Georgi M. Derluguian is a sociologist and historian of Armenian, Russian and Ukrainian descent. His area of specialty is in ethnic violence, guerrilla movements and revolutions, particularly in the Caucasus, Central Asia and Africa, as well as post-Cold War globalization. He is currently an associate professor of Social Research and Public Policy at New York University
I did not forget entierly about the civil society because the cycle goes like this:
In the beginning of the cycle you have a very strong man
— some kind of Ivan the Terrible or Stalin. Somebody who uses force to wrastle resources from the elites and kill and chops the elites in parts.
Then, once the resources are gathered, they are thrown into
building a new army.
Then, the new army goes and conquests, and
Russia becomes Big and Great.
Siberia is already conquered. Peter the Great conquers the Baltic. Katherine will conquer Ukraine. And something like that…
Next, what do they do next?
Whatever one does after success… You rest. You
rest on laurels.
Next, is that we are the champions, we are the champions of the world.
next comes a very good decay.
This is kind of Brezhnev's time stagnation, only in the XVIIth century. Good,
the time to relax.
And when you start relaxing, immediately demon inteligencia emerges. This is when
your civil society strikes back.
And the first Russian dissidents are (as you, probably, know):
prince, who ran to Lithuania and was writing the famous correspondence between
Kurbsky and Ivan the Terrible,
We must be loyal to the Old Religion, and so forthand who is saying: “You became not liberal, and not western enough. You must be more western, more like Lithuania. Because Lithuania is advanced, it is democratic. It is in Europe.”
On the other hand there is
the founder of the Old Believers of the Russian Church, saying: “This is an abomination. You are forgetting the laws of our ancestors. We must go back, not ahead in time. We must be loyal to the Old Religion, and so forthWe must be loyal to the Old Religion, and so forth”
Russia, the Modernizing Empire
December 20-22, 2016