Stauntоn, August 25 – A large share of the Russian population has gone mad without drugs or external “excesses” but simply as a result of the impact of the media, a phenomenon which has gone largely unnoticed because most of those affected appear from the outside to be entirely normal, Alina Vitukhnovskaya says.
And what is most disturbing of all, the Moscow writer and poet says, is that what is happening among Russians is also happening among other peoples around the world, often because of the actions of the Russian state and its hybrid war (newizv.ru/article/general/25-08-2019/tretya-informatsionnaya-ili-kak-spasti-rossiyu-ot-samoy-sebya).
“Twenty years ago,” Vitukhnovskaya continues, “no one could foresee that what is happening in Russia now would occur” and that “Russia as a concentrated form of global mass unconsciousness would become a model of existence in its negative aspect” for so many others, thus creating a problem for which there is as yet no agreed-upon name.
“In the last century, the major issues of humanity were decided with the assistance of world wars; but in the present one, the universal theater of military actions has become the information space” which has changed people often beyond recognition and in self-destructive ways.
According to Vitukhnovskaya, this change often takes the form of sado-masochistic expressions including suggestions that the Russian authorities are about to lock everyone up in a new GULAG, a move that is unnecessary because the population has been transformed into Stockholm Syndrome-like conformity without anything so dramatic being necessary.
“In mass culture,” she writes, insanity is usually presented as something completely at odds with normal behavior. But “in reality, the present insanity is hidden behind” the mask of conformity and “the false smiles of ‘happy people,’ the animal-like satisfaction of the hedonists, and the iron-clad certainty of the supporters of ‘traditional values.’”
And it is this “hidden insanity” which now has infected “a large part of the population of Russia” causing it to act like a hostage to imperial slogans and thus behaving in a suicidal manner even as it goes about its business in what appears to many to be an entirely normal way, Vitukhnovskaya continues.
“Such phenomena are extremely typical during periods of radical crises and global changes in society, for example during or after major armed conflicts, revolutions, and social transformations,” she adds. But what is terrifying is that what is occurring in Russia is now being spread by Russia to the rest of the world.
“Unfortunately, at present, we observe a whole line of negative effects of globalization connected with Russia – the export of terrorism … efforts at information influence on political and social processes in Europe and the US, corrupt intrigues … and the financing of marginal European political parties.”
Closer to its borders, she continues, “Russia exerts influence with the help of crude military force, annexing and occupying Ukrainian territory, a military presence in Transdniestria and Central Asia, and constant air provocations and threats to the territorial integrity of the Baltic countries.”
“If we imagine hypothetically that Russia’s influence will intensify at all levels from the political and economic to the existential and metaphysical,” the madness one feels but often doesn’t see in the country will spread abroad further deepening the hybrid war the Kremlin has launched, Vitukhnovskaya suggests.
And “in this way, we come to the conclusion that we must save Russia from itself and by so doing the entire world as well,” an attitude and approach that is well within “the bet traditions of Russian literature.”