Monday, November 28, 2022

Re-Medievalization of Russia has Enormous Popular Support, Roslyakov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 26 – The most depressing aspect of Russia’s rapid return to medieval patterns of rule and official behavior is that most of its steps enjoy enormous popular support, a reality that makes it all the more difficult and all the more necessary to fight with what tools those who oppose such moves have, Aleksandr Roslaykov says.

            Many are inclined to blame this drive to the past on officials alone, on absurd policies such as the new requirement that books by people identified by the authorities as foreign agents be issued in black opaque film so that no one can read them without buying them  or allowing the Orthodox church to decide what stories can be released on it, the commentator says.

            Or even on activists who call for dispensing with the last remnants of democracy and restoring the monarchy with Putin as the irreplaceable emperor and Russia again an empire. But what is most worrisome, Roslyakov says, is how many Russians support these moves confident that the powers know best (

            Those who can see the direction the winds are blowing are reviving anecdotes told among themselves and samizdat that only a few will read, he continues; but even more than in Soviet times, they face an uphill battle because the population is on the side of medieval repression and authoritarianism.

            And until that changes, the commentator concludes, the dangers for Russia are far greater than the absurdities now being offered by the regime. This popular support means that those who now want to cover up books may soon seek to burn them – and even worse, to burn their authors while an enthusiastic population looks on with approval.

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