Monday, October 28, 2019

Kremlin Believes It Can Make Future Better by Making Present Worse, Voloshina Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 24 – At a recent meeting in Skolkovo, Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary who oversees information technology, unwittingly explained the thinking is behind some of the Kremlin’s most notorious recent decisions: Russia’s leaders believe they can make the future better by making the present worse, Viktoriya Voloshina says.  

            Peskov said that had the Russian government not block parts of the Internet, the technology for getting around such blocking would never have developed as quickly as it has, the Moscow journalist say, an apparently ff the cuff remark that reveals something few had suspected (

            In sum, what looked like obscurantism in fact has been part of “a clever special operatinal plan for the flourishing of Russia,” one based on the notions that “everything which doesn’t kill us will make us stronger, more intelligent and more clever” and that “the worse things are in the country in the present, the better they will be for its future.” 

            This notion, of course, rests on the image of Russians in fairy tales as people who need to be prodded to do anything but then are capable of miracles once they area, Voloshina says. And it is perhaps not surprising that the country’s leaders, who like all other Russians, were raised on such stories, would try to apply them.   

            If ne employs this logic, then many things the Putin regime has done look truly inspired: aising the pension age has forced 60-year-olds to look after their health, giving money to Africa means that Russians have less and must figure out how to cope, and eliminating governmental social supports is forcing Russians to organize themselves to help one another.

            This approach, Voloshina says, promises some even more remarkable breakthroughs in the future: banning the study of English now will mean in the future “we will speak it better than the English,” closing borders will mean “we will invent teleportation,” and “prohibiting breathing” will be the basis for new “interesting decisions, startups and investigations.’”

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