My comment on the article Hard rain as 100,000 defy autocrat’s police in Belarus by Gareth Browne in The Times, 7 September 2020.
The ‘protests’ occur, because that’s what political technologists agreed on. The Communist dictatorship has been painstakingly built over several generations by now. It is very well oiled and controlled in all spheres of life. It doesn’t need to project a ‘1984’ image.
The trick is to make people outside, especially in the West, believe that change is taking place.
Journalists get a pret a imprimer story. Everyone seems to be happy. So happy, that a woman protest leader is strolling happily among waiting journalists, as if on a catwalk. Face happy. All smiles.
No tear gas, no quick dispersal of protesters. If you were running a dictatorship, I am pretty sure you would mobilize your forces to quickly suppress dissent.
Journalists ask no questions. They don’t even try. They don’t want to know and they make this decision apparently with the approval of their editors. The media are happy with the spectacle.
However, this is merely a spectacle, a performance. You are watching an open air theatre play. This spectacle is not about Lukashenko. It is about western media and the fairy tales they will print.
Thomas theorem: if men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.