Sacrilege at Seliger
Vladmir Putin is no stranger to hypocrisy. For example, though calling the USA a “parasite” whose economy is not based on productivity and which therefore is unreliable and harmful, under Putin Russian investment in the US economy has increased by a stunning one thousand six hundred percent.
Putin deals with hypocrisy of this kind they way Soviet rulers like him always have: He lies to his people, seeking to cultivate a nation of thoughtless automatons who can do nothing but worship at his feet. It all begin with the youngest, at summer camp, the way it always did in the USSR.
In the photo above, two participants in the Kremlin’s Hitler-Jugend variant, Camp Seliger (one with a bra with eyes drawn on the outside of her t-shirt) walk past a billboard showing the faces of Dmitri Medvedev and Vladimir Putin weirdly fused into a single person, with the explanation “they are interchangeable.”
Elsewhere at the installation, campers walk by a row of photographs of Garry Kasparov, Mikhail Kasyanov, Boris Nemtsov, Eduard Limonov and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, under the banner: ”Losers of the Year.”
The images confirm that Khodorkovsky is a political opponent of the Kremlin’s just like the others, and they accuse the first three of being like the other two, one a crazed racist extremist and the other a convicted criminal, despite the fact that none of the three has ever been convicted of anything and has never once spouted any racist or nationalist nonsense.
The LA Times reports:
Not far from some graffiti depicting a kimono-clad Putin holding the globe in his arms, another group was asked to discuss various concepts. “OK, how about the notion America”? the instructor asked. “America is to blame for everything,” came one student’s quick reply.
That’s right, everything. As for the former prime minister and former first deputy prime minster of Russia?
Critique is welcome here, said Vasily Yakemenko, founder of the Nashi youth group and head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs that runs the camp, insisting that the camp was open to all opinions. He said he wished more lecturers of liberal views would visit. But he quickly added that opposition leaders such as Garry Kasparov, Boris Nemtsov, Mikhail Kasyanov and others are personae non gratae as they “don’t profess true convictions.”
That’s right, they don’t profess true political convictions. Who does? Yakemenko would not say.
We cannot decide which image from Seliger is the more terrifying. Is it the horrifyingly morphed imagine of Putvedev, a mutant creature that the Seligerites seem to view not just as normal but as inspiring? Or is it the lineup of opposition figures, including two former high-level members of the regime itself, being officially condemned by the regime just as was done in Soviet times? (In fact, Putin is running Russia by means of a Politburo just as was done in the USSR, and has even brought back the music of the national anthem of the USSR).
Whichever one shocks you more, the ultimate conclusion is inescapable: Russia is a nation which steadfastly refuses to learn from its past. It is a nation that dos not consider itself capable of anything better than totalitarian dictatorship, a nation whose people do not want to make their own decisions because they do not think they are qualified to do so, a nation content to be ruled by leaders who are less and less connected to reality because nobody can criticize or challenge them.
A nation run this way is not long for this world.