A Tale of Two Systems: Foreword by Raymond Aaron - New York Times Bestselling Author. (Paperback)
This book is an extract from a journal of an engineer, written while he was assigned to work in Russia.
He travels to Moscow. He flies from Moscow over Ukraine, and down to Armenia in the southern Soviet Union. He is particularly struck by the size of Ukraine. More than twice the size of the UK. Few towns and cities; one big area of arable land.
He works in Soviet Armenia for 3 months, in an area where westerners rarely travelled. On the Soviet side of the border with Turkey and the Middle East. A cross roads and melting pot of culture and politics. He observes and describes the way of life; finding the mix of cultures and countryside beautiful and fascinating, and the ordinary people friendly, once they get to know you, but he finds the political system oppressive. He notices that people are wary of the system and are scared to step out of line.
After 3 months of exposure to the communist system, he returns home and is grateful for the freedom, which he realises he had taken for granted. He is then assigned to learn a new computer system in the United States, and this offers a direct comparison from the Communist system, to the dynamics of freedom in Western society. A tempo more open society.
However, fundamentally, people are the same. Americans and Russian people want the same for their families; to provide for their families and peace. In the West, we tend to take our freedom for granted and regard all Russians as bad.
In reality, the Soviet (Russian) State is oppressive, but the ordinary Russians are little different to the west. They want the best for their families but are far more controlled by the system. Like people the world over, they cry and laugh and have emotions. It is the politicians that drive countries apart, not the people.