Govern Me Harder, Daddy!

Do not try to rescue someone who doesn’t want to be rescued! 

I know, it’s hard to witness “just another” freedom fighter being murdered in Russia. The news are supersaturated, the “free world” is “appalled” or “horrified”, other states are only “concerned” or “shocked” (Oh, dear!) and some others, more or less economically or politically dependent, or – why not?! – like-minded, keep a low profile and remain silent. Are you interested to read “one more text” about this stuff? It’s counterproductive. The guy knew he’s going to be killed one way or another, so he made the idealistic move to die like a hero and become a martyr, hence remaining eternal for some time in the collective memory (about 3 days) and in the contemporary history (a bit longer). He could have chosen to stay in the West, but sooner or later he would have been eliminated, as there is no place to hide when Russia really wants to kill you. He knew the game is over, so he came to be tortured and slayed in his own country. This is how things stay in a tyrannical country: there are rules you must obey, and if you don’t, and you repeatedly annoy the authorities, you get yourself killed. So, you either play by the rules (and the customs) of the land, or you don’t play at all. It’s, in a way, fair game.

Yes, I know, you are in love with concepts like “justice” or “freedom”. Yes, it would be nice if these concepts would apply everywhere in the world. But they don’t. Yes, they are at the foundation of the Western World: the rule of law is generally respected and you are basically free to do whatever you want as long as it’s legal. Given the obvious technological and spiritual advantages of the Western model of society, some might question why the Russians never adhered to the same values. Have you ever pondered on this? Why the Russian population does not simply change the model by collectively revolting against its autocratic leadership?

You could say that they’re afraid and their survival instinct stops them. Yes, it’s true. But there is something else though, something few people seem to understand: comfort.

A dictatorial society (paradoxically) provides security, stability and enables you to successfully anticipate and plan your life. You know where you are all the time, you have certitudes regarding your future, you are not stressed by the Unknown, you don’t have to be responsible for your life because others have already decided what you should do or what you are allowed to do. If you want to move upwards on the social hierarchy, you know exactly where you should place your bribe and with whom you must “talk”. You even know the price. You don’t have to be stressed by so many variables, you don’t have to go through a contest so as to prove your professional worth or personal value. You just follow the rules, and if you are ruthless, you can place yourself, and later your family, into a position of power that guarantees success. Yes, it’s about power; it’s always about power in dictatorial societies.

Suppose you want to have a family, children, whatever, and you are self-centered: you need stability. You don’t care too much about freedom or justice, you just want to get things done and have what you want. And a predictable society – a stable society – a dictatorial one – is better than any society based on competition, regardless of how free it is. And as long as you obey the unwritten rules of the tyranny, you’re safe. Just ponder a bit on this argument, even if you’re not perhaps the type of person who would enjoy living under an authoritarian regime! There is some logic here.

Now, apparently, most Russians are not bothered by living in such a society. Frankly, it’s their choice. They prefer a predictable life, they prefer to be shielded (protected, but also isolated) from the wild world found outside their national borders. Can we blame them? No. And in the middle of this peaceful story, there are dissidents who come up with “odd concepts” such as freedom and justice. These rebels create havoc; it’s too much noise. Those who belong to the authoritarian apparatus, who have made financial and moral efforts (and compromises) so as to get there, will obviously be unhappy, because their “investment” in their future and the future of their families is at risk. Are they going to descent into the streets and participate in a movement on behalf of freedom and justice? Of course not. They will do everything that stays in their power so as to protect the System and the tyrant. So, therefore, a question might arise now: Is it so smart to rescue a population that does not want to be rescued?

For a psychological-trained eye, especially if one is sufficiently intuitive, the Western society and the Russian society are governed by very distinct forces. The Russian one resembles to a kindergarten where kids are looked after by protective caretakers, who also happen to be tyrannical in nature. There is a high degree of complacency while living in a safe place (or comfort zone), out of harm’s way. There is also a missed opportunity to truly grow up, but who cares?!… Occasionally, the ruling parental figures shift from nurturing to critical, punishing, even lethal parents, but generally, if the kids obey the rules, everything is fine. On the other hand, the Western World is not structured in a polar way (kids versus parents), but rather similarly to a contest between grownups (adults) taking place in a sporting arena, where the best wins (or, to put in literally, everyone is “free” to win in a “justice”-based competition). It’s true that lately the West is also turning into a different kind of kindergarten, where the adults have given up their responsibilities and there is no growth but solely kid’s entitlement, but this is another story. You get the two pictures? Take some time to reflect on what might fit you better!

Personally, since I believe that growth and progress are good things, I favor the Western society where I can be an adult. But my view is not the only valid one; that would be a sign of arrogance. Some people prefer to remain children forever. And the title of this article – thought-provoking as it is – points out to the fact that some people enjoy very different phantasies. Many people are not stirred by abuse-flavored wild dreams. However, some are.

How hard would you fancy be governed?