There is no Russia

Paul Goble reports:

The dismissal of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov highlights the fact that “there is no Russia,” a Moscow analyst argues. Instead, “there is only a Sovietoid copy which has been converted into the RF Corporation,” something everyone involved needs to recognize in order not to continue to pay a high price for making a mistake on this point.

In an essay posted on the portal, Aleksey Shornikov says that “the Russian Federation is not a state, although it dresses itself up in the clothes of a power. The RF is instead a commercial company or as it can be expressed in terms familiar to us, ‘RF Inc.’”

According to Shornikov, “the various European East Indian companies” prefigured the form that RF Inc. has taken since 1991. The most famous of these was the British one in India, a public-private partnership chartered by the king that performed many of the functions of a state but was organized and acted like a corporation pursuing profit.

Moreover, the British East India Company colonized that territory in two ways. On the one hand, its top managers directly ruled much of the population, while on the other, the corporation concluded agreements, “the so-called subsidiary treaties,” with Indian rulers usually called maharajahs.
In all this, Shornikov continues, what is interesting for present purposes is that “the colonization of India [under the East India Company] took place on the money of the Hindus themselves, was paid for by Hindu labor, and washed with Hindu blood!” But in the end, London disbanded the company for its shortcomings and introduced direct royal rule.

All this has been recapitulated during the Soviet period and since in what is now RF Inc., he says. Because of the enormous losses the USSR absorbed in fighting World War II, the Soviet system as an historical project was really finished in 1941, but the wealth of the territory allowed it to limp along for another half-century. Throughout this period, there were various attempts to reorder life in the USSR, from Khrushchev with his planting of corn to Mikhail Gorbachev with his preference for the Swedish form of socialism. But others in the nomenklatura didn’t want that, seeing it as a threat to their power and wealth. And so they chose the variant of “wild capitalism.”
Indeed, these nomenklaturshchiki were so intent on gaining profit that they were prepared to sacrifice the Russian people and even the entire Soviet project on the basis of the principle: “The Moor has done his work; the Moor can go.” And they organized into what were formally countries but in reality were corporations, from Russia to the other former Soviet republics.

At first, some people dreamed of a “USSR-2, Inc.” but that idea died with the October 1993 clash between the RF Supreme Soviet and RF President Boris Yeltsin. And consequently by the end of that year, he says, “the present political system of a Sovietoid type” took shape, one directed at “the total theft of the former Soviet property.”

RF Inc., he continues, “has all the signs of a commercial enterprise:” its founding agreement, its rules of operation, its managers, its workers, its internal accounting system (the ruble), its “corporate ideology,” and its top managers who have a certain independent standing because of the large number of shareholders.” The corporation’s basic profits, Shornikov says, come from the sale abroad of natural resources like oil, gas, timber and the like. Some of those profits have to be used to build roads and other infrastructure needed to export more and earn more profits for the corporation. Thos projects “are not for You, Indians or Hindus.” They are for the top managers.

Like most corporations, RF Inc. deals with other corporations – in this case Ukraine Inc. and the like – and sets up “daughter” corporations to take care of certain tasks that RF Inc. needs performed but would like to have handled by a nominally independent agent such as FSB Inc. or the RF Army Inc.
Moreover, again like all corporations, RF Inc. is internally divided with such subordinate “daughter companies” as Moscow Inc., Daghestan Inc., and so on. RF Inc. retains ownership of these “daughter” companies and deals with them as any corporation would with the daughter corporations it has established.

Corporations, even RF Inc., are not immortal. They come into existence and pass out of existence, and RF Inc. may pass away either because of a conflict with China, because of the independent actions of those the corporation controls, or because of outside assistance to those individuals and groups allowing them to displace the corporation.

Which path RF Inc. will follow is difficult to say, Shornikov continues, but he insists that the current RF Inc. elite is hardly committed to its survival if the corporation ceases to be profitable. Its members send their money and children abroad, behave like occupiers, and their Russian means nothing: Administrators of the British East India Company spoke Hindi.

In sum, the commentator says, “we live in RF Inc. We do not have a motherland in the form of a state. Russia was killed by the Bolsheviks in1917. And Russia did not arise in 1991. Instead, RF Inc. appeared.” Russians must take off their “rose colored glasses” and face this harsh reality. There has not been a Russia “for more than 90 years. RF Inc. “is not Russia, but a commercial enterprise.” In fact, the Moscow commentator says, “RF is a large Soviet collective farm – and no more than that,” however much many of the people who live within it would like to believe otherwise.”

8 responses to “There is no Russia

  1. Watching California Govenor Schwarzenegger shake hands with Medvedev over investments in Russia instead of in California was sickening. No wonder California has gone over a cliff.

  2. Ahhhh…Yours is a blissful world, my friend……if you paid any attention to events even in your own country, you might have noticed that California “went over a cliff”, so to speak, many months ago, and has since recieved vast infusions of stimulus money from the blessedly socialist great leader in Washington. You exhibit the economic reasoning of a three-year-old…….if you were able to understand even basic economic concepts…you might derive the understanding that Russia’s rise as a tech hub will result in high yields on American investements and put money into the hands of people in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, thus proving only beneficial to the united states. I do not expect that much from you, however………


    Why do you feel the need to change the subject? Is it because the topic of this post is too humiliating and painful for you to deal with? Thanks for the compliment!

    Meanwhile, please don’t SPAM our blog with mindless drivel, offering no added value of any kind, and violating our comment rules. It’s very rude and ignorant.

    • Alexei, why would the US invest money in IT? I mean, China, India, Russia – why bother? It’s much more easier to play financial games than build something real…

  3. About the management:

    “With the FSB, we have no party control and we have no parliamentary control. … We have got uncontrollable secret services.”

    The security services’ lack of accountability and their increasingly brutal methods — justified by a bloody domestic war on Islamist militancy — make them more like the feared ***mukhabarat,*** or security police, of the Arab world than the old Soviet spy agencies, co-author Borogan added.

    Their book, “The New Nobility,” takes its title from former FSB director Nikolai Patrushev’s phrase in a speech at the end of 1999 celebrating the return of spy power — led by former KGB agent and incoming President Vladimir Putin.

    Picked by President Boris Yeltsin in 1999 as a supposedly malleable successor, Putin quickly showed who was boss. He filled key Kremlin and state corporation posts with ex-security service officers, creating a big new power base of individuals sharing close loyalty to their former employers.

    Unchecked by any institution and answerable to nobody, the “new nobility” quickly showed their dangerous side.

    Russia’s most prominent rights activist, Lyudmila Alexeyeva, recalled in a recent interview how in the late Soviet era, the KGB was repressive but less dangerous. “Back then, there were prisons and psychiatric hospitals, but they didn’t kill anyone,” she said. “Murders just didn’t happen. And now they do.”


    Despite the security services’ wealth and power, the authors believe that real power in Russia still lies with the oligarchs.

    The top security services men are “absolutely not leaders,” Borogan says. “They have no vision of their own of the economic and political system in Russia.”

  4. Зигфельд, а, Зигфельд… сколько ты за эту поебень шекелей получаешь?

    • As long as it takes, dude, as long as it takes.

      • Сколько means “how much”. “How much”, and not “how long.”

        And team, it’s cool to answer with “as long as” to a “how much” question.

        But we always knew your Russian is superb.

  5. I have to say that your editorial (in English) is much better than the (rather disordered) original in Russian – to the extend, that you could have put your own name there.

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