The Basis of Stability


'Take care of stability!’ exclaimed the past, present, future and eternal president of Russia at the Forum of the All-Russian People's Front. He also added that freedom must be protected, but it's too late, unfortunately, maybe it's for the best: if we saved it, there would not be an eternal president in Russia, there would be a game of swapping presidents, which is already a threat to stability .

With freedom, in general, some sort of nonsense came out, but for stability, the past, present, future and eternal president of Russia should not worry. Sociologists from Levada Center published the results of a survey on what Russians expect from the upcoming 2018. Yes, that's right, someone digs through the dead past and sums up the results of the year, someone is noisy in social networks about how he got tired of other people's results of the year (only, of course, publish their own correct, real results later), and someone’s already guessing what the future is going to be like.

Russians, as Levada’s survey shows, are contradictory, complex, and this complexity is not without a taste of some absurdity. Sometimes, they are harsh pragmatists who clearly understand where they live and what happens here. And sometimes, they’re dreamers, romantics ready to believe in literally anything. Especially this “anything” is tirelessly told by special people from the TV. Well, enough foreplay, let's look at the results. (Here is a clause though – for simplicity, we will summarize the answers to the question that Levada has broken down into the columns “definitely yes” and “rather yes.”)

Here are examples of pragmatism, a reasonable attitude to the current situation in the country and a clear picture of the prospects for sustainable development promised by the party and the government: 50% of the respondents positively answered the question “Is the economic crisis possible in Russia next year?” 36% are confidently waiting, or at least admit the possibility of major technical disasters. 29% expect an aggravation of the situation in the North Caucasus. Here we must understand that the “aggravation of the situation” in the North Caucasus is a constant process, another element of stability, an inevitable thing, like Putin heading of the country.

But here are, for contrast, examples of romantic fantasies of our fellow citizens, whose suffering souls are clearly warmed up by state propaganda. 15% predict a coup (and this is, in fact, a lot). And this is understandable – if you’re being told 24/7 from all the TVs of the country that a cunning enemy has been preparing a color revolution for a while already with the support of traitors inside the country, you will surely believe that the threat of a coup is great. By the way, last year, only 9% of the Russian citizens waited for the coup – the number of conspirators is growing!

35% are afraid of mass unrest and protests. 23% of the survey participants admit the possibility of an armed conflict “with some of the neighboring countries” (let’s rate the well-thought-out accuracy of sociologists who correctly select the right words). A pragmatist would have noticed that we have had such a conflict for a long time, but in this issue Russians are romantics and fabricators. By the way, exactly the same number of compatriots suggest that 2018 will bring us a war with the US or other members of NATO.

This fantasy is, of course, iridescent, joyful and romantic. We’ve been told so many horrors about the aggressive North Atlantic bloc and its transatlantic master in recent years, so a real patriot of a war with the world evil should expect it as a gift, as a miracle, as a realization of the meaning of the existence, both of his own and the state. So they are waiting.

There are also interim polls that do not fit into our scheme. To be honest, it is not very clear how to deal with the issue of the prospects of mass epidemics. It’s not possible to say whether it is a sensible assessment of the state of affairs in domestic medicine and the success of the industry reforms, or still a romantic fantasy inspired not even by the propaganda, but by western films about zombie apocalypse. Let’s remember: as much as 30% of our fellow citizens believe in the probability of epidemics (and it's clearly not the seasonal flu they’re talking about).

Chaos, disagreement, confusion... The average Russian begins to look like some kind of an eccentric teenager, who swings from one extreme to another... It is what it is, but there is one more, the most important issue that can consolidate the nation. The issue of the eternal value, the main clasp, the most important basis for the stability, which the Russian president, the former, the present, the future and the eternal, bequeathed to us.

63% of the citizens of the Russian Federation are sure that in the coming year we will face major corruption scandals. By the way, since 2007, from the very moment when Levada Center began a series of surveys about Russians' expectations, this hypothesis remained the most popular, and the number of citizens who answered the corresponding question “definitely yes” or “likely yes” never fell below 60 percent.

Whether there will be wars, warts, waiting for the locusts with human faces and stars to fall from the sky to poisoning our streams and rivers, is the matter of fortune. But the state people will steal, and no internal or external shocks can affect the situation. This is the basis, the knowledge that makes us one people.

And it makes the year that is now ending just like the incoming year. Well, by the way, happy upcoming New Year!

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