Juliy Nisnevich: “Chaos in the country is caused by the feudalization of power”
About how the government copes with crisis management during the pandemic, NI talked with Juliy Nisnevich, professor, doctor of political sciences.
- If you read a news feed in a row, you get the feeling of complete chaos: one subject of the federation closes the borders, another leaves quarantine, in Moscow a few days ago they saluted in honor of taking Bratislava ... Epidemiologists expect the peak of the epidemic in two weeks, and the president hints at the possibility of lifting quarantine measures in a week. People lose their jobs en masse and are left without a livelihood, and at the same time, the state raises gas prices for the population and introduces new taxes. Citizens are forced to sit at home, and hundreds of workers continue to work on construction sites.
- I would say this: the picture is to some extent expected. When the central authority is removed, then the regional authorities begin to create what God puts to their hearts, which we are observing.
The increase in gas prices for the population in this chain is, of course, the most ridiculous. We are always distinguished by one amazing ability: all over the world, if the price of raw materials falls, then for the user the price also falls. In France, never in my life had there been such cheap gasoline as now. It’s a pity that you can’t go anywhere. We have other economic laws. This is a mystery, and a similar story arises in our country not the first time. Oil prices are falling, gas prices are falling in all countries, while in our country they are rising. From the point of view of ordinary common sense, this is not clear.
The chaos that we observe, from my point of view, is connected with the feudalization of the country. Each governor solves a problem as he understands it. The federal center has been eliminated, so there is a feeling that everyone is turning in the direction he wants. Obviously, this is a demonstration of the weakness of power. I do not know how direct the collapse is. We’ll still see this, but the inconsistency of the system, that everyone is pulling in their own direction - this is certainly obvious.
I don’t quite understand how, after such a regional free-rein, they will be able to build everyone again.
There is a clear imbalance in the system. This can certainly end in chaos, but so far not the stage.
- Why the authorities do not take steps that would clearly be approved. For example, everyone now admires doctors. What prevents the Department of Transport from at least freeing health workers from paying for travel or parking? This would definitely play into the image of the city leadership.
- Because they work in their former logic. Their task is to raise money. They cannot get out of this logic. Hence the increase in gas prices, and the introduction of new taxes. Why do not they subsidize the population? Because for many years they only take. From “taking” to “bestowal”, their brains are simply not turned. To do this, you must depend on the population. And the conscious idea that citizens need to be protected is completely absent from them. Until some technologists tell them that everything is completely shitty and something needs to be done for the residents, they will not turn in this direction. Only if some technologist proves to them that otherwise they will be left without power, then, perhaps, something will be done in favor of the population.
- Do people who make the decision understand that their actions cause severe irritation to the electorate?
- It depends on the electorate! Imagine that you live in a remote Tula village. Your governor makes a decision that no more products will be exported from the region, and he will not allow the infamous Muscovites who spread the infection to themselves. On the contrary, his support will only grow.
Here is the story that at the same time 30% of working enterprises refuse to pay wages for forced leave and a decree is signed to raise gas prices for the population - this is another story: the right hand does not know what the left does. But this has happened before. This is happening on all fronts. Mismatch has been going on for a long time, even before the coronavirus. It is possible that now the process has gone up. This is not surprising. The decision to raise gas prices is idiotic in terms of social tension. It may be necessary for economic reasons, but it was not permissible to do it now. Germany handed out to its citizens 5 thousand euros each. And here, a representative of the party in power calls citizens who want to receive help from the state as looters.
The authorities play games that they are used to playing, not realizing that the social situation has changed dramatically and it is no longer possible to play by the old rules.
- What will happen to the notorious trust rating?
- For this we have VTsIOM, which valiantly reported that the rating has risen! That the rating is falling is obvious. The only question is whose information we trust. Plus there’s another famous thing. People in societies like ours very often do not tell the truth. This is a feature of societies of our type, and sociology in such a situation must be treated very carefully. Rather, it is necessary to look not at specific numbers, but at a trend. Absolute figures are doubtful, but sociology reflects trends. If the rating falls or grows, then it falls or grows in reality. This does not mean that the rating was 70% yesterday, and today it is 65%. Perhaps it was 40%, but it became 35%.
- Will a plebiscite on amendments to the Constitution take place as a result?
“They have nowhere to go.” They must hold it. A specific legal situation has arisen. The point is not that Putin has signed the law under all regulations. It must take effect. According to the procedures, it has already entered into force. Then this incomprehensible plebiscite excuse began to be played. Once they stated this, they cannot say that they will not vote, as the amendments have already entered into force. They drove themselves to a standstill. Some kind of event is necessary. But for everyone it is obvious that the farther, the more understandable the lack of substance of this procedure.
- SuperJob specialists calculated that as a result of a pandemic and crisis hundreds of thousands of people could lose their jobs. Obviously, their loyalty to power will not increase.
- If it was a referendum, it would come out. And what they plan to carry out lies outside the framework of normality. People in power are not stupid, they also understand the situation. And it is not clear to them which is better: to conduct this vote quickly, until it is forgotten, or later. Sooner or later, the peak of the epidemic will be passed and it will be possible to say: you see how the system works! We defeated the coronavirus!
This Scylla and Charybdis exists. Clearly, decision-makers have a difficult situation. It is necessary to choose the right moment so that interest does not disappear at all and the electorate can be mobilized.
The French held the first round of municipal elections and postponed the second round because of an epidemic. But other mechanisms work there. There, elections are a mechanism of legitimizing power, and here we have a plebiscite mechanism. This is a completely different machine with different laws.