Paul Goble June 13. 2021
Window on Eurasia – new series.
Staunton, June 11 – Because elites in Russia so obviously love themselves rather than their country, many ordinary Russians are ceasing to love it as well, leading to the rise of horrific social pathologies and raising questions about the willingness of the population to defend the country and ensure its survival in other ways, Said Bitsoyev says.
The propensity of Russian elites to move abroad raises questions about their willingness to return and defend Russia, and because ordinary people can see this, they are less inclined to patriotism than they used to be. That is leading to increasing cases of anomic violence and other tragedies, the Moskovsky komsomlets writer says.
But those are as nothing compared to the underlying phenomenon which they reflect, Bitsoyev continues. “Never in the history of Russia” have Russian elites focused more on foreign property than on their own people and has the government ignored the needs of the masses, he says (mk.ru/social/2021/06/11/chp-rossiyskogo-masshtaba-elitu-otdelyaet-ot-naroda-propast.html).
When the USSR existed, people were proud of being Soviet citizens, but today, “who of us, being in Europe or the US boasts he or she is from Russia? Instead, we remain silent so as not to ‘stick out.’ This isn’t a reproach; it is a statement of bitter fact. And it reflects the behavior of the elites and the government that supports them rather than the people.
“We are eternally trying to convince ourselves that no one loves us, that everyone is aferaid of our rebirth, strengthening, and ‘rising from our knees.’ But do we love ourselves?” Is our population ready to do what is necessary to ensure its survival and even, God forbid, to defend it in the event of a war? The answer is not obvious.
Unlike in the past, “no one says that we must be concerned about the ordinary man and the improvement of his life and existence.” Instead, the government talks about the country as a whole and takes care of the elites which are parasites on the life of the government and of the population.
“What is the most horrible thing of all is that this ordinary individual, this citizen, this so-and-so, this salt of the earth Russian isn’t talking about this either,” Bitsoyev continues. “For he sincerely believes” that what is is what should be. “This is ‘our Russian cross and we must bear it to the end.’”
Given all this, he argues, “the country risks continuing toward a demographic abyss and thus remain at the end without the human potential needed at least for economic growth.” Countries with real economies rather than state-subsidized monopolies don’t have corruption and don’t have this problem, Bitsoyev suggests.
He mentions that when he visited a Swiss policeman, the official told him that he had had a serious crime not long ago, a fight in a discoteque! No Russian would describe that as a serious crime given how many far more horrible actions are occurring. One of the worst occurred recently in the village of Lozhkari in Kirov Oblast.
There, four young children were burned alive in a five “while their mother drank vodka with a friend.” What makes this particularly unfortunate, the Moskovsky komsomolets writer says, is that it really didn’t surprise anyone given how many more similar cases Russians can report out of their own experience.