Ilya Ponomaryov: The Russian elite used to, and now perceives many theories uncritically, and applies them dogmatically, formally

Posted on October 20, 2018 by Il Grido del Popolo©

First series of the session “Dialogue with Ilya Ponomaryov”: discusses recent nation-wide protest reactions that have passed during the summer in 2018 in RUSSIA – as a resonance antisocial pension reforms of the ruling class, headed by President Vladimir Putin.

Hello, comrade Ilya! Today I would like to hear your opinion on the current difficult socio-political situation in the Russian Federation, provoked by the antisocial legislative policy of the authorities, not the stranger’s opinion, but due to the physical distance from our latitudes, not immersed in the raging passions. Your view on what is happening is also particularly interesting because, in my opinion, in multi-level modern politics you try to keep to the line that is very close to the “theoretical- practitioner” image, the importance of which you wrote at the beginning of the twentieth century, Antonio Gramsci.

ALYONA AGHEEVA: So, in your opinion, what is the true essence and motivational characteristics of those steps towards a radical change in the Russian pension legislation that the Russian ruling class has taken, trying to justify them as “necessary for overcoming the long-overdue crisis of Russian socio- economic policy?”.

ILYA PONOMARYOV: I think this reform is “a reflection of the accounting approach to them. A.L. Kudrin (Kudrin Alexey Leonidovich – Minister of Finance of Russia in 2000–2011. Successive pro-capitalist line of neoliberal economic policies laid down by Yeltsin’s Prime Minister Ye.T. Gaidar. One of the “architects” who entered into force on the anti-people “Pension reform.” After being removed from his post, – since 2012 – one of the leaders of the radical liberal opposition. – AA) ”. Instead of the really necessary reform of the pension system that went bankrupt as a result of inconsistent neoliberal experiments, the government wants, without changing anything, to simply patch the hole – naturally, at the expense of retirees. Putin was delaying these steps until the end of the federal election season, and, of course, he cynically tried to drive him out during the World Cup. I think that he only additionally turned people against himself.

ALYONA AGHEEVA: How do you think, to what degree did the Government of the Russian Federation and the Presidential Office forecast the volume of protest resonance that followed in reality – right after Prime Minister Medvedev announced it publicly through the media on June 14?

ILYA PONOMARYOV: The government is here-dependent people. Prime Minister Medvedev and Kudrin are enemies. If Kudrin had not persuaded Putin, Prime Minister Medvedev would hardly have exploited a “legislative adventure”. It was not by chance that his closest associate, responsible for PR, Natalia Timakova, quit his job. I think the Kremlin is now quite a strong degradation of predictive abilities. Such decisions are made by Putin personally, and they believe that they will still be able to turn the tide through the media.

ALYONA AGHEEVA: Do you agree with the opinion that many interested observers are now developing about the processes taking place in the Russian Federation, according to which – at this stage it is definitely possible to say that in the current intrastate confrontation, two real different-vector forces have finally clearly manifested themselves Of Russia: the first is the state bourgeois apparatus, which has manifested its too repressive function, which is overwhelming the will of the people, and the second is the main part of the population of Russia, who has realized itself now Is it socially unprotected, regardless of belonging to a particular social group?

ILYA PONOMARYOV: I would like to believe in it, but I don’t think so. Citizens of Russia have long divided the country into “we” and “they” – “we”, hard workers, and “they” – power, security forces, the rich, etc. But this does not mean that “we” are clearly aware of class interests and are able to oppose “them” in an organized way. To protest, primarily in the form of passive non-participation in the elections, or participation with a protest vote for anyone, if only not from “them,” is yes. But this is not enough for change in the country.

ALYONA AGHEEVA: What do you think, are mass protests of Russians against pension reform evidence that the process of forming collective social solidarity that has begun has entered a phase of its development that will naturally lead to the awakening of class consciousness of a new community that has recently begun its formation as an antagonist to the modern suprastate united bourgeois class? After all, we all watched for a long time how, against the background of a long socially stable existence, the workers and employees of the late USSR, before its collapse, did the masses manage to lose their class instincts, being not ready, defenseless, disconnected and confused before the fact of the new round of capitalization of Russia?

ILYA PONOMARYOV: No. According to Marxist theory, the budget-dependent and non-productive labor strata should be classified as the lumpen-proletariat. He, too, can show protest moods, but he cannot be a support for transformations, and the authorities always have the opportunity to manipulate them in their own interests.

ALYONA AGHEEVA: Can you try to give an objective, balanced assessment of the organization’s work of “The Confederation of Labor of Russia conditionally having independent status and, in our opinion, of the frankly pro-Kremlin “Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia” involved in the processes we are discussing?

ILYA PONOMARYOV: Creating a unified organization of truly independent trade unions “The Confederation of Labor of Russia” was a great success over the past decade. I am proud that I was able to provide this feasible assistance. “Yellowed” for a long time to conjunct trade unions, such as the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia, it’s time to go to the dustbin of history, I have no doubt that soon they will be there. They are not and should not be revolutionaries. Their task is to reach an agreement with the employer, to achieve the maximum possible to alleviate the position of their members, employees of enterprises. Political work on changing the socio-economic system as a whole is a matter of political organizations.

ALYONA AGHEEVA: Comrade Ponomaryov, are you satisfied as a political opposition activist who already has experience in the struggle with the measure of political consciousness of the Russian population that was manifested as a public resonance 2018 g – against the offensive of the bourgeois Russian elite on the existing pension social norms?

ILYA PONOMARYOV: I will be satisfied when it changes in the country will be replaced by socio-political kaya system. But the ability of people not to stay at home on the couch, as some called for, including opposition politicians, inspires hope. And the rally, and campaign elections, and more radical methods; in the struggle for change, there is no superfluous.

ALYONA AGHEEVA: Do you think that the theoretical assumption is permissible and meets reality that all steps of the Russian ruling bourgeois class, which is “armed” with the dusty neoliberal theory issued by the coordinated international ruling elite (and, We know that it has long been discredited by the political and economic global crisis provoked by its use), it is at this moment that it has an “Achilles heel,” which is what causes feverish legislative seizures in the form of about the attack on the social rights of the majority of the population, and – is it easy to break now?

ILYA PONOMARYOV: The Russian elite used to, and now perceives many theories uncritically, and applies them dogmatically, formally. Such an approach once brought the USSR into a dead end; he also discredited liberalism in the eyes of the majority of the population and allowed Putin endless possibilities for manipulation. The “Achilles heel of neoliberalism” is in contradiction between the radical market approach bordering on libertarianism and the need to curtail the democratic rights of citizens without which it is impossible to get a mandate for neoliberal steps in the economy. This contradiction splits the liberals themselves, shows the hypocrisy of their leaders, and can only be resolved by transferring power into the hands of the citizens themselves, on which the left insist. I think that in the framework of representative democracy this is not feasible, therefore, as the slogan “All power to the Soviets” was on the agenda a hundred years ago, now we must achieve the universal introduction of direct democracy mechanisms, without any intermediaries.

ALYONA AGHEEVA: Ilya, in your honest opinion: The reforms provoked by the Government and supported by President Putin will lead to the depletion of the protest potential of the country’s population, due to the initial total ineffectiveness of the spent socially resistant energy LI – these processes can be assessed as the first stage of the proto-class struggle, giving the population an understanding that the Authority has entered an active phase of social discrimination of Russians, the answer to which will be followed by the formation of a potential revolutionary human resource – with an awakened class consciousness?

ILYA PONOMARYOV: This is a very useful an episode that helped many see that the Kremlin’s military adventures were only a red herring. Popularity, Putin’s rating returned – to “pre-Crimean” times, and this is a very important, albeit intermediate, result.

ALENA AGHEEVA: Do you think that in the stage of All-Russian mass protests that took place from June to September 2018, is there a danger? multi-political “layer” of systemic and non-systemic opposition formations, which assumed the role of organizing force, and, in reality, simply using an extremely convenient excuse, in order to increase the citation rating in global political monitoring, reanimation of the lost political role and other party “selfish” motives, for which real national aspirations, as a result, will remain “behind”?

ILYA PONOMARYOV: Of course. The lies and hypocrisy of individual politicians who change their views for the sake of conjuncture, of course, undermine the credibility of the opposition as a whole. Moreover, there is no doubt that the liberal part of the opposition, if it comes to power, will generally continue and even deepen the same socio-economic policy that Putin is now leading. Unfortunately, nothing can be done about it. Now we just need to work with our supporters, tell the truth, and be sure that history will judge us, and people will figure it out.

ALYONA AGHEEVA: Your practical and technological recommendations: Is it possible to go further, somewhat more effective than mass clashes with the police, anti-government strategy of self-organizing Resistance, which forms – alternative protest spontaneity, – instruments of pressure on the power structures or technology of the interregional tactical grass-roots destabilization of the current regime ?, And the real refractive index of the political line of the center of Ilya Ponomaryov: It is important to create two key elements – regional organizations, working permanently in contact with the center, and the mass media has the opportunity to conduct a dialogue beyond the traditional activist, protest environment. Power itself will do the rest, it works to create a revolutionary situation day and night. As a result of the first dialogue with you at RESISTENTIAM.COM, a consultation: If we, as an internationalist action, are preparing a series of international actions to support All-Russian social protest, What Russian organizations that are most organized and acting in the paradigm of the class struggle, spokesmen for the popular anti-bourgeois resistance, have you advised to focus on – in terms of cooperation in this area?

ILYA PONOMARYOV: I think it’s always necessary to rely on yourself. And inviting everyone who shares the program principles of your structure is, in the end, all riotous, and we have exactly the same name and are well known.

The interview was taken by Alyona Agheeva