I work with a social worker about my age who comes from the old school. A lot of those things we believed in the 70's have not fully dislodged, just been given an updated spin. Thursday it was the idea that the military operates on the same principle as gangs, fostering camaraderie and group rules, substitute family... and he delights in making it be "gangs" every time he announces this, not accepting my hints that all groups, clans, tribes, and associations also work from the same basic principles. Plus, he always goes on to mention that the military "targets the most vulnerable members of our society" for membership. He doesn't say it meanly, just patiently explaining it to all of us who might not have grasped the deep truths he is explaining to us.
Today, when I mentioned that in 1990's Romania people were kept in hospital for long periods of time, mostly because not much real medical help could be given and families needed a break from care, so the hospital waited a polite amount of time before sending them home. It also gave the patient some attention and a feeling of being treated well. My colleague thought this was an excellent example of how our Western intrusion had not been entirely positive: Oh, I know it's been economically better but they've lost something that was valuable. His thinking was that families took care of each other more under the old regime, and we disrupted their adaptive patterns.
That this is exactly backward - that the hospitals were not adopting some modern Western idea but were perpetuating an older socialist one - did not occur to him. That I wasn't speaking about elders in the least went unnoticed. That in all societies, care for elder relatives declines as life expectancy increases - went missing. That no Romanian would endorse his opinion as being anything other than insane he is unaware of. Only his previous narrative remains - that there were good things in the old Soviet system that we blindly ignore now because of our simplistic, uninformed narrative.