[A]t some point you have to stop thinking of yourself as just a cog and find some foothold that can become the basis for a moral position. And from that point forward, your analytical capacities have to serve that position, but at the same time you also have to be able to gain some critical distance, figure out how to maintain your cold reason and not lose self-control. But it’s really important not to lose your moral position—especially in critical moments.


If you take a principled position, if you don’t fail to rise to the moral challenge, if you don’t pretend that nothing is happening or that you’re powerless, but instead understand that you’re in a situation where the moral challenge is enormous, that everyone will be called to answer for, then you won’t be able to remain just a passenger. You have to believe that you can do something at the level of an act with some measurable effect.

Grigory Yudin, in Svetlana Reiter, “Why No Mass Protests in Russia?”