The medium of dissent

Garry Kasparov writes in Business Week:

During my years as a hero of the chess-crazed Soviet Union, I appeared regularly on state-controlled television and in newspapers. What I would give for such access today! Since I retired from chess two years ago to enter a new fray, the fight for democracy in Russia against the increasingly authoritarian rule of President Vladimir Putin, traditional media have been closed to me. Instead, I’ve gained an appreciation for a less-traditional means of communication: the Internet.

I feel both cynical and hopeful about what he’s saying. Cynical, because if the internet ever becomes a threat to Putin and his men, they’ll clamp down on it instantly. Hopeful, because it is still useful in telling the outside world how things really are in Russia. Cynical, again, because who cares? Hopeful, again, because Kasparov, I believe, is an immensely shrewd man, and will find a way to win the greatest game of his life. Cynical, again, because he has to defeat not just a corrupt regime, but the weight of history.


PS. He hasn’t forgotten chess.