Andrey Zubov. The consequences of slavery in modern Russia

The people of the Greater Russia has suffered real slavery (i.e. loss of the rights for personal freedom, freedom of possession and disposal of property and labor, choosing forms of employment and place of living) twice in their history. The first such period covered 150 years — from the beginning of the 18th century until 1861. The second one was the Bolshevik slavery that began with  food rationing and labor army in 1918 and ended with the collapse of the Soviet state in the 1980s. 

The second slavery period is doubtlessly related to the fact that the first period had not been completely overcome. In a society of  hereditary free citizens, Bolshevism could never have won. The Bolshevik authorities restores the almost eroded forms of slave self-conscience by complete liquidation of the external forms that after 1861 had stimulated the gradual formation of society of free citizens in Russia. 

After 1905, modern civil society of economically independent political subjects was forming in Russia rapidly. In the most modernized part of the society, the rudiments of slave self-conscience had practically disappeared by the end of the Russian Empire. By 1917, this part of population made up about 15–20% and was growing rapidly. 

The Bolshevik state eliminated this class of the Russian society, that was free from slave conscience, and even the ruling class of the Bolshevik elite after a while (by the middle of the 1930s) degraded to the level of rural community, which was the result of inner "cleansings" of the party. 

However, the literacy and culture of the Russian society in the second half of the 20th society gradually increased. This process wasn't very rapid, and it took place mostly thanks to the expansion of formal literacy to the national level, and free access to Russian and world literature. Cinema, and then the television also played important roles in the cultural formation of the new kind of personality. But while increasing their cultural level, a Soviet Russian was still not free in terms of civil and political rights. Here, all the channels of free legal activities were blocked by the economic and political dictatorship of the Communistic Party elite. 

The crash of the totalitarian Bolshevik state at the end of the 1980s opened unlimited opportunities for people to engage in economical, political and civil activities. But those people had lost the skills of such activities already in the previous generations. The only exception were criminals who led illegal but, to some extent and in their own special way, free life in the  USSR, which made them the new actors of the New Democratic Russia at the lower level, while the supreme level was formed by the previous Soviet elite (CPSU and KGB), who had preserved their social networks and the control over the country's resources, as well as the slave mentality. The opposition if the two groups led to their convergence by the early 2000s. 

Meanwhile, the majority if the Russian society slowly extricated the consequences of the long period of slavery. Compared to the first period, it was much difficult to do for the second one, for there was no free leading force in the Russian society anymore. In the old Russia it was the intellectuals from different classes, the enlightened noble bureaucrats. At the end of the 20th century, there was no such leading group with non-slave conscience. 

But the most developed part of the youth (those who were born after 1980) gradually gain the experience of responsible citizenship. It is marked by volunteer movements and the social protest that became prominent in Russia since the end of 2011. So far it only covers the biggest cities, but step by step it goes deeper and deeper in the Russian province. 

We can suggest that unless a new iron curtain is erected by the old Soviet slave-spirited and -valued  political elite of the Russian Federation, in the coming years the slave presuppositions of mass conscience will start eroding rapidly in the young and socially prospective cohorts of the Russian society. The political consequences of such shifts are quite obvious.