What is the elite missing?

16:58 23.09.2010 • Armen Oganesyan , Editor-in-Chief, International Affairs

Anatoly Chubais believes that the elite lack intelligence, but as a classic political joke of the 1990s said of Chubais: - "He is the smart one." Speaking at an economic forum in Perm, the head of RUSNANO lamented the fact that Russia has no overall innovation strategy, the modernization of which is currently determined only by a "set of reasonable  steps" and not through a thought out systematic approach.

Chubais gave an interesting explanation for his speech in Perm to "RBC daily” newspaper, which indicates that "not from the government, was Anatoly Chubais awaiting intellectual turmoil" since "the government cannot decide on something if it has not been produced by the elite. The authorities may, at best, authorize and take responsibility for its choices."

The further arguments of this "key innovator" of the country seem quite innovative. Political power made a choice called "modernization", but the elite lacks the intelligence to pick up the banner and carry it around the country, nor to formulate and develop the concept of the country’s innovation strategy step by step, "for at least 10 years." According to Chubais, the scale of the political power of the chosen elite has fallen drastically behind.

So, to build a great Russia, one needs great intellectual turmoil. But here's the problem – there is nowhere to take it from. Unfortunately, the history of the question is still unexplored. However, it is rather a case history of the sickness of the elite, because to understand what happened to their intellectual level, we would have to plunge deeply into the atmosphere of the total irrelevance of intelligence in the era of upheaval of the 1990s, not counting, of course, a small number of systemically-minded functionaries of “shock therapy."

If Chubais is right, this leaves only two exits from the situations: immediately begin to grow a new domestic elite that would meet our needs, but that will take time, and time, as we know, waits for no man.  Or urgently import and quickly implant mainly foreign orientated modernization into the mainstream.

"Intellectual poverty and short-sightedness", which, according to the "RBC daily”, Anatoly faces daily in RUSNANO, of course, has quite a classical explanation. The head of RUSNANO is considered an elite in its relations with the government; while at this time the measure of the intellectual power of the elite does not depend only on the choice and orders from above, unless, of course, we do not mean Russia's "parquet" elite that flashed on television screens and at receptions. The nation's elite can be portrayed in the form of a tree whose root system goes up; you can only show it virtually in laboratory conditions at least, that is to say, in particular individual corporations and institutions.

The late Russian philosopher Alexander Panarin, however, put a different diagnosis of the Russian elite, accusing it of "desertion" but by that he meant a completely different vector of responsibility for the "cream of society".

Chubais believes that the elite lack intelligence, and for the people, that it does not have enough of a conscience.

In a remarkable article entitled "There are worse things than a Russian revolt" Alexander Tsipko  writes: "The Russian opposition intellectuals of the early twentieth century, still loved their people, and the current liberals, consider them only as a combustible material, giving them a chance to soar to the heights of their lost power" . I think it would have to remove the word "liberal", as this characteristic may be relevant to other members of the elite, hiding its "love" for people in a patriotic or communist phrase.

But what then will awake the Russian elite? What will inject new vigor into it? Or what will push new faces to the forefront, a new elite layer, which will not only trust the authorities, but mainly believe in the fact that the idea of modernization will be taken up and supported by the people.

Ask any Japanese or German about who provided them with the post-war "economic miracle." Both of them will not hesitate to say: the people. This is not only a Japanese or German truth but a historical truth and at the same time most importantly overrides the condition for any modernization. It was the efforts of all sectors of society that raised Japan and Germany, in the literal sense, from their knees. Without going into an ideological assessment, it must be admitted that the industrialization of the Soviet Union was based on the unity of power of the elite and the people.

One must say that the most astute analysts, such as the director of the Institute of Contemporary Development Igor Yurgens, are well aware that without the support of the population, modernization will inevitably drown.

It is true, you can’t blame people for indifference and inertia, given the experience of recent modernization projects, after Perestroika and the accelerated reforms before the end of the 1990s, the enthusiasm of the masses has been subjected to a deep freeze.

So then we are faced with another task - how to awake the people.

According to Alexander Tsipko, "you cannot keep stability in Russia and receive the active support of the population, if you do not rebuild the capitalism built by Yeltsin, if you do not to give it a normal, human face. At least today it is impossible to ignore the escalating demand for justice, and respect for authority, the elite and the common man. "

<!--[if gte mso 9]> 96 800x600 <!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false RU JA X-NONE <!--[if gte mso 9]> <!--[if gte mso 10]> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Обычная таблица"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:Calibri;} <!--StartFragment--> However, on the other hand, what makes us think that the elite should always reproduce itself: what about a Lomanosov or a Kulibin, who are so needed today, and not only by Chubais?<!--EndFragment-->


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