After the Russian federation became a sovereign state may of the anticommunist party slogans that were the basis of ideological and organizational work for the greater part of appearing political organizations lost their urgency. A quick shift of political platforms was reduced, which led to the disappearance of numerous parties and to the transformation of those who were lucky to change, and so, to survive. From this very moment party programs began arriving greater constructiveness and party leaders started cooperating with executive power in order to contribute to the reforming of Russia according to the interests of the majority of Russians.
However, new executive power, lacking uniformity and belief in its own forces and being preoccupied by its own cooperative interests, practically reduced to zero all attempts of this kind. As a matter of fact, any form of cooperation with political parties, which proceeded mostly in the supreme Soviet of Russia, was impossible for the executive power because of the claims of its leaders who would like to possess autocratic power in the country and to control the distribution of state and supreme Soviet of Russia and of the congress of People's Deputies in autumn 1993 as a consistent consequence if their political ambitions, as an attempt to overcome a long lasting political crisis and to liquidate the opposition of powers.
Many political parties faced two main conclusions after the 1993 events. First, the greatest losses suffered by the parties, whose radicalism did not give them much spare for political maneuvering. Accordingly, the need for political forces that could be able to propose a considerate and though out resolution of the problems confronting the country was again intensified. Second it became clear that political parties could not and should not become an appendage of executive power, but should form as quickly as possible as independent political force. In this respect a good example is presented by the problems of 'democratic' parties and movements that linked themselves explicitly not only to execute power, but personally to Boris Yeltsin.
The election campaign of 1993 was an important milestone in the development of Russia's multi-party system. In spite of the assertions that executive power would try to make a kind of parliamentary screen for itself, the elections showed that in order for the country to continue its normal development, cooperation of executive power and political forces that were able to carry out the part of political work that executive power could not realize was needed. It was obvious that executive power could resolve only some of the existing problems, because of the lack of means and materials and because of the overwhelming difficulty and numerousity he problems confronted by the Russian society.
One of the additional factors that impeded the coping of executive power alone in the situation in the country is the need for the division of responsibility that makes decisions more difficult to make and to carry out. The 1993 elections showed that there were already forces in the country that were ready to take responsibility acting independently of executive power. But at the same time these elections demonstrated that a lot of political forces overestimated their influence and popularity among the Russian electors. A general conclusion is that the process of forming a system of political parties in Russia is yet unfinished. The overwhelming majority of parties that are now really acting on Russia's political scene continue to face both organizational and ideological problems. However the main problem is the creation of an effective local structure and also the problem of formulating such program planks as would become a real basis for concrete actions of party leaders and rank and file functionaries.
The 1993 elections and the events of the last two years demonstrated that nowadays Russia needs badly mass political parties and movements that could reflect the most general, universal needs and requirements of the population of Russia in general. At the same time they should be able to offer resolutions of constant and long term political problems as well as of the problems of the present day; they should ensure an even and progressive development of the whole country. A definite group of parties is by and by emerging from the party 'chaos' that is going back into the past. These parties are able to propose to the Russian society different formulas of the future development. This process, as it seems, may have many very important consequences for the subsequent transformation of the post-Soviet Russia's political structure. The principle consequences are the following:
Arguments concerning the doctrine of state ideology will sooner or later lead to the approval of some doctrine by all strata of the society - from the powers that be to those that are now below the level of poverty, but are, as a matter of fact, able to serve as a basis for a middle class that is being formed, very slowly though, in Russia. If it happens the possibilities of political parties maneuvering will be very restrained. As modern parties and blocs direct their attention mostly to parliamentary work (and, obviously, to the potential electorate) they will be constrained to spell out all kinds of radical declarations from their programs and statues and to become more liberal and democratic.
The space for ideological and political maneuver being narrowed, the number of political parties in Russia is more likely to decrease. Some of them will, perhaps, be existing only nominally; others will make part of greater associations and coalitions, which may be clearly observed even today. On the other hand, the decreasing of the number of political parties and unions will proceed up to the moment when all political niches are filled. These niches, as it was already stated, reflect the state of society and its requirements. It may be said even now that there is already a tendency of movement toward a two-party system. However, it is to be admitted that there will most probably be no bipartisan system as it is, inasmuch as political needs of the society are gaining more and more complexity. In spite of the spreading of non-political moods, it is objective necessity that there be political organizations reflecting the interests of numerous various social groups that are united according to mutual principles. Thus, big political parties require the assistance of small and middle-sized parties, that play a supplementary role, in order to reflect the maximal quantity of needs and interests of the potential electorate.
The above-mentioned 'narrowing of space' bars the way to political like to these political organizations that carry the banner of political extremism of some kind. Experts say that it is yet possible that 'barring the way to extremism' may lead to excluding many disagreeable (from the authorities point of view) politicians, able to win over the majority of the electorate from official politics.
Little doubt remains, though, that the basis of Russia's political life in the nearest future will be political centrism of various shades, if, sure, the social -economic crisis of Russia and the confrontation in the society do not get another powerful impetus. In this connection it would be interesting to study the analysis of the development of political situations in Russia made by a member of the English parliament Ken Livingston (Labor) as far back as in December 1993. In his article he generalizes the experience of Russia and the countries of Eastern Europe. 'The sample of elections in Eastern Europe is now clear. The first free election campaign following the collapse of the communist regime brings radical parties to power. These extremist parties proclaim the forming of a free market economy as their principle objective. Later the policy of these parties goes bankrupt. After that new elections take place. This time the victory is with the parties that are successors of the former communist party.'
Pointing out the weakness of the parties which do not have any essential program differences with the supporters of radical reforms and Western models of development, Livingston concluded that the attempt to institute an autocratic regime in order to pursue the policy of tough pro-Western reforming would be followed by the success of communists, agrarians and industrialists in the next election campaign. 'The ideology that unites all these we are speaking of, will not subvert democracy in Russia because it is impossible. But from historical point of view....there will be a change leading to the forming and coming to power of exactly this kind of bloc.' This change is going on right before our eyes. The 1995 elections showed that the electorate's support is not with democratic parties and movements any more. The Russians are sick and tired of the long lasting reform that seems to have no end at all. Democracy and free market economy took more than they could possibly give.
People, who are being turned into the beggars by the state that vociferously proclaim human rights and freedom, begin to lose any hope that the situation will ever change for the better, they begin to lose any belief in the future improvements of their well-being. Who is to blame for all these hardships and privations of a so called 'transitional period?' The answer is clear for the majority of the population: democrats are the cause of economic and social troubles. It is they who have reduced the greatest powers in the world to the state of misery and poverty. The obvious consequence of such moods is that democrats, their programs and methods of reforming should inevitably lose people's support. The loss of people's trust means that democrats will lose seats in parliament and in government, which can be observed in Russia after parliamentary elections in December 1995. The unquestionable winner of all these elections was the communist party of Russia headed by Mr. Zyuganov.
CPR is the only full-blooded and really successful party in the Russian Federation. Without serious attitude toward its program and activities it's impossible to get a clear picture of what's going on in Russia, what are its prospects, where it goes now and where it'd like to go. CPR is a 'mirror of thoughts, feelings and passions that are close to what the majority of Russians feel nowadays". The major mistake of all radical democrats that criticize Mr. Zyuganov is that they judge CPR as if it were a party of the past. As a matter of fact CPR is a party of the present. More than that, 'due to the intolerance, complacency and sheer stupidity of its main opponents it has some real chances of becoming the party of the future". It's not to be forgotten that in relation to all the institutions of civilization CPR takes an anti-Marxist, typically conservative, rightist position.
Thus Marxism insisted on the dissolving of state. CPR considers a national state to be not only a value unto itself, but the highest achievement of national progress, the indispensable condition of national independence, of economic and cultural prosperity of the nation. CPR upholds the idea of national and state interests of Russia that do not comply with the interests of Western powers that be, it supports the idea of 'traditional' allies and friends. Hence the identification of Russia's interests with the interests of Serbia, so characteristic of pre-Revolutionary rightists in Russia. The interpretation of the of the October Revolution by Mr. Zyuganov has a national, state emphasis. The October Revolution was not Great because it was the first proletarian revolution, but because it made Russia one of the world's superpowers, because it put an end to the predomination of foreign capital in Russia.
Marxists considered nations and national self-consciousness as a product of capitalism, of the forming of the bourgeoisie as a class. So, they were sure that the destruction of the bourgeoisie state will be followed by the disappearance of nations and national differences. The CPR in trying to demonstrate quite the contrary. It believes that nations and ethnicites are the corner stones of human civilization. In this respect I. Gyuganov is a direct successor of Konstantin Leontiev (Russian spiritual philosopher of XIX - XX centuries.) The CPR and it's leaders are by some twist of fate developing the traditions of a so called 'conservative - protective' camp in the history of Russian social thought; they appear in the role of successors to Slavophilism, they denounce pseudo - spiritual 'values' of the Western civilization. Vladimir Lenin was looking for no matter what occasion to exterminate the orthodox clergy that he thought to be a 'stronghold of observantism and reactionary views.' The leaders of the CPR not only lend active support to the revival of the orthodoxy. But they are looking for no matter what occasion to emphasize their loyalty to the hierarchy of the orthodox church. So, as it is easy to see, the CPR is more right and traditionalist than left. Experts consider that the reasons for the CPR's popularity result from the traditionalist character of its ideology. No wonder why the CPR was the winner of the 1995 elections. But what will the victory of Mr. Zyuganov give Russia?
No doubt, Russia is not disgraced and insulted by this victory as it was by the victory of Mr. Zhirinovsky in 1993. Zyuganov's success gives a feeling of relief and justice. But the communists of My. Zyuganov are in no hurry to repeat neither for the murders of the civil war, nor for the red terror of Lenin and Trotsky, nor for the collectivization of Stalin and Molotov, nor for the purges of the 30's. Even in this respect Zyuganov and his henchmen remain hardcore communists. Experts believe that until the communists have repented for the terrible crimes directed against Russia and the Russian people, their victory in the election campaign may serve as an impetus for the rehabilitation of violence and Stalinism in the country.
The position of the CPR is moral and ethical only in relation to their today's political opponents, in relation to the radical democrats who are really responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union and for the deaths of hundreds of Russian citizens during the October events of 1993. However political analysts are sure that as soon as radical democrats and aggression cosmopolitans have left Russia's political scene, there will be no more moral necessity in the existence of the CPR in its present form. As soon as radical democrats have quitted Russian politics, they will be followed by the red patriots. It is impossible to keep two incompatible things together for a long time. But for the time being the CPR is in power.