Posted 6 декабря 2022,, 14:13

Published 6 декабря 2022,, 14:13

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

From hatred to compromise: experts discuss the future of Russia

From hatred to compromise: experts discuss the future of Russia

6 декабря 2022, 14:13
Фото: Соцсети
Experts agree that the democratization of Russia will require a culture of compromise that does not exist in the country today.

Ivan Zubov

The Russian blogosphere continues to actively discuss options for the development of events in the country after the end of the current tragic events. Curious in this regard are the arguments of the famous publicist, economist and political scientist Dmitry Travin, who posed extremely important questions to his audience:

“Recently, I was asked to read a book by a famous author and take part in a discussion about it. I have a good relationship with this man, and the book is devoted to the topical issue of what to do with Russia. I read it. But I don't want to discuss. And, judging by the fact that few people discuss it today, a similar problem arises for many. The actual dispute is not about whether a revolution is needed: such processes happen regardless of our desire. The dispute about lustrations is also irrelevant: if there is a strong democratic government, it will lustrate someone; if a weak coalition of democrats with the remnants of the old regime is formed (which is more likely), the issue of lustrations will be wrapped up. In general, it is not interesting to draw a specific image of the “beautiful Russia of the future”. In fact, it will still turn out differently.

Today I am interested in two questions that are practically not discussed. The first concerns the mass demoralization that has happened to us: many people who have been active democrats for the past 35 years are now desperate, give up and no longer believe that Russia can change. But if we ourselves do not believe in it, then it will not change. The Kremlin only needs this. The thesis that it is Russia, not the Kremlin, that is truly to blame is the most important guarantee of the stability of the autocracy. However, there is no particular mystery in how to solve this issue. Young people are not demoralized, so the democratization of Russia will occur in one form or another with the change of generations. The other is more difficult.

Democratization will require a culture of compromise that we don't have today. It will require a willingness to enter into all sorts of alliances, often very unpleasant ones. And, most likely, with the remnants of the old regime, since it is utopian to hope for a cleansing democratic wave that sweeps away all rubbish and allows you to start building the “beautiful Russia of the future” from scratch. My generation has gone to great lengths to cultivate hatred not only for those we have reason to dislike, but for each other. As they say, this is more than a crime, this is a mistake. And I'm not sure if the youth will be able to overcome this mistake of ours..."

This publication caused a wide variety of responses, since it really touched upon the most important problems of Russian society.

We were deceived, betrayed and noone didn't even apologize!

For example, the well-known literary critic Dina Magomedova lamented that many compatriots who once believed in the triumph of democracy are now left with nothing. Moreover, what is most unpleasant, through the fault of their leaders:

“If people in the last 30 years claimed leadership and preached democratic values, in a word - they said “I know how to do it,” then I perceive demoralization and absenteeism on their part as irresponsibility. Over the past 10 months, I have not heard from any of the well-known politicians here: "I was wrong." No one asked him to forgive him for not knowing a path other than a disastrous one. "I was wrong" - I heard only from people who, in essence, do not decide anything in the global sense. From people in my circle. I myself have said and continue to say so, although I also realize that I am powerless to change anything. It is very difficult for us: the feeling that we have been deceived and betrayed. That the really important values were manipulated by the cynics to their advantage and eventually compromised. It takes a lot of mental strength to separate values from their preachers…”

Democracy is not in knowing the truth, but in discussing it

Network analyst Igor Yudovich, who now lives in the United States, explains in his commentary what is real, and not once invented by “Russian liberals” democracy:

“In fact, “democratic values” (of which there are very few and formal adherence to which often does not give anything to society) are not in the fact that someone “knows how to do it” and pushes it through the legislative, executive and judicial authorities, but in that one of the leaders says: “I don’t know how to do it. I only have my opinion. But let’s discuss this (this problem) in a free and productive discussion, find some compromises, agree that how it seems to all of us together will benefit society, and LET'S TRY this way. Suddenly it will work out. Although, we must understand that most likely we cannot do without analyzing mistakes and correcting the path". It is with such a general approach, already introduced into the tradition of society, that one can achieve something and build something good. And we must fight, first of all, to ensure that such an approach is perceived by society, or at least by a significant majority of society, as the norm. That will take years and generations. As in any other country. But without this, all hope is only for a good king. The great Galich was right - "Fear the one who knows how to do it." Including a good king…”

You can not condemn those who are not ready to go to jail

Economist Boris Lvin explains today's disappointment and impotence of the opposition with a psychological factor:

“There could be different things behind it. For example, the usual caution. Now, for a lot of people, saying what they said ten or twenty years ago is much more unsafe. Over the years, risk tolerance (English: risk aversion) only increases, and when the risk itself increases, and even as dramatically as it happened over the past year, one should not be surprised that someone is silent. After all, if twenty years ago someone worried only about himself, today he has to worry about his children as well.

Therefore, "give up" in our realities may mean that a person simply refrains from actions that could most likely break his whole life. Especially if the alternative is not the same breakdown, only with other hands (as in the case of those mobilized for war), but simply the continuation of everyday life in a more or less familiar mode.

Unexpected emigration is the hardest thing, one cannot condemn those who are not ready for it, and there is no need to talk about the fact that one cannot condemn those who are not ready to go to jail.

Another thing is the time horizon. When you are 30 years old and have the same amount ahead of you, you look at things differently than when you are already 60. What seemed within the achievable then, today can go into the category of "never"..."

The country still faces a long and painful transition

Economist Roman Rakhmangulov is sure that Russia still has a very long and painful way to a real democracy:

“It is hard to believe in democratization when its most active and promising supporters are leaving the country en masse. I think that few people doubt that this will ever happen. Demoralization is most likely associated with high expectations and unfulfilled hopes that this will happen soon enough and rapidly. Obviously, everyone wants this to happen while they are young and active enough. Many of the remaining optimists have yet to realize that even when the country steers onto the path of democratization, it will first have to go through a still long and painful transition period, not to mention the notorious "beautiful Russia of the future." Before her, there is more than one generation of unfulfilled hopes..."

And this forecast is confirmed by the research data of the famous Russian sociologist Lev Gudkov, which is cited by one of the participants in the discussion:

“Judging by these data, it is not the first generation of young, budding people who are turning into a copy of their fathers. That is, somewhere on the border of 35-40 years from the generation of Pepsi, chewing gum, Hollywood and the Playstation drifts towards spirituality, civil service, vodka and the cult of power. What gives you the strength to believe that it will happen differently with the generation of iPhones and barbershops when you integrate into the existing (there are no others now) conditions in society and in the labor market? They are there, given the age-sex pyramid (which is far from a pyramid), they will never be in the majority..."