mardi 6 décembre 2011

Arab Spring and Russian Elections

There are some similarities between the Middle Eastern countries, now shaken by uprisings and revolutions, and Russia, where the ruling party is clearly losing some popular support. Many liberals in the West were (and some still are) enthusiastic about what they call the "Arab Spring". But this enthusiasm is going sour after the victory of the Islamists in several Arab countries. It is becoming clear that there will be no sensible improvement in human rights in Egypt, Libya and quite probably even in Tunisia or Marocco. Now, after the relatively poor showing of the Yedinaya Rossiya in Russia, some people are again seeing a chance of liberal opposition gaining strength there with the perspective of Russia changing from an autocratic to a fully democratic nation. I think this is an illusion. If Putin and his clan loses power, it will not be the liberals but the Communists and Nationalists who will gain power. And this is neither in the interests of the West nor in the interests of liberally minded people in Russia. We can compare Putin with the Austrian chancellors Dollfuss and Schuschnigg whose rule was more autocratic than democratic, but still infinitely more liberal and humane than the rule of Hitler who rose to power in a nearly democratic way... I find similar ideas in an essay by George Friedman from the website of the Stratfor Institute I warmly recommend:

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