“If it weren’t for the bourgeoisie leaders who led tens of thousands of indignant people from the centre of the city, people would be boiling over inside the State Duma or the head quarters of the Central Election Commission. And the fact that we weren’t victorious today is the bourgeoisie leaders’ fault, the fault of the Pied Pipers,” wrote Eduard Limonov in his LiveJournal blog.
In other words, Limonov would have wanted us to have gathered together and taken the Winter Palace, or what’s that again? Ah, the State Duma.
Here’s my question: who, according to comrade Limonov, was supposed to take the State Duma? Me? Leonid Parfyonov, Sergei Gandlevsky and Grigory Chkhartishvili, together with their wives and children, whom we met up with before the protest? Maybe my businessman friend, with whom I went to Revolution Square where another ten of his friends were waiting for us, also businessmen, so that we could all go together down to Bolotnaya Square?
I flew back to Moscow on the eve of the protests and took a taxi home. The taxi driver heard me making arrangements for the protest and asked, “Did you vote?” “No, did you?” “Neither did I,” he said with a sigh, “So it looks as though both our votes went to United Russia.” “Why didn’t you vote?” I asked. “I had to work,” he said.
I’m telling you this because my taxi driver – a working, intelligent man – didn’t attend the protest rally because his daughter is sick and he needs to work, while Russia’s boorish and stupid didn’t go because they won’t go anywhere without getting 100 roubles, while at the same time they’ll take that same 100 roubles to attend Nashi protests. Our pensioners, meanwhile, didn’t go to the protest because they take the streets not when elections are rigged, but when their benefits are abolished in exchange for cash stipends.
I was just like any other participant at the meeting, just as I intended, and I saw whom the crowd consisted of. Excluding the small foreign flakes of professional, flag-waving revolutionaries, 80% of the crowd consisted of young managers. In layman’s terms, it was Russia’s third class: the bourgeoisie crowd.
They didn’t intend on storming the State Duma at comrade Limonov’s delight for the very reason that these people have their heads screwed on straight. Should comrade Limonov believe that this chance has been wasted, he himself could have gone and taken the State Duma, along with this three or five hundred supporters. But why didn’t they take it? He stood on the square and yelled that he wouldn’t leave until the riot police tied him up. The riot police, for their part, didn’t tie him up, and Limonov left.
And if he thought that Yulya Latynina, Kseniya Sobchak, Bozhena Rynska, Leonid Parfyonov and thousands of other successful, well-to-do and practical people would storm the State Duma for comrade Limonov, then sorry to say, comrade Limonov, but you still haven’t been appointed Churov and you are already crediting yourself with votes that no one has given you.
I am not going to speak for all the “thousand and thousands of indignant people.” As opposed to comrade Limonov, I will speak for myself. I never went to protest rallies because I figured that doing so was stupid. I went to this rally because it was an absolute must. I didn’t know what was going to happen, so I loaded up on chocolate and water. I figured that 15 days in prison, or say a broken hand, would really interfere with my life plans. It was irritating that if they were to haul me off to prison, then I would miss my broadcast, not go for my morning run and not jot down the latest piece for my book that I already had circling in my hand. But this is all peanuts: doing so would be the same as getting mad because you wouldn’t be able to eat your favourite cream cheese cakes because of your own wedding.
But if I were told that I must go storm the State Duma, then I wouldn’t have gone. What sense is there in that? To annul the elections results so that the comprador LDPR and Communist Party would get the chance to negotiate with the Kremlin not at the latter’s order, but for money? How about take a bullet for comrade Limonov? I won’t speak for Parfyonov or Sobchak, but somehow this wasn’t part of my plans in life.
I did exactly what I wanted, and I achieved exactly what I wanted. I am not sure that the same number of people will attend the protest on 24 December (I won’t make it since I will be on a flight), and yes, we won’t achieve anything except for getting the elections results at two precincts in some Ust-Zadrishensk recounted. The next protest after that will take place only after Putin’s rigged election to make him president, and then everything will again fade away. So what? Now I know for sure that this regime will not survive the next parliamentary elections.
We, the Russian third class, the virtual party of Alexei Navalny, showed the ruling kleptocracy that if they want to save Russia from revolution, it needs to dump Putin. We were able to make Putin’s life-long dictatorship a thing of the past. Exchanging it for the lifetime dictatorship, or even two-month dictatorship, of comrade Limonov, wasn’t exactly part of my plans.