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You blame Morozov for sitting at his summer dacha in Belarus and writing books, and not going to the streets and being a footsoldier of anti-Lukashenko protests?

Don't you think that sending midlle-aged intellectual to shout on the streets and fight with OMON is the great misuse of scarce human capital?

Thas's exactly problem of the countries like Belarus - many people marching and shouting, but very few people thinking strategy.

Catherine Fitzpatrick

I don't "blame" Morozov. I merely report on it and chuckle over his ability to use Belarus to find peace at a dacha, when for other people, it's a completely different experience, jail for themselves or their loved ones.

It's not true that Morozov as an intellectual is saving himself for "thinking strategy" about Belarus. He isn't doing anything for Belarus. He doesn't care about Belarus and doesn't get involved in politics or human rights issues there at all. That's for one simple reason: his parents still live there. If he were to speak out with any criticism of the regime, there's the possible risk that his parents could be harassed by the authorities. Understandably, that's a risk many people just don't want to take.

But given that there are lots of people who do speak out against the regime despite -- and because of -- their thuggish behaviour, first and foremost in taking innocent relatives hostage -- it does contrast as behaviour. Many people in fact have ceased to be afraid.

Morozov no doubt believes he is destined for greater things and shouldn't be bogged down by Belarus, and in that he is no different than Ralph Lauren, Kirk Douglas, and many of the other great people of the world who came from Belarus.

I beg to differ, as for me, it will always be a character failing by contrast with much braver people. Not everyone is required to be brave. But when they aren't, and demonstrably arent', I think it's more than fine to call it out. And it would be one thing if he left there forever. But he didn't. He goes back all the time, and even enjoys life at the dacha. That's troublesome.

There's a difference between "blame" -- imagining someone could act different and reproaching them for doing otherwise -- and characterizing something as a moral failing *by contrast with the brave*.

This should be a lot easier to understand than it is. For example, Tom Slee is a very moral person and very concerned about social justice. But when I criticize Morozov on the grounds of his failure to condemn Lukashenka and show solidarity with his fellow citizens in jail as political prisoners, he says essentially "I don't know anything about that so I can't comment on it."

It's as if Belarus is obscure and complicated and you can't be sure what the right position is.

Nobody would have that problem about oh, Greece, in understanding the difference between the fascist groups and communist groups and which side you'd have to show solidarity with or would be expected to show solidarity with. least not contempt. What Morozov does isn't just silence -- that could be, as I explained, understood as nobody should be required to endanger their parents. But what Morozov does is sneer. He sneers at people who *are* demonstrating. He implies that they are all in the pay of Washington and therefore somehow not authentic. *He takes the regime's view on this* and that's despicable.

Usually, he is careful to say absolutely nothing about Belarus so that everyone involved in these affairs will ignore him and forget he comes from there. But I remember, and I remember how he sneered claiming that the hashtags about the demonstrations were "trending only in Washington".

It's my conviction that Morozov is something far worse than a tactic supporter of the Lukashenka regime. I think at the end of the day he is a Putinist or Eurasianist who is anti-Western and anti-capitalist. I think while he is busy trying to influence and undermine Western liberals, he holds this part of his worldview at bay. Eventually it will be more evident. Sometimes the mask slips.

Morozov is a master of all the Leninist or Saul Alinsky techniques -- freezing targets, criticizing them for seeming to be the opposite of what they claim, sowing disruption, dismay, division among people, drawing all the attention to himself and simply lying.

So, for example, when I call him out about his admiration for Angela Davis, which he exhibits very clearly in the NYT and in his book, even calling Davis "a talented organizer," and he accuses me of "sloppy research" -- that's lying. I'm not a sloppy researcher, and I'm not an academic so it's pointless to bring these charges against me. But if anything, as a blogger, I'm all too sharp a researcher because I've caught him in his anti-Western Eurasianism on that one -- a staple of Soviet propaganda -- and he can't wriggle out of it.


If some of those brave people demonstrating against Lukashenko were not only brave, but also as smart and intellectual as Morozov. If they were not shouting slogans but seriously investigating structure of Lukashenko regime, it's supporting pillars and weak points. There would be no Lukashenko regime by now.

Your attacks on Morozov are completely pointless.

Catherine Fitzpatrick

Who do you work for lxl-ru? Which part of RU?

They already investigate the structure of the Lukashenka regime and already report on and criticize it. Read the top independent web site which has English and Russian as well as Belarusian, and read some of the opposition sites which contain the same thing.

Lukashenka isn't really so much about "the Belarusian people" as he is about "the German government" which is his top foreign trading partner and of course "The Kremlin" and its favourite oligarchs who are buying out the various big Soviet-era factories and businesses of Belarus. They run Belarus and it suits them to have Lukashenka.

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