Thursday, October 15, 2020

Russians No Longer Want to Live in France; They Want to Live in Russia of a Year Ago, Shapovalova Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 14 – At the end of Soviet times, Russians pressed for change because they had in the West a model of a world in which there was more freedom and a higher standard of living, and they wanted both, Moscow writer Mariya Shapovalova says. That led them to revolt.

            Now, however, both their faith that the freedom and a better life are interrelated has been shaken and they have no model of the future they are prepared to work toward or take part in a revolution to achieve (

            Instead, Shapovalova says, they want to live where they were and as they did a year ago, before the pandemic. And that desire gives the existing political system enormous stability: People don’t have a model for change: they only have a model of the world they feel they have lost.

            People at the end of Soviet times were inspired by what they saw as something they wanted in the West; they were not held back by “the frightening unknowns of the post-Soviet future.” But now they no longer have the former but very much have the latter and fear any change because they think it will make things worse.

            If you asked a Russian at the end of the 1980s, “would you like to live in France (England, the US …)? Nine out of ten would have shouted: ‘Yes, we do,” and there would not have been a shadow of doubt on their faces, Shapovalova continues.

            Now, in a world gone mad, they are far less inclined to say that. Thus, they do not have an image of a better future either at home or abroad; and all they want to do is to retreat a little into the past when things were or at least seemed to be a little better than they have become today.

            As a result, she says, if you ask a Russian now if he or she would like to live in France (Germany, the US, Canada, Italy …), the answer would be a resounding “no!” Instead, they would insist, “we want to live as we did a year ago!!!” That isn’t the kind of attitude that breeds revolution; instead, it is a source of stability for today’s powers that be.

No comments:

Post a Comment