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Russians and former Soviet citizens. I need some opinions.

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Soviet cogitations: 4953
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
Ideology: Other Leftist
Politburo
Post 20 Aug 2008, 06:57
There have been many discussions about Putin and his government over the last few years here, but after reading through some of the better ones, I still haven't completely made up my mind about him. First I will explain my position.

I have seen a lot of Western media reports presenting Putin in a highly negative light. Given that the Western Bourgeoisie sees the re-emergence of Russia in recent years as a threat, I think it's safe to doubt most of the claims made about him and his time in government.

On the other hand, I have made a point of looking at the pro-Putin Russian media and find its claims to be just as doubtful. For example, it is boasted that wages have gone up tremendously since the fall of the Soviet Union which is crap. Wages are calculated as an average and in the case of Russia, it is only the oligarchs and new bourgeoisie that has seen an improvement. For the Working class, wages fell after the collapse of the Soviet Union and for most, have increased little if at all since then. While this claim is easy to refute, others aren't.

Putin has made some reforms which I actually consider to be positive. His military reforms and his reigning in of the oligarchs (at least those opposed to him) for example. He has also worked furiously to restore a sense of national pride, something which Russians desperately need. It's also quite interesting that a lot of his successes have come from the use of Soviet tactics. Renewing the importance of the World War II victory day parades is one example I can think of.

Then there is the question of where he stands politically. He is no Socialist, but at the same time has called the fall of the Soviet Union the greatest social catastrophe of the 20th Century. He's not the most hardcore Capitalist I've seen either. While supporting nationalism, he doesn't strike me as a Fascist. His policies have given Fascists a chance to flourish in Russia, but that is a side effect which I don't think is intended.

My leanings are without a doubt towards "The Other Russia". I want to see a genuine return of Socialism to Russia and the former republics, but at the same time, I don't feel I have enough reason to completely denounce modern Russia under Putin and now Putin II (Medvedev). Russia is becoming an important counterbalance for Western Imperialism and a new Socialist revolution could disrupt this.

What are your opinions and what led you to them?
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 20 Aug 2008, 08:58
I think Putin is a representative of the Gas sector power structures. He came to power in a rather undemocratic handover, which is evidence of behind the scenes politics. During his time in power the importance of the oil industry, which was a leader during the 90's, has diminished and almost disappeared. While Russian oil exports are continuing, the tax on oil exports has been raised and most of the money is ending up in government coffers. Meanwhile Russia has worked hard to expand the gas sector, and has even signed major cooperation contracts with Algeria and Libya, to corner the European market. Ultimately he is very much capitalist, and while his policies have improved living standards on a noticeable scale, in particular in large cities, the economy he has built is very unstable in the long run.

Ultimately he has shown himself to be a rather undemocratic leader of a corrupt government with no real means for dealing with corruption at his disposal currently. Finally the strange lack of any real opposition parties, with the CPRF and LDPR representing what we call the "official opposition", slowly sliding into bureaucratic impotence, has created movements like our AKM or the NBP. These are clearly anti-governmental movements that try to fight local officials on important issues with protest and public outrage, often bordering on violence.

Finally I do believe he is slowly losing power to Medvedev, and I think this sort of transition of power was planned all along as neither one of them are true leaders, but only figure heads for the powers behind them. I personally have a strong dislike for the man.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 4953
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
Ideology: Other Leftist
Politburo
Post 20 Aug 2008, 09:21
Quote:
while his policies have improved living standards on a noticeable scale, in particular in large cities, the economy he has built is very unstable in the long run.


Exactly how much have living standards improved? The most recent information I have seen shows that poverty and unemployment are still huge problems compared to Soviet times.

And I agree that the economy is unstable. Russia is vulnerable to the ups and downs of the world economy as China is although perhaps not as directly.
Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 20 Aug 2008, 21:41
It's improved since 1998. Average salaries have increased quite a bit. Many factories have re-opened, and even extensive modernization of manufacturing equipment is taking place.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 271
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Feb 2008, 04:00
Ideology: Other Leftist
Komsomol
Post 07 Sep 2008, 09:20
I like Putin, if for nothng else than improving the situation from the rut of the 1990s and making Russia rich and powerful again.

I agree that there are some sketchy areas with freedoms of the press and opposition.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 14448
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 07 Sep 2008, 09:41
Not to mention being an anti-communist and ardent supporter of russian imperialism.
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Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 07 Sep 2008, 13:06
I'm not sure whether he's an anti-communist, he was a member of the KGB, after all. Probably he just considers communism a lost cause.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 9816
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Apr 2008, 03:25
Embalmed
Post 07 Sep 2008, 17:45
He wasn't just a member of the KGB he was the head at one point. I have a friend who says that Putin being head of the Russian Federation would be just like if Himmler became head of Western Germany.
Once capitalists know we can release the Kraken, they'll back down and obey our demands for sure.
_Comrade Gulper
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 271
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Feb 2008, 04:00
Ideology: Other Leftist
Komsomol
Post 07 Sep 2008, 20:08
He wasn't head of the KGB. Your friend sounds like an idiot.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 14448
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 07 Sep 2008, 22:21
Quote:
I'm not sure whether he's an anti-communist, he was a member of the KGB, after all. Probably he just considers communism a lost cause.


Being a member of the KGB does not make you a communist. There are scores of former-KGB officers in the russian government which is stridently anti-communist. Putin is as much an enemy of the people as George W. Bush.
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Soviet cogitations: 6887
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Nov 2007, 08:37
Unperson
Post 08 Sep 2008, 04:37
Probably more so. He is intelligent, and therefore far more dangerous. Bush is a well meaning (in his own world) retard. To compare: give Bush a stick of dynamite and watch him blow himself up, give Putin a stick of dynamite, and watch houses in Moscow blown up leading to a war in Chechnya.
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