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Difference between Modernising and Westernising

Highslide JS
  • Russian history is punctuated by wave after wave of attempted modernization
  • these attempts are usually prompted by serious military debacles, such as the Crimean war, the war against Japan and the Great War
  • in times of urgency it is particularly tempting to resort to methods that are tried and tested
  • this is the reason why the Muscovite model has become path dependent and survived for so long

Short-Term Collapses of the Traditional Matrix

  • the collapse of Muscovy in 1606
  • the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917
  • the collapse of the Soviet order in 1991

What Causes the ĎTimes of Troublesí?

  • the institutional matrix is not strong enough to cope with drastic events at the centre of power
  • in Western societies the rule of law will ensure that both the economic and the political dimensions of society will be able to weather the crisis
  • in the Russian case, crisis at the centre causes instant paralysis of the system as a whole
  • on all three occasions (1606, 1917, and 1991), a breakdown of central power was followed by territorial fragmentation and by widespread looting of assets belonging to the state
  • the Ďtimes of troublesí were followed by a resurrection of the old service order, albeit in new garb:
    1. the Russian empire emerged out of Muscovy
    2. the Soviet order emerged out of the empire
    3. does the Putinite order represent the old service order that is emerging out of the Yelítsinite time of troubles?

What Is Needed for Modernisation to become Westernisation?

  • the introduction of accountable government
  • the rule of law guaranteeing the sanctity of private property
  • the dismantling of the traditional mobilisation regime
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