– Dmitri Medvedev
“Democracy is in action,” Mr. Medvedev said, standing with Mr. Putin at United Russia’s campaign headquarters, where both men looked a bit shaken. “The party performed worthily, it essentially represents 50 percent of our population — the final number will be determined — and the result is real democracy.”
In brief remarks, Mr. Putin, who is still expected to win a presidential election in March, said voters had reaffirmed United Russia as “the nation’s leading political force” despite the challenges of recent years. “Relying on this result, we can ensure stable development of our state,” he said.
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Either there is an ideological misalignment, as there seems to have for the past two years, or the two are merely functioning as ideological extensions of one another. Regardless, the Czarist message is encapsulated perfectly in Putin’s favorite Stalinist ultimatum [totalitarian ‘stability’ versus democratic ‘chaos’], while Medvedev plays the role of the supplicant, admitting (on Putin’s behalf) that there are limitations to United Russia’s hitherto totalitarian grip.
Regardless, the Kremlinologist glitterati of the Western establishment are once again proved wrong: in the most perverse possible way, Russia functions as a democracy–when the implicit plebiscite shifts too far from the Czar, things get complicated.
“At its core, finance is about linking people with savings to those that can put them to productive use. Performed correctly, it can fund retirement accounts, foster growth in emerging markets and support the technology companies that help protesters assemble in a flash. A well-functioning financial system is critical for economic growth. Investments that support worthwhile projects can build the human and physical capital that generates growth and raises standards of living around the world.
When this process is impaired, in particular when the financial system extracts more value than it channels to investors and entrepreneurs, projects go unfunded, innovation sputters and economies stall. Today this process has been compromised.”
“But one should also avoid the temptation of the narcissism of the lost cause: it’s too easy to admire the sublime beauty of uprisings doomed to fail. Today’s left faces the problem of ‘determinate negation’: what new order should replace the old one after the uprising, when the sublime enthusiasm of the first moment is over? In this context, the manifesto of the Spanish indignados, issued after their demonstrations in May, is revealing. The first thing that meets the eye is the pointedly apolitical tone: ‘Some of us consider ourselves progressive, others conservative. Some of us are believers, some not. Some of us have clearly defined ideologies, others are apolitical, but we are all concerned and angry about the political, economic and social outlook that we see around us: corruption among politicians, businessmen, bankers, leaving us helpless, without a voice.’ They make their protest on behalf of the ‘inalienable truths that we should abide by in our society: the right to housing, employment, culture, health, education, political participation, free personal development and consumer rights for a healthy and happy life.’ Rejecting violence, they call for an ‘ethical revolution. Instead of placing money above human beings, we shall put it back to our service. We are people, not products. I am not a product of what I buy, why I buy and who I buy from.’ Who will be the agents of this revolution? The indignados dismiss the entire political class, right and left, as corrupt and controlled by a lust for power, yet the manifesto nevertheless consists of a series of demands addressed at – whom? Not the people themselves: theindignados do not (yet) claim that no one else will do it for them, that they themselves have to be the change they want to see. And this is the fatal weakness of recent protests: they express an authentic rage which is not able to transform itself into a positive programme of sociopolitical change. They express a spirit of revolt without revolution.”
Washington is once again a bloodbath. Should it be otherwise? Should the unemployed, the underemployed, the ineffective overpaid, the toiling underpaid, the deluded middle-of-the-road small business owner of the Right’s imagination; should all these archetypes unify in a multi-kulti polygon of consent? Who sold the Left?