Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Laughter Brought Down the USSR and Now Threatens Putin, Moskovsky Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Mr. 7 – Laughter has saved Russians again and again, Pavel Moskovsky said. Jokes and the laughter they provoked undermined Khrushchev and Brezhnev and contributed to the demise of the Soviet Union. Now, he continues, it is continuing to play this role and threatens Putin and his system as well.

            The Radio Svoboda commentator says that like the Soviet regime, the Putin one gives the population a great deal to laugh about; and when they laugh, they deprive those who rule Russia of legitimacy, even if the latter have the coercive resources to hold on for a time (svoboda.org/a/smeh-nad-putinym-pavel-moskovskiy-o-noveyshem-oruzhii/32848555.html).

            Putin’s latest contribution to this self-destructive pattern is his upcoming re-election. Moskovsky’s grandson asked why there have to be elections if the victory of one person is pre-ordained. The best the commentator could respond was that “you’re not  the only one asking that question.”

            “If you think about it, the children of today are precisely the ones who will bury the current government,” Moskovsky says. Like Brezhnev’s, “the Putin regime is aging and becoming ridiculous; and even his attempt to portray himself as a terrible threat now evokes a smile” or even a laugh, although hardly a happy one.

            And that laughter, his words suggest, is especially corrosive because Putin himself has no sense of humor. Unlike Brezhnev, there is no Krokodil, only criminal charges about fake news concerning the current system.

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