Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Putin’s Lack of Any Goal Beyond Retaining Power Casts Dark Shadow on Future, El Murid Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, December 20 – The fundamental problem of the Putin regime, Anatoly Nesmiyan, who blogs under the screen name El Murid, says is that it does not have any clear plans for the future beyond doing whatever is necessary to keep itself in power. This commitment to stability without development inevitably leads to stagnation and degradation.

            That is because the lack of plans for the future which include development make the regime’s policies inevitably “reactive and reflexive,” something which gives others the power to define outcomes because the Kremlin’s defensive approach ends in each case in defeat however much its initial moves promise success (el-murid.livejournal.com/4626146.html).

            The regime has no ability to build on its success because that requires having a clearly defined goal which defines strategy. Instead, Putin and his government shift from one issue to another, hoping against hope that a victory in one place will open the way to victories elsewhere and not seeing that each victory claimed leads to ultimate defeats.

            That lack of the ability to plan leads to a second fatal problem for the regime: its incapacity to transform itself. “Any transformation,” Nesmiyan says, is “a project,” and every project requires a plan rather than a series of hit or miss actions. Since the Putin regime can’t plan, it can’t transform itself either.

            “It can only react to challenges, but it cannot create them,” the blogger continues. More than that, it can “only imitate changes” rather than actually engage in them as the recent rewriting of the Constitution showed. The inevitable result will be confusion, chaos and ultimately breakdown.

            This is not criticism of the regime, El Murid insists. That would be senseless as “criticism can only be constructive” if those it is directed at are capable of changing. The Putin regime isn’t and thus doesn’t need or use criticism coming from domestic sources or abroad. Maintaining stability for as long as possible is the best a regime like this can do.

            But the Putin regime’s lack of an image of the future and thus the ability to plan has infected the opposition to it and the way it will act once he and his clique are gone. Lacking a plan, those who come after him will want to do away with what Putin has done but will remain reactive until they have a positive plan of their own.

            Consequently, he argues, they too will make the generational change which in countries where planning is part of the political scene difficult but not necessarily destructive into something likely to be both violent and dangerous not only to the country itself but to those around it.

            The replacement of the Putin regime will take the form of a spontaneous process. That means a revolution which will remove from the scene all those older than 50 and bring to power those in their 40s who will have grown up in an environment in which having a clear plan for the future and developing strategy and tactics to reach its goals won’t have been central.

            Its members will act but more precisely react to developments, being as has been so often the case more certain of what they want to do away with than what they want to achieve. And that means as well that however much they want to be different from the Putin regime in many respects, they may very well be similar to it in this.

            El Murid suggests that something like this has already happened in the case of Ukraine and in a softer variant in the case of Armenia. But he argues that in Russia and in Belarus, “the change of generations will occur in an extremely harsh way and possible even with excesses” – that is, with violence.


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