Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Oligarchs Not about Business -- They’re about Power, Pozharsky Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 22 – Oligarchs are not just wealthy Russians: they are people who have a very different relationship with the powers that be in Putin’s Russia than do wealthy Americans with the US government even now, Mikhail Pozharsky says. Unlike rich Americans, they view poorer Russians as inferior beings whom the regime can be counted on to punish.   

            That becomes obvious if one compares the situation Donald Trump found himself in with the porno actress Stormy Daniels and the actress Karen McDougal and how he reacted, attempting to buy their silence with large amounts of money, something that didn’t save him from scandal, the Russian blogger says (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5C45E3BC143D8).

                What is important here, Pozharsky continues, is that there was no great social chasm between Trump and these women: “he views them as subjects with which he has to make a deal.” 

            A Russian oligarch can be caught in a similar position, but his reaction will be entirely different. If he gets in trouble in this way, the blogger says, he will not treat the women as people with rights equal to his own with whom he must come to an agreement but rather consider ways he can get the powers that be to act to “put her in her place.”

            That is what oligarch Oleg Deripaska has done with Nastya Rybka. When she returned to Moscow after ten months in a Thai prison, she was met at the airport by a crowd of police who immediately incarcerated her because her behavior had offended the oligarch and the state was ready to do his bidding. She was after all merely “’a Belarusian mouse.’”

            “This is a clear illustration of how an oligarch is distinguished from a businessman and how Russia is from the US,” Pozharsky continues.  “Donald Trump, even if he wanted to, couldn’t telephone the head of the FBI with a personal request to arrest Stormy Daniels for illegal involvement in pornography.”

            Despite the differences in their wealth, Trump and Daniels remain citizens with equal rights before the law, the blogger suggests.  But “it didn’t come into Deripaska’s head that Rybka also is a person with whom one must agree, because an oligarch is not about business: an oligarch is about power.”

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