The New “Hooligans”

At Grani.ru, Lev Rubinstein considers the current wave of arrests, detentions and court hearings in Russia, all targeted at those who dissent from the Putin government’s harsh and repressive social policies. Whereas in Soviet times the principal accusation leveled at dissidents was that of being “spies”, the most common charge now is “hooliganism”. But unfortunately for the authorities the new “hooligans” don’t look, speak or behave like hooligans, especially when compared with their judicial tormentors:

Well, just go and attend one or two of these hearings. Just take a look at the faces of the accused and compare them with those of the judges, prosecutors, and  “victims of crime” who have suffered primarily from Mother Nature and from a lack of love in childhood.

What in the Soviet era was explained as a “class” difference, Rubinstein interprets in modern terms as an anthropological one:

Isn’t it because most of these new “hooligans” conduct themselves so honourably and bravely in the shameful courts and in the prisons, and because they are perfectly aware of their own value and of the value of those institutions.They are simply unable to talk to the goblins and gnomes in their language, that language called “cooperation with the investigation”. It’s an anthropological incompatibility.

….

No, what governs here is not only the “social imperative”. What rules here, as in a Greek tragedy, is not only fate, which has taken up residence in our great city behind red brick walls.

“Here, dear sir, is anthropology,” as some character from Dostoyevsky might say in this or another connection.

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