Posted 10 февраля 2022,, 08:41

Published 10 февраля 2022,, 08:41

Modified 25 декабря 2022,, 20:55

Updated 25 декабря 2022,, 20:55

People's militarism is the most reliable bond of society

10 февраля 2022, 08:41
Дмитрий Шушарин
Not the security forces at all, but representatives of the St. Petersburg intelligentsia now make up the president's closest circle.

And it is not the security forces who are engaged not only in the media and propaganda, but also in the economy, foreign and domestic policy, culture and other strategically important matters.

Dmitry Shusharin, historian

Researchers from the RANEPA analyzed the biographies of 381 senior civil servants in federal ministries, including ministers (21 people), their deputies (138 people, including first deputy ministers) and department directors (222 people) in the office of the 2017 sample. The main condition for getting into the elite was not belonging to the security forces: only 10% of top managers have a military education, and the share of people from the army and law enforcement agencies is only 2%. The key features of current managers are being born in large cities and studying in Moscow and St. Petersburg (Leningrad) universities: about 60% of senior civil servants correspond to these features.

And in general, where did these security forces come from? Fell off the moon? No, they studied at the same schools and universities as the most progressive intellectuals. They have the right to be called intellectuals. But the opposite is not true. Status intellectuals, no matter how much they portray brutality, will never succeed in moving into the caste of security forces. So the point is not so much in the given figures, but in the fact that, being in a social and political minority, the security forces imposed their customs and customs on the elite and society. I would not like to talk once again about what methods they have made commonplace in today's Russia.

The minority, however, is not getting smaller. There is a steady increase in the number of all law enforcement agencies. The jump happened in 2014. And in the first half of 2020, every fourth ruble of the federal treasury went to law enforcement agencies. Compared to the previous year, allocations increased by 10%. Spending directly on the armed forces increased by 14% to 1.213 trillion rubles. Financing of the nuclear weapons complex soared by 36%. The development of new weapons (applied research in the field of national defense) was allocated 10% more. Expenses under the state program "Development of the military-industrial complex" almost tripled - Expenditures under the item "national security" increased by 11%. The bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs received an additional 21 billion rubles, the National Guard - 10 billion rubles, security agencies (FSB, FSO) - 16 billion rubles. Expenses under these items increased by 7-12% to 315.5 billion rubles, 110.7 billion rubles and 164.1 billion rubles, respectively.

The cost of maintaining the apparatus of officials and state authorities soared by 20%, to 667 billion rubles. "The functioning of the President of the Russian Federation" has risen in price by one and a half times.

The government decided to save on state programs for the development of regions and the production of medicines. Financing of the state program for the development of the North Caucasus Federal District fell by more than five times, a similar program for the Kaliningrad region was cut by a quarter. Expenses under the state program for the development of the Arctic fell sixteen times. In addition, the state program for the development of the medical and pharmaceutical industries was put under the knife. She became the most underfunded of all, having received only 6.6% of the pledged amount in six months.

There is no property unity in this caste. Being a security officer is very profitable in the Caucasus, but not in Moscow. There is a significant difference between the income of management and ordinary employees. In the new social stratification, the first persons of law enforcement agencies are no longer members of law enforcement corporations, they belong to the highest stratum of the ruling elite, as for the bulk of the security forces, the authorities have headed for its isolation and intergenerational reproduction. This is done not with the help of bans, but on the contrary, by introducing benefits, in particular, the children of employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Russian Guard will receive a priority right to enter departmental universities.

In the fall of 2019, 63% of Levada Center respondents ( recognized as a foreign agent in the Russian Federation ) declared their trust in the army (against 37% in 2009), and 48% spoke of trust in the FSB and other special services (against 31% ten years before). The highest proportion of those who consider working in the special services attractive is among respondents aged 18–30 — 76%. Among Russians over 60 years old, 59% of them are. But it is not this that is alarming, but the reaction of the progressive public.

“This is both the result of propaganda in a statist vein and the conformism that citizens show when responding to sociologists,” Nikita Petrov, deputy chairman of the Memorial council ( recognized as a foreign agent in the Russian Federation ), told the BBC. “It’s not worth absolutizing these results, because everything is changing rapidly.”

And these people consider themselves intellectuals, scientists, researchers. The survey shows a multi-year trend, not rapid change. And in the near future, no special changes are expected - why all of a sudden? There is not the slightest reason for such hopes, because the moods of young people are determined not by serials and talk shows, but by the socio-economic situation in the country and its development trends. Swollen law enforcement agencies will attract more and more restless young people who cannot find work, open a business, or receive an education.

But to seriously discuss something unpleasant, which casts doubt on the results of his own activities - and the data testify to the failure of Memorial's enlightenment - the Russian intellectual is not in a position to. Fears.

The intellectuals are also afraid to admit something else: the authority of the army has grown in Russia, militarism in Russia can be called popular. Every real man should serve in the army - 60 percent of Russians think so, according to a poll by the Levada Center conducted in April 2019. A positive attitude towards the draft service has reached a record level for the entire period of polls conducted by sociologists since 1997: for all the years of research, this figure did not exceed 44%.

Such sentiments cannot be considered imposed by the insidious security forces, propaganda, informational and serial agitation. It is also impossible to directly transfer the former totalitarian experience to the current model. They begin to remember about the zinc Afghan boys, who gradually set the population against the war. But conscripts fought in Afghanistan, who have not been involved in hostilities since the second Chechen war. Now professional killers are fighting, among whom there are a lot of sociopaths who have not created their own families and have lost contact with their relatives. And therefore there will be no public movement about their death.

We are witnessing the formation of a new caste of professional killers. It is killers, not warriors. These professionals will not hesitate for a moment when they are ordered to do in Russia the same thing that they are doing in neighboring countries, in Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic, Chad, Angola. Russian interventionists from Ukraine to Mali are part of the general social system. They are combat-ready, trained and have no moral restrictions. Tales of a collapsing army, which are in circulation in the media and social networks, describe the situation exactly the opposite. This is already clear to Western analysts. I will not refer to the fact that the Russian army has accumulated many years of combat experience since the 1970s, that huge amounts of money have been invested in it, that it fully corresponds to the technological and intellectual level of modern military affairs. The Russian army - and this is the most important thing - is as organic to the social, political and economic structure of Russia as it corresponded to it under Peter I, Catherine II, Stalin and Brezhnev.

In Soviet times, the army performed socializing functions for the entire male population of the country. She kept them even now, but separated them from the actual military, which noticeably strengthened her. Contract soldiers, who forced out conscripts during the first Chechen war, formed a special social caste.

In the Russian press, the motivation of contractors is explained by the impossibility of finding work. There are objections to this: there is always work. This argument is useless, because it reduces everything to one primitive question. And he is part of a common problem - the problem of socialization, the correspondence of property and social statuses, which are not always directly dependent on each other. The entire social system of Russia is deeply militarized, working for the war. And far from always this militarization is obvious. Everything connected with it is a multi-level, multi-scale, heterogeneous business. The war is already embedded in the business plans, social structure and mass culture of today's Russia, has become part of its lifestyle and identity.

The property stratification of society - on the verge of polarization - pushes people into law enforcement agencies and private corporations. This is facilitated by the absence of social protection institutions, and the insignificance of trade unions, which have remained state-reptilian, and all the same media with their cult of war and violence in everything - from news programs to serials and entertainment shows.

Social life is arranged in such a way that it leads a person to war - inside the country or outside it, it does not matter - as in the nineties it led to criminals. Then criminalization and prisonization, now militarization, but already on the basis of the achievements of previous years. criminal militarization. The Putin regime is trying to position itself as opposed to the "dashing nineties" - this cliché has been repeated for many years at every opportunity. But in fact, the Kremlin's domestic and foreign policy is a direct continuation of that era, the transfer of concepts - the mores and customs of the underworld - to foreign and domestic policy, to international relations and government.

In all the camp memories and in the current reports, one can see the connection between cruelty towards one's neighbor and cruelty towards oneself. Self-cutters, swallowed razors, scrotums nailed to the rack, collectively opened veins - all these are signs of a real person in the criminal sense, a hero. The environment in the barracks, especially in the special forces, whose fighter must be ready for suicide or for being killed by his own, in essence, is no different from the camp in its inner primitive nature. Some initiation rites are worth something. The same concepts live yard companies that supply recruits for organized crime, the police, the contract army, business. The same atmosphere in schools and families. On this, the ruling elite and its slaves, oligarchs and homeless people, intellectuals and bandits grow up.

Quite often, another outrage - from the presidential to the police level - is accompanied in Russia by exclamations of “occupiers!”, “Invaders!”, “Occupation regime!” Beautiful, but meaningless, as Remarque warned about (the Nazis did not fall from the moon), and Solzhenitsyn (people in uniform of the State Security Service of the same origin as everyone else).

The regime can give the impression of an occupation only to those who have no idea how the absolute majority of the population in the USSR and now in Russia grew and developed. His social experience was formed in the social hierarchies of the yard, street, school, vocational school, sports schools and sections, primitive in origin and level. He was fixed in someone in a zone for youngsters, in someone in the army, in someone in an adult prison. This experience was also projected onto higher education, and then transformed into adult life.

Obviously, this is a manifestation of a primitive interpretation of totalitarianism. Everything comes down to the state, its totalitarian deformations and the role of society are ignored. Meanwhile, it doesn’t turn out that next to the Soviet person “there were no spheres”, except for the state. And at all social levels and in all social nooks and crannies. And a communal apartment is such a sphere, and a yard, and your own family, and a village. And millions of inhabitants of the multinational Soviet Union have teip, mahalla, community. About the state - it's all like that, on top. And it does not explain the cyclic reproduction of the same social structure.

It is from this everyday experience, from the normativity and consensus generated by it, that the current political culture has grown, uniting the absolute majority of the population, who do not at all consider the power to be occupational. On the contrary, she is her own, dear, familiar from childhood, understandable and transparent. And if such a government unleashes a full-scale war in the post-Soviet space, in Europe, throughout the world, then it can count on the support of the majority of its own subjects, on popular militarism, which is the most reliable bond of national unity.