The Reichstag after its capture by the Soviet troops, 3 June 1945 (Image: Wikipedia)
Reaction has ranged from the bemused to the angry, but Andrey Movchan, a Moscow commentator has offered a reflection on his Facebook page that is one of most profound diagnoses of the nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russia to appear anywhere so far. Below is a translation of his complete text.
“Moscow is dealing with a report about the construction of a Reichstag for a new storming. And it seems to me,” Movchan says, “that this is a new universal meme in the sense that everything that Russia is occupied with today is the construction of a Reichstag within itself with the goal of then taking it.
“In this metaphor there is no unnecessary detail and nothing is left out: That is exactly what a super cargo cult should look like: you erect in the center of yourself something with the single goal fo then storming it and ritually destroyed.
“Freud should have called this collective masturbation with a rape fantasy (perhaps he didn’t, I’m not certain)” Movchan continues. “But of all our shortages which we have about, the main thing that turns out to be is a lack of enemies and victories – and thus have to turn backward to one from the past symbolized by the Reichstag.
“But what is most horrific is that our excitement reeks of necrophilia. We are not simply devotees of a cargo cult; we are an anachronism. We can’t even find an enemy for ourselves from our own era: We are building not a Pentagon, not a mosque in Mosul, not the palace of Kim Chen Un, not a Buckingham Palace, and not even Poroshenko’s dacha at the worst end.
“No, we are stuck in the dark middle of the 20th century, like a specter which died then and is condemned to wander forever in the fields of asphodels among other specters which died in its time.
“In Dante’s Inferno, there is a circle for false prophets and false teachers. There, in punishment for their leading people into pernicious error, they eek out their eternity with their head turned around toward their backs.
“Are not all of us already paying for the false teachers who were given birth by Russia in the 20th century and are we not condemned eternally to pretend that we are moving forward, with faces turned around on their necks and gazing backward where in the rear are the increasingly indistinct outlines of the Reichstag?
“We all are trying to take it yet another time as it recedes ever further from us …”
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