Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Russia Direct — Putin's Orthodox conservatives vs. Russia's unorthodox liberals

It was naïve to imagine that after hundreds of years of cruel monarchy and feudalism, and then after decades of bloody and pointless experiments with Communism, in the 1990s the newly independent Russia would immediately settle down on the path of civilized democratic development. 
No, the conservative-patriarchal conception of life, in which a strong leader and state should protect “mere mortals,” to this day dominates the consciousness of the overwhelming majority of Russians. And increasingly, this conservatism inherited from the past comes into open conflict with liberalism, which the most progressive part of Russian society is preaching.…
The basic distinction between liberalism and conservatism is a preference for freedom or order. Much of the post is about comparing Russian conservatism with American conservatism under the label of the Tea Party, which only goes so far.
According to the editor-in-chief of popular radio station Echo of Moscow Alexey Venediktov, “If Putin happened to have been born in the U.S. then he would doubtless be on the edge of the right wing of the Republican Tea Party, and would be more right wing then Senator John McCain.” 
However, the attempt to place Putin within the ideological spectrum of the American political system is quite superficial. As Russian opposition leader and world chess champion Garry Kasparov says, in the United States “the conservative right ideology is not simply a mechanical selection of values but an entire organism, all its parts are closely interrelated. For the American conservative, individual freedom flows naturally from those very same traditional American protestant values.”

In Russia, Vladimir Putin’s highest priority is order, which is more important than human rights or freedom. Almost all public opinion polls within Russia show this.…

The neocons assume that if there is regime change in Russia, liberals will take power. That is most likely an incorrect assumption, since liberals are in the vast minority. The vast majority of Russians poll as conservative or ultra-conservative, and even the reactionary cohort (monarchist) is significant. The outcome of regime change could well be toward a more nationalistic and reactionary government instead of a liberal one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

RE:"since he defends traditional Christian values and is a determined opponent of “homosexual marriage, pornography, promiscuity, and the whole panoply of Hollywood values.”

Terrible isn't it? How retrograde. Scientistic atheism a la Dennett, Dawkins, Harris, and others, men marrying men, women marrying women, porno everywhere, is the way to go--just look at us! Isn't "freedom" wonderful!

"Russia is at the beginning of its quest for national identity."

Rubbish! What the "liberals" cannot stand is that the Russian soul is deeply Christian. They represent not "freedom", but a dissolving acid. Typical. And disgusting.