Saturday, April 22, 2023

Most Russians Fail to Recognize Trolling for What It is and Give It Far More Importance than It Deserves, Makarkin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 20 – Public figures who call for restoring Stalinist confiscation of wealth in private hands or returning to the tsarist-era practice of banning women from voting are engaged in trolling, a prominent feature of “post-modernism with an ironic attitude toward life,” Aleksey Makarkin says.

            Those pushing such ideas, the Moscow analyst says, “do not in any way resemble fanatics who are ready to do anything to achieve great goals. Instead, they are trolling their opponents, simultaneously forcing them to respond and showing everyone that the authors of these opinions don’t care about anyone else (

            Their actions are thus not especially serious in and of themselves, Makarkin continues, but they are “dangerous” because most Russians don’t know how to read them. The majority of the Russian population is still psychologically living under conditions of modernity “when words spoken in public are taken extremely seriously.”

            As a result, such declarations have “a very negative impact on the public climate” and “archaization is spreading more and more widely” because its broader audience understands the statements in a very different way and as having more importance than do those who put them out in the first place.

            Makarkin does not say; but he certainly could with justice observe that it is not only the ordinary Russian population that makes that mistake. So too do many commentators in Moscow and elsewhere as well. 

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