those same Russophiles will often note  standards of living that seem multiple generations  behind Western ones.  This makes folks think about  backwardness and isolation…Nope, it’s merely that  they have been through MANY overly-rapid and  compressed, intensely difficult,  and  sociologically  overly-progressive historical interludes  which, when  combined with the unique Russian (100% non-  agrarian) forest-evolved hunt/gather mindset  (featuring a short-term do-or-die reality) and an  incredibly consistent lack of capital, have marginally  retarded their overall material progress compared to  the first and third worlds. DEBUNKING RUSSIAN MYTH  ...It’s merely that they have been through MANY intensely  difficult historical interludes  which, combined with an  incredibly consistent lack of capital, have retarded their  material progress.