Trading On Fear

Valery Solovei on the changing social contract with the Regime:

This is the agreement the authorities offer to society.

From 2003 to 2014 there was an “economic” social contract: the rejection of democracy and freedom in exchange for enrichment and the growth of material aspirations.

From 2014-2015 there was the “patriotic” contract: the rejection of well-being in exchange for Crimea and the restoration of past glory. This basically exhausted itself by the turn of 2015/2016.

It is time for a new contract. Support us or it will be much worse! -the authorities explain. What they mean by “worse” is “Maiden”, “the return of the accursed 90s”, “the intervention of the West”, “a civil war in Russia”. In professional jargon, this technique is called the “frightening alternative”.

And so that people will not be tempted to go beyond the alternatives introduced, they expanded the system of punitive sanctions: legal, administrative, political, ideological, cultural, and moral.

Like in the charter of the prison transport service: “step to the left, a step to the right is considered an attempt to escape. Is jumping in place considered a provocation”?


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