is over in his view—that would protectrnthe freedom and dignity of all Russians,rnthat would end forever the rule of corruptrnelites who have exploited the people,rnand that would nurture what talentsrnthe people themselves possess to buildrnsomething for themselves and theirrnposterity. Lebed calls his vision for Russiarnderzhavnost, literally “great powerness,”rnbut his notion of what makes arngreat power great is markedly differentrnfrom that of “red-brown” nationalistsrnwho long for the days of superpower status.rnLebed has described derzhavnost inrnthese words: “There is the citizen, a personrnwho has on the territory of his countryrna family, children, a home. . . . [H]ernhas something to defend, something tornfight for, and, if necessary, to die for.rnThe vagrant is not given to understandingrnwhat the homeland is In wartimernhe disappears. . . . A man must stand onrnhis own land, he must have something ofrnhis own.” Only men who are masters ofrntheir own land can build derzhava, a trulyrngreat Russian state.rnAccording to the general, the armyrnshould be reorganized and designed forrndefensive operations, and Lebed pledgesrnthat, as president, he would never commitrnRussia to “holy alliances” and “worldrnrevolutions” paid for by “Russian bloodrn. . . Russian money and Russian suffering.”rnPolice and security forces should,rnunder the command of the strong presidentialrnsystem he wants to preserve, conductrnan all-out war on the organizedrncrime structures that are such a prominentrnfeature of present-day Russia. Thernfreedom and dignity that derzhavnostrnpromises, and the self-respect thatrnLebed hopes Russians will come to feel,rncan be realized only after basic order hasrnbeen established. In the end, the newrnRussia will be established for the good ofrnthe people, for throughout the country’srnlong and painful history, “Czars, GeneralrnSecretaries [of the Communist Party],rnand presidents come and go, but thernpeople remain.” For Lebed, only thernpeople are “eternal.”rnSince the I9th century, when bothrnconservative Slavophiles and liberalrnWesternizers “went to the people” tornfind an uncorrupted social stratum tornuse as a basis for their differing versionsrnof reform, populism in various forms hasrnplayed an important role in the politicsrnof the country. It is not surprising, then,rnthat the perennial populist message,rnused to great effect by the Bolshevik revolutionaries,rnhas become a vehicle forrnthe activities of various politicians inrnpostcommunist Russia. Unlike the 19thcenturyrnintellectuals, however, today’srnpoliticians go to great lengths to depictrnthemselves as men of the people, andrnnot merely as elite reformers.rnIn his autobiography Against thernGrain, Boris Yeltsin presented himselfrnas a champion of the people whom therncorrupt nomenklatura turned into arn”political pariah.” Yeltsin described hisrnstruggle as one against “the party bureaucracy”rnthat was attempting “to putrnobstacles in the way of perestroika andrnglasnost.” Yeltsin, however, “drew newrnenergy” from his contacts with ordinaryrncitizens and saw his political career asrndedicated to ensuring that “we will neverrnagain live as we did before.” Yeltsin’s effortsrnto meet ordinary people on theirrnown ground—taking public transportationrnto work during his days as Moscowrnparty boss, for instance—won him arnreservoir of good will among the mass ofrnRussians that has served him well.rnYeltsin’s version of populism, however,rnhas not been the only one promotedrnby Russian politicians. Vladimir Zhirinovskyrnhas been quite successful in promulgatingrna populist line that is rawerrnand more visceral than Yeltsin’s. Zhirinovskyrnonce told Russian voters that “Forrnyears you have been deceived, madernfools of, and stuffed full of various dogmas”rnand that only he, who had sufferedrnas they had, could set things right. Zhirinovsky’srnpopulism plays on envy and selfpityrn—and, like Yeltsin’s, has made himrnfriends among the Russian people.rnLebed’s populism is different from eitherrnYeltsin’s or Zhirinovsky’s, thoughrnmany Russians think that the general’srnoutsider status makes him Yeltsin’s legitimaternheir. In his memoirs, Lebed envisionsrnthe future Russia as one of “freernpeople [living in] a free land . . . withoutrnslavery in our blood” or “fear in ourrngenes.” His unique blend of populist,rndemocratic, nationalist, and traditionalistrnthemes forms a coherent worldview,rnunlike Yeltsin’s, but one that does notrncapitalize on the resentment, or indulgernin either the self-pity or self-glorification,rnthat mark Zhirinovsky’s. So far, Lebedrnhas been able to maintain his image asrnthe honest and incorruptible “Mr.rnClean” of Russian politics. Whether orrnnot he will remain true to himself and hisrnnotions of derzhavnost is an open question,rnand what becomes of him will dependrnas much on the Russian people—rnand how they see themselves—as it doesrnon Lebed himself.rnWayne Allensworth writes fromrnPurcellville, Virginia.rnSonnet 274rnby MichelangelornTranslated by John Frederick Nimsrn{Deh fammiti vedere in ogni loco!)rnOh let me see You everywhere I go!rnIf mortal beauty sets the soul afire.rnYour dazzle will show how dim it is; desirernfor You burns high, as once in heaven’s own air.rnIt’s You alone, my dearest Lord, my prayerrnappeals to against passion’s futile anguish;rnOnly You can give me vision to distinguishrnwhat I should think, wish, do, though slack and slow.rnYou tethered me to time, no road-to-bliss way,rnsentenced, though stooped and faint, to endless ranging,rnshackled in heavy flesh, remissions few.rnWhat can I do to escape from living this way?rnYour power divine is my one chance of changing.rnI’ve nothing to fall back on. Lord, but You.rnMAY 1997/29rnrnrn