War destroys everything, lives, memories, languages, entire universes that remain under the ruins; human beings operate by generalizations, we have no other way of understanding, intelligence perceives the mass of data and must classify it, break it down, we call this critical sense. When weapons speak, words become whispers and images, now more than ever, are not able to show everything, they are just shy figures in a more complex context, that is why we invent language, to express what the gaze cannot see. cover, well, as Don Tomás Segovia used to say, “an image says more than a thousand words, but that cannot be said with images”.
Today it is about Russia, as it once was about Germany; today it is about Putin as it was once about Hitler, today it is about the President of Russia, once it was about the Premier of the Soviet Union and although history does not repeat itself there are patterns that do not stop worrying us, phenomena and facts that they seem taken from other times and other circumstances; but above all, there is something that underlies much more deeply than the conjunctures of politicians and generals, it is an immortal spirit that remains in memory and in the collective consciousness, that which gives character, life and style to a culture , the risk of generalization is to assume that everything that comes from a people is bad, that the population itself is perverse or monolithic, when its leaders make decisions that can only be considered as attacks against coexistence and life on the planet .
War does not allow half measures, we Mexicans know very well that the statute of neutrality implies non-active participation in a conflict, but this does not mean that we become dumb or blind, that we do not perceive pain or understand what is fair and what is not, although there are causes, reasons and complex mechanisms between reality and us. It is true that the Russian position cannot be accepted at this time, but that does not mean that the immortal spirit of Russia has disappeared, that its place in the construction of universal culture is in question or that from now on it weighs on the huge, gigantic Russian culture the stain of ignominy and deserving of collective hatred.
Russia is much more than tsarism, the Soviet Union and, of course, than its current government. Russia is the music of Tchaikovsky, I prefer his 1812 Overture, which is a song against the invasion and a reflection of the suffering of war; I take the side of Shostakovich’s Jazz Suites that speak to me of modernity, of dialogue between cultures, of life experience and even, I express myself for the memory of the city that should not be destroyed but remain as the Great Imperial Gate of Kiev as stated in Pictures at an exhibition by Modesto Mussorgsky. That is the Russia that neither this nor any war will be able to destroy.
I take sides for reason and understanding, but also for the human sense and fraternal feeling as I learned with Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy that accompanied me in the time of adolescence, sensitive screen of our life where everything is recorded, I assume a supporter not from missiles and boots nailing the roads of the Ukraine, but from the faint footsteps of Ekaterina Maslova on her way to exile in Siberia; and of the hallucinating dreams of the Master and Margarita by Mijael Bulgákov, sum of the dreams of all and the hopes of all those who suffer. They are the immortal Russia, the same that Alberto Ruy Sánchez portrays in his “The Anna Ajmatova File”, a clear sample of the dialogue, one of the best Mexican writers, publishing at the time of the war, a beautiful book about one of the most great Russian poets. I am reluctant to demonize other victims of the war, the Russians who do not want it, who do not want it and who, some of them, will even have to fight it too.
It is true that common place that circulated through social networks and whose paternity can already be attributed to many writers but that we can give it as a general principle to understand the phenomena that we are witnessing, war is where young men, who do not know each other, kill each other in the name of old men who do know each other but don’t kill each other. At the beginning of the pandemic we assumed that confinement, the demonstration of human fragility, would make us reflect on the world in which we live and would force us to have a higher level of consciousness, I still believe it but I bet on changes that are slow and not noticeable With ease, this war will also be a turning point in the cultural history of the West, it is something that should not have happened, it is a historical error and beyond any result or form that its development and its end take, it will have marked the memory of several generations as the claim of a humanity that refuses to accept violence as a method and language, because it is clear that the eternal, damned war that Orwell dreamed of is also just around the corner.
*The author is an analyst and writer.
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