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Between Utopia and Anti-Utopia. From Liberal Point of View

Between Utopia and Anti-Utopia. From Liberal Point of View
Ihlov Eugeny 12.07.2008

European court of human rights made a decision to consider a complaint of victims of "Nord Ost" on a private meeting. Russia achieved that decision under obligations to open a secret of gas used and even to reveal its agency introduced into organization which carried out act of terrorism. 

As to gas it's a widely known secret: derivative trimethylfentanyl, a sort of narcotic "crack". As to the agents -it's really a riddle in a riddle. Why they stoically kept silent till the time insurgents reached from the Chechen mountains to Dubrovka? What is absolutely incomprehensible, why they were not punished for such silence with all severity common to the department?! Though all these are particulars. It is much more important to understand, why the West agrees in such questions.

The Russian power went through two revolutionary crises during one century. Each crisis came to a change of epoch of liberalization. Therefore desire of both external world and moderate opposition inside the country to see Russia stable is quite explainable. For the huge majority any scripts of the Russian future, except for frankly catastrophic, seem comprehensible. The conclusion about advantages of status quo is made even in view of constant deterioration of a situation in the sphere of civil rights and at ascertaining of premature death of young Russian democracy. Warnings of our rights advocates and also of various foreign experts that the country is on the verge of transfer to a mode of fascist type mean nothing.

Meanwhile, I believe, hopes for stability - is a basic mistake. The board of tandem Меdvedev - Putin cannot influence fundamental bases of the system of authority ratified in Russia. There is an authoritative mode and natives of special services, taking into their hands control over policy and economy, are on the head of it. At that these figures do not at all remind knights of a dome and dart of Lenin-Stalin's times.

Putin gave special services a unique opportunity to grasp business of their victims, to place their proteges at all levels of state "vertical" and to form state ideology. Perhaps, only life-guardsmen of Ivan the Terrible had same extreme opportunities. The concept "neo-noblemen" which the recent head of FSB Nikolay Patrushev applied to a command structure of the state security much more adequately, than romantic "security officers", characterized feudal in their basis foundations of the Russian policy. The word "security officer" associates with the ascetic defender of Bolshevism and not with representative of quickly growing layer of administrative bourgeoisie. At Putin the given caste was being formed with active attraction of a working reserve of FSB and investigation. To tell you the truth, dissatisfied with desire of "neo-noblemen" to imprison each other, Vladimir Vladimirovich tried to separate interclan opponents and to make them do some socially useful work. But it won't change the general situation.

That is why, I repeat, it's naively to think that the present mode will start suddenly smoothly intergrade into a new "thaw" and Russia will return on a way of liberal reforms and democratic development. There are just few bases for such optimistic script.

It is possible to recollect examples of France ("liberal empire" mode at the end of board of Napoleon III) and imperial Russia (epoch of reforms of Alexander II and the second half of board of Nikolay II). In all cases readiness of a conservative wing of the ruling group to resort even to provocation of big wars was on hand - if only to stop amplification of democratic moods. Two previous waves of liberalization - at Khruschev and Gorbachev - were initiated by the ruling communistic nomenclature. The party elite searched for the guarantees from clean sweeps from special services and stalin's "fundamentalists", it strived for enjoying comfort, privileges and then the property. Now there is no political party of authority - carrier of "class world". "Edinaya Russia" is not taken into account: it's only a drivebelt for beating opposition. Real party in power here - the top echelon of power structures which make repartition of private and state property under covering of patriotic and antioligarchical rhetoric. These people do not need legal guarantees - they hope to provide their safety by themselves as they completely supervise justice. Clan wars and cross arrests is a quite tolerant cost in their opinion.

Restoration at least tiny respect to civil rights will mean not only termination of superprofitable process of capture of property but also real for "the party of life-guardsmen" prospect of loss of exclusive control over policy and big business. That is why the ruling group is interested in a forcing of reprisals and - for their justification - in fear before external world.

If to distract from improbable catastrophic scripts (attempt of palace revolution, application of force for suppression of mass protest, large-scale foreign policy crisis) Russia has some years of inertial development ahead. It will mean growth of corruption and social stratification; sharp reduction of social mobility marked by many sociologists; policy of constant balancing between the clans of security officers; intensive suppression of democratic opposition and cultivating of nationalism.

Sooner or later such development will come to its logic end. Either authority will be grasped by completely inveterate power group. Or fast rise of populist protest movement will begin as a result of a paralysis of authority. As in the Weimar Germany the nationalism and revanchism will find respectability. The movements of neo-fascist type will have only to criticize establishment for incompleteness in realization of chauvinistic program perceived no more as shocking display of extremism but as a national consensus.

Any of the variants bears in itself global danger to the world. Readiness of the Russian military elite publicly, as it was done in January, 2008 by the former chief of Joint Staff Baluevsky, to threaten with a preventive nuclear attack. Even at Khruschev, who repeatedly provoked international crises, the Soviet doctrine was based exclusively on concept of reciprocal use of nuclear power.

The probability of preparation of large scale military adventure is insignificant. But continuous warlike gestures create situation when "guns start to shoot" by themselves".

Let's take into account, however, that the lowest and average structure in thee army, militia and state securities, clerks in state institutions, small and average business are frequently dissatisfied with the position, sharply critically treat authority. To tell you the truth, this criticism is frequently conducted from right-radical positions. Thus, the ruling group cannot lean on neither loyal party incorporated by common will and ideology, nor on consolidated officer corporation, nor on oligarchy of business - elite. All present system bases on three foundations: propagation inspiring fear of any changes, of chaos of 90th years and of the western democracy; police and administrative reprisals against any dissenters and impudent exploitation of archaic national hope for "kind tsar" capable to punish "bad ministers and generals".

What should normal citizens do in this situation? Not to run either into illusions, or panic, or fatalism. Now in conditions of crisis of liberal parliamentary parties (Union of Right Forces and "Yabloko") complex process of creation and development of independent public structures focused on democratic values begins. The civil front should become a rear of radical democratic opposition which, obviously, will not change authority but supports the hope for opportunity of resistance to arbitrariness and corruption.

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