Alina Vitukhnovskaya, writer
The other day I came across a post that literally hit me in the eyes. An old friend of mine told on her Facebook the story of a journalist who found himself in a difficult life situation, which, in turn, served as a catalyst for the decision to take and get a job as a janitor, as was the case in the 1970s and 1980s. "Generation of janitors and watchmen". This readiness to swear allegiance to poverty, especially among intellectuals and creative intelligentsia, scares me. Remember, Viktor Tsoi is in the stoker, Gleb Pavlovsky watering flowers and chopping bushes, etc., etc. By the way, if for Tsoi such an experience was almost painless and even to some extent became part of the artistic image, then the rushing political scientist, it seems, is still trying to compensate for his social complexes. In this area lies the answer to the question why in Russia virtually none of the politicians seek to come to power. Because, despite the money they have already earned, they have to worry about their financial and social well-being day and night.
The phenomenon of the current downshifting itself is interesting. For it is absolutely opposite to its Western counterpart. There, another clerk, tired of papers, throws everything and goes to the "tropical paradise", where his savings are a fortune. Obviously, having completely or partially closed his career gestalt, a person tends to the opposite of the usual comfort zone or, as they say, "away from civilization". But at the same time, he can return to it at any moment in order to continue a new path, albeit not in the same positions.
The Russian version of downshifting is a desperate leap into uncertainty with agitation slogans from the first five-year plan period convulsively clutched in their hands. In the comments to my friend's post, no one wrote about the fatality of such a choice, but everyone wrote the usual Soviet - "All works are good." I saw in this not only hypocrisy, but also a certain doom. In parallel, there are screams about the search for any (!) Job from representatives of such professions as artists, actors, etc. A certain pop star laments over a small pension. (Why do show business stars need retirement at all ?!)
I see here not only the material and existential despair of people in trouble. I see a certain pattern in this. For 20 years these people did not interfere with the authorities, and some of them served it. Now, instead of civil and political protest, they are surrendering their rights and privileges under dubious "highly spiritual" justification.
The impoverished do not want to get rich, and those who have at least something do not want further progress. Drop illusions. Nobody in Russia wants to come to power. All the ambitions of home-grown pseudo-politicians are reduced to the eternal free - "Let me steer." Well, one has a newspaper, another has a party, and a third has the status of an appointed writer. Everything. Dead end. You can't jump above your head. Moreover, when there is no head.
More about the let it steer syndrome, which has replaced the desire for power as such. Those who dream of taking a "high" place in the local social hierarchy (false hierarchy, of course) need to understand that to fulfill a dream it is not at all required to demonstrate any intellectual achievements or to be, for example, an educated person. On the contrary, you have to be a bit of an idiot, preferably, as the people say - "with a fool." And the main thing is to earnestly demonstrate loyal loyalty. If, in a favorable scenario, the social lift will pull you up, then only as a kind of public gallows, a talking carcass. You should not expect any special benefits - this is a predictable ration from a common Kremlin trough with stukaty getters and sturgeon tired of the mausoleum non-existence. Also, you should not expect an expansion of opportunities - you will be forced to perform daily routine ritual dances, in other words, you will no longer have power, but you will have more power over you.
Those who agreed to live in conditions of marginality have already lost. From this "I will be published, where they print", "writing on the table" (for free) - a variant for everyone - this is where the fall begins. With abandonment of ambition. Fitness is a fall. Forbearance too. In a way, forgiveness and all-tolerance are also a fall. But this is about cases of voluntary consent to go into marginality.
We are dealing with a situation when practically the entire country has plunged into the space of marginality. The total collapse of the hierarchy, if in modern Russia one can speak of hierarchy at all, has occurred. Therefore, various gopota began to dance, distraught with permissiveness and swaggering complacency.
Every normal person in the current Russian Federation feels like a marginal, an outsider, persona non grata. Moreover, there are no alternatives to this. Unless to go and participate in the plague carnival of swollen pig snouts. Who wants to?
But back to downshifting. Unfortunately, conventionally, my generation (although I do not believe in generations, but I believe in individuals), which criticized the life of its parents to smithereens, doomedly repeats their path, and chooses the worst possible option. Thus, in this example, we see how the cyclical, return mechanism, described by Yuri Mamleev in his "Russia eternal", works. Only if Yuri Vitalievich admired this process, then it openly frightens me. This reverse downward spiral, heading into the space of no return, would truly look fatal if I did not remember the 1990s, in which people (not the majority, but a significant part) behaved very differently.
The current situation in Russia is disgusting, but it is not as hopeless as it was during the same Soviet times. Not all rights and opportunities have been lost. But people prefer to give them up before they try to take them away.
Society is becoming more and more atomized. Desperate individuals cling to life as best they can, but the majority, as mentioned above, follow the fatal paths trodden by previous generations.
The question arises of what to do in the current situation. What scenarios work in a chaotic situation? Non-linear only. All those who are accustomed to acting according to habitual (linear, cyclical and linear-cyclical) patterns are more likely to lose resources and fall in a state of disorientation. Therefore, at the moment, singles are much more comfortable than others. Moreover, they often act more efficiently.
The decision-making points from which our common probable present and future are woven pass, including through those who found themselves in a semi-hopeless situation and turned back, instead of taking a step forward, perhaps the very missing step towards finding reality economic, political and existential capacity.
Interestingly, the German National Socialists were aggressive, insane and naive, but focused on military and political victories. Their big mistake was the adoption of such figures as Heidegger and Haushofer. The first is, of course, a genius, but not for ordinary political use. Character of other spheres. At the same time, they did not listen to the professional Karl Schmitt. As a result, they lost. Curiously, the Soviet ones have adopted the worst - from the courtier Fadeev to the half-crazy Dugin. And the result? Deliberate defeat.
Since the end of WWII and to this day, the country has plunged into political and economic hell with sad periodicity. The subtlety is that, it seems, no one here expected to win. The notorious defeatists and capitulators entered the game. With the slogan - "Live the day, sleep the night".
If in rapidly regressing Russia the law on parasitism was again adopted (and this was discussed quite seriously), then all Dugins and others like them would work as janitors - that is, those who are supposed to be by their status. That would be quite logical and fair. This would be the only charm of this law. They drank themselves, however, to Eurasia, to New Russia, to jungle cats. But this is already a question for the supervising orderlies. Overlooked. In the meantime, for the rest - downshifting in the Soviet way, as it was said.