What good is the fall of the nation’s prison?
Is it worth striving for the collapse of Russia? What happens next? What if again, instead of Estonia’s journey with Lithuania, we follow the route of Russia’s rampant rampage? Will the ‘cursed 90s’ be repeated, when power quickly merged with crime, officials and security forces began to build their own small empires “quickly”, the economy coughed and sneezed, and its treatment led to the emergence of oligarchy and social deprivation. And all democracy, exotic to Russians, has turned into a hideous bloody nightmare. The drowning of Russian society with fear and confusion began to pass only with the appearance of signs of a return to the usual way of life: at last the Master came and began to impose order: to urinate in the toilet, to point out enemies, to appoint “true patriots”, to divide the profits more evenly, and to see that the herd was full of feeders.
It’s been a long time since I tried to convince anyone of anything. A smart man will come to his own conclusions by assessing the status quo, and a fool can’t prove anything. Unless you ask the person you’re talking about a few questions, push them to analyze. Even though everything is problematic here, you can again encounter the Dunning-Kruger effect, and the conclusions of the fool will be contrary to logic and common sense.
If a person has chosen a satiated life with a fixed measured course even in conditions of a messy dormitory with minimum amenities and a disgusting life, it will not be easy for him even hypothetically to take the risk of a socio-economic experiment. The Chinese, obviously, have their own understanding of the situation, they say, “Cursed be you, and may you have to live in an era of change!” Is it worth striving for a separate well-appointed apartment with tiles and a dishwasher, if you can lose a room in the community if you fail? For many, this is an unsolvable dilemma.
We’re discussing the difficulty of making a decision. And there’s another side to the question: So what does a person really get from a decisive risky step? In our case – from the destruction of Russia, the prison of nations? What good can the notorious freedom bring him? A Ukrainian friend explained his view of the problem to me like this. People, he said, are divided into Cossacks and cattle. The Cossack builds his own destiny, looks for ways, bears responsibility for his mistakes, takes risks himself, realizing the risks, and is ready to accept the weight of defeats and losses. And the cattle… There came someone, the first to be caught, and struck him on the shoulders with a stick, and he shook, and looked around and said, “Here is my boss, and I will listen to him, and he will command me.” Let him decide, I will obey and serve, and he will feed and protect me. He will be my Father and Chief!
Now, specifically, what a man gets from freedom. Freedom, the ability to make decisions without looking at the stick. According to Karl Marx (sorry for quoting the odious philosopher at the moment): “The free development of everyone is a condition for the free development of everyone!” Development here includes not only the flourishing of society and social relations, but also the development of productive forces, economy, industrial industry, etc. moved science. That’s true, but if they were free, those same scientists would have done much more and much better. The flight of scientific thought and the artist’s dreams are much more productive in the absence of fear for the expressed unusual idea. After all, it is only natural that the growth of material abundance is the result of the growth of ideas, discoveries, technological developments, etc. And discoveries and inventions, which sometimes occur in totalitarian societies, generally do not find application in conditions of tight overriding control of the state machine and tightening of civil liberties. They slowly perish in the maze of indifference and bureaucracy, and their authors fall asleep or die early from illnesses caused by disappointment and depression. As a consequence, totalitarian socio-constructors have never been able to be truly industrialized and rich.
This can be confirmed by the phenomenon of social binariness in the twentieth century: a comparison of two Korean states, two Germans or the Finno-Ugric peoples of the USSR and Finland unequivocally confirms the conclusion about the advantage of free development. We can also recall Venezuela’s rapid “negative progress,” directly linked to President Hugo Chávez’s hard-line policies, or Cuba’s “successful” social experiment that pushed some of the “Island of Freedom” population into deadly car-camera journeys across the Florida Straits to the US shores. As many examples as you like – the twisting of the nuts, the restriction of freedoms inevitably leads to stagnation in society, decay, and then either the disintegration or the establishment of the most brutal dictatorship, “saving” the collapsing society from chaos or revolution. Mouth-clogging, regulation of consumption, government oversight of all manifestations of the human personality – from hairstyles and fashion to ideology and religion. Grey, meagre life.
My country has long been on the path of totalitarianism, and we are, unfortunately, in the transition from a moderately peaceful existence under the wing of dictatorship to social and economic turmoil. National republics and industrial suburbs are beginning to get feverish, daily evidence shows that many of their inhabitants feel on their skin the iron arms of lack of freedom and in various ways declare their disagreement with such a life. Maybe these manifestations are not very many yet, but they have a clear tendency to increase, it is no longer concealable. A dangerous “age of change” is approaching.
Here, in fact, the main danger of life “cattle” is hour X, when you need to make a choice. Otherwise, you’ll be made to pay for the chief’s mistakes with your own skin, and there’s no way out of it! You will either die in the trenches, or you will roll under a mountain of economic turmoil, domestic turmoil, and poverty, trying to justify everything happening by whatever means – vile enemies around you, evil boyars under a good tsar, cursed oligarchs, Nazis, liberals, and foreign agents, but not by your own choice – to be cattle.
A conscious need for change is the key to the success of reforms in the country, and a “short” revolution is better than a protracted one. The worst result is a period of timelessness, when all the old has fallen apart and the new is never born. Our common task now is to decide and act, to get the government off the path of war and start real reforms. Yes, protesting and demanding in today’s Russia is not easy, often even dangerous, but you can at least disagree with what is happening and look for opportunities to resist. And you’ll be a beast when you say you’re okay with everything, that you’re willing to live like this. Then really – everything! Then you don’t need your freedom anymore, it’s no value to you. Too bad, too bad! You are missing out on another wonderful privilege of choice – the opportunity to raise your children as free citizens of a free country where no one dares to hit them in the back with a stick and tell them which way to go and which language to speak!
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