It may be some specific kind of capitalism, because the private property still exists. But I am puzzled by the absence of the democracy, free press, multiple parties, democratic elections - something that I used to see as important parts of the capitalistic society.

It is definitely not communism and not socialism either as these do not tolerate the private property of any kind, leave alone the mighty oligarchs. Saying it is a feudalism would probably be also way too much. Does this order of society have some name I could google for and find some scientific analysis of it? If it is just some specific form of capitalism, what is the standard name of it?


3 Answers 3


It is called `Authoritarianism'

Authoritarianism is a form of government characterized by the rejection of political plurality, the use of strong central power to preserve the political status quo, and reductions in the rule of law, separation of powers, and democratic voting.

The economic order can be called a hybrid `State Capitalism', where large corporations are often majority-state owned but operate on open markets and some purely private corporations are allowed, as well as small/medium business.

With regards to social order, there's actually none - the majority of Russian population is urbanized with traditional social structures giving way to socially atomized and un-organized (spontaneous) citizens.

  • Fascism is a specific Italian version of authoritarianism. I'm not sure the term is appropriate, as Russia does not have e.g. Blackshirts, with multiple attempts to create them not yielding anything useful.
    – alamar
    Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 12:35
  • 2
    authoritarianism is a form of political order, it does not necessarily imply specific social or economic ones.
    – Morisco
    Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 12:39
  • 1
    @user253751 authoritarianism means rule by one (or several) persons, typically found in monarchies or dictatorships. Fascism, Communism, and various form of religious fundamentalism, on the other hand, also regulate social and sometimes economic aspects of life - who one can date/marry, how one should dress, what kind of property one can or cannot own, etc.
    – Morisco
    Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 12:42
  • so this answer is correct, but incomplete, as something needs to be used to describe those aspects. Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 12:47
  • 1
    I've added an economic section. I'm not sure what to say about social order.
    – alamar
    Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 12:50

It's very clearly and prominently a Classical Fascism. Although the Wikipedia page on Dugin's "Foundations of Geopolitics" calls its ideology "ultranationalism" or "neo-fascism." However, while its ideology being consistent with Fascism only merits the name "neo-fascism," other components of the state power are also consistent with Mussolini's classical Fascism.

The prominent components of it are:

  • nationalism as a state policy. Russian Federation even had a youth movements titled "ours," with the actual title best translated as the plural of "one of us." It was largely understood to imply that those who belonged to Russia were its kindred spirits. Again, this was not on cultural level, but on the level state ideology.
  • desire to "restore" and expand state's territories, where "restore" means gain (preferably through military conquest) territories lost due to settled conflicts or other settled agreements.
  • "corporatist economic system whereby employer and employee syndicates are linked together in associations to collectively represent the nation's economic producers and work alongside the state to set national economic policy" -- direct quote from the Wikipedia article above. Russia's largest corporations have large state-ownership stakes, with the largest Gas/Oil/Banking corporation (Gazprom) being more than 50% owned by the state. Employers are also requires to participate in state actions unrelated to the course of employment (such as facilitating military draft).
  • opposition to classical liberalism with the view on it as a hyper-individualism.
  • racism as state policy, not necessarily of suppression, but as a social pecking order. This is probably the sole distinguishing feature of Nazism and Fascism. There is no indication that Mussolini was antisemitic, but he was certainly racist. The same appears to be true of Putin. However, it is very clear that one of the main goals of Putin's attempt at capturing Ukraine has been to kidnap enough Ukrainians to keep Russia majority-white.
  • totalitarianism. Russia's various political power structures have slowly been losing any remaining semblance of independence, which effectively ended in 2020 when the federal parliament gave the President the power to dismiss regional legislators and governors (effectively ending any semblance of Federalism ).
  • strong role of security forces in extra-legal suppressing of any opposition to state actions. Nothing but the extra-legal rivalry among various security forces serves as a check on the power of each individual one.
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – JJJ
    Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 17:43
  • You could expand on how Putin is racist and a war goal in Ukraine is to keep Russia majority-white? I haven't heard that one before.
    – gerrit
    Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 7:18

Russia's economic/social system is often described as kleptocracy. Those in power use the nation's resources for their own personal gain, without any genuine respect for the rule of law.

Some random evidence:

A capitalist system doesn't require democracy of any kind, but it does require a general adherence to rule of law. Owning a company (or shares thereof) must be genuinely meaningful for capitalism to work. There are plenty of reports that the Russian oligarchs lack such stability.

  • Does not explain and contradictory of Russian Federation deciding to go to war.
    – alamar
    Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 12:31
  • @alamar The question is about the economic system, not the political system. The decision to invade Ukraine seems rooted in the political system, not the economic system.
    – Arno
    Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 12:44
  • "Those in power use the nation's resources" sounds like description of political system, not economic system. Economic system governs how these resources become available in the first place.
    – alamar
    Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 13:03

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