December 11, 2011
In Russia: "I want new elections, not a revolution."
Decades-long totalitarianism casts a long and powerful shadow. It keeps good people wimpy but "smart" long after free elections and other democratic engines are triumphantly installed. Visit Moscow, Prague, Budapest--and even towns in eastern Germany. Caution and endearing caginess: it's all there in gestures, speech, eye movements and personalities of entire families. For too long they were told what to think, where to work, what to say, what to write. But Russia, the Big Dog in all this, might be changing. In a country and culture where since 1917 no one likes to diss The Man--ever, for any reason, and even after the institution of elections in June 1991--Russian citizens might be finding a voice. See, e.g., MSNBC's "Russians Stage Mass Protests Against Putin" on the perceived election-rigging in Russia earlier this month and general revolt against Vladimir Putin and his younger sidekick Dmitry Medvedev. What these protesters are doing takes big ones--and Spirit. Russian Spring is something we all should watch.
Posted by JD Hull at December 11, 2011 02:30 PM