der Spiegel - the mysteries of the Russian mindset. Ever wonder why, over and over again, Russia keeps devolving into an illiberal fascist plutocracy with utterly no citizen input? Or why Yabloko disappeared as a political party? This article explains the Russian mind:
Several months ago, I had a dispute about this with respected filmmaker and theater director Andrei Konchalovsky. He is turning 80 this year, has made some of Russia's best films and has lived in Hollywood for a long time. Despite our disagreements, we were very close to one another in our views of many things. Konchalovsky says Russians have retained the soul of a peasant over the centuries, arguing that Russians never became citizens in the true sense of the word and always positioned themselves in opposition to the state, because the government is always trying to take something away from them. At the same time, he argues, Russians are so enormously patient that they can more easily accept injustices. He also argues that Russian thinking is Manichean -- that Russians only know black and white.