With the three Pussy Riot members still in jail (apparently the whole Free Pussy Riot thing in the West didn’t do much, which is disappointing to say the least), and the world abandoning the cause of Pussy Riot and fighting tyranny in Russia in favor of “trendier” causes of late, I still take the time to look into the whole thing and learn a little about the nature of tyranny in Russia.
I don’t think Russia was ever a very free country. From the Czars, to the Communist regimes, to modern Russia, it’s always been autocratic, and there is anti-individualist sentiment afoot in the country, as always. It’s reflected in the Pussy Riot trial where one guy (presumably a prosecutor) shouted that “lawlessness reigns in Russia”, and that the Pussy Riot members on trial should “repress their individuality”, “lick the judge’s boots”, and “become nothing”, in order to get a more lenient sentence. Another example of the sentiment is one found in Russia’s Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, who at one time kept blabbing on about combating “legal nihilism”. It sounds like meaningless crap, and it probably is, but it’s probably just something he uses as part of his preaching of the so-called value of law and order.
Russia, much like China, places value on social order over individual liberty, which finds its expression in recent times not just in the arrest of feminist punk rockers, but also in Russia’s recent crackdown on homosexual activity. Russia, it seems, has never caught on to the idea of gay rights, despite how massively gay Putin’s shirtless performances are. There’s also an intimate relationship between church and state in the country. The Russian government has a very special relationship with the Orthodox Christian church, and it seems orthodoxy and obedience to the government go hand in hand. You could compare it to America, except it’s a lot worse. Christians in Russia are certainly as annoying as Christians in America, and when they were protesting Pussy Riot, they harassed people. Hell, they actually believe that the Orthodox Church is the source of stability or structure in the country, and that without Orthodox Christianity “we’d all be dead”, thus the reason why they wear admittedly badass T-shirts that say “Orthodoxy or Death”.
Keep in mind though, it wasn’t always this way. When the Soviet Union took over and implemented their communist regime and policies, Orthodox Christianity lost influence. For example, in the 1930’s, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was demolished, and a public swimming pool was built where it once stood. After the fall of communism, however, the Cathedral was rebuilt, and eventually the relationship between Orthodox Christianity and Russian government came back.
You know something else? There actually exists a ultra right-wing metal band in Russia, I think it’s Corrosia Metalla, which, ever since the 90’s, was like a kind of spokesperson for the far-right, fascist, ultranationalist youth in Russia, and from what I heard about the band, they advocate that Russia rise up and become an empire and conquer the rest of Europe, and ultimately the world, and these guys didn’t really get in a lot of trouble there. I think that tells you all you need to know about the Russian government’s attitude towards music: you can be an ultranationalist far-right band promoting pretty much Nazism-like politics, but if you’re in a feminist punk rock band who questions the leader and the relation between church and state, you get arrested.
Going to back to the topic of gays, it could be argued that Russia is implementing a brutal crackdown on gays in order distract the country, and the rest of the world, from the fact that Pussy Riot members are still unjustly in jail, that there is a gross intimacy between church and state, and that the government is still very much an authoritarian mess that deserves to be annihilated. In this regard, Russia displays behavior typical of any authoritarian nation, or for that matter any government, since they wish to control as many people as possible. And is it any coincidence that the Western nations, or other nations in general, don’t seem to be fighting or opposing Russia at all? And no, publicly criticizing Russia doesn’t count as anything other than lying, since deep down they don’t oppose Russia’s tyranny.
What’s sad is the only part of Russian tyranny most of us are paying attention to is the crackdown on gays, and not everything else as well, such as what I already mentioned, and most people are most likely going to stop paying attention to it after it stops being trendy, even if it’s still going on. And so I end the post with a message: don’t abandon causes that are still relevant and still going on just because they are trendy.