In Novaya Gazetta interview Medvedev shows inner nerd

Last week, Evgeny Morozov explored President Medvedev’s love for gadgets, coming to the conclusion that he is a “geek-in-chief”. But judging from his recent interview with Novaya Gazetta, the last remaining Russian publication that is openly critical of the Kremlin, Medvedev is also a huge nerd. (Click here to see the difference between the two). For instance, ...

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L) reads a brochure during a session of the presidential council to support the development of civil society institutions and human rights at the Kremlin in Moscow on April 15, 2009. Russia could amend its controversial oversight laws on non-governmental organisations, President Dmitry Medvedev said at the first meeting with his new human rights council. AFP PHOTO / POOL / SERGEI ILNITSKY (Photo credit should read SERGEI ILNITSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

Last week, Evgeny Morozov explored President Medvedev's love for gadgets, coming to the conclusion that he is a "geek-in-chief". But judging from his recent interview with Novaya Gazetta, the last remaining Russian publication that is openly critical of the Kremlin, Medvedev is also a huge nerd. (Click here to see the difference between the two).

For instance, here is Medvedev's take on Hume and Rousseau:

The conceptualization of the Social Contract is one of the brightest human ideas in history. It is an idea that has played a significant role in the establishment of democratic institutions throughout the world.  It is well known that the sources of this conceptualization stem from Rousseau, but if we are to discuss the modern reading of this social contract, that I would say that this conceptualization is rooted in our (Russian) constitution.

Last week, Evgeny Morozov explored President Medvedev’s love for gadgets, coming to the conclusion that he is a “geek-in-chief”. But judging from his recent interview with Novaya Gazetta, the last remaining Russian publication that is openly critical of the Kremlin, Medvedev is also a huge nerd. (Click here to see the difference between the two).

For instance, here is Medvedev’s take on Hume and Rousseau:

The conceptualization of the Social Contract is one of the brightest human ideas in history. It is an idea that has played a significant role in the establishment of democratic institutions throughout the world.  It is well known that the sources of this conceptualization stem from Rousseau, but if we are to discuss the modern reading of this social contract, that I would say that this conceptualization is rooted in our (Russian) constitution.

“The entire political system exists solely for the purpose of allowing judges to interpret trials without interference”. David Hume said this on the topic of judicial independence.

Sound unusually intellectual and liberal? Get a load of Medvedev’s opinion on internet regulation:

The internet is not just one of few forums, but in my opinion, the best method for public discussions, and not only in our country, but in general, because nothing more significant, nothing more active in allowing for direct communications has ever been invented.

Wow! No wonder Putin chose him as his successor. This guy is the next Gandhi! Well, not so fast. When it comes to those pesky bureaucrats, Medvedev’s authoritarian side shines through:

Q) Have you personally felt the negative reaction of bureaucrats? Or did these officials respond with understanding on your decision to disclose their incomes?

A) You know, the office of the president absolves me from having to listen to the negative reaction of bureaucrats. I made a decision – they have to obey it.

It will be interesting to see just how this interview reflects on the hypothetical struggle between Putin and Medvedev. In case you’re wondering, Putin is more of a jock.

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