Power tends to corrupt
I forgot who said this, but I heard this often during my university year. And I can say, that this hypothesis is true. Proven. By many cases in any countries, or cities.
The most recent case would be, what is happening in Russia right now. As maybe some of us know, Russia will hold their presidential election soon and just finished their parliament election in which Putin’s Party won. Putin is now the Prime Minister of Russia. And He was the President of Russia for two periods. His successor then Dmitri Medvedev, whom people know as one of his subordinate (if we don’t want to use the term “puppet”). When Medvedev first elected as the President, many people suspected that he would give the presidential chair back to Putin after he finished his period. As the 2012 approaching, those suspicions start to come true, especially after the winning of Putin’s Party.
Russian people then started to flood the road and protested against the Putin as one of the President candidate in 2012. Even Mikhail Gorbachev, who was the last President of Uni Soviet, who once supported Putin, started to turn his back against him, or rather, against his candidacy as President. But Putin’s supporters still insisted that majority of Russia people still wanted Putin to be their leader.
Now, who is Putin? Why is his candidacy opposed strongly by some, but supported by some? What is his legacy, that his supporters still insist his candidacy for the third time as a President?
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born on 7 October 1952 in Leningrad, later called St.Petersbrugh. He has no remarkable family background, just an ordinary family which lived in almost poverty state. He, later, became a KGB agent during Soviet era. He was known as grey cardinal for never being on the spotlight, but secretly he controlled from the “backstage”.Later he recited in his biography that he “was a pure and utterly successful product of Soviet patriotic education.” (Putin, et.al, 2000:42). Clearly, that his time as KGB officer was the most influental time which shaped his afterwards, even after he became the President of Russia.
When Putin first stepped into his office as a Prime Minister, he declared—and after that he frequently repeated—that his administration would focus on striving The Great Russia. Here what he said in his inauguration as Prime Minister (at 1999, not 2008):
“……….We are at a stage where even the most correct economic and social policies can start misfiring because of the weakness of the state and the managerial bodies. A key to Russia’s recovery and growth is in the state-policy sphere. Russia needs a strong state power. I am not calling for totalitarianism. History proves all dictatorships, all authoritarian forms of government are transient. Only democratic systems are lasting. Whatever our shortcomings, humankind has not devised anything superior. A strong state power in Russia is a democratic, law-based, workable federal state. We still have our natural resources. So the country has a worthy future in store…….” (Putin, et.al, 2000)
From that speech, it could be summarized that Russia foreign policy under Putin rules was highly centralized, focus on economic development by using its natural resources, multilateralism approach, and pragmatism.
The ‘Great Russia’ goal was indeed quite successful during his reign. Judging by their increasing influence in international politics and the prosperity of Russia economics. There’s no more former broken-state, economically weak Russia impression left by Yeltsin’s reign. Russia indeed became greater during his periods. This is why he got a lot of supports from many people.
But on the other hand, Putin also signed the Information Security Concept which stricly controlled the media. This concept was a KGB-style during Soviet era. Undoubtedly that Putin background as an ex-KGB agent played the main role in shaping Russia’s policies, domestic and foreign. His approaches was supported widely by Russian but extensively critized by US and its Western counterparts as un-democratic and increasingly authoritarian. And that is one of the reason why people are against his third candidacy.
Power tends to corrupt. He did bring many benefits to Russia during his reign, economically and politically. Yet, the longer he stayed in power, the more those benefits he’ll reap for his own rather than for his people. If later, he elected for President for the third time, most likely he will enforce the same policies he did previously.That may strengthen Russia’s power, domestically and internationally.
But in my opinion, if someone stays too long in power, s/he will no longer be the same person s/he was. That person might be a good charismatic leader before. People loved them, even though some people criticized them as authoritarian. The longer a person stayed in power, the more corrupt his reign would become. There are too many example for that. A country which is heavily depended on one strong leader as their lifetime-leader, as strong as they are now, will be weakened as soon as that leader deceased, or changed. And so does Russia. Regeneration and change are needed for the next presidential period. Putin’s legacy will remain as one which built the Great Russia. And the successor (preferably not his ‘puppet’ anymore) could continue the legacy.
P.S: what did I write @_@ omg that was so bad, imo… TT_TT I’m sorry for this bad essay/writing…I do it for practising all over again….. >__________>