Eurasian Values

From a book review of Jeffrey Tayler’s Murderers in Masoleums published in the Washington Post.

tayler012409.jpgDespite enormous variations in their traditions and beliefs, all the Eurasians he encounters seem uniformly disgusted with their governments. At the same time, they are disillusioned with the alternatives that Western capitalism has offered them. As one acquaintance in the Caucasus exclaimed vehemently, “What has the West given us, what? Pornography and sex . . . Nobody believes in liberals anymore. They just want to create problems and get rich off other people’s grief.” (…)

The intensity of his interest also leads to amusing insights. “In Russia,” Tayler notes, “rules abound and they must be publicly posted, even if only to be flagrantly violated.” Eurasians have difficulty refusing a drink, he explains, because their companions will suspect they are staying sober so they can remember what is said and report it to the authorities in the morning. “Russia’s Hobbesian human jungles hone ruthless talents of survival,” he writes, “and its poverty anneals the masses to discomfort; whereas Westerners, or so Russians think, are spoiled, fragile, and spineless.”