A well-known Russian political scientist, Doctor of Historical Sciences Lilia Shevtsova published a post that caused a very mixed reaction from her readers. It seemed to some that Shevtsova "gave everyone a slap in the face", to others that she "called for a" serious analysis "of the political situation in the country. Here is what Shevtsova wrote:
“Navalny forced the authorities to turn their insides out. The reason for the nausea is clear.
It is more difficult to understand how this monstrous structure breathes. We see different things in it. Some say: Navalny "broke the back of the regime." Others say: Navalny is "hitting the void." Some say: the security forces have taken power. Others answer: no, everything falls apart. Some: the West is retreating before Putin. Others: The West is now going to hurt Putin.
The list of incompatible interpretations goes on: we are on the verge of totalitarianism; Russia is in a state of decomposition of totalitarianism; Putin will leave tomorrow; Putin "forever". We cannot agree on what to call the system in which we live: electoral democracy or electoral autocracy? Or something else, since we have no real elections?
Everything looks like a confused collective consciousness. The irony is that a lot is true: we live in a system that exhibits mutually exclusive impulses. At the same time, as if mocking, she erases the differences between opposites - between truth and falsehood, law and lawlessness, democracy and autocracy.
The system has learned to envelop us in tricks. And we are ready to deceive ourselves.
Our consciousness cannot cope with the perception of decay, which looks like consolidation. We try to get rid of the headache by simplifying the picture or painting it with metaphors. Replace the entity with style. Or we find a way out in borrowing other people's schemes. Moreover, everyone sees what fits into his vision. Some see dysfunctionality in what is the norm for the authorities. Others, on the contrary, see the Kremlin norm as a systemic failure.
Meanwhile, the system changes makeup, confusingly. Destroying the "Navalny Factor" created by him, the Kremlin turns to violence. We see this as a turn towards totalitarianism. But is it possible without ideology and with decorative institutions?
After clearing the street, the Kremlin began to prepare for the elections. Isn't it schizophrenia: "vintile" and the election campaign in one bottle?
Russia is exporting its postmodernism to the West. Russia's membership in the Council of Europe does not prevent the Kremlin from putting 10,000 people in jail. But the fact that 66% of respondents in liberal democracies view Russia negatively suggests that the West's cognitive dissonance with Russia is curable.
The Kremlin is forming its own dialectic. By destroying independent channels of manifestation of interests, the authorities are laying the answer in the form of a spontaneous movement over the political and ideological differences around the Leader-Opponent. The “oppositional vertical” accumulates discontent faster through moral rejection of the authorities. But this is an anti-regime protest that will not necessarily develop into an anti-systemic protest.
The safety net for autocracy is pseudo-democratic institutions and elections. They create the illusion of representation and destroy hope for it.
A situation arises when the system causes citizens to strive for changes and at the same time blocks them.
Meanwhile, we - the interpreters - have a role to play in the reproduction of autocracy. We often divert attention away from the important. We create expectations or we create hopelessness. We insist that Russia is driven by unpredictability, because we are too lazy to delve into the systemic gut.
The fact that even among Russians who receive information from the Internet 43% believe that the country is moving "on the right path", and the level of approval of President Putin after the showing of "Palace" is 64% (polls by the Levada Center, called a "foreign agent") - this is a reflection of our inability to explain to society what this "correct path" is.
Mental exercise has consequences. Assurances that Navalny dealt a fatal blow to the regime may cause discontented people to want to end it and pay for it with a broken life. The mantra that everything is meaningless creates doom.
It is high time to stop analytical pop music. But what if we have forgotten how to think? After all, we are accustomed to a different craft - to react to the momentary and preferably in the Kremlin sphere. The less we know about her, the more we talk about her. Putin sneezed and what would that mean? Is Medvedev a political corpse or will he come to life? Does Sobyanin have a chance? But that Volodin... And so endlessly.
Crackling about power has become a profession in Russia. The most popular hobby is "putiniana". We have taught our readers that if the title does not contain the coveted word "Putin", then there is nothing to read. However, why read at all, if you can turn on the stream and do a lot of useful things around the house at this time.
That's nice for the government, which gets an additional safety net - in the form of endless verbal rain. It doesn't matter - approving or revelatory. What harm is there for the Kremlin? Let them slander!"