Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Russia Becoming a Dangerous Nation of Zhirinovskys, Levinson Says

Paul Goble


            Staunton, August 19 – Vladimir Zhirinovsky has become notorious for saying what must not be said and doing what must not be done, but now his approach has spread to the Russian people as a whole, a development that cannot last forever but one that will end badly, according to Aleksey Levinson.


            In an article in today’s “Vedomosti,” the Levada Center sociologist says that “the main historical importance of Zhirinovsky and his speeches consists in saying and doing that which should not be said or done” because it violates good behavior or public morality (vedomosti.ru/opinion/news/32277551/nelzya-no-mozhno#ixzz3AoluTuFu).


            Not long ago, the LDPR leader was the only person doing that and he maintained “a monopoly on this function,” Levinson says. But then others began to copy his approach and “now a historical moment has come when this idea has taken over the masses and become a material (for example, a military) force.”


            Large numbers of people have concluded that what was impossible to say or think or do even a brief time ago now can be said, thought, and done even though it remains impermissible or wrong. Many say without any embarrassment, “we have violated international law but we are acting in a lawful fashion. Still more numerous are those who do not want to recall this law.”


            This isn’t the first time something like this has happened in Russian history, and it is time to ask, Levinson says, whether the normal approach or the Zhirinovsky one is the real core. But regardless of what the answer to that question is, such episodes do not end well, as history has confirmed more than once.


            The answer lies in the fact that “those 86 of every 100 who approve what is being done … all know that this really must not be done. And they know and know precisely that other times will come and everything will return to its place,” although “not everything will return.” Then “evil will again be called evil and the lie ceased to be considered to be true.”

            But when that happens, Levinson suggests, those who now make such declarations won’t be able or want to repent. They will continue along the logical but dangerous course to ever more violence against the truth and against the world. It is no accident, Levinson says, that the last step in is process is “called ‘war.’

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