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I am immigrant from the former Soviet Union, state…
By Ilya Galak,
Citizens Magazine (Russian speaking resident of Staten Island, NY)
A collective letter, compiled from letters of Russian speaking residents of New York, sent to «Citizens Magazine».
I value my personal freedom, freedom that I never had under the triumphant socialist system in my former country.I love having an autonomous and seemingly unlimited choice of partners, religions, political parties and lifestyles.I love that I am personally responsible for the care and well-being of my wife, my children and myself.I love that in America we are individuals, and recognize that people are different by nature and it is harmful to generalize, as if one size fits all.I am for equality of opportunity rather than equality of wages.I’m happy for my neighbor who buys a Mercedes 600 with money earned in the free-market, and not stolen from me and people like me, while pushing our country to ruinous inflation and ultimately, bankruptcy.I am proud of the Americans who were able to create, store and convey to their posterity both mate-rial and the spiritual assets, despite the intractable resistance of many professional politicians who care only about their re-election I am proud of the country where all people, regardless of race or religion, have the opportunity to prove themselves and take their rightful place on Earth. I bow to both Republican President Abraham Lincoln and African-American preacher, Martin Luther King for championing these cause, causes for which they paid with their lives.
I do not accept the monopoly of the lazy that claims the right to speak on behalf of the state. I hate it when they tell me how to spend my money, what books to read in school, what products to buy in the stores, or how to travel when visiting friends abroad.
I will not accept the dictates of poli-ticians, who believe that they canmanage and trade what is not theirs— my life, liberty, property and thefuture of my children.Socialists call me «opportunist»and «capitalist» because I workfrom morning till night, rather thanlay all day on the couch with a bottleof beer demanding that my electedofficials provide me with my equalshare of the pie.My sweat, muscle, time andmoney — these are the contribu-tions I want to make to earn my wayin society. But the choices of bu-reaucrats and sycophants are flat-tery, demands, organizing protestrallies. This form of exchange is notsatisfying for me — but I am forcedto participate, as they say this lieand tell me that this is good for society, nation and state.What is the difference whichmethods are used to take up mytime and steal my money? The society that abuses its productive citizens is immoral.No, I’m not for anarchy. A government must exist! But if the greedy professional politicians, labor unions and specific community-based organizations for the benefit of that government and not for me,what purpose is the state serving?In this sense it is worst of all possible worlds, because it enslaves,beguiles and humiliates its citizens— and not so much the rich as the poor. And in the course of the doing, politicians focus their innocent eyes and point their fingers at the«money-hungry businessmen», entrepreneurs and ordinary, decent people.
- 8 -№ 8 August 2010I am envied because I drive a good car, live in anice house, provide my children with opportunities fora good education and every year take my family onvacation.I refuse to apologize for these things — I have workedvery hard in order to support myself and my family. Norwill I apologize for being a consumer of the finer thingsthat life can provide. Why? Well, because I’m a worka-holic. Because I put all of my soul into my own businessand in my work! Because my brain is constantly workingon ideas and methods to improve productivity.I refuse to apologize for being professional in mywork and doing it better than others. I do not think thatbecause more people voluntarily hire me — rather thanmy competitors — is somehow to be considered a fault.I am not forcing them to do so — they hire me becauseit is beneficial to them. I refuse to apologize for my suc-cess, for my talents or my money. The source of my suc-cess lies not in my connections with bureaucrats, but inmeeting the needs of people who hire me.We do not need a middleman to sell services andgoods; he is always cranking rates and increasing therisk of fraud to both seller and buyer. I do not need amediator to help people build temples, dress orphans orsupport old age homes.I voluntarily give my resources to the fight againstpoverty, because without money and education mangoes out to rob or kill. I understand that, and readilysupport teachers, hospitals and police. But when thelast shirt is torn off your back and you are charged withthe obligation to share with professional beggars in thestreets and in the office, you scoff at this form of en-forced charity.
Here are my principles; I am not forcing youto take them on. I never force — I propose a«product» of material and spiritual values, ser- vices, or simply gifts and donations. If there issomething you do not like, then do not buy,exchange, or accept. MARKET PRICE will tell me your choice and the degree of your satisfac-tion.
1. Don’t ask the politician to take from a neighborwhat you personally are ashamed to beg for. Relyon yourself. If you did well — enjoy yourself. If youdid poorly — accept the loss or bankruptcy or lack offriends and relatives. But do not blame the neighbor, ifyou yourself are lazy, if you have children from threemarriages and can’t normally dress them, because youprefer drugs or beer to a normal upbringing of yourchildren. Look in the mirror more often. Respect your-self, but do not blame your neighbor for your healthproblems.2. When you lend money, requires an account. It
Midland Bach, Statn Island
does not matter whether a few cents to buy a roll for ason or a couple of million to pay in taxes to the state.You must know specifically who, what and how muchis spent. Always compare and think, would this job bedone at another place for less. Do not be shy to inviteprofessional controllers. Only they can reveal profes-sional crooks. Look to the results when judging politi-cians: another term, or behind bars.3. Don’t trade in your conscience and principles. Donot cheat your neighbor or they will delight in deceivingyou. It is fine to compromise, but only with small things.By stealing, raping, or betraying a partner, client, cus-tomer, taxpayer just once — you can put a stamp onyourself for a long time.4. Judge or be judged. Always be able to defendyour point of view. Tell the jerk that he is a jerk, tell thescoundrel that he is a scoundrel. Silence is all it takesfor evil to rule the day. Do not be afraid to vote against,
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№ 8 August 2010even if everyone else votes in favor.Perhaps it is not you; perhaps thewhole world has gone mad. If youhave something to say — speak up!It is easier for self-appointed revo-lutionaries or community organiz-ers to use the silent, submissive ma-jority. Form your own opinions, butdo not think that it’s always right, beopen to listen to the ideas of others.Do not pity the weak and dishon-ored, better to teach them how tobe strong and find themselves.5. Think! It does not hurt! To sur-vive, nature has given you brains --the ability to think. You don’t haveto think, either — nobody’s forcingyou — but if you don’t think, youwill not enjoy work, or beer, or thespa, socializing, or sex. Why wouldyou need this life? The sooner youlearn to think, the quicker and morelikely your find yourself on top ofthe human pyramid.6. First, learn to think small. Ex-periment. Find partners and friendsamong the professionals, not thesycophants. Professionals alwayshave something to offer in returnfor your brain, heart, or capital. Be-ware of the professional beggars inthe streets and in the offices — theyare only capable of solicitation andblasphemy. They will always bitethe extended hand, because theyhate the state of dependence, butcannot and do not want to shakeoff the sloth in order to change any-thing.7. Respect tradition, but don’tstress yourself if you violate them.Customs and traditions were in-vented by people who, hundredsof years ago, had a pool of infor-mation that was vastly different. It’ssilly to require implementation ofcertain universal rules of conduct,particularly within the family.8. Do not hide in the face andchallenges of real life. It is not im-portant what the problems are,because for many, you can onlyblame yourself. You made thewrong choice. In many cases, youdid not control the situation. It isimportant to quickly begin to solvethe problems rather than to pre-tend they don’t exist. Gather yourforces, the means, the will, a planof action. If necessary, form a team— and move forward. If somethingis not working, then ask a profes-sional, rather than attempt to rein-vent the wheel. You see, in this lifeit is hard to find a unique problem.Everything has already happenedsomewhere to someone. Just don’t drink beer if you wantto get rid of a hangover. Do not eat7 times a day and before bedtime,if you want to lose weight. Do notwaste your money, which you do nothave, using endless supply of creditcards and mortgages. Payback timewill come eventually. This applies toboth individuals and businesses andeven the whole government.9. Do not try to change nature.Tractors with vertical takeoff andturning back of rivers already tookplace in the former Soviet Union.You do not have a magic wand, aflying carpet and a golden fish.10. Do not walk past someoneelse’s misfortune. When you help aneighbor — help, do not spit in hiswell, he needs it to drink. A poisonedwell is of no service to anyone.11. War is always the destruc-tion, not creation of wealth. But ifyou are attacked, if they want to de-stroy all your values to impose theirown, you should be ready and ableto defend yourself.12. Government, as a rule, isusually a negative factor in the fam-ily budget. Not everything in thisworld has a market price. Often,the pleasure derived from a gratefulelderly or from your children mayfar exceed the profits earned frombusiness dealings. At the same time,don’t forget that in order to be ableto give, you first must earn.13. Man does not live on breadalone. Don’t sponge off the chari-ties; just get up and help. Becauseit is what you need. Because tomor-row, even you’ll be old and feeble.Because it is an investment in yourpersonal future. Because peopleare not bastards by nature. Bas-tards they become willingly and ingood faith of the divinity of the mostdivine of all gods — PROFESSION-AL POLITICIANS. People are good,honest, and responsive.
I am an immigrant from theformer Soviet Union, I believein man. I love people. I love America. I have every reasonto believe that it is mutu
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