Viktor Kogan-Yasny: On the lack of focus

posted 2 Dec 2018, 08:25 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 2 Dec 2018, 08:28 ]
14 August 2018

By Viktor Kogan-Yasny 

Viktor Kogan-Yasny is chair of the NGO Right to Life and Civic Dignity and a political adviser to the Yabloko party

The contemporary world is characterized, I would say, by individuals and communities that lack focus. And they are unable to achieve anything. I am far from being an advocate of the primacy of some kind of all-encompassing discipline as a source of movement ahead, but a lack of focus, a confusion that is both personal and social, do not allow any progress. As to the question whether the pervasive confusion (which we see with the immersion of the individual’s world in the personal smartphone) is capable of withstanding mass psychoses, totalitarianism, sects, terrorism - intuitively one senses that there is hardly likely to be any clear answer.

Thirty years ago a significant movement ahead came about thanks to universal solidarity and reasonable self-limitation of each party’s own subjectivity, thanks to the clear understanding that personal success, creative, professional and so on, cannot be achieved in a world that is wholly “parallel” to the worlds of other people. Now there is a different situation in this regard. And it is not within the powers of a frail humanity to qualitatively change the situation for the better.  

The contemporary world, both at the interpersonal level and at the level of relations between communities, is very difficult to predict. Everything is too subjective… (including, evaluations and predictions). Words such as “Putin will no longer…”, “America will…”, “Ukraine will behave….” have lost their predictive capacity. Every actor behaves in line with their own personal outlook on life and their own degree of energy. The world is very unpredictable, beginning with ordinary life and ending with military and political affairs. Moreover, the more we consider the so-called “elites,” the less the degree of predictability. These elites suffer from a very strong, but false, sense that “everything will be OK.”

I make no predictions. We must make every effort and exercise, in all senses, toleration and hope. Forgive the pathos, but I can find no other way to express this.