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The history of Russian revolutions progresses in circles
In the 18th century those pardoned and exiled to Siberia following the December 1825 uprising against the monarchy wrote repentant letters in the form of philosophical essays to their sympathizers in Petersburg. Some years later, Lenin, in his "Letters From Afar," called on his comrades "not to try to fit revolutionary tasks into the Procrustean bed of narrowly interpreted theory," but to take into account modern realities. Today, former oil oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, recently jailed for nine years for embezzling public property, is criticizing his actions in prophetic letters. First, he wrote about the "crisis of liberalism in Russia," and a few days ago published an article about the "left turn" in Russia's history. The "owner" of a prison cell, who has the same right as all inmates to a 40kg food parcel every month, attempted to stir public opinion with the categorical conclusion that authoritarian trends are gathering momentum in Russia, and predicted the inevitable advance to power of the left (the Communist Party and Rodina), which embody the idea of social justice. He also admits things that no Russian billionaire has publicly said before. "Who has taken over socialist property, which was created by the hard work of three generations?" he asks rhetorically. "Why do mediocre people without a good education make millions, while academics, sailors and astronauts have sunk below the poverty line?" His deliberations about the freedom and justice Russia allegedly did not have during the 1990s have contributed nothing new to revolutionary theory. Industrialized European countries have a long history of alternating conservative and social-democratic governments. After WWII, conservatives in Germany consistently reconstructed the economy, giving little to social programs, while the socialists who replaced them methodically "squandered" money, bringing about the current economic collapse. Khodorkovsky changed his views of events that directly involved the oligarchs too quickly - in fact, as soon as he reached pretrial detention. Not long before, in summer 2003, the billionaire and "main buyer of seats in the State Duma" acted as an absolute ruler of the country. At an international conference organized by his tame Institute of Applied International Studies, Khodorkovsky made a speech that could be described only as offensive to the authorities and to Russians. "Why do we need a state?" he asked. "To collect taxes, maintain the army and distribute pensions. That's it." He thus drove the authorities into a corner, naively thinking that the "bought" Duma would change the Constitution and he would become prime minister. He was proved wrong. When the authorities curtailed his personal freedom and freedom to move around the billions he stole from the 90% of law-abiding citizens in Russia, he suddenly abandoned liberal values. His latest "letter from the inside" ("The Left Turn") looks like "the infantile disease of Leftism," described by Lenin and provoked by fear. The "populist billionaire" is apparently thinking how the pro-Communist Duma amnestied Khasbulatov and other conspirators after the failed Communist coup in 1993. The next election is due in a few years. If Khodorkovsky earns an image as a "collector of the forces of justice" for the "popular government" by that time, he will have a fair chance for a pardon. But this has no connection to the theory of revolutions and development
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