What would it have taken for a successful liberalized democratic Russa?

8) Instead of the corrupt neoliberals (social Darwinists) Chubais, Sobchak, Gaidar, support the Russian national liberals - Solzhenitsyn, Novodvorskaya, any other real Soviet dissidents, and not thieves former Komsomol members (who repainted themselves as neolibs).
Yeah but part of the problem of “putting in power” people like Solzhenitsyn is that from the viewpoint of the time it isn’t in western interests. The national liberals are just that.. national. They would hardly be seeking an integrationist policy with the west and would try to close off to some extent and have a strong Russia straddling Eurasia. While now it’s fairly obvious the turncoat neoliberals were just trying to stuff themselves during the collapse and post-collapse era, to the American State Department in ‘91 they’re infinitely preferable than people with open disdain for aspects of western culture. Teaching a man to fish might be better for the Russians, but giving the man a fish and having him keep coming back to you is better for the State Department. Granted, Solzhenitsyn and Novodvorskaya would be two wildly different stripes of politician. Novodvorskaya and the party would be more acceptable, although I suspect troubles with the former nomenklatura/new bourgeoise will abound given her seeming commitment to an honest administration. Solzhenitsyn might be more acceptable domestically, but to the west I don’t think he would be very willing to *open up* Russia as it were.

Besides, there’s also the matter of the new magnates controlling the property, the new political machines, and the media apparatus in our new democratic Russia. Factions overtly opposed to their control are going to have a hell of a time without a different collapse or something drastic.
 
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Afghanistan didn't destroy the soviet union. The lack of cheap chicken and ladas did.
Well, they were cheap. That's the problem.

But both had higher demand than supply, and with Centralized planning and Price controls, you get shortage, shortages that could not be corrected for.
Both poultry and autos were not priced correctly, a common problem with State Communism as practiced in the 20thC
 
Supreme Soviet winning in 1993, and/or West not propping up Yeltsin in later 1996 elections.

Either of those likely would have meant better results coming out of the 90s, and lesser chances of something like Putin emerging.
 
1. Keep the Mesopotamian Seaway open after the Miocene, so that Russia has access to the Indian Ocean.

2. Weaken Great Britain so they can't play the Great Game.

3. Kill off Sergey Nechayev so he doesn't inspire the People's Will to murder Alexander II along with any hope of future liberal reforms.

4. Kill off Konstantin Pobedonostsev so he doesn't teach future Tsars to be authoritarian idiots who ignore impending revolution.

5. Kill off Trofim Lysenko, hopefully in a gulag after he is denounced for fraud and replaced by Vavilov.

6. It's probably too late by the time Brezhnev takes power.
 
Maybe the west ( esp USA UK Germany and Poland ) GENUINELY makes effort to improve relations with Russia , gives it massive economic assistance and promotes a pan Slavic economic bloc
 
You need a stronger Soviet opposition movement, like the Polish Solidarnosc and Czech Charter 77. That way you could groom anti-Communist political leaders to take over after the fall of the Union. Maybe the 1990 Russian Presidential election is won by a Russian Lech Walesa, who would have the willingness to install a genuine democracy and invite Western companies in the privatization process, to prevent the oligarchs from rising up. Also, the CPRF must be kept banned, so at least a democratic-socialist party of former Communist apparatchiks could form.

All other options are unrealistic. If you have the former Communists like Yeltsin, Zyuganov and Zhirinovsky split up and dominate all democratic parties, Russia has no chance of a democratic rebirth, you need someone from the outside with enough political will, organisational basis and international credibility to take over in order to De-Communize Russia.
 
Get Yeltsin off the booze, for starters, and hopefully he lives longer.
The same Yeltsin which killed Russian democracy when he rolled the tanks into the Duma and arrested his opponents which tried to impeach him? Hardly a democratic process.
Nixon floated the idea of a Marshall Plan for the former Eastern Bloc. Maybe the idea could get more traction if the economy was better at the turn of the decade.
Yeah, so rich Russian oligarchs could become even richer by siphoning American funds and demanding bribes from American companies wanting to invest in Russia. Clinton would likely lose in 1996 if the American public saw the 1993 Yeltsin coup while American money was siphoned into Russian oligarchic pockets.
Actually it was simple.
And so, 1991.

1) The United States needs to take control of the process of building a democratic RF.

2) Remove Europe, to a greater extent it is the European elites who are interested in the status of the Russian Federation as a raw material colony.

3) Start a policy of lustration of all persons associated with the CPSU and Komsomol, all persons from the KGB. You must ban them from holding government administrative positions.

4) Conduct an analogue of the Nuremberg trials over Stalinism and the Chekists. Recognize the Cheka-NKVD-KGB as a criminal organization.

5) Invite small clerks from European countries/Japan/Canada/USA to the position of officials in the Russian Federation. They have no connections and relatives in Russia, which means there will be no nepotism and corruption.

6) Forget the word "patriotism", "spirituality". Patriotism in Russia is usually a cover for corruption and dull Soviet revanchism.

7) No church, mosques and priests. No government support for religion.

8) Instead of the corrupt neoliberals (social Darwinists) Chubais, Sobchak, Gaidar, support the Russian national liberals - Solzhenitsyn, Novodvorskaya, any other real Soviet dissidents, and not thieves former Komsomol members (who repainted themselves as neolibs).

9) No idiotic cannibalistic shock therapy.

Success.
Yeah, Yeltsin would easily convince people like Primakov that they were part of a criminal organisation. The Komsomol was the way to go if you wanted to enter university and keeping smart professionals outside just because they had to make this compromise is a bad move. Also, patriotism and spirituality would only come up and maybe prop up as a reaction to 70 years of anti-national, anti-religious Communism. Novodvorskaya is more of a democratic anarchist than politician and Solzhenitsyn was in exile in 1991, with a strong international reputation, but no political base, so I have a hard time seeing him reach the upper echelons of power.
CPRF lead coalition gov in 1995. If they win but they need to form a coalition to get into power then they will get rid of Yeltson's shock therapy which radicalized Russian politics. They will also get rid of his corruptions, and roll back the unpopular reforms in the 90s. But without absolute power they don't recreate the USSR or create a dictatorship.
Basically Communist Putin. Moldova had something similar when it had a Communist government in the early 2000s and rolled back democratic reforms.
 
Unless the 1917 Revolution goes the same way as the Mexican one (I've been toying around with eventually trying a TL project to do just that, although I've never exactly had the courage to get working on it), then the Provisional Government is basically in a bind because the war was unpopular among Russians, and yet the rest of the Entente didn't want Russia to back out. It was basically a Gordian knot/catch-22 the Provisional Government couldn't really figure out. Having said that, the Provisional Government could certainly try early on - if Milyukov didn't send that letter in April (OS, May NS) that provoked a crisis in that month. Which would just lead to continued pressure from the British and the French to continue the war, even if Petrograd didn't.
Would a no USA entry to the war and thus no certainty of an Entente win and thus more likely stalemate end of war push the PG to seek a separate peace? Could you build on that soft foundation to forestall a revolutionary Soviet takeover and rise of Lenin with his brand of dictatorship to let the PG instead transition to elections and some democratic governance?

Here I assume the Germans are not greedy or get victory disease so they actually will negotiate the separate peace and pursue with Russia a real peace. And I assume Russia accepts that it owes France nothing for a war that has broken her.
 
Just lurking, but is this tongue-in-cheek? x'D

Ignoring for a moment that the board dictates that geological POD's are ASB, in what world can you conceive of Russia existing with a Miocene POD?

I'm just saying, being perpetually denied a place in the sun due to severely limited ocean access makes it fundamentally difficult to have a Shiny Happy Russia.

(A decent width land corridor to Kalinigrad might suffice)
 
My absolutely uninteresting INHO:
1. change type of the privatisation. What I mean under that thesis: no voucher privatisation al-la Chubais/Gaidar. Society which hadn't the business experience for min 40 years or 70 in max, without any knowledge about market economy, without the informative propaganda (people didn't know what is it and what is it used for, it did the curious situations like "voucher for washing powder" etc). That cocktail bursted with high power and was destruct for society, economy etc. What my opinion? For big companies-auction with foreign sellers by the small blocks of shares, for small and middle business- socialisation between the workers.
2. Smth like "Marshall plan" for Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, and baltic states. For US corp those states are Klondike: 100$ income for 1$ expenditure.
3. NATO+EU for p.3 states should be principal way. No theoretical blah-blah about "No NATO in eastern Europe" or smth like that. Only "You will be a NATO and EU member but you should labor hard to catch up the European standards".
Maybe that could help to do RF democratic and European state. And of course, putin in prison for fraud and corruption (see Mary Salie commission of SPB parliament in 1992).
 
Would a no USA entry to the war and thus no certainty of an Entente win and thus more likely stalemate end of war push the PG to seek a separate peace? Could you build on that soft foundation to forestall a revolutionary Soviet takeover and rise of Lenin with his brand of dictatorship to let the PG instead transition to elections and some democratic governance?

Here I assume the Germans are not greedy or get victory disease so they actually will negotiate the separate peace and pursue with Russia a real peace. And I assume Russia accepts that it owes France nothing for a war that has broken her.
I'm not sure if those two could be connected in this case. Although the US entry into WW1 happened before the Milyukov note and in the same month, here I would assume they were on parallel tracks (i.e. the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing, since Anglo-French pressure on the Provisional Government increased ever since the Tsar's abdication). Instead, either Milyukov needs to be persuaded to not send the letter (since domestic considerations need to be addressed first) or there would be dire consequences - as indeed was the case IOTL. The more preferable option here would be if the Provisional Government was more decisive about Russian withdrawal from WW1, say in March (OS) almost as soon as the Provisional Government was declared. Once Russia gets out, the main priority should be preparing for fresh elections to the Duma and for the Constituent Assembly (to create the new Constitution for the Russian Republic).
 
I'm not sure if those two could be connected in this case. Although the US entry into WW1 happened before the Milyukov note and in the same month, here I would assume they were on parallel tracks (i.e. the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing, since Anglo-French pressure on the Provisional Government increased ever since the Tsar's abdication). Instead, either Milyukov needs to be persuaded to not send the letter (since domestic considerations need to be addressed first) or there would be dire consequences - as indeed was the case IOTL. The more preferable option here would be if the Provisional Government was more decisive about Russian withdrawal from WW1, say in March (OS) almost as soon as the Provisional Government was declared. Once Russia gets out, the main priority should be preparing for fresh elections to the Duma and for the Constituent Assembly (to create the new Constitution for the Russian Republic).
My thought is the PG is less ready to tow the Entente line and actually end the war as the people wanted. Maybe it side lines the note altogether or forces a stronger debate and split that can then allow the PG to either avoid it or recover from it versus open the way for a left revolt. That assumes a right coup does not try to keep Russia fighting but that too might give the PG better clout with the masses toward real democracy.
 
This risks getting this thread tossed into "current politics," but I honestly think it's perfectly plausible changing nothing else but Putin coming to power.

Yes, there were major structural reasons why Putinism came to be. The Soviet collapse, the economic crises, the '98 Financial Crisis, the wars in Chechnya, the widespread longing in the late 90s -- especially including liberals and technocrats in Yeltsin's circle -- for a "Pinochet"-type strongman, the continued dominance of careerist nomenklatura in the bureaucracy, etc...

This is still only half the equation, however. You still needed someone with the will and desire to actually impose an authoritarian system. And looking at the major alternatives to Putin in the years leading up to his accession, it really isn't clear that any of the alternatives would have been as authoritarian or as determined to personalize the ruling system. Figures like Primakov or Chernomyrdin would have still engaged in shady dealing and dirty tricks, would have ruled through personalist parties, but neither is likely to have completely crushed the opposition or completely defanged the media. Moreover, neither may have had the breadth of popularity Putin had at the outset (something which meant that Putin began his tenure as president with very little organized opposition, something which would not have been true for Primakov or Chernomyrdin).

If you're looking for some random, potentially key moments, one was the crisis over Yeltsin's re-appointment of Chernomyrdin in the fall of 1998. At one point in the standoff, the Kremlin and the opposition (both the Communists and the liberal factions) in the Duma struck a deal whereby they'd consent to Chernomyrdin's appointment in exchange for constitutional reforms transferring powers to the Duma and turning Russia back into more of a mixed presidential-parliamentary system. In exchange, the Duma would promise not to impeach Yeltsin. Had the deal held, Yeltsin would likely have handed power to Chernomyrdin who is highly unlikely to have been as dictatorial as Putin.

Instead, Gennady Zyuganov blew the up the deal at the last minute, the Duma insisted on the appointment of Primakov, and then Primakov's popularity and poor relationship with the Yeltsin clan spurred "The Family" to seek out a more pliant alternative to Primakov (who they feared would exile or send them to jail). That led to the selection of Putin.

In any event, none of this means Russia would been a giant Sweden. It would still have been a corrupt Eastern European democracy. But that still counts, compared to the out-and-out dictatorship that Putin's regime quickly became.
 
Well, they were cheap. That's the problem.

But both had higher demand than supply, and with Centralized planning and Price controls, you get shortage, shortages that could not be corrected for.

even in Soviet wage labour society effective demand (or if you’d prefer it historically materially, the actual social price of labour power) is what it is. What I’ve seen is that the wage bundle rarely causes resentment historically: humans culturally adapt to new, yet more horrific, normals with the insane ease of any post 1800 slave labourer. Soviet malallocation reducing wages in waged sectors didn’t cause a systemic crisis 1950-1980; and I’d argue didn’t to 1991. Strikes even armed strikes in the Soviet Union didn’t threaten social property or state rule. Compare to the political strikes in Poland and Hungary and Czechia which had demands somewhat larger than a chicken in every pot, more along the lines of who decides how many chickens we make and what form of government exists?

Malallocation ate into nomenklatura profit; and the expanded circulation of the commodity (in marginalist terms: GDP growth). Keeping the bastards heart ticking means growth. Not because chickens are mis allocated but because chicken production (organised in wage society) demands faster larger circuits between make and sell.

Both poultry and autos were not priced correctly, a common problem with State Communism as practiced in the 20thC
Yes. Arguable problems elsewhere. Consider chicken for non luxury meat didn’t take off in Australia u til the 1990s; or that in the very early 2000s (just before my 20 year rule) latent (ie ineffective) demand for lamb or beef existed because of a hose meats having been historically affordable for workers.

if it were mispricing the Soviet Union should have fallen in 1950s. If it were fundamentally mispricing (lack of effective demand; intolerable wage bundle as commodities) then you’d get more than just a political go slow: the intolerable is not tolerated.

Now mis allocation in capital markets in the Soviet Union is a goer. In the 1980s the Soviet Union (like the US or UK) had to replace capital goods stocks due to age and to change the methods of exploitation to increase rate and volume of turn over. Here mis allocation was critical because any nomenklatura with two eyes could see that selling their factory to themselves and transnationally dumping their capita into the global rate of return was a better bet.

Post-Fordist Soviet Capitalism led through capital goods renewal and breaking the go slow (without or without increased KFC supply) is an exercise for the reader. GOSwood and Silicon-mir are out without some long lead PODs.

France may be the best model for a decrepit bureaucracy on top a semi tamed revolutionary proletariat with a below standard rate of profit and old industry.
 
As others have already said, at the very least probably would require someone other than Yeltsin and his whole “shell the opposition with tanks” and “shock therapy”. Or at least have him be more competent or as @SlideAway said have this deal go through and not be replaced by Putin. Or maybe have the USSR not collapse and follow Gorbachev’s vision to have the USSR become like the Scandinavian nations. Although as pointed out not sure if any these would lead to some ideal western democracy, but definitely better than the alternative.
 
You need a stronger Soviet opposition movement, like the Polish Solidarnosc and Czech Charter 77. That way you could groom anti-Communist political leaders to take over after the fall of the Union. Maybe the 1990 Russian Presidential election is won by a Russian Lech Walesa, who would have the willingness to install a genuine democracy and invite Western companies in the privatization process, to prevent the oligarchs from rising up. Also, the CPRF must be kept banned, so at least a democratic-socialist party of former Communist apparatchiks could form.
Agree. The biggest problem is to create one. Unlike Poland and Czechoslovakia, Russia never has a democratic tradition.

Novodvorskaya is more of a democratic anarchist than politician and Solzhenitsyn was in exile in 1991, with a strong international reputation, but no political base, so I have a hard time seeing him reach the upper echelons of power.
At least one of these two would have played a strong role in a hypothetical real Soviet Opposition movement.
 
My thought is the PG is less ready to tow the Entente line and actually end the war as the people wanted.
Problem here is that there were quite a few KaDety, including Milyukov himself (who somehow became Foreign Affairs minister - surely there would be someone else more qualified and who could actually pull off getting out of the war) who were very keen on continuing it. Unfortunately, that meant that things would get a lot worse than OTL (from a Russian POV, not so much in the viewpoints of people who wanted to get out of Tsarist autocracy well before the ink started to dry on Kolya's abdication notice). Keeping Milyukov away from his OTL Foreign Affairs position would be a huge benefit, but it's not enough.

Maybe it side lines the note altogether or forces a stronger debate and split that can then allow the PG to either avoid it or recover from it versus open the way for a left revolt. That assumes a right coup does not try to keep Russia fighting but that too might give the PG better clout with the masses toward real democracy.
Perhaps that could work - would be better if the note didn't exist in the first place.
 
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