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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Annals of Russian Poverty

The Washington Post reports:

Almost a fifth of Russia's 142 million people live below the poverty line -- their lives increasingly and painfully at odds with the huge wealth accumulated by an elite tier of "New Russians," grown rich on high world oil and metal prices. This new world flaunts its wealth in the department stores, expensive cafes and exclusive bars of Moscow, which boasts more billionaires than London and is second only to New York. But last winter, scores of people died in the same city as temperatures plunged to around minus 30 Celsius (minus 22 Fahrenheit): the victims succumbed to heart attacks, hypothermia, excessive alcohol consumption and breathing problems.
How is this situation different from the status quo in 1906? Not in the least. Russia is a society that seems incapable not just of making progress but merely of learning from its own mistakes. It not only fails to move forward, but like a mechanical toy it just keeps crashing into the same wall over and over again. Right now, it's not merely repeating the mistakes of Tsarist Russia by allowing a vast disparity of wealth to emerge, but at the same time repeating the mistakes of Soviet Russia by allowing the KGB to govern. It's getting the worst of both worlds and the benefits of neither.

In other words, it's surely doomed.

7 comments:

17 ugly raccoons said...

How is this situation different from the status quo in 1906? Not in the least.

You could write more simple: 'I have no idea about Russian history'.

La Russophobe said...

UGLY:

The fact that you can't give any example of a distinguishing factor and resort to personal abuse only proves my point. Russia is a nation without progress because it's a nation without courage to seek it.

17 ugly raccoons said...

Yawn. Consumption of energy per capita, to start with.

La Russophobe said...

UGLY:

Your stupidity is quite breathtaking. The question, if energy is the topic, is whether there is VAST INEQUALITY between users of energy, as there was in 1906, and whether energy is controlled by an autocratic centralized regime, as in 1936. And in both cases the situation is exactly the same.

If you think it matters to the poor peole that have neither that the rich now drive BMW's instead of gilded horse-drawn carriages, then your intelligence is pulp.

17 ugly raccoons said...

My-my, NOW you are bringing criteria (inequality, centralized regime) you didn't mention earlier. That's called 'dishonesty'.

OK, how big was inequality in 1936, and how centralized was control of energy in 1906? You know, this cherry-picking is amusing but not proves anything.

La Russophobe said...

UGLY:

The post clearly mentions both:

"Right now, it's not merely repeating the mistakes of Tsarist Russia by allowing a vast disparity of wealth to emerge, but at the same time repeating the mistakes of Soviet Russia by allowing the KGB to govern. It's getting the worst of both worlds and the benefits of neither."

Learn to read you baboon.

17 ugly raccoons said...

Learn to think, miss bliss.

In 1906, there wasn't 'energy is controlled by an autocratic centralized regime', so it is distinguishing factor you asked. Happy?

Now, current energy system was developed by 85 years of centralized planning and building. Translate it to a market logic would bring complete shutdown in very short perspective. Market system of energy distribution should be built from zero, and it is question of decades.

If you think that energy generation and distribution in the country sprawling over several time meridians might be reformed quickly and easily, you are fool.