Putin's Regime Essay

1420 words - 6 pages

Putinism1)Putinism is the ideology, priorities, and policies of the Putin system of government. Sociologists, economists and political scientists emphasized different features of the system. The term is used, often with negative connotations to describe the political system of Russia under Putin Presidencies (2000-2004, 2004-2008, 2012-present) and Putin's Interim Prime Ministership (2008-12) where much of the political and financial powers are controlled by siloviki. The political system under Putin was primarily characterized by some elements of economic liberalism, a lack of transparency in governance, cronyism and pervasive corruption, which assumed in Putin's Russia "a systemic and institutionalized form", according to a report by Boris Nemtsov as well as other sources. The US economist Richard W. Rahn (September 2007) called Putinism "a Russian nationalistic authoritarian form of government that pretends to be a free market democracy", which "owes more of its lineage to fascism than communism; noting that "Putinism depended on the Russian economy growing rapidly enough that most people had rising standards of living and, in exchange, were willing to put up with the existing soft repression". Some of the main features of Putin's regime were: development of a corporatist system by pursuing close ties with business organizations, social stability and co-optation of opposition parties.He determined three main groupings in Putin's early leadership: 1) the siloviki(Russian word for politicians from the security or military services), 2) economic liberals and 3) supporters of "the Family", i.e. those who were close to Yeltsin.Olga Kryshtanovskaya, who carried out a sociological research in 2004, put the relative number of siloviki in the Russian political elite at 25%. In Putin's "inner circle" which constitutes about 20 people, amount of siloviks rises to 58%, and fades to 18-20% in Parliament and 34% in the Government. Summing up the numbers of official and "affiliated" siloviki, she came up with an estimate of 77% of such in the power. It is interesting that most respondents think Putin's government marks the most democratic epoch in Russian history (29%), while the russian sociologist Lev Gudkov pointed out the near-disappearance of public opinion as a socio-political institution in Putin's Russia and its replacement with the still-efficacious state propaganda.2) In 2001 Putin introduced flat tax rate of 13%; the corporate rate of tax was also reduced from 35 percent to 24 percent; Small businesses also get better treatment. The old system with high tax rates has been replaced by a new system where companies can choose either a 6 percent tax on gross revenue or a 15 percent tax on profits. In February 2009, Putin called for a single VAT rate to be "as low as possible". Overall tax burden was lower in Russia under Putin than in most European countries. In 2005, Putin launched National Priority Projects in the fields of health care, education,...

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