Lost Illusions, or Why I Didn't Applaud Yeltsin

Lost Illusions, or Why I Didn't Applaud Yeltsin

15 November, 23:51
Яков Миркин
Already in the mid-1990s, it was clear that dreams of freedom, of a large developed economy, of free breathing, of being on an equal footing with other developed ones - all this may not be, that all the cries about what is not going there and not so, all these screams rest against a blank wall of power

Yakov Mirkin, economist

Somewhere in the mid-90s, we were at some premiere in the Kremlin Palace of Congresses, and during the break we went out to breathe on the inner balcony, right above the foyer. Suddenly - apparently, you need to say "suddenly" - Yeltsin appeared below, right in the crowd. There was a moment of general numbness - and loud applause broke out.

It was the mid-90s, there was already a clear feeling that something was going wrong in the country, there was a war, there was a physical decrease in people, there were losses in everything - and it was becoming clearer, clearer, that dreams of freedom, of a great a developed economy, about free breathing, about being on an equal footing with other developed ones - all this may not be, that all the cries about what is wrong and wrong, all these cries rest against a blank wall of power, its conceit, its the highest self-understanding, its unshakable sense of superiority, at least in the economy.

And there was loud applause. And, outwardly, it seemed that he was almost bowing, in any case, he was waiting for it. What was it? What was it? Why is it so? Or the very nature of the power taken independently gives rise to applause - you are you, you took us, you are higher and stronger than us. The audience clapped loudly, a good audience - it was some kind of ballet, if I'm not mistaken, not a parade congress, just people gathered to watch how they dance and dance beautifully.

We didn't applaud. We - this is he and she - looked down in bewilderment, asking ourselves what needs to be done so that no one raises their hands to clap you. Or we didn't even ask anything, we just watched - better to say, in a stupor - and all the questions appeared only later, when thirty years had passed and all dreams remained just dreams. And what dreams? Freedom, prosperity, easy breathing, dignity, the standard of living is not worse than in developed countries, the youth of the movement is for everyone. For the vast majority, what is called the social market economy.

But was it so? And what did we really think? Memory sometimes leaves only faded traces. But still, we remember it, we remember it very vividly - the Kremlin Palace of Congresses (it was not called that then), we are on the balcony, trying to catch our breath, Yeltsin suddenly appears downstairs in the foyer, loud applause is heard, and we look at each other. friend and ask ourselves: “How is it so?”, perhaps not quite clearly understanding that there are dreams of a lifetime, but there is just being, day after day, for many years, when they do not come true.

And, most importantly, they may not come true.

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