7 – 20 January 2023
by Viktor Kogan-Yasny
A corporate state
Everywhere (or almost everywhere) in the former USSR the model of a corporate state has come into being in which, to a greater or lesser extent, a corporate elite of political leaders and senior figures from the world of security and law enforcement ‘uses’ and manipulates the people, the citizens, the general population. This is most clearly visible to the outside world in the case of Russia. The war greatly enhances this factor. It is beneficial to the members of the ruling corporation, enabling them to strengthen their power. The active support of a quarter to a third of the citizens is sufficient for the corporation to hold on to power and maintain a permanent tension in society. Of course, there are differences among post-Soviet countries, and the more authoritarian ones act in the most reactionary capacity, provoking the rest.
Once again – on Bolshevism
The Bolshevik system, especially the Stalinist system, largely grew out of a matrix of sectarianism. Hence the endless simplifications, the individual phrases taken out of context as various situational ‘dress codes,’ aggressive rationality and counter-intuitiveness. Stalinist Bolshevism is self-congratulatory and hysterical, compensating with aggression for the awareness of its own ignorance, and characterised by an innate inability to act in good faith. The tragedy of Bolshevism lies not only in the fact that it physically murdered millions but also in the fact that it succeeded in transforming various environments, various realms of human communication, in its own image, filling them with its own ‘codes’: unhelpfulness, a fixation on itself, cliquishness, formality in all thought. All this generates a congested intellectual jumble full of abstractions alien to any real empathy for human suffering and making it impossible to seek a way out of difficult situations,
After decades – a single year
After the signing of the agreements in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha [Białowieża Forest in Belarus] in 1991, an authoritarian regime began to take shape in the Russian Federation in which political power consisted of three interwoven branches: the systemic liberals, who did not have the trust of most citizens, but enjoyed the support by bureaucracies in the West; ‘strong economic managers’ – former Soviet directors and the chairmen of Soviet executive committees; and the leaders of the security and law enforcement institutions. By the mid-1990s this regime had already substantially taken shape, and subsequently only the relative ‘proportions’ of the three comprising elements underwent change … The system that developed had no provision for civilian oversight of authority or for an independent judiciary. And since then, as it has developed further and further… we see ever more victims.
The ‘soft power’ of the West continued to focus on what it had become accustomed to by that time: formal meetings with photos, buying oil and gas, statements of pointless verbiage and simultaneously failing to pay any attention to the disturbing potential that had come into being, presenting merely bureaucratic responses to real challenges … There has been a total human and political disaster for almost one year now … And all we can expect to see in the future is the further development of a hopeless dead-end situation in which the regime will draw some kind of perverse inspiration from being ‘pressed up against a wall’ and ‘driven into a corner.’ We shall see the triumph of insanity and cruelty – accompanied by the infantilism of short-sighted scholasticism.
Translated by Simon Cosgrove