A long queue forms in Novokuznetsk for bacon and other meat from the butcher at a state-run market

A long queue forms in Novokuznetsk for bacon and other meat from the butcher at a state-run market


The imposition of Western sanctions on Russia will allow its younger citizens to “find out what they until now could only by reading the memoirs of evil enemies of the USSR,” an experience that could lead some of them to feel less nostalgia for that system than they do now, Konstantin Borovoy says.

In a blog post today, Borovoy, the head of the Western Choice Party, says that they will find out what it is like to live in a country that is largely but of course not completely isolated from the outside world. Even in Soviet times, the USSR “was not totally isolated” and Russia in the future won’t be either.

Russians wait in food lines, in November 1991.

But it will be isolated enough, he suggests, that Russians will again have to wait in long lines, have relatively little choice of the goods they want, learn why having thick socks allows one to wear shoes that are the wrong size, and thereby learn on their own skins the real meaning of “deficit” goods.

They may also learn, Borovoy says, about what crop failures mean, when “bread disappearance from the shelves of stores” and when as a result, there is “an absence of meat, chicken and eggs.” And they will certainly find out that “the absence of competition with the world market does not lead to an increase in the productivity of agriculture.”

They will find out about ration cards and other means of distributing deficit items, including within the work collective. “Sometimes,” he recalls, “such distribution occurred even without mortal insults and even without fights.” But of course, not always.

“Finally,” he says, young Russians will learn the most remarkable think. They will be told by the state media how productivity has “sharply increased” even though the products the authorities say are being produced in greater numbers are nowhere to be found on the shelves of ordinary stores. And related to this, they will learn that jokes about that are no laughing matter.

Of course, Borovoy concludes, “the citizens of Russia are already acquainted with certain paradoxes of propaganda,” but they are destined to see even more as a result of the sanctions regime with “American aggressive imperialism, Israeli (or Ukrainian) militarism, and the aggressive imperialist NATO bloc” blamed for all of Russia’s domestic problems.


Source: Window on Eurasia

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