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A Few Words About Pussy Riot

A Few Words About Pussy Riot

I’ve never heard their music.  It doesn’t matter.

There is nothing more odious, nothing creepier, nothing more outrageous than the jailing of people whose only crime were in thought, writing and expression.  It is the cornerstone of a free society–which Russia is clearly not–that all people have the right to express their views, and that right, contrary to some so-called anti-“hate speech” activists, is exactly the right to express an unpopular view.  As Rosa Luxemburg once said, “Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently.”

This was a trial that took place as live streaming was barred from the courtroom and the defendants faced a 1% chance of acquittal against a transparently political charge of “hooliganism” against the regime.  Putin’s Russia is not unlike the Russia of his KGB youth when he could bully opposition into submission with threats of violence and imprisonment.  It is clear to anyone paying attention that Putin is a thug, a criminal, a fascist, a liar, and a thief.  The mere fact that he continues to strangle Russia with his barbaric klepto-theocracy is a testament to the failure of the world to end such shenanigans once and for all, and of freedom to assert itself in the face of tyranny.

What’s even more outrageous about the harsh sentence of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” is the pretext for their condemnation, the so-called hatred of that entrenched, easily offended and all too powerful Russian Orthodox Church.  Clearly the “blasphemy” of Pussy Riot is the true crime here, and why not?  History has shown us that any time a church has any power in society it uses its power to imprison the conscience of others, with “blasphemy” the catch-all crime that rolls political and religious opposition into one offense.  How scary for the Russians that their leadership is under the so-called moral authority of a fascist dictatorship that uses its monopoly on the truth to bully free thinking opponents?

And how outrageous that 20 years after the fall of communism, the same creeping statism continues to infect and destroy individual liberty in Russia, to the point where not a peep of support for Pussy Riot has been heard from their fellow musicians whose own survival depends on keeping quiet and complacent.  Well, they just lost their rights today, too.

Amnesty International considers Pussy Riot prisoners of conscience, and they are correct.  It doesn’t matter what sort of “hatred” they preach (even if it is a justified hatred against a corrupt theocracy)…if a band is being put in jail because of what they sing about, the world has suffered a devastating blow to freedom.

August 17, 2012Comments are DisabledRead More