Tags: Russia | Continues | Slide | Into | Dictatorship

Russia Continues to Slide Into Dictatorship

Thursday, 29 December 2005 12:00 AM

When I said, in my e-mail to an astute watcher of the world strategic scene, that the "China threat" may yet become a key topic in the Western media before it is too late, his question was "What about Putin?"

Yes, what about Putin in 2006?

Many inhabitants of every country assume that the mentality of the population of any other country is the same as their own. Lenin, a Russian, and his Russian and Russian-Jewish subordinates were certain in 1918 that the population of the United States was dreaming of taking over the wealth of the rich, and hence a forthcoming world proletarian revolution would certainly involve the United States with its legendary billionaires. The American writer Upton Sinclair was better known outside the United States, and his foreign readers (in Russia, in particular) were sure that the United States was on the eve of the proletarian revolution.

Inversely, when the dictatorship collapsed in Russia in 1991, there was a certainty in the United States that Russians wanted a democratic system, such as the one in the United States. What else? They duly elected their president and members of their legislature. Democracy!

However, the majority of the American people are politically quite homogeneous. Though the Republicans are for lower taxes and the Democrats for bigger social benefits, a compromise can be found between them. Elected to the legislature of Russia after 1992 were members of two major parties. One carried the portraits of Lenin and Stalin and wanted Leninism-Stalinism. A public opinion poll in 2000 indicated that about five times more respondents believed that the greatest statesman of Russia was Stalin than those who believed that it was Yeltsin.

Another major party proclaimed the need for the extermination of Jews, allegedly responsible for all social miseries in Russia, including Leninism-Stalinism. Its leader, Zhirinovsky, was expected to come to power via a (democratic) election, but fortunately his father was discovered to have been a Jew. The joke was: "Zhirinovsky is the purest Russian – his mother is a Russian and his father is a lawyer."

At the same time, the freedom of the press under Yeltsin was unabridged and I published an article in a major Russian newspaper about Zhirinovsky as surpassing Hitler, who launched the Holocaust in 1942 and pretended that he had nothing to do with it.

It became known to me that Zhirinovsky and/or his henchmen were trying to learn my address in New York: These were obvious preparations to assassinate or intimidate me. I applied to the FBI and they offered my wife and me a "safety apartment."

Unable to cope with democracy in Russia, Yeltsin retired before the end of his second term and recommended Putin ("a strong man") as his successor. Putin was (democratically!) elected, though before 1991 he had been a lieutenant colonel in the KGB, a fact he did not regard as a skeleton in his closet.

At the beginning of his presidency, he gave an interview in which he praised the KGB as a "link, necessary in any society, between the government and the people." I was still writing my weekly column for Moscovskaya Pravda (had nothing to do with Pravda) and I could not pass up Putin's interview in silence.

The result? The newspaper did not publish my column – out of fear. Did not inform me about it – out of fear. Stopped publishing me – out of fear. Did not inform me of that, continued to receive my weekly columns and hid them in silence – out of fear. Such a society is a "democratic tyranny" or "democratic totalitarianism." It operates out of fear.

We can also call it "tyranny/dictatorship by fear." The population guesses the will or wish of "a democratically elected president" and complies with it without his reprisals, threats or orders.

The absence of Stalinist dictatorship and ubiquitous fear of any force, including that of common criminals, have led to an orgy of common criminality, to which the freedom of private enrichment contributes. Stalin persecuted common criminals as fiercely as he did "political enemies." Today's Russia is a haven for criminals. A considerable section of the population has been pushing Putin from "a dictatorship by fear" to "a dictatorship of force," as before 1991, in order to cope with crime and disorder.

The U.S. political establishment is willfully blind to the China threat – the development of post-nuclear superweapons in China since 1986. Putin has gone further. The danger to the West is not his sale of conventional Russian weapons to the Chinese dictators or their joint military exercises, but Russian scientists and technologists working for the Chinese dictators in the development of post-nuclear superweapons.

Most Russians are as ignorant of the China threat as are most Americans. The expression "China threat" is applied in the Soviet press to Chinese migrants in Siberia. But isn't Putin himself afraid of the development of post-nuclear superweapons by the Chinese dictatorship?

The question should be countered by another question: Wasn't Stalin afraid of Hitler after he signed a non-aggression pact with him in August 1939? Stalin was paranoically suspicious, but he believed that he and Hitler would divide the world. When Hitler invaded Russia in June 1941, Stalin initially regarded it as Churchill's provocation to draw Russia into war and thus relieve beleaguered Britain. When the German ambassador in Moscow informed Molotov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, that Germany was declaring war on Russia, Molotov said sadly and bitterly, "What have we done to deserve this?"

Indeed, Soviet raw materials had been sent to Germany with punctual precision, and here Hitler had declared war! Molotov assumed that Hitler would attack Russia only if Russia had done something to displease him. A grief-stricken Stalin took to his bed and was incapacitated for about two weeks. He whose life had consisted of perfidy, deception and betrayal did not expect Hitler's ingratitude, and later Soviet propaganda always added the word "perfidious" to Hitler's attack. Good heavens, had not Hitler signed a non-aggression treaty in 1939?

Up to the fall of 1941, Hitler's rout of the Soviet troops was uninterrupted, and only the arrival of the Far Eastern and Siberian forces saved Stalin's Russia.

Many Americans, including professors of political science, believe that elections (for example, in Afghanistan and Iraq today) are sufficient proof of democracy in action. They do not know that under Stalin, from 1936 and up to his death in 1953, there were exemplary elections, with universal suffrage and a secret ballot. Indeed, it was said in the Soviet press that while in the United States bed-ridden Americans could not vote, in "our genuine democracy" ballot boxes were brought to such people so they could vote in bed.

Two components create dictatorship: (1) the spontaneous fear of the population that yearns to be on the safe side even without any reprisals, and (2) the force applied by the rulers when and where there is not enough spontaneous fear. Two recent instances of (futile) resistance to Putin's force are noteworthy.

A veteran human rights activist has said that a Defense Ministry plan to establish a new combat force responsible for radio jamming devices could mean a return to the Soviet-era practice of jamming foreign radio and television broadcasts. "It appears that our country is sliding back to the times when jamming was introduced in the Soviet Union," Lev Ponomaryov told Nezavisimaya Gazeta. "Control of the dissemination of information via the Internet and radio will become the next logical step."

A newscaster with the last big Russian TV station openly critical of President Putin has been ordered off the air, Reuters reports. Ren-TV anchor Olga Romanova said security guards blocked her way when she arrived for work. She also said station managers had earlier prevented her from reporting that prosecutors had dropped charges against the son of Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, who was reportedly behind the wheel of a car that struck and killed an elderly pedestrian.

It is obvious that in 2006, Putin's Russia will continue to slide into a dictatorship by force, not just a dictatorship by fear.

And Putin's (or his successor's?) final full-fledged dictatorship by force in suicidal alliance with China is likely to accelerate the advent of the Chinese dictators' omnipotence due to their post-nuclear superweapons and hence the annihilation of Russia along with the West, unless they surrender unconditionally.

The link to my book online is www.levnavrozov.com.


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When I said, in my e-mail to an astute watcher of the world strategic scene, that the "China threat" may yet become a key topic in the Western media before it is too late, his question was"What about Putin?" Yes, what about Putin in 2006? Many inhabitants of...
Thursday, 29 December 2005 12:00 AM
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