Russia Transition

Some quotes from the article: Cultural Contradictions of Post-Communism:
Why Liberal Reforms Did Not Succeed in Russia. By Nina L. Khrushcheva

(to read the article)

What kind of capitalism Russia needs is now our choice to make. The first type we have already had: a nomenclatura bureaucratic capitalism, in which power, property, and money belong to the government and other officials. Second is the oligarchic type, when power, property, and money belong to a few corporations, companies, and individuals… The best one to have is when all power, property and money belong to as many people as possible. I would call this people’s capitalism.

The lesson Russia and its liberal advisors learnt the hard way is that reform programs require synthetic and creative adaptation, that they are deeply moral and political, not just model-oriented and technical in nature. Another lesson is that “disorder,” which had traditionally always “saved Russia” can and should no more be a solution to its current or future problems, for in the 21st century the country needs a new source of order appropriate to a complex modern society.

The most important issue that Russia faces today, in a new post reform period, is a change in mentality. Russia’s outdated psychology has to date reduced to zero all previous attempts for political and economic change. This problem has always made Russia a place where stable and predictable life is not a norm, in which the difficulties have been routinely blamed on the evils of the patriarchal state, dictatorship, the West, corruption, or bad human material.

If the country is to continue with democratic and capitalist policies, the next era of transition should be concentrated on reforming the mentality of both the elite and the people, which in turn will provide a viable environment for a new, modern, and responsible type of conduct on both sides. Future behavior can no longer be based on fear of the authorities or change but should be that of a people who are accountable for their actions and lives.

Only then, an agreement for mutual benefit—a social contract—between a respected individual and the government of a law based state will become possible.

A simple truth that has been long appreciated by other nations has yet to be welcomed by Russian society: “What man loses by the social contract is his natural liberty and an unlimited right to everything he tries to get and succeeds in getting; what he gains is civil liberty and the proprietorship of all he possesses

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