Monday, March 19, 2018

Putin Fears Declaring an Ideology would Split Russia, Khaldey Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 18 – Over the last 50 years, Russia has changed ideologies three times, Aleksandr Khaldey says; and there are significant supporters of each of them still around. As a result, Vladimir Putin has avoided declaring an ideology for the same reason the 1993 Constitution did – to maintain civic peace and avoid a civil war.

            Were he to promulgate a single ideology, the Moscow nationalist commentator says, he would immediately be confronted by opposition; and so instead, the Kremlin leader makes a nod to each part of the spectrum satisfying no one completely but alienating no one completely either (

            Many of Putin’s critics assume, Khaldey says, that the US was behind the ban on ideology in the 1993 Constitution, but that is “a conscious lie.” The prohibition was something in which Russian elites were vitally interested in, he continues, because it was the only way to prevent a civil war and unending national conflicts.

            “The main goal of the authorities at present,” the commentator says, “is the preservation of civic peace even at this cost,” which is not small because without an ideology Russians are less willing and able to oppose the ideological challenges coming from abroad and in some cases from within.

            But not declaring an ideology, as understandable as it is in Russia’s case, is problematic for three other reasons as well. First, it means that the current Russian elite is operating with a “hidden” ideology of liberalism even as it denounces that. Second, it means that the Russian people cannot be mobilized to make the sacrifices Russia’s position requires.

            And third, Khaldey says, it means that the Russian elite and the Russian people cannot draw on the ideas of solidarism that have animated other leaders and states which have been interested in promoting national consolidation. By failing to do so, they have lost sight of the fact that Russia is at the center of “an anti-liberal front of forces.” 

            “The demand for solidarity,” he continues, “is not the exclusive prerogative of fascism. Unity and solidarity are a constant of many other ideologies, with the exception of liberalism” which opposes their core values.  Russia’s conflict with the West today is in the same paradigm as the solidarist impulse in the 1930s.

            According to Khaldey, “the sharper the need for consolidation becomes, the more inevitable will be the formulation of an actual ideology,” one that must draw on elements from the past and adapt them to the conditions of the present because “in all times, people resolve one and the same tasks.” 

It is clear and disturbing what past he believes Putin and Russia are moving toward.

No comments:

Post a Comment