Sunday, January 16, 2022

Putin has Not Succeeded in Ending Politics in Russia but Only Making Its Appearances More Unpredictable, Pryanikov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 27 – Pavel Pryanikov, who blogs under the screen name Tolkovatel, says that Catholic University Professor Michael Kimmage is wrong to suggest that Vladimir Putin has “freed Russia from politics” by pursuing his goal of “an apolitical society” rather than “a mobilized and ideological one.”

            It is certainly true, the Russian commentator says, that over the last 30 years, Russia has been transformed “into a commercial enterprise” or more specifically “into a military-trade company approximately of the kind that the East India Company was” and that its leaders are interested above all in profits rather than politics (

            But in what should have surprised no one, “politics still took root in this enterprise,” even as some have been inclined to suggest that “the end of history” has really come. Fewer people are taking to the streets to protest, but under current conditions, even the appearance of tow or three is “already a lot.”

            As a matter of fact, politics is too deeply rooted in Russia for Putin to succeed in getting rid of it. What he has done is to neuter the usual institutions of political competition. But means political demands are made, they surface not only in unexpected ways but become more of a problem for the regime than more regularized ones ever were, Pryanikov says. 

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