What does the new term of Vladimir Putin mean in practice?
Firstly, this is the final constitutation of the long-ago death of public policy in the Russian Federation. Secondly, this is a natural translation of the Russian Federation into the category of Third World countries in the political sense. If you do not engage in cliquish, and imagine everything in the form of a simple system, then it looks as follows in our world:
- the countries of the First and in part Second World have a replaceable and elective formal political power at all levels. Either directly or indirectly (parliamentary or presidential republic). This ensures the legal transmission of political power and makes it practically impossible (or impossible) for the situation of a coup with all the ensuing consequences. Simply put, this provides the legitimacy of the government itself, which all political forces recognize.
- Some of the exception are the surviving monarchies, but they also mimicked quite seriously, turning into parliamentary ones with all the same elections and a legal change of formal political power. In some cases, the most progressive monarchies are transformed into temporary monarchies: for example, in 2013 the Queen of the Netherlands, Beatrix, renounced the throne, in 1980, too, did her mother, Queen Julian, and in 1948 - her grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina.
In most Third World countries and some Second World countries, the most common type of political regime is authoritarian or oligarchic dictatorships. All of them are arranged very simply:
- at the top of the pyramid stands the adored father of the people, the leader of the nation, the sun-like leader and so on;
- Once in 5-10 years for pro forma, formal elections are held (for not monarchy), which "the friend of all people" usually wins;
- there is no political process in such countries, public policy is either completely destroyed or reduced to the status of a palace zoo;
- there are no legal mechanisms for the transmission of political power.
As a rule, the end of the rule of almost every such "father of nations" falls on an armed coup or palace conspiracy with a continuation in the form of civil war and the killing of opponents. After the overthrow / death of the leader, a new autocrat is usually seated in his place, in which everything repeats. A vivid example of 2017 is the overthrow of Robert Mugabe, who ruled 30 (37) years in Zimbabwe as the result of a military coup. His successor was his former companion Emmerson Mnangagwa nicknamed "Crocodile." In a number of such states, even dynasties of dictators are sometimes formed. So such regimes can be quite stable and do not always lead to economic collapse, especially in the countries of South-East Asia (Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, South Korea), which after decades of "dictatorial" rule are now slowly but surely democratized.
Therefore, the actual question is whether the dictatorship of the African or Asian model that has taken shape in Russia will take shape. There are a lot of differences between them, but ultimately they can be expressed through one formula that relates more to the field of economy: what is the primary source of surplus product in such countries? Most of the dictatorships of the "African type" are natural minerals and raw materials. The "Asian dictatorships" - the work of man (albeit low-paid). As many have already guessed, the Russian Federation is on the rails that will take it to "the beautiful African far." Whether it's like someone or not. The extraction and export of hydrocarbon raw materials, as well as metals, fertilizers, timber and grain are the backbone of the Russian economy.
And there is no need to expect something new and unusual from the next terms of Putin, everyone understands this. If the prices of export commodities are high, the Russian Federation will continue a relatively comfortable existence, as it was in 2001-2014 (with a brief break for 2008-2009). If conspiracy theologists are right and the world enters the stage of relatively low prices for hydrocarbons, then the "Putin dictatorship" seriously narrows the corridor of "prosperity" and it will have to take tough measures. If all this was concerned with some Uganda with the ruling in it since 1986, Yoweri Museveni, then this would be one way. But the ResFed leads two wars, occupies part of the territory of a neighboring state (from the perspective of the West), has not yet rotted nuclear weapons and is under increasingly stringent international sanctions. That is, it is already such a hybrid of Uganda, North Korea and Iran with the prospect of Venezuelization.
Therefore, it is difficult to predict how long the "Putin dictatorship" will last. If to argue in the most abstract way, then Putin may well press on gas and calmly stay 12 years until 2030. And then still add, because the age of 77 years for dictators is not a hindrance. For example, the 77-year-old Kazakh ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev has been at the helm for more than 28 years (since 1989), and Islam Karimov, who played in the box last year, ruled Uzbekistan up to 78 years. So the horror of some current observers in the spirit of "how do we live with this for another six to twelve years" is a bit naive. By the standards of the world dictators' club, "Putin" is a rather young specimen who "ruled" only 14 years (taking into account Medvedev's "change" - 18 years). His full chronological analogue is the Algerian President Abdul Aziz Bouteflika, who has ruled the country since 1999 and does not provoke his dictatorship any displeasure from the West.
While Muammar Gaddafi ruled Libya for 42 years, Jose Eduardo dos Santos led the Angola for 38 years, and Teodoro Obiang, the ruling Ecuatorial Guinea, has already beaten this record (he was in power since 1979). And in northern Eurasia, Putin is also not a record-holder. In addition to the already mentioned Nazarbayev and Karimov, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko will be given him, who is permanently in power for 23 years.