POLI 11 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: United Russia, Root Mean Square, Authoritarianism

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21 May 2018
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Russian Politics
Communism in Russia:!
There’s something inherently authoritarian about it. In Capitalism, markets decide how
resources are allocated, so the consumers decide. But in Communism, the political entity
that decides how to allocate these resources, the control is done, not to benefit the
consumer but to benefit themselves or their peers.!
Ukraine had a lot of national and ethnic pride and so Stalin orchestrated a genocide called
the holodemure that caused millions of Ukrainians to die as it was a threat to the USSR at
that time, a huge multinational state.!
Marxism: Wage earners have no leverage over their workers so employers are incentivized
only to pay the bare minimum to their wage earners. !
Contemporary Russian politics:!
When Russia first started to dissolve, the question came up of what to do with other ethnic
minorities in the USSR, so a lot of them gained independence and a lot of Russians who
were still part of the Russian Federation this was seen as a loss. One of these areas retained,
called Chechnya, this did not fit as it was a majority Muslim population. So it was in many
ways a nation, under control of Moscow, which generally results in a want for separation.
There was a movement by Chechnyans to liberate Chechnya from the Soviet Union.!
After the USSR broke up and firms were starting to be privatized, when they were being
sold, the only ones who had enough capital to bid on these firms and instead of bidding for
these companies and them being worth tens of billions of dollars, they decided to bid on
these companies one by one, so these companies were purchased for much less than they
were worth which outraged the public and the Yeltsin regime became deeply unpopular.!
Putin orchestrated a brutal crushing of the Chechnyan rebels which skyrocketed his
reputation and the United Russia Party became a top runner and got rid of his association
with the Yeltsin regime. !
Oil prices were surging in Russia and !
Do you think Russias political culture prefers authoritarianism? Yes, they prefer this over
democratic and civilian rule over their political systems.
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