Who are these people
New People appeared in March 2020, after the Kremlin approved the idea of creating several small parties. The parties were needed to take votes from both the systemic opposition, which achieved good results in the 2018 regional elections, and from the protest “street”. The latter, quite obviously, includes the urban educated middle class, young successful people. “New people”, created with their own money by the head of the “Faberlik” company, Alexei Nechaev (in 2020, Nechaev received 4.3 billion rubles in dividends from the company), came in handy. On the one hand, Nechaev in one of his interviews stated that “there is no need to break the system”, that it is “also harmful”: “In 1990, they broke the system – then they came to their senses for 10 years. We need to start talking with this “system”. On the other hand, he denied (and denies) the Kremlin. That is, the party could well have collected (and, as we can see, has collected) the votes of those who do not vote for United Russia, but do not want to vote for the regime’s shakers.
Of the really recognizable faces in the party – Nechaev himself and, perhaps, also Sardana Avksentieva. As it is written about her on the party’s website: “The legendary former mayor of Yakutsk, one of the most famous women politicians in Russia.” Further, her deeds are listed (selling expensive SUVs belonging to the city administration, cutting entertainment costs, trying to sell an expensive city hall building in the center of Yakutsk, daily communication with people on social networks), and from this list it becomes clear why she quickly turned out to be the ex-mayor (according to the official version – because of the state of health).
The party began active and competent PR in social networks, the creation of regional offices (now there are about 550 of them). Working with people on the ground (and here the sales experience helped a lot) gave its result already in the regional elections in 2020. The “new people” were promoted to four regional parliaments and several city Dumas. And Nechaev and Avksentieva’s walking on popular YouTube channels, attracting celebrities and pouring a lot of money into campaigning – 15 million rubles (for comparison: the communists had 20 million) gave their result in the Duma elections.
It’s not about the program
As it should be for any new party, in its program “New People”, the party is right-of-center, they write: “We propose fundamental changes in all spheres. Election and competition are in politics. Raising people’s incomes and developing entrepreneurship – in the economy. Freedom of speech and assembly in public life. “
However, many points of the program are considered by economists and political scientists to be either utopian or already being implemented by the current government. For example, the idea of not imprisoning for economic crimes has already been formally introduced. Another conversation is that the law enforcement of this norm is lame on both legs (any “economic” person involved is charged, for example, with organizing a criminal community, and – hello, a pre-trial detention center). The tax maneuver proposed by the party – to introduce a single turnover tax for enterprises, abolishing VAT, income tax and insurance deductions – according to the calculations of economists, will leave the budget without income for a very long period, and the state will be unable to fulfill its social obligations, pay salaries state employees. And after reading the proposal “to conclude a new social contract” that, “having received transparent and favorable conditions, the business undertakes to get out of the shadow and increase the salaries of employees by at least 20%, and this will make it possible to increase the average salary up to 100 thousand rubles a month ”, it is hard to believe that it was written in a party led by a businessman. The capitalist, if he is not rigidly coerced, will never give up profit. And here – just a utopia: we have lowered your taxes – raise your salaries.
However, utopian propositions find their explanation. Nechaev himself is one of the so-called Krapivinsky boys. This is the name given to the graduates of the “Caravel” club, which was created in 1966 by the famous children’s writer Vladislav Krapivin. The club (it still exists in Yekaterinburg) taught how to sail and fence, but the main thing is to observe the code of honor. One of its main provisions is written: “I will engage in battle with any injustice, meanness and cruelty, wherever I meet them. I will not wait for someone to stand up to defend the truth before me. ” Nechaev was not a member of the “Caravel”, but went there for practice, met Krapivin and created his own detachment “Rassvet” in Moscow in the likeness of Krapivinsky. Reckless enthusiasm, romance, and also the ideas of progressivity, gleaned from the Strugatsky brothers, seem to have affected the worldview of the new politician.
And this is where the fun begins. The party’s website has a section “Picture of the World”. Terribly boring popular science text. But it just follows from it that New People is almost a messianic project. The party (this is indicated in the introduction to the program) intends to give political representation to the “forces of progress”, “which are not yet sufficiently organized, do not have their own political language and cannot resist the existing systems of power.”
According to New People, now “there is a transition from the industrial phase of the development of society, when the key resource was ownership of the means of production, to an information resource, when the possession of information and means of communication turned out to be such a resource,” and “developed countries have run up against a phase barrier – the limits growth, when the institutions of public administration no longer respond to the increasing complexity of the processes. ” And it is necessary to resolve the issue of “the key conflict of our era – between the old world of power verticals, states and corporations and the new world, the world of horizontal self-organization.” It is the voluntary communities of people (communities of parents, communities of urbanists, communities of ecologists) that are the very social forces, thanks to which we will be able to successfully overcome the phase barrier. Replace poorly performing management models with new ones based not on rigid hierarchy and suppression, but on common interest, horizontal connections and openness.
In a conversation with The Bell, Nechaev said that in “Caravel” he absorbed the concept that he now calls “humanism 3.0″: 75 years of victory or 60 years of the first space flight, but looks to the future. ” And in an interview with RBC, he explained that “Humanism 3.0” is “Humanism that preaches equal opportunities for creative self-realization. In the USSR, by the way, this new humanism was already represented by educators-innovators or the early Strugatskys – for example, in their story “Noon, XXII Century”. This is humanism, which believes that a person is, first of all, a “son of God,” who must fully reveal himself in this understanding. And it seems to me that this idea has been ripening in the world for a very long time ”.
So the party “New People” will be aimed at creating such a new sociotype.
No matter how hard Nechaev tries to distance himself from the presidential administration, there are too many intersections. Clients from the Moscow Methodological Circle (MMK) worked even purely in the Presidential Administration. This is the circle of the Soviet thinker Georgy Shchedrovitsky, whose teaching proceeded from the premise that “a person of the future society” can be trained with the help of innovative pedagogy and social engineering. For example, he conducted trainings for the Soviet leadership “Organizational-active games”, the participants of which were asked to look for a solution to the problem posed by the leader. Shchedrovitsky’s followers – his son Peter and Efim Ostrovsky – worked as consultants for the Union of Right Forces. Also, both were consultants for Faberlik.
Several years ago, it was assumed that the “image of the future” meme generated by the presidential administration would be used by the 2021 Duma campaign. Aleksey Chadayev, a former employee of the Foundation for Effective Politics, worked on it, among others. Chadayev (at least until the fall of 2020) was also in the campaign headquarters of New People.
But more important is the intersection of “ideological”: “the image of the future”, the formation of a new sociotype with an emphasis on youth. And here it is enough to look at the public projects of the Presidential Administration. For example, the Leaders of Russia competition (one of the sites of which, by the way, was hosted by Nechaev). Or such projects as “Russia – a country of opportunities”, the relaunch of the “Knowledge” society. Political scientist Konstantin Gaaze in 2019 assumed that management competitions and other mechanisms for involving people in public administration invented in the Presidential Administration were a groundwork for the formation of a “non-political and political movement, a platform for the elections to the State Duma in 2021.”
And here are some fresh quotes from Kiriyenko himself: “I believe that even today Russia has become a country of opportunities for every talented creative person … discover and fully realize your talent and your vocation ”(11 September). Or else, from an address to the participants of the All-Russian meeting of the national league of student clubs on September 22: “I have a feeling that the younger the guys, the more interesting, creative and open they are. They are already growing in this dynamic digital world, and their main competitive advantage is openness and speed of perception, speed of readiness for change. This is definitely their main competitive advantage. “
Well, for comparison.
Party “New People”, section “Picture of the World”: “The emergence of new people meets the demands of a fast world, therefore, today’s young people have a pronounced corresponding trait (which is superimposed on youthful maximalism), because they live in this world from childhood and read it needs, in contrast to representatives of the older generation, whose behavioral patterns were formed in a much more leisurely world. “
So, it seems that the project for transforming the country is working – and a new, political element has appeared in it.