It seems that the spirit of discontent with the status quo that fueled the Arab Spring and, later, the Occupy movement in this country and around the world is beginning to creep into Russia as well. Protests have sprung up in Moscow and people have taken to the streets over voting irregularities and, indeed, over many long-standing complaints. As one of the activists stated, "People's mentalities have changed. I can't stand being lied to anymore."
That seems to be a succinct statement of what is bothering people in Moscow and in many places in the world. We just can't stand being lied to any more. People in government and in public life make up their own "convenient truths," to support whatever political doctrine they espouse. They relentlessly repeat these lies, never blinking any eye, until they enter the accepted dogma and people forget, if they ever knew, that the whole thing started out as a convenient lie told to make someone look good.
The technique is the same whether it is in Washington or Moscow, London or Peking, or any other place in the world that you care to name. But right around the world, people are getting wise to that technique. The Internet, cell phones, and other accouterments of modern communications technology are powerful weapons against such lies. It is getting harder for the liars to make their lies stick. There are too many eyes watching and ears listening.
This is the energy that spawned the Arab Spring that changed the face of the Middle East. It has engendered the Occupy movement here, the end of which we cannot yet see, but I don't think we'll be returning to the complacent and apathetic population that we seemed to be not so many months ago anytime soon. And now that restless energy has reached all the way to Moscow and has spilled into the streets there. Moscow! Stalin must be spinning wildly in his tomb.