Source Pravda.Ru

Controlled democracy: myth and reality of today’s Russia

Politicians of both wings, the right and the left, ambiguously treat President Putin’s annual address to the nation. Different estimates have been given by different politicians. Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov thinks the address was “boring and arid," and Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky says that it looks like “a report of the chief manager to stockholders.” “It is an annual report, not a centenial one, and nothing has been mentioned at all about political situation in the country," Yavlinsky says. The Yabloko leader believes this was done on purpose, otherwise the president would have to admit “the country is experiencing a corporate bureaucratic system, or as journalists say, controlled democracy, and transition to a police state is evident.”

Grigory Yavlinsky is not the only and not the last person who utters such phrases. Exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky, leader of Union of Rightist Forces Boris Nemtsov, and head of RAO UES of Russia Anatoly Chubais share the same opinion.

We can mention here the leveling of importance of the representative authorities, political censorship of the media, corruption of the state, etc. Indeed, the arguments are very strong; moreover, they are true to reality. It is always easier to scold than do anything by oneself. However, those politicians who lash out at the authorities and profit by it at the same time are not worth a dime. All of them have been produced by the very system that they are lashing out at, and they should not bite the hand that feeds them. Very often, politicians say that they serve the Master, namely the people that authorized them to hold their high positions. However, it is extremely strange to compare how “the Master” and “the servants” live, as the difference is astounding. As for the government, it is striving for its continuity, and political and economic stability of the society is extremely important for it now.

Remember, we faced a choice in 1985: whether to choose "freedom" or have enough meals to eat. We chose the first then. Certainly, we have enough freedom nowadays, but the economic commonwealth leaves much to be desired so far. Do you not think that we should concentrate on solving this problem?

This article is not a detailed analysis, it is mostly of a familiarization character. It provides food for reflection to the readers. The fears mentioned by Russian politicians are not a chimera, moreover, it is not our future. Our future depends on us only.

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/04/23/40147.html

Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.

Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases

Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.

Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases
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