Glukhovsky: «Our life in the hands of a madman. And we who pretend not to see “

Dmitry Glukhovsky, the best-selling writer in Russia, is chased by an arrest warrant: in this article he explains how a generation that had not experienced the horrors of the purges is witnessing a fascist drift without finding the courage to protest

Dmitry Glukhovsky is the best-selling writer in Russia in the last 10 years, a very popular author among teenagers due to a post-apocalyptic saga from which a very successful videogame was made. Now – as written by Marco Imarisio, here – he is pursued by an arrest warrant, accused of having discredited the Russian Army: a crime punishable with a sentence ranging between ten and fifteen years of imprisonment. This is the text of his last article.

My generation did not know the repressions and mass purges, it did not witness the farce trials in which the angry crowd demanded the shooting of the traitors of the homeland, it did not breathe the atmosphere of universal horror, it did not learn to change, from evening to morning, his convictions, to believe on command both in the perfidy of yesterday’s allies and in the good intentions of historical enemies, for the sole purpose of justifying a fratricidal war.

My generation was not present during the moral and military prodromes of the two world wars.

The Soviet Union that we have known had already turned into a quiet pachyderm: by now it no longer sentenced to death those who refused to believe its basic lies, on the contrary, it allowed citizens to open private debates among themselves, sitting quietly in the kitchen. Nor did he demand more cheers when the heads of those who had been accused as “enemies of the people” rolled.

Nevertheless, all those who had known the past were not pleased at all in remembering it, and now we understand why. Because survival, in such circumstances, required above all a compromise with oneselfwith their own conscience.

Yes, we had to turn our backs, yes, we also had to applaud, and someone was even forced to carry out death sentences, willy-nilly, to avoid ending up on the gallows himself. People don’t want to remember these things, and more specifically, they don’t want to admit that they happened. It took courage not only to protest, but also to abstain, and it takes courage to rememberlater, as you too once – and perhaps more than once – chose to act to escape the threat that weighed on your head.

And today, to us, to those of my generation, things happen live on television that we would never have imagined seeing.

We are accumulating a surprising experience: an opportunity to understand why our grandparents and great-grandparents kept silent and endured, why entire nations fell into the abyss of madness, why peoples closed both eyes in front of tyrants who waged wars. world championships, why some have climbed the gallows without saying a word and others have accepted the task of lowering the blade.

Today we see with our own eyes how to dehumanize other human beings before annihilating them: through ridicule, defamation, the mangling of their words and motivations, denying them the dignity to feel and act as people.

We know well how predators camouflage themselves: the wolf tears off the fleece of the sheep it has just torn to pieces and uses it to disguise itself. We are learning to cultivate in our soul the indifference towards the injustice of when it is clearly happening before our very eyes: this does not concern us, and perhaps we will not suffer the consequences, just keep your distance and don’t play with fire. After all, how do you feel empathy and compassion for all human beings on this earth! We are learning not to sympathize with the victim, but with the aggressor. If you take sides with the predator, then you will feel like you are on his side, next to him, close to him. It is like staying attached to the shark: there is nothing to fear, indeed, we could take advantage of some shred of meat that escapes its sharp teeth.

We are learning to close our eyes to the spiral of madness that has taken hold of our rulers and to share their positions.

As the attendant ne The good soldier Schweik by Jaroslav Hašek, who has absorbed and made his own the commander’s nonsense, we too have drunk their perverse conspiracy theories to the point of getting used to their taste that today we are clamoring for a new dose.

And after all, if you don’t believe them, who do you have to believe?
Isn’t it better to eat shit than to go to bed thinking your life is in the hands of an unleashed madman?
Is there perhaps a phenomenon called collective madness?

Yes, now we know how to keep our mouths closed, turn our backs, bow our heads and hold our thoughts tight, but we still have to learn how to push them away with our own strength. In order not to live in fear, in order not to feel cowardly or slaves, we must learn to firmly believe in what until recently appeared to all of us as a falsehood. We must learn to march together, to applaud on command, fully convinced, cheering when the enemies of the nation are put to death and getting a thrill of pleasure in listening to the speeches of our rulers. We must cheer wars, celebrate the bloodshed. Finding explanations and justifications, intoxicated by the betrayal of our brothers and the brutal reprisals launched against them. Pretending not to notice, and perhaps we really don’t realize it anymore, as our country has moved towards the fascist dictatorshipfollowing in his own footsteps, towards a destiny that, alas, we know all too well.

We did not want to investigate the past because we are sure we have left it behind. We thought that those atrocious and terrifying sensations would remain forever buried in the pages of the history books. Yet the number of ghosts who feed on grudges, evade the law and make claims against us is growing day by day. They tear the pages of those books, and from the dead and buried past they crawl forward to undermine the world of the living. They claim blood and are watered with the blood of those who live here and now. With our blood, red and hot, instead of the black and dried one. We will have to learn to think in unison and to walk framed, fearful of the curiosity of the neighbor and the noise of a car in the middle of the night; learn to kiss by drooling the icons and portraits of our leaders, faithfully believing in everything that will be proclaimed by the Solovievs and Tolstoys of this world as pure and legitimate truth, keeping our heads down in the constant terror of this non-life of ours: learning to do everything this…

Or learn to do the opposite: to preserve our memory and think about the future, giving up the rusts and refusing to live prisoners of the past.
Not to believe the lies and always claim the truth.
To raise their voices, argue, believe and fight for our dignity.

So far we have learned nothing from the experience of those who lived and died before us, to be able to do things differently. This is precisely why we still have so much to learn.

(Translation by Rita Baldassarre)


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