New bear is the traditional bear

Putin’s address to parliament: healthy conservatism and robust defence

Nikita Sorokin | 14 December

In his annual state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin laid emphasis on social, economic and home policy problems. The Russian leader was especially emotional when discussing the moral health of society and Russia’s role in the modern-day world.

He delivered his address on Constitution Day, December 12th, when Russians marked 20 years since the adoption of the constitution. Putin said the constitutional provisions determining the rights and freedoms of man and citizen are unchangeable, even though some pinpoint changes may and should be made in other chapters of the constitution due to law-enforcement practice and the course of events.

The constitutional process also prompts the need for promoting political competition. Vladimir Putin is certain that new parties that will successfully emerge from local elections will soon challenge the political old-timers. According to the President, the State is interested in updating government agencies by appointing well-trained and responsible officials. Putin also pointed out the need for tightening public control of bureaucracy.  […/]

“The Russian President feels that many countries are revising moral standards and removing cultural differences and national traditions.”

Demands are made today that one and all not only recognize everyone’s fair right to the freedom of conscience, to political views and privacy, but that they also mandatorily recognize of equal value, however strange it may seem, good and evil, the notions that are opposite by their very meaning. We know that increasingly great numbers of people around the world share our stand on the protection of traditional values, the values of a traditional family, human life, including religious life, the values of humanism and world diversity. This is clearly a conservative stand. But in the words of Nikolai Berdyaev, the idea of conservatism is not that it prevents progress and upward movement, but that it prevents one from moving backwards and downwards, to chaotic darkness.

Wait, did  Putin just cleverly appeal to Humanists, Orthodox,  the civil liberty crowd, progressives, Christians and conservative traditionalists on the same platform? I think he did.  Did he alienate a large constituency? I don’t think so.  And a nice side note to the bureaucracy-weary and Constitutionalists. Does the bear have something up his sleeve?
[Part #1 – more … later]

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