Sunday, January 10, 2016

Shevtsova's Disturbing But Compelling Pointillilst Portrait of Our Time

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 10 – Sometimes a simple enumeration of apparently unrelated events provides a more compelling and often more disturbing portrait of a time than a more formal analysis. That is what Russian analyst Lilia Shevtsova has provided today in a Facebook page (

            Under the title, “Post-Modernism. Or Sketches for a Portrait of Our Time,” she lists the following features of the present moment:

“A gas station pretending to be a superpower.

An aggressor country as the guarantor of a peace agreement.

A former German chancellor as an apparatchik of Gazprom and a former British prime minister as a Nazarbayev advisor.

Siemens AG Daimler and Mercedes Benz as the face of Western business and at the same time of corruption – competition for these roles is enormous.

Liberals in the Russian government as a group working for the salvation of autocracy.

Rights activists who receive grants from the Kremlin for the defense of rights and freedoms, a problem which the Kremlin has already solved.

Russian democrats who instruct Ukraine how to conduct reforms.

Experts and politicians who complain about the ‘denigration’ of Russia from nice houses in Londongrad.

Nationalism – we defend Russian speakers! – as an instrument for saving an empire that has as yet not fully disintegrated.

A struggle with international terrorism in Syria which gives rise to terrorism in Russia.

Analysts who show that there is ‘a demand’ in Russia for that power which we have.

Political analysts who assert that the more we imitate democracy, the greater the chances that it will appear with us.

America as a system-forming factor of the Russian state, [but] what will happen with the legitimation of the Kremlin if the Americans suddenly fly off to the moon?

Pavlovsky and Belkovsky as gurus of liberal-democratic thought; others are not required, which says a lot about the audience.

‘The collapse is coming!’ as a stimulus for happiness.”

            “This is our time, colleagues,” Shevtsova writes, although she acknowledges that “the portrait is far from finished.”

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