Staunton, March 3 – On March 2, 1930, Pravda published what came to be known as Stalin’s “dizzy with success” speech in which he suggested that when successes are achieved with “relative ‘ease,’ that induces “a spirit of vanity and conceit” and the notion that “’we can achieve anything’” overnight because “’there is nothing we can’t do.’”
Stalin’s words were directed at those communists who had carried out his orders to collectivize agriculture, a program that cost millions of lives and that many Ukrainians and others to this day refer to as an act of genocide. But the psychological problem arising from easy successes lives on in his successor, Vladimir Putin.
In a comment for Rosbalt, Vladislav Inozemtsev argues that Putin and his team are “dizzy from impunity,” from the fact that they can behave as they like, lie about it, and continue to get away with whatever it is they are caught at. Indeed, the Moscow economist says, this has become “the new normal” for the Kremlin (rosbalt.ru/posts/2018/03/01/1685841.html).
Over the last five years, Inozemtsev says, the Putin regime has gone through one scandal after another, doping at the Sochi Olympiad, oligarchs and prostitutes, cocaine smuggling, and the loss of mercenaries in Syria. Each time, many have treated these as somehow unique and almost an accident. But none of them has been.
Instead, he argues, “before us is ‘the new moral’” for the Putin regime, one in which “the Russian political elite has lost not so much its carefulness as its sense of the limits of the permissible.” And its members do not understand how in today’s transparent world, they are going to be caught and caught in their lies about what has happened every time.
“It seems to me,” Inozemtsev continues, “that the impressive scandals of the last weeks is only the very beginning of the falling into public view of ‘skeletons from Slavic and not very Slavic closets which have been distributed practically everywhere throughout Russia from little cities on the periphery to the Kremlin itself.”
And all this has “a single cause,” he suggests. There are too many Russian bosses who imagine themselves to be demiurges who can do anything and too many Kremlin inmates who have sold each other the illusion that the world they have invented is in fact real.” But “a lie does not become true even if it is uttered by the president, not to mention his press secretary.”
Moreover, a secret doesn’t remain that just because someone has stamped a folder with that word. “As long as people in Moscow don’t understand this,” Inozemtsev says, “Russia will remain the chief supplier of dirty sensations for the rest of the world.” And all the evidence available shows that they don’t understand it at all.