Some odd months ago, I was on a date with a Polish gal at some bar in the Historic Center of Mexico City.
An experience I wrote more about in other articles like this one here.
A notable detail about the date was that, however it came about, she ended up shit talking about Russians like I wrote about in another article here.
Probably had something to do with the Ukraine war.
And, while sitting down with some beer, she began venting about how "Russians are from a different world."
"They're disconnected from the reality that their country spreads evil elsewhere. They're privileged. Brainwashed. Everything bad."
Out of curiosity, I asked her to explain.
Anything specific that comes to mind?
Perhaps an encounter with a Russian that made her feel that way?
And she didn't have anything specific to say.
Just kept going on generalities about Russians and how they're from a different reality.
It came across to me like she was trying to paint them all as some European version of North Koreans but more arrogant.
Like how they are not at all familiar with geopolitical situations Russia involves itself in, any atrocities their government promotes or anything bad at all about their country.
And that they're all arrogant and think they're better than everyone else.
I nodded along anyhow (and trolled her a tiny bit too but didn't go too far into pissing her off).
And we went onto other more normal subjects when I could take us into talking about something else.
But, as I dig through my notes over the last few months of traveling Mexico City, I can't help but go back to this night I had with her because, as an American, I can't help but feel there are similarities to the comments people make about my own country.
The Hate Against the Top Dog
To the best of my ability, I'll try to explain where I'm going with this.
Every region has a "top dog."
That top dog might not necessarily be a world power but a regional one at the very least.
And it's my opinion that naturally you'll have some people who shit on the "top dog" just because they're jealous ass motherfuckers who come from a poorer country that gets the short end of the stick in international relations between both countries.
Like Greek people shitting on Germany.
People in certain Asian countries like Japan shitting on China.
Those in certain European countries like Poland shitting on Russians.
And, as we all know, everyone and grandma from any country you can imagine (and especially those in Latin America) shitting on Americans from the US.
First, it could be the case though that the person shit talking actually has real issues from their personal life.
Maybe said "top dog" really did fuck over their country in some capacity.
Like the US taking California from Mexico or invading Panama or doing any of the things it has done to Latin America.
While I'm not overly familiar with anything Russia might've done to Poland over however long period of history, I'm sure maybe Russia has done some bad shit at one point or another to Poland.
Second, by that same token though, it could be the case that the person bitching is just bitching to bitch.
To justify pre-established biases against a country and, by extension, its average citizens.
After all, is the white Polish gal who can afford to travel the world really suffering because of Russia?
Or the Mexican in CDMX suffering because the US took California long ago?
There's always room to acknowledge history but people who use history as a crutch to explain why they aren't where they wish to be in life or to simply justify hate they have against a certain group but are too limp dick to just say directly "I don't like that group" are losers.
Third, I think often people confuse "lack of knowledge" with "lack of ability to do anything about it."
It could be the case that the average Russian citizen does know about some of the negative shit Russia does in the world.
But the average citizen has an inability to enforce change in their government by themselves.
This is true in a lot of countries.
Even in the US where we have a better democracy than what Russia has in 2022, there are great limits on what the average citizen can do to change who runs our government.
In the federal election for President, anybody living in a solid red or blue state is objectively not going to change the results with their vote.
That's just a fact.
No Democrat will get Alabama to give electoral points to a Democrat and no Republican will get California to give electoral points to a Republican.
And even that sentence alone is problematic.
Democrat and Republican.
Illustrating well that there are more strict parties that anybody who wishes to be President has to navigate through to get a nomination and become President instead of doing so as a real independent candidate.
And the influence the elites have in both parties to, the best of their ability, influence who becomes their respective nominee.
Within Russia, I am not very familiar with who can become President realistically but I imagine it's not the most fair process to get those who are not hungry for power and willing to fuck over other countries for geopolitical and military industrial complex interests.
Fourth, if someone has privilege being born in one of these countries like the US or Russia, then who cares?
Some of you hating are just mad you were not born in those countries and, if we're being honest, wouldn't be singing the same tune if your country was the "top dog" of your respective region.
Fifth, having said that though, sure having privilege by where you were born can influence your lack of experience with the reality on the ground of whatever nationality that isn't top dog: Nicaraguan, Polish, Japanese, etc.
But, having said that, to use the "privilege" argument to completely discount their opinions and life experiences is just low IQ and shows you aren't interested in a discussion with them but just a chance to have a 5 minute monologue from a high horse.
After all, said individual with privilege for being from the US or Russia does have some privilege for that alone but also can likely come from humble backgrounds still within that country.
Be it the black man of some crap hood in Detroit or the white man of some shithole town in West Virginia to maybe an average dude working as a mechanic in Moscow to perhaps a shop owner in Siberia.
And, above all, isn't really living the high life you imagine despite all the imaginations about said people that you really don't have any experiences with that aren't surface level.
Sure, the shop owner of Siberia isn't getting his city bombed in Ukraine but he didn't vote for the war and will die just like all of us if a nuclear war breaks out.
And he, like most people, struggles to pay the bills, has kids to get through school, maybe a wife who hits him with a broom stick, perhaps has cancer on his left foot, etc.
Not really your modern day Russian Oligarch.
Sixth, there does need to be acknowledgement though to the self-interested influences on the opinions that people from these countries have (be it US, Russia, China, Germany, etc).
A person from those countries that might be aware of the actions of their government but being in support of them because "it's my country" and they're just rooting for the home team.
Nationalism is what some would call that.
And I emphasize with that.
I don't expect others to give me the same courtesy of "I'll fight against what my government does for you."
I think most people are self-interested and ultimately would leave you in the dust to starve.
Not even necessarily because you're different but because also they are limited in their ability to help you.
Like the inability of one citizen to change their government for the benefit of weaker nations to the inability of one citizen to help a homeless person get on their feet beyond offering a sandwich or some change.
But, when we're speaking of nationalism and our relations from country to country, then sure I think that some individuals are aware of the actions of their government but are still in support.
A large part of that psychology just boils down to rooting for the home team in my opinion and wanting to feel superior about your people.
And I don't think Polish or Mexican people are superior or above that mentality.
You could see that within Mexican and Latin American people even who plenty of them, as I wrote here, support the behavior of the Russian and Chinese governments because they see them as "anti American."
Even though their respective governments also do a lot of bad shit in the world.
So, while Mexican people can't root on their government to sufficiently "stick it to the Americans," some of them then just live through the behavior of other governments (no matter how bad the behavior might be) as some sort of "third party nationalism."
Above all, for the time being, their respective governments (be it Polish or Mexican) are shit at being "top dog" but, if conditions were different, they too wouldn't be challenging shit behavior from their own governments internationally if they lived with a government that was a "top dog."
At any rate, that's all I got to say for now.
There might be other things that come to mind but her complaining about Russia really just rhymed with the same complaints about Americans that I've heard over the years.
Despite the differences, I see a lot of similarities one can see it as something not too uncommon: people from shat on countries bitching about "top dog" countries and some of the observations that could be made from that.
Be it bitching about the US in the Americas (or the world) and bitching about Russia in Europe.
Or whatever else.
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Thanks for reading.