Extremism — a horror story to justify the lack of freedom

Authoritarian regime wants to show the West that the alternative to it — the chaos, war and totalitarianism.

Just a difference of a couple of days last week, two things happened. First, a report by the Human Rights Center "Owl", according to which the law against extremism in Russia, "muddy", is applied selectively, but still often used for fraud charges. But almost immediately after the appearance of the document made a statement of Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev that the country plans to create new centers for the examination of media materials, as well as audio and video content for signs of extremism.

All this suggests that, on the one hand, the authorities are not going to give up such a dubious mechanism to combat extremism, like the infamous Article 282 of the Criminal Code, on the other hand, these techniques are raising increasing displeasure, even those who supported them before.

Let's see, why do you need in the Criminal Code article on extremism? No doubt, there are crimes against the state. These include terrorism, attempts to overthrow the political system, and more. But practice shows that in Russia under the extremism is often understood not a real anti-state activities, and careless, or not quite politically correct statements. For example, "inciting hatred of the social group."

Meanwhile, a social group — the concept is extremely broad. For example, is it possible to imprison a person who walks down the street and shouted: "Down with the assassins!" (Killers in the literal sense — people who commit such a crime)? Of course, you can, because the killer is undoubtedly a social group. That's why the famous Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code often leads to excesses, when the prison bunks are people who are critical of corruption (corrupt — a social group), or even the police (police — also a social group). However, last year, the Supreme Court gave the clarification that the criticism of the officials did not incitement to hatred of a social group. And the bread. But the problem remains.

In the United States, any statements, even the most dramatic, in someone's address criminal impunity. As long as you just shakes language, and do not let his fists, your rights are guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which proclaims the freedom of speech. Therefore, in the U.S., for example, operate freely in the Nazi organization, which is quite unthinkable in Europe. In this case, as it may seem strange, it is the ideas of fascism in America are the least influence. Perhaps simply because no one comes to mind to organize the "fascists" of persecution and do their victims in the eyes of public opinion?

Let us return, however, to extremism. The world, of course, is full of extremists — Islamic, Nazi, all … But there is one odd feature: the poorer the country, the more attention the local government pays the "fight against extremists." Do not believe me?

Egyptian government for decades fought against Muslim extremism. It proved to everyone (especially — the West) that come to power the famous "Muslim Brotherhood" and nesdobrovat region. But last year when revolution toppled Mubarak and Muslim party won the parliamentary elections, it became clear that not so bad these same Islamists as they are painted. Moreover, the U.S. has recently resumed military aid to Egypt, though the rise to power in the upcoming presidential election Islamist more than likely.

A similar situation occurred in Turkey, where the military for many years were not allowed to power of Islamists. When the Islamic Justice and Development Party formed a government yet, she provided Turkey's horrors of totalitarianism, and the long-term economic growth and sustainable democratic model. Today, Turkey is considering how to regain the status of a great regional power, which was not the last one hundred years, since the Ottoman Empire collapsed.

Come out, no big deal these "extremists"? Or still worse? But then why is the government so aggressively pursue them, and as a result they came to power special horror does not happen? The secret?

The answer is simple. Any authoritarian Third World causes extremism by its very existence. If the country is ruled by a dictator irremovable if the country is poor — it is inevitable protest. But the protest should not only be suppressed, but compromised in the face of world opinion.

The dictator must show that there is no alternative. Rather, the alternative to it — the chaos, war and totalitarianism. He has to justify in the face of the West, that the people entrusted to him not ready for democracy because the total idiocy, savagery and primitive customs. Therefore, the opposition is compromised, it was being presented as a bunch of crazy cannibals and criminals.

In Islamic countries in this role are the Muslim party, the party of the bourgeoisie. They are really not much different from the right of Christian parties of Western Europe. But the dictatorial regimes in Turkey and Egypt have always followed them, put in jail leaders. Danger of their coming to power justified the lack of democracy. But the West has understood the problem and began to support democratization in the hope that it will automatically lead to a more equitable social order, so — reduce real radicalism and extremism (which, of course, exist.)

Let us now look at Russia. We in the 2000s established resource economic model and its characteristic authoritarianism. Influence of political parties has been sharply limited to the political arena came "United Russia" as a party political monopoly operator space. At the same time came and extremism. Yes, but not Islamic, and Russian. West began threatening Russian nationalists who give only to come to power, they will arrange it …. This real national movement, which emerged just in those years, called for the democratization of the political system and non-commodity model of economic development. From the need to limit the rights of people in favor of an authoritarian regime and discredit the opposition, and there was 282 of the article, which was turned into a political bludgeon against undesirable.

So there is nothing new in terms of the fight against extremism in Russia is not happening. Rather, it is surprising how Russia should be strictly political model of authoritarian state, known in the world. Our authorities repeat everything that was invented in the mid 50's in some of Turkey. It's amazing.

Therefore, the conclusion is simple: democracy — the best cure for extremism. Democratic regime involves the power of all the forces of society, making it unlikely the Revolution and other social upheavals. The people who get the opportunity to change the government through the mechanism of elections, does not see the need to go out and because the government is stable (although replaceable). And with the few citizens who do not think their activities without bombings and assassinations, easily handles counterintelligence.

So the situation around extremism in Russia, is not new. Democracy will be elected successive Governments — and we suddenly see that nationalists do no not extremists, and respectable party, sit in parliament. The same applies to non-systemic liberals and leftists who now organize their rallies and pickets, but smartly run from the police.

So that democracy, freedom of speech, stable economic growth — the best tool against extremism. One day it will be used in Russia, I assure you.

Paul Svyatenko

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