Monday, August 12, 2019

Ten Unwelcome Truths Russians Must Accept If Their Country is to Progress

Paul Goble

            Staunton, August 10 – Aleksandr Bondaryev, a theoretical physicist, and his coauthor Elizaveta Pokrovskaya offer on Facebook ten truths that Russians of all kinds must understand and come to terms with if the country is to make progress for those who live within it ( reposted at  and

            Many will reject some or all of these propositions, but Bondaryev and Pokrovskaya’s list highlights some of the most fundamental misunderstandings which affect both the defenders of the current order and its most passionate opponents. As such their list provides a veritable checklist of issues on which many need to rethink their assumptions.

            The ten are:

1.      Russians must understand and come to terms with that “the Empire (Russia) in its current form is not viable either geographically or bureaucratically and that any power, even one full of the best intentions, which continues to try to preserve the Empire will suffer an inevitable defeat.”

2.      They must understand and acknowledge that “’reforms from above’ traditional for Russia every time remain incomplete and lead only to the restoration of the form regime in one form or another.

3.      They must understand and recognize that “the interests and needs of various regions are different and may not coincide or may even contradict the interests of the Center.”

4.      They must “recognize that certain territories of Russia have already become districts of social collapse, ‘dead’ zones sometimes in the literal sense, and that all that can be done with them is too provide assistance to those who are forced to remain there but would like to break out of these places of social misfortune.”

5.      They must cease to view Russia and the Russian population exclusively as objects of politics who are to be controlled and directed from above.

6.      They must accept that the notion that 3.5 percent of the population is sufficient to change things is completely false. Far more people must be involved.

7.      They must accept that the needs and requirements of any group are better known to its members than to those who are not part of them and who live elsewhere.

8.      They must recognize that “the most natural form of meeting the local interests of people can only be local self-organization and self- or mutual-assistance which can take the most varied forms.”  They must never assume that such local bodies be coordinated by those above them.

9.      They must recognize the right of people in the localities to make their own decisions and not try to impose the views of the current state or the opposition on them.

10.  And they must recognize already now that if local self-administration is established and if the center at some point weakens, some localities will declare their autonomy or “even independence.”

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