My thoughts started to wonder around the Donald Trump's propaganda slogan, the "Let's make America Great Again", but not in the context that his Public Relations advisers probably thought of it, but from the perspective of a person, who has lived in the Soviet Union (I'm an Estonian, born in 1981), seen the transition from a communist economic regime to the capitalist economic regime and experienced the desire towards the western way of life first hand.
Till the end of my primary school I lived in a small Estonian town called Kuressaare, which has a population size of about 15000. According to my very unscientific and subjective opinion, the population in Kuressaare was economically very uneven and the huge gaps in income did not come necessarily from uneven educational background or laziness or lack of efficiency at work, but from the lack of contacts that were needed for exporting/selling one's services/products to people outside of the Kuressaare. It was the 90'ties, a pre-widely-spread-internet era, where internet sales was not an option. The rest of the people in Kuressaare had to earn their living by trying to serve the "elite", who had the capability to export from Kuressaare. Competition was non-existent, both, for the better and for the worse. Usually for the worse. The only "good" thing about the market at the small "no-where" called Kuressaare was that if You were some expert, a surgeon with a specific specialization, a lawyer, even an IT-guy, then You had at most one or two people competing with You and everybody just bared You and paid Your price, even, if You did a kind of job that people did not like so much. For example, it was a common practice to try to get all more serious medical operations done in Tallinn or Tartu instead of the Kuressaare hospital, despite the fact that the Kuressaare hospital was relatively well furnished and the doctors at the Kuressaare hospital were from the very same university, the University of Tartu, that the doctors in Tallinn and Tartu hospitals got their education from. The problem with the Kuressaare hospital doctors was/is that it's hard for a doctor to stay in shape, if he does not have enough patients. The population of Kuressaare, even the population of the whole Saaremaa, was/is much smaller than the populations of the regions that the hospitals in Tallinn and Tartu serve. What I've heard/read, the strategy nowadays, in 2016, in the Kuressaare hospital is that they try to get the best equipment that money can buy, but they admit that equipment can not compensate the lack of patients that doctors need to stay in shape, so they try to get the diagnosis right, give the first aid, do some emergency medical operations and then fly people to some other hospital for the not-so-urgent-but-hard procedures, if those procedures are necessary at all. Anyways, the thing about the Kuressaare and the "Let's make America Great Again" is that no matter, how hard working, thorough, good, people were at their job, they would still be poor if they did not have the sales channels, the human contacts, for selling their products/services to people outside of the Kuressaare. The capability to export from Kuressaare determined the local de facto social hierarchy. It was before the internet sales, but if the online sales, for whatever reason, is going to be shut off, censored, banksters ruin things, bitcoins are declared illegal, etc. then that nasty era, where You may be however good and hardworking at Your job and still be in a ditch and poor, because You just do not have the contacts at some more densely populated areas of the world, is going to come back.
What regards to the "Good life in The West" from the perspective of a person, who has seen the collapse of the Soviet Union, then one of the beliefs was that one of the reasons, why The West is so rich and we, Estonians, are so poor, is that The West has much better tools that we have and that they can get more done with their tools. I'm glad to say that in 2016 everybody has access to good tools and the technology is accessible globally, even to Estonian businesses, but at the same time it really disturbs me that many people in Estonia are lazy and do not use their opportunities. Specially the people, who have a bunch of money from some successful business or inheritance and they just do not care to achieve anything in life, as if the monetary system were something stable or as if money was the answer to everything. The history of Estonia, since the 2. World War, shows clearly, that savings must be stored in non-monetary assets that are distributed across the planet and that the only sensible reason for anybody with any reasonable amount of financial assets to live at the geographic region called Estonia is to have more materialistic and non-materialistic freedom that is available else-where. For example, the American 1920's Depression did not push that many Estonians to starvation, because the agricultural community of Estonia could grow their own food independent of any monetary policy or collapse of the industry.
Another thing that The West had and the Soviet Union did not have and the Russia does not have even in 2016 is the possibility to run one's own business. Successful or not, but at least there was an opportunity to try to run one's own business and to keep the fruits of that work and to decide oneself about one's own investments. In 2016 it is also possible in Estonia, more-or-less, but again, people do not take advantage of their opportunities. It's not even a question of investment size, because selling something on etsy.com or other sites does not cost that much. In 2016 Estonia it is even perfectly legal to do the sales as a private person, without any registration or accountancy, as long as the 20% income tax gets paid. Again, I'm not talking about successful sales or failure to sell, but just the effort to try to sell. The West, including the America, looked attractive exactly due to the possibilities, lack of oppression, existence of freedom of speech(at least according to the western propaganda).
In 2016_11 it seems to me that the freedom to act and the availability of tools and material wealth are not enough to make any community thrive materialistically and non-materialistically. The freedoms to act, the availability of tools/resources and the possibility for everybody to own the fruits of their work are essential, but there must also be the people, WHO WANT TO USE THOSE FREEDOMS AND OPPORTUNITIES. As it turns out, those people are always the minority, regardless of era or their native language. The greatness of the America, including the Silicon Valley, was built by the intellectually bright and hard-working minority, who then changed the environment to the extent that everybody benefited. For example, the owners of the Ford Motor Company might have just cached in and founded a bank or become venture capitalists instead of trying to figure out, how to produce cars that are cheap enough so that it is possible for an average American to own a car. At some point the founders of Google might have just cached in and stopped working on anything new instead of the work that they do/did in 2016. The Elon Musk might also just cache in instead of trying to find ways, how to finance the advancement of various industries. If Elon Musk tried something like that in Russia, he would probably share the fate of the Pavel Durov. The U.S. space era and nuclear era was created by a combination of brains from Germany (Einstein, who fled from Nazis and Werner von Braun and his colleagues, who were Nazis), availability of resources in the form of tax money and the freedom to operate, at least in a closed environment, under Pentagon and NASA and CIA.
What regards to the general availability of good healthcare and good education, then one of the reasons, why general availability of good healthcare and good education is important is that they give a chance to more people within the tiny minority of people, who have the natural thrive to actually achieve something in life instead of being satisfied with getting by. It's those, bright, people, who, given the freedom to operate, resources and possibility to own the fruits of their work, keep everybody afloat and make the community, where they live, prosperous and intellectually advanced. The banksters, including venture capitalists, are just rich slackers, who do not do any work themselves, except the "work" that it takes to be a parasite. (I do not want to sound anti-Semitic, I try not to disqualify anybody by their ethnicity or nationality, but as of 2016_11 I do not quite understand, what is it about the Jews and banks that the Jews somehow manage to get a specific bad reputation consistently, regardless of era and continent on the planet Earth. A bit like Gypsies. First the Italians, the Romans, crucified the Jews, including the Jesus Christ. Later the Germans had an issue with Jews and that to the point, where the Nazis were able to take advantage of the conflict and use the conflict for the scapegoating based propaganda. In 21. century the American banksters' representatives in Washington, including the Hilary WallStreet Clinton, fight for the Israel, and, again, not just anybody fights for the Israel, but it's the banksters, who fight for the Israel. Nicely consistent: if one's wallet gets stolen, then it's classically the Gypsies, but if one's other assets are robbed/stolen through some elaborate scheme, then it's often times the Jews. Consistently. Given that apes tend to be thieves, then I wonder, whether stealing/robbing is part of human nature and if so, then what type of stealing I might be consistently doing without even self noticing it...)
One of the thoughts, that came to my mind while listening to Sigala's song titled "Give me Your Love" and that I do not have time to properly study right now, is that what kind of utterly stupid decisions do I take so that next the generations will sincerely think of my generation by thinking,"What a bunch of idiots"? Examples, where I think this way, are the Napoleon wars and 2. World War. As of 2016_11 I do not agree with all of Ayn Rand's philosophy, but the person, the Ayn Rand, seems to be a nice example of someone, who was way ahead of her time with her philosophy. If I could be the "Ayn Rand" of my generation, then I could defer the "what a bunch of idiots" assessment about me for a few generations. I guess that in some respects Aristotle was able to defer that kind of assessments about him for hundreds of years, if not thousands of years. For example, the idea that the physiology of unknown creatures should be studied by dissecting them, generally holds even in 2016.
Thank You for reading this text. :-)