Victor Shenderovich: SLOWLY, ONCE MORE
Do not beat me up for my words, please! Let me finish and then try to object. Let us put aside all the usual hysterics about me being a Jew, therefore russiphobic, my moral decay, my supposed mercenary motives etc.
Let us use our grey matter and to make the conversation meaningful let us agree a common system of moral co–ordinates.
Firstly, Motherland is not the same as the government. These two concepts are always different, even in Norway there is a gap between them.
In a case the government is an organisation of a questionable legitimacy, criminal and uncontrolled, interests of the Motherland and the government are diametrically opposite ( for example: in such cases as Hitler, Pol Pot, the President of Turkmenia– Turkmentbashi, The Kim dynasty etc)
To wish for the defeat of Hitler was а normal wish of a German patriot (do not mix him with a gestapo officer). To strengthen the power of Hitler was the same as to wish further disasters to the Faterland and to it’s neighbours. If we agree on this point, let us compare and analyse further.
The administration of Russia today is criminal, uncontrolled and illegitimate. In all key characteristics – the statistics of total corruption, lack of freedom of speech, lack of social security protection – Russia is in the company of countries with a backward political system. Power inside Russia was usurped long ago by a de–facto police regime, however it is decorated by some tokens of democratic institutions. It is pointless to argue whether the State Duma is a free Parliament and it is pointless to consider whether the Prosecutor General of Russia (Mr Chaika) as an office has anything to do with adherence to the Rule of Law. If you still labour under this illusion and wish to argue about it, please stop reading now.
So, inside Russia we have a classic authoritarian “regime”, that it is supported by the population is irrelevant: the population has no choice. This is one of the main identifies of such a regime. Outside Russia we have several territories annexed from neibouring states (to discuss the fig leaf of the legality of such annexations is pointless too as it was pointless to look into the legalities of the annexation of Austria under Hitler, of the Baltic states under Stalin and of Kuwait under Saddam).
Let us continue.
Never in history has an aggressive country with an authoritarian ruler, who has seized power and challenged the whole world, managed to succeed in the long run. All this military hysteria always ends up badly. Sometimes it happened as a result of world wars, sometimes it collapses under its own weight but never does it succeed.
The conclusion that we can make from all of this is that any strengthening of the criminal administration that is running amok through it’s PR victories, which results in further development of it’s power and capacities, is a direct existential threat to the Motherland. Therefore to wish for the damage and the defeat of such an administration is one’s patriotic duty. As you guessed I am talking about the World Cup.
I absolutely love football and have watched the World Cups since 1962. My life during such days is scheduled and revolves around it and spent predominantly on the sofa in front of TV. I support “Spartak” and it is very difficult for me to wish defeat to Cherchesov. But I have to.
I might even support England or France this time and this is why. Because no number of victories of the French team will let President Macron to usurp more presidential power.
No amount of English victory will add one single point to Theresa May’s rating as a Prime Minister. This is how it works in the free world. In England and France it is just a game. In our gullible latitudes however every goal becomes another syringe full of the euphoric political drug injected into the vein of an increasingly deranged population. It is a massive PR opportunity for Mr Putin as it was in the days of the tennis victories of Kafelnikov (our national leader has huge experience of appearing in the changing rooms of the victors and of being completely absent from the public eye during any defeat)
As for this World Cup, he is the victor anyway already. The Free World since the times of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher has relaxed it’s moral muscles to a completely indecent extent and is unable to provide any combined collective rebuke. Alas, we live in a strange world of a twisted idea of political correctness where Lionel Messi cannot play in Jerusalem but Mohamed Salah is OK to hug Kadyrov. This World Cup will serve to further strengthen Putin’s power. Do not be in doubt: all these happy millions who come to a jolly international carnival of football will serve as a means to increase his rating, to give himself a free hand with any lawlessness that will follow. There is even no need to wait. Oleg Sentsov - (Ukrainian film director and a political prisoner) is in a Russian gaol on a deadly hunger strike. Let his name to be associated as a grim reminder of reality with this wonderful football celebration as the persistent bloody spots were on the hands of Lady Macbeth.
The Berlin Olympics of 1936 were paid for later with the destruction of Coventry and Katyń massacre. I was writing about it four years ago as a forewarning during the Grand Opening of the Sochi Olympics. The Sochi Olympics were paid for later with the tens of thousands killed in Donbass and in the shooting down of the Malaysian Boeing jet. Do we want to test the law of causes and consequences further? OK, go ahead. The football celebration has began. “O Sport, You Are Peace!”
Shall those of us who survive a year later compare our impressions!