Monday, February 17, 2020

‘Russia is Building the Very Worst Variant of Capitalism,’ Blogger Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, February 11 – When the Soviet system fell and Russians committed themselves to capitalism, most of them assumed that capitalism was one system not many, but in fact, a Russian blogger posting anonymously says, there are many kinds ranging from the developed and humane form in Scandinavia to the oligarchic.

            In the latter, a handful of the richest families and businessmen run not only the economy but also the state. It is typified by “Mexico, African countries, and the United States,” he says. Perhaps not surprisingly, “Russia has been building the very worst variant,” a clan-based oligarchate (

            “Without thinking very long about it,” the blogger says, “Russia proceeded along the second path, putting all the more profitable branches of the economy into the hands of one and the same people.” Many Russians lived in the hope that this was a short-term phenomenon and that with the passing of this generation, everything would change.

            They have been “cruelly mistaken,” the blogger says.

            Instead, fathers have passed control of wealth and power to their children and clans are being formed that control ever larger swaths of both the economy and the state.  And emblematic of what is happening is what has occurred in occupied Crimea, where those committed to oligarchic capitalism have imposed that order since 2014.

            “Gradually,” the blogger writes, “the clan-oligarchic system has subordinated to itself ever more resources with the help of administrative pressure applied by relatives among the authorities.”  It has become stronger not weaker and as a result may continue to exist for what seems like “forever.”

            Those at the top of this system look at what has happened in the US and see no reason why they should not continue, especially as they reap the benefits no matter how bad things become for all other Russians.

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