In his speech at the Valdai Forum, for the first time in many years, Putin made a loud ideological statement, declaring capitalism an obsolete system and declared a new state ideology - moderate conservatism. Experts are wondering what this might mean as in recent years
Thus, political scientist Ilya Grashchenkov believes that conservatism is an obvious choice of ideology at the stage of the transfer of power, and its moderation will consist in the fact that the system will continue to balance between all possible scenarios, right up to the final stage. Simply put, the nuts will not be loosened, but they will be tightened further with caution:
“Conservatism is an ideological adherence to traditional values, which has long been declared by our government, there is no news here. Conservatives in domestic politics reject reforms that they regard as extremism, oppose liberalism, which demands political freedoms, and socialism, which advocates nationalization and against private property. But suddenly Putin criticized capitalism as an exhausted model. We have already written more than once that the president himself has “fallen to the left” in recent years. As well as the fact that the oligarchic capitalism of the 90s is being replaced by neo-Soviet state capitalism, which can also be called social capitalism.
The movement to the left began after Putin's re-election for a new term. In 2019, he declared that there could be no return to socialism. However, he made a reservation that he could not "fully", since the country has changed and the transition to socialism is fraught with great upheavals. But he admitted that "some left-wing forces may come to power," however, excluding the possibility of nationalization. Amendments to the Constitution and elections to the State Duma consolidated the “image of the future” of the government in the form of a cheap “borscht set” and an extensive system of benefits. In the course of the campaign, the "party of power" was just reproached for the fact that it had lost its clear ideological base and became only a superstructure over the government base. Well, now, Putin has officially designated this ideology, although it would be more accurate to define it not as moderate, but as social conservatism. It is possible that in this situation, in the future, the "right" United Russia may well be replaced by a new united socialist project (based on the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, SRHP, Pensioners and RPSS).
Some of the elites have a different attitude. For example, Alexei Kudrin opposes the public sector in the economy and a similar vision is shared by most of the Sislibs. Now Russia has a planned market economy, which does not work for the needs of the country, but for the needs of interested parties. The main thing in Kudrin's proposal is to carry out a new large-scale privatization. It seems that Putin's conservatism is opposed to this idea and rather implies dispossession of the oligarchs according to the Belousov model with the subsequent mobilization of the economy. Putin's words will certainly inspire the bloc of guards and security officials, who will see in the words of the chief a call not to hesitate.
Digitalization is playing an important role in the new social capitalism. It allows you to radically change the management system itself, which will not be "left" or "right", but something de-ideologized, like Chinese management. Technologies will allow transforming the state in the direction of the "ideal USSR", which is essentially a class society based on a modern technological basis or "digital feudalism" ... "
Political analyst Maxim Zharov is sure that this is how Putin answered Biden:
Putin's "reasonable conservatism" presented at Valdai is an attempt by the Kremlin to respond to the Biden administration's "value-based approach" to international relations. Judging by Putin's accents, this type of conservatism is distinguished by high variability - we reject some “your” values from the doorway (“and don't meddle with us at all,” we have a different point of view), however, in some “your” games ( "Green agenda") we are ready to play with you useful for ourselves.
The problem is that the US has been successfully applying the "value approach" in world politics for more than a dozen years by imposing values on its geopolitical allies and competitors. At this stage, Russia has nothing to offer the world community as an alternative to the "new" American values, and the Kremlin has serious problems with imposing its values (or at least protecting them).
So "reasonable conservatism" in relation to the current global trends is "let's leave everything as it is, but with minor changes." However, the problem is that in the conditions of irrevocable breakdown of the previously existing world order due to the pandemic, there are now the leading countries of the world who want to rise up due to radical changes in the world order much more than “reasonable conservatives”. To all appearances, the Kremlin does not yet have an answer to the question of how this balance of forces can be changed ... "
For her part, political scientist Tatyana Stanovaya fears that Putin's words will turn into “another dispossession”:
“Still, Putin’s words about capitalism are something new, completely new. "The existing model of capitalism has exhausted itself" - is it about Western capitalism, not about our state capitalism, and it turns out that about private business. This does not sound like a heap of liberalism, it sounds much more radical than the already familiar anti-Western rhetoric. This opposition to Western capitalism clearly makes Russian private business tense, especially given that Putin initially believed that our oligarchs received property unfairly. But then it gets worse - he especially did not hide the fact that he considers private capital to be fixated on profits to the detriment of the country, that is, by its nature unpatriotic and anti-state, which he opposed to a more responsible, patriotic elite (well, here it is clear who - old comrades, who like would also be in the galleys, but businessmen - Sechin, Rotenbergs, Yuri Kovalchuk, etc.).
But notice how Putin has changed a lot over the years. For example, Putin said that Crimea is not ours, and then it became ours. Or, more recently, non-systemic opposition was acceptable, but today it is not. Putin ceases to be ashamed of his most terrifying views and from time to time distorts him due to a number of circumstances, and he can radically reconsider his approach and admit what once seemed impossible. This position about capitalism should be closely monitored and let Peskov also explain it, otherwise it sounds like the forthcoming "dispossession" ... "