Lukashenko Watch: “Ideology Within the Workplace”

Here’s the latest on our favorite European dictator (come to think of it – the only European dictator left!), Belarus’ Alyaksandr Lukashenko, again from the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Newsline. The entry is short, so I’ll just go ahead and quote it in its entirety:

Belarussian President Signs Edict on Ideology Within the Workplace. President Lukashenko signed an edict on 23 February stipulating that the heads of companies and enterprises will be responsible for the ideological schooling of their workforces, Belapan reported. The edict specifies how many people can be employed by local “ideology departments” and the procedure for appointing ideology officers within organizations. A statement released by the president’s press office read: “An ideologist must enjoy the credibility of the staff, be able to explain issues of interest to his or her colleagues, and help [the workers] address their own problems.”

That’s right: We’re in effect talking here about the old Soviet concept of political commissars. In the 21st century. In a land that many place as being within Europe.

Belapan, by the way, is the “Belarussian Information Company.” I tried clicking on the link I found on that page (it’s the English-language homepage) to check out the article whose headline was “Belarus’ membership of EU not ruled out, British ambassador says.” (Hey, I like hysterical humor-writing as much as the next guy – whether it’s intentional or not.) But that revealed to me that you only get access to such articles if you pay for a subscription. Somehow a subscription to the Belarussian news agency is not something I have in mind, as much as that attitude could hurt what seems to have become this weblog’s on-going Lukashenko-watch. (Do I need to set up a separate “Belarus” category over there in the list in the left-side column, so interested readers can separate out the Lukanshenko articles from the rest?)

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