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Blessed sanctions

Blessed sanctions

Tags: Opinions, Russia, Economy, West crisis, analysts, politicians, China, USA

"Sanctions, sanctions" - rushing from all sides. It is they, the damned, are to blame for the fact that the dollar has become too expensive and the standard of living has dropped significantly.

"Whether more will be," - in joyful anticipation rubbing their hands alone.

"We do not care. Sami before kick the bucket "- the other is responsible.

"Sanctions will soon be canceled," - in a hopeless autotrenninge setting yourself officials.

"European business protests. Italy was in favor of the lifting of sanctions "- the media toil.

"Give us import substitution" - appeal policy, however, forget to allocate the money.

If no ernichestva, that almost without exception, from the notebooks of the liberals, bored by Hamon, to adherents of the Soviet Union 2.0 for various reasons, are waiting for not wait, when sanctions are lifted, and life will return to normal. At the same time, and will not soon be canceled, and the life to normal will not come back, and, more importantly, the sanction is the history of the category "would not be a blessing in disguise." And not in the first place because of the prospects of import substitution, which are shrouded in a dense fog. After all the money on him and actually forgot to highlight.

Sanctions are the best thing that happened to Russia in recent years, not counting the return of the Crimea. And that too without ernichestva. Of course, all that is written below, is nothing more than the New Year nonsense author yet.

1. Three-dimensional political space of Russia

First of all, to understand the emerging situation, it is worthwhile to look attentively at the political configuration of forces in Russia. The human brain is so arranged that it basically likes to analyze and structure everything. In the years after the collapse of the USSR, hundreds of different classifications have been invented, according to which analysts try to disintegrate the political class of Russia, explaining to themselves, including everything to themselves, the result of the confrontation between separate groups and clans. In the majority of cases, these classifications do not even look flat, but are one-dimensional. Clans are represented by such points on a segment of the political spectrum. The real picture is much more complicated. That is why when developing a collective solution, very often the principal opponents on one issue regularly find themselves on the same side of the barricades when solving others.

Without pretending to be exhaustive or even adequately describe the picture, I would venture yet to give their vision of the situation, the more so for the understanding of the situation with sanctions and often seemingly quite chaotic and inconsistent actions of the authorities, this question is extremely important.

Modern Russian political class can be roughly represented in the form of a three-dimensional space, each dimension is completely independent.

The first dimension is the origin of the capital. Yet even if we live in the wild, but capitalism, where money is an even more powerful tool than the authority. No, if you're an outsider ordinary householder, no "accumulated unsustainable" will not save you. Take away or pomorschatsya. But whether there are basically loners? But if you are a member of a powerful political and economic clan, then you take away something not so easy. In the worst case it happens a exchange or compensation.

By origin of capital the entire Russian elite can be divided into three broad, though heterogeneous group.

The first group are those who I have something for everyone conditionally called "successor". They are those who deliberately destroyed the Soviet Union, about to enter concerted series a narrow host range, "New World Order", and we considered all the economic wealth of the Union as its own heritage, which is going to invest as a share in controlling this NRM community.

The second group is a conditional "young reformers" of the Yeltsin draft, which with the help of the then Clinton administration during the reign of their "patron" able to put together enough capital to force to be reckoned with and take into account. This group, in contrast to the first principle, never cherished geopolitical ambitions and was obviously prepared to act within the existing framework under the watchful but benevolent supervision of "senior comrades" from overseas.

Political power of the first group, lost after the shooting of the "White House" in 93, returned with the arrival of Putin in 99, but the power of the second group by that time already had to reckon with itself. Putin did not then organize a large-scale redistribution of property and weaning of the capital of the second group, confining himself to the memorable "equanimity" of the oligarchs and the indicative flogging of Khodorkovsky. Which, by the way, suffered not only, but perhaps not so much for their exorbitant political ambitions, but for elementary betrayal. Being one of the "oligarchic appointees" of the first group, during the second period he did not just turn over to her side, but even went for the flags, having left under the wing of the Rothschild clan.

The third group arose after the "accession" of Putin. These are officials. In essence, the estate, which Putin was forced to rely on, restoring the power of the First Group after the resignation of the Second and "equidistant oligarchs." Part of the rules of the "Games" was the right to "feed" from office, than pleased with such a generous gift, and only recently humiliated official class did not hesitate to take advantage. Over the past decade and a half, this Third Group has also accumulated enough capital to become noticeable on the political and business slope of Russia. At its core, it is the least homogeneous and consolidated of all, however, in the event of a serious threat to itself precisely as a group, for example, in the case of an attempt on the part of the central government to its capitals or powers, it is able to act sufficiently consolidated due to the similarity of interests. In a political and, especially, geopolitical sense, the group does not represent anything from itself. Her interests are mainly focused on issues of political stability and the absence of threats of "dekulakization".

The second dimension of the Russian political landscape of a traditional political orientation. Sometimes this measurement is called the "Tower of the Kremlin," which four. Proponents of socialism, state capitalism adherents, supporters of equal public-private partnership, and Western-style liberals.

In principle, any details concerning a given classification is not required. Everything is clear from the names of the groups. It is based on an ideal image of a desired future for Russia in terms of the ideological structure of society.

The third, often underestimated in terms of impact on decisions, is a regional geopolitical orientation. Accordingly, the Eastern Partnership with the Asian countries against the West and the Western is the entry into the "united family" of Western civilization. Moreover, this division is by no means a few years since the media started talking about friendship with China as opposed to the United States. This is a very old political tradition since the times of the Russian Empire. I will give just one example. In addition to all the famous Englishmen on the side of the Japanese, the so-called "South Russian group" actively operated on the side of the Japanese in the Russian-Japanese war of 1904, which stood behind all acts of sabotage and terror by the socialists. Moreover, the true motives of the behavior of the followers of this group, so outwardly treacherous in relation to the homeland, were not so anti-Russian. The Russian empire, by virtue of its traditional poverty (in comparison with Europe), has never been able to pull simultaneously two global development projects. The South Russian Group had its own project - territorial development of Russia to the south through Turkey and Palestine. This project was to not only confirm the influence of Russia on the Mediterranean Sea and ensure the control of traffic flows through Suez. He opened for Russia prospects for the development of Africa and the country's participation in the colonial section of this continent. Both projects (southern and eastern) Russia did not pull either economically or financially. And for the development of the southern project, for the reorientation of state efforts on it, the group required the defeat of Russia in the Russo-Japanese war.

Today, a lot of geopolitical values ​​of a century ago lost their meaning, but Russia is still not able to simultaneously develop two global projects. And she again have to choose between western and eastern orientation in its geopolitics.

2. Between the devil and the deep sea

As strange as it may seem, if you assess the situation according to our media, Russia's choice in favor of the East and West is still quite obvious. Especially in the political class. Even under perfect growing openly anti-Western sentiment in Russian society and even in the state media, working from an entirely different meaning, different political clans Russia still sees the future prospects in close cooperation with the West it is. Yes, really radically different motives.

The Kremlin's liberal "tower" sincerely perplexes how Russia is able to fully counter the West economically and politically, and therefore views the current confrontation situation as a sad misunderstanding, which in all possible ways must be stopped as soon as possible and returned to the channel of a relatively independent but nevertheless pro-Western politicians. The best position of this group is voiced by the former Minister of Finance Kudrin and expressed by the immortal phrase "Katz suggests surrendering." Motives of behavior and mood of this group are exclusively mundane. We urgently need to play it all back until the spring of 14. Return khokhl Crimea, but at the same time to bargain for themselves the maximum guarantees for the future and the rollback of the entire sanctions policy of the West. The inevitable surge in protest sentiment in Russia itself under such a development of the situation is planned to be offset by external manifestations of a favorable change in the domestic economic situation - a sharp strengthening of the ruble, the restoration of abundance on store shelves, the increase of salaries and pensions. Most of this position is held by representatives of the Yeltsin group of "young reformers", who were originally born thanks to the West and only because of the support of which they still exist.

But it would be a mistake to think that the proponents of the pro-Western orientation consist only of notebook liberals. No less than them among the "Heirs". Especially those whose clans withdrew money from the USSR in the West. Today, most of these capitals are in jeopardy due to sanctions and careful monitoring by relevant US services of all major transactions related to Russia or companies, including offshore companies, which Russian officials or businessmen are, or may be, potentially. And the capital is sacred. But the plan of action of this group, in contrast to the liberals is completely different. It is necessary to put as much pressure on the West, including threats of power confrontation. Once, in 99, this blackmail has already worked and led to a significant reduction of pressure on Russia, forced the West to largely return to the pre-existing agreements reached before the collapse of the USSR. And once the plan worked once, nothing prevents it from working no less effectively and a second time. If Russia shows firmness and determination to go to the end, without fearing escalation of tension, the soft-bitten West will necessarily step back, sanctions will be lifted, and the situation will return to relatively prosperous "zero" ones.

To these two main groups, supporters of the restoration of "partner" relations with the West are joined by the majority of Russian officials. All of their "accumulated unbearable" condition is traditionally stored in Western banks and Western real estate. Their children study or until the last moment they studied in the West, and they themselves used to spend their holidays on the coast of the European Riviera. If the sanctions drag on, and God forbid, intensify, these officials risk losing virtually all of their capital. And it will be almost impossible to accumulate new ones in constantly toughening conditions of control.

Supporters of the Western orientation are confronted by the possibly smaller but quite powerful "eastern grouping". And this is not just state officials. Here are the liberals, whose business is concentrated in the same China, and there is more of it than in Europe or the USA. And the "Heirs", the direction of the withdrawal of funds from the USSR which carried out exactly in the eastern direction. And "zaural" regional elite officials, who, unlike their counterparts from central regions, largely concentrated their capital in the banks of Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore. But most importantly, on the side of the eastern grouping and the results of long-term geopolitical analysis, showing a confident shift in economic and political activity in the world to the Pacific.

As a result, Russia's policy at present is somewhat irresponsible and frankly weak. We rush between East and West, trying to preserve the relative independence in decision making, but at the same time on both sides is the apparent sense of mistrust and as a consequence of the deterioration of negotiating conditions. But the most important thing is that both the US and China, say such behavior is weak, increasing the pressure. And this pressure will continue to rise until at least until Russia will not make your final choice.

3. Cause and effect

When supporters of the early restoration of relations with the West, relying on the lifting of sanctions, think that sanctions are a consequence of Russia's excessively independent policy, or even more so the return of the Crimea, and they hope that it is possible to return the situation to the pre-crisis level by goodwill or counter force, confuse the cause and effect. Sanctions against Russia, as well as our counter sanctions against the West, is by no means the result of Russia's "wrong" conduct in the world. As well as this very behavior is not the cause of disagreement and growing hostility in the relationship. The real reasons are two and both are completely different.

The first and most important reason for the sharp deterioration in relations with the West is the objective problems of the world economy, which has reached the limit of its strength. This was already the case when the collapse of the USSR at the cost of total destruction of the country's industry, mass theft (let's call things by their own names) of natural resources and financial resources delayed the global collapse of the world economy for two decades. And today this delay has already completely expired. Moreover, the chaos, planted in many regions of the planet, also exhausted the possibility of preserving the western economy from failure. Many do not want to see it, but it's true. And the West quite naturally resolved to repeat once again a very successful idea. Only now it is necessary to destroy Russia. It is not by chance that our media slips, and in Runet, so all kinds of plans and scenarios of the collapse of Russia are constantly flashing. Even the forecast maps of the division of the country into separate enclaves are published. There are a lot of books on this subject in fantastic literature. Regional elites are constantly blown into the ears of the idea of ​​possible greatness as the masters of independent "states" and lavish generous promises on the topic "Foreign countries help us". The population of regions literally hammered into the idea that "Moscow is guilty of everything". That is, the attack goes in all directions. We were lucky only in one. The epic failure of the West in Ukraine and the real situation in a once prosperous country are well demonstrated by "who is to blame", and the results of the "revolution", and how in reality "helps abroad".

By and large, if Russia, as the same "Katz" does not give up, then the West would inevitably have for the very near future will have to start very hard to transform itself. The effect of these changes will eclipse that Russia experienced in 90-e. And here we come to the second objective reason that the sanctions are not just introduced and operate, but will not be eliminated in the foreseeable future. In any case, after six months of this just does not happen. For all their negative consequences not only for ours but also for the Western economy.

The second reason is that the global liberal economic model that is in operation today is no longer able to sustain its existence. For a variety of objective and interrelated reasons. High social burden, surplus population, a sharp decline in productivity, the impossibility of extensive development, reaching the limit of effective demand. That is, objectively the whole world stands on the threshold of a significant decrease in the standard of living in practically all countries. And the more this standard of living is today, the more dramatic will be its fall in the near future. But the population suffering from all this is not just a population, but also an electorate. That is, its inevitable discontent creates obvious threats to the existing political elite. And to stop this threat, a terrible and terrible enemy is urgently needed, on the intrigues of which it will be possible to write off any problems. And here sanctions are a great opportunity to poke a finger at the enemy.

For Russia, it is the West, who introduced brazen discriminatory economic sanctions that caused the collapse of the ruble that forced employers to fire workers or lower their salaries, and officials to tighten the screws, to freeze the increase of pensions and take other unpopular decisions. This Islamic terrorists to shoot down our aircraft are safe and do not give the possibility to warm their bellies in the resorts of Turkey and Egypt.

And for the West, Russia becomes such an ideal enemy. It is she who rattles the weapon and brazenly "captures" other people's territories. It's her damn does not allow to merge Europe and Ukraine in a rapturous ecstasy of unity. It is she who blackmails Europe by deliveries or non-deliveries of energy carriers. It is her operation in Syria that causes thousands of refugees to Europe, with which unfortunate Europeans have to share the last piece of bread. It is not clear from what point it introduces retaliatory sanctions against "innocent" Europe, forcing people to tighten the belts of peaceful burghers tighter, and businessmen urgently, with huge losses, withdraw capital from Russia under the threat of their expropriation.

And what is the result? But in the end, "the citizens of Baghdad can sleep peacefully." And they, and our government is firmly blyudut national interests and promptly give a fitting rebuff adversary. Yes, I have to endure and suffer, but otherwise it would be much worse.

With China, too, everything is far from the way it seems from our media. He is absolutely not ready just to open our friendly embrace to us, as he does not grind his teeth on our Siberia according to the ideas of traditional liberal horror films. China is simply purely pragmatic. He is certainly interested in working closely with Russia in a variety of ways. And energy resources are not the most important. First of all, China is interested in force cover in case of an open confrontation with the US, which is becoming increasingly inevitable if China does not show a desire to become merely a colonial appendage of America. He is interested in economic cooperation, but the scale of our economies does not allow us to talk about parity in this area. China is well aware of our weakness, China is well aware of our throwing between him and the West, which is quite frankly beginning to crush in our own interests. And the more the West presses, the more China presses.

4. The positive effect of sanctions, beating all the inconveniences

Nevertheless, sanctions against Russia is an exceptional gift that carries the only benefit for Russia. And benefit from a variety of directions.

First, this is the propaganda effect described above. In addition to the completely natural manipulation of public consciousness, it actually leads to a greater consolidation of Russian society and a focus on independence in solving problems. And without assuming the full responsibility for what happens, success can not be in principle. An example of the reverse approach is perfectly illustrated by today's Ukraine, which already two years after the coup, almost drowned in the swamp and destroyed its own economy, but blames everything that is happening on "the curseed Muscovites".

Secondly, sanctions, any, this is a realized threat. That is, the shot produced, after which the weapon is discharged. All kinds of today's sanctions tear Russia's ties with the West. And along with ties, Russia's dependence on the West is also torn. No funding, we survived. Yes, the ruble fell, imports fell, but the catastrophe did not happen. Yes, and import substitution albeit with timid steps due to lack of money, but still shows some "green sprouts". And let's extrapolate existing trends into the future. Let's imagine the full economic gap between Russia and the West. What in the end? Russia will survive. Already today, even with respect to imports, the West has only achieved that its own goods are not in demand, besides, it lost its role as an intermediary in the supply of goods from third countries. Today the same meat comes to Russia from Argentina, although it used to come from Europe. Vegetables instead of hydroponic from Holland come from North Africa. But from our energy sources to the same Europe to refuse much more difficult. And they can, they will take the same China. Who lost in the end? And who has lost from the fact that our money has become dangerous to store in Western banks? They are now much more likely to stay in Russia, gradually saturating our economy. If we summarize everything, then in the short term it is difficult and difficult for everyone. And in the long run, Russia is becoming stronger, and the West is weakening. And it's not us to him, but he will come to us sooner or later with his outstretched hand. Is it funny? We'll see.

Thirdly, the sanctions, strangely enough, have a very beneficial effect on the domestic political situation in Russia. For a long time Putin voluntarily or compelled, but in fact played the role of a balancer and supreme arbiter between various interest groups. His actions were constantly constrained by the need to maintain a balance between different clans and groups, for only this balance could guarantee his own power, and the country some kind of stability. But now the situation is changing very quickly. Almost all elite groups today were cut off from most of their foreign assets. No, they were not taken away and not appropriated. But to use them without serious risks to run into freezing is almost impossible. And in these assets is concentrated most of the power of elite clans. The assets of Putin's immediate entourage also found themselves in the same condition. However, unlike all the others, under its direct control there is a large part of the assets inside the country. That is, there was a sharp weakening of all clans against the background of automatic strengthening of the real power of the president. And it, perhaps, for the first time creates for him the possibility of active political actions inside the country. The possibility of developing an unambiguous vector of the country's development without regard for various clan and group interests. Whether he uses this opportunity or not, I do not know, but we will soon see. On some points, you can make a prediction about what is going on.

As for the above-mentioned fluctuations in Russian policy between the East and the West, then with all the obvious benefits of any choice, it is the suspended state with all the temporary difficulties that can bring the maximum dividends. For this, we only have to withstand the current bilateral pressure and not be able to resist it. For in the course of time, under the current sanctions, Russia will constantly increase. And together with the strengthening of Russia, the need for it will also grow on the part of our "partners". More meaningful looks in the long term an alliance with China, but for this it is necessary to survive its excessive pressure and force to agree to a parity partnership. Moreover, unlike Russia, China does not have a real favorable alternative to confrontation with the West. And time only works for us.

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