Thursday, October 22, 2015

Russian Nomenklatura Five Times Larger, More Privileged and More Dangerous than Its Soviet Predecessor, Gudkov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 22 – Over the last 15 years, Russia has been “transformed into a country of one leader, one party, and a state without law but with poor health care, education, and environment,” a system which can best be described as “nomenklatura authoritarianism,” according to Gennady Gudkov.

            And because the nomenklatura is interested in throwing up obstacles  to any change or innovation, it is “OBJECTIVELY INCAPABLE” of developing the country, something an ever larger share of Russians sense and either predict disaster ahead or try to emigrate, according to the opposition politician (
            During Putin’s reign, he continues, “Russia has finally been converted into a land of the bureaucrats and a paradise FOR the bureaucrats.” Even the most powerful businessmen risk losing everything they have if they run afoul of the wishes of senior members of the Russian nomenklatura.

            “Having received almost unlimited power, the NOMENKLATURA has also expanded to unheard of size: there are now five to six times more bureaucrats in a Russia with 140 million population than there were in the entire USSR with its 286 million residents.” They’ve filled up all the old government buildings and erected more.

            But in addition to its size, the nomenklatura has arrogated to itself ever more powers and privileges, most recently have secured protection from any exposure of what its members actually own even as they take more bribes and claim things that the citizens living under their control have no hope of ever seeing.

            “In advanced countries, people have long understood how dangerous the nomenklatura could become if it had power,” Gudkov continues. They require regular circulation of elites via honest and competitive elections, a balance of power between parliament and government, and the tightest possible control over the nomenklatura by the government, society, and the media.

            Unless and until Russia breaks the power of the nomenklatura by moving in that power, “the country will be led by the NOMENKLATURA headed by the chief bureaucrat, the President, is seeking to rule forever [and it] will be CONDEMNED to degradation … and a strategic lagging behind the rest of the world.”

            And despite the “zombifying” propaganda to which they are subject, “ever more and more thinking citizens are beginning to sense the historical dead end into which the NOMENKLATURA is driving the country.” That’s why 260,000 Russians applied for the 4,000 green cards that would allow them to live and work in the US.
            This is more applicants per space than for admission to any higher educational institution in the world and it is a truly shameful figure for Russia. Gudkov says that he will “hardly be mistaken if [he] says that the number of potential ‘refugees’ from completely peaceful Russia is today more than those who are running for their lives from the terrors of war in the Middle East.
“In short,” he concludes, if the nomenklatura state remains in place in Russia, then “Russia alas has no future, and the situation which exists now is for 90 percent unenviable and possibly even tragic. For this, one can say a big ‘thank you’ to the nomenklatura powers that be.”  

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