"A bunch of stumped people, who can be held together only on the base of either the financial constituent, or war," well-known Russian writer Maria Arbatova said about the United States. The writer sat down with Pravda.Ru editor-in-chief Inna Novikova to share her opinion of the country that so eagerly tries to dictate its will to Russia.
"You have recently returned from America. Do you think that the U.S. has the same problems, like in Russia, in the relations between people of different nationalities and different mentalities?"
"In fact, I have a suggestion. Let's send everyone to America, so that people would return as patriots from there. America is positioned as a tolerant country, but, in fact, I realized its national idea: "You had no past." This is a gathering of stumped people, who can be held together only on the base of either the financial constituent, or the desire to wage war somewhere."
"But immigrants are not at war with anyone. They are financially dependent, they have to be tolerant and to adjust themselves to the society?
"The talks about how tolerant and sweet immigrants are make any psychologist, psychiatrist or psychoanalyst laugh their heads off. They are tolerant, because they have the police net thrown over them. If you take the U.S., everything is built on completely feeble-minded laws there, which any immigrant comes across inevitably. For example, a friend of ours - by the way, a lawyer by education - gave us a ride about the country. He said: "Guys, I live in this schizophrenia. I was driving along the ocean the other day and I wanted to sit on the beach, and there is a special fishing area there and special fishing police (there are sanitary police, some postal police, and all sorts of other types of police). So fishing police in special fishing uniforms come up to me and say that I have to pay to go to the beach to fish. "Show us the fishing rod," they said. But I had no fishing rod with me. I just lied to them that the fishing rod was in the car. A police woman answered me, "I hope you have it in your car, because you understand that there are people fishing here, and if you just came here to sit down on the beach, you would commit a crime."
"It's the specifics of America, isn't it?"
"Yes, it is the specifics of the America that drives us all crazy. For example, when my friend's daughter came to live somewhere near Chicago, her husband bought a car, on which he was delivering pizza before. On the car, there was a sticker with some text on it. The man parked this car near the house, and in exactly minutes, a woman next door called the police. The man was fined 500 dollars, because, as it turned out, "business cars" could not be parked near the house. The police forced him to run for paint and paint the pizza text over quickly in their presence, not to take even more money from him."
"In Russia, everything is different."
"Yes, we have a different understanding of life ... Well, that would a Russian do? A man would come and say, Hey, you need to paint this over, otherwise you get fined." We call the police only when people can not agree on something, when they can not discuss a situation quietly. In America, this scheme works differently."
"Perhaps we should behave like that too? For example, we begin to negotiate with noisy neighbors... or with workers who work with drills at night. We may settle the problem, but not always. Maybe it is better not to waste time and energy, but call the police, so that they settle it all down? There is something about it, isn't there?"
"Then after a while, we will cease to be human beings. This police net, which covers the United States, in fact, catches almost nothing. I've just talked to a man who has been living in Brooklyn for 20 years, and knows very well how things work out there. I'm not talking about Chinatown, no one knows how many people live there, and, yet, in New York, there are seven Chinese areas). He says that there are no police at all. First, the police are scared. Second, everything is controlled by criminal mobs there, like we had it in Moscow during the 1990s. If someone stole your purse, you should go to a mob, and he will decide. There is a police net, but it is useless. This man in Brooklyn has been living without documents for 20 years, and so has his wife, and a half of the neighborhood."
"So they do not go anywhere, they do not study and do not get any benefits?"
"In fact, it's much worse, but it doesn't matter. Most of Brooklyn lives like that. There is also Brighton, where most miserable emigrants in the world live - the most miserable ones that I have ever seen."
"But still, how can he live so long without documents?"
"He does, for twenty years. He lives like that working, paying pension contributions and will receive a pension in the future. I asked him: "How does it work to live without documents?" He told me that in America, one system does not catch another. He said that two weeks after the 9/11 attacks, one of the Arabs, who hijacked a plane, received a work permit. How perfect is that?"
"Still, there should be situations, especially during 20 years, when a person needs a passport."
"Yes, I told him that. He said: "I was once ran over by a motorcycle, I woke up in an emergency room, and I thought that they would deport me. I've been living for so many years illegally, so I should be deported. But they just deprived me of my driver's license, opened a criminal case, and the story ended fine for me.""
"It just so happens that America is populated by such people who live there illegally?"
"Yes, and this is the problem of that country. All people who came there, could not live in their home countries normally, their life was unbearable there, they could not settle down in the country where they were born. This is a form of concentrated human tragedy."
"Many of those, whom I studied with, left to America. Many later returned, but they had lost time and effort ... Some stayed, but with their university education they work as sales assistants or something. Yet, nowadays, young people talk about emigration again, many dream to leave. Does it mean that they do not learn wisdom by the follies of others?"
"You know, the process of departure is not so scary. There are statistics for European countries, where 50 percent say they would like to emigrate - and yes, they are young people. We have 20 percent of such people. Of course, you can not love your country, if you have not seen it. Our country is huge, and the people, who have not been anywhere other than Moscow and St. Petersburg, they do not understand where they live and how lucky they are. I was once flying to Magadan and I thought that there were mountains, rivers, forests, bears on the ground during the six-hour flight... And you go to that city somewhere far away, and you meet people there, who speak your language, you meet the same audience that you have in Moscow, when you have book presentations, you eat the same Olivier salad ... and you realize that this huge machine - it's all yours."