March 30, 2015
Translated by Kristina Rus
For several years I did not write a forecast for Russia. First of all, because there was no point – nothing changed, the main trends continued, no changes were noticeable. Today, the situation began to change – and this requires a new forecast.
It will not contain analysis of the past one – too much time has passed, so this project starts from zero (in contrast to the forecast of the world economy). But I will accent some aspects noted in the previous forecasts, because it is bothersome to look for them in the old texts.
We begin with a description of the Russian elite. It emerged in the process of decay of the post-socialist society in the framework of addressing the two main problems, which were defined by a pretty large section of the population, from organized crime to the lower and middle nomenclature. These problems are: to accomplish the total elimination of responsibility before the society and to ensure the transfer of their status (and accumulated wealth) by inheritance. The second problem was solved by the introduction of private property, first – by eliminating all more or less capable state institutions.
Since the end of the 90’s, when it became clear that the state cannot exist without institutions (and there was a problem of retaining the wealth stolen in the process of privatization), the policy of the elite has somewhat changed. In particular, some general rules were adopted (for example, the ban on appealing to the society in solving intra-elite disputes). And in the process of adapting these rules it was necessary to find an arbitrator, who could not only solve the issues between the various members of the elite, but also explain what actions within the framework of asset management are in line with the interests of the elite in general, and what is not.
The search for the arbitrator took some time, which, however, was not wasted – a process of integration into the elite of some siloviki [see below] was started, who not only stabilized the structure of the elite, but also became a tool that allowed to track and implement the decisions of the arbitration. And then, finally – the figure of the arbitrator, who had already solved similar problems in the criminal capital of Russia in the 90’s – the city of St. Petersburg.
Silovik; plural: siloviki, is a Russian word for politicians from the security or military services, often the officers of the former KGB, GRU, FSB, SVR, the Federal Drug Control or other security services who came into power. It can also refer to security-service personnel from any country or nationality.
The term is occasionally translated as “strongman”, but such a reading obscures the particular career background of a silovik.The term silovik, literally translated as “person of force” (from Russian сила, “force”), originated with the phrase “institutions of force” (Russian:силовые структуры), which appeared in the earlier Boris Yeltsin era (early 1990s) to denote the military-style uniformed services, including the military proper, the police (Ministry of Interior), national security (KGB/FSB) organisations and some other structures. These “structures of force” formed a de facto higher-level inner cabinet under Yeltsin (President 1991-1999) and Vladimir Putin (President 2000-2008, 2012-present).
Siloviki wish to encourage a view that they might be seen in Russia as being generally non-ideological and honest, with a pragmatic law-and-order focus and Russian national interests at heart. They are generally well-educated and bring past commercial experience to their government posts.
The siloviki do not form a cohesive group. They do not have a single leader and there is no common, articulated “silovik agenda”. However, according to John P. Willerton, these security-intelligence officials brought the work ethic and skills – that Putin apparently favored – to the administration.
He didn’t just come into power, but also brought the concept of Russia’s place in the world with which he grew up. This concept, the origin of which goes back to the late 50’s at least, and which, most likely, was introduced into the Soviet leadership by the efforts of Kuusinen, was of the notion of convergence, i.e. convergence of the elites of the West and the USSR. Before Putin coming to power, the Russian elites did not even think about the fate of the country – in the best case, they saw themselves in the position of Western appointees – the main task was to grab more, to hide the loot at the same West and continue this simple combination as long possible. A typical example of such behavior – the current Ukrainian elite. Putin changed this situation.
Note that the disappearance from the elite of Berezovsky, Gusinsky and Khodorkovsky was not Putin’s personal decision – it was a consensus of the elites. The elites expelled those who categorically refused to recognize any rules. In a sense, these people that have just got rid of the oppression of the state in terms of the necessity to enforce laws and regulations, categorically refused to put on a new yoke, albeit voluntarily and in a very narrow framework. The others did not like it, because not everyone had such resources of protection, as the “Troika” – and thus the elite consensus was reached.
Moreover, Putin even managed to give the “Khodorkovsky case” an additional angle – he used him as a tool, which forced the oligarchs of the 90’s to pay taxes. In Ukraine, where there was no analogue of the “Khodorkovsky case”, the oligarchs still do not pay taxes, the result is obvious. But now we need to digress.
The coming to power of Putin coincided with the coming to power in the U.S. of a hard imperial-republican George Bush Jr., and rather quickly, came the events of September 11, 2001. From the inter-American perspective it was the beginning of the economic crisis (I have said many times that my warning on September 10, 2001 [see below] was due to the fact that the U.S. government could not recognize the extremely poor economic results of the summer and had to look for external reasons, on which the situation could be blamed), but Bush was really in need of allies, because he had to make decisions (war in Iraq) that have not been approved by the international community.
September 10, 2001
A WARNING ABOUT TERRORIST ATTACKS AGAINST THE U.S.
On September 10, 2001 on the website of the magazine “Expert”, I wrote about the inevitability of major terrorist attacks against the United States.
Message sent: M. Khazin
Date: Monday, 10 September 2001, at 9:27 p.m.
In reply to: “Regarding DJ [Dow Jones]. Is it over or not yet?” (Dmitry Mylnikov)
– In the name and on behalf of the “Bolsheviks”. I don’t think that the monetary authorities of the U.S. posses market mechanisms of sustaining the markets. But they still have the non-market ones. Pay attention to the volume of trading – this week it is likely to grow – from buying the falling stock. Most likely will again lower the rate (only, of course, a little, but they still have 2-3 days, may be a week).
But the main intrigue is about something else. Bush is now surrounded by two teams. One – roughly speaking – “orthodox” Republicans, the ideologue of which is Kissinger. They believe that it is necessary to pull the country out of the crisis by raising industrial production based on new technologies. For this purpose it is necessary, first, to reduce taxes, and secondly, to provide state support for the industry (NMD! [National Missile Defense]). The resource for that should be the abandonment of many “external” projects that are needed by the financiers of Wall Street to maintain control over global finances.
The leader of this party in the Bush’s circle – most likely, Powell. As far as the mentioned financiers, they want to retain control over their financial empires at any cost, for which they need to fully control Bush and for the sake of the banks to bury American industry (because there are not enough resources left for both). They are Condoleezza Rice and Rumsfeld (? the Minister of Defense, I forget his name). And it is the clash between them that determines Bush’s policy, who is on the fence (for example, on the policy of the “strong” dollar).
From the point of view of Russian [interests], let the financiers win, although both will lead to a crisis. When? That is the question. I think that the “financiers,” in order to obtain control over Bush’s administration (with the dismissal of Powell), can resort to strong measures (like the bombing of American embassies, no wonder lately the media keeps mentioning Bin Laden).
By the way, very interesting in this respect are the thoughts of Berezovsky (who clearly had already “written off” Chubais as the leader of the “American” party in Russia and now is eager to take his place). To do this he has to return to Russia, which requires the support of a major political force and B. obviously chose SPS [The Union of the Right Forces headed by Nemtsov – KR]), which must correlate with one of these two parties. Because Chubais is clearly supported by the “financiers”, and B. works with the “Industrialists”? As the markets crash (I still think another 2-3 weeks they will hold on), we will find out.
http://web.archive.org/web/20040814162047/http://www.expert.ru/tmp/konfold/my18900.htm – link to web archives. Unfortunately, after reformatting the “Expert” website, direct link disappeared.
If Clinton considered the modern Russian elite as backward aboriginals who can be presented with beads and stones in exchange for the signing of any papers (“Sakhalin-2” for example), Bush was ready for some time to recognize certain rights of Putin and Russia, because he had other priorities. He and Putin had the understanding of energy problems of the world in common. And Khodorkovsky annoyed Bush with his affairs with China. And for this reason Putin received a “carte blanche” for quite a long time not only inside, but also to some extent outside the country. Nevertheless, his political activity was severely restricted – as once said the U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice: “The interests of Russia end beyond its borders.”
Overall, in two terms Putin continued on the path of convergence of the Russian elites, and then joyfully resigned from his post. “I worked like a slave in a galley” – is not a poetic exaggeration, but a real essence of the issue: a contract manager, working two terms, has decided to retire. He held a casting inside the elites, they chose a strongman and a liberal Medvedev, who became a president. But then the problems started …
They were related to the economy. The 2008 crisis was extremely unpleasant for the elite, it was initially unable to rule over anything (there is no control without responsibility, and responsibility was brushed aside with an iron fist), financial flows sharply declined, the role of arbitration increased dramatically, and Medvedev was clearly unable to do something. Some improvement in 2009-11, was, after all, not significant, and as a result, the elite turned to Putin with a request to come back. More precisely, a portion of the elite.
The most rabid collaboration-oriented part (which was headed and coordinated by Voloshin-Yumashev), for whom even the idea of convergence seemed too independent and who categorically refused to take responsibility for anything in the country (in particular, they were perfectly happy with the implementation of instructions of the IMF in the sphere of determining the economic policy of the government), did not want the return of Putin. And arranged the so-called “Bolotnaya” process, the purpose of which was to cast doubt on the results of presidential elections in the country.
As we know, “Bolotnaya” project failed, Putin himself did not just return to the presidency, but returned on completely different terms, than in 2000. Then he had the mandate from the elites, that is – was a contract manager, unable to fundamentally change the rules of the game. I should note that I’m not saying anything about his personal wishes – we are talking only about the [scope of the] possibilities. After 2012, the situation has changed fundamentally – Putin has received a mandate from the people and now had the right to fundamentally change the rules.
The need for such changes exists, and it is very strong. Here I will refer to the analysis of [historian] Andrei Fursov, made several years ago. The fact is that Russia in its history was in a very difficult situation several times, when the urgent need to modernize clashed with categorical refusal of some ruling group to carry out this modernization. Specific to the state structure of Russia, inherited from the Byzantine Empire (see http://worldcrisis.ru/crisis/1817898 ), in which the sacred head of state acts as the defender of the people against the ruling elite, this legitimate head must at any cost solve the problem of modernization. And over the past centuries some experience was accumulated.
The first modernization – the XVI century. Western Europe has already made a choice – the prohibition of interest is cancelled, the construction of capitalism begins, the era of scientific and technological progress. We have a conservative oligarchy, the generalized name of which is – the Rurikovich’s, strictly constrain any attempt of modernization. This is the reason for the emergence of oprichnina [see below] and the pressure of Ivan the Terrible on the elites. I note that among the people he is remembered as a strictly positive figure, since he fully fit into the Byzantine standard.
The oprichnina is the period of Russian history between 1565 and 1572 during which Tsar Ivan the Terrible instituted a domestic policy of secret police, mass repressions, public executions, and confiscation of land from Russian aristocrats.
The reforms of Ivan the Terrible were not successful. It almost bared a positive outcome at the hands of Boris Godunov (who, according to many historians, was the most outstanding administrator at the head of our country), but his death halted the reforms and the Rurikovich’s took revenge. Incidentally, I do not exclude that the choice of Mikhail Romanov for the throne was the result of a common position of the Russian society after the short reign of Vasily Shuisky: anyone but not Rurikovich.
The reforms of Ivan the Terrible were completed (relatively) only by Peter the Great, and under the conditions of already substantial backlog and a strong time pressure, they were so harsh that the population of our country was reduced as a result. And Peter himself entered the people’s memory as the Antichrist.
Next time the problems arose in the second half of the nineteenth century. Here the main enemies of change were the feudal ruling groups (the “great princes”), who brought the country to the revolutions of February and October 1917. But since the revolution could not solve the main problem of modernization, it re-emerged, in the early 20’s of the last century. Here the conservative opposition of reform were the “old Bolsheviks” who wanted to enjoy life, and not to strain themselves for the needs of the country. The role of the leader here was played by Stalin (and it is in the process of these reforms that he was raised to the status of a sacred leader) and his work was a complete success. I note that this according to the same Byzantine model: the leader with the people against the elite.
But in the 80’s of the last century, the problem reemerged. Theoretically, it had to be solved by Byzantine recipes, that is to nominate a leader who, leaning on the people, would fight with the glutenous and refusing to move forward nomenclature and trade mafia. And then there were resources for that – this is shown by the experience of Belarus in the last 20 years. Instead, a nomenclature revolution was staged, the first secretaries of the Union republics agreed to divide the country and what happened – happened.
If the elite of the Western global project could implement their plans in such a way as they were written in the 80’s- 90’s, there would be no problems – sooner or later Russia would be disposed of. But the crisis began (the genesis of which is described in the framework of our theory: http://worldcrisis.ru/crisis/1060229 that you can read about in detail on the website) and in the end we received quite a complex geopolitical configuration, which we still can not untangle. And here I’ll begin the forecast section from the main domestic conflict.
The Modern Russia consists of three main factions. First – family-liberal, the leaders of which are: Voloshin, Yumashev, Chubais and Kudrin, and the base are the oligarchs of the first period, who received the major benefits from privatization, tax evasion, corruption and raiding. Their common name – “the liberals”. Their main problem is – business is not profitable, it is harder to receive budgetary preferences, the battle for resources left in the country increases, the legality of capitals deposited in the West falls all the time.
Options: to fight with Putin and return the situation into the 90’s; become the puppets of the Western project; try to “squeeze” alternative clans; give up and escape to the West. The probability of the latter option keeps falling, as they have been repeatedly told that they can no longer be oligarchs or any meaningful figures. And as they are not great at doing business, with rare exceptions, emigration may lead to complete poverty.
This group almost entirely controls the economic and financial policy of the country, and its bureaucratic part is almost directly fed by the global financial elite (through the IMF). I note that the world financial elite is only a part of the overall elite of the Western global project, but it is this portion that over the last 100 years (after the creation of the Fed) dominated in terms of determining the financial and economic policy. The “liberals” in Russia are principled opponents of any development (as it is contrary to the interests of the elite of the Western project and would almost certainly lead to the washing out of the representatives of this group from the managerial elite), and for a long time had no political agenda of their own. This was very well illustrated at another Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum: http://worldcrisis.ru/crisis/1839439
The second group – siloviki and the oligarchs of the second generation, of 2000’s. They don’t have such defined leaders, rather, there is a complex collective leadership. They also have a few options. For a while they can “press” the “liberal” oligarchs and businessmen, pushing them to the role of political refugees, giving them some protection in the West. However relative, and only under political activity (Khodorkovsky). But this path is clearly limited in time.
The second option is the imposition of strict autarky and turning Russia into a total dictatorship. In a sense, it is an accelerated previous option, the point of which is that if the West expects a total crisis, the priority is to survive before it happens. As the representatives of the “liberals” are quite reasonably suspected of representing the interests of the West, they need to be removed from power ASAP, because they are weakening Russia on the eve of the crisis – executing the program of support of the dollar economy, attributed to the IMF.
The positive part of the strategy is to intercept the financial flows from the “liberals” (which roughly doubles the resource of this group) in the framework of the interest of the group and military modernization of the economy based on pre-war industrialization. Where to get the necessary resources and who will implement the relevant programs is not very clear. One thing is clear – siloviki themselves cannot execute such programs, they’ll have to increase their support group significantly by creating from scratch the managerial elite of the country at all levels. Actually, as it was done in 30’s.
The third group, the influence of which should not be underestimated – are the regional elites, primarily, national. They no longer support the program of the 80’s on dissection of the country (because they see the results of the reforms in the former republics of the USSR), and in this sense, are ready to support any strong power in Moscow. Theoretically, they are more inclined to support the “siloviki” (because the “liberals” threaten the disintegration of the country and increasing the level of instability), but will actively struggle for the privilege and access to budget funds. In any case, this is a serious resource of the country’s leader in the process of constructing a system of checks and balances.
All other forces in Russia (the left, monarchists, Russian nationalists, etc.) are highly marginalized and have no resources to strengthen their position. The only exception is the patriotic forces, which were strengthened as a result of the events in Ukraine. They, however, have not yet put forward common leaders, but strengthened at the mid level of “siloviki” (and among the youth section of the “liberals”). If the economic situation in the country will rapidly deteriorate, it is possible that this group will offer a new discourse, within which the political configuration in the country will be determined.
Globally the situation is even more complex. After “Strauss-Kahn case” there was a split in the global financial elite which has jeopardized the fate of the entire Western global project. The fact is, as it follows from our theory, the resource of the growth of capitalism is exhausted, resulting in a Western project lacking a positive program supported by resources. This leads to a sharp rise in anti-American sentiment around the world and the gradual rise to power in various countries of a priori anti-American contra-elites. And although they are theoretically not prepared to completely destroy the existing system, since the US has no resources for the redistribution of financial flows, they will have a tough time. Especially, after the acceleration of the economic crisis.
In reality, the Western project elite has split into several groups, which compete with each other pretty intensely, because taking into account the impact of the crisis, there is not enough pie for all. Roughly speaking, there are three groups. The first is that section of the elite, which can’t give up the modern financial system, which is based on emission. These are the largest banks and financial institutions, the global bureaucracy, both financial and political, part of the elite of nation states (not USA). Their situation is very dire, especially after they failed to appoint their man (Summers) at the helm of the Fed. Note that it is this group that controls the Russian “liberal” management team. All the officials of the government, the Central Bank, expert groups, close to the Higher School of Economics, Russian Economic School, Gaidar Institute – are the members of this group. Of course, with extremely low weight.
The second group are those who are tied to the American national elite. They have two positive projects, so to speak, “program maximum” and “program minimum”. The first is the creation of a free trade zone between the US and the EU, plunging the rest of the world into total chaos. This program (tentatively it can be called a “Castle on the Hill”), in theory will allow to maintain the standard of living of the “Golden” billion (US and several countries in Western Europe) and dominance in the world of the Western project elite.
The main advantage of this scenario – at the expense of the resources of the fairly wealthy residents of the EU, it will allow to save the “middle class” in the United States, that is, will allow to save the socio-political model of the United States. But if the events will unfold by the worst scenario, there is plan B.
If this project fails (I have my own opinion on this matter, but it is not quite suitable to discuss here), then there is the option to split the world into currency zones, including the dollar, led by the US and the Euro, which will include Western Europe. Then a serious technological degradation is inevitable and a dramatic fall in living standards, so of course, this scenario is not preferable.
The third group is the section of the global financial elite (the largest and the wealthiest, but nevertheless a part of the Western global project elite), which is not directly related to the United States. Its foundation is the financial arm of the former British Empire, which is usually associated with the Rothschild name. Indirect data shows that the main positive project of this group is the disintegration of the world into currency emission zones, and they plan to assume the place of the settlement system between these zones. They do not like the idea of “The Castle on a Hill”, as in this case their position will be sharply weakened. For this reason, this group is looking for contacts among the siloviki of Russia, actively supporting actions aimed at the creation of the ruble financial system and the Eurasian integration – i.e. the creation of a regional ruble financial system [or Evraz or Altyn – KR].
Proceeding from the described scenario virtually all of the trends taking place in Russia can be explained. The “liberals” brought the Russian economy to a crisis, the recession began back in late 2012. However, the global financial system needs resources (the American bureaucrats gradually “closed” the emission), for this reason the Central Bank and the Russian government (Ministry of Finance in the first place) continue to encourage the withdrawal of capital, the placement of our reserves in dollar assets (realizing that there are serious chances of not getting the money back). Meanwhile they are terribly afraid of being removed from power, because they have no resources alternative to budgetary and administrative – in this case, they will lose all their assets in Russia in one or two years, and in the West, in the absence of support from Russia, they will be stripped within a few years.
From the point of view of national interests (and the position of a man, who has a mandate from the people), Putin should have swept the liberals a long time ago. Their attitude towards the “May decrees” alone is enough! However, there is still political feasibility – as there are just two active groups in power, the elimination of the liberals automatically puts Putin in a complete dependence from the siloviki. Which, almost automatically, deprives him of any freedom whatsoever, including regarding his mandate before the people.
I think this is the reason that stops Putin from punishing the liberal officials for their blatant sabotage. Besides, the dismissal of the liberals actually means a sharp increase in anti-American rhetoric, the coming to power of the contra-elite, open confrontation with the US. We are clearly not ready for it – first of all economically. The threat of real sanctions is hanging quite seriously – and we have terrible weaknesses in the economy, for example, we have no seed grain, no clan farms, even no eggs to hatch broilers … In this situation, sudden movements can lead to extremely serious problems.
In fact, in recent years the situation remained stable – “liberals” and “siloviki” fought for administrative authority, won some, lost some – overall life went on more or less peacefully. Meanwhile the level of conflict continued to escalate due to the external pressure (Ukraine), and because of the shrinking of the “pie”, which could be divided within the elite consensus. Note that this consensus was created by the “liberals” in the 90’s in the process of privatization and destruction of the Soviet system of governance (including the judicial and law enforcement system). But siloviki perfectly blended in and fully supported the corrupt system. Actually, in this sense, the task of modernization, facing the society (and perhaps Putin) is not very different from the problems of Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great or Stalin.
The problem of Ukraine in the recent year has sharply exacerbated these contradictions and moved the situation from the simmering process, it which it remained for a few years (why, in fact I didn’t write forecasts for Russia). And today there are several options of development of events which should be noted.
First of all, the Ukrainian events have seriously changed the position of “siloviki”. If previously they had no position in relation to the outside world – that is, in general, agreed to the discourse, which was offered by the “liberals”, the question was only, from what positions to agree with the Western project elite, but today several parties have emerged. And it creates a possibiliy that instead of the balance of “siloviki” – “liberals”, adjusted by the position of the “regionals”, another system of checks and balances can be created. Among the “siloviki” clearly emerged a party of patriots-monarchists, somewhat less clearly – the party of the “new liberals” and, finally, almost invisible – the party of revitalization of socialism. The latter is practically not institutionalized, however against the background of strengthening of the group, which is seriously trying to restore monarchy in the country (and even to bring back the Romanovs) it would seriously increase.
As so often happens, consolidation within these proto-political parties occurs due to the external factor. “Patriots-monarchists” are guided by the old continental elites of Western Europe, which clearly are trying to take revenge of the Western project for the defeat in the I and II World wars. In some places they even achieved local political success (Hungary) and the behavior of this country clearly shows who they see as a strategic ally. For the Russian economy the “patriots-monarchists”, after all are considering rigidly autarkic models. They do not always support a strong integration with non-Slavic countries. An important role in this group play the Russian nationalists, which is natural, considering who is their partner in Western Europe.
The main partner of “new liberals” (who are less clearly defined than the “patriots”) are the same Rothschilds, whom I mentioned above. Their policy is a maximum Eurasian integration (fully functional currency zone, self-sufficient system of division of labor must have a minimum of 500 million consumers), the creation of a ruble currency-emission zone, close cooperation with the leaders of other alternative zones, including with the American “isolationists” who may come to power in the US after the elections of 2016. Note that both the first and the second group are opposed to the Western global project, “Castle on the Hill.”
They also have major differences. The first group is for the sharp strengthening of the role of Orthodoxy, a limit (but not the end) of Eurasian integration beyond the purely Slavic countries, relative limit of the relationship with the current leaders of the Western project. And also – for the restriction on integration with China.
The second group is much more pragmatic, it actively cooperates with a portion of the Western project elite and China (for now, more in its interests), not really loving the ROC (Russian Orthodox Church), considering it too conservative and inflexible, although it does not deny its unifying role. Clearly focuses on non-Slavic countries within the Eurasian integration (Turkey, Central Asia). Is seriously considering the possibility of working with a number of Islamic countries.
But both of these groups have a very serious problem which in the very near future, during the formation of a political position, will become fundamental. They have nothing to offer the society as a constructive policy of a fight against the model of social structure, which was built in Russia in the 90’s. The society obviously does not accept it, hence the enormous rating of Stalin (who is associated with the idea of the accountability of authorities before the society) and Putin. However, in the latter case there is a serious error of the West, which, having built a dichotomy “Either Khodorkovsky with Navalny as “the fathers of Russian democracy” or “bloody Putin” ” happily pushed 90 percent of the people towards Putin.
In addition, not only Russia has economic problems but other countries, which are to be included in the “Eurasian zone” and some new slogans are needed to compensate for economic competition in the framework of integration processes. I think the key element here would be the ideas of socialism, moreover, as the living standards of the population drop, these ideas will inevitably rise, but so far there is virtually no political group that could develop the relevant idea.
Here I should complete the general description of those groups that will interact with each other in 2015. It seems to me that the consolidation of these groups will be the main process that determines the situation in the country in the coming year. Also of note are some of the most important moments.
First of all, Putin will not remove the liberal government and the leadership of the Central Bank until the proto-parties are clearly shaped among the “siloviki”. The first, however, is almost shaped, if the Ministry of Defense will further strengthen, it will become the coordinating center of this group, although it will include the representatives of other power structures. The second group will form a purely political group. It will increase its electoral potential through hard criticism of privatization and corruption from liberal positions and seek cooperation with the infamous “Rothschilds” and American isolationists. There are serious grounds to believe that their efforts will be welcomed by these groups, which, incidentally, may be the base for lifting the sanctions against Russia.
Let me repeat: I believe that the possibilities to remove the liberal government will only appear after such a party, “the new liberals” will be more or less shaped and will be able to present their claims for the formation of economic policy of the country.
As for the socialist course, it needs to be presented to the society by Putin personally. I believe that it is stupid to abandon the Byzantine tradition of the relationship between the leader of the country and the society (all the rest, in general, did not succeed in a historically foreseeable period of time). Actually, the “May decrees” were a move in this direction – but taking the first step Putin did not make the second. However, it is this direction that allows him to get the real support from the society not in the polls, but in the implementation of development programs. A serious support for this course (in some limited way) will be provided by regional elites. But the main thing – only this direction will enable a dramatic increase of Russia’s role in the world, including in the Islamic world. I note that the current processes of strengthening the credibility of Russia and Putin personally (which causes a wild backlash in the mainstream media) in Western society are connected with the phantom image of the USSR as a guardian of values alternative to the Western global project.
As I wrote, the Western project has no positive program today, but we don’t have it either. But if there are no programs, then there is a primitive battle for resources in which we have virtually no chance. But if we have a system of values and a positive program, and they don’t, then the role of resources falls sharply … And here we have not only a serious, but a key resource.
The forecast turned out to be quite relative: I consider the key points – the emergence of a “new liberal” party, followed by a liquidation of the liberal party in Russia, but I don’t know when it will happen. There is not even a certainty that it will happen this year. While the “liberals” are in power the crisis will continue, as well as the sanctions. Besides, it is not clear when Putin will begin to build the sequence of a socialist management (at least partially). I think, that if he doesn’t, then his rather fragile balancing act [among the elites] will at once be completely destroyed and he will have to step down. In this case it is quite naive to talk about a forecast – the situation will unravel.
Anyway, my apologies to those who expected the exact data about the budget expenses, ruble exchange rate etc. The rate of uncertainty is too great, we may only talk about the fundamental processes and groups, which I attempted to describe.
March 10, 2015
- Ideology is a greatest resource, and those who will offer the best ideology will change the future world
- Real politics have little in common with their portrayal in the media
- Most mainstream political process occurs within a generally accepted alternative reality
- World leaders are dependent on their own and global elites, and may only act within the scope of that relationship, although they may not cease to try to increase that scope (like in Crimea, South Ossetia or Novorossia, according to the demands of the people)
- The biggest burden on societies are their elites
- Corruption is human nature and if the people do not figure out how to deal with their elites, the elites will deal with the people
- We are far less advanced then we think we are
- Big changes are on the way