Yesterday, something much more important than Brexit took place. It was the 30 year anniversary of McDonald’s opening its first restaurant in the USSR and selling Big Mac Meals for three rubles to massive throngs of famished Soviet citizens.
That was the price that your average samogon-swilling sovok was willing to sell away the country to America for: 3 rubles.
Which is pretty rational, to be sure. The Mackie D beats Marx. That one fast food chain generated more soft power than several decades’ worth of Communist agitprop. And it paid off. In 1990, there was one McDonald’s in Moscow, and a Big Mac Meal cost 3/250 rubles = ~1.2% of the average Soviet salary. Now there are almost a thousand McDonald’s in Russia, and a Big Mac Meal costs just 185 ($3)/45,000 rubles = ~0.4% of the average Russian salary.
Was a threefold reduction in real Big Mac Meal prices worth the socio-economic turmoil, demographic collapse, geopolitical humiliation, and fragmentation of the Russian people that accompanied the collapse of the USSR? I believe it was, yes. After all, it was a polity that its own people sold away for a Mackie D sandwich and a pair of jeans. It is important to respect one’s elders and their choices.
Here is the same scene 30 years later. Along with thousands of other McDonald’s respecting Muscovites, I paid a pilgrimage to this sacred site yesterday.
They were supposed to recreate the original price, selling Big Mac meals for 3 rubles (=5 cents). In the event, the goyim were fooled (again), with the deal being canceled at the last minute due to coronavirus fears.
But at least I got this pic and a plastic McDonald’s flag out of it. It was worth it. HAIL MCDONALD’S!