Staunton, July 30 – Members of the Soviet nomenklatura as officials named from above by the CPSU were known and were so brilliantly described by Mikhail Voslensky a generation ago followed every twist and turn in the party line, but their successors – the senior people in the ruling United Russia Party – are even more morally flexible than their predecessors.
That is the argument of Moscow commentator Igor Yakovenko who suggests the term edinorossus vulgaris as the most appropriate description of the ultra-obedient and flexible “everyday United Russia” leader, who is capable of saying things that no Soviet nomenklaturshchik ever would (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=597CD55C2A682).
Many people simply view the current species as a direct continuation of the earlier one, Yakovenko says; but there are important differences. No member of the nomenklatura could ever dream of having the wealth that United Russia people do, and no one of them could ever advise people in financial difficulties, as one Sverdlovsk United Russia official did, to “eat less.”
According to the Moscow commentator, “an important evolutionary advance of the Soviet nomenklaturshchik was a flexible spine, but the degree of elasticity of the ordinary United Russia man is immeasurably greater” because unlike his predecessor “there is no core in the form of Marxism, communism, and also internationalism and other -isms.”
Edinorossus vulgaris “in the course of a long and difficult evolution has rejected” all of them as unnecessary and even harmful “in the world of political struggle for survival in the era of developed Putinism,” Yakovenko says. As a result, there have been significant and irreversible changes in the brains of the ordinary United Russia leader.
“The structures responsible for logic, empathy, and one’s own dignity have all disappeared.” That becomes obvious, Yakovenko suggests, if one compares members of the Soviet nomenklatura with such figures as Yarovaya, Zhelenyak, Markov, Fedorov, Milonov and Poklonskaya.
This year marks the centenary of the birth of homo soveticus, the commentator continues, noting that “one of the first to describe this strange anthropological type” was the philosopher Sergey Bulgakov. He has been followed by researchers at the Harvard Project in the early 1950s and then by the research of Yury Levada in the 1980s and 1990s.
“Many archeologists,” Yakovenko recalls, “dream of being in Ancient Rome. Many paleontologists would like to see a living dinosaur. Russian social scientists and anthropologists are incredibly lucky: they can observe while living the surprising zigzag of human evolution by examining the large population of everyday United Russia people.”