Tuesday, 15 January 2008

The Death of Russian Parliamentary Democracy

Assassinated journalist, Anna Politkovskaya, on democratic progress under Vladimir Putin- Time Man of the Year- in her posthumous book, A Russian Diary:

The checks and balances within the state vanished, and the only restraint was the President's conscience. Alas, the nature of the man and the nature of his former profession( major in the KGB) meant that was not enough.

One of the checks and balances being the sinking into abject propaganda of the mainstream press- which presumably explains why Putin would appeal to the ethos of a Western propaganda giant like Time- and Politkovskaya was the 13th Russian journalist to be killed in a contract-style killing since Putin came to power in 2000. Presumably just an extraordinary run of bad luck for journalists.
In a reference to the KGB's successor, the federal security service FSB, Viktor Shenderovich, a well-known radio and television commentator, said "The culprits will never be found, because the people who will be investigating this murder walk down the same corridors as those who ordered it."

Putin touchingly paid tribute to Politkovskaya the next day: "The degree of her influence on the country’s political development was insignificant. And her assassination harms the leadership a lot more than her publications ever did."


Neil Forsyth said...

She was a brave person. I sometimes wonder if I would be strong enough to take a stand against something if doing so threatened my very existence or, more importantly, the lives of my loved ones. Of course, I'd like to think I would. But I'm not so sure. Is an idea or the "truth" or "justice" or one's reputation always worth fighting for? I know it's not a simple question; there are so many factors that might come into play.

We'd all like to be heroes, but when the chips are down...

Are you brave, Andrew?

Neil Forsyth said...

Sorry, I meant to put "reputation" in inverted commas.

Anonymous said...

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Andrew K said...

And what must have made it far harder, given the very likely outcome of her stance, ie her murder, was that she was a mother of two. Though I presume they must have been a reasonable age. Alot easier to face the consquences without having to consider those ties.
Since noone gets out of here alive, as they say, I think in her case it certainly was worth living as she did. The inner state resulting from her surrendering her life-core & keeping her head down, would in itself not be worth living for.
There's that line also, "Greater love has no man than this, that a man gives up his life for his friends."