Dissent as a personality disorder
Why did Putin feel the need to exploit the Orthodox religion and its aesthetic? After all, he could have employed his own, far more secular tools of power—for example, the state-controlled corporations, or his menacing police system, or his obedient judicial system. It may be that the harsh, failed policies of Putin’s government, the incident with the submarine Kursk, the bombings of civilians in broad daylight, and other unpleasant moments in his political career forced him to ponder the fact that it was high time to resign; that otherwise, the citizens of Russia would help him do this. Apparently, it was then that he felt the need for more persuasive, transcendent guarantees of his long tenure at the pinnacle of power. It was then that it became necessary to make use of the aesthetic of the Orthodox religion, which is historically associated with the heyday of Imperial Russia, where power came not from earthly manifestations such as democratic elections and civil society, but from God Himself.
Closing statement by Yekaterina Samutsevich, n+1, August 13, 2012
In the closing section of the verdict, Judge Marina Syrova read “psychiatric-psychological examinations” of Nadia, Masha, and Katya, as the women are known. All three were found to suffer from a “mixed-personality disorder,” a condition that included different combinations of a “proactive approach to life,” “a drive for self-fulfillment,” “stubbornly defending their opinion,” “inflated self-esteem,” “inclination to opposition behavior,” and “propensity for protest reactions.”
The New Yorker: The Pussy Riot Verdict, August 17, 2012
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