Friday, March 9, 2018

Putin Plays the Shaman to an Increasingly Dependent and Primitivized Russia, Gozman Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 9 – What is taking place in Russia today is “not only horrible … but shameful,” Leonid Gozman says, with “a significant portion of the population and almost all those who call themselves an elite having become primitives who delight in the promises of the supreme shaman to defeat the gods of the neighboring forest.”

            In a commentary posted on Ekho Moskvy, the opposition politician says that what makes this worrisome “is not simply its stupidity and not simply its mix of illiteracy and foolish self-satisfaction” but that it has addicted people to the point that they need “ever larger doses” (

            “The daily seances of hatred on television are no longer enough,” Gozman says; “they need the speeches of the first person” because it is from him that they can hear that “the earth is not round as our enemies insist” and that “we are the strongest and most just and that the entire world looks at us with admiration and envy.”

            Such rapturous self-celebration, he continues, “is also a betrayal. Today’s Russian betrays Pushkin and Tolstoy, Mandelshtam and Brodsky, Korolyev, Patriarch Tikhon and Andrey Sakharov. It betrays the real enlighteners and not the heroes invented by Medynsky. It betrays its great culture and all the best that was in its history.”

            “With what horror, if they can see will those who made up its glory and hope look at their country now.”

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