Friday, September 20, 2019

Conflict in Russia Now Between ‘an Amoral and Degrading Elite’ and ‘a Normal Society,’ Nikolskaya Says

 Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 16 – The conflict that is growing in Russia is not a normal political one, Anastasiya Nikolskaya says, but rather a more fundamental one “between an amoral and degrading elite” and “a normal society,” a development that makes the standoff between the two far more “turbulent” and explosive.

            In a study the Russian Academy of Economic and State service social psychologist conducted with her colleagues Artem Kostrigin and Yelena Cherepanova (, she draws the following conclusion:

“People are demanding legality and await new leaders who will act at bearers of this principle. They are prepared to defend their legal rights, including the right to freedom, personal opinion, a peaceful foreign policy. [And] They consider the violation of the laws of their own country as morally wrong and demand that the law be followed by everyone.

Further, she writes, “growing political and economic inequality … is viewed by the population as a challenge, including a moral one, and is forcing them ever more openly to struggle for their legal rights.” Such a morally based protest is far stronger and more difficult to counter than any based on economic or political interests alone.   

In short, Nikolskaya concludes, “the ethnical mentality of the elites and the mentality of the population are beginning to diverge while at the same time under the impact of globalization, they are coming together in the majority of developed countries.” This divergence in Russia is generating “negative attitudes” among the population.

And that in turn “represents by itself a serious threat to social stability.”

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