tisdag 10 mars 2015

Putinistan EQUALS NOT Soviet Union

A lot of commentators compare the development of Russia to the repressive government that was in Soviet Union. Some even compares Russia to a reborn Soviet Union.

Nothing could be more wrong. The key difference between the repression of current Russia to the one in the Soviet Union is the fact, that during Soviet days, the population had something to believe in.

Yes, most people were not communists per se, but to a large extent they believed in a socialist system that would prevail over capitalism. You should never underestimate any kind of belief that has the characteristics of religion. And a dogmatic belief in socialist superiority is as powerful as newborn Christianity and Islamism as a motivating political force.

So if you look at Russia today, what is the driving force of the population? Yes, the elite can mostly have it their way, but they have to motivate the people in order for the population to accept the financial suffering that they are subjected to today.

As far as I can see, Putin and his henchmen don't have many options to choose from.

Maybe Novorossia could feed some kind of Novosocialism, but that is highly unlikely considering how the elite have helped themselves with robbing the country of its riches. Socialism would indicate some kind of equal sharing of resources, which will not happen.

The other option is reborn Orthodox Christianity. This might work, but the problem is that most of the poorest people are rooted in the Soviet ideologies, including Atheism. And as you know, Atheism is not an ideal background to suddenly become a reborn Christian.

The third option is Nationalism, which seem to be abundant in Russia today.  The young Russians seem to be attracted by nationalism, due to the fact that they haven't experienced the "greatness" of Soviet Union, but have heard of it and how Soviet Union was feared by the West. Also, the glorification of the Red Army's war against Wehrmacht and Nazi-Germany is quite prevalent in the Russian society today. With the omission of Soviet atrocities during second world war, of course.

Of course, all of the options include some kind of toxic waste in the current Russian context. Therefore we can observer that Putin is actually using all three elements to motivate the Russian population, depending on the target audience and their preferences.

What is more stunning is the fact that some commentators calls Putin a revanchist. Which he's not. The Arab spring got Putin quite nervous. He saw examples of leaders overthrown by their own population. And Putin knows that he hasn't delivered to his voter, but only to his allies in the elite. Sooner or later, the bubble would have bust for Putin. And most likely sooner.

Putin's problem is that today we live in a information age, and that includes also Russians. He probably saw that too much information in the open would destabilize his government and the continuation of the power hegemony that he tried to create for himself and his siloviki (SVR/FSB colleagues).

I predict that due to a lack of a single motivating ideology for the Russian population, there will be a fragmentation of the Russian population into three motivational groups. Now Putin's problem will be how to fulfill all expectations from the population. Yes, they will all accept to suffer for a while, but the question would be when will they demand some kind of rewards for their suffering. Or would they go to the extremes and actually overthrow Putin and his elite?

The novosocialists would probably demand some kind of minimum provisions from the government, that they don't have currently. This would force Putin to use state funds to provide for the novosocialist requirements.

The Orthodox Christians would probably demand more "moral" values in Russian legislation. This would actually be easy for Putin to fix. Russians being relatively conservative would generally accept this. And of course, any protests from the "liberal" West would be ridiculed by "morally" superior Russian leadership.

The big problem would be the Nationalists in Russia. They could demand expansion to the former areas, where Soviet Union had hegemony. And considering that most ex-Soviet republics have quite corrupt leaderships and governments, this could probably be accomplished with a combination of bribes, financial incentives and coercion by military forces and unconventional warfare.

Putin's problem will be to motivate all three groups of the population and also to decide which way he will go for a future ideology for Russia. Unfortunately I suspect that he will turn more nationalistic and will try to use the Orthodox Church as a supporter. Socialism is overplayed by Putin's own financial ambitions and also the corruption that he creates in Russian society.

So yes, some of the observable phenomena in Russia will be similar to Soviet Union. But the underlying forces will not be the same. Therefore the democracies of the West will have other leverages towards Russia compared to the old Soviet Union.

Soviet communism had a mission to convert the world to a socialist workers paradise, at least officially.

So what is the driving force and mission of Russia today? If you can answer that question, then you will know what leverages are appropriate to counter Putin and his actions.

1 kommentar:

  1. Core values of Putistan includes corruption. The people of Ukrain challenged Putin by geting ride of a corrupt goverment. That is why the Russians invaded Ukrain.

    SvaraRadera