Don’t Panic

The Belarus “powers that be” has recently released an ill-thought out directive. Reuters reports:

Belarus’s central bank said on Wednesday it had advised commercial banks to inform the police about anyone who approaches branch customers expressing doubts about the business in a way that could cause panic.

Belarus, where much of the economy remains in state hands, says it has suffered few effects of the world financial crisis, but the ex-Soviet state has requested a $2 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund as a “security cushion.”

“We are asking the banks’ security service to monitor the behavior of customers inside their branches,” central bank spokesman Anatoly Drozdov told Reuters.

“If they see someone is speaking loudly to other customers about whether the bank is in a critical position or advising against making deposits, they can ask the police for help. That person may then be detained for an identity check.”

If the customer was found to have had no intention of undermining confidence in the bank, he would be released.

There is an old knock-knock joke that I like:

Knock Knock

Who’s there?

Soviet border control

Soviet border control w…


The world is getting tougher for these regimes. Never could they completely suppress the freedom of the mind and soul, no matter how they punished speech and actions. But now, every time they try to crackdown, eventually, they are exposed as the domineering institutions of which they are. As I have written before, our modern world has no place for these groups. There is simply too much power in the common man’s voice. Guy Kawasaki straightforwardly remarked, when discussing Twitter,

But mark my words: […] Nobodies are the new somebodies

That is, we are. All of us. We are the somebodies. And no matter which totalitarian machine tries to stop that, whether it be governmental, political, educational, cultural, or corporate, we will fight back with the weapons of discourse and dissent, founded in the freedom-seeking characteristics inherent in every man and woman.

Maybe one day, Belarus can be like America, where it’s okay for even a Senator to undermine a bank.


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