Jens Siegert: Everything is Political

posted 6 Jun 2013, 12:31 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 6 Jun 2013, 23:05 ]
29 May 2013

By Jens Siegert 

Source: Russland Blog Boell Foundation 

For many years one thing had been quite obvious in Russia: participation in any debate concerning institutionalized power was politics. Accordingly, in the Soviet Union politics did not exist outside the Communist Party. Or rather: no politics was permitted outside the Party. And anyone who dared to try would be punished harshly and vanish, first in labour camps and later often in enforced exile. All this changed with perestroika. Politicians began to emerge, initially from under the maternal wings of Gorbachev’s Communist Party and gradually increasingly in independence. The brief flowering that followed lasted roughly until the early autumn of 1993 when Yeltsin ordered shots to be fired at the parliament building. During that interlude politics was hip and free, and indeed rather democratic (albeit slightly chaotic but, then again, what’s wrong with that for a while). In terms of political history, Russia was suddenly very modern. [Read more]