Posted 21 апреля 2021,, 15:19
Published 21 апреля 2021,, 15:19
Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:36
Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:36
Financial analyst Andrei Movchan, who left Russia a year ago and settled in England, nevertheless continues to follow the events in his historical homeland and analyze them. In his next publication on this topic, Movchan, using historical analogies, drew a rather gloomy, but completely realistic forecast of what awaits our country in the nearest future:
“When in the 8-10 centuries the Christians of Great Britain and France faced northern tribes on their territory (which we generally and not quite accurately call the Vikings), far from saints and certainly not peace-loving Europeans were often helpless before the worse armed and organized, tired of sea crossings and robbers who do not have a homeland behind them, which must be protected. The point here was in many ways - including, of course, in the sharpened tactics of the northerners, the effect of surprise, the readiness of the Vikings to perish. But a significant role in the defeats was played by the fundamental difference in the views of Europeans and Scandinavians about the basic ethics of confrontation.
With all the costs of medieval consciousness, the coexistence of small feudal states over the centuries caused a certain ethical code to take root in Europe: in constant civil strife, among fratricide, bribery, betrayal and fraud, there were "boundaries of what is permitted" concerning the immunity of parliamentarians, the rules for declaring war and conducting a battle, relations to captives and noble persons, the authority of the church. The Vikings, whose ethical standards were different and concerned only relationships in their clans, quickly learned to recognize the "red lines" of Christians and, over and over again depicting a willingness to follow them, at the right time they were violated without any doubt. The Vikings were absolutely pragmatic and their actions were limited only by rationality - not by humanitarian considerations or rooted ethical principles. The Europeans, as far as we can judge, over and over again perceived the crossing of the next "red line" by the Vikings as "another bottom", naively believing that the opponents "will not go down further." Meanwhile, the Vikings had nowhere to go - because they never climbed. The failure of them to commit even greater villainy was explained each time only by his irrationality - or simply by the tiredness of the soldiers.
Russia, as you know, itself experienced the invasion of the Vikings, and was captured by them and was under their rule for several centuries - until a force even more alien to the local Slavic tribes came from the east; at about the same time as the horses of the Horde, carrying unity, one-man rule and developed legislation on small round shields of narrow-eyed warriors, trampled the remnants of the micro-states of the Russians, weakened to the limit by civil strife and the slave trade, the Europeans, opposing the savagery of the organization, managed to push the Vikings back into the borders their original northern limits (and those who remained - to turn into "good Christians" and subjects of local kings). Progress was inexorably taking its toll both in the east and in the west.
Almost 1000 years have passed since then. Everything is new in Russia every year, but nothing has changed in a hundred years. As well as 1000 years ago, Russia is divided today into two classes - ordinary people (if you want - call them smerds, if you like antiquity) and the "elite", separated and protected by the siloviki (you can call them Varangians and squads, if the parallels impress you). The relationship between these two populations is about the same as before. And 1000 years ago, the position of the "Varangian" was hereditary, although exceptions happened and from time to time certain groups came to power; and 1000 years ago, the dream of every mother of a smerd was to get her son into the squad - this was actually the only social lift. And 1000 years ago, Russia was surrounded by continuous blasphemous enemies, the fight against which was creatively combined with intensive trade, including intensive export of human capital. And 1000 years ago there was no law in Russia other than the word of a Varangian or the will of a vigilante, which was partially enshrined in the then constitution ("Russian Truth"), and the rest was simply practiced in spite of it.
1000 years ago, the Vikings in Russia acted in full accordance with their rational logic - that is, beyond any boundaries of ethics. And this does not surprise either historians or viewers of the series.
And here we come to the main question: why are we surprised at something today?
For nearly twenty years now, we have been constantly repeating the same mantra: “Oh - they did X!! How could they? Well, this is already the bottom, there is nowhere to go! " At the same time, X is constantly getting worse - and we remain the same, just like the Christians of Europe in the 9th century.
“They are cooperating with bandits!! How could they??? Well, this is already the bottom, there is nowhere to go!"
“They jail the oligarch on a false accusation and take away the business !! How could they ??? Well, this is already the bottom, there is nowhere to go!"
“They are stealing from the budget !! How could they ??? Well, this is already the bottom, there is nowhere to go!"
“They prohibit non-systemic opposition !! How could they ??? Well, this is already the bottom, there is nowhere to go!"
“They rig elections !! How could they ??? Well, this is already the bottom, there is nowhere to go!"
“They are breaking up the rallies !! How could they ??? Well, this is already the bottom, there is nowhere to go!"
“They are imprisoning oppositionists and torturing them !! How could they ??? Well, this is already the bottom, there is nowhere to go!"
“They are taking over businesses, and businessmen are being arrested !! How could they ??? Well, this is already the bottom, there is nowhere to go!"
“They are dragging their children into bread jobs!! How could they ??? Well, this is already the bottom, there is nowhere to go!"
“They even persecute children by fabricating criminal cases !! They plant for reposts! How could they ??? Well, this is already the bottom, there is nowhere to go!"
“They're organizing the killings!! How could they ??? Well, this is already the bottom, there is nowhere to go!"
“They are using chemical warfare agents against dissenters !! How could they ??? Well, this is already the bottom, there is nowhere to go!"
“They are changing laws to stay in power forever !! How could they ??? Well, this is already the bottom, there is nowhere to go!"
“They are ready to declare the oppositionists extremists! How could they ??? Well, this is already the bottom, there is nowhere to go!"
It's spring 2021, but the amazed commentators are lamenting again: "Before, they did not persecute relatives, but now - look!" Dear ones, they did not persecute relatives, not because the old version of the Rules of the Noble Silovik had such an article, but not in the new one. There are no rules at all. It just wasn't necessary before; and now it was needed.
Life goes on - like Kievan Rus under the rule of the Varangians, modern Russia is slowly collapsing, and more and more serious measures are required to maintain power and maintain cash flow. Do not have any illusions - there is no bottom. If you want to know what might happen next, discard (following Nietzsche) the bonds of ethics: you will make a list, and everything that will be included in it will be used - if, of course, it is rational and there is enough time. And it's true, who knows what else the princes of Kievan Rus would have come up with if not for the Mongols.
We will also try to compile a list of the next "bottom" levels, which will also be surprising.
- Proscription lists. You can plunder Yukos; jail thousands of businessmen; take the bank away from the largest Western private equity fund. So why can't you just take whatever you want (remember the history of Moscow? It begins with how someone else's wife liked the prototype of the monument on Tverskaya; he killed her husband, raped his wife and built a city at the place of rape)? Not necessarily a business - for example, citizen Ivanov has a good apartment. To jail him, and if he wants to go out, let him rewrite the apartment. Say no to this? Not yet (it seems). May be? Easy - 80 years ago, denunciations were written for the apartment, so why not plant them? So - it will be when the time comes. There is no distance between taking away YUKOS, taking away a bank, taking away a small business, taking away an apartment and just starting to take away everything that pleases you - there is no distance - except for the time of adaptation of the practice by society. Time in Russia goes in this direction.
- Removal of children and their transfer for adoption (or in orphanages). In Russia it was in the 30s, but in Argentina - in the 80s. Now this is not the case, but threats of such actions are already coming in and, most likely, they will be put into action over time. The threat of confiscating children from opposition activists and simply sympathizers is an effective means of intimidation, its implementation is an excellent method of revenge, and the social connotation of the action (as opposed to proscriptions) is very positive - this is done "to save children from the pernicious influence of their parents." Some oppositionists (such as Dmitriev) are already accused of crimes against children - the mass character of such a phenomenon is only a matter of time.
- Attack on relatives. Actually, what is there to talk about after the arrests of Navalny's brother, Zhdanov's father, etc.? Until a certain moment, the relatives remained out of confrontation, but their inclusion in the orbit of the persecution could not fail to happen - and it did. And if so, the use of family safety as a means of blackmail and intimidation will grow like an avalanche and grow overgrown with terrible examples: otherwise, the victims of blackmail may not believe in the seriousness of the blackmailers' intentions.
- Death squads. If it seems to someone that Russia is not Italy, not Spain, not Paraguay, not Chile, not Peru, not Guatemala, not Argentina, remember - extrajudicial killings are already taking place in Russia; the doors to the apartments of the opposition are being broken; political affairs are fabricated as a result of provocations; extremists are those whose opinions differ from the official. It is enough just to put these actions together, in the hands of some people, and you will receive teams that break into houses, kill, kidnap, beat and intimidate those who are not favored, against whom (the disliked) are then prosecuted. Of course, such teams “have no connection with the state, they are not encouraged or directed by it”; those who think otherwise are quick to meet such a team. How long Russia has left before the appearance of "death squads" - I do not know, but everything, including trained and ideologically ready candidates for their members (in abundance), is in the country.
- Prohibitions on the profession. In fact, there are now two types of occupational bans in the country.
The first - a strict ban - does not allow persons affiliated with other countries to participate in any form in government. On the surface, this nonsense prohibition (what if, say, persons with dual citizenship or property abroad will pursue the interests of another country to the detriment of Russia) in practice, of course, is completely absurd: the question of whose interests an official pursues is determined not by his citizenship or property, but by his decency and impartiality of the law. A local deputy who has, say, Israeli citizenship, in addition to the Russian one (or even without the latter), is much less dangerous than a corrupt official or a security official with only a Russian passport: pursuing his personal interests to the detriment of the country is much more dangerous than pursuing interests of some other kind. then a distant country (even if it happens). One could doubt this in relation exclusively to the intelligence agencies. But even here experience shows: betrayal never needs a passport for its implementation; many intelligence officers with a "clean biography" are easily recruited by foreign intelligence services.
However, the ban on participation in public life for persons with dual citizenship, residence permits or property abroad will only grow stronger. This allows us to weed out from the system of the management vertical those who are broad-minded, able to interact at the international level, who see the risks in their country. On the other hand, at the top of this vertical is a strong alliance of top officials, who easily solve their problems without official recognition of ties with abroad, and the largest lobbyists who do not hold official posts, and therefore are not limited by this law.
The second - a soft ban on management, teaching, work in state institutions and with state orders - applies to people of opposition views. They are not hired or fired - but so far only those bosses who are inclined to show excessive zeal (there are a lot of them, but this is not 100%). The transition from a soft ban to a hard one is just around the corner: a little more, and if you do not support the active government, you will not officially be able to be a teacher, professor, manager in a state company or bank, a leader in a public organization, a supplier for government contracts and contracts of monopolies, an owner big business; Most likely, we will see how the work of an oppositionist, even in medium and small independent businesses, will automatically provoke an attack on business. The opposition will have to return to the position of janitors and watchmen, as in the USSR. Steam channels in the media will be tightly limited, those working in these media will be tightly controlled, there will be a limited number of speakers on these channels and these speakers will be “people from nowhere” - free artists or small independent businessmen; the rest of this speech will not say goodbye.
This list can be continued, but it hardly makes sense to scare ourselves more than we are already scared. It must be remembered that modern Varangians have no moral brakes and internal restrictions. There is no point in looking for the "bottom" - it makes sense to look for a rational. Based on the rationale, you can make a list of what should not be expected, although there are many fears about this in society:
- Closed borders. The Varangians do not profess any ideology, and proselytism is alien to them. And since there is no need to convert others to your faith, then there is no need to keep them around you - in the end, only a few will leave, and the more disaffected and active people leave, the fewer potential competitors and oppositionists will remain.
- Return to socialism. The opportunistic authoritarianism that has triumphed in Russia does not need socialism; moreover, socialism is harmful to him, as a system that weakens the economy, all other things being equal. In Russia there is and will be a wild form of capitalism: it is easier and easier to get rich and easier and easier to allow to get rich as a reward for loyalty, monetary levers of control are easier to apply than disciplinary and ideological ones, the overhang of social obligations can be kept at the minimum acceptable level. If necessary, you can build oases of socialism for your own - but no one will broadcast this to the whole country.
- Orthodox Iran. Even 1000 years ago, the Vikings easily went to baptism, if it helped them to deceive the Europeans - to assure the latter of the possibility of reaching an agreement. Naturally, as soon as it ceased to be beneficial, the Vikings forgot about baptism and enthusiastically killed the priests. Modern Varangians also believe in their gods - ancient and cruel: in strength, in power, in immense enrichment. Orthodoxy in Russia is used by the authorities like many other ideological attributes for this power of retention - but if suddenly one of the hierarchs decides that the church can seriously influence something, in some way stop serving the imposed agenda and start playing its role - he will be quickly reminded that our country is multinational, and in general - secular, and religion (in his particular case) is separated from the state. Of course, first of all, they will remind their own people - after all, the church, like all other social institutions in Russia, fulfills the order of the authorities in exchange for providing resources; if the order is not fulfilled, there will be no resource.
- Total war. For the Russian government, the country's foreign policy is (like almost everything else) a way to strengthen power by creating an agenda to unite people and distract them from internal problems. Thus, Russia's foreign policy should support the nation in a state of anxiety and tension (that is, create a hostile environment), justify internal problems (that is, provide the visibility of costs and losses, but not real costs - they will aggravate internal problems), but at the same time to give grounds for national pride and trust in the authorities - that is, to create the illusion of periodic victories. Cold conflict with the whole world, petty sabotage causing isolation and sanctions are great; a small hot conflict with a weak opponent - too. The big war does not fit into the context in any way.
- Mass repression. Massive repression is a property of ideologized communities in which materialistic motivation is secondary and involves high risks. In such communities, there is strong confrontation between various groups struggling for power (inside and outside the ruling group), material incentives for loyalty are ineffective due to the lack of significant resources, and therefore fear becomes the main factor of control. Russia today is a totally mercantilized social system. The amount of resources is more than sufficient to maintain the full loyalty of the "squad" and the level of existence of the common man, in which the risks of protest will outweigh the potential gain - even without the threat of massive repression. There is, of course, repression and there will be more and more of them - but they will remain targeted, directed against open and active opponents of the regime and in the form of proscriptions (with the permission of the authorities) to increase the motivation of the "squad" and its loyalty. If you do not run for election, do not campaign for public actions, do not personally insult any of the Varangians or squads, if you do not have anything of particular value that can be taken away, if your scientific or administrative achievements do not cause envy and desire to take your place - you have practically nothing to fear. According to statistics in such countries for many years, during which a similar regime of power of the "Varangians" has been maintained, from 0.05% to 0.5% of the population fall under the roller of repression - this is less than the death rate from covid, this is only 75 in Russia -750 thousand people for a conditional 10 years. In this sense (only if you are not in the risk group described above), leaving Russia for fear of being hit by a skating rink would be a clear exaggeration of the danger. Another thing is to leave for "aesthetic reasons" - for example, if you are sick of what is happening around you.
- Hunger, cold and devastation. The authorities in Russia today should not be underestimated: they have learned a lot, including from the experience of the USSR. In particular, they are well aware that the country's economic isolation (primarily in the sense of consumer goods), regulation of a wide range of prices, and a ban on small business are factors of a high risk of destabilizing the economy. And they will not do this. Everything else in Russia - a country with a truly inefficient and weak economy - will make the export of natural resources, the volume of which will keep the country at a great distance from the gloomy pictures of a failed state for another 10-15 years - although there will be no talk of prosperity. Russian GDP has been balancing in place for several years and will continue to do so, but $ 10,000 per person is a relatively high level for the twenties of the 21st century; in many countries it is lower. Population incomes are slowly decreasing and it can be assumed that the trend will continue. But a loss of 1-2% per year over 15 years will reduce income only by 17-33%, that is, it will return them to the 2000 level; in 2000, of course, there was no devastation. Meanwhile, the authorities in Russia rightly believe that 15 years is too far a horizon for any concern about him: we still do not understand what will happen then, and the personalities in power in Russia will almost certainly change during this time. So neither they nor us should be afraid of hunger yet.
Finally, there is no need to wait (or fear) a revolution either. Countries with such a level of GDP and such a social structure do not generate massive outbreaks of discontent and popular uprisings. Against the background of the "noble" poverty of the masses and the indecent wealth of the elite, only a small group of ethical activists who have nothing to offer their compatriots except the ideas of an ideal state (of course, under their leadership) and an abstract chance to "live better" against the established order are opposed to the established order, having previously taken disproportionate risks confrontation and transition.
Just in case, and just in order to occupy themselves with something, the squad will press such activists harder and harder - but this is not a sign of imminent dawn, like the thickest darkness. Actually - this is far from darkness, so - twilight, behind them a long night. Varangians in Russia seriously and for a long time.
The author believes that the existing system of execution of punishments in Russia, the essence of which has become so clearly visible to the whole world thanks to the situation with Navalny, is a disgrace to Russia and should be immediately radically reformed. At the same time, the author is absolutely convinced of the complete uselessness of the above statements and makes them solely to clear his conscience.
The author is also convinced of the senselessness and harmfulness of any public action, which will result in profitable authorities in Russia repressions against participants and sympathizers, leading to a weakening of the opposition and intimidation of the mass of the population. As in the days of the USSR, the real struggle for the future of Russia will be waged not on squares and not within the country, but for the attention and minds of the population and from outside it. It is on the organization of such a struggle, on the creation of an information system, a system of targeted assistance to those who remain in the country, a system of support for emigration, education of young people online and abroad, it is worth spending energy, time and money for those who want to see Russia free and prosperous in the future. In a sense, the time comes to "leave Moscow." It's time to gather people, not scatter..."