Staunton, May 26 – Putin assumes and many others think that authoritarian rule is the original state of human societies, but that is not the case, Abbas Gallyamov says. Instead, in archaic societies, public opinion was such a powerful force that one can speak of a kind of primitive democracy in which public opinion determined whether a leader survived.
As long as a leader showed that he was healthy and strong and as long as his armed associates won victories, he would have the support of the people, the former Putin speechwriter and current Moscow commentator says. But one he was viewed as infirm and his army weak, he lost all legitimacy and was often ousted (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=628EFF2BA7558).
As a result, no leader in such archaic societies could afford to be physically weak or have his armies lose, something Putin apparently has forgotten even as he has promoted the archaic in his own political system. But it is not something that he can escape the consequences of whatever he may think, Gallyamov says.
“In a few months, Putin will be 70; indeed, he is already an old man. His shaking hands and shuffling gate have been seen by everyone,” the commentator continues. “They read that a team of doctors … constantly accompanies him. And [Russia] has been watching for three months as his army, faced with a serious enemy, has become a laughing stock.”
Because like the primitive leader he is Putin has no other source of legitimacy except his own physical strength and the victory of his arms, Gallyamov argues, “the decay of Putin’s legitimacy will accelerate” because “as we can see, his power is already gone.” That may not mean he is about to be ousted, but he is no longer the man or the leader he once was.