Alina Vitukhnovskaya, writer
For me, everything that happens is more than a natural consequence of those inert, swampy, Brezhnev-stagnation years, where the weak-willed population cherished their lack of will to the vulgar tunes of Pugacheva. Now I understand that the freedom of the 1990s was rather a gift of fate, a general geopolitical inevitability. And she, this freedom, went to people in fact for nothing. All the efforts of economists, democrats-young reformers (with the exception of rare dissidents and progressives) were efforts rather of a technical nature.
That is, people simply quickly adapted their skills to the current moment. But they did not show any real political will. Political will for them is the antithesis of intelligence. And the mind of a Soviet-post-Soviet person is only the ability to adapt, leading to mutation, up to the erasure of personality. Therefore, after the collapse of today's Russia, we can talk not about restructuring, but only about building a country from scratch.
Why do you continue to peer into reality through rose-colored Soviet glasses? Evenings you were touched by Pugacheva. Today you are horrified by the new laws. But at the same time, draw between them (!) an unprofitable (!) relationship. Namely, you say that it was Pugachev who was so frightened by the authorities. That is, Pugacheva is good as a tool that enhances the repressive mechanism? What's with the logic? From Soviet fantasy - to Soviet stage - from Soviet stage - to Soviet humor. Fiction is shameful, the stage is pitiful, the humor is unfunny. Now political science has also become Soviet.
As for the young reformers - the late Komsomol and party members who became the first liberals and democrats, with all due respect, we should not repeat their path. Yeltsin originally came from the party apparatus of the CPSU, whom those who realized the impossibility of further exploitation of the USSR project, primarily for economic reasons, made a bet on. It is a very tempting idea to take and stupidly repeat Yeltsin's maneuver.
But the world has changed. And despite the fed up Russian cyclicality, it in itself no longer guarantees the possibility of repeating the old trick. When talking about the populism of Yeltsin and the now incarcerated leader of a controlled protest, we are taking the words out of context. There is a certain set of properties of this leader, and this is not only populism. We have not yet considered the personal aspects of both political figures. Yeltsin is a natural charismatic and very modern despite his party career. He was complementary to the people. Surprisingly, another pseudo-leader, made (!) stylistically modern, is not actually modern. He painfully imitates the relevance-youth. He is a hostage of the genre, playing his role worse and worse.
Such "continuity" is possible only because we generally live in a country of continuous similarities and repetitions. The phenomenon of an amazing, special attraction of a certain number of media characters of today's Russia for a relatively educated and liberally oriented stratum originates not from the originality of their images and ideas, but from a banal contrast with that gray, controlled environment that surrounds them.
In the West, similar figures, who can be called style icons, sharks of the pen or successful businessmen, come from the so-called middle class and, in fact, are its heroes, its authorized representatives in society. That is why they organically fit into the context that they are constantly shaping and developing. On the contrary, in Russia such people, as a rule, are not even talented upstarts, but entirely children or relatives of the party nomenklatura. Of these, the most characteristic and almost comedic example is Ksenia Sobchak. It was supported by no means from a great mind, but rather from small-town provincial complexes, those who secretly or openly yearn for the lost status of the Soviet "aristocracy".
Do you remember how, in the 1990s, former Komsomol members and party functionaries, who suddenly became businessmen, seriously bought fake birth certificates confirming their supposedly noble origin? Many of them are the same people who are now pretending to be liberals, but now in the information field. All this fits perfectly into the atmosphere of the current KGB neo-feudalism. That is, almost in a Leninist way, when the cook not only began to rule the state, but also acquired the fake status of an aristocrat. Truly, modern Russia is only an imitation space, built on the principle of family-clan, and in some places even tribal relations.
Soviet society was a society of infidels. I would not even trust the generation of our parents to raise a hamster. But they mercilessly produced children, to the sound of a guitar picker and vodka exhaust. Reality, made up of spots on an Asian carpet, static on a black-and-white TV screen, and idealistic book tales, was not viable from the very beginning. On this indifference, diluted with the hell of everyday absurdity, society entered the 21st century and ran into hell. The real one, not the Sartre one. Man-made, and not existential and metaphysical suffering is the essence of Russia, as it has actually been for more than a century. And in this relaxed, exhausted state, citizens are invited to swear an oath to non-existence, to surrender to death. And the streets of "Beautiful Russia without a future" are already planning to be named after the Necropioneers-heroes, national patriots.