Socio-economic stability in return for authoritarianism

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Socio-economic stability in return for authoritarianism

It has to be mentioned, though, that while building this authoritative regime, Alexander Lukashenko managed to stabilize economical situation in the country. He refused to implement the so-called “shock reforms” that took place in other countries and led to rushes of indignation in Russia and Ukraine and returned the country to command economy principles of a socialistic nature.

Defining and describing the socioeconomical model formed by Lukashenko, we would like to quote the experts of the reputable Independent Institute of Social-Economic and Political Research (IISEPS) analytic centre: “The model that was built in Belarus since it became independent should not be associated only with Alexandr Lukashenko’s name.

He acted as a contractor, fulfilling customer’s order, and the customer was Belarusian society itself or, more precisely, that part of the said society that is usually referred to as “the majority” of it”. We cannot say that this “majority” did not realize what they were doing while forming the order. After chaotic perestroika times the country needed “strong state authority” and the “majority” saw the state as an overgrown patriarchal family ruled by “batka” (“father” in Belarusian).

Culture experts refer to this phenomenon as a “paternal cultural stamp”. This is the stamp that the Belarusian socio-economical model is stamped with. This model is based on redistributing national income to the benefit of majority.

So the majority of society agreed to trade social and economical wealth for authoritarianism in political sphere. The years 1997 and 1998 proved to be the most unperturbed in the history of independent Belarus. The demoralized democratic opposition had no power and no public support to stand against dictatorship.

Author: Handbook on Belarus for International journalists

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