Streetwise Professor

December 2, 2007

Get Your Mind Right

Filed under: Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 4:46 am

This is one creepy statement from an interview with Oleg Shvartsman of Finansgroup:

This structure was created in 2004, after President [Vladimir] Putin said that big business should have a social responsibility to the state. At that time our colleagues from the FSB decided that an organization must appear that will incline, bend, torment, and lead the various and sundry Khordokovskies toward social activeness.”

This reminds me of the treatment of Winston Smith in 1984. Or perhaps better yet, it reminds me of The Captain in Cool Hand Luke:

You run one time, you got yourself a set of chains. You run twice, you got yourself two sets. You ain’t gonna need no third set ’cause you’re gonna get your mind right. And I mean RIGHT.

Shvartsman’s statement drips with irony–intentional or unintentional, I know not. For it is obvious that it was social activeness that was Khodorkovsky’s downfall. But not the right kind of social activeness. And just as The Captain was making an example of Luke (“(To the other inmates) Take a good look at Luke. Cool Hand Luke?”), Putin and the FSB were making an example of Khodorkovsky for others who might have thoughts of the wrong kind of social activeness. And from the looks of things, the example was well taken.

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