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Old March 16 2011, 06:38 PM   #435
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Sci wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Earlier in this thread, you suggested that the prominence of ex-KGB people in 2011 era Russia constituted a data point in favour of your thesis of the likelihood of Section 31's revival to its former point. It doesn't: 2011 Russia is so different from 1981's RSFSR that the difference is funny. The position that the post-KGB agency does have, however, depends entirely on the willingness of many Russians--and the implicit consent of most--to accept that the former Soviet police-state bureaucracy wasn't irredeemable, and that its alumni shouldn't be hindered in their careers.

Is the Federation's citizenry so little attached to democratic values?
Exactly. The Russian Federation today is not a real democracy. It's a police state -- in some ways, it's now worse than the Soviet Union, because at least during the Soviet era, the Politburo was a check on the power of the KGB. Today, the KGB -- now known as the FSB -- is in charge of the entire government, has essentially become the state, rather than being a particularly heinous apparatus thereof.
Although at the same time, it's important to note that Russia has become rather more diverse. Russia is reasonably globalized, having joined as many of the different political and economic clubs as it wants to, shifting away from Communist economic structures towards something much more capitalist if still too dependent on natural resource rents, and it has a Westernized pop culture. The many fundamental discontinuities between Soviet and post-Soviet Russia remain. difference is that this is all delivered within the post-KGB framework.

This system works only because Russians accept it. Opposition to the current regime is pretty trivial, since most Russians appreciate the stability and prosperity of the past decade (not necessarily linked to the Putin/Medvedev era, but that's a separate subject). If Russians didn't accept it, well, there've been revolutions recently.
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