How Vodka ruined Russia
"The stereotype of the drunk Russian is common and widespread. The Russian alcoholic is, however, more than just a stereotype. Downing a bottle of Vodka, slurring his words and making a fool of himself, the Russian with a drinking problem is the result of four centuries of a systemic alcohol problem that is by now deeply ingrained within Russian society. More sad than funny, Russia's relationship with Vodka is built on a fascinating history of Tsars, peasants, industry, mercantilism, monopoly, population control, oppression, monarchy, authoritarianism, prohibition, communism, ideology and the abuse of addictive substances to create addicts that can be easily controlled and oppressed. Stretching from Tsar Ivan the third, to Cathrine the Great, to Nicholas the second, to Lenin, Stalin, Gorbachev up until today. And more than just a history lesson and explanation of Russia's current alcohol problem, this Russian history of the drink is also a foreshadowing and warning to all who try to ignore the Social issues, misery, and problems that come with widespread and systemic substance abuse."
I always wondered about the cynicism of saying "na zdrowie" or "to your health" when taking vodka shots (in communist Poland at least). Apparently the state also went with alcohol as a medicine propaganda. Ironically I like Vodka personally as a courage booster (in low doses), find it most efficient than drinking and p*ssing light beer.
Interesting also how many leading figures completely abstain from alcohol - Jordan Peterson, Donald J. Trump - though I'm sure everyone has their own vices.
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