One might get the impression that we still live in postmodernism. When there are no differences between opposites, between truth and dishonesty, fairness and unjustness, law and lawlessness. When it is not clear what is reality and what is imitation. There are no principles and rules. Everything turns into a mockery of logic and meaning.
Here are some examples of Russian postmodernism: the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and the “Calvey case;” Putin's technological “breakthrough” during a confrontation with the West; state power under sanctions; public chambers and the Presidential Council on Human Rights as the framing of autocracy.
President Putin recently spoke at the congress of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, saying that the government sees "important, effective, reliable partners in addressing key national development objectives in the representatives of the Russian business community."
Meanwhile, over the past 5 years, more than 220 thousand people have been convicted under economic articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. At the same time, the number of initiated criminal cases reaches 900 thousand (however, the number of acquittals annually does not exceed 2%).
However, the Western world has been eroding its ideology and norms for several decades. The irony is that the collapse of the Soviet Union and the disappearance of alternatives have caused the liberal democracies to stop worrying about values. Russia's golden age of integration of the elite "into the West" has come, thus maintaining a system hostile to the West.
The Russian "Londongrad" and Mikhail Fridman, as the richest resident of London, is a postmodern heritage. “Our Crimea” notion has destroyed the relativity that is comfortable for many - both here and there.
Western sanctions are pushing us out of the zone of serenity, where it was possible to bypass the rules with the assistance of the lobbying machine created by the West itself. Bypass them with mutual satisfaction.
Condemnation of Paul Manafort, king of lobbyists serving kleptocracy, means a blow to the world of laundrymate. Now the entire service sector of the world "laundrymates" would think about its future.
The scandal with the Troika Dialog, which caused a drop in the shares of the largest Western banks, means not only that Russia has become toxic. This is a new warning that the players of the postmodern era, including Western financial regulators, will pay for their success at that time.
And this price will include not only the resetting of former reputations but also the refusal of the world financial institutions to deal with Russia.
It is time for the black and white landscape: "who is not with us, he is against us." And no shades of gray. Compromise-minded Europeans, of course, will try to preserve the vagueness of the rules. But they are unlikely to avoid pressure from the world policeman who wants to retire.
But cannot do it. Right now we can see how the US is trying to force Europe and, above all, Germany, to abandon the Nord Stream 2 project.
A new geopolitical era begins for Russia. The paradox is that the Kremlin has itself ended a glorious time when it was possible to tweak the tail of the West believing that a depressed civilization is not capable of responding. The error might enter the textbooks as an example of a grand political failure.
Do not worry, calm us pro-Kremlin observers. Yes, Russia is alone now. But Russia can master a new mission – it might become an intermediary between the West and the East. And who would agree to the mediation of a lonely power drifting in an incomprehensible direction?
The West has no ideology, and it is ready for deals; this is what we need, optimists convince... But, firstly, the West had an idea – unity against Russia. Secondly, what can we offer to the West as a deal without losing face?
We are entering a multi-polar world, and Russia is ready to become one of its poles, the mainstream is not appeasing. But this world means a tough fight, and what are Russia's chances of winning it in terms of fleeing resources and the reluctance of the population to sacrifice the little that is left? And who is ready to become the Russian "galaxy," even if Lukashenka began to fray?
A new era begins within the country. The power crawls out of the gray zone when it was possible to exist by juggling the rules and where it was so great to live! Fake institutes continue to exist, but rather as a comic bag without a handle.
One could understand the position of the authorities: how else to govern the country in the situation of its confrontation with the West and the growing discontent of the people? We have to go back to the power pressure, including pushing the unleashed elite. We have to offer the people "national projects" as a mobilization idea.
However, due to the folding of their social obligations. And what else could be done? Military patriotism requires a more serious impulse than just bored chatting “about Ukraine” on TV.
The problem, however, is that the “self-absorbed” model of Russia can function only when the postmodern husk is dropped and return back to totalitarianism, personal dictatorship, like-mindedness, the introduction of unquestioned ideology, mass repressions, and unconditional submission.
So and in no other way!
But can the power, which has accustomed everyone to deceptions and has become the personification of fake itself, return to the repressive-command system? I’m not asking if the latter can head Russia’s “breakthrough” to the best.
And how to consolidate the people around the authorities in terms of the degradation of the mobilization mechanism?
They have got stuck along the way!
P.S. Who will prevent Russia from getting out of this impasse more: those who are trying to move to repressive governance, or those who have discredited the principles by participating in their imitation?
The latter would try hard to maintain the reputation of "warm and fuzzy" ones, remaining in the role of a garland on the repressive vertical ...
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or 112.International and its owners.