Fall of Communism: Siberia and Russian Far East

What has surprised me, perhaps most, since arriving in Russia is how many people do not miss Communism. Granted, they don't get the whole story from their government, but of course neither do we, and neither do any citizens in any country.

In Siberia, and more so the Russian Far East, especially the Russian Far East further north, I've read that winter conditions can be so deadly that residents need to start their car engines before winter, and if the engine is turned off before spring, even once, even for one minute, that's it: You must wait until springtime before your car will run again.

During life in Soviet Russia, people in remote areas could rely on Moscow to help keep them afloat, I have been told. But in New Russia, as I have heard it called, the sink-or-swim economy more often than not lets these people sink, and that is the American way: Pull yourself up by your bootstraps or get out of the way (or just collect welfare and have lots of babies).

It has been not only uneducated or rural Russians who do not miss Communism; I have spoken with college graduates, people with good jobs, people now able to afford Gucci and Prada or whatever else Capitalism has for sale, people who tell me, No, life is not terribly different today, not terribly worse then, and that when we Americans think of massive food shortages, this was not necessarily the case because essentials like food, bread and milk were always available.

Of course, that is only one person's experience, and he wasn't exactly supportive of Communism; more so, indifferent, I think.

For what it's worth, I'll take Capitalism over Communism any day, because I prefer to have a government that won't throw me from a ninth-story balcony if I happen to say the wrong thing, but if I lived in remote Russia, I'm not entirely sure how much I would mind the Evil C.

For what it's worth, part deux: I am sorry to bring up politics. They're all thieves and liars.