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Russia is now really dead, it is a corpse

“Russia is already really dead. It is a corpse. There can be no democracy in Russia. There has never been democracy there, never,” says the famous Russian writer Viktor Erofeev. According to him, Putin attacked Ukraine out of boredom, reports “Mother well“.

What do Russian intellectuals think about the future of their country? The writer Victor Erofeev has lost all hope. And the psychologist Leonid Gozman warns that too many Russians remain with an authoritarian worldview. We summarize their opinions here.

Culture and science, to which Russia owes its existence, have “collapsed” and “human potential has been exhausted.” This is what the famous Russian writer Victor Erofeev says in an interview with “Novaya Gazeta Evropa”, quoted these days by the German “Bayerischer Rundfunk”. According to the intellectual, it is a miracle that Russia managed to survive for so long. This is due to its “inertia”, explains Erofeev, adding that he does not expect anything good from the future, even after Putin: “There can be no democracy in Russia. There has never been a democracy there, never. After 1905 there was a bit of democracy, but nothing came of it.”

“Russia is dead. It’s a corpse.”

Erofeev is the son of a former Soviet cultural attache in Paris, a translator of Stalin’s works and one of the most famous contemporary Russian writers. He is the author of novels and essays such as “The Last Judgment”, “The Good Stalin” and “The Russian Apocalypse”. “In my opinion, Russia is now really dead. It is a corpse,” says the writer and admits that he has lost all faith in the future of his homeland.

Asked whether in the early 1990s there were no conditions for the emergence of democracy in the country, the author answers: “It was a liberal empire, there was no real democracy. There was a liberal Tsar Gorbachev, then Yeltsin – before the war with Chechnya. Yeltsin too he was not European. I knew Gorbachev well. We couldn’t say we were friends, but we communicated amicably. He was a very nice, somewhat naive and idealistic man. But when he retired, he admitted that he didn’t understand many things.”

“Putin attacked Ukraine out of boredom”

Erofeev believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin attacked Ukraine out of “boredom”. “Look at his bored face. I looked at a whole collection of his photos and realized that he comes alive only when he holds a weapon in his hand. Then his eyes light up, he looks happy. A little when he’s on a horse, but not so much,” says Erofeev and adds , that Putin relied on the mentality of his compatriots, which “really is partly slavish.”

Another Russian intellectual, the psychologist and dissident Leonid Gozman, is also skeptical about the future of the country after the eventual end of the Putin regime – because of those millions of Russian voters who, according to him, would support a dictatorship in any case.

It’s about people who are convinced that Crimea belongs to us and that the West, led by the US, wants us dead and therefore forces us to defend ourselves,” says Guzmán, and continues: “These are not some criminals who should be punished , but quite ordinary people who, due to not particularly high intelligence, poor education, passivity, dependence, life in an exhausted information environment, have created such an inadequate idea of ​​the world. And their worldview will not automatically and radically change just because lies and hatred are no longer pouring from the screens. The power of belief in totalitarian phantoms should not be underestimated.”

The Dragon, Pushkin and the Balloon

According to Gozman, the liberal opposition in Russia has failed to make contact with precisely those voters who need a “dragon” at the top of power. “Even democratic countries face the longings of some of their citizens for dictatorship and restriction of freedom. Trump, Le Pen, “Alternative to Germany” and many others did not appear out of nowhere,” says Gozman and lists other shortcomings of the opponents of the Russian regime. According to him, they do not have a concrete idea about the future of the country, are insufficiently emotional, behave haughtily and arrogantly and mostly reside in their own “bubbles”, which they mistakenly consider “representative”, says the psychologist.

The worship of power in Russia has deep roots. A telling example is a plot from the lectures on the history of Slavic literature by the Polish writer and publicist Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855), in which he tells about the metamorphosis of the once rebellious and rebellious Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. It is said that after an audience with the tsar, the intellectual was so fascinated by his personality that he gave up any ideas of revolution: “He told his foreign friends (because he did not dare to admit it to the Russians) that after the conversation with the tsar about him it was simply impossible to remain his opponent”.

Anarchy after tyranny

The American political scientist Robert D. Kaplan warns in his turn about the problems that arise after the end of totalitarian regimes. In his analysis, Kaplan writes, among other things: “Even when democracy succeeds, it is not born overnight – not in countries without real traditions in this regard. Years of upheaval often follow. In Russia, the years after the collapse of the Soviet Union were a time of rampant crime, economic chaos, and poorly implemented reforms that left some 70 percent of Russians living at or below the poverty line. It was from this maelstrom of dysfunctional democracy that Putin eventually emerged,” comments Kaplan, warning, “As the more destructive a tyranny was, the greater the anarchy that followed.”

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