Posted 22 сентября 2021,, 09:07

Published 22 сентября 2021,, 09:07

Modified 25 декабря 2022,, 20:57

Updated 25 декабря 2022,, 20:57

Russia of the future: on the waiting for a new cycle of freedom one can even spend a whole life

22 сентября 2021, 09:07
Дмитрий Шушарин
The word "future" sounded in all election programs and speeches. From the senseless and pointless "beautiful Russia of the future" they will be piled up to the fiery promises of United Russia, which presented the population with a plan to cut the budget and the National Welfare Fund.

Dmitry Shusharin, historian

The target audience, obviously, were the future participants of the cut. The younger parties in power were particularly dashing (there are no others in Russia and cannot be, including everything connected with Navalny). They all had a mixture of a socialist (Soviet) future with aggressive imperial slogans. All programs, if not written by the same people, were edited and approved in the same offices. So is it worth messing around with them?

It is worth it, because there are no forged letters - you can always understand for what purpose they were forged, what people wanted to achieve by this. And with the programs of the parties that passed to the Duma, everything is even more interesting. They, as a single text, as a strategic move, ensured the victory of the Kremlin in the elections. It is the Kremlin, and not United Russia, for the supreme power, which cannot be reduced to formal statuses and the legal powers of the ruling powers, is in no way limited to Edrom. This was the primitive trick of "smart voting" (UG) - those who voted not for United Russia created the illusion of oppositional action, while they supported more odious political forces that differed from United Russia only in a greater quantitative manifestation of reactionary, aggressiveness and intolerance.

But this is a tactical trick. But strategically, the reliance on several parties at once, created, grown and patronized by the government itself, was absolutely adequate to the mood of society. And it remains adequate.

A poll conducted by the Levada Center before the elections revealed the eclecticism of Russians' wishes for the future of their country. Two-thirds (66%) of Russians would like to see Russia primarily "a country with a high standard of living, albeit not one of the most powerful countries in the world." A third of Russians (32%) want to see the country "a great power respected and feared by other countries". The share of those who want to see Russia primarily as a country with a high standard of living has been gradually growing since 2015 and has reached its maximum in the entire history of observations. The share of those who want to see the country primarily as a “great power”, in turn, has reached a minimum.

It would seem that these results are nightmarish for the authorities, who regard liberalism as their main enemy and interpret it solely as a desire to live a normal life (see Sergey Lavrov's recent interview with this interpretation). But substantial relief to the Kremlin was bound to bring a different result. Half of Russians (49%) would prefer the Soviet political system - this is the maximum since the beginning of the century. 18% chose the current political system - the share of respondents who chose this option has almost halved since 2015. 16% believe that the best political system is "a democracy modeled on Western countries".

And perhaps the most important thing. Almost two-thirds of Russians (62%) believe that the preferred economic system is state planning and distribution. This indicator has reached its maximum in the entire history of observations. 24% lean towards a system based on private property and market relations.

All this is presented in the programs of all parties that entered the State Duma. All promised planning, distribution, and Great Russia. But with a good life, it is somehow indistinct, too, for everyone, because the programs and the vision of the future in them are united by something much more important than all of the above. In none of the programs is there an appeal to a person as an independent person, to a human individuality. Any reader of policy documents becomes familiar with the fact that a certain faceless power, people unknown to him, will determine his future. His participation in the common cause and place in the common future are not indicated in any way. And this suits him: in this the program documents of the parties in power did not miss, people needed just such a psychotherapy.

In this case, it does not matter at all whether the promises already made are fulfilled or not. In July 2020, Putin announced the postponement of the implementation of national projects from 2024 to 2030. Earlier it was assumed that from 2018 to 2024 in Russia poverty will be halved, non-resource exports will double, a technological and demographic breakthrough will occur, and the country will catch up with Germany in terms of the size of the economy. It looks like the national projects turned into a new building of communism by 1980. But long ago Lev Gudkov warned the opposition that it is impossible to earn points by criticizing the authorities for failing to fulfill their promises. The attitude of the population to the authorities does not get any worse from this. I explain this by the fact that the meaning of the royal statement is only that the king is supposed to promise something, to make incantations. This is an archaic attitude towards a king who must walk, speak, and sit in a certain way. Archaic, which is reproduced (this is a common thing) in popular culture.

If we try to recreate the most probable future of Russia, proceeding from the observed trends, then we will continue to solve the eternal task of the Russian ruling elite - to enter the world elite on our own terms. It has always been that way. And always for this it was necessary to limit the development of one's own country, so that the entire population would not try to integrate with the civilized world. The methods were the same, but their ratio and demagogic design were different. Strategically thaw / detente / new thinking is no different from cold war / confrontation / paranoia. These are just different tactics. Now the matter is not moving towards the peaceful coexistence proclaimed by the Twentieth Congress, but towards what preceded it. To massive repressions, a mobilization economy, to disconnecting Russia from the Internet, social degradation.

It can be assumed that the vaccination and modernization cycle in the transformation of Russian totalitarianism, begun by perestroika and leading to the fact that the world was on the brink of an atomic war, was the last of those in which people were involved according to their convictions, having some principles and values. And then everything will be without this nonsense - a simple change of elites and the struggle for a place in power. Perhaps the new generation of Russians understood that in Russia there will always be the same thing that has always been, and there will be no fresh wind for the next spiritual renewal. But, alas, the thaws / perestroika are always plans for getting closer to power, and therefore the eternal parvenu will again portray fighters for democracy, people's defenders and other foremen of perestroika. And new dogs will lead their graduate students to the heights. There will be a thaw / restructuring. And more than once. Peaceful coexistence / relaxation / new thinking too. All this will be carried out by that part of the elite that considers it necessary for a new positioning, strengthening of power and preservation of statuses. The society, the so-called society, will again be an object of manipulation and, in part, a reserve for recruiting a new elite.

When will all this be? And when necessary, then it will be. They will wait for the signal and again come running on the first whistle and talk about civil society. One thing will remain unchanged - Russian identity as opposed to other peoples. The condition for Russian national usefulness will be the ability to threaten the world, suppress the national development of other peoples and impose on them the Russian model, Russian manners and customs. And as long as it is, nothing will change. So humility, gentlemen, humility. It is not worth waiting for a new cycle of freedom associated with changes in the elites - you can waste your whole life on it.

A country in which nothing depends on the population cannot be called a homeland. Russians have no homeland. Perhaps all of Russia is our garden, but not our homeland. And therefore the most popular Russian folk amusement is to take away the homeland from others. These are not the imperial ambitions of the authorities, but the aspirations of the Russian people, constant and deep.

This is how we will live until there, at the top, they again want to change something a little, as in the thaw and in perestroika, for which there was no public initiative. And social movement too - all from above. What kind of future they will come up with, so it will be.