The time many people will have to grasp the insanity of the Russian situation may be measured in microseconds.
What they fear the most is you, thinking for yourself. Within those three words are two implicit concepts. Thinking is the fundamental essential for human existence. It can be hard work, but nobody will disparage it on that basis. Attacks on thought, and there have been many, tend to be more subtle.
The for yourself is more problematic. For one thing, it sounds selfish. Nowadays you can present yourself as damn near any kind of humanitarian, even when you’re carrying all sorts of obviously hypocritical baggage, and you’ll go unchallenged. State that your first concern is your own welfare, not the common good or the public interest, and most people will mentally consign you to the ninth circle of hell. Sixty-five years after publication, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand’s tribute to the self-interested mind, is still denounced. Soon it will be banned in those jurisdictions that have not already done so.
And who wants to be consigned to the ninth circle of hell? Think for yourself and worse, dare to speak your questions, speculations, hypotheses, and conclusions, and you open yourself to isolation and attack. The killer bees in the hive mind mind are viscous, relentless, and remorseless, inflicting stinging, sometimes deadly, cancellation. Then there’s that part of thinking many don’t like—the hard work. It’s easier to join the hive. Never underestimate laziness as a human motivation.
For those that do think for themselves, dispelling the smokescreen of obfuscation, propaganda, and lies that now constitute communications from politicians, other public officials, their allies, and their string-pullers has become routine, Citizens of totalitarian regimes know well the guiding precept: all such communications are lies unless conclusively demonstrated otherwise.