Russia Must Choose Freedom

Friday, 17 Feb 2012 11:42 AM

By Lev Navrozov

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These days we are living in a world in which political developments in Russia are of great importance to the entire world. Why?

Before the revolution of October 1917 Russia had been viewed as a country of great hope by those most enlightened in the world.

Dostoyevsky-painting.jpg
A portrait of the great novelist Dostoevsky hangs in a Russian cafe.
(Getty Images)
It is beyond argument in any enlightened environment that Russian culture — from Dostoyevsky to Chekhov — has a valuable contribution to make regarding the political future of the world.

But let us first see which of the Russian contributions were valuable to the world. First, we all believe in the importance of freedom.

This is connected to the word “democracy.” However, even that word is not sufficiently specific and broad enough for all societies.

Yes, all countries should be freed, and this freedom should rely on each country’s conceptualization of a best future.

Our ancestors in Russia have done a great deal to create the worst society possible for human life.

In other words, it is necessary to add that which makes life meaningful for every human being to what is most essential in all of human life — for everyone to live their lives as freely as possible.

There are many people who are ready to describe their vision for that which is absolutely necessary for life.

But in their attempt to speak for an entire population, they may by necessity leave some people out. Every individual should have a choice as to how they wish to live their lives.

The task is by no means easy. Mankind has devoted its best minds and souls to try to strike the proper balance of freedoms for at least a millennium.

Russia has been endowed with a rich and gifted people. But its political existence has been marked by a dark side.

Autocracy is not the best form of government. The entire population of Russia must have a voice and decision in social and political discussions.

Unfortunately, there was a tragic, disastrous turn for the worst in Russian history with the Stalin era and the ruthless denial of anything human.

Oddly, Stalin’s saturnalia came as a scientific delusion through the vision of a “German scientist” named Marx, who fled Germany which was insufficiently free — that is, not sufficiently “scientific” for him.

Hitler did not live longer than Stalin. After Hitler lost his war to Stalin, he committed suicide, while Stalin continued on until his death in 1953.

Today there is considerable discussion in Russia over the right person — ostensibly the most intelligent person — to lead the government.

A 1922 book in the United States proclaimed one’s intelligence to be dependent upon the intelligence of one’s brain.

So the human brain has been studied since the end of the 19th century — the search for the most intelligent person has been going on for over a century.

Such an approach to picking a leader may lead to a no less dangerous absurdity than to pick another Stalin —a ruthless dictator.

Therefore, to avoid any ambiguities, the choice of the most intelligent person to lead a country should be based on whether or not that person would — above all else — preserve the democratic rights of citizens and obey the rule of law, i.e., the country’s constitution.

It should not be based on anyone’s guess as to whether a certain candidate qualifies as the most intelligent person in the country.

Today, Russia is again confronted with a most important decision — to choose a leader who will defend the basic freedoms of its citizens, someone who will follow the rule of law and abide by the country’s constitution.

Lev Navrozov can be reached by e-mail at levnavrozov@gmail.com

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