Sunday, January 30, 2011


I recently saw the 2008 Russian film, Hipsters -- which, I think has a poorly translated title. The Russian title, Стиляги or, transliterated, Stilyagi, refers to the name given to renegade rock and roll fans during the Soviet Union. The movie depicts the black market for colorful clothes, secret parties, and records carved into x-rays.

Aside from the wonderful spectacles and music in the movie, I enjoyed the explicit theme of individualism vs. collectivism. It struck me that the komsumoltsi, the grey-clad, badge adorned, ideologically driven youth constantly harassing the Stilyagi, raiding their parties, ruining their clothes, were volunteers. It was as Lew Rockwell often observes. There aren't enough bureaucrats and government security forces to police us all. Tyranny requires the oppressed to enslave themselves.

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