On the inevitability of personnel updates in the Russian government
In our country, the situation is much more complicated than in the US - we can not always determine the main task, and implement it at the expense of all available resources. And it’s not very clear who defines this here - expert structures here, unlike the United States, are arranged according to a purely administrative level: the higher the position of the “expert”, the more “expert” he is. It is clear that such an approach cannot lead to any kind of regular success - and everything starts to depend on the position of the highest person in the administrative hierarchy. If, for some reason, he figured out the question, he found the right experts and made a decision - then success may be. If not, then there is practically no chance of it.
There are some more subtleties in the Russian reality. In particular, it is not enough to understand what the main result is today and what you can donate to achieve it. It is also necessary to make those who control what they have to sacrifice as a personal resource, make sacrifices. Actually, there is such a problem all over the world, but in many countries decisions are made by consensus, and those who go against it then take on an excessive risk. And in Russia, the decision is made by one person - and the level of dissatisfaction with them can reach a critical level if his entourage, which due to circumstances has to make concessions, but does not understand or does not accept the circumstances in which this or that decision was made.
In fact, this is just an element of the notorious “civil society”, but this time applied to the elite. If there are no mechanisms within the elite to achieve local consensus, then even the flawlessly correct policy of the first (main) person can cause a serious split. By the way, Stalin understood this perfectly well, who constantly discussed various political moments with his colleagues (during the notorious evening “get-togethers” at the “Middle” summer cottage). There is a known story how during a conversation with one scientist on his proposal to do something, Stalin replied that he agreed with the interlocutor, but could not do anything, because: "My deputies will not miss this decision."
Today, our situation is much worse than it was in the USSR. I understand a little bit how decisions are made in the Kremlin, and I understand who those are who determine, in particular, the situation in the economy. I don’t know what Putin is discussing with them there, but I understand perfectly well that this event is pointless - these characters, firstly, do not have a holistic picture of the economic situation in their head, and, secondly, they have long been firmly engaged in preservation in Russia of the Bretton Woods financial and economic model. In 90, one could argue with such a position, but it was, at least, relatively reasonable. Today, everything is different; it is simply impossible to preserve this system, but people who do not have their own position cannot change it.
And Putin, no matter how criticized, most likely understands the scale of the changes that are occurring in the world. He can make decisions right or wrong (I, for example, do not yet know how to evaluate his peace-loving speech in Yalta), but he cannot agree on them with his colleagues. And because they are very likely to disclose his plans in the West, and because they are willing to agree with any decisions of the leadership, in reality often being very unhappy with them (an example is the notorious “May Decrees”), and because something with them is meaningless because of their own lack of position.
I note that here, of course, you can scold Putin for his personnel policy (like, he himself appointed these freaks), but there are subtleties. First, these people in many ways appeared in power long before Putin (Shuvalov, Nabiullina, Voloshin). Secondly, Putin’s position only recently coincided with their position. Thirdly, even the most agile in an intellectual sense, a person who has fallen into a rigid administrative vertical, must either abandon his understanding or leave. That is, it is not about how to behave properly within the existing control system, but about the need to change the system itself. This, of course, is a task, but a much higher level.
One more aspect can be noted. Even if the target is chosen and the victims are determined (in the case of our counter-sanctions, all this can be seen with the naked eye), you can not make some mistakes. For example, in the case of food purchases in the European Union and the United States, it was not necessary to include in the list of sanctions products those that had already been paid for and which had already been brought to Russia. And because, in fact, these are already our products (which will not be taken back and will not be returned), and because there is no need to irritate and offend those who are absolutely not going to oppose the government.
It would be possible to resolve this issue in three minutes - but for the first person it is too small (that is, he should not raise this question), but his subordinates, who by foolishness, who out of fear of contradiction, and who from outright harm did not . This is bad. Theoretically, this question (like some others) should have been discussed in the process of adopting a decree on counter sanctions, but, apparently, this was not done.
And just this situation shows that the quality of the managerial apparatus is rather low. I talked about this a long time ago, but in the end, this is my personal position, the position of an expert. And here, as they say, a bare fact.
And there are many such stories.
And the consequence of them is very simple: in the current situation, for Russia, pursuing an independent political line is dangerous - because even if it is chosen absolutely correctly, there is a great danger that the mistakes of the performers can “nullify” all the successes of political power.
That is, we categorically need a substantial personnel update. And this is the main conclusion from the events of recent weeks.
- Mikhail Khazin
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