Editorial: economy in Russia – confiscation guaranteed

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For the ordinary Russian, economic reality is sad and the sadness is to deepen soon. As the poverty increases, food coupons are the serious talk of the day, and some go as far as to predict hunger, the authorities react in ways pointing back to communist era and - truth be told - before the latter ever came to power.

When were these slogans shouted? «We have a vast country, with inexhaustible resources and we can produce everything ourselves.» All three – «vast land», «inexhaustible resources», «everything ourselves» were integral part of Soviet speeches, hammered into school kids’ heads endlessly.  

The definite sentence, however, was recently uttered to the newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta by Moscow trade agency head  Aleksei Nemeryuk.

Like in times past, the Russian people are made to forget that all kinds of complex operations happen between fertile soil and cheese or sausage on grocery store counter, and that the chemical element in the earth is only useful to man as unearthed at reasonable price turned into something. For that to happen, however, a lot is to happen that depends on government – economic freedom which isn’t actually going to happen without just courts and overall liberty.

It takes a kind of confidence, but that’s not too available in a Russia where authorities high and low are free to exhort assets out of entrepreneurs. The nice plans mouthed these recent years about diversification of economy was just hot air as long as in reality people experienced the powers grabbing assets whenever they pleased. Meanwhile, a KGB guy knows not how to develop nanotechnology, or even make cheese. These would have to be the domain of those who have learned their lesson well: why bother – to be confiscated anyway.

While the oil and other such stuff kept getting more expensive, Kremlin could cover its basic faults by petrodollars. The corrupt kept building palaces, but there was always something left over for the ordinary Russians – a life a bit better, and the hope of buying a new fridge. Now, all they have is the propaganda.