The Russian Epitaph
Economist Mikhail Delyagin is convinced that the true goal of the ruling elite is to maintain the country’s backwardness and enrich their backbone of support — the bloated bureaucracy and siloviki. Economic development and modernization bring no benefit to the elite and their lackeys within the bureaucracy, all of whom have enriched themselves by seizing authority and property. After all, development requires a demonopolization of the country’s economic and political institutions. This necessarily means competition and the emergence of new independent forces, including a free media, that would demand transparency and that government officials answer to the people.
— As reported by Vladimir Ryzhkov from this year’s “Khodorkovsky Reading” conference in Moscow
Mr. Delyagin is only repeating what we’ve been saying here on this blog since the first days of its founding: Vladimir Putin’s KGB regime doesn’t want the people of Russia rich, strong and healthy. No, it wants them poor, weak and sick. So much the easer to repress them!
You may say that’s a crazy and suicidal policy for a nation, and you’re right of course, but it’s also consistent. That’s the way Russia’s rulers have always seen the people they govern.
And Delyagin, a typical Russian, doesn’t have the guts to finish his brilliant point, so we’ll do it for him, as we’ve done countless times before on this blog: The people of Russia deserve no better.
Ryzkhov sums up the fundamental hollowness of the Putin/Medvedev regime:
Only free, independent and enterprising people are capable of being the driving forces behind modernization, but those are exactly the people whom the state is persecuting. How can it invite foreign scientists and engineers to work at its planned innovation city in Skolkovo while at the same time hold dozens of Russian scientists and scholars in prison on trumped-up charges of espionage? How can Russia attract Western investors when it jails Khodorkovsky in a clear case of selective justice and when the country’s most successful businessmen are forced to flee the country for fear of arrest?
It’s just this simple: It can’t!
It is time for the people of Russia to come to grips with the reality that their government is totally dysfunctional, incapable of creating a modern, prosperous democracy because it doesn’t want one. It is simply not in the Kremlin’s interests to create a strong, vibrant population because such a population would be capable of challenging the Kremlin’s authority. If the people of Russia do not alter this situation, their current state will collapse just like the state created by the Tsar and by the Politburo.
The choice is up to them.