Putin's final act
#1 May 31, 2012
Vladimir Putins new presidential term is just beginning, but it increasingly looks like the beginning of the end. Whenever Russias people pour into the streets en masse, as they currently are doing, from that point on things never work out well for the authorities.
In 1917, Russian Emperor Nicholas II had to abdicate in the wake of mass street protests, clearing the way for the Bolshevik Revolution. In 1991, the Soviet Union then seemingly an unbreakable monolith collapsed in just a few months. Hundreds of thousands went into the streets to confront the hardline coup against Mikhail Gorbachevs perestroika.
Now it is Putins turn. Moscow boasts Occupy Abai, modeled on the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States (and located on a boulevard next to a statue of Kazakh poet Abai Kunanbaev, whose work has gone from regional obscurity to one of the top Russian Internet downloads in a month). Other cities are witnessing protests as well, all echoing the same call: Putin must go.
Russians are famously patient and slow to rebel. And who would blame them? If protests have turned out badly for Russian governments over the centuries, they have ended even more disastrously for the protesters. In 1917, liberation from absolute monarchy ushered in an even more despotic form of absolutism. After 1991, Boris Yeltsins unruly privatization reduced millions of people to penury, and elevated a corrupt oligarchy into virtual rulership.
But, despite being well aware of their history, once Russians turn on the man at the top, they dont stop until he is out. History debunks Putins myth that the majority of the country supports him because they want stability, and that the protests, headed by Western stooges, are about to subside.
They wont abate. And the appointment of Igor Kholmanskikh, a tank factory foreman who had offered to come to Moscow with a burly cohort of his fellow assembly-line workers to defend Putins regime, to rule the vast Ural region will not scare them. Soft power has the upper hand today, and tanks cant shut down the Internet.
In nominating his new cabinet (which he deemed so important that he could not attend the G-8 summit), Putins Soviet origins could not be more obvious. Leonid Brezhnev used to have his culture and agriculture ministers swap places, as if bound by the word culture they were one and the same field of expertise. Putins new cabinet is a similar reshuffling of the incompetent with the unqualified.
This debunks another myth that Putin, now back in charge, will abandon his vulgar anti-Western rhetoric and become a reformer, understanding that only a democratic Russia can maintain its territorial integrity and sovereignty. And the reason that he wont embrace reform is that he cant, because that old truism absolute power corrupts absolutely has proven itself once more. After more than a decade in power, Russias leaders are no longer capable of pursuing better polices. Their personal interests, and riches, are too dependent on maintaining the status quo.
Of course, Russia has seen this pattern before as well. I will never forget what my great-grandmother Nina used to say about the corrupting nature of power in our own family.Regrettably, the Khrushchev of 1962 wasnt the Khrushchev of 1956. My great-grandfather denounced Stalins cult of personality, only to be worshipped for example, in the over-the-top documentary Our Nikita Sergeevich (1961) for his super vision of how to diminish imperialism and catch up with the West.
Khrushchevs self-eulogizing flatly contradicted his earlier de-Stalinization campaign, the point of which was that Stalin betrayed communism by doing all that he could to resemble the royals of the past. Everything officially said about him was superior and superlative:best friend of Soviet athletes,father of all children on earth, etc. That is the bombastic language of absolute monarchy.
#2 May 31, 2012
Later, Yeltsin, upon assuming office as Russias leader in 1990, denounced all Nomenklatura privileges as his first order of business. In his book A Confession, he wrote,As long as [Russians] are so poor and dismal, I cant eat sturgeon and caviar, I cant race cars, ignoring traffic lights, I cant take imported super-pills, knowing that a neighbor has no aspirin for a child. Because I am ashamed. When he left the Kremlin in 2000, his secret fortune, from real estate, yachts, horses, and other properties, was estimated to be worth at least 15 million dollars.
In January 2000, the novice President Putin gave a slew of persuasive interviews to Russian TV networks, praising the rule of law and promising not to remain in office a day beyond his two constitutional terms, or if he lost popular support. These are the rules of the game, of democracy, he said.
After two presidential terms, followed by a stint as prime minister and now a third presidency, Putin is entering his 13th year in power with 40 percent of the population desperately wanting him out. If history is any indication, that number will only grow.
#3 May 31, 2012
final act ? did putie die ???
Add your comments below
|Measuring Occupy Wall Street's impact, 5 years ...||Sep '16||Cordwainer Trout||8|
|Conman 'psychoanalyst' from Camden must 'never ...||Sep '16||Jimmy Ivine||1|
|Wall Street protesters plan march on DA's office (Oct '11)||Sep '16||indict peter becht||50|
|Occupy Wall Street rises up for Sanders (Apr '16)||Jul '16||Wall Street 2016||38|
|NBC poll Hillary Clinton's lead over Donald Tru...||Jul '16||deport trump||2|
|Movements to rival Occupy Wallstreet? (Mar '16)||Mar '16||TruthAndEnlighten...||1|
|Occupy movement protesters fight on - now in su... (Feb '16)||Feb '16||Liberte||39|
Find what you want!
Search Occupy Wall Street Forum Now
Copyright © 2016 Topix LLC