WEEKLY POLITICAL COLUMN VIA MEMORANDUM.RO:
“INSIDE RUSSIA. A VIEW FROM ABROAD”
Ignorance for us, for people!
This whole week I could not help myself, but wonder: “What is ignorance?”, “Does it have a right to exist?” and “Why so many people are prisons of this phenomenon?”
I have started this article with these questions not by accident. Through these, I would like to explain to you the issue of the previous article about opposition in the Russian Federation. You already know my personal opinion regarding the opposition movement in Moscow. Today I would like to discuss with you the main reason of why this opposition fails to get together and to raise its voice as loud as possible. Guess who are responsible for this? The answer is simple: We!
In general, people tend to pretend that they know everything, that they have the enormous intellectual potential and a variety of knowledge in every single field of studies. Of course, I am not generalizing and there are many exceptions for this rule, but in this case, I am referring to a majority of people. We adore representing ourselves as specialists, professionals and experts in everything. Nevertheless, what if I tell you that a majority of us, even those of you who are reading these sentences right now are simple prisons of such a popular phenomenon as ignorance.
Referring to Russia and Russians, today we have a pessimistic representation of what this country really is. Of course, the main responsibility for this goes to mass media, and here I am referring to both of them: Russian and Western. We are so confident regarding what is going on in this country that we refuse to hear another opinion or point of view. For us, a “demonization” of Russia is something real and true. What if I told you that you are missing a major point here? What if I challenge you to think and to divide Putin’s political system and the Russian Federation in general? It is hard to do it, right?
Ok, let us start with another opposition figure in the Russian Federation – Alexey Navalny. After Boris Nemtsov, Navalny now is the second most influential opposition leader in Russia. His character is different from Nemtsov’s. Of course, they are quite similar in their political vision for Russia and both of them are very charismatics. However, Navalny is another story. See, I believe that in politics we have, at least two kind of politicians, activists or opposition leaders: the first one is the category of those who see themselves as Messiah – a savior or liberator of a group of people, and the second one refers to those of them who know how the country should be ruled and how should its citizens live inside this country. Well here we have a problem. Navalny comes and tells me that Russia should be seen as this, that Russians should live like that and, which is most dangerous, he rises and tells me how I should live and how I have to think. From this moment, when you, as a citizen, are observing discourses and speeches like this, then you should ask yourself: “Does he know what he is talking about?”
Having a popular opposition leader with this kind of thinking is dangerous for Russians and for the entire country. I do not need anyone to tell me how I should live or why I have to think. This kind of political behavior could raise one day into an authoritarian political vision. In addition, this is not what people are expecting from the so-called “political challenge”.
However, there are so many voices, which are need to be heard: Ilya Yashin, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Anna Politkovskaya, Alexander Litvinenko, Anastasia Baburova, Stanislav Markelov and others. They are representatives of a different thinking. They are those, who want (ed) to change Russia and Russians, they are people with experience and a healthy political vision for their country. These people are capable; they represent the Other Russia, the one that always remain in the shadow of the professional and credible mass media.
We refuse to believe that there is another way and we are afraid to recognize this. Of course, it is very simple to watch the news, to read some article and to answer all possible questions just because: “Oh, I already read this on…”, “I saw it on TV yesterday…”, “I know because I read this on the internet”. However, how about to raise questions like: “Why this article is so critic regarding the topic?”, “Who is the owner of this Magazine/Journal?”, “Why did they put this topic on the front page?”, “Why it is so important?” etc.
The real tragedy is that we are conscious about this. We know that things are not simple, that in the shadow of the theatre’s scene there are so many problems and real issues. Nevertheless, we all prefer just to be quiet and move on with our lives. It is sad, isn’t it?