Meanwhile in Russia

I won’t be ranting about severity of the sentence for “Pussy Riot” activist group. Well, I am even not one of their supporters – I think that they acted like some stupid teenagers(although they aren’t teenagers per se), but it was interesting to watch the show trial. It showed the true colours of the current Russian regime. Pussy Riot

From the beginning it was obvious for pretty much everyone how the trial would end. I can’t resist to present a quote from the sentence:

Обвиняемые позиционируют себя как сторонников феминизма, то есть движения за равноправие мужчины и женщины. Но государство гарантирует равенство прав! Принадлежность к феминизму не является преступлением, однако несовместимо с православием, католичеством, исламом. И хотя феминизм не является религией, он вторгается в сферы, которые для религии значимы…  

It can be translated as:

“The defendants say that they are supporters of feminism, that is, the movement for equal rights of men and women. But equal rights are guaranteed by the state! Being a feminist is not a crime, but it’s incompatible with Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Islam. And although feminism is not a religion, it intrudes into areas that are significant for religion …”

What can we say about this sentence? I can say that it is obviously biased. Biased in a favour of religion. If you don’t believe me, it continues like this:

“Действия обвиняемых являются нарушением общепризнанных норм: использование бранных слов в непосредственной близости от икон и святынь, вторжение на солею и амвон, неподчинение охранникам… “

In English:

“Actions of the defendants violate the universally recognized norms: use of swear words in the immediate vicinity of the icons and relics, and the intrusion onto the soleas and ambon, disobeying the guards …”

Universally recognized norms? And this is coming from someone, who is supposed to be the face of the law in the secular country? Such a farce. News coming from Russia are more and more disturbing. Year after year I read them and the trend is pretty much obvious.

Some time ago, in the beginning of this millennium, Russian government chose a new strategy for the society’s development. After more than 70 years of atheism, they decided that religious propaganda proved to be a good tool in the past, so they reintroduced Orthodox Christianity as the main state ideology.

Despite its apparent flaws, it could, theoretically provide some advantages in the long run. Religious societies tend to be more united, more driven and easier to control. On the other hand, religions is the enemy of innovation. Visionaries, inventors and people, who challenge traditions, are ostracized and often prosecuted.

Previous Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, tried to appear as pro-innovation politician. His pet project – Skolkovo – should have reintroduced Russia as a major scientific center. But there was a huge flaw in this plan. You can’t be a scientist and a religious fanatic at the same time. By forcibly propagating Orthodoxy, by dropping math, chemistry and other natural science disciplines in the schools in favor of religion, you can’t expect to grow lots of scientists in the coming generations. Innovation requires one very important thing that many religiously fervent people lack – it requires open mind.

The current government’s strategy will suppress free thought, destroy creativity and banish visionaries. It’s a shame, because Russia has potential. Moscow could become a scientific center of the world, like Dmitry Medvedev envisioned, only if the government would change its course. If they will choose to continue on this course, if Putin will be pursuing current strategy, soon we will have another Iran on the globe – radical, closed-minded, dangerous to its neighbors. And the dreams about the scientific revolution will die…

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