5

May 17, 2005 by AK

Careful with democracy: the middle class is a minority in Russia

It is clear to me now that a revolution in Russia may not, should not — I’d like to be able to say cannot — be democratic. It has to be middle-class or oligarchic in essence. In politically underdeveloped countries with dramatic inequality, democracy is inimical to liberty, and true universal liberty is unattainable. Liberty only has a chance when there is a strong and large enough social group ready to fight for it and handle it. The rest neither value nor understand political liberty but would appreciate economic opportunity, although many would still prefer the dole.

Let us call this revolutionary group the emerging middle class. It wants both political liberty (safety from the government) and economic freedom (safety from the mafia and extortionist bureaucracy) but it is well aware that society at large is prone to abusing its political freedom. The masses may serve as a battering ram in the revolution but they will not benefit from it as much as the new middle class. If the revolt is successful, the rest will depend on the new elite’s character. If it is essentially oligarchic — small, self-centered, and self-contained — it will perish, and the sprouts of liberty with it. (Remember Venezuela: a triumph for democracy was a triumph for ochlocracy and a disaster for liberty.) If it is reasonably open and dynamic, we shall see commoners fight a long, painful fight with the elite — not to deprive the latter of its privileges but to expand the circle of the privileged.

Democracy in Russia has always been, and should stay, managed. The key is who, and in whose interests, and to what ends, is going to manage it.


5 comments »

  1. I’m no expert on Russian Society or its complexities, but I’ll add my thoughts.

    >It is clear to me now that a revolution in Russia may not, should not — I’d like to be able to say cannot — be democratic. It has to be middle-class or oligarchic in essence.

    Most probably true. In the U.S. the middle class pays the taxes that carry the poor and spend the money that floats the economy. The very wealthy are a small percent, but their political contributions influence the politicians. It’s a conundrum. The politicians need the vote of the middle class to get into power, but they also need the cash of the wealthy to fund an election campaign. A grass roots election can be funded, and even successful, like the former pro-wrestler Jesse Ventura when he was elected governor in the state of Minnesota a few years ago, but this is the exception not the rule.

    >In politically underdeveloped countries with dramatic inequality, democracy is inimical to liberty, and true universal liberty is unattainable. Liberty only has a chance when there is a strong and large enough social group ready to fight for it and handle it. The rest neither value nor understand political liberty but would appreciate economic opportunity, although many would still prefer the dole.

    Freedom is not free. It always must be fought for then ever guarded against those that would weaken it, usually in the name of security. It is an ideal that is never completely attained, but a very noble ideal.

    >Let us call this revolutionary group the emerging middle class. It wants both political liberty (safety from the government) and economic freedom (safety from the mafia and extortionist bureaucracy) but it is well aware that society at large is prone to abusing its political freedom. The masses may serve as a battering ram in the revolution but they will not benefit from it as much as the new middle class. If the revolt is successful, the rest will depend on the new elite’s character. If it is essentially oligarchic — small, self-centered, and self-contained — it will perish, and the sprouts of liberty with it. (Remember Venezuela: a triumph for democracy was a triumph for ochlocracy and a disaster for liberty.) If it is reasonably open and dynamic, we shall see commoners fight a long, painful fight with the elite — not to deprive the latter of its privileges but to expand the circle of the privileged.

    Most so called democratic governments are not true democracy, i.e. majority rules, but rather like the U.S. a representative democracy.

    >Democracy in Russia has always been, and should stay, managed. The key is who, and in whose interests, and to what ends, is going to manage it.

    A question only the Russian people can answer. In my opinion the answer is in the managed by the middle class in the interest of whatever Russia deems it’s greater good to be.

  2. Mike says:

    Thought you would like this. big bucks

  3. Great blog here! I really enjoyed the topic you chose to write about. I’m definitely going to bookmark you! I have a free mlm lead site. It pretty much covers free mlm lead related stuff. Come and check it out if you get time 🙂

  4. Sports Junky says:

    Your post is great and let me say

    A favorite pastime of mine is Sports Betting to make a few extra bucks.
    My only problems is that I was never good at picking teams or games.
    Recently I found a site that is like Sports Betting but I dont lose my money if my pick is bad.

    Its a sports stock market, kinda like NASDAQ. which makes a big difference because if I buy shares in a team. I keep the stock whether they win or lose, but as a bonus I get paid divdends if they win.
    So I can make money with dividends and also from selling high and buying low.

    I buy shares in NFL, NASCAR, NCAAB, MLB, Golf, Tennis ect….
    They just released Some Great IPOS’s this week!

    Heres a link http://allsportsmarket.com
    you can log in and check it out for free..

    Keep up the good work on your blog!
    -Erik

  5. Hi 🙂

    You have a great blog! I’ll be sure to bookmark it and visit regularly, keep up the great work!

    Please visit my site if you get some time: millionairs

Leave a Reply

Archives

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 10 other subscribers

%d bloggers like this: