The history of private life in Russia reflects the country’s tumultuous past. An average Russian’s family memory contains at least three episodes of a complete loss of property, belongings or savings (Stalin’s collectivization, the Second World War, the collapse of the Soviet Union). The latest of these economic upheavals, the economic revolution of 1992, completely eclipsed the emergence of a new political entity, the Russian Federation. Levels of interpersonal trust collapsed as everyone became engrossed in personal survival. Russians have been devout private individuals for the past 20 years. Only recently did they realize that the corruption of the public sphere had affected the quality of their private lives.
One of the lessons of the past 20 years is the newly discovered knowledge that, in order to build a better private life, one needs to learn to defend common causes.
Maxim Trudolyubov is as an editor and columnist for Russia’s most influential, independent business daily Vedomosti. Currently he is a Guest at the IWM in the framework of the “Russia in Global Dialogue” Fellowship program.
In cooperation with Foundation Open Society Institute, Zug, Switzerland
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