Friday, December 9, 2016

Putin’s Geopolitical Moves Making Mass Protests and Even Revolution More Likely, Solovey Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, December 9 – In his new book, “Revolyution! The Bases of Revolutionary Struggle in the Current Era,” MGIMO scholar Valery Solovey analyzes the various “color” revolutions in the post-Soviet space and the failure of what he describes as a revolution of that type in Russia in 2011-2012.

            In an interview with “Moskovsky komsomolets” yesterday, the Moscow commentator not only describes in detail why he views the events of that time as a revolution and one that for a time had every chance of success but makes two important points about the prospects for revolutionary change in Russia in the future (

            On the one hand, Solovey argues, “all revolutions in Russia have developed according to the so-called central type: you seize power in the capital and after that the entire country is in your hands. Therefore, what people think at that moment in the provinces does not have any importance. For elections, it does; but for a revolution, no.”

            And on the other, he suggests that “the probability” of a repetition of the events of 2011-2012 is “quite high,” although “not inevitable.”  After those events, “the system did stabilize itself,” and those within the regime recognized that they could survive only by being loyal to the national leader, in this case, Vladimir Putin.

            “At the end of 2013,” the MGIMO scholar continues, “when in the country began to take shape the system of repressive measures, there arose the sense that everything had been fixed in cement and that nothing would be able to break out of or through that.”  But that sense didn’t last very long.

            The reason is that “as typically happens in history, the powers that be themselves provoked a new dynamic which undermined stability: first, Crimea, then the Donbass, and then Syria…”  That didn’t happen because of the Americans or because of the Russian opposition, Solovey insists.

            “By initiating a geopolitical move of such a size, you must take into account that it will inevitably have an impact on the socio-political system. And we see that this system is becoming ever more unstable,” as can be seen in “the increasing nervousness within the Russian elite, in mutual attacks, in the war of compromising materials and in the growth of social tensions.”

            And he concludes: “the turbulence of the system is growing,” something that also reflects the fact that “the revolution which we had in the late 1980s and early 1990s from the point of view of the criteria of historical sociology has not been completed” in that the figures of the ancien regime are still around.

            “You and I,” Solovey tells his interlocutor, “still live in a revolutionary era, and new revolutionary paroxysms are hardly to be excluded.”

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