“Russia Lacks Critical Mass of Free Intellectuals Needed for a Civil Society”
Moscow commentator Irina Pavlova said Russia lacked “a critical mass” of free intellectuals needed to play “the decisive role in the establishment of civil society and democracy.” This “intellectual and moral crisis,” about which few speak, “is no less dangerous than the economic one” about which all are talking, she added.
Russia’s intellectual community has deteriorated thanks to the despotism of the Soviet past and the willingness of most of its members to serve those in power rather than their principles. “In Russia, [free-thinking intellectuals] are not the rule but the exception and their fate to a large degree is tragedy because society rejects them,” Pavlova said.
“The critical mass of free intellectuals does not exist in [Russia],” Pavlova said, “and in the immediate future it is hardly likely to appear,” given that the regime has managed to transform most of those with educations into “mankurts” rather than allow them to develop as free thinking leaders of a free people.