Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Russia Today a Corporate State of the Latin American Kind, Mirkin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Sept. 13 – Russians love the state, with 96 percent of them believing that the state is responsible for ensuring their wellbeing and 68 percent convinced that Russia needs a firm hand at the top, according to Yakov Mirkin of IMEMO. Those attitudes place severe limits on the possible model of Russian development.

            According to the senior economist, these left-of-center views are reflected in the programs of the majority of Russia’s political parties, all of which focus on the budget and budgetary spending as if this was completely elastic which of course it isn’t rather than on business or consumers (business-gazeta.ru/article/521882).

            What kind of model does this lead to? Mirkin asks rhetorically. “With a probability of 65 to 70 percent, to a Latin American model. Corporation ‘Russia,’ a corporate state, the power vertical and an oligopoly where in the hands of the state are up to 80 to 85 percent of the economy” and with the approval of the population.

            Those down below, he says, are above all people “who want their own crust of bread and who are trying to feed themselves by means of the vertical of the state or major corporations,” rather than be trying to engage in any entrepreneurial activity. As a result, the standard of living of the population is set by the government, something Russians don’t see an alternative to.

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