How long can politicians survive using the past legacy as an excuse?

Who doesn't know the old joke about the leader who leaves three letters in his successor's desk drawer, to be opened one by one when everything goes wrong? The first one says - blame it all on me; the second one - blame it all on the weather; and finally, the third one - prepare three letters.
12.01.2022. BLBens Latkovskis
07/08/2021. President of Latvia Egils Levits participates in the 22nd gathering of Latvian politically repressed persons in Ikšķile ©Gatis Rozenfelds, Valsts prezidenta kanceleja

That's just the way people are, to constantly ask all sorts of questions that are not pleasant for those at the helm of power: why are the streets not clean; why do people have to queue in the street outside shops; why is the division between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated being encouraged in society; why is there a deficit of a billion, and where has it been spent? What improvements to life have been realized with this billion? Each of these questions may have its own answer, but there is one universal answer that fits all cases for those in power and their uncritical supporters. The past legacy (the Soviets, Ušakovs, previous governments) is to blame.

Just think about it! What good can our politicians do for the people and the country if people are so absorbed by the Soviet legacy that, thirty years after the "war", everywhere you turn there is the smell of naphthalene wafting up your nostrils? President Egils Levits has also just said, speaking about the situation in the country, that "the state cannot regulate everything and solve all problems. It is the old Soviet thinking that the state will sort everything out. This mistrust, of course, is a major obstacle to the implementation of public policies and also to measures to improve the crisis. It's a problem that has been allowed to happen, partly because of the Soviet legacy..."

In other words, the state cannot sort anything out, but if you expect the state to take some meaningful, convincing action, rather than chaotic and pointless shuffling from one ditch to another, then this is "old thinking" and you have absorbed too much of the harmful Soviet legacy. In general, you have already joined the wrong, ridiculed party of "everything is awful". It is time to sing a different song. The one that Arnis Mednis and ODIS used to sing - it's sunny outside today!

Indeed, what reasonable assessment of power can be asked of the mentally deficient? They cannot adequately appreciate the outstanding work of Kariņš/Pavļuts. Even more, they are not only unable to appreciate it, but even to see it. To notice, as it were. Under a microscope. They just can't see it, those bastards. Another thing, of course, is Levits himself. He managed to break out of this poison of the mind in the 1970s, so he has managed to keep his thinking intact.

Unfortunately, his election as President has been like the proverbial pearls that are dropped before unworthy swine. Well, those cattle cannot appreciate the brilliant shine of our great man's thinking. As soon as his mouth opens, precious stones fall from it. As soon as he goes on the radio or television, handfuls of pearls start falling. But who will value these treasures? What do you expect - it's our Soviet legacy, corrupt mindset, moral disability.

But he is not the only one who is bothered by the past legacy. Riga City Council officials also justify every failure with Ušakovs legacy. Just like an abuser attributing his criminal activities to his troubled childhood. What do you want from me? I was beaten as a child, so now I am beating others. The new leadership of Riga is talking in the same way. Well, what do you want from us? First, we need to clean up the Augean stables that Ušakovs dirtied up, but we are no Heracles who can do that in a short time. It will take years, maybe even decades. So don't expect anything good from our governance in the next couple of decades, because the legacy of Ušakovs has to be overcome. I can already hear the naively astonished question - but is it not so?

Listening to these stories about the "past legacy" on a regular basis, one gets annoyed - how much longer do they expect to get away with invoking it? Unfortunately, as history shows, a long time. Even taking into account the, I think, controversial assumption that time is running much faster now than in the past, when everything was supposedly slow and leisurely, it will take many decades. What is this hypothesis based on?

My childhood took place in the 1970s, and that was the time when the USSR stopped invoking "remnants of the past" in the public sphere as the main excuse for the shortcomings of real life. We had various magazines and calendars at home from the 1960s, which I read with interest, and their content was very different. In those, this invocation of the "remnants of the past" was still so widespread that it caught my eye, and I still remember it well.

That is to say, even fifty years after the October Revolution of 1917, the past legacy was still invoked as the main reason for the failure to build the promised communism. It was only when the pre-revolutionary times were hardly remembered in Russia (that is, in the 1970s) that the "remnants of the past" disappeared from public discourse. The fact that Soviet power came to Latvia twenty years later did not change much in the public sphere, because the Soviet Union was uniform and the coverage of social processes was the same everywhere - precisely following the "general line".

In this sense, nothing much has changed, and slowly, by walking a wide circle, we have returned to the usual order of things. We can therefore predict with a fair degree of certainty that, for another twenty years, our politicians will continue to justify their incompetence and professional incapacity with the "Soviet legacy". And then the next cycle will have come, a new "legacy" will have emerged on which to blame it all. As in the anecdote of the three letters.


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