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Grigory Pasko: Dumbing Down Russia

“We were right to beat the crap outta them…” or The fruits of the moronization of the population Grigory Pasko, journalist Если Вы хотите прочитать оригинал данной статьи на русском языке, нажмите сюда. A couple of days ago I went to visit a professor friend of mine – to talk about life, to hear his opinion about what situation the civic ecological organizations oppositional to the Kremlin are now found (watch this blog in the near future for the text of my conversation with him). I waited a long time for the streetcar: public transit in Moscow works very badly. I had to catch a privateer [Every car driving down a Russian street is a potential informal taxi with whom you negotiate a price or who can simply decide he doesn’t want to take you—Trans.]. A Ford Focus pulled up. Behind the wheel – a young guy, maybe thirty years old. Five streetcar stops – 100 rubles, take it or leave it. All right, off we go. I tell him: 80% of Russians – are against America, could this be true? Does he enter into this number? “Of course!”, the coachman answers, “We were right to beat the crap outta them”. “Out of who?”, I ask. “You know, them…”, he replies with hesitation, “…the Americans”. sharys100508 Balloons in a trash bin – the party’s over? (photo by Grigory Pasko)

I think that a month of unrestrained anti-American hysteria on Russian television, and Russians will completely forget that it had been Georgia that they had «coerced to peace» and not the USA, and that they had rolled tanks onto the territory of the country called Georgia and not the US state of the same name.And another thought came to me: the fruits of telepropaganda had grown and fully ripened in the brains of the zombified viewers after all.I don’t know whether or not one of the Russian newspapers has a column called “Ask Livshits”? After a newspaper the former Komsokolskaya Pravda worker took over at a newspaper, it became practically impossible to read this newspaper. However, that column was interesting in that a competent person was expressing his opinion in it. That is, the opinion of a person who knows the subject under discussion is interesting to me. And the contrary: when they ask the opinion of a pre-programmed idiot, why must I believe this opinion, or, more than that, be guided by it in life?Approximately 59% of Russians consider that the foreign policy of the country is «effective», while 82% – that Russia must try to become the most powerful country on earth. Thus consider the participants in a recent survey conducted by the Foundation of Public Opinion of the city of Moscow. The majority of Russians likewise now consider that confrontation with the west does not represent a threat to internal stability. In the words of VTsIOM director Valery Fedorov, this is reminiscent of Orwell’s novel «1984», where “war is peace”.About the effectiveness of foreign policy. After the recognition by Russia of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkazia in this opinion with Russia came together Nicaragua and, I believe, Srpska Krajina – a strange formation inside Croatia. And that’s it. Well, besides Hezbollah and Hamas. Even Byelorussia did not support the neighbour, and that’s not even mentioning the countries entering into the strange blocs like the SCO or the CSTO. (Byelorussia is counting on the support of the West in the event of an intensification of pressure on the part of Russia. Alexander Lukashenko declared about this in a conversation with British and German journalists in mid-September). That is, the result of Putin’s (who else’s could it be?) foreign policy of the past 8 years has become the obvious isolation of Russia from the countries of the entire world. China is friendly with Russia no doubt because this is advantageous for China itself, and not because it likes Putin and his team.I also want, like the people surveyed, for Russia to try to become the strongest country on earth. But not at the expense of daily dubious, often phoney, military exercises and cruises by military ships to Venezuela, but on account of the construction of good roads throughout the entire country, the laying of gas pipelines throughout the entire country (and not just along the bottom of the Baltic Sea in the direction of Germany), on account of uninterrupted electric supply to all the towns and villages throughout Russia (and not only in Moscow and St. Pete…).If “the majority of Russians consider that confrontation with the west does not represent a threat to internal stability”, then why do Putin with Medvedev never seem to tire of telling us about how the financial crisis – is the spawn of western scheming? If we’re so independent, then what does the west with its crises have to do with us? And how are these survey participants now going to explain the wild inflationary spiral, the fact that all goods and services within the country have become more expensive?And another thing about surveys. In the opinion of the «Levada-center», 67% of Russians – have a bad attitude towards the USA, and 23% – a good one. In so doing, 45% of Russians relate well towards Europe, while 39% – badly. The typical Europhile is a female Muscovite 18 to 24 years old, with a higher education, owning property, while a typical anti-American – is a technical school graduate over 55 years of age from a small town. But I’d like to know more about those girls! For example, just how many 20-year-old European girls own property of their own? Who are these Russians – valuta-prostitutes?In the 46 years of my life, I have been surveyed twice – by telephone about what television show I’m watching at the given moment. And both times I wasn’t watching TV, but was reading a book. I’m curious: did the person who phoned me take my opinion into account or did he simply ignore it? What I’m driving at here is that no matter how much I might want to, I’m simply unable to believe the results of surveys. I don’t believe them, just like I don’t believe the results of the elections taking place in the Russia of the times of Putin.…As to hatred of America – come on, this is an ancient propaganda amusement of the Soviet/KGB employees of the ruling state apparat. There’s nothing new in this. All the more so given that it’s always easier to hate than to try and outperform intellectually, than to try and actually build something of your own in your own country. For example, roads…