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RUSSIA XXI

< Issue No 4 from 2005 yr. >

«СHiK» and «TSyK» or What is the Real Content of the Intensifying Power Collision

An old joke: «TSeKa (The Central Committee if the CPSU) tsykaet (threatens) while CheKa (subsequently KGB) chikaet (represses)» reflects the most typical and serious problems of contemporary Russia. From the moment of Putin’s ascension the «chik» (repressive apparatus) acquired a chance to become the «tsyk» (the highest authority). However having acquired the power demonstrated its utter inability to transform itself into the highest authority, to develop an ideology. The country is incapable for mobilization while it is submerged in the criminal filth. In such situations revolutions are a dangerous mummery. Events in Ukraine and Kirgizia were ‘banana' revolutions that exploited selfish and venal interests of power elite groups. Members of these groups are hiding their money at banks abroad. The «banana» situations are easily controlled: owners of bank accounts are simply blackmailed with expropriation of what they embezzled. The Belief in possibility to establish a «peripheral capitalism» all over the post-Soviet space has finished. Nobody is trusted in the space. Therefore, there is an intention to carry out a nationalization and then to pass the principal assets over to the Western corporations. The country is sick. To gather strength for a break-through the really strategic problems are to be put into the agenda. If the power does not want to be swept away it has to change the very type of society, to replace «chik» (capability to repress) with «tsyk» (ability to govern and rule).

The enemy at the gate: jubilee reflections

The author deals with the following principal questions: Are all totalitarian regimes equivalent? Was Trotski right when he was one the first persons who noted resemblance of Stalinism, i.e. the real Communism, and Nazism? It follows from the article that even though the West accepted the strategic partnership with the USSR to fight Hitler (Churchill's role is mentioned in the positive way), in years of the cold war principle of Communism equation to Nazism was laid in the basis of confrontation. The same principle proved to be dominant in formation of national memories about WWII in the Baltic states, in Ukraine and in some countries of Central and East Europe. The author points out the intimate connection between «theory of totalitarianism» which has gained a considerable popularity in the recent years and revision of the historical memory about the war and partial rehabilitation of Hitlerism. The Jewish aspect of attitudes to theories that equalize Communism and Nazism is examined. The author does not pass by silence the Islamic fundametalists' attitude to these problems. Tallying up the author notes that comparison of Communism and Nazism based on principle of totalitarianism ignores the essence of these ideologies, their nominal content. The difference between Communism and Nazism is as follows: while Communism makes its absolute of equality Nazism makes its absolute of inequality; Communism calls «for the sake of life on the earth» while Nazism declares «Long live the death!» If the positive sense is eliminated a society can sustain only due to the fear of chaos and anarchy. This fear is to be maintained by ruthless repression. Logically that may results in ideologically sterile super-totalitarianism.

Russia in the global context. On multivariance of international economic comparisons

The author undertakes to answer questions that are concerns of researchers, political writers and ordinary Russian citizens: How does the image of Russia change in the mirror of national and international statistics? What place does Russia occupy in the global economic space now, at the beginning of the 21st century and what place did Russia occupy at the beginning of 20th century? What was the real development of Russia which we have lost? How did balance of economic development levels of Russian empire, the USSR and the USA change in the past 90−100 years? The author adduces calculations and estimates that allow him to conclude that both in 1913 and in 2003−2004 per capita GDP in Russia was and is about one fourth of per capita GDP in the US. At the same time the author offers one more conclusion which may be a surprise for many people: in early 20th century as well as at the beginning of the 21st century per capita income in China was and is about 1−12% of per capita income in the US. However during the same period per capita GDP in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and India compared to per capita GDP of the US deteriorated considerably. To put it differently, in the course of the past 90−100 years these countries were lagging more and more behind the US. All these and some other, sometimes unexpected conclusions and estimates are based upon thoroughly analyzed statistical records and interstate comparisons.

The first election: electoral campaign of Ivan the Terrible

The author deals with the Polish interregnum period (1572−1576) and describes programs offered by the principal pretenders to the royal throne: Maximillian, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, his son Ernest, Johan III, the King of Sweden, Ivan the Terrible, the czar of Russia, Henry d’Anjou, the French prince, Stephan Bathorius* etc. In May of 1573 the Rzecz Pospolita elected Henry Valois to the throne because Poland wanted to arrange an alliance with France. However Henry’s escape 16 weeks after the coronation divided Polish and Lithuanian societies into several factions. On of them provided support for Maximillian Habsburg, the other one did the same for Ivan the Terrible and the third faction rallied around Stephan Bathorius. The author makes conclusion on principal contradictions between the Russian and the European political cultures: the notions of a king’s prerogatives and powers were absolutely different. It is noted that parties could not find a common language. Every party insisted on its own program. Under such circumstances Stephan Bathorius, «the upstart from Transylvania» proved to be in the most favorably situation and won at elections of 1576. Unlike other pretenders Stephan did not confine himself to the royal etiquette but acted in a more decisive way. Having lost the election Ivan the Terrible missed a chance to win the Livonian War by diplomatic means and afterwards lost it altogether.

The Japanese factor in war in Europe, 1941–1945

The war against Germany required maximum efforts from all countries of anti-Nazism coalition. But the US waged the war against Japan too. Roosevelt was very worried by the fact that the properly Japanese territory was inaccessible for the American air forces that were incapable to strike at it. In Tehran and later Stalin promised to start the war against Japan in 2−3 moths after victory in Europe. Yet the US President was preoccupied with the question how to use the USSR in this war. In 1943−1944 the Americans arranged with Moscow to make use of the Soviet airfields in Siberia and in Far East. However by 1945 it became obvious that this plan was impractical. Besides that, Americans had got B-29 bombers that could reach the Japanese Islands and strike at them. However the effect of these air raids was less than it was anticipated. Meanwhile the most difficult and bloody battles on the Japanese Islands and in China lied ahead. Being aware of the Japanese fanaticism the Americans did their best to avoid major land battles that took a terrible toll in lives. It was considered that the war would possibly continue for a year and losses would amount to 1.5 million people. Then an idea came: exerting the maximum effort aimed at destruction of Germany the USA had to wait for the deadline Stalin had indicated for attack on Japan (3 months) when the USSR would attack the most battle-worthy Japanese forces deployed in the mainland of Asia (i.e., in Manchuria, North China, Korea) and would assume the main brunt of land battles. Indeed, even after the atomic bombardments the Japanese continued to fight. Only destruction of main land forces of Japan made by the Soviet troops in 23 days accelerated the fall of the Japanese aggressor considerably.