Happy in their tinfoil houses

I have translated a blog entry by Natalia Samorukova, a Russian artist who lives in France. The title is “Why there’s no point in mounting barricades”. I’m not happy about the way she talks about the mentally ill but that’s not my choice.

I’m going to say it – I’m seeing this too often in my friend feed: “Why don’t you, Russian brothers, go man the barricades?”

I’ll tell you why. Any struggle must have a goal and a motive, plus at least a minimum chance of success. I know something about this situation from the inside – I have relatives, friends and buddies you’d call vatniks; and I call kin or kith. One doesn’t get to choose them and I won’t dump them whatever their views. [Based on that knowledge] I am perfectly sure: an overwhelming majority of the population do not need that [the barricades]. It’s not that they have not matured enough: they dwell in an altogether different world and so far they are comfortable there.

Yes, that world is pretty much like a lunatic asylum. But suppose you come to a real-life mental ward and try to explain to the loonies that you’re going to tell them about a better life and patients’ rights. Then you’ll put up quick little barricades in the corridor. Can you imagine that?

Who’s going to be the greater fool, you or the crazies?

To go die for someone who rejects you, your way of life, and your convictions – fiercely and sometimes quite consciously? No, thank you. Honestly. Also, that crowd, those simple souls will rip any protest to shreds before police arrive.

It’s a critical moment and everything is going to change. Very fast. But right now, apart from one-person pickets… I don’t know what I can suggest. Probably nothing. Protect yourself, your kids and whoever you can… And of course defend prisoners of the regime by all possible means, with pickets, with money, with words.

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