Why Russian billionaires are grateful to the ancestors

Catherine explains the rise of parents in society from the bottom to the Soviet intelligentsia genes, willpower and character: “As you can see, they weren’t born dressed, on the contrary. But they had a natural and biological resources, thanks to which they managed to rise in society. They are passionately drawn to culture and education. And I inherited it from them, and it’s absolutely fine.” Talented parents were or not, but then the billionaire and his wife decided not to consider that the post-war period, when her parents climbed the social ladder, was a period of mass distribution of higher education. And moved such people as her parents, which are thus quickly integrated into postojannoe society and has become an important resource and support for the political system.

Почему российские миллиардеры благодарны предкам

In principle, Catherine is very modest. She is about his academic achievements never spoke. Only when her husband Gennady joined us, I learned that she received the red diploma “very prestigious” University. “100 male students there were only two girls,” he added, and make sure I understood the importance of her achievements. However, Catherine is not the only talent in the family. One of their sons exceptionally gifted. Gennady explained the outstanding talent of the son for two reasons: “thanks For the genes and thanks to God.”

The Gennady considers himself an atheist. He grew up in a family where everyone was a Communist party member. Of course, these allegedly contradictory statements are often made very lightly. God may be just a symbol or a metaphor, and maybe the same applies to genes. And yet there is something that is: a certain (conscious or unconscious) allusion to the idea of “chosen”. Reference to God, and to genes are not completely random. That presumably goes back to high or to nature, it is difficult to dispute.

In contrast to the religiosity of the “naturalization” of the social and historical processes has a strong tradition in Russia. Soviet traditionalist ideology in the 1960s and 1970s years dictated that all is where it should be “nature”, for example, respect for traditional family and gender roles with special attention to motherhood as a compulsory task set in front of each woman. Many of my interlocutors, arguing in this spirit, demonstrated that such or similar biological view of the world.

A strong belief in biological determinism and belief in his own superiority on the basis of genes are found among the rich and in North America. Especially those born and raised in an extremely privileged environment, are convinced that their success lies in their talents. But most of these people have long since learned to refrain from publicly expressing such views. Restraint in public rhetoric is largely due to the fact that in USA (and in England, and in Western Europe) since the 1960-ies there was a strong social movement that radically changed the thinking and vision of gender issues. While feminists revealed that the hierarchy that we perceive as natural and biological, is actually just created by man and imposed on us by social norms.

Despite the fact that the rich in the West often feel their own superiority because of their genes, as well as rich in Russia, the power of critical thinking has led to the fact that blunt and rude statements of this kind (how to formulate their Catherine Gennady) are perceived as rude and uncultured. And such statements are another proof that the rich Russians — the “barbarians”, whereas the representatives of the Western elite — the people are very enlightened.

This arrogance, in turn, upset many Russians. But this is also a kind of irony. If rich Russians feel on the same level with Western counterparts or above them, this feeling is usually based entirely on the identity of Russian history and culture, in which the current generation of the rich has grown and lives, and not the slightest way connected with the biology and genes of their ancestors.