Putinism by stages: 1 is through Khordokovsky’s arrest the oil baron in late 2003, and involves Putin as determined technocrat; 2 is the Bonapartist elevation of Putin to czar; and now stage 3 sees Putin morph into a Chavez-like figure where the chief piranha now turns on the plutocrats–a sad return to Soviet-era logic on economic control.Will it work economically? God no, as The Economist points out. Putin will survive for quite a while, as oil inches back up, but in terms of demographics and innovation and an economy beyond natural resources, Russia will become a bigger but less interesting version of Kazakhstan. Actually, Kazakhstan is starting to look a lot better.
To anyone reading this blog, this is old news.