Versita

SIMULATED DEMOCRACY AND THE FREE MARKET IN RUSSIA

Adam A. Bartnicki, Karolina Stefanowicz
Keywords: Authoritarianism, oligarchy, capitalism, Russia, corruption, Yeltsin, Putin ,

Abstract

The vague character of the interests in a post-totalitarian society, which become clear when seen alongside the clear and concrete interests of the elites, seems to be an important and typical feature of Russia‟s politics. Consequently, society has been almost completely marginalized as a political subject, and its role has been taken over by the corporate interests groups of “big business”. The political regime of present-day Russia has been, to some degree, founded on models known from developed democracies, including the institutions of the president, council of ministers, independent courts, and the freedom of the press or political parties. However, considerable differences occurred in the application of those mechanisms in Russia. For instance, the parties in the Russian political system did not succeed in becoming channels of articulation of social needs. This situation was caused by the fact that the majority of political parties and other political and social organizations have been dominated by various interest groups and have maintained an exclusive character.
Those interest groups, represented by political parties, pursued their goal by means of private and public pressure towards state decision-making institutions. Thus, both the state‟s and the society‟s priorities have been pushed aside.