It is the dead center - a situation that could be noticed in technology, sports and psychology. The piston sticks in the cylinder; the athlete cannot continue running; the party to the conflict does not have the strength to fight, but also cannot quit. This state occurs when the resource of its owner is exhausted. In a word, situation sticks and you can do nothing. And the more you press on the gas, the more you stall. The more you want to breathe, the more you choke.
Russia appeared to be in the dead center. The country is hanging in the civilizational space. What the authorities do to imitate the movement, it only worsens the situation.
On the one hand, the Kremlin cannot accept the requirements of the West without losing its face. Is it possible to return Crimea to Ukraine or to leave Donbas? Stop supporting Assad? To admit that they poisoned the Skripals? Or to minimize cyberactivity? But why did they create cybersoldiers?
No-no! The Kremlin cannot retreat. It cannot confess anything. It cannot reveal anybody. It cannot promise to behave. To stand under sanctions is a new form of legitimizing the Russian government (rather, in its own interpretation).
On the other hand, the Kremlin can no longer rely on the "We don't care" logic. Sanction strikes destroy Russia's claims to the role of a great power. And without sovereignty, there cannot be absolute power. Any attempt to demonstrate an ambition will cause problems. Therefore, the Kremlin does not think about harshly responding to the West, but about responding so as not to provoke the West for the new troubles. But it does not work very well. In September, Russia will hold the most powerful military maneuvers after the fall of the USSR - Vostok-2018. And what else will they answer with? This will only give NATO a reason to deploy new battalions in neighboring states. And what they struggled for?
Foreign policy in Russia has always been an instrument for solving internal problems, facilitating consolidation around power and providing an external resource. Now foreign policy has become a burden for the budget and has led to the formation of an international space hostile to Russia. In short, foreign policy began to work at the expense of national interests. But it is impossible to revise it, without destroying the imperious construction.
Inside the country, power created the political Sahara. But by filling up the cracks, the power creates a situation of a boiling kettle with a sealed lid.
The transformation of all institutions into a parody can inspire the illusion of control over society. But in the absence of legal channels of will expression, people have one way to say what they think - at the streets.
And how the Kremlin selflessly makes Aleksey Navalny a people's tribune and increases its popularity!
And President Putin has managed to make a detonator out of the "pension reform", which can at any time destroy his support - the Putin majority. Most importantly - without any need!
The tools of state power became contradictory to their task. So, on the one hand, Russia cannot live without militarism, which has always been a compensation for economic development. On the other hand, Russia cannot afford militarization.
There was a devaluation of the mechanisms of absolute power. Russia has always united itself not around the national interest, but around ideas. And where is this idea today? Meanwhile, there can be no strong power without a powerful idea. Things like "Crimea is ours" cannot replace its absence.
The repressive mechanism was further devalued. The law enforcement agencies ceased to guarantee the security of the state. But they are not able to protect power also. Now they serve for their personal interests.
Russia can no longer provide for the imperial component - the basis of statehood. The end of the "Russian world" and the reluctance of Kazakhstan, Belarus and other allies to recognize the legitimate annexation of Crimea is the end of our Eurasian galaxy.
The most interesting thing now is what will happen in the "dead center" with the ruling class. Western sanctions will inevitably lead to its split: those who will be forced to stay in Russia, and those who can integrate "into the West." For example, the Rottenbergs and Timchenko will enjoy their stay in their homeland. But Aven with Friedman and Shuvalov, apparently, will be able to remain citizens of the world. Now we see how Usmanov and Abramovich are trying to find a new formula for themselves, selling their property in the UK. Let's see if they can find a model "here and there." But in any case, this split damages the base of the "vertical" regardless of who will lead it.
When and how Russia will get out of the "dead canter"? This will depend not only on the external impact. This will depend first of all on the internal force that will allow the country to get a "second wind". A breakthrough in the future is always and everywhere provided by the intellectual class - the most oppositional force to the authorities. But we understand: no, the intelligentsia has chosen a different function in Russia. However, there are young people who still can surprise us pleasantly.
History says that societies cannot remain in the "dead center" for an infinitely long time. They either make a breakthrough, or ...
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