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The Russian bureaucracy is, admittedly, a lot better than it used to be. In comparison to the state of affairs even just a decade ago, there are fewer papers to fill out, staff are more courteous, and many more tasks can be done online.

The contrast relative to the 1990s is even starker, when outright bribes were not infrequently required to carry out routine services. This is now most definitely a thing of the past.

A large number of “My Documents” centers have been built across the country under the philosopher of making a large variety of different services available under the same roof. They are located in large, modern buildings, tend to employ younger people, and advertise hotlines for reporting unprofessional or corrupt conduct.

These improvements are reflected in Russia moving from around 120th in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings a decade ago, to 40th as of 2016.

Which still makes it a horrendous nightmare by American/British standards.

Say what you will about the Eternal Anglo, but they have really figured out this bureaucracy thing. Even the Germans that I have met in the UK consider their bureaucracy slow and capricious by comparison, to say nothing of Mediterraneans or East Europeans.

All bureaucracies make mistakes, lose papers, muck up appointment dates, etc. But this is where the similarities end. In Anglo world, staff apologize for any mishaps and devote extra attention to making things right, possibly because they actually feel guilty before the client (the very possibility of “bureaucrat guilt” is difficult to even process for those born behind the Hajnal Line). In Russia, they don’t give a fuck about your travails – at best. At worst, you will meet rudeness (hamstvo) the likes of which someone who has only dealt with Anglo bureaucracies can barely imagine, as the bureaucrats try to unload the blame on you for their own incompetence.

Personal anecdote from the past year. When I was returning to Russia in December 2016, I had a minor problem; my foreign passport (zagranpasport) had expired. No worries, in such cases you can get a Return Certificate (svidetelstvo na vozvrashenie) that confirms you as a Russian citizen; after that, you need to go back within a certain number of days, after which you will have another few days to apply for a new passport. I managed to do this through the Russian Consulate in London, though it took a few more days that it should have thanks to an appointment scheduling mess-up on their part, which they naturally blamed on me (I was somehow responsible for them associating a wrong day to a date).

This is where I encountered my first serious issue. I had already booked my flight back with a Spanish airline with a stop-over in Barcelona, but then the Russian Consulate in London informed me that it needed to be a direct flight. When I asked them why they hadn’t informed me of that earlier, before my booking, they falsely insisted that they had. After a lengthy argument, I got them to submit – I had no intentions of wasting ~$500 booking another flight – but they warned me that I would not be allowed to fly onto Russia in Spain and that all consequent problems would be my problem, and got me to sign a declaration to that effect (!).

As it happened, the Spaniards themselves were entirely cool with my Return Certificate, and gave it no more than a glance when I was boarding; this was evidently a routine process for them. More curiously, at the time I also discovered that this seemed to be a “hard rule” only at the Russian Consulate in London; the one in Marseilles listed a direct flight as only a recommedation. Clearly the guys in London were (rudely) incompetent at best, or perhaps had an “arrangement” with some booking agent or the airline itself. Who knows.

But my problems hadn’t ended there – now that I was back in Russia, I needed to get my domestic passport, also expired, replaced. And I needed to do it pretty fast, since the passport is central to Russian life – you can’t get a cell phone number or even visit some museums without one. (I suppose that the lower trust societies are, the more they make up for it with papers).

chinovnik-racial-phenotype So I went down to the local documents center. Since my case – both foreign and domestic passports expired – wasn’t the most routine one, I was called into the office of the head honcho there, a corpulent, middle-aged, heavy-browed man with that distinct chinovnik racial phenotype who proceeded to give me a crash course in Russian Bureaucracy 101.

Instead of getting to work on my problem, he decided to give me a lengthy interrogation.

Why didn’t you renew your passport?” he barked.

“You can only renew it in Russia, I wasn’t in Russia.”

Why didn’t you return to Russia?”

“Because I was busy. Could you please tell me how is this relevant?”

Why did you return to Russia?”

“Why not, LOL. Also, may I inquire what business is this of yours?”

The hell it’s my business! Why didn’t you renew your passport in time?

It went on around in circles like this for several minutes, but the best was yet to come.

If you didn’t renew your passport you obviously didn’t care about it, so why don’t you fuck off back to America?” (sic)

Sensing that things were rapidly heading to an ignominious conclusion, and by this point thoroughly pissed off, I grabbed my documents, told him he was a fat, useless cockroach who had wasted enough of my time, and wheeled out of the room before he could sputter out a reply.

The next place where I tried to get my passport issues sorted processed my problem quickly and professionally, which I suppose goes to show that the quality of bureaucratic service remains… quite uneven.

Rules of thumb for dealing with Russian bureaucrats:

1. Don’t. Do as many things online as possible.

2. Never take the information that they put on the Internet at face value. It varies department from department, Consulate from Consulate. They don’t always even get their opening times right.

3. The starting assumption should be that they have zero interest in helping your resolve your issue. Base your actions on this assumption.

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Russia, The AK 
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  1. You have to admit, they sound more high T than your average bureaucrat though.

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    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
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  2. notanon says:

    possibly because they actually feel guilty

    yes – such an odd thing, globally speaking

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  3. Quite. And there is the difference between legal and administrative infringements.

    For example, by law, they are required to register you where you chose to stay. In Saratov, the administrative rule is that holders of business visas can only stay in private accommodation after three way checks on you, the people who invited you (one cannot just turn up) and the place you are staying. This is an entirely local issue. In Samara or Astrakhan no one cares. Saratov was a closed city. Still is is some ways.

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  4. melanf says:

    Probably there are exceptions among bureaucrats. In our town “My Documents” center is staffed by the most helpful officials in the world: they invited the child to pick up any toy (from playroom) as a gift.

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  5. Friends of mine with Russian passports (living here, in central Europe) were trying to get UK visitor visas for their family, about a year ago. The process was recently (at that time) outsourced to some Polish company. Well, telling me the whole sad story with all its twists and turns took them about 40 minutes. In the end, they paid a bunch of money, their application was rejected, and (obviously) no refund. Yeah, life’s a bitch.

    Also: Swiss bureaucrats. They never-ever admit they’re wrong. Resistance is futile, and I’m sure will result in some special mark in your dossier (they keep them on paper) that will create troubles for you in the future.

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  6. TheJester says:

    Anatoly,

    A good time to interject that those ensconced within the Hajnal Line are under threat. The Hajnal Line has been breached! Hence, your expectation of efficient bureaucracy within the Hajnal Line and its colonies will without question fade once the bureaucrats in front of you (as a result of open borders, massive immigration, diversity, etc.) are Paki, Hindi, Nigerian, Mexican, or any other color of the rainbow you can imagine.

    No comment on Russian bureaucrats. I have never experienced one … I’ve only read the stories, which seem to assume a power relationship in which the bureaucrats have power and everyone else does not. Perhaps a cultural holdover from the Soviet system? Perhaps disturbing when one reads that the European Union is emerging as an updated model of the Soviet system, given that dialectical materialism presumes (née requires) the emergence of its opposite … and this appears to have happened.

    The issue is that there has apparently been a historic, ideologically-driven, and potentially fatal breach in the Hajnal Line. It seems that the unique high-trust, beyond kin social system that took a thousand years to manufacture in Western Europe now requires, in the name of justice, to admit hordes of low-trust, family, clan, and tribal-based immigrants along with their also distinctive IQs, religions, mating systems, languages, and other cultural peccadillos.

    But, just as bad money drives out good (Gresham’s Law), low-trust, family, clan, and tribal-based societies cannot coexist within high-trust, beyond kin social societies. Intermixed with the former, high-trust populations run for cover to survive. They hide; they learn to trust no one. Hence, by importing its populations, the First World does not elevate the Third World, it becomes part of that world.

    Unless drastic measures are taken, it appears that the foundational principles of the unique, Western European high-trust, beyond kin social system have run their course. It has reached it reductio ad absurdum.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous coward
    The Hajnal line is bullshit. Different areas of Russia had wildly different marriage and childbirth customs.
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  7. Like I said, Russian Character must change.

    On the other hand, it’d be nice to have Russians take over passport service in the US. It will effectively screw up any future colonization from the Third World.

    But then, as US government becomes taken over more by Negroes and colored folks, expect the Third-World-zation of US services as well.
    Negroes in government are the worst.

    Also, US lets so many illegals stay that one wonder if Rule of Law matters any more in this country.

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    • Agree: RadicalCenter
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  8. My experience with Chinese bureaucrats is not nearly as annoying, though it did have an amusing moment when I was much younger. A woman insisted that I write my name in hanzi – it was not enough that I wrote it in English – and was aghast when I scrawled it with my really poor calligraphy at the time. After sighing loudly to express her disapproval, she rewrote my name with much better strokes and sent me through.

    I don’t really recall any other issues, though I felt that the overall efficiency could still be improved.

    However, if I didn’t speak fluent Mandarin, I’m pretty sure that my life would have been much, much harder to be put it lightly.

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  9. But we must remember it takes two to tango or two to entangle.

    It’s true that Russian bureaucracy may act far from ideally, but where did the bureaucracy come from? The Russian people. It’s not some foreign edifice that was imposed on Russia from space aliens.

    Russian bureaucracy is the way it is because Russian people and culture are the way they are.
    Slovenly, petty, messy, undisciplined, drunk, disorderly, and etc. Russians are still in barbarian mode on some level. This is why Russian Tsar relied on Germans to do so much of the business, military organization, and bureaucracy during the Imperial Era. Russian elites treated the masses like chattel and relied on more advanced foreigners to do all the heady or serious stuff.

    Anglosphere works better not just because of the bureaucracy but because of the people. There was a shared mode of manners and attitude among all Britons, from top to bottom.
    But as UK fills up with more Diversity and Chavs, watch things deteriorate.

    Another thing. Courtesy was part of Anglo culture all around. So, it was there among the people(as clients and citizens) as well as with the bureaucrats. So, it took two to tango. Bureaucrats acted professional and kind, and the people had the same manners.

    The thing is, even if bureaucrats are professional and excellent, they won’t do much good and eventually their service will deteriorate if they have to deal with morons 24/7. It’s like teachers. Yes, some people are good teachers and want to do their job well. But if you put them in a classroom filled with morons, thugs, and Negroes, their idealism will fade in time, and they will only stick around for benefits and pensions. Their talent as teachers goes to waste since the lousy students are so unresponsive(and their parents don’t give a damn).

    In Russia, yes, the bureaucrats have an attitude problem, but these bureaucrats have had experience with Russians all their lives since they themselves grew up in the culture. They know Russian people are difficult to work with cuz so many people are corrupt and blame everyone but themselves. While Russian bureaucrats may blame clients and citizens for their own wrong-doing, Russian people do the same thing. Even when bureaucrats do everything right, the Russian people are prone to just blame it all on the bureaucrats.
    It’s like Negroes. Even if teachers did their best but black students failed because of their own laziness, blacks will just blame the teachers. Such lack of accountability is part of Russian character as well(though not as bad as among the Negroes), and it must change all around, not just in government. Russian children must be raised to be mindful of doing right.
    To be sure, the state can set the proper tone for the rest of society, but we have to keep in mind that state is composed of the people it rules and serves.

    Why is Southern Italian state and police so much worse than Northern Italian one? Southern Italian state draws its people from Southern Italians who act like people in Mario Puzo novels.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikel
    Priss, there is merit in what you say. But, having lived in eight different countries of Europe and the Americas, I found the Dutch bureaucracy among the worst. And I wouldn't say that the Dutch are an uncultured, disorderly people at all. It seems to me that there is an Anglo/Continental divide for this as well.
    , @Selvar
    Given what the most "civilized" Western nations are doing, perhaps it is better for the Russians that they remain semi-barbarians.
    , @RadicalCenter
    Once my Mom's industrious and honest family left Lazio and Campania, the whole southern half of Italy went to Hell in a hand basket ;)
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  10. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    «[…] which I suppose goes to show that the quality of bureaucratic service remains… quite uneven.»

    Like quality of everything in Russia.

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  11. Mikel says:
    @Priss Factor
    But we must remember it takes two to tango or two to entangle.

    It's true that Russian bureaucracy may act far from ideally, but where did the bureaucracy come from? The Russian people. It's not some foreign edifice that was imposed on Russia from space aliens.

    Russian bureaucracy is the way it is because Russian people and culture are the way they are.
    Slovenly, petty, messy, undisciplined, drunk, disorderly, and etc. Russians are still in barbarian mode on some level. This is why Russian Tsar relied on Germans to do so much of the business, military organization, and bureaucracy during the Imperial Era. Russian elites treated the masses like chattel and relied on more advanced foreigners to do all the heady or serious stuff.

    Anglosphere works better not just because of the bureaucracy but because of the people. There was a shared mode of manners and attitude among all Britons, from top to bottom.
    But as UK fills up with more Diversity and Chavs, watch things deteriorate.

    Another thing. Courtesy was part of Anglo culture all around. So, it was there among the people(as clients and citizens) as well as with the bureaucrats. So, it took two to tango. Bureaucrats acted professional and kind, and the people had the same manners.

    The thing is, even if bureaucrats are professional and excellent, they won't do much good and eventually their service will deteriorate if they have to deal with morons 24/7. It's like teachers. Yes, some people are good teachers and want to do their job well. But if you put them in a classroom filled with morons, thugs, and Negroes, their idealism will fade in time, and they will only stick around for benefits and pensions. Their talent as teachers goes to waste since the lousy students are so unresponsive(and their parents don't give a damn).

    In Russia, yes, the bureaucrats have an attitude problem, but these bureaucrats have had experience with Russians all their lives since they themselves grew up in the culture. They know Russian people are difficult to work with cuz so many people are corrupt and blame everyone but themselves. While Russian bureaucrats may blame clients and citizens for their own wrong-doing, Russian people do the same thing. Even when bureaucrats do everything right, the Russian people are prone to just blame it all on the bureaucrats.
    It's like Negroes. Even if teachers did their best but black students failed because of their own laziness, blacks will just blame the teachers. Such lack of accountability is part of Russian character as well(though not as bad as among the Negroes), and it must change all around, not just in government. Russian children must be raised to be mindful of doing right.
    To be sure, the state can set the proper tone for the rest of society, but we have to keep in mind that state is composed of the people it rules and serves.

    Why is Southern Italian state and police so much worse than Northern Italian one? Southern Italian state draws its people from Southern Italians who act like people in Mario Puzo novels.

    Priss, there is merit in what you say. But, having lived in eight different countries of Europe and the Americas, I found the Dutch bureaucracy among the worst. And I wouldn’t say that the Dutch are an uncultured, disorderly people at all. It seems to me that there is an Anglo/Continental divide for this as well.

    Read More
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  12. Selvar says:
    @Priss Factor
    But we must remember it takes two to tango or two to entangle.

    It's true that Russian bureaucracy may act far from ideally, but where did the bureaucracy come from? The Russian people. It's not some foreign edifice that was imposed on Russia from space aliens.

    Russian bureaucracy is the way it is because Russian people and culture are the way they are.
    Slovenly, petty, messy, undisciplined, drunk, disorderly, and etc. Russians are still in barbarian mode on some level. This is why Russian Tsar relied on Germans to do so much of the business, military organization, and bureaucracy during the Imperial Era. Russian elites treated the masses like chattel and relied on more advanced foreigners to do all the heady or serious stuff.

    Anglosphere works better not just because of the bureaucracy but because of the people. There was a shared mode of manners and attitude among all Britons, from top to bottom.
    But as UK fills up with more Diversity and Chavs, watch things deteriorate.

    Another thing. Courtesy was part of Anglo culture all around. So, it was there among the people(as clients and citizens) as well as with the bureaucrats. So, it took two to tango. Bureaucrats acted professional and kind, and the people had the same manners.

    The thing is, even if bureaucrats are professional and excellent, they won't do much good and eventually their service will deteriorate if they have to deal with morons 24/7. It's like teachers. Yes, some people are good teachers and want to do their job well. But if you put them in a classroom filled with morons, thugs, and Negroes, their idealism will fade in time, and they will only stick around for benefits and pensions. Their talent as teachers goes to waste since the lousy students are so unresponsive(and their parents don't give a damn).

    In Russia, yes, the bureaucrats have an attitude problem, but these bureaucrats have had experience with Russians all their lives since they themselves grew up in the culture. They know Russian people are difficult to work with cuz so many people are corrupt and blame everyone but themselves. While Russian bureaucrats may blame clients and citizens for their own wrong-doing, Russian people do the same thing. Even when bureaucrats do everything right, the Russian people are prone to just blame it all on the bureaucrats.
    It's like Negroes. Even if teachers did their best but black students failed because of their own laziness, blacks will just blame the teachers. Such lack of accountability is part of Russian character as well(though not as bad as among the Negroes), and it must change all around, not just in government. Russian children must be raised to be mindful of doing right.
    To be sure, the state can set the proper tone for the rest of society, but we have to keep in mind that state is composed of the people it rules and serves.

    Why is Southern Italian state and police so much worse than Northern Italian one? Southern Italian state draws its people from Southern Italians who act like people in Mario Puzo novels.

    Given what the most “civilized” Western nations are doing, perhaps it is better for the Russians that they remain semi-barbarians.

    Read More
    • Replies: @notanon
    quite
    , @Priss Factor
    Given what the most “civilized” Western nations are doing, perhaps it is better for the Russians that they remain semi-barbarians.

    It's funny.

    When the natives act semi-barbarian, it keeps the foreign barbarians away or under control(as they fear the native semi-barbarians).

    When the natives act civilized, it attracts the foreign barbarians who wanna take advantage of the hospitality, generosity, plenty, and efficiency.
    But as the civilized nation fills up with foreign barbarians, civilization falls apart and everything turns totally barbarian.
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  13. notanon says:
    @Selvar
    Given what the most "civilized" Western nations are doing, perhaps it is better for the Russians that they remain semi-barbarians.

    quite

    Read More
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  14. @Selvar
    Given what the most "civilized" Western nations are doing, perhaps it is better for the Russians that they remain semi-barbarians.

    Given what the most “civilized” Western nations are doing, perhaps it is better for the Russians that they remain semi-barbarians.

    It’s funny.

    When the natives act semi-barbarian, it keeps the foreign barbarians away or under control(as they fear the native semi-barbarians).

    When the natives act civilized, it attracts the foreign barbarians who wanna take advantage of the hospitality, generosity, plenty, and efficiency.
    But as the civilized nation fills up with foreign barbarians, civilization falls apart and everything turns totally barbarian.

    Read More
    • Agree: RadicalCenter
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  15. @TheJester
    Anatoly,

    A good time to interject that those ensconced within the Hajnal Line are under threat. The Hajnal Line has been breached! Hence, your expectation of efficient bureaucracy within the Hajnal Line and its colonies will without question fade once the bureaucrats in front of you (as a result of open borders, massive immigration, diversity, etc.) are Paki, Hindi, Nigerian, Mexican, or any other color of the rainbow you can imagine.

    No comment on Russian bureaucrats. I have never experienced one ... I've only read the stories, which seem to assume a power relationship in which the bureaucrats have power and everyone else does not. Perhaps a cultural holdover from the Soviet system? Perhaps disturbing when one reads that the European Union is emerging as an updated model of the Soviet system, given that dialectical materialism presumes (née requires) the emergence of its opposite ... and this appears to have happened.

    The issue is that there has apparently been a historic, ideologically-driven, and potentially fatal breach in the Hajnal Line. It seems that the unique high-trust, beyond kin social system that took a thousand years to manufacture in Western Europe now requires, in the name of justice, to admit hordes of low-trust, family, clan, and tribal-based immigrants along with their also distinctive IQs, religions, mating systems, languages, and other cultural peccadillos.

    But, just as bad money drives out good (Gresham's Law), low-trust, family, clan, and tribal-based societies cannot coexist within high-trust, beyond kin social societies. Intermixed with the former, high-trust populations run for cover to survive. They hide; they learn to trust no one. Hence, by importing its populations, the First World does not elevate the Third World, it becomes part of that world.

    Unless drastic measures are taken, it appears that the foundational principles of the unique, Western European high-trust, beyond kin social system have run their course. It has reached it reductio ad absurdum.

    The Hajnal line is bullshit. Different areas of Russia had wildly different marriage and childbirth customs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @notanon
    the underlying theory is that the marriage system effects the culture of the population (through how it effects the pattern of relatedness imo) which leads to cultural selection pressure which leads to genetic changes which reinforce those cultures.

    So,

    The Hajnal line is bullshit. Different areas of Russia had wildly different marriage and childbirth customs.
     
    the first sentence would only be true if those different areas of Russia didn't have different cultures which correlate with the different marriage systems.

    (The Hajnal line has different marriage customs within it too - the line simply represents the region where one particular form was dominant - so for example inside could be 2/3 type A and 1/3 type B and outside could be 1/3 type A and 2/3 type B.)
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  16. Twinkie says:

    Even the Germans that I have met in the UK consider their bureaucracy slow and capricious by comparison

    In the early 90′s, when I was in Germany for the first time, I was pretty aghast to discover (upon attempting get some utilities) that the much vaunted German efficiency was a sham! At least compared to the Unites States, that is. The Beamter is awful everywhere, but you are absolutely right the Anglophone civil servants do their best to help out citizens within reason. The best civil servants I have ever encountered were those in Singapore. What magnificent civil service! Polite, educated, clean, and efficient. It’s like the government there is a corporation, in the best sense of that word.

    distinct chinovnik racial phenotype

    What does this mean? Looking up “chinovnik” yields “a minor Tsarist bureaucrat.” Were they associated with a particular ethnic group?

    told him he was a fat, useless cockroach who had wasted enough of my time, and wheeled out of the room before he could sputter out a reply.

    Apparently customers are just as lacking in Anglo-American decorum as civil servants in Russia!

    You know the saying – “We all get the government we deserve.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Were they associated with a particular ethnic group?
     
    It's a joke. But a large percentage (especially of the nastier ones) look like the person in the photograph.

    Apparently customers are just as lacking in Anglo-American decorum as civil servants in Russia!
     
    He had just harassed me for 10 minutes and effectively wasted my afternoon. What else was I to do?

    I am unflinchingly polite... within reason.
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  17. @Twinkie

    Even the Germans that I have met in the UK consider their bureaucracy slow and capricious by comparison
     
    In the early 90's, when I was in Germany for the first time, I was pretty aghast to discover (upon attempting get some utilities) that the much vaunted German efficiency was a sham! At least compared to the Unites States, that is. The Beamter is awful everywhere, but you are absolutely right the Anglophone civil servants do their best to help out citizens within reason. The best civil servants I have ever encountered were those in Singapore. What magnificent civil service! Polite, educated, clean, and efficient. It's like the government there is a corporation, in the best sense of that word.

    distinct chinovnik racial phenotype
     
    What does this mean? Looking up "chinovnik" yields "a minor Tsarist bureaucrat." Were they associated with a particular ethnic group?

    told him he was a fat, useless cockroach who had wasted enough of my time, and wheeled out of the room before he could sputter out a reply.
     
    Apparently customers are just as lacking in Anglo-American decorum as civil servants in Russia!

    You know the saying - "We all get the government we deserve."

    Were they associated with a particular ethnic group?

    It’s a joke. But a large percentage (especially of the nastier ones) look like the person in the photograph.

    Apparently customers are just as lacking in Anglo-American decorum as civil servants in Russia!

    He had just harassed me for 10 minutes and effectively wasted my afternoon. What else was I to do?

    I am unflinchingly polite… within reason.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    AK, I'd buy a book of your columns in a second. And fwiw, I would have told off the bureaucrat in that situation too, at least until about age forty, which is not so long ago ;)
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  18. I have been to such centers many times and have been happy with the experience. They are far cleaner and pleasant than various government agencies in Louisiana that are disproportionately staffed with affirmative action hires who are generally downright surly and unhelpful. Getting a title for a car here in Saint-Petersburg was noticeably easier and pleasant than a trip to the DMV in Louisiana.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    The DMVs are a striking exception to the stereotype of Anglo bureaucratic efficiency - and I assume this will be especially true for Louisiana.
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  19. There’s mention here of Russians being lower trust, but what about other traditions like queuing? Nobody lines up. You simply find out who was ‘last’. Once you’ve passed your ‘last’ position, you can even go away and come back if there’s time and still retain your place. In the Eternal Anglo world, you have to beg the stranger in line behind you to ‘hold your place’, and there’s nearly always a physical line so the panopticon effect comes into play. Having said that, we are very good at it. No one pushed at Dunkirk.

    https://www.rbth.com/blogs/Letter_home_from_Russia/2016/04/05/of-cues-on-queues-of-the-russian-kind_582069

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  20. @Фрэнк в СПБ
    I have been to such centers many times and have been happy with the experience. They are far cleaner and pleasant than various government agencies in Louisiana that are disproportionately staffed with affirmative action hires who are generally downright surly and unhelpful. Getting a title for a car here in Saint-Petersburg was noticeably easier and pleasant than a trip to the DMV in Louisiana.

    The DMVs are a striking exception to the stereotype of Anglo bureaucratic efficiency – and I assume this will be especially true for Louisiana.

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  21. AP says:

    A friend had an expired foreign passport. She hadn’t been in Russia since the 1990s. She was told at the consulate that she needed a birth certificate sent from the appropriate office in Russia to the consulate (apparently, an expired Russian passport wasn’t sufficient proof of citizenship/birth). No birth certificate was found in Russia (either the bureaucrat in Russia was too lazy to look, or some other bureaucrat lost it). Cousins in Russia hired someone to go to the archives and find her birth certificate, which they did. The copy was officially stamped (more steps). Consulate said that my friend could not bring the birth certificate in herself – it had to be officially sent from the place in Russia where it originated – the same place that had failed to find it in the first place. It was officially sent. Two months later, it has not been received.

    Russian dual citizens with valid foreign passports aren’t allowed to get Russian visas if they are Russian citizens also, they must travel with their valid Russian passports. For Russia, Russians can’t disavow their Russian citizenship so that’s not an option either.

    In this way, a Russian person can’t even visit her own country on vacation.

    The level of contempt the Russian state sometimes has for its own people is amazing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Greasy William

    The level of contempt the Russian state sometimes has for its own people is amazing.
     
    Euros don't seem to view expats as their "own people". A 4th generation Korean American who doesn't speak a word of the language will be viewed by all Koreans as just as much of a Korean as anyone else. However, an ethnic Chinese born and raised in Korea and totally assimilated into Korean culture will always be viewed as Chinese, not Korean.

    The situation in Europe is the exact opposite. A 4th generation Polish American will not be seen by Poles as a true Pole whereas an ethnic Ukrainian born and raised in Poland and assimilated into Polish culture would be seen as totally Polish.

    Although obviously there needs to be a phenotypical resemblance. An assimilated Chinese in Poland will never be seen as Polish. They can't be Muslim either.

    Look at "Welsh" boxer Joe Calzaghe. He self identifies as Welsh and is accepted as such despite having two 100% Italian parents. He clearly feels less Italian than do most 4th generation Italian Americans.

    Also note that Americans will frequently describe their ancestry as something like "50% Italian, a quarter Czech and a quarter Norwegian" and how Europeans all roll their eyes at such descriptions. Nobody in Europe would ever describe themselves as "half French and half German" or whatever.
    , @gerad
    wow.....this fantasist retard troll is STILL here! Doing about 2000 BS posts per day! You couldn't even make this loser,depressive,nutjobfreak up.

    The level of contempt the Russian state sometimes has for its own people is amazing.
     
    errrrmm......you must mean "Ukrainian state", you stupid moron?
    The Russian state has enabled a situation where the incomes and life expectancy,car ownership, extremely generous maternity benefits,birth rate,quality of life in the cities,national pride,military have increased almost exponentially. They have also resisted calls to increase the pension age despite the large increase in life expectancy....that's not "contempt" but respect and working in partnership with it's people, you dipshit.Most of those thing the Ukrainiane state has completely failed to do.

    Unless by Russian state, you meant "Ukrainian,Russia,Belarus" are all the same people....which while true....still doesn't explain away the contempt for it's people the Ukrainian state has continuously operated in since 1991.

    A friend had an expired foreign passport. She hadn’t been in Russia since the 1990s
     
    From the beginning it clear it a fantasist BS attention-whore invention.

    The problems seem to stem more from the demands of the consulate from the other country ,than from Russia itself you dumb prick. A person who doesn't pay taxes to the Russian state, or visit for 20 years is not entitled to immediate satisfaction of their demans you POS.
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  22. 22pp22 says:

    I have lived on the island of Cyprus. Everything depends on personal connections known as rusfeti. If you know someone, you are fine. Fortunately, our Cypriot friends made the necessary phone calls and everything happened immediately.

    If you do not have rusfeti links, you have to wait for ever. Theoretically, EU citizens can vote in local elections. Ain’t gonna happen. Don’t even try.

    Cyprus is a small country and everybody knows someone who knows someone.

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  23. notanon says:
    @anonymous coward
    The Hajnal line is bullshit. Different areas of Russia had wildly different marriage and childbirth customs.

    the underlying theory is that the marriage system effects the culture of the population (through how it effects the pattern of relatedness imo) which leads to cultural selection pressure which leads to genetic changes which reinforce those cultures.

    So,

    The Hajnal line is bullshit. Different areas of Russia had wildly different marriage and childbirth customs.

    the first sentence would only be true if those different areas of Russia didn’t have different cultures which correlate with the different marriage systems.

    (The Hajnal line has different marriage customs within it too – the line simply represents the region where one particular form was dominant – so for example inside could be 2/3 type A and 1/3 type B and outside could be 1/3 type A and 2/3 type B.)

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  24. Uh yeah… this idea of US bureaucrats being professional and feeling guilty when they screw you around depends entirely on getting white bureaucrats.

    Go to any DMV in Chicago. They are not responsible for anything and don’t give a crap about you at best either. Most of the time they are ticked at you just for showing up and making them do work/deal with people at their job, and if they can get out of it anyway (like telling you to drive to the other side of the city or come back with different forms or different payment methods) they will.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    How about my experience at the DMV when moving to California: the clerk continued speaking Spanish to a coworker while I stood at the (first) counter waiting, then was unpleasant when I finally said with a smile, hello, can you please help me.

    I turned in a voter-registration form at that DMV and, whaddaya know, it somehow never showed up and I was never registered. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the DMV employees reading the form (already inappropriate) and noticing that I didn't have a Spanish name and had NOT checked Democrat as my party choice.

    But I trust these people to treat us and our children fairly when they have a majority statewide and a Democrat supermajority in the legislature. I mean, "Mexicans are a Christian people", and besides, George Bush junior told us that family values don't stop at the Rio Grande, and I believe him with all my heart.

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  25. @AP
    A friend had an expired foreign passport. She hadn't been in Russia since the 1990s. She was told at the consulate that she needed a birth certificate sent from the appropriate office in Russia to the consulate (apparently, an expired Russian passport wasn't sufficient proof of citizenship/birth). No birth certificate was found in Russia (either the bureaucrat in Russia was too lazy to look, or some other bureaucrat lost it). Cousins in Russia hired someone to go to the archives and find her birth certificate, which they did. The copy was officially stamped (more steps). Consulate said that my friend could not bring the birth certificate in herself - it had to be officially sent from the place in Russia where it originated - the same place that had failed to find it in the first place. It was officially sent. Two months later, it has not been received.

    Russian dual citizens with valid foreign passports aren't allowed to get Russian visas if they are Russian citizens also, they must travel with their valid Russian passports. For Russia, Russians can't disavow their Russian citizenship so that's not an option either.

    In this way, a Russian person can't even visit her own country on vacation.

    The level of contempt the Russian state sometimes has for its own people is amazing.

    The level of contempt the Russian state sometimes has for its own people is amazing.

    Euros don’t seem to view expats as their “own people”. A 4th generation Korean American who doesn’t speak a word of the language will be viewed by all Koreans as just as much of a Korean as anyone else. However, an ethnic Chinese born and raised in Korea and totally assimilated into Korean culture will always be viewed as Chinese, not Korean.

    The situation in Europe is the exact opposite. A 4th generation Polish American will not be seen by Poles as a true Pole whereas an ethnic Ukrainian born and raised in Poland and assimilated into Polish culture would be seen as totally Polish.

    Although obviously there needs to be a phenotypical resemblance. An assimilated Chinese in Poland will never be seen as Polish. They can’t be Muslim either.

    Look at “Welsh” boxer Joe Calzaghe. He self identifies as Welsh and is accepted as such despite having two 100% Italian parents. He clearly feels less Italian than do most 4th generation Italian Americans.

    Also note that Americans will frequently describe their ancestry as something like “50% Italian, a quarter Czech and a quarter Norwegian” and how Europeans all roll their eyes at such descriptions. Nobody in Europe would ever describe themselves as “half French and half German” or whatever.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    I think the Europeans with balls, pride in their people, and common sense mostly left, e.g. my ancestors. Who cares whether the sanctimonious suicide-committing Europeans approve of our little ethnic summaries, identities, and ways of thinking about our genetic and cultural heritage.
    , @Twinkie

    However, an ethnic Chinese born and raised in Korea and totally assimilated into Korean culture will always be viewed as Chinese, not Korean.
     
    That is completely incorrect. Multi-generational ethnic Chinese are fully assimilated in South Korea and cannot be distinguished from ethnic Koreans. The exceptions are those who WANT to be recognized as Chinese and/or relatively recent arrivals.

    In fact, most ethnic Chinese from South Korea who emigrate to the United States settle and assimilate among Korean-Americans, not Chinese-Americans. And then the subset that doesn't adjust well to the U.S. tend to go back to South Korea, not China (or Taiwan).
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  26. spandrell says: • Website

    The Japanese bureaucracy is pretty damn efficient, and mostly pleasant.

    Chinese bureaucrats vary, a lot. They generally suck though they have been getting better.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    The Japanese bureaucracy is pretty damn efficient, and mostly pleasant.
     
    Yes, but most of them do not speak English well, and can be quite rigid. The Singaporean bureaucracy beats it, hands down.
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  27. gerad says:

    Anatoly, it appears to me that you are solely to blame for this. I’d be far more interested on problems, or lack of them, you have had with Post Office,Bank,Insurance and so on in Russia…then this whining.

    You missed a deadline,on a passport issue. Without them knowing you, that shows a total lack of respect for Russia and to them. Inexplicable for a clever guy to do this…if you were a pensioner or vulnerable person I’m sure they would have helped. You have a wife, why is she not in the same position ?they may have asked…why did she not remind you in time?….why did you not bring her to the appointment? a valid passport is not something to be blase about .

    A direct flight demand seems normal to me, the much talked about EU Association agreement was supposed to lead to temporary visa-free access to the the EU for Ukrainians. Amusingly the deal they have now doesn’t include the British, even though they were a big supporter of the euromaidan twat pseudo-protests…and in forcing the EU into sanctions on Russia!As funny as it is that one of the most hostile countries to Russia and in Russia-Ukraine relations… doesn’t even want Ukrainians to visit there……this fact explains why Russia doesn’t want another “Ukrainian” desperate to slip into Russia, and hence why they insisted on a direct flight from London and not via Spain, where Ukrainians can temporarily visit. That, and the already plentiful problems they have with people from central Asia.

    Why did you not make the effort to inform them of your much needed blogging or the fact that you have appeared on Russia Today, and the show CrossTalk?………..they probably thought you were an unpatriotic,westernised tosser, so the onus is on you to prove otherwise- not to display westernised self-entitlement,Anatoly. From what you have described, at every stage you have not made the maximum effort, made naive assumptions and not been pro-active.

    In the anglosphere there is always a lack of bureaucrats relative to the number of customers,or relative to the complexity of a problem. This creates the situation where the customer doesn’t want to be embarrassed as a large queue form behind him or her… so is more likely to be either better prepared in the first place, extremely apologetic..and it’s more easier to tell if they are lying or not…but they know how to exploit the situation better because in a higher-taxation society the customer can demand, or be entitled to demand , more from the bureaucrat,than vice-versa.

    In the anglosphere the overworked bureaucrat has performance targets, the department loses out on money and has to waste time if queues develop for their understaffed bureaucrats …so are more inclined to sort out a problem just to reduce the hassle, even if the customer hasn’t neccesarily sorted out all requirements, and is slightly less inclined to call their superior in or be forced into doing so,

    Moral of the story, expired documents by foreigners or foreign passport holders, particularly clever ones, are a cardinal sin.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Horpor
    When reading You, I see that the country in which I was born and which I thankfully left, as well as its people have not changed much. The same slavish obedience to the 'nachalnik' - the chief, complete complacency to the masters' wishes, providing that they feed You some black bread and make the beer cheap. As always, no freedom of thought (that is for the marginals in Russia, like A. Karlin himself), just repeating the words of the master and his clowns.
    I saw you all singing already the same song during the Soviet times; today, although some words have been changed, it is still the same melody, repeated by the choir of loyal Russian subjects.
    Nice singing, Zhenja, your father and grandfather would have been proud, they too sang the same song.
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  28. gerad says:
    @AP
    A friend had an expired foreign passport. She hadn't been in Russia since the 1990s. She was told at the consulate that she needed a birth certificate sent from the appropriate office in Russia to the consulate (apparently, an expired Russian passport wasn't sufficient proof of citizenship/birth). No birth certificate was found in Russia (either the bureaucrat in Russia was too lazy to look, or some other bureaucrat lost it). Cousins in Russia hired someone to go to the archives and find her birth certificate, which they did. The copy was officially stamped (more steps). Consulate said that my friend could not bring the birth certificate in herself - it had to be officially sent from the place in Russia where it originated - the same place that had failed to find it in the first place. It was officially sent. Two months later, it has not been received.

    Russian dual citizens with valid foreign passports aren't allowed to get Russian visas if they are Russian citizens also, they must travel with their valid Russian passports. For Russia, Russians can't disavow their Russian citizenship so that's not an option either.

    In this way, a Russian person can't even visit her own country on vacation.

    The level of contempt the Russian state sometimes has for its own people is amazing.

    wow…..this fantasist retard troll is STILL here! Doing about 2000 BS posts per day! You couldn’t even make this loser,depressive,nutjobfreak up.

    The level of contempt the Russian state sometimes has for its own people is amazing.

    errrrmm……you must mean “Ukrainian state”, you stupid moron?
    The Russian state has enabled a situation where the incomes and life expectancy,car ownership, extremely generous maternity benefits,birth rate,quality of life in the cities,national pride,military have increased almost exponentially. They have also resisted calls to increase the pension age despite the large increase in life expectancy….that’s not “contempt” but respect and working in partnership with it’s people, you dipshit.Most of those thing the Ukrainiane state has completely failed to do.

    Unless by Russian state, you meant “Ukrainian,Russia,Belarus” are all the same people….which while true….still doesn’t explain away the contempt for it’s people the Ukrainian state has continuously operated in since 1991.

    A friend had an expired foreign passport. She hadn’t been in Russia since the 1990s

    From the beginning it clear it a fantasist BS attention-whore invention.

    The problems seem to stem more from the demands of the consulate from the other country ,than from Russia itself you dumb prick. A person who doesn’t pay taxes to the Russian state, or visit for 20 years is not entitled to immediate satisfaction of their demans you POS.

    Read More
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  29. Horpor says:
    @gerad
    Anatoly, it appears to me that you are solely to blame for this. I'd be far more interested on problems, or lack of them, you have had with Post Office,Bank,Insurance and so on in Russia...then this whining.

    You missed a deadline,on a passport issue. Without them knowing you, that shows a total lack of respect for Russia and to them. Inexplicable for a clever guy to do this...if you were a pensioner or vulnerable person I'm sure they would have helped. You have a wife, why is she not in the same position ?they may have asked...why did she not remind you in time?....why did you not bring her to the appointment? a valid passport is not something to be blase about .

    A direct flight demand seems normal to me, the much talked about EU Association agreement was supposed to lead to temporary visa-free access to the the EU for Ukrainians. Amusingly the deal they have now doesn't include the British, even though they were a big supporter of the euromaidan twat pseudo-protests...and in forcing the EU into sanctions on Russia!As funny as it is that one of the most hostile countries to Russia and in Russia-Ukraine relations... doesn't even want Ukrainians to visit there......this fact explains why Russia doesn't want another "Ukrainian" desperate to slip into Russia, and hence why they insisted on a direct flight from London and not via Spain, where Ukrainians can temporarily visit. That, and the already plentiful problems they have with people from central Asia.

    Why did you not make the effort to inform them of your much needed blogging or the fact that you have appeared on Russia Today, and the show CrossTalk?...........they probably thought you were an unpatriotic,westernised tosser, so the onus is on you to prove otherwise- not to display westernised self-entitlement,Anatoly. From what you have described, at every stage you have not made the maximum effort, made naive assumptions and not been pro-active.

    In the anglosphere there is always a lack of bureaucrats relative to the number of customers,or relative to the complexity of a problem. This creates the situation where the customer doesn't want to be embarrassed as a large queue form behind him or her... so is more likely to be either better prepared in the first place, extremely apologetic..and it's more easier to tell if they are lying or not...but they know how to exploit the situation better because in a higher-taxation society the customer can demand, or be entitled to demand , more from the bureaucrat,than vice-versa.

    In the anglosphere the overworked bureaucrat has performance targets, the department loses out on money and has to waste time if queues develop for their understaffed bureaucrats ...so are more inclined to sort out a problem just to reduce the hassle, even if the customer hasn't neccesarily sorted out all requirements, and is slightly less inclined to call their superior in or be forced into doing so,

    Moral of the story, expired documents by foreigners or foreign passport holders, particularly clever ones, are a cardinal sin.

    When reading You, I see that the country in which I was born and which I thankfully left, as well as its people have not changed much. The same slavish obedience to the ‘nachalnik’ – the chief, complete complacency to the masters’ wishes, providing that they feed You some black bread and make the beer cheap. As always, no freedom of thought (that is for the marginals in Russia, like A. Karlin himself), just repeating the words of the master and his clowns.
    I saw you all singing already the same song during the Soviet times; today, although some words have been changed, it is still the same melody, repeated by the choir of loyal Russian subjects.
    Nice singing, Zhenja, your father and grandfather would have been proud, they too sang the same song.

    Read More
    • Replies: @E
    You should go back on vacation one of these days, Horpor. I don't know when you left (I'm guessing it was over 25 years ago, judging from your attitude), but quite a lot has changed.

    I've gone back roughly every 5-10 years, and the changes each visit were very noticeable.

    As for Anatoly's experience, I think that there is more VARIETY in Russia. Here in Canada, things are much more standardized... but this isn't always a good thing. There is less of the awful, but also less of the wonderful.

    On every visit I've made so far, there has generally been less of the former and more of the latter in Russia.

    Of course, Russian history being what it is, this tendency is sure to change one of these days...

    P.S. As for slavish obedience to the boss and being unwilling to raise objections, that is really much more of a Chinese cultural trait. Russians, on the contrary, are much more likely to be undiplomatic (generally, they learn how things work here in the corporate world over time, but they're usually not very graceful at it).

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  30. E says:
    @Horpor
    When reading You, I see that the country in which I was born and which I thankfully left, as well as its people have not changed much. The same slavish obedience to the 'nachalnik' - the chief, complete complacency to the masters' wishes, providing that they feed You some black bread and make the beer cheap. As always, no freedom of thought (that is for the marginals in Russia, like A. Karlin himself), just repeating the words of the master and his clowns.
    I saw you all singing already the same song during the Soviet times; today, although some words have been changed, it is still the same melody, repeated by the choir of loyal Russian subjects.
    Nice singing, Zhenja, your father and grandfather would have been proud, they too sang the same song.

    You should go back on vacation one of these days, Horpor. I don’t know when you left (I’m guessing it was over 25 years ago, judging from your attitude), but quite a lot has changed.

    I’ve gone back roughly every 5-10 years, and the changes each visit were very noticeable.

    As for Anatoly’s experience, I think that there is more VARIETY in Russia. Here in Canada, things are much more standardized… but this isn’t always a good thing. There is less of the awful, but also less of the wonderful.

    On every visit I’ve made so far, there has generally been less of the former and more of the latter in Russia.

    Of course, Russian history being what it is, this tendency is sure to change one of these days…

    P.S. As for slavish obedience to the boss and being unwilling to raise objections, that is really much more of a Chinese cultural trait. Russians, on the contrary, are much more likely to be undiplomatic (generally, they learn how things work here in the corporate world over time, but they’re usually not very graceful at it).

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  31. @Priss Factor
    But we must remember it takes two to tango or two to entangle.

    It's true that Russian bureaucracy may act far from ideally, but where did the bureaucracy come from? The Russian people. It's not some foreign edifice that was imposed on Russia from space aliens.

    Russian bureaucracy is the way it is because Russian people and culture are the way they are.
    Slovenly, petty, messy, undisciplined, drunk, disorderly, and etc. Russians are still in barbarian mode on some level. This is why Russian Tsar relied on Germans to do so much of the business, military organization, and bureaucracy during the Imperial Era. Russian elites treated the masses like chattel and relied on more advanced foreigners to do all the heady or serious stuff.

    Anglosphere works better not just because of the bureaucracy but because of the people. There was a shared mode of manners and attitude among all Britons, from top to bottom.
    But as UK fills up with more Diversity and Chavs, watch things deteriorate.

    Another thing. Courtesy was part of Anglo culture all around. So, it was there among the people(as clients and citizens) as well as with the bureaucrats. So, it took two to tango. Bureaucrats acted professional and kind, and the people had the same manners.

    The thing is, even if bureaucrats are professional and excellent, they won't do much good and eventually their service will deteriorate if they have to deal with morons 24/7. It's like teachers. Yes, some people are good teachers and want to do their job well. But if you put them in a classroom filled with morons, thugs, and Negroes, their idealism will fade in time, and they will only stick around for benefits and pensions. Their talent as teachers goes to waste since the lousy students are so unresponsive(and their parents don't give a damn).

    In Russia, yes, the bureaucrats have an attitude problem, but these bureaucrats have had experience with Russians all their lives since they themselves grew up in the culture. They know Russian people are difficult to work with cuz so many people are corrupt and blame everyone but themselves. While Russian bureaucrats may blame clients and citizens for their own wrong-doing, Russian people do the same thing. Even when bureaucrats do everything right, the Russian people are prone to just blame it all on the bureaucrats.
    It's like Negroes. Even if teachers did their best but black students failed because of their own laziness, blacks will just blame the teachers. Such lack of accountability is part of Russian character as well(though not as bad as among the Negroes), and it must change all around, not just in government. Russian children must be raised to be mindful of doing right.
    To be sure, the state can set the proper tone for the rest of society, but we have to keep in mind that state is composed of the people it rules and serves.

    Why is Southern Italian state and police so much worse than Northern Italian one? Southern Italian state draws its people from Southern Italians who act like people in Mario Puzo novels.

    Once my Mom’s industrious and honest family left Lazio and Campania, the whole southern half of Italy went to Hell in a hand basket ;)

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  32. @Lars Porsena
    Uh yeah... this idea of US bureaucrats being professional and feeling guilty when they screw you around depends entirely on getting white bureaucrats.

    Go to any DMV in Chicago. They are not responsible for anything and don't give a crap about you at best either. Most of the time they are ticked at you just for showing up and making them do work/deal with people at their job, and if they can get out of it anyway (like telling you to drive to the other side of the city or come back with different forms or different payment methods) they will.

    How about my experience at the DMV when moving to California: the clerk continued speaking Spanish to a coworker while I stood at the (first) counter waiting, then was unpleasant when I finally said with a smile, hello, can you please help me.

    I turned in a voter-registration form at that DMV and, whaddaya know, it somehow never showed up and I was never registered. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the DMV employees reading the form (already inappropriate) and noticing that I didn’t have a Spanish name and had NOT checked Democrat as my party choice.

    But I trust these people to treat us and our children fairly when they have a majority statewide and a Democrat supermajority in the legislature. I mean, “Mexicans are a Christian people”, and besides, George Bush junior told us that family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande, and I believe him with all my heart.

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    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Fredrik
    It's the wish of the American people to have it this way.

    You were too busy worshipping sports Negroes to notice what was going on.

    But yeah, I get it. It's much easier to be annoyed about what happens in Europe. Fantasising about being part of the racially conscious American white citizenry. Meanwhile your female relatives are dating Deshaun and LeBron.
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  33. @Greasy William

    The level of contempt the Russian state sometimes has for its own people is amazing.
     
    Euros don't seem to view expats as their "own people". A 4th generation Korean American who doesn't speak a word of the language will be viewed by all Koreans as just as much of a Korean as anyone else. However, an ethnic Chinese born and raised in Korea and totally assimilated into Korean culture will always be viewed as Chinese, not Korean.

    The situation in Europe is the exact opposite. A 4th generation Polish American will not be seen by Poles as a true Pole whereas an ethnic Ukrainian born and raised in Poland and assimilated into Polish culture would be seen as totally Polish.

    Although obviously there needs to be a phenotypical resemblance. An assimilated Chinese in Poland will never be seen as Polish. They can't be Muslim either.

    Look at "Welsh" boxer Joe Calzaghe. He self identifies as Welsh and is accepted as such despite having two 100% Italian parents. He clearly feels less Italian than do most 4th generation Italian Americans.

    Also note that Americans will frequently describe their ancestry as something like "50% Italian, a quarter Czech and a quarter Norwegian" and how Europeans all roll their eyes at such descriptions. Nobody in Europe would ever describe themselves as "half French and half German" or whatever.

    I think the Europeans with balls, pride in their people, and common sense mostly left, e.g. my ancestors. Who cares whether the sanctimonious suicide-committing Europeans approve of our little ethnic summaries, identities, and ways of thinking about our genetic and cultural heritage.

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  34. Twinkie says:
    @spandrell
    The Japanese bureaucracy is pretty damn efficient, and mostly pleasant.

    Chinese bureaucrats vary, a lot. They generally suck though they have been getting better.

    The Japanese bureaucracy is pretty damn efficient, and mostly pleasant.

    Yes, but most of them do not speak English well, and can be quite rigid. The Singaporean bureaucracy beats it, hands down.

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  35. Twinkie says:
    @Greasy William

    The level of contempt the Russian state sometimes has for its own people is amazing.
     
    Euros don't seem to view expats as their "own people". A 4th generation Korean American who doesn't speak a word of the language will be viewed by all Koreans as just as much of a Korean as anyone else. However, an ethnic Chinese born and raised in Korea and totally assimilated into Korean culture will always be viewed as Chinese, not Korean.

    The situation in Europe is the exact opposite. A 4th generation Polish American will not be seen by Poles as a true Pole whereas an ethnic Ukrainian born and raised in Poland and assimilated into Polish culture would be seen as totally Polish.

    Although obviously there needs to be a phenotypical resemblance. An assimilated Chinese in Poland will never be seen as Polish. They can't be Muslim either.

    Look at "Welsh" boxer Joe Calzaghe. He self identifies as Welsh and is accepted as such despite having two 100% Italian parents. He clearly feels less Italian than do most 4th generation Italian Americans.

    Also note that Americans will frequently describe their ancestry as something like "50% Italian, a quarter Czech and a quarter Norwegian" and how Europeans all roll their eyes at such descriptions. Nobody in Europe would ever describe themselves as "half French and half German" or whatever.

    However, an ethnic Chinese born and raised in Korea and totally assimilated into Korean culture will always be viewed as Chinese, not Korean.

    That is completely incorrect. Multi-generational ethnic Chinese are fully assimilated in South Korea and cannot be distinguished from ethnic Koreans. The exceptions are those who WANT to be recognized as Chinese and/or relatively recent arrivals.

    In fact, most ethnic Chinese from South Korea who emigrate to the United States settle and assimilate among Korean-Americans, not Chinese-Americans. And then the subset that doesn’t adjust well to the U.S. tend to go back to South Korea, not China (or Taiwan).

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    • Replies: @Greasy William
    Okay fine, I was wrong for once in my life. But in Japan, ethnic Koreans are not assimilated no matter how long their families have been there.
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  36. @Twinkie

    However, an ethnic Chinese born and raised in Korea and totally assimilated into Korean culture will always be viewed as Chinese, not Korean.
     
    That is completely incorrect. Multi-generational ethnic Chinese are fully assimilated in South Korea and cannot be distinguished from ethnic Koreans. The exceptions are those who WANT to be recognized as Chinese and/or relatively recent arrivals.

    In fact, most ethnic Chinese from South Korea who emigrate to the United States settle and assimilate among Korean-Americans, not Chinese-Americans. And then the subset that doesn't adjust well to the U.S. tend to go back to South Korea, not China (or Taiwan).

    Okay fine, I was wrong for once in my life. But in Japan, ethnic Koreans are not assimilated no matter how long their families have been there.

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    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    But in Japan, ethnic Koreans are not assimilated no matter how long their families have been there.
     
    Today, that's only by choice. Softbank's Masayoshi Son is Korean, as is Toyota's former chief Fujio Cho.
    , @Twinkie

    Okay fine, I was wrong for once in my life.
     
    Only wrong once in life, eh? That's a neat trick.

    But in Japan, ethnic Koreans are not assimilated no matter how long their families have been there.
     
    Wrong again. Years ago, ethnic Koreans were generally mistreated in Japan de jure and de facto. Those days are gone, and those Koreans wishing to assimilate and become Japanese can and have.

    By the way, about this...

    The situation in Europe is the exact opposite. A 4th generation Polish American will not be seen by Poles as a true Pole
     
    I don't know about Poles, but a 4th generation Irish-American seems to have no problem re-locating to Ireland and (re-) assimilating among the Irish.
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  37. @Greasy William
    Okay fine, I was wrong for once in my life. But in Japan, ethnic Koreans are not assimilated no matter how long their families have been there.

    But in Japan, ethnic Koreans are not assimilated no matter how long their families have been there.

    Today, that’s only by choice. Softbank’s Masayoshi Son is Korean, as is Toyota’s former chief Fujio Cho.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Today, that’s only by choice. Softbank’s Masayoshi Son is Korean, as is Toyota’s former chief Fujio Cho.
     
    Son, yes, but Cho has a fairly mixed ancestry (Korean AND Chinese).

    In this day and age, long after the Tenno has acknowledged his own Korean ancestry and Hallyu-mania has swept a large segment of Japanese women, I don't see why Koreans would want to hide their ethnic origin in Japan.
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  38. @Anatoly Karlin

    Were they associated with a particular ethnic group?
     
    It's a joke. But a large percentage (especially of the nastier ones) look like the person in the photograph.

    Apparently customers are just as lacking in Anglo-American decorum as civil servants in Russia!
     
    He had just harassed me for 10 minutes and effectively wasted my afternoon. What else was I to do?

    I am unflinchingly polite... within reason.

    AK, I’d buy a book of your columns in a second. And fwiw, I would have told off the bureaucrat in that situation too, at least until about age forty, which is not so long ago ;)

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks, I am working on something like that.
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  39. Twinkie says:
    @Greasy William
    Okay fine, I was wrong for once in my life. But in Japan, ethnic Koreans are not assimilated no matter how long their families have been there.

    Okay fine, I was wrong for once in my life.

    Only wrong once in life, eh? That’s a neat trick.

    But in Japan, ethnic Koreans are not assimilated no matter how long their families have been there.

    Wrong again. Years ago, ethnic Koreans were generally mistreated in Japan de jure and de facto. Those days are gone, and those Koreans wishing to assimilate and become Japanese can and have.

    By the way, about this…

    The situation in Europe is the exact opposite. A 4th generation Polish American will not be seen by Poles as a true Pole

    I don’t know about Poles, but a 4th generation Irish-American seems to have no problem re-locating to Ireland and (re-) assimilating among the Irish.

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  40. Twinkie says:
    @Johann Ricke

    But in Japan, ethnic Koreans are not assimilated no matter how long their families have been there.
     
    Today, that's only by choice. Softbank's Masayoshi Son is Korean, as is Toyota's former chief Fujio Cho.

    Today, that’s only by choice. Softbank’s Masayoshi Son is Korean, as is Toyota’s former chief Fujio Cho.

    Son, yes, but Cho has a fairly mixed ancestry (Korean AND Chinese).

    In this day and age, long after the Tenno has acknowledged his own Korean ancestry and Hallyu-mania has swept a large segment of Japanese women, I don’t see why Koreans would want to hide their ethnic origin in Japan.

    Read More
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  41. @RadicalCenter
    AK, I'd buy a book of your columns in a second. And fwiw, I would have told off the bureaucrat in that situation too, at least until about age forty, which is not so long ago ;)

    Thanks, I am working on something like that.

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  42. Fredrik says:
    @RadicalCenter
    How about my experience at the DMV when moving to California: the clerk continued speaking Spanish to a coworker while I stood at the (first) counter waiting, then was unpleasant when I finally said with a smile, hello, can you please help me.

    I turned in a voter-registration form at that DMV and, whaddaya know, it somehow never showed up and I was never registered. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the DMV employees reading the form (already inappropriate) and noticing that I didn't have a Spanish name and had NOT checked Democrat as my party choice.

    But I trust these people to treat us and our children fairly when they have a majority statewide and a Democrat supermajority in the legislature. I mean, "Mexicans are a Christian people", and besides, George Bush junior told us that family values don't stop at the Rio Grande, and I believe him with all my heart.

    It’s the wish of the American people to have it this way.

    You were too busy worshipping sports Negroes to notice what was going on.

    But yeah, I get it. It’s much easier to be annoyed about what happens in Europe. Fantasising about being part of the racially conscious American white citizenry. Meanwhile your female relatives are dating Deshaun and LeBron.

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