[This article was written for the Unz Review]
Over 50 percent of Russians are disappointed in the government of Dmitry Medvedev, which, they believe, is unable to curb growing prices and provide jobs for people, a new poll has revealed. Some 23 percent said they were absolutely sure that the government must resign, with another 30 percent telling Levada-Center that they were also leaning toward this opinion. This means that a total of 53 percent would like the country to have a new cabinet. Trust in the government has crumbled since September, when only 23 percent advocated its resignation. Meanwhile, the proportion of people who believed the government should stay in charge was 40 percent, with 14 percent expressing full confidence in the cabinet, and 26 percent saying that resignation wouldn’t be the best idea.
This was very predictable and, in fact, I did predict just that when I wrote “A comment I just saw on the YouTube chat of the inauguration was succinct and to the point: “Путин кинул народ – мы не за Медведева голосовали” or “Putin betrayed the people – we did not vote for Medvedev”. This is going to be a very widely shared feeling, I am afraid (…) Medvedev is unpopular and that most Russians hoped to see a new face. Yet Putin ignored this public sentiment. That is a very worrying sign, in my opinion“. In a subsequent article I wrote that “it is quite clear to me that a new type of Russian opposition is slowly forming. Well, it always existed, really – I am talking about people who supported Putin and the Russian foreign policy and who disliked Medvedev and the Russian internal policies. Now the voice of those who say that Putin is way too soft in his stance towards the Empire will only get stronger. As will the voices of those who speak of a truly toxic degree of nepotism and patronage in the Kremlin (again, Mutko being the perfect example). When such accusations came from rabid pro-western liberals, they had very little traction, but when they come from patriotic and even nationalist politicians (Nikolai Starikov for example) they start taking on a different dimension. For example, while the court jester Zhirinovskii and his LDPR party loyally supported Medvedev, the Communist and the Just Russia parties did not. Unless the political tension around figures like Kudrin and Medvedev is somehow resolved (maybe a timely scandal?), we might witness the growth of a real opposition movement in Russia, and not one run by the Empire. It will be interesting to see if Putin’s personal ratings will begin to go down and what he will have to do in order to react to the emergence of such a real opposition“.
Think about it in this way: we know from ALL the past elections that the pro-Western segment of the Russian population is somewhere around 1-3% (that is why they cannot make it into the Duma). But let’s generously give that hardcore, liberal, opposition 5%, for argument’s sake. So if 53% of Russians want a new cabinet, and if 5% of Russians are hardcore pro-Western liberals, then who are the remaining 48%?
Or in this way: if 53% of Russians want a new cabinet, and if Putin’s approval rating is still somewhere in the 65% range, who are those Russians who like Putin but dislike the Medvedev government?
There is an easy cop-out argument which I´ve often offered to explain away this fact:
Levada Center is officially classified as a “foreign agent” under Russian law. This makes sense: for one thing, Levada Center receives most of its financing from abroad, including the USA and even the Pentagon! Furthermore, Levada is staffed by liberals (in the Russian meaning of the word which really means “pro-US”) whose biases are also reflected in their work. However, while this is all true, Levada is still credible enough to be cited even by Russian officials. Finally, the kind of results Levada publishes are often generally similar to the finding of the official VTsIOM polling institution, not down to the percentage point, but often reflecting similar trends (check out the VTsIOM English language page here: https://wciom.com/). So the fact that Putin is much more popular than Medvedev or that the majority of Russian people are unhappy with the government really is not in doubt.
So regardless of the actual numbers, it is clear that the Russian government is only popular with those whom it allows to make a lot of money (corporations and various millionaires and billionaires) and that everybody else strongly dislikes it.
And yet, recently Putin was asked if he was happy with the government and his reply was “on the whole, yes“.
This type of political yoga is hard to sustain in the long term: if Putin is the champion of the interests of the common people, and if most common people feel that the government cares more for millionaires and billionaires, then how can the President say that he is “on the whole happy” with the government?
It is truly a crying shame that the basics of Marxism-Leninism is not taught in schools and colleges any more (even some self-described “Communists” are clearly clueless about what Marx, Lenin or even Hegel taught!). Not because the solutions advocated by Marx and his followers are so universally effective, but because one can use the Marxist-Leninist conceptual toolkit to better understand the world we live in and, one can do this without necessarily endorsing the solutions offered by Marxism. For example, in the West at least, very few people are aware of this very simple Marxist-Leninist definition of what a state, any state, really is. According to Lenin, the state is simply an “apparatus of coercion and violence by which the ruling class governs the society“. Specifically Lenin wrote:
In essence, the state is ruling apparatus created from the human society. When such a group of people appears, one which is only concerned with ruling over others, and which for that purpose needs a coercion apparatus which can force people to obey by means of jails, special units, armed forces, etc, – that is the moment when the state appears (Lenin, collective works, vol 39, page 69).
From a Marxist point of view, any state is always and by definition the dictatorship of the ruling class, which is a good thing, at least according to the Marxists, when this ruling class is the workers and people, and a very bad thing when the ruling class is the plutocracy.
In the post-modern West, where political discourse has been reduced to a particularly nauseating form of intellectual flatulence, the very notion of “class” and “class warfare” has been fully replaced with vapid (pseudo-) identity politics which completely obfuscate all the real issues and problems our world is dealing with. Thus, by removing the concepts and categories needed to understand the nature of the struggle which is taking place internationally, but also inside each of the countries currently living under the AngloZionist yoke, the leaders of the Empire have deprived the people they rule over from the means to understand why and how they are oppressed. All that nonsense about “gay” rights, gun control, #meetoo, the many sex scandals, the struggle for racial identity (White or Black or any other), abortion, drugs and all the rest of the crap we are fed on a daily basis by the AngloZionist propaganda machine are primarily a distraction to keep the eyes of the general population from the real issues. In a way, this zombification and re-direction to fake topics serves exactly the same function as the red cape of the bullfighter: to keep the bull busy with trying to gore a harmless red piece of cloth while completely missing the real cause of his suffering and eventual death.
From that point of view, the Russian people are much better informed and have a much better understanding of what is going on. For example, while in the West the people define “democracy” as “people power” (or something similar), in Russia the joke is that “democracy is the power of the democrats” which, in Russia, is a general codeword/euphemism for “pro-US wealthy liberal” who want to turn Russia into some kind of “bigger Poland” or something equally uninspiring.
Various pro-Western “intellectuals” like to say that this is an old Russian pathology: to say that the Czar (President) is very good, but his court (the Ministers) are bad and that this makes absolutely no sense. These are the folks who go as far as denying the existence of a struggle between what I call Eurasian Sovereignists (roughly Putin supporters) and Atlantic Integrationists (roughly Medvedev and the “economic block” of this government).
The folks who deny this remind me of something Berthold Brecht once wrote after the 1953 uprising in Berlin in a short poem entitled “The Solution”: (emphasis added)
After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers’ Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?
This deep alienation from the Russian masses, this notion that the Russian people have, yet again, failed to heed the “wise words” of the “progressive intelligentsia” and other (mainly financial) “elites” has plagued the Russian ruling classes since Peter I and is still at the very core of their worldview. Believe you me, the Russian “liberals” and the folks in the West who deny that there is any 5th column in Russia are psychologically and politically joined at the hip: neither one of them can accept this. Furthermore, both the Russian “liberals” and the western believers in the values of “democracy” and “free market capitalism” share exactly the same worldview: they want the Russian people to become “Europeans” not in a geographical sense, of course (geographically speaking most Russian live in the European part of Russia), but culturally! This is what the Popes wanted, this is what the French Freemasons wanted, this is what the Nazis wanted, and this is what the AngloZionists want. That dream to turn Russians into Europeans while totally cleansing them from any “Russian-ness” is what united *all* the invaders of Russia over the centuries.
But the “stubborn” Russian people just don’t seem to “get it” and, for some totally mysterious reason, they always resist all these “benevolent” western attempts at “civilizing” them.
This is exactly what we see today: Putin and his Eurasian Sovereignists try as hard as they can to *sovereignize* Russia; in other words, they want to make Russia *truly* Russian again. Sounds basic, but that is categorically unacceptable to the Russian plutocrats and to their supporters in the West. Thus any kind of defense of the Russian-ness of Russia is immediately and contemptuously dismissed as “national leftism”, “nationalism” or, God forbid!, “monarchism”. And when the person trying to make the argument that Russia ought to be Russian uses Marxist concepts or categories, these arguments are also dismissed out of hand as an “outdated rhetoric of a system which has failed and discredited itself”. What they fail to realize is to say that the collapse of the Soviet Union was due primarily/solely to the Marxist or Communist ideology is just as stupid as blaming the current collapse of democracy in the USA on the writings of the Founding Fathers rather than on the SOB politicians who are destroying this country day after day after day. Tell me: when the USA finally bites the dust, will you simply declare that “democracy is dead” and that the “collapse of the USA proved that democracy is not a viable regime”? So yes, the Soviet Union did indeed collapse, broken into 15 pieces by its own ruling elite (the Nomenklatura), but the ideas contained in the Marxist-Leninist ideology have not only not been “defeated” – they have not even been challenged (more on this issue here).
But, thank God! most Russians are still not willing to be incorporated into the “European cultural Borg collective“, at least not in the cultural sense. And in spite of 300 years of oppression by various pro-western regimes (with various degrees of russophobia, not all were equally bad), the Russian people still want to remain Russian, not just by speaking a language, but by having a ruler and a regime in power which they feel defends their interests and not the interests of the ruling class. They want to live in their own civilizational realm, and not the kind of post-Christian intellectual desert the West has become.
Many decades of rabid russophobia by the rulers of the AngloZionist Empire have convinced the Russian people that they have no friends in the European or North American ruling elites and that true freedom comes through liberation, not submission. That, and the appalling example of the consequences of the “Euromaidan” in the Ukraine.
At the end of the day, it is not about GDP or the availability of cheap consumer goods. At the end of the day, it all depends on real, moral, ethical, spiritual and civilizational values. This was true 1000 years ago and this is still true today. At least in Russia.
It is very important to keep a close eye on this trend: the appearance of slowly but surely growing (truly) patriotic opposition (as opposed to the CIA-paid clowns in the Russian liberal camp). As for the “official” opposition (LDPR, KPRF and the Just Russia), they might decide to grow a few teeth, initially small, baby teeth only, but if this trend accelerates, they might decide to look a tad more credible. Until now the rather lame and ridiculous LDPR & KPRF parties are just a collective form of court jesters with no real opposition potential. Just look at how the KPRF, thoroughly discredited by their crazy choice of the millionaire Grudinin for candidate, jumped onto the pension reform PR-disaster to suddenly try to launch a referendum. This would never have happened in the past.
The political landscape in Russia is becoming more complicated, which is both good and bad. It is bad because Putin’s personal political credit suffers, however modestly for now, from his continuous inability to purge the Kremlin from the 5th columnists, but it is also good because if things get bad enough Putin will have no choice but to (finally!) get rid of at least the most notorious 5th columnists. But fundamentally the Russian people need to decide. Do they really want to live in a western-style capitalist society (with all the russophobic politics and the adoption of the terminally degenerate “culture” such a choice implies), or do they want a “social society” (to use Putin’s own words) – meaning a society in which social and economic justice and the good of the country are placed above corporate and personal profits.
You could say that this is a battle of greed vs ethics.
The future of Russia, and much of the world, will depend on the outcome of this battle.
UPDATE: well, just as I was mentioning that the fact that Levada Center and VTsIOM mostly agree, at least on trends, the Russian media is now reporting that the latter now also is reporting a drop in the popularity of Putin. And just to make things worse, the Russian authorities have deported an (in-)famous anti-Nazi Ukrainian journalist, Elena Boiko, to the Nazi-occupied Ukraine in spite of the fact that Boiko had requested political asylum in Russia. Now, Boiko is a very controversial person for sure (and, personally, not *at all* my cup of tea), but the sole fact that Russia would deport ANY anti-Nazi activist to the Nazi-occupied Ukraine is disgusting and revolting. And, sure enough, the bovine-excreta is already hitting the proverbial fan as now members of the Duma, journalists and various personalities are demanding explanations for this absolutely stupid and deeply immoral act. Sadly, can only agree with Nikolai Starikov who speaks of a “liberal revanche” following the “Russian Spring” of 2014. If this kind of nonsense continues we will see a further deterioration of Putin’s personal rating along with a gradual degradation of the Russian political environment.