Russians protest by emigrating, not demonstrating


MOSCOW – While protesters have been marching in the Middle East demanding liberty, Russians have been mostly silent. Instead of packing the streets, some have been quietly packing their bags, pursuing freedom in a new wave of emigration.

The departures are not easily documented because they are mostly unrecorded, but they have become the talk of the independent press and professional circles here. Russians blame their malaise on an authoritarian system in which political limits have settled over society as a whole, dead-ending career opportunities.

“There is a general feeling that a wall has gone up,” said Dmitri Oreshkin, a geographer and political analyst who described the new wave of emigration in a widely quoted Novaya Gazeta article at the end of January. “Everyone is asking me if it’s time to leave.”

via Russians protest by emigrating, not demonstrating.

See, when Northern Europeans in the old times found a lack of opportunities in their countries, rather than emigrating, they often just went on very temporary trips in longships and brought the opportunities (slaves, treasure, etc) with them. Of course, now, it’s considered barbaric to do so, even though then, it constituted virtue. Now, instead, we have people leaving their homes and families, moving into places, and still taking resources, but not bringing it back home, and it’s considered virtue. Of course, the corporations now still do the old style of raiding… Interesting.

In any case, I can hardly blame folks for leaving to go where the opportunities are, especially going out from under authoritarian rule. Some undoubtedly would call it escapist, but it’s a lot easier to say that when you’re at a safe distance from what others are escaping from. The same argument of course applies to the matter of Mexican immigration into the US (among quite a few other things, which probably shouldn’t get brought up here).

Anyway, apparently, when you tell Russians to “Love it or Leave it”, they’re quite happy to pack their bags. As nice a country it may be land wise, they’ve never exactly been known to provide much opportunity for the majority…that whole serf-class thing leading up to Red October kind of made that clear.


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