Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
The German newspaper Die Zeit is politically left in its outlook and editorial policy. Nevertheless, it is well-written and occasionally surprises this right-wing social conservative reader with real gems. This one, admittedly, was not written by any of the paper’s staff or contributing writers. It was translated from Russian and is an excerpt from a forthcoming book by Alexei Navalny. It is part of his concluding statement given before the Municipal Court of Moscow on the 20th of February 2021:
So, I am supposed to give my closing statement now–to speak my closing words before this court. I don’t really know what I should say, your honors. Should I tell you about God and salvation? Set the “pathos” switch to maximum? The thing is, I am a believer. In the Anti-Corruption Foundation…the people there are mostly atheists, and I was one, too, once, and a rather militant one at that. But now I am a believer and that helps me in what I do. It makes everything much, much easier. I worry less. I have fewer dilemmas in my life. It’s not always easy to hold myself to it, but by and large, I try. It makes doing politics in Russia easier.
A bit further on he continues:
Someone recently wrote to me to encourage me… “Alex, you said in an interview that you believe in God. And it is written Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” And I thought, ‘There’s someone who understands me well.’
And later after he has talked about the fact that his guards are forbidden to speak with him as means of putting psychological pressure on him to feel as if he were totally alone; and in that paragraph, he compares Putin’s tactics with those of Voldemort in the Harry Potter books, he states:
But that [the psychological isolation tactic] doesn’t work on me. And I’ll tell you why. This Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied? It may sound exotic or weird, but right now, it is the most potent political idea in Russia. Say it aloud yourselves, your honors. There’s this political slogan in Russia, the most popular one of all. What is it again? ‘True power lies in’…what? Help me out. Where does power lie? (Pause). Right. In righteousness. This is the sentence everyone quotes. And it is exactly the same– the commandment without the archaic verbal flourishes…. Whoever has truth and righteousness behind him will win.
The whole piece is very inspiring, very much worth reading. If you can find Die Zeit in your local library or a good bookstore, you can find the piece on page 10 of the Edition from July 22nd. It is also available online, behind a paywall: Alexej Nawalny: “Russland wird glücklich sein” | ZEIT ONLINE .
Translation note: The German word „Gerechtigkeit“ can be translated both as „righteousness“ and „justice“. Since Navalny is using a Biblical register in his rhetoric here, I opted for the former.Published in