Over 50 percent of Russians are disappointed in the government of Dmitry Medvedev, which, they believe, is unable to curb growing prices and provide jobs for people, a new poll has revealed. Some 23 percent said they were absolutely sure that the government must resign, with another 30 percent telling Levada-Center that they were also leaning toward this opinion. This means that a total of 53 percent would like the country to have a new cabinet. Trust in the government has crumbled since September, when only 23 percent advocated its resignation. Meanwhile, the proportion of people who believed the government should stay in charge was 40 percent, with 14 percent expressing full confidence in the cabinet, and 26 percent saying that resignation wouldn’t be the best idea.
This was very predictable and, in fact, I did predict just that when I wrote “A comment I just saw on the YouTube chat of the inauguration was succinct and to the point: “Путин кинул народ – мы не за Медведева голосовали” or “Putin betrayed the people – we did not vote for Medvedev”. This is going to be a very widely shared feeling, I am afraid (…) Medvedev is unpopular and that most Russians hoped to see a new face. Yet Putin ignored this public sentiment. That is a very worrying sign, in my opinion“. In a subsequent article I wrote that “it is quite clear to me that a new type of Russian opposition is slowly forming. Well, it always existed, really – I am talking about people who supported Putin and the Russian foreign policy and who disliked Medvedev and the Russian internal policies. Now the voice of those who say that Putin is way too soft in his stance towards the Empire will only get stronger. As will the voices of those who speak of a truly toxic degree of nepotism and patronage in the Kremlin (again, Mutko being the perfect example). When such accusations came from rabid pro-western liberals, they had very little traction, but when they come from patriotic and even nationalist politicians (Nikolai Starikov for example) they start taking on a different dimension. For example, while the court jester Zhirinovskii and his LDPR party loyally supported Medvedev, the Communist and the Just Russia parties did not. Unless the political tension around figures like Kudrin and Medvedev is somehow resolved (maybe a timely scandal?), we might witness the growth of a real opposition movement in Russia, and not one run by the Empire. It will be interesting to see if Putin’s personal ratings will begin to go down and what he will have to do in order to react to the emergence of such a real opposition“.
Think about it in this way: we know from ALL the past elections that the pro-Western segment of the Russian population is somewhere around 1-3% (that is why they cannot make it into the Duma). But let’s generously give that hardcore, liberal, opposition 5%, for argument’s sake. So if 53% of Russians want a new cabinet, and if 5% of Russians are hardcore pro-Western liberals, then who are the remaining 48%?
Or in this way: if 53% of Russians want a new cabinet, and if Putin’s approval rating is still somewhere in the 65% range, who are those Russians who like Putin but dislike the Medvedev government?
There is an easy cop-out argument which I´ve often offered to explain away this fact:
Levada Center is officially classified as a “foreign agent” under Russian law. This makes sense: for one thing, Levada Center receives most of its financing from abroad, including the US and even the Pentagon! Furthermore, Levada is staffed by liberals (in the Russian meaning of the word which really means “pro-US”) whose biases are also reflected in their work. However, while this is all true, Levada is still credible enough to be cited even by Russian officials. Finally, the kind of results Levada publishes are often generally similar to the finding of the official VTsIOM polling institution, not down to the percentage point, but often reflecting similar trends (check out the VTsIOM English language page here: https://wciom.com/ ). So the fact that Putin is much more popular than Medvedev or that the majority of Russian people are unhappy with the government really is not in doubt.
So regardless of the actual numbers, it is clear that the Russian government is only popular with those whom it allows to make a lot of money (corporations and various millionaires and billionaires) and that everybody else strongly dislikes it.
And yet, recently Putin was asked if he was happy with the government and his reply was “on the whole, yes“.
This type of political yoga is hard to sustain in the long term: if Putin is the champion of the interests of the common people, and if most common people feel that the government cares more for millionaires and billionaires, then how can the President say that he is “on the whole happy” with the government?
It is truly a crying shame that the basics of Marxism-Leninism is not taught in schools and colleges any more (even some self-described “Communists” are clearly clueless about what Marx, Lenin or even Hegel taught!). Not because the solutions advocated by Marx and his followers are so universally effective, but because one can use the Marxist-Leninist conceptual toolkit to better understand the world we live in and, one can do this without necessarily endorsing the solutions offered by Marxism. For example, in the West at least, very few people are aware of this very simple Marxist-Leninist definition of what a state, any state, really is. According to Lenin, the state is simply an “apparatus of coercion and violence by which the ruling class governs the society“. Specifically Lenin wrote:
In essence, the state is ruling apparatus created from the human society. When such a group of people appears, one which is only concerned with ruling over others, and which for that purpose needs a coercion apparatus which can force people to obey by means of jails, special units, armed forces, etc, – that is the moment when the state appears (Lenin, collective works, vol 39, page 69).
From a Marxist point of view, any state is always and by definition the dictatorship of the ruling class, which is a good thing, at least according to the Marxists, when this ruling class is the workers and people, and a very bad thing when the ruling class is the plutocracy.