Having Rejected Liberalism, Kremlin Turning to Totalitarianism, Belanovsky Says
Staunton, January 5 – Sergey Belanovsky, the sociologist who attracted widespread attention for predicting the 2011-2012 protest wave, now says that there has been a major shift in the Kremlin’s vision for domestic policy but so far at least not in its view of the world beyond Russia’s borders.
He provides a list of 18 points that support his conclusion about changes in the thinking of Vladimir Putin and Kremlin insiders which provide support for his conclusions (rusmonitor.com/sergej-belanovskij-kak-nyneshnyuyu-situacziyu-v-strane-vidyat-rossijskie-vlasti.html).
- “Liberalism as an economic doctrine in Russia” has lost support and that puts the country on the path to a long-term and ever-deepening economic crisis.
- “Oil and gas incomes for the Russian budget have passed their peak and, in the future, will only decline further.” The regime has no plans for overcoming that.
- “Foreign pressure on Russia is already strong and will continue to intensify.”
- Russia is going to have to rely exclusively on its own resources.
- Given liberalism’s demise as a load star, the compass in Kremlin thinking has swung to the opposite pole, to Stalinism and centralization of control and distribution of resources.
- Interest in giant mega-projects is increasing.
- At the same time, the Kremlin realizes that these won’t be enough and is devoting more attention to boosting small business.
- The Kremlin is casting about for the resources it will need to carry out giant projects.
- Whatever the regime does, Belanovsky says, the Russian people will not see any significant improvement in their situation for at least 25 years.
- “The patience of the population is already at the limit,” and some in the Kremlin are worried about a Belarusian scenario in Russia.
- The Kremlin’s key problem is mobilizing the population while maintaining stability.
- The only way to do that, given the rejection of alternatives, is totalitarianism.
- In the Kremlin’s view, “democracy and ‘a Perestroika 2’ would lead to the disintegration of the country.
- Within limits, the Kremlin knows it needs to put relations with the West on a more stable and predictable basis.
- Despite all these problems, the Kremlin is prepared to fight to the end rather than making concessions it opposes.
- All these problems are compounded by the weakening of Putin with age and the inevitability of a transition.
- The Kremlin believes it must choose between dictatorship and chaos and is committed to saving the country via the first.
- But maintaining such a regime requires that the population have at least minimal support and some goal to hope for. The Kremlin at present isn’t providing either.
(c) Window on Eurasia