Myth of a strong state in Russia   (Published: 27.07.2020)

A strong state is created through its own scientific and technical activities, the arms industry and an army made up of different types of weapons. Other criteria for strength are the top-down / bottom-up functioning of political institutions, the existence and management of equity, the existence of skilled people, and loyalty to the state leadership. Since the 19th century, Russia has not been able to participate in the social development of other great powers.

Since the 13th century, Russian state philosophy lacks a strong tradition of the rule of law and a social dimension in the construction of society. The lack of development of the Western Renaissance and Enlightenment periods is compensated by the overestimation of military power since the time of Peter the Great and the Soviet Union.

Russianness as a continuation of the tradition of the Roman Empire has not found its place in the broader historical context of the saying about the structure of the Russian population - in countries beginning in the Asian side of the Volga, every second Russian flows Tatar blood. There are many other perceptions of this.

The need for dialogue

Political institutions do not exist without interaction between the state leadership and the people in both directions. Legislation, management and enforcement, and the rule of law the realization of the principles will not be realized if all the eggs of togetherness are put in one basket. Law and justice reflect core values ​​in a society that is a broader entity than the state itself.

In the development of the state institution, sociality has remained in the position of the “parish apprentice” in the construction of the Russian state. In modern Russia, sociality is not a priority area. It is a lesser-known aspect as a building block of the rule of law. As the western industrialized countries developed a new social order in the countries of the former Soviet Union, the issue was addressed in accordance with NGO and CSO civil society models through development programs. Russia's development without its own tradition of social development has not achieved major results in social development.

Russia's state development

The development of values ​​in society is based on structural changes and traditions of human interaction. Russian historiography explains its expansion over the centuries differently from conventional historiography. According to the country's historiography, the accession of smaller peoples in the same areas to the Russian state during tsarism and the birth of the Soviet Union took place on a voluntary basis.

There were many reasons why Russia and the Soviet Union have not been part of the current development of the rule of law. The rule of law thinking emerged in the United States after the 1776 Declaration of Independence and spread from there to Europe and the rest of the world as the foundation of the modern state. The Constitution defines the rights and obligations of the people towards the state.

With the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, social ownership of the means of production did not prove to be an especially important issue. The Soviet government and the western industrialized countries co-created a 1992 program for the privatization of state property (housing and social sector institutions) and national production facilities, without any other options (concessions and leasing) that were further explored in terms of functioning or social justice.

Values ​​in society

The value spectrum of society is formed between two extremes. The needs of society and the other extreme are the rights of the individual and his needs. Social reality is made up of things that accomplish things between these two extremes. There is no equivalent spectrometer in the social sciences as it exists in physics and the natural sciences, where the elements and their place in nature are determined by the light they reflect.

Social values ​​are derivatives of some of the more powerful phenomena in the cognitive space of human consciousness, which consists of the rational world and its control. It emphasizes knowledge of society and life as well as harmony with the world around us. In addition, in the functioning of human and man-made institutional structures, emotions and values ​​significantly influence the choices and content of interaction that man chooses.

Division of power in Russia

Russia's problem has been the longer-than-usual learning system about the role of state leadership in the country. A constitutional state is a social treaty whose political life draws up and approves state legislation as “the most sacred matter of law”, which today, together with the provisions of international treaties, e.g. UN programs and objectives committing to a common position on important issues. Combining positions requires an interaction process to find a common position.

Understanding things in the same way does not make them automatically acceptable between states, as they often have social and emotional dimensions between the parties. If the state decision-making mechanism is strongly top-down, it may be difficult to reach a common position. Between the written constitution of states and reality, for the reasons described above, it is difficult and sometimes even impossible.

Showing power

The Russian Federation's Navy Day parade on July 26, 2020 on Moscow's national TV1 channel made no exception in Moscow's 800-year history. Russia is fully entitled to that, by presenting similar military parades and the use of force in other states, along the lines of other great powers. The decision to organize the parade was a joint decision of the country’s leadership and military leadership. Its timing is related to the tradition of the country’s navy and St. Petersburg during the white nights in the summer.

The people were not asked for permission, nor were they needed, because there are many people in the population who have been in contact with the Navy, for whom the Navy Festival is a significant annual event in people’s lives. Demonstrating military power to outsiders is less understandable, especially given the programs launched by international donors in 1992 to get the country’s economic and social life back on track.

Capital and income distribution

The ownership and management of social assets re-emerged in the 1980s, when the Soviet Union, and later the Russian Federation, began to look for a new solution to the social ownership of the country’s means of production. In the exploitation of natural resources, the Soviet Union did not achieve the same results and economic efficiency as the smaller and less resource-rich states achieved in market economy countries.

The productive inefficiency of business life in the former Soviet Union was another starting point for the need for change. Another starting point was related to the unequal distribution of capital in the country. Party and state governance mechanisms were unable to bring about the necessary distribution of capital and human income within regional and sectoral structures necessary for the development of the wealth of peoples. Western income distribution mechanisms did not work in the Soviet economy. A new approach was needed because the problem of the income gap between the generations was also emerging.

Distribution of know - how

The single most important explanatory factor for the formation of income disparities in the Soviet Union was the distribution of know-how in official school, university, and science institutions. Due to the competition for armaments and space conquest, the knowledge institutions of the great powers began to produce quite different graduates on the education systems of the countries. The pragmatism of education by the United States and its allies produced professionals in a variety of fields capable of business change.

Instead, theorists as well as science were produced in all educational institutions of the Soviet system and engineering professionals who knew the laws of chemistry and physics with numerous Nobel as well as and scientific research awards without having learned to swim when exposed to water.

There were large differences in know-how between metropolitan fronts and rural collective farm and state farm systems. Not only in the knowledge of subjects and cognitive issues, but also in the richness of life in accessing recreational and cultural services for people in small localities. In the countryside, people had to be content with what was on offer.

The social dimension

After the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, the social dimension of life has become the biggest problem in modern Russia. The way of organizing things in social policy, which differs from Western social policy, ended during the international transition support program. It did not consider the fact that the responsibility for social policy lay with companies and government service employers' organizations. Except for pensions, the state did not have a centralized system for providing social services.

President Vladimir Putin’s inaugural address for the first term and public appearances in the early years sparked hope among citizens. But already in the first years, the content of the speeches changed and the president's interest in restoring Russia's position as a great power was strengthened, e.g. in a major military reform program and in the modernization of armaments.

The attitude of the citizens towards the state leadership was reminiscent of the old tsarist way, in which the good new tsar gradually became an ordinary mortal in the eyes of the people. The media image of the official system is ambiguous. It is exceedingly difficult to get a reliable picture of it. Attitudes towards the occupation of Crimea in 2014 have been problematic for both Russia and the rest of the world. It is testing Russian society and the credibility of its political leadership beyond its borders.

Rule seven

In the seas of the world, the myth is told that every seventh wave is bigger than the others. Because of the myth, no one pays attention to the other six waves, the existence of which is as important and significant as the significance of the larger seventh wave. The same goes for states and its structure.

Universal things, also known as laws of the world, are more important than mythical beliefs in the context of man and man-made institutional structures. Space is one factor in human thinking. There must also be room for other things in the human mind. Then all seven waves are equally relevant. It is essential that the waves go in one direction.

Truth in interaction

Speaking the truth is more meaningful than telling the truth. It concerns both the individual, the leadership of a different state in creating an image of its own existence and what it uses the resources of the country for. Citizens' loyalty to the state arises only from common interests, a parallel gradient of power and interaction, and the concordance of shared information with the surrounding reality.

In the absence of a common evidence-based sustainable “platform” within and with other communities, other factors related to societal values ​​are irrelevant, regardless of how many waves exist in the water movement. Truth is not bought for personal gain or pleasure. Yes, it can wait for better times in its state, to become a reality in the lives of its children and grandchildren.


© Heikki K. Auvinen / Asumer Oy, 2020 - All rights reserved

« Back
News & Commentaries
27.07.2020 Myth of a strong state in Russia More >>
29.06.2020 Russia and the memes of Russianness More >>
09.06.2020 Lost communities, states, and cultures More >>
17.05.2020 At the Red Square after Victory Day celebration More >>
04.05.2020 Time, space, and movement with SDGs More >>

Archive >>

Asumer Oy, Espoo, Finland   e-mail address:  Telephone + 358 400 638 660



©2020 Heikki K. Auvinen - Development Consultant - Asumer Oy