I was reading today Khodorkovski's pronouncement and wondering why Russia, or rather many of its people, have had this unfortunate fate of misery and demise in their own homeland. Whereas Americans, a little naively for sure, are usually seen in the bright light of the American dream and positive, if simple, emotions, Russia has earned the stereotype of suffering and never-ending maze associated with its intellectuals. Or, maybe, Khodorkovski is just aiming at the long run, playing his best response in the game, and all this should be dismissed as more rhetoric of another ambitious 'future Mr. President'? Yes, institutions in the country do not help, as Khodorkovski's case so well illustrates. However, there are also others, such as Perelman, who have refused their talent and participation in the world altogether. With each mention of Perelman, Dostoyevski comes to my mind. He somehow managed to epitomize in his work the country and the Russian soul, or did he? Yes, it would be scary and a little hopeless if so.
Ahthough Khodorkovski's story is the one in the limelight today, many other entrepreneurs and talented people have given up hope, taken up their belongings, and moved out. Or maybe this is my unconscious self trying to justify why me too, i have left my own country and not been willing to recognize it for some time now as part of my identity. Shattered hopes, my parents' absence of a vision of me in that country, all this contributed certainly to the exhaudus - of me in particular, and many, millions of others, in general. The consequences cannot be evaluated, usual in social sciences, - as we will never know what a world with a successful Soviet Union would have looked like. But it certainly would have been very different.