Elections are over. Rightists are over too. Experts painfully trying to answer questions: what will happen to reforms in Russia? What will happen to Chubays? Will other oligarchs be jailed?
The elections finished many myths which used to occupy our mass consciousness. The main myth was that right liberals have some weight and influence in Russia. The truth came as a tragedy to many.
Now many worry about reforms of energetic sphere, wouldn’t it be stopped by left-centrist Parliament? Some experts are certain that Chubays will resign soon and reforms are to be finished. Others claim that “United Russia” (which will dominate Duma now) pushed those reforms with all force. Hence, reforms won’t stop and Chubays remains, especially now, when he’s not any danger to the regime.
The rightists’ leading ideologist Anatoly Chubays (together with Egor Gaidar) used to be traditionally considered a father of Russian reforms and a very effective manager. None of this was ever true. It was very convenient to believe in, though. There should always be someone to blame, shouldn’t there? And yes, Chubays was to blame. Others went our dry. And now thanks to Russian laws, other originators possess juridical immunity. But not Chubays and not Gaidar.
In fact both Chubays and Gaidar are no one else but managers who were appointed by government because there was no others suitable. Appointed to push reforms through, push as rigidly as possible. Why so? Because Boris Eltsin had to shake the ground beneath soviet elite, which organized “perestroika” and was going to harvest its fruits and legalize their own riches. If old elite would affirm itself in this new variant, USSR would have not fell apart the way it did, and there would have been no “First President of Russia”.
In place of that old elite Gaidar and Chubays were ordered to quickly create new one, which would have had to redistribute former USSR property from “red directors”, who themselves stole it during perestroika, to new democratic powers. No other task stood before them. They fulfilled the order and did a little bit more: tried to create such a new elite that would help to get rid of Eltsin’s elite in case. No one cared that economics was practically destroyed by their actions. Shortages of finance were compensated by borrowings from WMF, World Bank and so on. These money were given on conditions that policies of Gaidar and Chubays would go on, and government didn’t oppose it. That’s why right liberals possessed such a power and crushed everything on their way.
But when the government seized supporting the rightists, it became clear they can’t do much alone. They don’t even realize what sort of country they live in and what its people want. It is especially clear now when Irina Khakamada, “Union of Right Forces” leader lost elections in her “democratic” region to Gennadiy Seleznev, ex-speaker of Duma from communist party. Anatoly Chubays claimed a number of times he doesn’t believe Russia is a “left” country. Who did tell this to him, Friedman? Should Chubays meet ordinary Russians without security, he’d be lynched immediately.
For ten years right liberals were at power. And there was no single year without economical or political disasters. After the presidential elections of 1996, Chubays who was the head of administration became in fact a regent of sick Eltsin. What was the result?
Crisis and default in 1998, which finalized the creation of oligarchic economy, and just-born middle class lost it all I a moment. Chubays destroyed economics for profit of a few, and with bankruptcy for the rest. It is no wonder not many vote for him now.
Now Chubays speak of national-socialist threat. In translation to normal language it means that rights lost their jobs. If rights rob the people, it’s called “reforms”, if people are robbed by some one else, it’s “fascism”. This is the “most effective” manager’s logic. Anatoly Chubays doesn’t explain though why in ten years of liberals’ domination in politics and economics, they didn’t manage to bring up supporters, who would come and vote for them.
It may sound funny, but there is no social base for right parties in Russia. There is excess of it for parties like “Homeland” and Zhirinovsky. And if Chubays sees roots of national-socialism now, he should be thankful to himself and his teacher Gaidar in first place.
“Union of Right Forces” positioned itself as a party of youth. But where all this youth is? Firstly, because of years of “reforms” there is less youth now. Demographics prove this fact, and specialists scream this out loud, but government doesn’t care. Many of those who was born either died of diseases, became homeless or jailed. Secondly, a big part of this youth turns into alcoholics, as they see no perspectives in life: they can find no job, no money to study, cant even dress themselves. Often young people cant even finish the school, as they have to work as their parents are either alcoholics or jobless. Because of Chubays’ reforms nearly half of working population can not earn enough to cover up living, medical and education expenses. These people don’t give a heck about liberal values. They worry about own existence.
And those who were lucky to have a good education and learn a foreign language run from the country, like from plagued city. Run to where people live a normal human life, where a social compensation is about the size of Moscow top manager salary. This youth doesn’t worry about the rightists’ problems with electorate too. They are worried about visas, grants, “green cards”. And those a little older, who still remember “voucher privatization”, various MMM-like investment funds, periodical switch-offs of hot water in winter etc will not ever vote for the rights.
It is likely that in fact Anatoly Chubays doesn’t really blind to this all. In the end, he knows what he’s worth, and cares to remind this to the power at the right time. Just when he felt a change in the ruling course, he was talking of building a “liberal empire”, an idea which was taken by intellectuals as a nicely covered version of USSR restoration. And in fact it is in the current Moscow policy to take control over Georgian and Ukrainian energy systems. This is where the government needs Chubays. Even if there will be some alternations made to reforms in the sector, he would be allowed to go on with his inhuman experiments on former USSR republics energy systems.
It must be that any right politician would find job in modern Russia if they want to. This was almost clear from Putin’s words. And vice prime minister in charge for living and communal complex directly offered members of “Union of Right Forces” to join his ministry’s activities. The only thing which changes now is that the rightists will not be chiefs now, but employees like anybody else. And just like anybody else they can be fired off any time. So liberals, who stood for ideas of “shock therapy” economy will finally be able to experience all the beauty of such strategies with their own guts.
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