Talking about the results of 2020 and the prospects for 2021, it is difficult to refrain from platitudes. For me personally, nothing happened in 2020 that I would not have expected in terms of trends in 2019 (specifically, the collision with Navalny's poisoning, of course, no one expected). Although there were and are social groups that, some, were waiting for the Renovationist revolution, and the second - that Russia would rise even more from its knees and run with the world civilization in a race, gaining ground in power.
For the revolution in today's Russia, there is practically no massive ethical impulse that triggers the change procedures. The last time he was observed in 1991, and then was slandered. And instead of getting up from our knees, we, as a nation, still live very poorly. It’s not that they didn’t know at all or didn’t have anything - we have many elements of modernity and in cities many townspeople live in a completely European way - but clearly not enough for the level of geopolitical claims and the size of the territory. Moreover, the people, with a monstrous gap between poverty and wealth, almost completely lacks the seemingly logical desire in these circumstances for a political redistribution of surplus value. Probably because the nation does not really feel that it has the right to do so in its attitude to work.
As a result, even a hypothetically “liberated” society would rather fight for a paternalistic level of “social support” than to take the economy into its own hands and enjoy the benefits of selling a product, all the more so to establish civilized relations. High-tech new goods (if not tanks and missiles) or consumer goods that Russia could offer to the modern market are almost completely absent. Russia is not a China factory, and Russians are consumers, not manufacturers or sellers. Hence the danger arises that, should any revolution happen here, it will degenerate into a fascist or left-brown coup, consolidating the military command administration. Liberals' fears that this scenario will eventually come true are supported by the current, by no means liberal center.
Nevertheless, peace and quiet are very far away. “By the summer of next year, social and psychological depression and apathy will greatly increase in the public mood,” writes Igor Mintusov, president of the European Association of Political Consultants. Castes, clans and classes are not in solidarity, but are doing what they should do in the current disunity - very tough competition against the background of depletion of the resources of prosperity. Actors from the lower castes will continue to strive to get into the higher ones, closer to the Duma and officials, disgust does not stop them, and the higher ones will block all entrances, because there is not enough for everyone. In itself, this circumstance warms up the situation more purely than a revolution. We don't want to, but it looks like we are sitting on a ticking bomb, which makes our time truly interesting. It is curious that, having exploded, this bomb can open new passages to the future, or it can blow everything to shreds. It is unlikely that this will happen in 2021 (the pandemic that happily attacked the world has thoroughly slowed down all processes and created difficulties in communication), but it will definitely happen. The question is when and in what form and whether the elite will be able to use this force for good.
What is undoubtedly: the main explosive element of change will not be the populists with bombs or teachers with liberal books, but namely the "guardians" who are in a preventive attack on everyone else.
In 2020, they did their best: just in case, they strengthened the permanent Leader and rewrote the Constitution. They also issued a new portion of bans and fines. It probably seemed to them that by doing so, they were gaining a strategically important foothold of command and control, but in fact, by doing so, they simply expanded the front, losing their defenses. They created new pockets of resistance to themselves. To escape the impending press, many Russians from the lower castes and strata, obviously, will have to violate the laws, and then come into conflict with the law enforcement system, thereby being politicized and going through the initial classes of civil protest. Apparently, this was approximately the mechanism of mobilization in Belarus.
It is equally important that the protection of the center, the leader of stagnation and privileges, led to such a paradoxical result as the reproduction of the geopolitical confrontation between the Euro-Atlantic countries and Russia, meaningless and harmful in essence, but with a declared expectation of the inevitability of a "big war".
Obviously, this "geopolitical confrontation" works mainly to strengthen the police force and motivate repressive legislation, as it were, wartime, and can only work in a war because of the recurrence of the ruling class's paranoia. After all, Russia is no longer a communist and administrative-command socialist country to face it because of ideological confrontation, and the fashion to go to Russia on a campaign for territories burdened with a population, which will then have to be taken care of, seems to have long passed.
The civilized world (the one for which Russia is preparing its hypersonic missiles) basically everywhere agreed with the Declaration of Human Rights. And the only thing the West wants today is to instill in Russia some rules as a potential partner, which Russia desperately resists after the return of Crimea. But because of this, it is foolish to start a big war. Moreover, Crimea is mercantilely important for the minimum number of Russians. Perhaps it is important for the military, who saved on renting a naval base, although they don't care? They didn't pay out of their own pocket. Perhaps it is important to the invaders of local hotels by the sea and to the propagandist Kiselyov, who has a rich villa there. For all the rest, Crimea is just an abstraction, a symbol, disconnected from the stagnating continent at prices more reliable than the state border. And someday this abstraction will disappear from the head.
In 2020, the discourse on Stalinism became relevant again. And no, not because Stalin is a beacon, an effective manager, or left an interesting philosophy. In truth, he was the worst manager, as the graves of the victims of his management remember, but he did not leave any philosophy behind. And the discourse has become relevant not because someone wants to repent, but to others it is disgusting to repent. For those born in the 21st century, Stalin is as useless an abstraction as the Crimea, a radiant corpse is true. But Russia peers into Stalinism, as if in a mirror, guessing its own ugly features and trying to figure out what to do with the field of gangster concepts left here instead of a civilized state.
Original is here.