Solidarity instead of defeatism: how to avoid a national catastrophe

Belarusians need solidarity and heroism instead of fragmentation and victimhood / Euroradio

Independent analyst Siarhey Chaly is convinced that the current situation in Belarus will lead to a national catastrophe. The problem is that in response to support for Russian aggression in Ukraine and the political crisis, Belarusians are trying to hide their heads in the sand.

Here's all you need to know from the expert's video stream on Friday.

Belarus is facing a full-fledged national catastrophe

"I hope you've seen the embarrassing video recorded by the soldiers with the hashtag "we're on the spot." Russian troops are attacking from your territory! This is the heroism of the Belarusian army. It tries to turn its malaise into valor. "We are sitting on our asses straight," says Siarhey Chaly. "In the natural course of events, there will be a full-fledged national catastrophe. And I am not talking about the economic fallout [negative consequences - Euroradio]. No model can calculate what the economy will look like after the fog of war dissipates". 

The analyst notes that many people in Belarus are indeed experiencing stress, despair, and existential horror. However, one must find the strength and courage to change the trend set by the authorities. Otherwise, Belarusians will have a society opposite to what it became in 2020.

"While analyzing important events of the 20th century, Hannah Arendt said that there are moments when you have to understand and admit your powerlessness to change the world. And understand what your responsibility is. Just so that you can continue to live somehow and look at yourself in the mirror every morning". 


The worst position is "what can I do?"

Action in support of Ukraine in Warsaw / Euroradio

The only thing people can do, including people of the "system," is to find a point for a moral stance and not think they can't affect anything, says Chaly.

"For more than a week, the same text has been spreading like wildfire on Facebook: "I, a citizen of the Republic of Belarus, and I have nothing to do with it. Please don't consider me an accomplice." This is an infantile reaction to a catastrophe. You might as well write: "And do not consider me a Belarusian." There are a lot of concepts that people use to justify themselves. This is the concept of occupation.

While the Belarusians are stuck in the sense of powerlessness, the Ukrainians have a completely different narrative, emphasizes Chaly.

"Solidarity, heroism, and sacrifice are the Ukrainians' reactions. Our triad: instead of solidarity, we have fragmentation. Instead of heroism, we have returned to our favorite defeatism: "What can I do?" And instead of sacrifice, we have victimhood.

The only comment I saw on Facebook is worth mentioning: "If you have such sentiments, then the Belarusians have no nation."

Belarusians are now lacking a narrative as in Ukraine / European Radio.

The expert continues that the productive reaction of the Belarusians to national shame and disgrace should be a way out of the paralyzing state.

"It is not the "can I sit on my ass?" attitude, as our soldiers are bragging about now, but a transition to some action. So that later, when the fog and ashes of the war have cleared, we could look in the mirror and into each other's eyes.

It's impossible to give advice. Everyone's situation is different. But this is a moment of moral, existential choice of epic proportions. Everyone must look into his soul and find a way out, not in the form of paralysis of the will. But in the form of even the smallest, but some action. It would be good if this action were collective, supporting each other.

Let me remind you once again of the triad: solidarity, heroism, and sacrifice against fragmentation, defeatism, and victimhood. The nation does not consist of people living in farmsteads, concludes Siarhey Chaly.

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