“In the 20th century,” he continues, “we had such control. After the death of Stalin, elites understood that they must never allow the application of the NKVD and MGB against themselves and the army; and collective control was retained through the entire period until the end of the USSR.”
According to Auzan, institutions like the Duma and Federation Council can contribute little to the changes that are needed. That is the lesson of the period between 1954 and 1991. Then this control was exercised by the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee which limited the general secretary, the special services and the Armed Forces.”
Today, there is no party that could produce such an organ. But there is an alternative: “It is necessary to transform, broaden and strengthen the Security Council. He must not be simply an advisory body: It must become a collective organ for the taking of decisions and holding officials to account.”
If this “Politburo 2.0” were to be created, Auzan continues, “then all would understand that this or that personnel shifts would not create the threat of the overthrow of the state and civil war because there would be collective control over the instruments of force.” Moving in that direction won’t be easy or quick, but it is what the elites and the country require.
And the reason is simple. On the other hand, any revolutionary change will only deepen and compound the current problems. And on the other, a move to such a system will allow people to take a longer view because “people are divided not by their views on this or that issue but by the length of their focus.
“For example,” Auzan says by way of conclusion, “if a liberal, a socialist and a nationalist divide up an annual budget, they will curse each other to the death; but if they talk about development over a decade of what needs to be invested in this, this and this, then, it may happen that they will agree” and the country will benefit.