Boris Gusiletov: Social Democrats need to join forces

Published: March 29th, 2018

Social democracy in Russia is in crisis. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, representatives of the Social-Democratic ideology could not take the leading positions in the political arena. The reasons will be considered by participants in the conference "Shine and Poverty of Social Democracy" on the margins of the Moscow Economic Forum. The moderator of the section, the leading researcher of the Department of Social and Political Studies, the Institute of Europe, RAS, Boris Guseletov tells why modern leaders of the Social Democratic parties are not popular. - Why did the Social-Democratic movement not become widespread in Russia? - In my opinion, the authorities, who for many years were at the top, were not interested in having the Social-Democratic ideology and its representatives take any important positions. They, unlike the Communists, are a serious alternative to the liberal course, since they are able to combine liberal reforms in the economy with the support of the social sphere. - Were there any other reasons? - The Social Democrats were not able to unite their efforts: the movement has always been split. Each party separately received little support, although in the aggregate they had quite good results. About 10 years ago, the party "Fair Russia", which proclaimed social democratic values, could become a parliamentary one. However, in recent years, this party has obviously moved away from the Social-Democratic position. Many people who associated this party with the Social Democracy are no longer its members today. - Have the elections somehow changed the situation? - In the presidential elections, "Fair Russia" did not even have its own candidate - it was their shot at themselves, if not to the head, then in the leg, the recognition that as an independent political force they do not exist. The presidential election was an excellent opportunity to make a statement. There were three representatives of the liberal trend, two Communists, but there was no one who could turn to people from the social democratic positions. - Will the conference compare European and Russian social democratic trends? - We invited a representative of the Institute of Europe RAS Vladimir Schweitzer, who for many years has been dealing with this topic, as well as representatives of European funds - Mirko Hempel and Vladimir Fomenko. It is necessary to exchange views with European colleagues on what is happening with the Social Democracy, not only in Russia, but also in the world. Oleg Shein is invited - a representative of "Fair Russia", which remains one of the last, whose name is associated in the party with the Social Democracy. Also among the participants are leading scientists - the head of the political economy sector, the Institute of Economics RAS Mikhail Voeikov, the observer of the Internet magazine "Socialist" Boris Romanov, the assistant to the President of the International Fund for Socio-Economic and Political Studies Boris Slavin and others. The symbiosis of representatives from science and practical politics, representatives of the West and Russia, the older and younger generation is necessary, so that we have a voluminous picture.