Information and intellectual attack on Putin both domestically and abroad continues after his taking office. 29 May in the pages of Financial Times published on its monstrous bias, rudeness and falsehood article two fairly well-known figures in the West: Ian Bremmer, president of the group "Eurasia", and Nouriel Roubini, chairman of Roubini Global Economics Monitor. The essence of the article the newspaper "Vedomosti" sums up as follows: "Neither the political nor an economic point of view, Russia can not be considered as one of the leading countries, and its participation in the G8 and BRIC does not make sense. According to them, Russia is not able to help solve the problems of Afghanistan or the eurozone, and Iran and Syria — is itself part of the problem. Inside Russia — corruption, an economy based on trade in resources, population crisis, tightening the screws in politics. "
I'd add that the authors accuse Putin that he "boasts more than that provided stability during his last term in office than what has developed ambitious plans to transform the future of their country." Further, even more incensed in his zeal to show the humiliating role and place of Russia in the world today, they write that the recent presidential candidate of the Republican Party in the 2012 presidential elections in the U.S. Mit Romney said that "Russia is a geopolitical opponent of the United States number one" . This, according to Bremmer and Roubini, "absurd statement, not because Russia is not acting increasingly, against U.S. interests, but because it is becoming increasingly insignificant as a political force, as well as an emerging market. Buddies Russia — BRIC members may be reluctant to exclude Moscow from this club, but we can and we must stop talking about Russia as if it really belongs to the company of countries. " Finally brave guys come to the conclusion: "If the leaders of the United States and Europe really want to build new relations with Russia, they have to build these relationships with those people who are on the streets of Moscow oppose Putin and the Russian authorities." It is obvious that the authors of this article are repeated clichés that are widely accepted in Russia's liberal opposition media.
Not surprising that the "Vedomosti" virtually repeated these ideas in a somewhat different verbal framed in Article Inozemtseva (of which we shall discuss below). It is surprising that this rude, deceitful and primitive anti-Russian agitation received a sharp and well-reasoned rebuttal by Western experts as well in the pages of the same Financial Times, and the magazine Forbes. Even more strange that this resistance would-be experts was given on pages Moscow Times. As replies Roubini and Bremmer — is in fact the answers to all Inozemtcev & Co., although I consider it necessary to briefly outline the arguments for a more objective coverage of Russian realities.
June 7 pages Financial Times published a letter to the editor, Charles Robertson, chief economist of the London-based Renaissance Capital. He writes that if Bremmer and Roubini bother to remember how to behave Western countries after the adoption of UN Security Council resolution on Libya, where, instead of to provide a safe haven for flights, they changed the regime and killed Muammar Gaddafi, they could understand why Russia, along with China blocking attempts by Western countries to implement an external intervention with the express intention of changing the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria now, with the most unpredictable consequences for the entire region.
Noting the selective choice of facts of Russian life and their negative focus, Robertson wrote that article Roubini and Bremmer completely ignored "corruption in India, the political system in China (the author is referring to the fact that it is far more unfree than in Russia. — AM), the worst business climate in Brazil, as well as an increase in life expectancy in Russia and rising birth rates in recent years. " Left unattended and that over the last ten years, the country's GDP has grown ten times — according to Robertson, it means that Putin really have something to boast about. Russia — the only country in the BRIC with the accelerating pace of growth. Roubini and Bremmer prefer to ignore and enviable for many countries in the West low level of public debt and the debt of private companies and $ 500 billion foreign exchange reserves, which theoretically would help overcome the financial problems in the eurozone.
On the pages of the magazine Forbes (May 30) Mark Adomanis gives a more detailed response Lampoon Bremmer and Roubini, who believe Adomanis writes that "we can afford to almost completely ignore and marginalize Russia and argued that the presence of this country in the international arena is now very errant and tends to extinction. " Referring to allegations Roubini and Bremmer of the weakness of the Russian economy compared to other countries — members of the BRIC Adomanis notes that Russia is much richer than the other BRIC countries in terms of per capita income. Over the past two and a half years, the GDP growth rate slightly above 4%. In Brazil, the growth rate in 2011 was 2.8% and in the first months of this year, the Brazilian economy is falling. India and China are developing more rapidly than Russia, but their growth is slowing. It is not that Russia is "better" than China, India or Brazil, but the fact that there is a general weakening of the economies of the BRIC countries.
Jim O'Neill of Goldman Sachs seem designed to discredit critics raving unsubstantiated assertions about the state of the Russian economy in the Journal of Business New Europe on 25 May 2012 says that if Russia this year will be no crisis, "she will make a greater contribution to the growth of the global economy in dollar terms, than all the countries of the European Union combined. " He further notes that Russia does have such negative factors as corruption and problems with compliance with the law, but in the field of technology and education Russia is the country's number one among emerging markets.
In addition to all positive said about the Russian economy Robertson, Adomanis and O'Neill, we can not ignore another positive fact. The crisis in the eurozone has led many managers, experts and professionals looking for work in Russia, given the fact that the Russian economy is growing and, more importantly, the unemployment rate is much lower than in the EU and the U.S.. If in Russia in 2011, it was 6.6%, in the 17 eurozone countries — 10.4% in December 2011 (Moscow Times, June 1, 2012, Irina Filatova), and in the U.S. now stands at 8.2%.
Angered by the rudeness and lightness article Bremmer and Roubini, editor and publisher of Business New Europe Ben Aris allowed myself to call it absurd, and all their statements about the Russian political regime, Russia's place in the world and the state of the Russian economy — false. Since he repeats some of the arguments O'Neill and Robertson, I will give here only the arguments that were not in the speeches O'Neill, Robertson and Adomanisa.
Bremmer and Roubini argue that "Russia has become an authoritarian country with a reputation as a tough guy Putin, exporting oil, gas and other raw materials, and no more …" Ben Aris reiterates that this is another lie, because "oil and gas account for only 14-17% of GDP (depending on oil prices), while retail and consumption account for 52% of GDP. Income rose to $ 50 a month under Yeltsin to $ 800 at the moment, that is, 16 times. And even on the issue of corruption Aris said a few facts that are usually ignored fighters with a "bloody regime." He drew attention to the fact that Transparency International is no objective criteria for measuring corruption, so it is called "corruption perception index", and this is not an exact indicator of the level of corruption, and that they believe people out of business. In this case, Bremmer and Roubini prefer not to notice that there is a shift on this indicator, and if last year Russia was on the 143-m site, she moved there with the 154th. And Ernst & Young notes improvements in this area in 2012. Among lie Ben Aris also notes the approval of this kind: the majority of businessmen are considering Russia as a place where you can make money fast with high risk, but not as a country for a long term investment. To this he replies that, for example, the arrival of Pepsi Co., Which has invested 3.8 billion dollars by purchasing "Wimm-Bill-Dann", or Burger King, which is about to open in Russia several hundred restaurants, completely refute these allegations.
Among other common Misinformation Ben Aris said the flight of capital, allegedly caused by the re-election of Putin's presidency. It never ceases to repeat that it is "a lie and lie again." This problem has been chronic in the 1990s, and the current "capital flight" is not a macroeconomic problem. It is not true that the Russians led away their money. More than half of the money — the money that goes out of branches of foreign banks in Russia to save their parent companies in the West.
There is another widespread lie that run from Russia and enterprising young people and the country remains without a future. And these claims are far from reality. The movement of people from one country to another — is a universal phenomenon today, and on this indicator Russia lags behind several countries of Western Europe, from South Korea and a number of other well-developed countries.
In conclusion, the answer to lampoon Bremmer and Roubini Ben Aris notes that this article is bursting with hatred for Russia, not only useless, but also dangerous. Today's world is in a very fragile position both economically and politically. Such items do not contribute to an objective understanding of processes in the world, but rather to mislead people and become additional destructiveness unstable economic, political and intellectual reality.
Miserable opposition manifestos
Content of Russian authors, as I mentioned above, is worthy of Vladislav Inozemtsev article in the "Gazette" (June 8, 2012), and not because it differs a special depth and originality, but because it shows how monotonous arguments fighters with a "bloody regime" in the West, so do we. Intellectual leaders of the opposition are using tried and tested method of Soviet propaganda — okarikaturivanie positions of power and loud criticism of the "stupidity of the regime." Apparently, the work in the journal "Communist" helped Inozemtsev to fully master these skills. Why should only be an arbitrary interpretation of "sovereign democracy," which he also undertakes to debunk. In his interpretation of this concept of government, which aims to make decisions on behalf of the Russian nation. You would think that sometime or somewhere else decisions are made. It's enough to take a quick look at any book on democracy, where is the classic definition of Joseph Schumpeter, who argues that "the people in no way involved in running the state." He is involved in the formation of government, and then elected politicians through the appropriate government institutions take all major decisions of the political, economic and social life in his name. The following "devastating argument" Inozemtseva against the regime comes down to the fact that "opinions opponents of the regime can be neglected." We must try hard not to see the country going dialogue between government and society, the obvious development of both the party and the political system, where the government sometimes go so far as to never dreamed of any developed democracy, and even carry on a dialogue with the open and obvious political outcasts . Highly significant in this respect, some of the facts of personal biography Inozemtseva. He is a regular participant of the Valdai Discussion Club, which operates under the patronage of Vladimir Putin, and recently a small group of political scientists was invited to meet with Putin to discuss the most pressing issues of domestic and foreign policy of Russia. I say this not by hearsay, but as a participant and the Valdai Club, and the meeting of political scientists with Putin.
For unbiased analysts obvious that the country is hard to find organ, be it newspaper or magazine, which did not take a militant antivlastnogo position. It is also clear that on national television channels do not have any programs or talk shows, where there would be represented by the position of the most radical liberals. I'm not talking about the fact that in all the years since the collapse of the Soviet Union was not a single government where the Liberals would not occupy key positions, not only in its economic bloc. Suffice it to mention Gaidar, Chubais, Nemtsov, Yassin Kiriyenko, Gref, Kudrin.
Exposing the sins of the regime, Foreigners in his article argues that in the current Russian "power flows from the property and sold for money." If spoken about this shrill music critic, could this not to pay attention. But this says doctor of economic sciences. You would think that in a country that is a leader in the western world, the U.S., the power flows out of poverty, and the money does not play any role. If someone talked about this in today's United States, where the presidential election campaign enters the final stretch, then such a person would be considered fallen down from the moon. The money factor has become so pervasive that today for the candidates we are talking not about the hundreds of millions of dollars, if someone really wants to be a factor in the election campaign, the bill can pass for a billion.
I have already written, to quote a famous professor from Berkeley C. Fish that Russia's regime is not consolidated democracy, rather, it is characterized as "demofiliya" (love for the people), where in contrast to authoritarian petrosteyts rise in energy prices is accompanied by a proportional increase in consumption in the population. According to many authoritative Western scholars, Russian society is not never lived so richly, and Russian citizens do not consume so much. (This, of course, does not mean that the country has reached a really high level of well-being.) By the way, many liberal economists criticize Putin for what he is continuously increasing wages and pensions to state employees. But what has become of the liberal economists, when it is necessary to offer prescriptions of structural adjustment of the economy? They are all we hear is that the salvation of the Russian economy in greater democracy and a smaller state.
Indeed, the country is still largely dependent on the oil pipe, but it would be extremely vulgar all the problems of the Russian economy to reduce the pipe. In fact, in the country there are hundreds of companies out of the commodity sector, competitive in both domestic and foreign markets, as stubbornly says "Expert". And in these companies pledge of future economic prosperity.
Foreigners that offers as an alternative? Do not dare call it a concept. Author pretentiously calls it a "preventive democracy". In general, it is reduced to platitudes like that the regime must take "the signals from the citizens," "incorporate opposition figures and use their enthusiasm to fight the obvious flaws of the power pyramid," and people need to stop loving "presumptuous rabble St. Pete." And these people want dialogue and respect for yourself?
"Failure to take into account the opinion of the opposition" reached its climax in the work of the Open Government led by Prime Minister Medvedev, where the whole spectrum of Russian politics down to the representatives of Alexei Navalny.
Thus, there is a poor political manifesto. The country is all bad — in spite of all the positive is happening in the economy and in social life — because he was so anxious. The opposition must be integrated into power. It is unclear, however, how these "noble", "smart", "talented", "creative" people incorporated into the ranks of "St. Petersburg punks." And the most important thing: either you pass us the power and remove your back home, or we promise you a civil war. And with such a pathetic political agenda of these people want to act as teachers of life for the country and the people. It is not surprising that our people, having the instinct of self-preservation, repeatedly sends this shantrapa in trash politics.
Prevent a split. Necessary steps
Having said all that, it should be noted that such a shameless antivlastnogo and anti-Putin campaign gives its destructive results. Due to the existing split in the Russian elite circles and yet implicit split in the government itself is increasing uncertainties, fraught with serious consequences for both the government and the country. Without a proper understanding of the political situation and the urgent need to take steps to consolidate the regime as the future of the country and Putin personally seems to me very uncertain.
First. Must finally realize that the time of love with the leader of the people of the past. The Russian society, as well as the elite circles (though not so evident in degree), chopped.
The second. Putin needs to conduct an inventory of their own social, political, institutional, intellectual and information resources. It is unlikely that in the current circumstances it can be expected that some partial concessions or "carrots" can calm the individual or group of people over to their side or another iconic figure from among the opposition. On the part of society, especially the radical opposition circles, it is perceived more as a weakness of the authorities and further fuels the appetite of its leaders. There is a danger that the fear of losing power, as much of the opposition and the elites lose to her and respect.
The third. It is not clear why today the now Prime Medvedev is still out of range of criticism in contrast to the current president.
Fourth. It is obvious that the political power of Putin in the period from 2000 to 2011 determined not only by the security forces of the state and bureaucracy. She was in direct contact with the people and to support it. A huge role in the bundle of the leader and the people played the TV. Today the situation has changed radically. If recently for the political mobilization of the electorate was only one television, and now, in terms of political, regional, split the information society requires institutionalization of his supporters as a necessary factor in political mobilization. During the presidential election campaign, this mobilization has been very successful. But it is clear that Russia entered a period of political maturity, and that the split in the ideological and political terms, the society has a need for the institute, which is constantly engaged in a political mobilization of society to support the government in opposition to antivlastnogo mobilization actions of the opposition. Apparently, the need to accelerate the transformation of the Popular Front in a well-functioning political party — political support for the president.
Fifth. I think the authorities are re-evaluating the capabilities of its information resource. Mode almost lost control of most of the print media. Control of television is often illusory.
Sixth. Obviously, the intelligent mode requires mobilization. Opposition leaders are trying to present the power of stupid and criminal, which can not deal "rukopozhatnye" and people who respect themselves. Actual mobilization of the ideologically and politically motivated thinking people who can show intellectual poverty of his political opponents — the urgent need for the regime.
And this is only a small part of what needs to be done to the power gained confidence in their political, intellectual and informational opportunities.
head of the New York office of the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation, a political scientist