Viacheslav Igrunov, March 20 2004, the speech at the Congress of Russia Patriots
The first step on the road in ten thousand lee
Dear participants of the Congress!
We have gathered here in the difficult moment of history of our country when democratic institutes are in the most severe crisis. We are witnesses of improbable concentration of authority in one hands, transformations of the State Duma into the uncomplaining servant of executive authority and full disappearance of Federation Council as a political body. The present government is more and more reminding us the thoroughly forgotten old one. But all of us remember, in what catastrophe long domination of a one-party system in the USSR did result. We should understand well, that if we admit recurrence of the soviet experience, Russia will face the same catastrophe as the Soviet Union did– only much sooner. We should not let it happen. We should affect political system because only the authority which can be subjected to the crucial criticism, can operate efficiently, can study and make proper conclusions from its own mistakes. Only politicians who can be discharged of authority by their ideological opponents, feel a burden of responsibility and operate circumspectly, asserting not only corporate interests, but also protecting interests of those who brought them to their authority.
For this reason it is necessary for us to establish a real multi-party system so that in the country there would be sufficient opponents of that powerful concentration of authority which is collected today by "The United Russia".
Unfortunately, the recent experience of multi-party system in Russia is also deplorable. Not casually the Communist party has suffered a crucial defeat, and Liberal parties have completely failed to get into Parliament and today are on the verge of disappearance. And I think that it is a natural result. When only in the sake of winning the power they destroy the state, and for acceleration of reforms they betray national interests, sooner or later such policy suffers collapse. This cannot be forgiven… For this reason today we notice, how the Authority devours one by one its own creators.
Unfortunately for Russia, the suffered victims have not brought desirable result. We began Perestroika to speed up scientific and technical progress, and came to economy much more primitive, than the one that preceded Perestroika. The most part of the budget of once advanced country today is formed due to oil-and-gas branch. The hi-tech manufactures have declined, and financing of science makes hardly the tenth part of the before-Peresrtoika level. Today PhDs work as bookkeepers in tiny organizations or trade in the markets, while tens if not hundreds of thousands of young scientists have left the country. Brilliant domestic scientific schools will be lost very soon, the continuity will interrupt and then Russia will for ever lose the mighty scientific and technical complex, which it will be unable to restore. Really we are left a brief instant to prevent wreck of the great country.
But if we take a look at the policy conducted by present government we’ll make sure, that all is occurring just vise versa. And there are no signs that in the foreseeable future there will be any sweeping changes. To affect authority, to force authority to operate in national interests we need real force. In modern Russia such force doesn’t exist. Weak, pity parties become a toy of the government, and frequently - a laughing-stock for people. For this reason it is necessary for us to unite forces of all thinking people, all organizations which possess a considerable cumulative human resource. Today this is becoming a burning need of the society.
Certainly, such association cannot become a one-stage act. We still differ in our sights too strongly, experience of our co-operation is too small, attempts of coalition construction were too few. The way to creation of influential political force will be not simple and not short. But, as Chinese speak, the road in ten thousand lee begins with a first step. And now we are making one of such steps leading us to co-operation and association of opportunities. We are creating a platform where we can develop common approaches, find mutually acceptable decisions, organize cooperative actions. I am convinced that there should be much more of such platforms, but today we do what we can do today. And I hope, that this step will serve as stimulus for other forces to unite their efforts for the sake of our country, and that our people will be able to pass the road in ten thousand lee, and Russia will be among the leaders in the world future, and this future will appear worth of our hopes and expectations.
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