A Bit of Autobiography

The current round of anti-Russian propaganda in the U.S. and Western European mass media (it would be superfluous to choose among the many examples) stimulates me to reflect inwardly about the personal motivation — beyond my (superficially quite valid) usual invocation of the Sputnik panic of 1957 that I, aged 10, found so lacking in humane value.

Looking back now over some 50 years (I’ll date my serious interest in Russian studies as beginning sometime in my college undergraduate career rather than taking place in childhood) it seems to me that I have been profoundly stirred by what I learned, both back in the 1960s and in the many, lonely, years since, of the history of the Russian intelligentsiia.

Offered, both by the tsarist autocracy and the Communist one, a secure place in the ruling class if only they surrendered their option openly to dissent — silent disapproval of the government in power was allowed although never encouraged — for two centuries a large fraction of the educated elite of Russia has chosen, at immense personal cost, to dissent.

Every hour of every day their example inspires me.

About M. Meo

Worked as translator, museum technician, truck lumper, lecture demonstrator, teacher (of English as a Second Language, science, math). Married for 25 years, 2 boys aged 18 & 16 (both on the Grant cross-country team). A couple of scholarly publications in the history of science. Two years in federal penitentiary, 1970/71, for refusing the draft.
This entry was posted in Astronomy, Education, Empire, Free Speech, Friendship, Global, Marxism, Pacific Green Party, Police, Spiritual life, Uncategorized, War. Bookmark the permalink.

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