December 29th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– Op-ed by Denis Churilov, for FRN –
A few preliminary thoughts on Grudinin, the newly announced left-wing presidential candidate for Russia’s March 2018 Elections.
Even though he says the right things and has substantial experience in managing and developing large organisations, there are a few things that I find concerning about him so far:
1. He used to be a United Russia party member, which, to a certain extent, implies flexibility/opportunism over principles (which may as well be a good thing for a political leader) and careerism.
2. His appearance on the Russian political landscape was rather sudden, with him turning from a local sovkhoz (a state-owned farm complex) director and a medium scale politician to a socialist hero figure actively discussed nation-wide almost overnight. He has a certain media project feel to him, if you know what I mean (although, maybe it’s just me being ignorant of Russian politics).
He is saying the right things, he knows the issues very well (compared to the infantile idiots such as Navalny and Sobchak, with their cheap hype-clown populism), he seems to be articulate, and his biography suggests a strong character and sophisticated management/leadership skills.
But, to be honest, I find it hard to imagine him (or anyone, for that matter) solving all the addressed issues and implementing policies that he propagates (at least during the current phase in history). Even though Russian people are intrinsically left-wing in their culture and mindset, Russia has been existing in a capitalist matrix for over a quarter of a century now. All the attempts to implement socialist policies without curbing the influence of the globalist banksters and the Trans-Atlantic elites (and their local proxies in the government!) usually lead to disasters.
You can’t have a properly functioning socialist government in a capitalist system (which is, in turn, an integrative part of a larger, global capitalist system). Well, it is possible in theory, but a sudden, revolutionary transition to Socialism in a country like Russia would be harsh and painful (sudden social and structural re-configurations are always painful) and would require some serious political, administrative (or otherwise!) repressions against the oligarchs and pro-Western “liberals” in the Kremlin (i. e. the entire economic/financial block in the government). I don’t think such measures are realistic at this stage.
I see Grudinin as a Russian version of the Trump phenomenon. Trump was a perfect representation of the American Dream, a wealthy businessman, a successful and charismatic entrepreneur who promised to return the economic opportunities and Make America Great Again, whereas Grudinin is a smart, strong willed man (“muzhik”) who was able to defend his sovkhoz against criminal privatisation during the 1990s, protect his workers in the turbulent times, build something better, and who is now promising people the return of the true social justice (not to be confused with the (post?)modern American/Western safe-space “SJW” balderdash). The reality is more complex and it requires a more systemic and gradual approach…
Either way, Grudinin appears to have a great potential for gaining substantial political weight. The only reason to vote for him now, though, would be to demonstrate to the ruling elites that the Communist/Socialist ideas are popular, to show them that people demand social justice and that they value the positive Soviet experience, so that the elites would (hopefully) take that into account, if they want to stay in power.
If I were eligible to vote in Russia, I, personally, would go with a safer option for now and vote for Putin.