Russian Relations with Authority: the Call for Strength and Unity in Leadership



While 20th-century Russia differs from Machiavelli’s 16th-century Italy, the struggles surrounding the establishment of republican government continue to be relevant. As the unity of the powerful Soviet state has disappeared, many contemporary Russians have reacted against state enforced collectivity. As if old modes of community are anathema, individuals have focused on personal protection and survival to the detriment of the collective society. This has left the construction of the new society to the ambitions of the political and economic elite. Unfortunately, there is neither unity of purpose among the elite, nor agreement on the composition of the society between the elite and the mass public. In looking for a solution, the Russian lack of familiarity with instability found the broadly conservative population searching for stability, generally without ideological concerns, through the reinstitution of some observable form of strong central authority:

for where the body of the people is so thoroughly corrupt that the laws are powerless for restraint, it becomes necessary to establish some superior power which, … with full and absolute powers may put a curb upon the excessive ambition and corruption of the powerful.2


Political Culture Komi Republic Individual Leader Soviet System Representative Institution 
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Notes and References

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Copyright information

© James Alexander 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northeastern State UniversityTahlequahUSA

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