Only 14% of Belarusians agree that officials really help people with solving their problems (Pict. 1). As it has been already noted by us more than once, a typical representative of the Belarusian, as well as of Russian “majority” is simultaneously an anti-statist and an adherent of power. “Power – says the culture expert I. Yakovenko – is experienced and interpreted by him without correlation with the state. A state is a socio-political institution, an undue and sinful type of historical reality. Power, on the contrary, is a spiritual substance. … In a critical situation an ordinary man sets his hopes not upon the state, but upon power. He complains to it, pins his hopes on it, and appeals to it in case of a conflict with an official”.

For an ordinary man power is personified in the first person of the state. The “only Belarusian politician” relies exactly on this “theoretical basis” arranging public “floggings” of officials from time to time. He won the first presidential elections in 1994 also because he was perceived by his electors as a means to keep corrupt officials in check. Today he mercilessly punishes those who frustrate the plans on modernization of enterprises. Judging by the rating, it is not so convincing as it used to be 18 years ago; however, A. Lukashenko has not yet completely exhausted his potential of a defender of the ordinary man’s interests from the arbitrary rule of officials.

Let us refer to the data of Pict. 1 once again. Why are officials deaf to the needs of ordinary people? Because they are not controlled from above, i.e. by the authorities, think 67.7% of the authority’s supporters. However, even among those who consider themselves oppositionists, every fifth person agrees with it!

When trust in the individual personifying the authority sinks lower than a critical level, a collapse of the state ensues, as state institutions do not possess legitimacy of their own from the point of view of the antistate population. Hence it turns out that in a critical moment the state has no defenders. It happened so in 1917 and in 1991.

Absence of legitimacy by the state institutions is confirmed by the data of Pict. 2. It is ranged in the third column. A. Lukashenko’s falling trust rating pulled down trust ratings of all state institutions without exception.

* In December 2010 – “Independent mass media”

As for the non-governmental institutions, trust in them has, on the contrary, grown. A slight addition by the non-governmental mass media is explained probably by the difference in wording, as public opinion is more inclined to trust independent institutions (candidates) than non-governmental. At that the difference may reach 4-6 points.

Analyzing the decrease in trust in international and human rights organizations one should not forget that before the events of December 19, 2010 a policy of liberalization and closer relations with the West was being pursued in Belarus. After the “Square” not only the real policy with the West, but also its media accompaniment were radically reconsidered. Such change of foreign policy priorities could not but tell on the attitude of Belarusians to the international and human rights organizations (associated with the policy of the West).

Associations of businessmen turned out to be in the lead of the trust growth, which is easily explained by the modernization rhetoric that superseded the liberalization one (Pict. 3-4).

Attention should be paid to the growth of independent labor unions’ trust rating. If one takes into account the fact that according to the absolute value the independent labor unions’ rating exceeded the rating of political parties almost two times in December 2012 (38.7% vs. 20.0%), and Belarusians’ inclination to prefer economic problems to political ones, then Belarusian independent labor unions might get a chance to repeat the success of Polish “Solidarno??” in the future. Whether they will use the chance depends, however, on concurrence of a wide range of objective and subjective factors.