The regime has a problem: people have lost their fear
Anvar Usmanov, writing on Civitas.ru, draws attention to the words of Russia’s Prosecutor General, Yuri Chaika, to President Dmitry Medvedev: “People have lost all fear.” (Chaika was speaking about people who flount the newly-imposed strict rules on gambling.)
The regime seems to think that all our problems are due to the fact that people do not have a sense of fear anymore. People play in the casino, drive foreign cars, go on holiday abroad, drink Coca-Cola, suck on Chupa Chups, eat Big Macs. No fear whatsoever.
Things were quite different under Uncle Joe: people marched in rows and straight lines, singing to the tune of patriotic marches, built water canals, and no one ever thought of losing their sense of fear. People feared alright.
Fear is what the regime wants. Fear is the basis of our system of government. How easy and convenient to rule over people who are paralysed by fear. The regime dreams of being able to bring everything to order with just a few words, preferably with a slight Georgian accent.
Remember the standing ovation Putin received from the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) after the arrest of Khodorkovsky? The leaders of Russian business thus demonstrated their fear. Putin worked hard to impose this sense of fear in society and individual consciousness.
The regime has truly succeeded. We do fear those in power. We are afraid of the police, we are afraid of claiming our rights, we are afraid of joining trade unions, we are afraid of joining street protests, we are even afraid of creating order in our own courtyard.
Fear is a powerful feeling. It forces us on our knees and to kiss the boot of those in power. Yet fear will never make us into men. I am not talking about becoming informed and prosperous; that is all gone. I am talking about becoming just human beings.
Fear deprives people of their dignity, self-esteem, of the realisation that everyone is unique and that one should therefore strive to do good, learn, and understand. Without fear, which paralyses one’s will and soul.
Fear not. Are we men or not?
Анвар Усманов, 05.08.2009