The blog provides a left-wing non-partisan perspective on socio-economic issues in Russia and throughout the world. The focus is on qualitative development of national economic systems and ensuring flexibility in economic policies to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Email: leftistobserver@gmail.com

CONTEMPORARY RUSSIA AS A PRO-WESTERN PROJECT



Our historical experience has obviously taught us nothing. It is striking that the Russian elite’s desire to continue copying the West is only increasing! It is obvious that the neo-liberal policy has failed miserably, not only in the peripheral countries, but also in countries that were set as an example to us for the last 20 years. The imminent bankruptcy of the western economies clearly underlines the ideological bankruptcy of modern capitalism. It is natural to expect that companies, experts, international institutions and public officials admitted to feed at the global financial "trough" will fall over themselves to defer the reckoning. It may be quite possible that the next bubble will convince speculators all over the world that the crisis is over, and they will run with increased zeal to invest their money in respective assets and their derivatives. Thus, the illusion of their effectiveness will be preserved.

The Russian compradore elite are not going to stand by idly. Interestingly, the neoliberal convictions persist in their circles despite the regular bouts of anti-western rhetoric from the top political leadership. Unfortunately, the philosophy of their economic policy remains unchanged. We are hearing about privatization and social spending cuts again, while the state continues with its previous policy of reduced involvement in education, healthcare, R&D, etc. The crisis revealed overkill of dogmas pertaining to an unregulated, chaotic capitalism in the minds of economic professors and their students, but this doctrinism has officially been left undisturbed.

In many respects, the Russian elite are undertaking to imitate the West even more energetically because their legitimacy derives from the West. In its current form, Russia is a pro-Western project. The political and business elites’ unwillingness to trouble themselves with Russia’s autonomous socio-economic development is due to their overwhelming fear of falling into disgrace with Western "partners". Is it possible to imagine a Russian oligarch, who voluntarily gave up the comforts of Parisian hotels and services of London banks, yacht voyages in the Mediterranean and vacations on the French Riviera? After all, it was the possibility of moving capital out of the country and living in clover on it without any worries about a place under the sun that looked so enticing to the Soviet apparatchiks in the late eighties. This determined the further development towards the looting of state-owned property, the rupture of economic ties, the re-orientation of the existing economic system to the global market forces beyond our control.

Again, the Russian elite are legitimate as far as the West considers them as such. Therefore, losing face before Western "partners" is more dangerous for the safety of their capital than losing face before their own people. All the declarations in Russia’s Constitution that "the only source of power in the Russian Federation shall be its multinational people" (see the Constitution of the Russian Federation, article 3, 1) are merely words. In fact, the source of power is transnational capital, which "exercise[s] its power" "through the organs of state power" among other methods (see the Constitution of the Russian Federation, article 3, 2).

I am convinced that the number one task for us is to define a new, more rational socio-economic policy. To my mind, the course we are pursuing is very irresponsible and dangerously short-sighted. Taking into account the objective conditions, in which we live in our country, I am inclined to believe that the solutions to the most critical problems can exclusively be found as part of the leftist-patriotic initiatives. Solutions have not yet been found, but it must be clear to us that, within the framework of the current neo-liberal paradigm of development, these solutions shall never be found at least because this paradigm spares no costs to preserve the status quo, hence fails to address systemic issues and is content with a superficial review of the problems. Without raising proper issues, one cannot find proper solutions.