Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Putin’s Russian Nation Law Idea Shows ‘Ideological and Moral Bankruptcy’ of His Regime, Krasheninnikov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, December 14 – Vladimir Putin’s proposal to define the Russian nation in law and to use that definition as the basis of promoting an official ideology much as the CPSU did in Sovieet times shows “the ideological and moral bankruptcy of the powers that be of contemporary Russia, according to Fyodor Krasheninnikov.

            That is because, the Yekaterinburg commentator says in today’s “Vedomosti,” “if contemporary Russia doesn’t have an all-national ideology and if a single nation doesn’t exist, then nothing will change in a practical sense regardless of what documents are adopted by the State Duma” (

            Such an attempt to “define a nation and an ideology in the depths of the bureaucratic apparatus … will lead only to the extension of the opportunities for repression against those who don’t agree and of course to the growth of the bureaucracy, for if there is a state ideology, then paid ideologues are inevitable [to ensure] the unity of the Russian nation.”

            Given that Putin has said he favors such a measure, Krasheninnikov points out, it is almost inevitable that it will be adopted and that other derivative measures will be approved as well. But all this activity raises some questions which one would think the Kremlin would really be better off not having people ask.

            Among them are the following, the analyst says:

·         “If the need to fix and define the existence of the Russian nation arose only now, does this mean that no Russian nation exists at present?”

·         “If [as claimed] all citizens of Russia share this set of values, then why do these values need to be codified at an official level?”

·         If there are no such commonly held values, “then on what basis should one part of society accept as its ideology that which is does not share, does not understand, and does not accept?”

·         What mechanism should be imposed on those who don’t agree to bring them into line – and how does such a mechanism stay within the framework of the Russian Constitution?

·         And “will those who publicly refuse to accept the ideology adopted by the legislature be deprived of citizenship, lose some of their rights, be repressed, or will they be deported from the country?”

To ask these questions, in fact, is to subvert the purposes of any such law, as those pushing it should certainly know.

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