MBK on the Anniversary of Putin’s Arrest of Navalny

January 16, 2022

The anniversary of Alexei Navalny’s imprisonment is a moment to remember Alexei and all political prisoners once again, and to express our support for them.

Once again, to tell the regime and all its actors, including those with pseudo-liberal credentials, that they are personally responsible for what is happening and that the score will no longer be reset to zero.

At the same time, I want to address a few fellow liberals: while still in prison I read your eulogy of heroes, and I still do. What I see is a desire to have someone ‘slay the dragon’ for you. I can see the terrible disappointment when it doesn’t happen.

It makes me wonder: do you realise that if your wish comes true and somebody does ‘slay the dragon’ for you, the disappointment will be even greater?

To become a professional ‘dragon slayer’ a person must either be a dragon himself to begin with or become one in the process. And their team will be a typical ‘dragon’ team, as well as their methods and goals.

It is naive to expect that a ‘hero’ will fight, while you will reap the dividends (in the form of freedom and democracy, at least – if it is freedom and democracy that you expect, and not servants’ work). We have already been through this with Yeltsin.

That is to say: it is OUR struggle against the regime that gives support to political prisoners, not the encouragement of THEIR heroism, not the expectation of new heroic deeds from them.