Interesting perspective from Democracy Digest
By any measure, the decline of Putinism is indisputable. It was best captured by a poll conducted in May by the government-run Public Opinion Center, which showed that public trust in President Vladimir Putin had fallen to 25 percent, notes Michael Khodarkovsky, a professor of history at Loyola University Chicago, and the author, most recently, of “Russia’s 20th Century: A Journey in 100 Histories.”
Putinism appears destined to last a far shorter time than either Marxism or Leninism, he writes for The New York Times:
It was conceived as a hybrid autocracy in which a ruling elite controls most of the economy and media in the name of the state, but tolerates a limited number of independent but closely watched businesses and media outlets. Unlike the Chinese Communist Party, with its total control of society, Mr. Putin’s Kremlin has chosen to leave an escape valve for dissenting opinions — as long as they remain marginal and pose no threat to those in power.
The Kremlin understands that genuine democracy would mean the end of Putinism, and so it leaves those who desire change through democratic means with no options. But does Mr. Putin really want to turn Red Square into a Russian Tiananmen Square? Khodarkovsky asks. RTWT
See full story here.