Glazyev's Role in Russian Communist Party Viewed
6 February 2003
Article by Andrey Kolesnikov:
"The Scientific Communist"
The Russian Communist movement is experiencing a crisis. It is too early, however, to drive the last nail into the red coffin of Communism. The possibility is therefore not ruled out that this is a crisis of growth, from which respectable left-wingers will emerge somewhat piteous, but not vanquished.
If we digress from the nuances of the intraparty squabble, which exists in the organizations of any political movement, and what is more, in a period of the sawing-up of the pre-election budgets, it is a question of the struggle of two patterns. One can arbitrarily be called, "Communists, Back!" and the other -- "Communists, Forward!" The first scenario is embodied by the figure of the CPRF [RF Communist Party] leader for many years -- Gennadiy Zyuganov. The electoral strategy which Gennadiy Andreyevich will objectively be forced to adhere to will be built on the exploitation of retrospective themes: nostalgia for the Union, free public health care, education, etc. -- right up to the heart-felt and frequent use of the word, "Stalin." This pattern of the party line of behavior may work at the next elections and bring the Communists a fairly good result. But in the interval between 2004 and 2007, its effectiveness will gradually rush to zero, because the nostalgia resource will be played out. Moreover, the present leader of the Communists is inclined to repeat himself, and it is impossible for the image potential of a worn-out record to drag on for another decade. That is, both the retrospective strategy and the leader connected with it should, for objective reasons, exit from the scene.
The power-socialist scene will not remain empty, because its electoral attractiveness is preserved. The Communist movement will either dissolve in one of the subdivisions of the party of power, or will revive. One of the scenarios for revival is the strategy of "Communists, Forward!" Forward -- to scientific-technical progress, stable development, the leveling-out of social conflicts and the nationalization of the natural income seized by the oligarchs. The author and executor of this is a partly Communist, partly director-conservative model -- Sergey Glazyev. It is he who can become the leader of the revived Communist movement.
They began talking about the political charisma of the economic ideologist in September of last year when, as a complete surprise to everyone, Glazyev came in third in the tough electoral race in Krasnoyarsk Kray, garnering 21.6 percent of the electors' votes. Armed with the program, "Seven steps to fairness and economic growth," a name which recalls a long forgotten document of the beginning of the 1990's, authored by the economist Yevgeniy Saburov, and a certain public agreement with the electors, "On social responsibility...," in turn borrowed from the political philosophy of Sergey Kiriyenko, Sergey Yuryevich put together a successful competition for the Krasnoyarsk grandees. He is now asked to be a candidate for governor of Novosibirsk Oblast. Glazyev is being careful and not hurrying to make a positive answer. That makes no difference: but can he suddenly be able to head the party or the inviolable bloc of Communists and non-party members as soon as December 2003?
Sergey Glazyev has been in the left-wing camp for almost 10 years now. Having been a typical laboratory head from the prestigious TsEMI [Central Economics and Mathematics Institute], handling problems of long-term socio-economic development, deputy minister in the Gaydar government and the youngest minister and doctor of sciences in Chernomyrdin's cabinet, he left his responsible high-level post as a sign of protest against the approaching shoot-up of the White House in October 1993. All these years he has been occupying various positions in the Duma, on the staffs of the Security Council and the Federation Council, and writing books, one of which has the distinctive title, "Genocide." Nevertheless, he was fated to become a properly noted politician only now, when the change of generations began in the Communist movement in a natural way.
The fatigue of the human material in the leftist camp is all too obvious. No less obvious is the crisis of ideas. But Glazyev is only 42 years old, and he has ideas. He is a scientific communist who demonstrates, with mathematical models in his hands, the possibilities of controlled economic development, magically leading to prosperity. Strictly speaking, Glazyev continues to study the same thing that he studied in the 1980's, when he defended his dissertation, becoming a doctor of economic sciences at the age of 29. Except that now his research has become the basis of a political platform, not a dissertation.
The citizens missed the learned chiefs who allegedly knew how to implement an economic break-through, while at the same time taking money from the oligarchs and protecting the people from social woes. Scientific communism has suddenly become electorally fascinating, especially since it is personified in a young politician, in whose eyes can be read a mixture of noble anger, conviction of his own rightness and political fanaticism.
Glazyev's points of view also close up with attempts to create a certain Russian scenario of the conservatism of the days of the Putin stagnation. The new conservatives who gravitate toward Unity also curse the government and liberalism, often use the phrase, "industrial politics," proclaim themselves as patriots and statesmen, and professionally make the orthodox sign of the cross. Look at the title of one of the draft laws initiated by Glazyev: "On the Social Partnership of the State and Religious Organizations for the Purpose of Preserving National Spiritual Traditions and Ensuring the Social Protection of the Russian Population"! That is why Sergey Yuryevich could become, with no less success, the ideologist of the "pro-Unity people," but they don't expect him there, and what is more the reputation of opposition man and Communist is much more comforting from the standpoint of success at the elections.
Taking natural rent away from those who elicit it, and thus re-establishing social justice and beginning to live a long and happy life, ensuring that the money gained is used for the development of a science-intensive sector -- this is the scenario of economic modernization the Sergey Glazyev way. It seems that this has already happened in the economic history of a collapsed empire which occupies one-sixth of the dry land. So that if one looks closely, the strategy of "Communists, Forward!" preached by Glazyev, and "Communists, Back!" exploited by Zyuganov are one and the same. Scientific Communism and demagogic Communism differ from one another only stylistically.
The fatigue of the human material in the leftist camp is all too obvious.