Moscow’s Plan to Divide Russia into 14 Economic Regions Acts as If Markets Don’t Exist and isn’t about Economics Anyway, Garifullin Says
August 31 – In Soviet times, Moscow divided up the USSR into economic regions
at various points, something that could be said to make some sense when there
is a planned socialist economy. But now, the government is calling for dividing
up Russia into 14 economic regions without acknowledging the existence of
markets, Ilnar Garifullin says.
the course of that period, Garifullin says, “in place of the
planned-administative economy has arisen a market economy with all ensuring
consequences, the chief of which is that the economic development of a
territory is defined by market processes and the movement of capital and not by
the order of the state.”
in such a situation the state can directly regulate economic development of
this or that territory is a question without an answer.”
the plan’s claims to be based on existing “socio-economic ties” in the regions,
Garifullin continues, a glance at the lines it draws shows this is not the case
and that the proposed divisions are being imposed much as Stalin did when with
the stroke of a pen he drew the borders of the national republics – but even he
had more logic on his side than this plan does.
on the latest plan, some experts are “carefully” suggesting that the new division
is designed to set the stage for the elimination of national republics and
oblasts and their replacement by gubernias.If they read the entire document, however, they would see that there is
no reason to be cautious about making such suggestions.
document shows that Moscow wants to equalize the situation throughout the country
and eliminate the current division between donor and recipient regions.Moreover, it shows that the center plans to
have these economic regions rather than the existing federal subjects make
decisions on things like the number of schools and social infrastructure more
will take away what remains of federalism.And if that is not enough, point seven of the document speaks only of
protecting “the rights of indigenous numerically small peoples” but not of the
rights of those which now have national republics.They will be stripped of their last powers
and so will be vestigial until they are eliminated altogether.
practice of enlargement and ‘optimization’ is extremely popular with the
Russian bureaucratic machine” which always talks about improving the lives of
people and reducing the size of the bureaucracy but acts to do just the
reverse, Garifullin continues. And that has real consequences for most of
means the further dying out of villages and small cities and the expansion of ‘new
Moscow’ in which, according to the calculations of analysts, if the current
trends continue, 20 years from now a quarter of the population of the country
it means something else as well: the equalization of conditions everywhere
else, a situation that history shows in the case of Russia means that all will
live poorly rather than some having a chance for a better life.