When it comes to world-wide political events, it is my desire to see both sides of the coin, hence some time ago I decided to follow on Facebook some Russian online news-agencies.
While doing this, I realised that one of the core-elements which sets apart a democracy from a dictatorship is the power of self-criticism. Russia Today, Ria Novosti or Sputnik do nothing else than to praise Kremlin and to demonize the European Union and/or America. I have never read a negative article about Kremlin’s foreign policies written by these online news-platforms; not even a single one, never. This can mean only two things: 1) the Russian government is infallible, or 2) something is rotten in Denmark. Moreover, Sputnik (with almost 500,000 followers) made up recently a ridiculous article about how „Four Global Mafia Cartels are challenging Russia”. The title says pretty much everything.
Unlike the European Union and America, Russia is not capable of self-criticism. The natural consequences of this fact are the incapacity of recognizing its errors, and the tendency of blaming others. I watched Putin blaming the West for the downfall of the ruble, yet I did not see him discussing the reason of the economic sanctions taken by the West on Russia: the changing of Europe’s borders by force when Putin decided to annex Crimea using an illegal referendum.
On the other side, I cannot count how many times the European and American newspapers blasted their governments when they wanted to (Fox News has a history). In America, newspapers can write „The Nigger in the White House” or make offensive cartoons about Obama in order to discredit his political status, while in Russia the mass-media only consists of Putin’s yes men.
Self-criticism enables one to get to the bottom of the problem, and to try finding solutions for it; self-criticism it is the first step for a better self, yet this type of freedom is forbidden in Russia so far.
Photo credit: economywatch.com