Scandinavia and the World
Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9703407:

Do you smell that? 25 11, 5:10pm


I don't wish to be condescending or mean in any way - I really don't!
But it's an unfortunate historical fact that human life has been treated very cheaply in Russia throughout history.
Russian still had serfdom - which was slavery in all but name - until 1866, and during both the Tsar's and the Communists millions of Russians where murdered for the slightest reason - or in fact no reason at all.

A culture like that isn't replaced over night, I'm afraid. :-(
And as I showed you with the article and the quote from the current day Russian official - an attitude of low safety concerns still exists today.
No Swedish official would ever dream of making a statement like that - it's just a fact.
And I honestly don't think that kind of sentiment would be accepted in any other western nation either.

That's not to say that westerners are generally smarter then Russians - of course not!
But our current day societies - and thus what kind of attitudes are acceptable - are the product of different historical events and different cultures created by that history.
If we go back to the 1850's, environmental concerns where as non-existent in the west as they where in Russia - nobody on the planet thought about what kind of chemicals or toxins they spread in the air, water or ground back then.
And a lot of poor industrialized workers in the west didn't have it much better then the serf's of Russia.

But since then our history have developed differently in these areas - that's just a fact.
Obviously understanding of environmental and worker safety issues is a lot better in Russia today then it was years ago, and I'm sure things are getting better all the time - but there is still a difference between how these things are viewed in the west and in Russia, I'm afraid.

And again - this is not because westerners in any way are smarter then Russians - of course not!
There are environmental activists, worker safety professionals and extremely competent scientists in Russia that fully sees all the same problems and challenges as we see in the west and are fighting to change the culture in Russia on these matters.
Just as there are people in the west who don't think all of these safety regulations are really all that necessary and would have no problem scaling them back.

But the cultures of our societies are different. In the west a lot of ordinary citizens care very much about these things, and there is huge public outcry whenever environmental or worker safety is compromised in any way.
I'm sure the Russians immediately effected by these things are just as concerned as well - but they also have a lot more problem on their list of things to care about, so some toxic spill far below safety levels don't seem so important.
They also frankly grew up in a country where a lot worse has happened - and people adopt to their surroundings.

It's like Americans and their insane tolerance for mass shootings. No other country in the world would accept that innocent people are repeatedly murdered in mass shootings and do noting about it.
But Americans have grown accustomed to that as a "fact of life" and even if there is uproar every time it happens, that soon quiets down - until the next mass shooting a few weeks later.

To us in the rest of the world that's just insane - but that's how their culture is. They have developed a tolerance for things no other nations on earth tolerates, unfortunately. :-(