Monday, January 7, 2019

Russia May Not Come Out of the Crisis a Democracy but Can Easily Flourish Economically, Solovey Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 7 – Komsomolskaya pravda has taken the unusual step of reporting on a speech Valery Solovey delivered in the provinces and one in which he not only denounced the Putin regime for wasting the oil income of the last two decades but spoke directly about the crisis Russia is facing and the likelihood of radical change in the next several years.

            The MGIMO professor says that “never was Russia in more favorable foreign policy and foreign economic conditions than in the first 15 years of the 21st century.” Oil prices were high, and the country earned “according to various data, from two to four trillion US dollars” over that period (

“But what did we get from this?” He asks rhetorically. “The number of billionaires increased,” but the standard of living of the remaining Russians has fallen to where it was ten years ago.  However, “the main thing that has been lost is hope: hope that we will be able to construct if not a more just than a more economically and socially effective society.”

“The most important knowledge we all need now is knowledge about the future,” Solovey continues.  “A major political crisis will begin in Russia at the end of 2019. It will involve two or three very difficult years, and its result could be the rearrangement of Russia, that is, the creation of a new Russian republic.”

“I do not believe that there will be a civil war in Russia,” he says. “That is a scarecrow.”  I do not believe that the result of the crisis will be the disintegration of Russia: that is propaganda. And I do not believe that here it will be like in Ukraine. That isn’t going to happen, Solovey says.

But he does say the following: “The final stage of the crisis will come on quite quickly and its result will be the improvement of life” for Russians.  All that is necessary for that to happen, Solovey argues, is to annual “several idiotic laws which limit economic activity. It isn’t necessary to introduce anything.”

Too many people want to introduce new laws, but what is required is to get rid of the laws that allow the bureaucracy to lay its dead head on the economy. Companies spend far too much time reporting things the government wants reports on than producing and selling things as they are supposed to. Get the bureaucracy out of the way!

People complained about the Soviet bureaucrats, Solovey says; but “the Soviet bureaucracy was the height of humaneness and rationality in comparison with the idiocy which any workers of a budget institution is now forced to occupy himself with.” Eliminate that idiocy and you will release productive forces allowing Russia to become a flourishing economy.

“Will Russia become a democratic country after this? I am not certain,” the MGIMO historian continues. “I do not believe that it is possible to assemble 100 of the best people of Russia and they will create a democracy for us. No, for Russia to be transformed into a democracy will require 12 to 15 years.”

With the economic growth that eliminating the laws that are holding things back, there is a chance that will happen. But at the very least, people will see their lives improved and they will reacquire what they have lost: hope in the future, the most important commodity of all.

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