Article Putin grabs rule for life in ‘biggest con of the century’ in The Times by Marc Bennetts, March 15 2020. Here is my comment.
All quiet on the Eastern Front?
This article, like many others of this type, simply tells the story as the Russian power machine wants it to be told. All the usual suspects are in their usual places. There is the omnipotent ruler, his supporters, unverifiable data of a meaningless poll, some completely insignificant details, a small band of protesters, a meaningless slogan. What have we learned from the article? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
This type of writing is based on the premise that the same basic principles can be applied to the description of reality in Russia as in the countries of the West, completely ignoring the devastating effect of the last hundred years in Russia. The Russian state has been catapulted by the bloody 1917 revolution and its genocidal consequences into a completely different geopolitical orbit. The rocket of Communist terror and mass murder lifted the population into a different part of sociopolitical space.
The political system exists only as a spectacle, a shop window, where decorations are changed from time to time, mannequins are moved around. This kind of journalism relates the motions seen through the shop window, nothing else. As a source of understanding anything significant about Russia, it is useless, although I do not consider the article’s author dimwitted, not at all.