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You have noright
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, 17 2011
Image“A man must fight for his own rights, if he does not wish to be crushed under a pile of obligations,” said Maxim Gorky from the mouth of Nil, the most progressive of the ‘Philistines’ in his play of the same name 110years ago. Since then, nothing has really changed, and today’s citizens (these same philistines) sit on their butts expecting that the rights, for which they are so eager, will fall down upon them from heaven. Instead, however, piles of guano, in the form of obligations, fall on their heads.

One of the favorite topics of conversation around today’s kitchen tables the social networking sites is when it is time to “get the heck out”. Timeto get the heck out of that horrible country where you, such a good person who got an unnecessary degree in college at taxpayer expense and doing paper or computer work or simply “create ideas”, drink in bars every Friday and on the weekends visit the mall and going bowling and curling. So, these evil people will not allow this wonderful you to live in Europe or the States, where you can have clean streets, white snow in the winter, and fish fresh-caught at sea by some sunburned sailor. Nomore traffic jams for you on the Moscow ring road, no more dirty slush underfoot, and no more summertime smog and perpetual fumes allabout.
The idea that the above words by Nil are the reason why they will not allow you to view Europe from out your window, rarely come to mind. Everything, that those who wish to “get the heck out” like about those civilized countries, is the fruit of centuries of struggle by citizens of those countries, their struggles for their rights. Theyare the result of treaties by members of those societies with each other, and of society as a whole with their government. These are struggles that never cease, even for a minute. Medieval guilds formed militias to fight against royal forces at even the slightest attempt to diminish rights determined by those treaties. Madrid prostitutes go out and demonstrate to demand permission to pay into the social security fund. British students fill the streets when they hear of increases in tuition.

Right on top of people’s heads in Moscow they build a shopping center in violation of every conceivable construction standard and capitalist residential law. People express their decisive protests on ‘Facebook’. Itis not known who and why they shut down traffic along a road on which each day travel tens of thousands of citizens. Citizens write “+1” on ‘Live Journal’. Theprovisional wife of the provisional mayor gets money from the city to build a road to an elite neighborhood that she is also building. Muscovites call up the radio stations and yell: HOWLONG?

When we do find some brave Napoleon of Notting Hill, who, unfurling his banner, rises to struggle against the most disturbing of problems, the story usually gets very sad. 99percent of the time, the hero has two choices, both of which are worse. Thefirst is social non-existence, which is the choice of an activist who has tired of failed attempts to get citizens to do anything. Evilhas won, and this mocked leader vows never to do that again. Thesecond choice is to join the ranks of professional fighters for an idea that they can only gain through defeat. Thisway is through copper pipes, tons of blackmail, betrayals of colleagues, and some bronze against your own face. Thehero wins his place in the system, and drags out a secure existence, sleeping through meetings of the next public council at the Ministry of DevelopingEvil.

The public plays a role most foul. Thatis, all of us together, and individually. Wesincerely dream of a hero in shining armor who beats crooks and thieves, but we are not ready to move even the tip of a fingernail to better our community life. Ata rally against that unnecessary shopping mall underneath our very windows that will embitter everyone in the neighborhood, all of 30people show up, half of which are simply out walking the dog. Fewer and fewer get involved in campaigns by ‘The Blue Buckets’ against absolute evil in the form of inequalities in traffic control.

Closing a school and turning the building into a kindergarten in order to keep promises to cut waiting lists for preschool is one bureaucrat’s gift to another. Parents whose children now have to go to a different school by bus are afraid even to give their names to reporters.

The excuses are well known: “it’s pure unnamed PR”, “everything’s already been decided”, “I would, of course, go out and protest, but what about my paid up fitness club fees?”, “only fringe groups and loafers go to rallies”, “what, me, do Isick or something?” this needs to be underlined.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, which was written by anyone and everyone, except for idiots, states categorically: “In a figurative sense philistines are people whose attitudes and behavior are characterized by selfishness and individualism, greed, political indifference, and lack of principles, etc. Seealso ‘Petty Bourgeoisie’.”

By Alexander Bogomolov
April 7th, 201100:42



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