Tags: 'Market | Bolshevism' | Takes | Over | Russia

'Market Bolshevism' Takes Over in Russia

Friday, 06 April 2001 12:00 AM

That's the conclusion of a pair of experts in "The Tragedy of Russia's Reforms: Market Bolshevism Against Democracy," a new book that explodes the myth that a true republic has taken root in Russia.

According to the authors, American political scientist Peter Reddaway and Russian scholar Dmitri Glinski, what has emerged from the death of Communism is "an exclusive corporate entity, the property of the state apparatus, competing against similar but much weaker entities in an attempt to monopolize the coercion and protection market."

Writing in the March 30 edition of the Chicago Tribune, veteran foreign correspondent Georgie Anne Geyer explains that the authors have exploded the myth of "that closed, deceptive and messianic world of steppes and tundras metamorphosing overnight into a country of smiling and cooperative people, going to the polls like New Englanders, and eagerly putting their rubles into free and open economies."

The myth, she wrote, "was always infantile. It didn't happen because, culturally, it couldn't happen, which Western governments foolhardily never understood."

Instead, Russia's government under Vladimir Putin is being dragged back into the kind of authoritarian state that existed under the Communist regime – and is being run today as a profit-making enterprise by the state security apparatus that operated under the old days as the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the dreaded KGB.

The focus today is on money, and the Russian authorities have climbed aboard the gravy train and transformed themselves into what used to be known in the U.S. as "robber barons" – those "malefactors of great wealth" Theodore Roosevelt castigated.

"Russia today is formally a federation," according to Reddaway. "But in truth it is just the opposite because there is no division of powers." The same thing existed under Communism when the similar Potemkin pretense was that power was dispersed among various centers.

Geyer notes: "This time, in the economic sphere, there is still total control, but it lies in the hands of a few 'oligarchs.' This 'Market Bolshevism,' not incidentally, justified Putin's continuing march toward the re-imposition of authoritarianism, which he clearly heads under the banner of his security forces."

She quotes Sergei Grigoryants, who she describes as a "prominent and thoughtful former dissident," as saying that Russia is not really a police state as such governments are known.

"Russia, a police state?" he asked. "No, the situation is much worse.

"A police state is one where political powers use the state for their own interests. What is happening in Russia is that an unprecedented kind of state is being created in which the special services [Putin's FSB, the successor to the KGB] are using the capacities of the state entirely for their own interests."

Grigoryants believes that Putin and his intelligence cronies "are out to dominate all of the state institutions, particularly the military and the governors, that they have essentially destroyed the 'civil society' that was budding in the early 1990s," she wrote. "They care about the economy only in order to give themselves economic power and to maintain a strong military force to enforce their imprint on the world."

Revelation of the emergence of a new state run by the same people who ran the Soviet system echoes the claims of Dr. James Douglas, a recognized expert on matters of national security and a former official of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the Defense Department.

His description of the current system in Russia is closer to being a criminal enterprise than it is to a system of Market Bolshevism.

In an interview published in the current New American magazine, Douglas says that the dissolution of the Soviet Union was anticipated and planned for by the Communist Party and the KGB long before it happened.

"The critical question is why did the Soviets decide to self-destruct? What was their strategic plan? The Soviets never did anything without a plan. Yet no one has asked these questions," he told New American.

Noting that no bureaucracy "simply wills itself out of existence," he said that there was never a revolution "in Russia or the other Soviet 'republics' that would account for the sudden dismantling of the Soviet state. Nothing forced the Communist Party of the Soviet Union [CPSU] to relinquish its monopoly on power."

Instead, what happened was that the Communist Party either created new parties or took over the leadership of existing ones. And in anticipation of this, the CPSU and the KGB – years before the "end" of the Soviet Union – set up all of the structures of what they call the "invisible party economy." And, Douglas said, that was already happening in the early 1980s, even before Gorbachev came along with his "reforms."

"So by the time the hammer-and-sickle banner was run down, the Communist nomenklatura had positioned itself as the rulers of the new, 'privatized' economy," Douglas explained.

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That's the conclusion of a pair of experts in The Tragedy of Russia's Reforms: Market Bolshevism Against Democracy, a new book that explodes the myth that a true republic has taken root in Russia. According to the authors, American political scientist Peter Reddaway and...
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2001-00-06
Friday, 06 April 2001 12:00 AM
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