Russian vodka a national tragedy
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Russian governments promoted vodka because it was a major source of income. As a result, Russians are culturally conditioned to consume alcohol and are facing tragic demographic declines never before seen in the developed world. Russia's autocratic governments are responsible for the development of vodka addiction. The crown used vodka as a source of income and steered the agrarian economy in the direction of vodka production. The Russian church used vodka both as a means to control the peasants, and as form of payment, further cementing the peasants' dependency on alcohol. Russian culture, steeped in religious mysticism and social compliance promulgated vodka consumption. The importance of vodka did not diminish after the communists took over - the entire Soviet social fabric strongly depended on vodka. This generational consumption has resulted in unprecedented demographic declines which affect Russian economy, healthcare, and the military. Centuries of dedicated vodka consumption have brought Russia to the brink of societal collapse. Only social education, open markets and inclusion into the free world communities can reverse Russia's downward spiral. The U.S. needs to play a lead role in Russian recovery, so that we end up with a nuclear armed friend instead of an ostracized and insecure enemy.
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