Ask not what Russia can do for you but what you can do for Russia

The reading for today was a except from Dmytryshyn and contained a deceleration from Alexander II the then tzar of Russia freeing the surfs from their burden. In the deceleration he says that he with the cooperation and assistance of the nobles have devised a method of freeing the surfs without violating the nobles rights. They decide to free the surfs in two years. And that any freed surfs will receive some land and a stipend from the noble they were serving. In return they must fulfill their obligations to the nobles. The declaration also states that any surfs not working the fields but instead otherwise employed should work out an arrangement with their noble. The peasants office and the organization of peace were to be set up to determine the fairness of the proceedings.

The most interesting part of the deceleration was the last section were the now freed surfs are spoken to directly. In it they are told to act with in a appropriate way and bear their new obligations. I believe that this is the Russian version of “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”. The government is telling the surfs to serve the same roles they are now and not to forfeit their jobs and move to a better location.

One thought on “Ask not what Russia can do for you but what you can do for Russia

  1. I agree that it is interesting how the government is essentially asking the newly free surfs to continue the same duties. I find this is a result of the governments fear of Russia ultimately further collapsing due to having too few or even no citizens to provide the work necessary to reboot their economy and power overall.

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