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There Is Not So Much Gold In The World

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Originally posted by Homer Reborn from Letters from an Enthusiast.

When faced with destruction and disaster, most fear finds consolation in strength and stability. The desire, it seems, is to sacrifice almost anything in order to return to "the good old days". While in some cases this may be the proper course of action, in cases involving the loss of liberty this course is dangerously fatal; indeed suicidal. It is this suicidal course that the Russian People are taking now; some conscientiously, others blindly. Yet both parties are trading their new and holy liberty for a "momentary stability" in Putin that can lead only to another Authoritarian, repressive regime. Around 480 bce, the city of Athens received an offer from Persia. After enduring terrible losses from the Persians, the Athenians were offered peace, stability, and strength. Athens response to Persia is an invaluable lesson; one that the Russian people should take to heart.

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Edited by softwareNerd
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Interesting article, drawing a parallel between the Greeks rising up for freedom and the Russians giving in to totalitarianism. Question is: why do the Russians do so? Similarly, why did the the Germans elect Hitler? What is different about the Russians today compared to those Greeks of ancient times?

One would think that any educated person alive today, in almost any part of the world, would have a better understanding of freedom than those ancients, with their far more limited experience. Why, then, does a better alternative to Putin not present itself?

If I think of the U.S. and ask the same question -- why isn't there a better alternative to vote for -- the answer is pretty clear: the politicians we get are a reflection of the "average" citizenry. For instance, it is incomplete to say that Bush is wishy-washy about prosecuting the war in Iraq. It's more accurate to say that the average American is wishy-washy about it. Leaders can lead a country away from the "average", one way or the other. They often do. However, they seldom do too much too soon. They do not stray too far from the average.

If this is true, it would imply that the average German at the time of Hitler's election and the average Russian today have a world-view that is not too divergent from the people they elect.

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