Sunday, July 19, 2020

Putin Regime has Become ‘Enemy of the People,’ Delyagin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 16 – The recent pathetic behavior of the Kremlin has finally born fruit: the Russian people “ever less believe that they chose this regime and ever more often instinctively and unconsciously view it as their real enemy,” thus transforming those accustomed to labelling others “enemies  of the people” into exactly that themselves, Mikhail Delyagin says.

            The Moscow economist and commentator says that “everywhere in Russia,” fewer and fewer people believe that they could ever have supported the current regime. The protests in Khabarovsk are simply an exemplar of what is true in many parts of the country (

            In fact, Delyagin argues, “a significant part of people considers that even a suspected murderer and criminal in a leadership position would be better than any appointee of this federal power.”  That is not because Khabarovsk is far away but because of the nature of the powers that be in Moscow who seem incapable of doing anything but lying, stealing and repressing others.

            “The de-sacralization of power is being completed before our eyes” because of the contempt the regime has shown for the well-being of Russians by continuing to violate the constitution and then scheduling a vote on its modification at a time and in a way certain to leave more Russians ill.

            As is typically the case with such developments, those in power don’t recognize that this has happened and instead assume that they have as much support in the population as they ever did, Delyagin continues.  But at least some near the top suspect things have changed and have intensified their struggles for their own wealth and power.

            One can say, he argues, that “precisely this sense is the main distinction between ‘administered,’ ‘manipulated,’ sovereign’ or other forms of souvenir-style democracy and traditionally democracy, a system of rule rapidly retreating into the past throughout the entire world.”

            Whatever its shortcomings, that democracy “really depends on the people and is forced, even while effectively manipulating the people, to constantly take into account the latter’s attitudes and desires.” The hyphenated kind of democracy now on offer doesn’t both to do even that.

            “When however the state frees itself from such heavy responsibilities, it inevitably begins to insult the people and wreck its life,” simply because those in power have no reason to do anything else.  And that approach affects officials up and down the entire system as the mayor’s behavior in Moscow constantly shows.

            Muscovites are seeking to direct the attention of their rulers to the destructiveness and often “simple stupidity” of the latter’s decisions. “But in a situation when even individual pickets are viewed as a violation of the non-existence ‘quarantine measures’ … the powers with defiant contempt ignore the needs of the citizens of Russia.”

            From the capital to the furthest most periphery of Russia, Delyagin concludes, “people ever more instinctively and unconsciously view [the powers that be] as their mortal enemy,” an attitude that sets the stage for more repression and possibly for new explosions in the not distant future.

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