Saturday, March 24, 2018

Russians Ready to Forgive Authorities Anything as Long as Their Accustomed Life Isn’t Threatened, Klyamkin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 24 – Russian protests over trash disposal and other matters are fundamentally defensive rather than offensive, Igor Klyamkin suggests. That is, such actions reflect the underlying reality that the Russian “people are ready to forgive the bosses everything as long as their survival is guaranteed.”

            What that means, the Moscow social commentator says, is that the growing anger of the population is most likely to show itself when the population’s customary existence is threatened but not become the basis for any systematic challenge to the authorities as such (

            “Pensioners also at one time,” Klyamkin recalls, “began to block federal highways when they became angry about the fact that the monetarization of benefits was leaving them without medicines. But this was not a protest against the daily routine of survival.” Instead, it was a defense of that, “just like the voting of March 18.”

             Putin understands this and has appealed to the population on the basis of that understanding. Yesterday, he declared that “of course, there will be improvements, keep your hopes I them alive, but don’t expect them quickly.”  The population doesn’t. What it wants is to have its ability to live as it currently does remain unchallenged.

            According to the social commentator, Putin’s talk about a technological breakthrough “is not for the population; it is for the mobilization of his own power structure which feels a threat to its own existence not so much from technological backwardness as from their unpredictable consequences.”

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