Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Political Economy of Putinism and the Putinist Oligarchic Mafia

Putinism: One of the key objectives of Yeltsin and his team of cronies was to break up and liquidate the Soviet system and its institutions in the economic and political spheres. Putin and his team of cronies had for their objectives the final liquidation of the surviving Soviet system in the social sphere and in education and health care. All these objectives have been accomplished by now.

In the Yeltsin era of the covert and sometimes not so covert anti-national and anti-Russian war and counterrevolution, several possible criminal clans were vying for power and competing with each other.

The Putin era has been marked by a consolidation and centralization of the criminal syndicate with the metamorphosed traitorous ex-KGB playing the key role again as it did during its ditching of the USSR, the Warsaw Pact, the "Velvet (or not so Velvet) Revolutions, and the world socialist system. The unified "vertical" of the new criminal syndicate has been built from top all the way down, and all other clans had to become part of the system or be liquidated. The Chechnya case both confirms the real and represents one notable, outstanding exception.

At times, like so many other things, the centralization and unification of the oligarchic mafia was presented and falsified by the Kremlin and its propagandist (and Putin himself) as a struggle against oligarchy and even as a "victory" over oligarchy, while the oligarchic mafia only absorbed everything and expanded into everything.

In the rise of the Petersburg mafia to its monopolistic dominance a notable role was played by A. Chubais, the US key point man for colonizing Russia. Putin became Russia president by riding on Chubais' and his advisers' and handlers' political lift.

One political seminal "achievement" of the Putinist colonization of Russia and the building of a unified and centralized criminal syndicate as the one hegemonic regime has been turning and transforming the whole state apparatus as well as the enforcement, police and power structures into the service and organic, core institution of the criminal system itself by changing the Soviet and post-Soviet apparatus from its previous privileged, but limited nomenklatura "new class" position into a new, anti-national, colonialist and mafia-serving and mafia-generating caste of the new mafia guardians, beneficiaries and benefactors. This radically anti-social transformation has taken place simultaneously with the expansion of the bureaucracy and the police the numbers of both of which are dwarfing the corresponding Soviet numbers. At the same time, only the official salaries (which are for this mafia-serving and mafia-established class only a smaller portion of their incomes) are commonly ten times higher than the salaries for the common people. With the deputies the difference is still several times higher. In this way, the state apparatus and the police forces are materially welded to the mafia and vitally interested in defending and perpetuating the dictatorship of this colonial mafia over the nation and society.

In Putin's Russia, the organized mafia has thus become the state and the state has become the organized mafia.

Of course when the police and the state become the mafia, their character and priorities also radically change. They no longer protect society and the people from crime and the mafia; they protect crime and the mafia from the people and are able and willing to do it at any cost.

Till about 2006/2008 the unification and centralization of the oligarchic mafia and its full merging with the machine of the state had been proceeding in the publicly very friendly embrace of Putin (and thus with a tacit blessing) by the US and the West (especially by George W. Bush). This initial official and publicly displayed romance/bromance between the Empire and the colonized rival defeated in the Cold War helped to add to the luster and legitimacy of Putin, the new appointee of the comprador regime and produced several memorable, sweet and touching moments between George W. Bush and Putin:

After this bromance ended at the end of the Bush administration--and after Obama showed his personal aversion to Putin's attempt to give him the old comradely/brotherly tap on his arm,

the romance continued as a bromance between Putin and Berlusconi, one of the key cardinals for NATO's GLADIO (NATO secret army--behind "the enemy's line secret army) program--still on public display well into 2015 when, in September, Berlusconi and Putin jointly bowed to the "eternal glory" of the Italian invaders of Russia and their monument in Crimea.

This started to change as the US moved toward the final phase of the preparation of Maidan in Ukraine meant to change the country into a decidedly and radically anti-Russian ally of NATO for good.

Maidan (which, both objectively and cleverly through in-action or counter-productive actions the Kremlin helped accomplish) and the following events have also brought to an end the previous Western acquiescence in the (temporary, instrumental) unification and centralization of the Putinist mafia oligarchy. For what was good and effective in one phase was no longer needed or effective at the new stage.

Materially and objectively, the Russian oligarchic mafia has no interest in being anti-Western. To make money (plunder) and to continue to turn Russia and its resources into wealth in Western currencies and accounts (and thus to continue to plunder and destroy Russia), the mafia needs the West as much as a priest needs to have his Holy of Holies. For in the West and only through the West and thanks to the West the mafia can achieve the quintessential miracle and convert its plunder into the coveted and secure wealth, status, existence and its own vision of the highest form of being. Of course, the West knows this and some and thus tries to use the Putinist mafia with a great degree of measure and caution, while holding its nose or carefully washing its hands in the aftermath. The Putinist mafia does present itself as anti-Western mainly for domestic consumption and then to a degree to which it feels threatened by the West and by its stated respect for the rule of law and fairness. Otherwise the mafia has more than just a "gentleman's agreement" to do for the West much of its dirt work in waging a joint war on Russia and the Russian people. In exchange for the privilege to move its capital and profits to the West and promises, including promises of immunity and impunity and potential safe refuge and havens.

Otherwise the Putinist mafia wants to serve and wants not only truce, but a complete "partnership" (both in crime and in business)--the world which Putin and his regime keep saying like a magic formula and their holy grail.

That's also why Putin just paid a personal visit to Lyudmila Alekseeva, Russia's leading hater of everything Soviet, pro-Western liberal and supporter of Maidan whom he also made a member of his presidential council for human rights. Of course, Putin, a man of deeply rooted existential complexes and anxieties, fears any more or less half-decent challenger, but above all he does want to please his handlers and actual bosses. Moreover, the Russian oligarchic mafia would certainly be OK with continued genocide of the Russians--thus turning on the people who are for them not more than a bio-mass--than with turning on themselves and fighting for the people and with the people.

In this light, the figure of Navalny is looking to the oligarchy more and more attractive for Navalny promises a sort of soft landing instead of a confrontation and a continued conflict with the West. Navalny might be promising a more decent and more honest liberalism, but also a faster and (not necessarily) smoother surrender.

If Putin's oligarchic mafia believes that the Russians are way too overpaid even with their ridiculously, inhumanly low salaries for even that is cutting into their millions and billions, the West may similarly conclude that the Russian state machine and the mafia people are way too overestimated and overvalued as well.

Psychologically, Putin's public surrender and humiliation would be for the West laudable and desirable, but it would only confirm what more and more people are already realizing--that Putin is a shill and his persona phony. However, it would be a mistake to take for granted that the US itself wants to see a soft landing of the regime in Russia. There are different schools in this respect. Much depends on whether the US (and the West) wants or will want to share the spoils of Russia with anyone or at least how little or how much.

The other problem is that Putin is clearly afraid that being anything but the head of the Russian state would be posing for him way too unpleasant security dilemmas and problems. He feels secure only with the divisions under his command and with hundreds and thousands of bodyguards around.

Thus, for Russian oligarchic and its mafia state all the problems boil down to one problem--how to continue to do and deliver what the West demands and still survive and continue making itself "indispensable" and useful to the West without being ditched or replaced by someone or something else. That is to say, the problem is how to continue the betrayals and surrender of all, everyone and everything, all the while continuing its parasitic existence? In this light the oligarchy is bound to see Navalny not unlike the late Soviet leadership saw the anti-communist dissidents whom it helped to come to power and unseat their own communist comrades in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s. Even Putin might start seeing Navalny as one of the few parachutes left in the back of his little plane that is taking so much flak.

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