THE PRICE OF SILENCE

03/03/2022

What you're watching unfold is what happened in every war since the beginning of time... silence. Today, it's the apathetic inertia of sanctioned and affected Russians. In a country of 146,000,000, only 3000-5000 made it onto the streets in protest in the last few days. Only a scant few journalists constructed a letter of unequivocal disapproval of invasion of Ukraine.

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What you're watching unfold is what happened in every war since the beginning of time... silence. Today, it's the apathetic inertia of sanctioned and affected Russians. The supine silence of their politicians and the Russian military. The fearful passivity and protectionism of hide by influential artists, scientists and intellectuals. The loud silence of elites with monetary concerns, the oligarchy. Russians are silent with a capital S, aside from a few brave souls.

In a country of 146,000,000, only 3000-5000 made it onto the streets in protest in the last few days. Only a scant few journalists constructed a letter of unequivocal disapproval of invasion of Ukraine.Who cut their tongues off? Who eliminate their public platforms? Or is the fear, the threat of 20-year imprisonment under the rule of their Tzar, so great that one retreats into a mute state, to hell with innocent lives? Could it be that most loathe Putin but can't even think it outside of their kitchen walls?The answers make absolutely no difference. It's too late. The mute public who sees and hears no evil to protect its own survivability doesn't have a chance. The chances are long gone.

20 plus years under Putin and no one seriously challenged the little man. Not when the KGB thug first came to power, not when he bombed apartment buildings, not when he gave himself political power and throne in perpetuity, not when he criminalized alternate sexual orientations, not when he assassinated members of political opposition, no when he helped himself to Crimea, not when he poisoned multiple unfavorable people abroad. No opposition for two decades. No opposition, period.

Make no mistake; the average Russian who lives in comparative poverty to a North American is stung hard. Their money is worthless, their borders are shut to the world, their hyperinflation is out of control. And that's for starters. Those that depend on making a living abroad (entertainers, musicians, comedians, athletes, etc.) are being cancelled faster than a Usain Bolt sprint. Are they directly responsible for Putin's actions? I think not. But they are responsible for their loud two-decade silence and looking the other way.

The same silence that plagued 85% of Germans during the decade-long rise of Hitler. The same silence that infected all of Europe during Hitler's trek through continental neighborhoods, with some (yes, Ukrainians, French and Poles) even joining with the moustache, to hell with the Jews and all that pesky morality.

Did the masses of just-under-a-billion strong protest during Mao's reign? How about Idi Amin's?Russians sat in fearful virtual silence during the reign of the most murderous man in history, Joseph Stalin. They've sat in silence under 70 years of another contagion; communism. They're sitting in silence today because it's too bloody late and because the Russian media has a strong grip on the average Russian's state of mind, no different than the leftist MSM in Europe and North America.

What this elucidates is the importance of time. Time when a bad apple enters a political arena with grand aspirations only to have the public discount and brush them off as insignificant or singularly off-putting. People like AOC, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and others, are not to be ignored. Their ascendance to power is dangerous. They will create silent masses. They will create Russia in our hood. And when it all goes to hell in a handbasket, we will sit silently too, no matter how many are dying, because our fear and desire to watch our children grow will supersede our morality one thousand-fold.

Nothing changes. Autocrats and tyrants are not born. They're meticulously invented by the silence of the apolitical, steeped-in-Pushkin public.

Valerie Sobel

March 2, 2022