I remember going into the Soviet Union on some junket or other. Now, the Russkies could do some communism: Paranoia, thuggishness, ugly boring buildings, clothes that looked air-dropped and people walking hunched over as against a cold wind when there wasn’t any wind. Nothing in the stores, and not many stores. Nothing worked. Nobody cared about anything. It was like Mexico but without the technology and consumer goods. Or the sense of urgency.
I went into St. Petersburg from Helsinki on a train, like Lenin though with less effect, because Aeroflop had lost our reservations in its central abacus. The border Nazis rolled down window shades in case we might have stashed propaganda in them. It was like going into a prison. It was going into a prison. That’s how communism is supposed to work.
Russia, though, China isn’t. Remember that when the Soviet Union was a superpower, though usually with a Guatemalan level of technology, it couldn’t make a decent personal computer. Taiwan was spitting them out like aspirin tablets. Well, same people. And no Mau to paralyze them.
Aeroflop особенно прекрасен, конечно.