Monday, June 27, 2022

Russian Ruling Class Must Become Patriotic, Khasbulatov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 7 – The Kremlin is promoting patriotism in the wrong place, Ruslan Khasbulatov says. There is no need to promote such feelings among the Russian people, but there is a compelling need to do so among the country’s elite which continues to act in its own narrow interests against the interests of the country.

            As a result, the economist says, Russia is proving incapable of responding adequately to the challenges posed by the new conflict in the world, a conflict far more dangerous and threatening to Russia than even those of the Cold War (

            And thus one is forced to conclude, Khasbulatov says, that Russia is confronted not by an economic crisis but by an administrative one – that is, a political one involving shortcomings in the elite now governing Russia and the need for its wholesale transformation from one dominated by selfish business interests into one led by patriotic Russians.

            “No one can know how long this dangerous period will last,” he continues. And Russians don’t know what “the specific political goals of the US, Europe and their allies” rally are “besides the slogan ‘Overthrow Putin!’” But Russians do know that the longer things go as they are, the more the world will unite against Russia and the more Russians will suffer.

            According to Khabulatov, “today we do not see in the country any outstanding administrators or capable ministers” because “the entire government apparatus is filled with representatives of business” who think only of their own interests and not in terms of the interests of Russia as a whole.

            And such people “have not been able to create a national economy corresponding to the needs of the people and the interests of the state” but acts instead on the basis of gaining wealth through the exporting of natural resources and thus acting as de facto the allies of Russia’s enemies by weakening the country.

            “As a result, the model of colonial-comprador and ineffective capitalism has been established in Russia,” he continues. “In brief, so-called domestic business has not dealt with the tasks of establishing a national economy. That is the reality” created over the last two decades, and it must be changed.

            The elite has enriched itself but at the cost of the impoverishment of the people, Khasbulatov argues. Indeed, it appears that for the convenience of the elite, the Russian people have been driven into poverty and kept there. If Russia is to survive, that must change; and the changes must come first of all in the country’s elites.

            The current elites who care only about their own wealth must be replaced by those who will rebuild the Russian economy and raise Russians’ standard of living by developing the country itself and working with neighbors like Azerbaijan rather than selling off the country’s assets and pocketing them.

            If that does not happen and soon, Khasbulatov implies, the future of Russia in the current international climate will be dire indeed. 


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