Posted 19 августа 2021, 10:31
Published 19 августа 2021, 10:31
Modified 25 декабря 2022, 20:57
Updated 25 декабря 2022, 20:57
But I'll start with something else: not with what happened after August-91, but with what preceded it.
Dmitry Shusharin, historian
In the nineties, speaking about the reasons for perestroika, I wrote the following, bearing in mind the highest party nomenclature:
"The most educated, intellectual part of Russian society decided to abandon the communist ideology not so much for ethical and moral reasons - for reasons of its barbarity and inhumanity, as for purely pragmatic reasons, since Bolshevism at the end of the 20th century ceased to correspond to their ideas about their own respectability" ("New World", 1994, №7)
And "own respectability" is a worthy place in the world political elite, the acquisition of which at all times, under all regimes and -isms was and remains the main goal of the Russian ruling elite. In this struggle, the interests of the country and the population were never taken into account. Not accepted now. This alone allows us to say that after August-91 there were no fundamental changes in Russia.
Then, in August, various elite groups clashed - both union and republican. The winner was the one that promised the active part of the population to develop along the path of freedom and democracy. And now - here's a paradox - Mikhail Gorbachev can be called a triumphant.
Putin did not carry out a coup or do anything illegal. Putin has brought the country back from the nineties with their attempts at real democracy to the façade democracy conceived at the beginning of perestroika. No matter what the progressive public may say, the current ruling elite are Gorbachev's heirs, direct successors of his work.
Perestroika was an attempt to renew totalitarianism, to reorganize it on a rational basis, to abandon its most archaic features. Thirty years after Gorbachev's first steps in this direction, we can admit that everything was successful.
Let us recall what the perestroika was aimed at and what emerged two decades later. Overcoming the omnipotence of the party apparatus - there is no trace of it, "United Russia" has nothing to do with the CPSU. The economy looks like a market, but there is no free market. It has cleared itself of planned insanity and is integrating into the world economic system under the complete control of the authorities. It's the same in politics. The current ruling elite has ensured for itself irremovability without repression, without destroying the opposition elite. There seem to be elections, but there is no elected democracy, just as there is no electorate, only the population.
Power is independent of the population. The main source of its legitimation, as in Soviet times, is recognition from the outside world, the world community, limited to seven states. More is not needed. And America alone is enough.
Today's Russia is stronger and more dangerous than the USSR. It is not even fourteen times stronger in terms of the number of former Soviet republics. We must add a number of Warsaw Pact countries and some more allies. And it's not about finance and economics. The point is liberation from political and ideological costs and risks: there is no longer a need to take into account the interests of the elites of the Union republics and satellite countries. The Russian empire became openly Russian and acquired the inner ring of hostility so necessary for internal government.
All political and economic reforms in Russia are worthless without articulated and confirmed by concrete steps renunciation of supranational self-assertion, imperial expansion, superpower status and a participant in the arms race. Without this, Russia's transition from cyclical variability to progressive development is impossible.
Since this did not happen in the transformations of the second half of the eighties and nineties, we can talk about the continuity of Russian totalitarianism since 1917. There was no break in the nineties. There was a modernization and reformatting of the totalitarian system, which for a hundred years has been in a mutually beneficial symbiosis with the free world, which this world does not want to recognize.
The institutional way out of the totalitarian past was the establishment of the presidency and parliamentarism, directly opposite to the soviets. The new institutions of power were alien to the totalitarian structure, but very quickly they were put at the service of the modernization of totalitarianism. However, the fundamental error of almost all discussions both about that time and about totalitarianism in general is to reduce everything to an insidious government and a malicious elite. The totalitarian device should be rejected not even at the level of society, but at the level of the individual, at the level of self-identification of the sociophore - the person. Nothing of the kind has happened in Russia. Both the elite and society were interested in adapting new institutions, new freedoms, new opportunities to the needs of the totalitarian order of society and power.
The tasks of the reforms of the nineties were simple - to ensure the transition to the formation of a new elite with the maximum isolation of the entire population from this process. Between October 1993 and December 31, 1999, a new totalitarian consensus began to take shape, finally taking shape in the 2000 presidential elections. The elite created pseudo-parties, which were rough versions of the future "United Russia", the communist opposition became part of the new system, so were those who called themselves democrats. And society was adapting to life according to new concepts, perfectly understanding the façade nature of democratic institutions and laws.
The current model of Russian totalitarianism grew out of the nineties, although it tries to oppose itself to that time. Continuity is most noticeable in the main thing - in imperial politics. But the principles of power-possessive relations were formed then. But what did not work out was what seemed to have happened during the Moscow stand - the Russian person did not become the subject of his own history, politics, public life, which did not acquire a personal basis.