By Vladimir Ivlev
“The ultimate difference between a truly radical emancipatory politics and populist politics is that the former is active, it imposes and enforces its vision, while populism is fundamentally re-active, the result of a reaction to a disturbing intruder.” – Slavoj Žižek, “First As Tragedy, Then As Farce” (2008)
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the overreaching Soviet social and political structure was replaced with swift liberalization of the markets and a bright promise of democracy. Yet, ironically, the Soviet structures of corruption and authoritarianism remained, giving the elite free reign over the new national civil and economic playgrounds. Two countries, Ukraine and Egypt, both having history in socialist policy, revolted against corruption at more or less concurrently.
By Yury Polyakov
Russian Domestic Politics is probably the most boring subject for all enthusiastic researchers in Russian Studies. Russian people view Vladimir Putin as the new Brezhnev because his style is similar to Brezhnev’s tactics over the Zastoy days. In other words, you can sum up Putin message as ‘Sleep tight, my beloved country’. In 2000, Vladimir Zhirinovsky argued that Putin’s era would be calm and stable. In effect, the LDPR’s leader was right when he said that, as the TV was no longer a debate platform. Likewise, Ex-Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov made another decisive statement when he described Duma as the place which does not exist for political discussions. Personally, I believe that these were obviously gloomy. There have been moments when awful things as the Second Chechen War, Kursk, terrorist acts, Beslan, and several other sad events have occurred in the 2000s.
By Emma Temple
If there is one thing that binds together humans, politically or otherwise, it is a resounding fear of the unknown. Fear is the ultimate mechanism for control and as such is a primary feature of the discourse both within international relations and domestic politics. To combat this requires a significant overhaul of not only the way in which political debates are conducted, but also the way we as individuals choose to prioritise our political concerns.
By Vladimir Ivlev
Joe Average is your typical upstanding citizen living in the safe cradle of his imperturbable suburbia. No kids, no wife, no valuable possessions, no ambitions, and a daddy complex. Joe looks at his fellow citizens engaging in political discourse, imminently changing the channel to the 9 o’clock preview of the new Gilmore Girls season with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s™. Joe Average is content with his uneventful life. A contention that annoys the philosophy undergrad. Through a cruel karmic trick Joe is suddenly transported to a low-scale apartment, a dead-end job, a market clerk spouse and 2.5 kids. With his bank account drained and his relationship with his father normalized, Joe, realizing the predicament he is in, screams out loud “Is this my life now?”.
By Yury Polyakov
The Western World followed the capitalisation and democratisation processes that created the common ground for a normative basis of the regional European interest. Despite the active role played by the anarchists and the left, European countries sustained democracy and parliamentarism as shared ideals, whereas communism secured its strategic location in the Soviet Union and its influence sphere. The Netherlands obtained the essential element of all democracies – free and fair elections. This country formed a system with universal rights in 1917. However, the social transformations of today are global, and they shed light on the most sensitive topics that nobody wanted to discuss publicly in preceding decades.
By Gavin Davies
Humanity groans, half crushed beneath the weight of its own progress. It does not sufficiently realize that its future is in its own hands. It is up to humanity to see if first of all it wants to keep on living. It is then up to it to ask whether it wants to merely live, or whether in addition it wants to make the necessary effort required for fulfilling [life].
Bergson 1977, p. 317
There is a pervasive belief that human rights could be met if people just understood each other better. If only people could care about all people as much as their family and friends!