Disillusioned, Sobered, Fatalistic

I was struck this past week by two New York Times articles chronicling different generations in different parts of the world, with an overlapping sentiment that optimism and voting rights can have their limits. 

From this morning’s “Putin’s Eye for Power Leads Some in Russia to Ponder Life Abroad”:

Some analysts are already calling this the sixth wave of Russian emigration — the first began in 1917 after the Bolshevik Revolution, and the most recent is considered to be the post-Soviet departures of the early 1990s.

In defining this sixth wave, Dmitri Oreshkin, a political scientist, said in an often-quoted article this year: “It’s basically just those who in the 1990s, because of their youth and innate optimism, believed that freedom would finally come and Russia would become a normal country. The Putin decade sobered them up.”

From Tuesday’s “As Scorn for Vote Grows, Protests Surge Around Globe”:

“Our parents are grateful because they’re voting,” said Marta Solanas, 27, referring to older Spaniards’ decades spent under the Franco dictatorship. “We’re the first generation to say that voting is worthless.”