Wednesday, May 14, 2014

LOL: P.J. O'Rourke "Explains" Russian History

After casting a sardonic, hilariously reductive eye over a thousand years of Russian history, humorist P.J. O'Rourke is confident that Putin, in keeping with that history, will destroy himself sooner or later. 

I do remember a discussion with Alessandra a few years back about Russian history and how Russia had serfs long after everyone else had abandoned serfdom.  This was swiftly followed by her observation that only in Russia would the act of ending serfdom make life even worse for the serfs - er, ex-serfs.

Oh, I can't resist quoting a bit of O'Rourke:
"After his [Ivan the Terrible's] reign, Russia, if you can believe it, got worse. 'The Time of Troubles' featured more drought, more famine, more plague, foreign invasions, massacres, the occupation and sacking of Moscow, and tsars with names like False Dmitry I and False Dmitry II."
Hey, you forgot False Dmitry III!


Mark said...

Uhm, Russia freed the serfs concurrent with the US Civil War. Serfs. Slaves. Just sayin.

Mad Minerva said...

Serfdom and slavery are not synonymous, though of course we are glad to see the end of both institutions as official state policy.