Wednesday, January 15, 2020

‘Great Victory’ Cult Killing Living Memory of the War and Any Discussion of the Future, Davydov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 12 – In order to reinforce the idea that there will never be any change in the future, the Kremlin is seeking to freeze the image of the Great Fatherland War into a single approved form, prohibiting all honest recollection and discussion of that conflict and forcing all its aspects into a single cult-like phenomenon, Ivan Davydov says.

            But in doing so, the Kremlin leaders are repeating the serious mistake of their Soviet predecessors who forgot that the quickest way to make people “hate everything connected with the history of the war” is to reduce it to ritualized incantations that deprive it of all its human complexity, the commentator continues (

                That is what the Soviet leaders did toward the end, Davydov continues; “and our bureaucrats are showing the very same ability to reproduce with surprising zeal the most pathetic aspect of the Soviet experience,” behaving as the saying has it like the Bourbons who showed they had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

            The year ahead, because it corresponds to the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, promises to be especially fateful in that regard. Vladimir Putin has already called for Russians to come up with ways to mark “the great victory.”  Officials have hurried to comply, and their responses range from the ridiculous to the absurd.

            The enlightenment minister – even the title is appropriate – wants to require all references to veterans to capitalize the word “Veteran.” Some are certain to go beyond that and decide that all the letters in that word should be capitalized so that it will read “VETERAN,” the New Times writer says

            Others, including the leaders of schools in Chelyabinsk, have suggested talking about the 100th anniversary of the victory not because that will happen anytime soon but because such discussions will suggest that “the current order of things is forever,” exactly the message the Putin regime wants to send in order to preclude discussions about the future as well as the past.

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