Material needs are lowest level in Maslow’s hierarchy. The first acquaintance with the texts of interviews and questionnaire enabled us to formulate a hypothesis about the severity of the material needs in the minds of our respondents. However, further analysis is not completely confirmed this hypothesis. Although respondents expressed and claims to power, somehow motivated by unsatisfied material needs (sharp stratification, high inflation, unfair wages, a small pension), this requirement is in fourth place in terms of influence on the images of power. In the course of reforms severity of these problems in the minds of citizens, despite the real deterioration of the economic situation of many of them declined.
It is noteworthy that the image of the ideal of power associated with the notions that the policy should not only be stained with suspicion of corruption, but “not dependent on their salaries.” General issues related to the satisfaction of material needs, are more concerned about the elderly and less – younger citizens and the politicians themselves. Exception – left-wing politician, who wants to see the power in the first place “nealchnoy.”
The second used in our scheme is the need for security. Our respondents, this need is a leader. In 48% of dissatisfaction with their safety dictates the perception of real and in 40% – perfect power, creating a backdrop of uncertainty, anxiety and fear – feelings which, in turn, are stained and their relationship to power. The perception of power as an unstable, indecisive, uncontrolled by the people, powerless before the conflict with the law – all of these characteristics are rooted in the sense of our respondents’ failure to perform its most important government function: to protect citizens through law, to restore order. Most of them concern is precisely the lack of rules, failure to comply with laws and permissiveness.
The security that is designed to provide the power associated with the Russians surveyed with power, discipline and accountability of authority to the law. References to force the authorities found most often in the form of perfect power, while the current government seems to people “no.” Our fellow citizens would rather the power of the “hard” and even a “dictatorship” than will watch anarchy and disintegration of the country, which they describe, sometimes using profanity. Although the requirements of the order and the strict application of the law often heard from the lips of the older generation, but also younger, democratically-minded people want to see the power capable to protect them.
The need for love, both with a plus and a minus, is in third place among our respondents. This is one of the most powerful psychological needs, which form a configuration of power relations and the people. Attention is drawn to the difference between the values of this need in the images of the real and the ideal of power: the power to perfect it more evident than in relation to the real power. People expect from those who personifies power, proof of its importance, not only to satisfy their political or material interests. The government should serve the people, to think about the people, to be indifferent to him and care for him.
The need for self-realization is described in psychology as the pursuit of a higher social status and acceptance in society. Obviously, this requirement is very important for our respondents, about 37% of the respondents in the estimates of the real and 28% – perfect power point to the need of this level. However, their perception of the real power is more dependent on this requirement, than the idea of a perfect government. With self-fulfilling such requirements related to power as capacity, consistency, decisiveness, ability to put yourself, “the ability to behave.” One respondent put it, “all it is necessary to do! Business! ”
The highest level in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is the need for self-actualization. It manifests itself in the realization of higher spiritual principles of personality, its freedom and creativity. Our study showed that the attitude of the authorities, especially the ideal, many respondents expressed wishes, the origins of which lie in the unfulfilled need for self-actualization. They believe that the government should ensure the freedom and human rights, to care about the culture, science and education, to monitor the environment, and not only help solve the financial problems.
The power of the day before yesterday, yesterday, today
In the decade 1991 – 2001 years. a change of eras. And it seems that in 1999 in the mass consciousness, we have overcome another major milestone that, if not comparable to the “eruption” in 1991, it has greatly changed the vision of the citizens of policy leaders, the attitude towards the state, the laws and other important political phenomena. To understand at least the short term, we must carefully analyze what happened to us in recent years. Let’s try to perform this analysis, comparing the data from our study of images of power obtained in 1996 and 2000.
The first study was conducted in 1996 on the eve of the presidential elections and recorded a change in the perception of power after the completion of “shock” period. The fact that Boris Grushin likes to call “sotsiotryaseniem” has already happened. But our mind is not immediately taken and measurements of the mass consciousness mid-90s show very little adaptation to the occurring changes. By all indications the political consciousness of Russian citizens in the mid-90s featured a mismatch and confusion.
The second study was conducted in November – December 2000 It looks like the mass consciousness by this time beginning to adapt. Citizens have taken many official political values, although not in the form in which it is assumed political scientists who have written about democratization and transformation of liberalism to socialism. Euphoria and those who harbored hopes for a quick overcoming of the crisis.
Many of the data that characterize the altered psychological state of society, we give only the ones that talk about changing the relationship of citizens to the government. We asked our respondents to characterize the power in the Soviet time, in the reign of Boris Yeltsin and now.
It is thought that his own past, people tend to gloss over. However, only just over a third of respondents gave a positive assessment of the power of the Soviet period. In this way the authorities of that time seems quite vague to our citizens, “good”, “strong”, “decent”, “normal”, “fair”. In his memoirs, there are few details. Exceptions make such statements about the government, such as: “The good (I always eat chocolate candy),” or “It was the time of communism, lived – in paradise.” In the memory of most of us, as those who are currently evaluates the Soviets as good, and those who changed her attitude over the last ten years under the negative influence of the official propaganda, the very image of power, “swing”, became dim and unviable. This suggests that the current communist myth propagated by the golden age of the Soviet Union did not take root in the public consciousness despite the natural nostalgia for bygone days of youth. Can be made and the following conclusion: the post-Soviet government implanted a negative picture of the Soviet past has been accepted by the majority of the population.
During the reign of Boris Yeltsin, obviously, can be recorded in the Guinness Book of Records for disaffected government. One can only wonder how could ten years hold mode, which almost no one supported it. Today, political psychology is especially interesting for those who have been supporters of the government at the time. They describe the power of this period as a “transition” as “democratization, not the concept of the people,” noted “some improvement” as “the beginning of democracy.” It should be noted that among the respondents in 2000, supporters of Yeltsin’s government was just over 10%. In 1996, there were a few less.
Those who does not regret the black paint for the evaluation of the period, putting the power to offend weakness, theft, lack of discipline, lack of order and disregard for its own citizens. The formula for power relations 90s sounds in the mouths of citizens as “lawlessness, chaos and anarchy.” At best, citizens recognize the truth of BC Chernomyrdin about the intentions of the authorities: “We wanted the best, but it turned out as always.” But in general, the power in 90 years – to assess our respondents – looks worse than in Soviet times, and under Putin.
We obtained at the end of 2000 data on the citizens of the state, the government, the regime showed that there was a shift for the better. This feeling feels about a third of the respondents. The power is still rather unclear, as it symbolizes the President. But again there were hopes (perhaps illusory, since no evidence of their emotions respondents generally do not lead). But the new government seems to be citizens of a strong, able to bring order, stability, and seeks to “gather lands.”
This attitude is not very stable. One-fifth of respondents do not see any real improvement compared to what it was under Yeltsin: the same mess of power, theft of officials, “secret government” indifference to the people and the rulers of mediocrity. Mode according to this group of respondents essentially remained the same. Among those who so appreciates the current government, there are supporters of the Soviet model, and the democrats of the first wave, and just people who have not felt in a real improvement in their lives. There are those citizens who are opposed to government “by definition.” They are characterized by a negative power in the Soviet era, and during the Yeltsin and under Putin.