dormitory did in the 1960’s.rnAnti-Russian bigots are wrong whenrnthey claim that Russia was always a lawlessrnstate, an “Oriental despotism” havingrnnothing in common with the West.rnIn its deepest roots Russia is of coursernWestern, an heir with us to Athens andrnJerusalem. The Kremlin is not thernHindu pantheon. The 19th century sawrnthe emergence here of an independentrnjudiciary and trial by jury. But thernBolsheviks spent generations destroyingrnthe culture of lawfulness, and it willrnprobably take generations to restore it.rnMy neighbors rely on earplugs becausernthey know that even if the city Dumarnwere to enact an antinoise ordinance,rnenforcement would still be a matter ofrnconnections and bribery.rnRussia’s cities are still safer after darkrnthan America’s, but crime has risen asrnmuch here in just a few years as it has inrnNew York or Washington in recentrndecades. Private security guards in military-rnstyle camouflage fatigues seem tornbe more numerous than necessary—rnuntil you realize that they play a dualrnrole. I know of several cases in whichrnfirms such as travel agencies have experiencedrnthe following sequence: first, arnmysterious visitor pressures them to payrnprotection money to keep their officesrnfrom being pillaged; second, they hastenrnto hire a security firm; third, the visitorrnreturns, has a private chat with the newrnsecurity guards, and leaves amicably—rnthis time for good. It does not take a lotrnof imagination to deduce that for manyrnof these security firms, the Russianrnmafia is less adversary than businessrnpartner.rnOne of the milestones in the transitionrnto the rule of law was supposed tornbe President Yeltsin’s new constitution.rnYeltsin and his allies proclaimed thatrntheir victory in the constitutional referendumrnmade up for their defeat in thernsimultaneous parliamentary elections.rn(A recount has since shown that the referendumrndid not in fact produce a largernenough majority for ratification, butrnboth Yeltsin and the parliament—thernvery existence of which depends on thernconstitution which many of its membersrnopposed—have simply ignored thisrnawkward fact.) Today the constitution isrnlargely a dead letter. The parliamentrnusurps the president’s power of pardon,rnand t h e president usurps thernparliament’s power to confirm high officials.rnBoth ignore the constitution’srnguarantees on freedom of the press. Butrnnobody appeals to the ConstitutionalrnCourt: a year after the new constitutionrntook effect, the court still does not havernenough judges to function.rnWhen their government is dysfunctional,rncivilized men turn more than everrnto voluntary associations of the sortrnfamously described by Tocqueville. Butrnmost men do not live in countriesrnwhere, for example, the very word “charity”rn{“blagotvoritelnost”) was suppressedrnuntil the I980’s. Western groups seekingrnto distribute food and medicinernthrough the Russian Orthodox Churchrnwere recently told by some of its ownrnbishops that the church lacks the experiencernand networks needed to deliver humanitarianrnrelief. Instead, the bishopsrnadvised the Western visitors to give theirrndonations to state agencies! But in spiternof such setbacks, Russians are slowly rebuildingrna nonstatist culture from thernbottom up.rnThree blocks from the Kremlin, nextrnto the favorite restaurant of Stalin’srnsecret police chief Lavrenty Beria, standsrnthe Church of Saints Cosmas andrnDamian—now girdled in scaffolding asrnrepairmen make up for six decades ofrnneglect. Orthodox services took place atrnthis site continuously from the 14th centuryrnuntil 1929, when the state seizedrnthe building and suppressed the parish.rnWorship resumed only in May 1991, andrnat first only in a small room on the secondrnfloor: the nave was still occupied byrna Communist Party printing press. Afterrnthe August 1991 coup, the newly rebornrnparish could easily have expelled thernprinters and left them jobless. Instead,rnFather Aleksandr Borisov told his flockrnthat they should let the printers stay untilrnthey could find another location inrnwhich to continue as a for-profit business.rnIn the tradition of the third-centuryrnRoman doctors whose names theirrnchurch bears, the members of Cosmasrnand Damian take a special interest in thernseriously ill. They have adopted a children’srnhospital, and consequently sufferrna 1990’s Russian paradox: as a specializedrninstitution with a nationwidernreputation, it now gets less state fundingrnthan neighborhood Moscow hospitals.rnMoscow is an island of prosperityrncompared with most of Russia, and itsrnpoliticians are increasingly reluctant tornhelp hospitals with non-Moscow patients.rnWhen you first set foot in the Children’srnClinical All-Republican Hospital,rnthe ratio of adults to children seemsrnnormal. But you soon learn that most ofrnthese adults are not doctors or nurses,rnbut the mothers of patients. So manyrnnurses have left their jobs—and sornmany of the mothers are from remoternprovinces and have no other place tornstay in Moscow—that the mothers havernsimply moved in, becoming full-timernunpaid staffers. It is increasingly thernmothers who cook and serve the patients’rnmeals, keep them entertained,rnand even take custody of the blood donatedrnby volunteers responding to thernCosmas and Damian blood drive. In thernrubble of statism, they are building theirrnown community.rnCosmas and Damian also sponsor thernFather Aleksandr Men Open OrthodoxrnUniversity, named in honor of arnrenowned Orthodox priest who wasrnmysteriously murdered in 1990. In therntradition of its namesake, a convert fromrnJudaism, the university teaches aboutrnOrthodoxy not as a privileged possessionrnof Russians but as a universal religion.rnIt is one of 167 private institutions ofrnhigher education born in Russia in thernI990’s—an astonishing figure for arnnation in a deep economic crisis andrnwith virtually no previous tradition ofrnindependent schooling.rnThe healthiest institutions and personalitiesrnin Russia today are thosernwhich are the most remote from politicsrnand power. Virtually the entire eliternclass still consists of people who werernCommunist Party members in goodrnstanding a decade ago; even the businessrnworid consists mostly of ex-apparatchiksrnwho have learned how to convert politicalrninto financial clout. Though manyrnof these have become sincere advocatesrnof the free market, they are still shapedrnby the apparatchik legacy—obsessionrnwith economic policy, indifference tornRussia’s spiritual traditions, and hostilityrnto rural and peasant life. (Hence theirrndislike of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.)rnWhile today’s “new Russians” arernknocking at the doors of the InternationalrnMonetary Fund and New York-stylerndiscotheques, Russia’s real revival will berntaking place elsewhere.rnLawrence A. Vzzell is vice president andrndirector of the Moscow office of thernJamestown Foundation, a foreign poUcyrnresearch institute based inrnWashington, D.C.rn42/CHRONICLESrnrnrn