Vladimir Putin’s political conceptions are often discussed and opinions vary from very positive to very negative. What is more, it is hard even for Russians to define his political views correctly. In Western media, Putin is traditionally criticized and frequently described as a dictator. But is this true?
Totalitarianism, dictatorship? Definitely not.
If you do some research on the political system in Russia, you will see a diversity of ideologies – there are liberals and liberal democrats, communists, nationalists, etc. None of these ideologies is banned. What about the media? Check the press, the radio, the TV. The different representatives of the mass media express different opinions on political decisions taken by the governors, and often the President is seriously criticized. So depicting Putin as a dictator does not make sense. Evidently, he does not mind the variety of political persuasions in Russian society.
Realism and the strong hand
During the social unrest in Russia in 2011 (and not only then), Vladimir Putin showed that he would not tolerate any kind of riots. This shows that the only thing that Putin demands on is public peace. In short: you can think whatever you want, say whatever you want, even protest where you are allowed to and if you are allowed to, but if you try to instigate a revolt, you will get into trouble. To be honest, there is nothing abnormal about that.
To give an exact definition to such an approach to political life, we have to call it realism. And it is really realistic – you cannot make the whole population share the same point of view. Moreover, most ideologies have good points so it is a good idea not to forbid them.
And, speaking about democracy and dictatorship, have in mind the way the police in USA encountered protesters from the Occupy Movement not long ago – of course, with tear gas. The media did not say anything about dictatorship in USA.
The word “dictatorship” should not be attached to President Putin’s method of governing the country. His approach has many sides that are common with most statesmen of the world an there is nothing astonishing about this – as long as law and order make all countries.