December 21, 2004


I'm sure many would argue that Russia ceased to be "partly free" long ago -- often the media is the best canary in the coal mine. I wonder, though, how many people would feel comfortable making the argument that Russians, after all, are incapable of democracy, that Russian culture is incompatible with democracy, that Russians are better off with the whip of autocracy and tyranny, that the best one can hope for is that the wearer of the boot treads softly on Russian faces, rather than grinding them beneath his heels, that Russians, by virtue of being Russian, are not endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights ...

Posted by Ideofact at December 21, 2004 12:01 PM

I know at least one person who has made that argument.

Posted by: Brian Ulrich at December 21, 2004 09:20 PM

It's one that has a fairly longstanding pedigree. In the 19th century, it was taken as a given that Germans were incapable of democracy too, an opinion that tragically resurfaced as a sort of "soft bigotry of low expectations" among elite Western opinion in the 1930s. The Germans love their Fuehrer...

Posted by: Bill at December 21, 2004 10:26 PM