Wednesday, 2 March 2011
Putin has reason to be worried
The message in this article by the global editor of Reuters, Chrystia Freeland, is very much to the point:
Something else that can propel a society with a latent potential for rebellion into action is the demonstration effect, or what Acemoglu calls “contagion,” a phenomenon also familiar to anyone who was caught in the wildfire global spread of the financial crisis in 2008.
In both cases, the sudden belief that a previously stable status quo could change had the power to alter reality. This interplay between perception and fact is what U.S. financier George Soros, an expert in paradigm shifts in both markets and countries, has called reflexivity.
Even some of the world’s most powerful authoritarian regimes seem to be getting concerned about the danger of contagion and the power of perception — hence China’s efforts to block electronic information and discussion of the uprisings in the Middle East.
The Kremlin may have even more reason to worry. A Russian opinion poll found that one-third of respondents thought the “Egyptian scenario” of mass protests was possible in Russia. Moreover, a recent Public Opinion Foundation poll revealed that 49 percent of respondents were ready to take part in mass protests. That is the kind of thinking that can tip a latent potential for rebellion into a revolution.
Read the entire article in the Moscow Times here.