Staunton, Aug. 28 – The Kremlin is continually talking about the need to talk about the future, but there is no possibility that any honest discussion of the future will take place as long as Vladimir Putin is in power, Aleksey Chadayev says. Any image of the future different than the present would involve at least an implicit criticism of what is wrong with his rule.
And that, the Moscow political scientist and commentator who has served as an advisor to Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin would have consequences for Russian politics today. Any such future scenarios would serve as mobilizing tools for those at odds with the current president, something Putin doesn’t want to see (publizist.ru/blogs/111891/43743/-).
Consequently, while the Kremlin may talk about finding some future goals, it won’t support their elaboration but rather seek to stifle them as it is much easier for those in power today to declare whatever exists as the final stage of evolution much as Francis Fukuyama did with his “end of history” arguments a generation ago.
Putin’s understanding of the danger of such talk springs from his Soviet background. The Soviet leadership was quite prepared to talk about the building of communism, something that in reality was about a future so far away that it didn’t mobilize people against whatever the regime wanted to do, but it wasn’t ready to talk about shorter term goals as it recognized the risk.
The current Russian president has clearly drawn the same conclusion and won’t allow an honest discussion about the more immediate future anytime while he is still in power, Chadayev says.