“Only one condition is necessary for the triumph of evil: that good people sit idly by.” Edmund Burke.
There is a lot of free time in prison. The time that the system steals from you. Stealing from you, from your parents, from your children. This time could be spent on the proper upbringing and education of your children, helping them prioritize their lives.
This time, lost, could have been spent not only on his family, but for the benefit of society, for the country, and even for this state, creating new values, both material and moral. But this is not about Russia. In Russia, always, at all times, the individual, the personality, has been seen only as expendable material, biofuel for the achievement of some illusory, ephemeral goals of the greatness of the state. And it does not matter what state system, what ideology existed in this or that period. But the final result was the same – no happy people, no greatness of state. Just disappointments and another mirage of a happy future, on another horizon of history.
Many will argue – slander, we live in a great country. Great? No. In the big one, yes. The greatness of a country is not determined by victories in wars, but by the well-being of its citizens and the respect of its neighbors. At different times and with different success, Russians have won wars against all their neighbors. But did it make the Russians great, or maybe the Russian people, the Russians have a better, safer life? Definitely not.
Russia defeated Turkey. Repeatedly. But do Russians live better than Turks? No. Russians defeated the Finns, but do Russians live better than the Finns? No. We defeated the Germans. But are we living better than the Germans? No. We beat the Japanese. But do we live better than the Japanese. No. Worse. We are living the worst of the defeated.
The population of these countries is growing demographically, while the population of Russia is decreasing. It decreases every day by 3,000 people. Every day. In peacetime. No war, no effort on the part of the U.S. NATO. How could it be? And it is the Russian people who are decreasing in absolute numbers. Chechens who were defeated in an internal war are also growing demographically, as are all Muslim regions of the country. And they live better than the average person from the Russian countryside.
It would seem that in such a situation the authorities must abstract away from all external challenges and throw all resources exclusively at solving internal state, political and economic problems, at dialogue with civil society, at rescuing young people caught in the clutches of the drug mafia and corrupt officials, at creating a favorable and safe environment for the population. And what do we actually see? Another escalation of tension with the entire civilized world, a possible large-scale war with Ukraine and, through it, with the entire world.
Another war with another neighbor. And with whom? With Ukraine. Ukrainians, who are historically and mentally the closest to Russians. At least, closer than the Chinese or Tajiks.
Does war produce sons? No. War kills the strongest, the youngest. War devours the gene pool, the wealth, the future of the nation. War breeds orphans, increases the number of orphanages and orphanages, scales poverty, ignorance, and injustice. It would seem that these are immutable truths, lying on the surface and to which mankind came empirically, even 75 years ago. So why is Russia running in the same vicious circle and stepping on the same rake?
Is the problem only with the leaders and the elite? After all, the leaders were of different social backgrounds. There were hereditary monarchs with 300 years of history, there were also unrelated upstarts, but the country did not change existentially. Maybe the problem is not with the executives after all? Maybe the problem is bigger, more total and hopeless?
As I noted earlier, there is a lot of free time in prison and it should be used to your advantage. I spend my time mostly on books. The good books that our friends pass on to me from the will. After reading the works of authors such as Philip Zimbardo, Steven Pinker, Nassim Taleb, Yuval N. Harari, you begin to look at many things, including yourself and your place in society, from a different perspective. One begins to look at many narratives that are firmly rooted in people’s minds, in the system of education and in the upbringing of children, with a whole new perspective.
It would seem that you can discover something new in the story of I. Turgenev’s Mumu, intended for middle school students. It turns out that when you read this book or Leo Tolstoy’s story “Resurrection” from the height of your years and bitter life experience, the role of the main characters, their actions and motives open to you in a completely different light.
Who is the main villain in Mumu? Barinya. And who is the victim, the positive hero? Puppy Mumu and Gerasim. Yeah, that’s if you don’t know life yet, you don’t have experience, you haven’t been hit on the head literally or figuratively. There are no complaints about Mumu. I felt sorry for the dog as a child and at the age of 52. There is no cognitive change here. A similar attitude towards the landlady baroness, only the opposite is constant. An old, sick, crazy woman. Nasty creature. For me, however, the figure of Gerasim appears in a completely different, dark form.
Gerasim is the deaf and dumb servant of the landlady. Uncommunicative, unsociable, avoids communication, yet has the courage to speak truth to power. And such deaf and dumb, in the figurative sense, commit crimes. And no matter what their motives and reasons are, the crime does not cease to be a crime. There are many such performers in our country, and their name is legion.
They work in law enforcement and the judicial system – falsifying evidence and criminal cases, torturing and killing people, carrying out criminal orders. They work in election commissions and schools, falsifying election results by carrying out criminal orders. They work in the media, duping and deceiving the population by following orders. They are the backbone of any of the most criminal and bloodthirsty regimes. They are the root of all evil. Millions of deaf, dumb, soulless, cowardly gerasim. Millions of tolerates, hereditary tolerates, who dutifully and cowardly endure the humiliation of power, of brute force, but at the same time are cruel, ruthless and unfair to the weak and in need of protection.
And today, on the eve of the war with Ukraine, they will not go out to their town squares to protest against criminal orders, but will obediently crawl, driven by the whip into a fratricidal war to kill the weak and defenseless and thus hoping to save their own skins.
“We need to understand that to passively accept the injustice of the system is to cooperate with that system and thereby become an accomplice to its evils” – Martin Luther King.