5 thoughts on “It’s better”

  1. A cornerstone of good writing is that nobody is the villain in their own story. Often forgotten.

    What makes it so critical is that it is a real world truism. Different people, different cultures have different values and just because they diverge from, or run counter to, yours doesn’t make them automatically wrong. For you, maybe, but not necessarilly for them.

    What makes Lukashenko such an interesting character study is that his position is actually defensible if you factor in what he has seen and what he faces. Hungary, 1956. Czechoslovakia, 1968. Georgia, 2008. Russia’s security imperative, as *they* see it, cannot tolerate westernized social systems too close (I.e., among other slavic tribes). Sets a bad example for their own populations (plural-rusia is not a monolithical state but an empire). Russia hangs together on the strength of “shut up and do as you’re told by your betters”.

    In Lukashenko’s mind (maybe even in reality) the only reason russia hasn’t taken over Byelorussia is because he’s played lapdog for his entire administration. What we’re seeing in Ukraine could plausibly have happened to his own people. He wouldn’t be the first dictator motivated by something other than blind power hunger. (Spain, Chile, and Argentina raise their hands.)

    As for the slavic attitude towards gays, it might be worth considering that both Russia and Byelorussia (plus Ukraine and most of continental europe) are societies in demographic decline with ever smaller new generations because “breeders” have less children than tbeir ancestors. And gays have none. They are seen as freeloaders who enjoy the benefits of tbeir society (such as they are) yet contribute nothing to the future. Most cultures out actually believe in “be fruitful and multiply”. It’s tbeir country, tbeir culture, their concerns. Not ours.

    Instead of sniffy condemnation, a bit of thought might be useful in understanding where “the other guys” are coming from. Like it or not, we have to share the mudball with them. Unless of course, we are going to go all neo-colonialist and send out armies to teach the deplorables how to live our way. Trouble is, that didn’t work out too well last time we tried it, did it?

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