Posted 11 июня 2021, 14:06

Published 11 июня 2021, 14:06

Modified 25 декабря 2022, 20:57

Updated 25 декабря 2022, 20:57

A wealth of choice: why the Russian regime is more stable than the Soviet

11 июня 2021, 14:06
Сабиржан Бадретдинов
The imperial-great-power ideology of the current Russian regime has at least two important features that distinguish it from the Soviet one.

Sabirjan Badretdinov, journalist

In his brilliant essay "The Power of the Powerless" (1978), Vaclav Havel, characterizing Soviet ideology, writes that it was generally understandable, logically complete and had the character of a kind of secularized religion that offered a person a ready answer to any question. In addition, she DEMANDED NOT PARTIAL, BUT FULL ACCEPTANCE.

That is, a person, as a rule, completely accepted this ideology, or completely rejected it.

If Havel had survived to this day and analyzed the imperial-great-power ideology of the Putin regime, he would have noticed at least two features:

  1. The current Kremlin ideology is not formally declared. Officially, it doesn't seem to exist. But at the same time, everyone understands the scope of what is permitted in the ideological sphere. Russians know what they can say, what they cannot, what they can criticize, what they cannot.
  2. It DOES NOT REQUIRE FULL ACCEPTANCE. You can choose the parts you like from it, while ignoring everything else (subject to general loyalty to the regime). For example, one may not share the regime's expansionist, aggressive foreign policy, but at the same time support Putin's economic and social policies, respect him personally and hate the "fifth column." Or you may not respect the ROC (in fact, the Kremlin's propaganda department), but at the same time be anti-Western and imperial. You can despise Scoop or hate him, but at the same time remain a Putinist. Moreover, one can despise Putin himself (preferably on the sly), but at the same time enthusiastically support the imperial-great-power policy of Moscow.

This sounds paradoxical, but you can even be an oppositionist (like Navalny or Yashin) and at the same time not object to the seizure of Crimea, the forcible retention of Chechnya as part of the Russian Federation, the Russification of ethnic minorities, etc. That is, even an enemy of the regime can be the bearer of part of the Kremlin ideology.

The second feature makes the Putin regime even more ideologically stable than the Soviet regime. Doesn't this explain (perhaps only the apparent) strength and durability of the current system?

Original is here.