From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.

January 5, 2009

karl-marxwent to a snow covered, cold sculpture park today …. there amongst many heads,torsos,shapes, were some remnants of days gone by … Marx wrote, ‘workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains’…. the chains are much looser now but old habits die hard. These 3 days in Moscow, (apart from averaging  -12) have revealed few smiles … especially shop workers,metro ticket sellers and attendants,fast food outlets and others, Dyllis reckons it must be related to the  cold weather and the dark days of winter. We are smiling … Moscow has  provided many highlights, the metro itself – splendid service and some amazing stations, walking the streets in the cold ,which is how my mum remembers it in Poland, dry,crisp and a very pleasant feeling when you go into a cafe for a black chai, some great examples of pre and post soviet architecture, even Stalin’s ‘palaces’ have a certain charm to them, amazing variety of lighting in the streets and on the metro …  somebody should reproduce the metro escalator lights … xmas and new year decorations … trees, fountains, in all manner of inventive movement and light …, parks in unexpected places, some fabulous wrought-iron work on the bridges, statues of heroes  .. artists, writers, poets,kings,( one of Peter the Great on an island near the sculpture park was magnificent, dominating the landscape, one of Dyllis’ favourites) and in one of these unexpected parks one of a writer called Sholokov who wrote ‘ And quiet flows the Don’, a book which I couldn’t get hold of in the UK and just happened to mention to Dyllis a few minutes before we came across the statue … and the juxtaposition of Macdonalds and the Kremlin  … Lenin has probably turned several times. So why are there so many russian workers spending hours standing/sitting in huts/cubbyholes/kiosks/toilets?. .. and still not smiling!. Capitalism has arrived with a vengeance … there are many rich people here, the signs are everywhere  … cars, shops,restaurants,hotels ( 1 night at the Ritz Carlton £800, and you don’t even get breakfast),the sale prices of western goods are higher than non-sale in the UK … so what are the proletariat doing?  Marx again, ‘Sell a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man how to fish, you ruin a wonderful business opportunity’ …. GUM used to be a magnificently built store with nothing much to sell, now it sells things that most of us would not want to buy (Cartier,Dior,Louis Vuitton,Moshcino, etc …) …a different kind of opium, an alternative brainwashing, or is that just me?

tomorrow we leave on the trans mongolian, 6 days on a train … Dyllis is really excited! 

до свидания для теперь    (do zveedahnya dlya teper)
bye for now

5 Responses to “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”

  1. gill hartley Says:

    The thinking artist observes, fascinating. All those mixes sounds like the very muddled world we live in but you are there and able to experience it, carry on enjoying

  2. Becca (M) Says:

    Glad the Peter the Great Statue was enjoyed… we made it back safely – will email a story from our plane flight! It involves Jack Bauer!

  3. Jessica, Ian, Barbara & Max! Says:

    Calm down Eddie it’s only politics!
    Some good news from home I installed a new toilet
    seat for Bab and she finally gets her new windows
    fitted on Thursday!
    Cheers comrade

  4. Lis Says:

    Snowy and foggy here in Mossley too, but the shopkeepers are quite smiley, not many fur coats in evidence.Glad you are enjoying all the sights, i have a copy of quietly flows the don, not very quiet as I remember.

  5. Rod Says:

    Sounds great. quote from a book I once read or was it Viz ” all Russians are miserable bastards”.Just to let you know that I have booked all accommodation in New Zealand so you will at least have somewhere to sleep the first two nights. Will be asking questions about whale watching and the BBQ bus soon.

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