They still have considerable presence in the corridors of power, but in Russia, the word 'liberal' is the same as 'thief'
Mikhail Khazin is an extremely popular intellectual in Russia, who speaks mostly on economic and geopolitical matters.
His ideas are important because they influence thinking in Russia, and interesting because they are original.
They are far different from both the ideas that hold sway in the West, and the ideas the West imagines are attractive to Russians.
Our contributor The Saker was able to secure a long Q&A session with Khazin that was translated by a team of his volunteers.
We will be presenting exceprts from the discussion in a series of articles over the coming days.
This material originally appeared at The Vineyard of the Saker
Liberals control a considerable part of Russia’s property; second, they are under the protection of the USA; and third, from the point of view of the political elite, they undertook important tasks such as making agreements with the world’s financial system, investments, and economic growth.
Today it has become clear that there is no economic growth, there will be no investments, and the USA are not treating us as partners.
It means that the “liberals” have lost the political support and will be forced out of the political arena. The main question is: how fast this process is going to be.
As for the USA, they have already realized that they did something wrong. The problem is that the Russian “liberal” team has emerged from the privatization that was a grand theft.
Today in Russia the words “liberal” and a “thief” are synonyms. In this sense, for instance, a European court ruling on “Yukos” to exact $50 bln is a grave political mistake on the part of the West because everyone in Russia knows beyond doubt that “Yukos” was stolen.
The people, who bought it, were fully aware that it was a stolen property and thus no one owes them anything.
In other words, for the vast majority of the Russian public the court decision is the clear evidence that the only interest of the West in relation to Russia is to take away (to loot) the assets that belong to the people (the government).
That is, the western elite, including its legal system, deliberately make decisions that favor “their own”, even though those people are professed thieves. This is a hard blow to the trust towards the USA and EU; the blow is even harder than the sanctions.
At the same time, there is no point in counting on liberals, in spite of their current power – they have no electoral potential, they will at most receive 3-5 % of votes.
They had illusions that a new generation would grow up not remembering the privatization. But the new generation faced the situation when all the “upward paths of vertical growth” are chock-full of children of those liberals and of “siloviki” (national security) they have raised.
This is why it is inevitable that new political powers in Russia will be anti-liberal, or anti-West. “Navalnys” have no chance – they defend wrong positions. The West, if they want to have relations with Russia, has to become aware of this situation and correct it. Right now they don’t want to do that, which means that there are no positive prospects.