Thoughts about Mikhail Zhlobitsky
It is easy to be a revolutionary or a rebel in revolutionary times. Not much is needed to do this: you join the crowd and you are already carrying on the waves of History. But it is much more formidably when everything what could be forbidden is forbidden. when humiliation from those in power is the norm, almost uncontested. When your friends and comrades are tortured in the woods and minibuses.
In such years, the only thing that pushes people to act is self-esteem and a fierce, merciless hatred of injustice. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to pour out these feelingsю Therefore that is the time for lone riots to come to fore.
Mikhail Zhlobitsky, who blew himself up in the building of the Arkhangelsk Federal Security Service on October 31, is already almost forgotten as many other events have happened since. In the meantime, we know almost nothing about him. There are neither normal photos, nor his real page in social net, nor testimonies of relatives. Of course, we do not take into account the articles by pro-governmental propagandistic media which claimed Mikhail Zhlobitsky “mentally abnormal” and wrote that he was “mocked at school”.
So we are only to make assumptions about Mikhail Zhlobitsky only on the basis of his act.
He was seventeen years old. Let’s remember what each of us did at seventeen. First alcohol, first sex, first university and first job. Look back — most of us have decent amount of time between those days and nowadays. We lived it. We loved, we lost heart, we were laughing and crying. But Mikhail Zhlobitsky won’t live these years. Because two things he put above everything in the world: his own dignity and hatred for injustice. He put it above personal happiness, pleasant impressions, love and other things. Above his own life.
Think about it: he refused the most expensive that he has.
One can evaluate the political effectiveness of his actions in different ways, saying that “if he lived, he would be able to make more,” and so on. But in fact, he did something that most of us are not able to do. In one of his messages in chat rooms, he said: “I am waiting until I turn 18 years old so that I, but not my parents, bear responsibility for my actions. What are you waiting for, I do not know. “ With this phrase, he ultimately described himself. By the ways, Russian cops also described themselves when they published posthumous photo of Michael in their telegram channel, accompanying it with a mocking comments.
I have always believed and I still believe that the moral strength of a person and his immanent honor has only one dimension — the ability to sacrifice him or herself. This ability begins from little thingds. For example one could abandon some momentary pleasure in order to benefit other people, and somebody is able to commit a suicide in the interests of revolution. There is no need in loud words and statements, if your basic needs for safety and comfort are at some point instantly outweighed.
Let’s remember how many times any of us (and I, too) put personal comfort above everything. I won’t go to the meeting as I am tired for the day or as I need to prepare for exams, as I have birthday, as I need to feed my cat, or anything else. Activism is great! But let others do it. I have more important things to do (life, family, work, parents, entertainment). There is another option: I will fight when I do all the other things, because you need to think about the future! In general, it is desirable to fight without harm to yourself.
Mikhail preferred not to talk but to do. And as long as we are afraid to sacrifice ourselves even in small things, evil will continue to advance by arrests, handcuffs, tortures. And this evil meets on its way fearless people only occasionally. But it is not necessary to blow yourself up to join these fearless ones. It is not necessary to use violence at all as besides violence there is a huge arsenal of methods which are sometimes even more dangerous. But anyway you should remember that readiness for hardship — at least in the small — is a prerequisite to revolution. And revolution will never be comfortable.
When you realize it, fearless ones will become groups, and groups will become masses. And those And those who forced the 17-year-olds to blow themselves up will be brought to book.