Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism by Roy Medvedev, George Shriver

By Roy Medvedev, George Shriver

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Sample text

However, the Russian government is also unlikely to follow this path. The Russian political elite values nothing so much as its sovereignty. Russia has opted out of many binding international treaties and it seems incapable of producing any regional integration model or obeying the rules of any trading bloc. There is no reason to believe that Russia will want to participate in any grouping where it cannot dictate the rules, however theoretically valuable this participation may be. 51 In short, Russia today lacks the will to modernize, whether through a stateled reindustrialization or by accepting EU practices and standards.

In foreign policy, these include the “war on terror” and the need to improve international security; the economic crisis and the need to create new rules for the world economy; the crisis of supranational political and economic institutions; and the growing global competition for scarce resources. In internal affairs, they include a high level of social inequality; immature and ineffective state institutions and civil society; a system of co-option into political and economic elites that does not coincide with the country’s priorities; inefficiency in industry; and, as a result, low levels of competitiveness.

Putin now had a majority of more than twothirds in the Duma, which thus ceased to be an independent centre of power. However, despite the lack of real opposition within parliament, this was no restoration of the previous one-party system. The Kremlin still needed the formality of legitimate elections and therefore created a superficially competitive environment in which many of UR’s competitors – so-called “origami parties” – were themselves handmade by the authorities. There was little incentive to join these new, heavily bureaucratized parties.

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