Staunton, June 18 – The hatred of the mass population for elites that control much of the current situation rather than their identification with the right or left as in the past lies behind political developments not only in both Russia and the US but in an increasing number of countries around the world, according to Maksim Kalashnikov.
Elites may and do seek to counter individual manifestations of this hatred by mobilizing such hatred in support of their own goals, invariably casting them as challenging “the deep state” or the oligarchs as the common enemy, the Russian commentator says. But that in no way vitiates the hatred or the revolutionary nature of the present (vpk-news.ru/articles/57392).
In the current issue of the influential Voyenno-Promyshlenny Kuryer, Kalashnikov argues that we are now confronted by “a worldwide revolutionary situation” that governments and elites more generally have no choice but to try to channel or counter, raising the question in particular of what the Kremlin will try to do next.
Preparations for the July 1 referendum show that the Kremlin has lost all support from the population at large, that no one believes that the step is about anything but keeping those in now power in power forever, and that whatever results are announced, the Russian people have decided are irrelevant.
The Russian people are suffering, especially beyond the ring road, because of the thievery of the elites and the failure of the latter to take notice of these problems and try to do anything serious about them. The situation has not yet reached the point of open revolt; but if conditions continue to deteriorate, it will.
“The hatred of the lower classed for ‘elites’ is breaking out everywhere,” Kalashnikov continues, because those on top whether on the left or the right have become “’a cursed caste’” concerned only about protecting what they have and ensuring that they can continue to exploit everyone else.
This has consequences: Belarusians are finally angry enough to vote out Alyaksandr Lukasheka thus depriving Moscow of its only ally and completing the formation of “a cordon sanitaire” against Russia along its Western border, the commentator says. But it also has direct consequences elsewhere.
Tensions are growing as a result within the United States whose leader Donald Trump at least has a strategy: playing up the Chinese threat to justify the reindustrialization of his country in order to dig in for the long haul and play to the interests of those for whom manufacturing jobs are the best route into the middle class.
Moscow in contrast doesn’t have a strategy behind making broad pronouncements, Kalashnikov says. It acts as if nothing fundamental has changed and as if the mass population is still on its side. Neither is true: hatred of the lower classes for the elites is growing, and using force alone to keep the former in line won’t work.
Not only will it now likely fail to intimidate but it will also and certainly do nothing to put Russia in a good defensive situation. Instead, the Russian economy will head toward collapse ever more quickly. The US can then count on picking up the remaining pieces it didn’t gain in 1991, even as it confronts China.
Trump’s strategy to try to ride popular anger against elites may ultimately fail, but he has as strategy, as Putin does not; and that suggests, Kalashnikov says, that Russia’s prospects for avoiding a dramatic settlement between masses and elites are far less bright than the denizen of the Kremlin thinks.