Arkady Dvorkovich, Lying Bastard
Writing on Huffington Post last week Arkady Dvorkovich, the chief economic adviser to Russia’s sham “president” Dima Medvedev, spewed forth a torrent of shameless lies and distortions about Medvedev’s record on technology innovation.
Dvorkovich listed seven specific alleged achievements of the Medvedev regime, each one more specious and dishonest than the next. Here his what he said in his own malignant words:
• “Energy Efficient City and District” – pilot projects implementing energy efficient programmes and technologies have been launched in several regions across the country and are being monitored and studied for best practices that can be replicated elsewhere.
• Pharma 2020 – aims to increase the competitiveness of the domestic pharmaceutical market, calling for a $6 billion investment in the sector.
• “New generation of nuclear energy technologies” – a mid-term, 120 million rouble programme has been launched to support research in fundamental physics between 2010 and 2012.
• Russia’s first supercomputer – The government has allocated 2.5 billion roubles to create the first Russian supercomputer that can perform quadrillion operations a second, or a “petaflop,” by 2011.
• e-government initiative – the recently launched website http://www.gosuslugi.ru helps to cut bureaucracy by allowing Russians to apply for passports, register property rights and check their tax profile online.
• Broadband internet access – plans are being developed to drive large-scale implementation of broadband services so that 90 percent of Russia’s population has broadband access by 2015.
• Skolkovo – to spur true, “home-grown” innovation, we have put in motion the creation of a hub for high-technology research and business , covering all five modernisation priorities, to be located in Skolkovo, outside of Moscow. We expect the site plan to be completed and construction to begin in 2011, with a substantial number of research projects started by the end of next year.
Now before we review the lying bastard’s claims point by point, let’s have a look at what happened when Medvedev attempted to inspect an alleged new piece of electronic hardware Russia has invented:
Medvedev: “I can’t even tell where to press.”
Chemezov: “It is still a prototype.”
Medvedev: “But this is entirely our product, which will be produced in our factories?”
Chemezov: “For now, unfortunately, we will only be able to make it in Taiwan. But soon we will completely switch over to production in Russia.”
Out of the mouths of babes! You see, dear reader, anyone can talk about technology. But when the rubber meets the road in Putin’s Russia, anyone with half a brain can clearly see the words mean nothing at all. For generations, Russians have preferred comforting lies to uncomfortable truths, preferred to live in a world of illusion that eventually, inevitably, collapses than to reform, admit fault, and prosper. That is Russia.
Now, for Mr. Dvorkovich and his ignorant lies. To begin with, he seems to have forgotten what he himself said less than two years ago: “The present elite, which is above all bureaucratic, must be replaced by a new elite which will be more open to society. This in itself could become a real factor in the growth of the Russian economy. The readiness of the regime, as well as of society, to live through a lengthy period of crisis is poor.” No such replacement, of course, has occurred. Yet Mr. Dvorkovich has suddenly changed his tune! What a surprise.
“Energy Efficient City and District” contains absolutely no details of any kind, as do most of the other entries. There’s a good reason. Lie #1: Dvorkovich ignores the fact that Russians cannot afford energy efficiency, and there is absolutely no basis to think otherwise. To spend money in this area would be throwing money down a rat hole.
Pharma 2020 “calls for” an $6 billion investment. Lie #2: That means Medvedev is proposing it. It hasn’t been approved because the money is not there. Russia is running a massive budget deficit and can barely afford current operating expenses, much less an insane boondoggle calling for Russians to manufacture medicines.
“New generation of nuclear energy technologies” finally gets serious. It doesn’t just “calls for” 40 million rubles in spending in each of the next three years, it states the money has been appropriated, admitting that Russians don’t understand enough “fundamental physics” to run a nuclear reactor properly. Lie #3: Notice how Dvorkovich suddenly switches from dollars to rubles and from billions to millions. And that’s million, with an “m.” 40 million rubles is $1.3 million. The Kremlin can afford that sum. It’s laughably small, utterly irrelevant, and it will be easily stolen by Russia’s corrupt bureaucracy long before it ever reaches a scientist. All courtesy of the country that brought the world it’s worst-ever nuclear disaster! Go Russia!
“Russia’s first supercomputer” will get 2.5 billion rubles and is supposed to go online in 2011. It’s the first actual project of claimed significance discussed by Dvorkovich, and it’s getting significant money, $80 million. Lie #4: Uh-oh but, oops!, Dvorkovich forgot to mention the Kremlin’s previous plan to have such a computer online this year, and its absolute failure to achieve that goal. Meanwhile, Dvokovich doesn’t care to explain what benefit would flow to Russia, a nation that markets computer technology to exactly nobody, from acquiring this computing milestone, assuming it is ever able to do so. Russian corruption means that only a tiny fraction of the $80 million will ever actually be used to develop computing capacity.
“e-government initiative” is back to square one: Lie #5: Not one single dollar is specified in the budget either for government to create online capacity or to subsidize internet access for Russians. That’s a problem, you see, because 80% of Russians have no regular Internet access and therefore the could not use this technology even if it existed. Meanwhile, the Kremlin is busily wiping out Internet privacy, creating strong incentives for those few who can actually use the Internet not to do so.
Broadband internet “access” is the next buzzword for Dvorkovich, and lie #6. The fact that “plans are being developed” does not mean they have been made or that money has been appropriated; in other words, a ridiculous propagandistic crack pipe dream. Moreover, “access” merely means that Russians could buy it if they could afford it; by that logic, 100% of Russians now have Mercedes access. Is this man an actual drug addict? Or does he just think everyone listening to him is one?
Finally, Skolkovo. Perhaps the greatest boondoggle in all of Russian history, and that’s really saying something. Lie #7: Dvorkovich says that “a number of research projects” will be underway next year even though construction will only be starting on the site next year, and he doesn’t name one single such project. Russia is attempting to build a Russian Silicon Valley without stopping for a minute to think about the fact that the American government didn’t build Silicon Valley, it had nothing to do with it. You can’t order people to be innovative. Stalin tried, and failed. The very act of attempting to impose state control snuffs out the freedom that is necessary for innovation. The Kremlin’s insane plan is an exercise in self-destructive futility.