lørdag den 24. januar 2009

Meet the Russian Capitalists

Roman Abramovitch is the main man behind Chelsea Football Club. In more recent news, the London Evening Standard has been bought by Alexander Lebedev.

No doubt, these two men will be cheered on as examples of capitalism working, instead of that "communist" system the Russians supposedly had from 1917-91.

The truth is Soviet Russia had a capitalist class. All that happened was a change in the way they rob the workers.

Post communist society also is characterized by a wide disparity in wealth and privilege. Although there is no rigid class structure, social stratification based on wealth is evident and growing. The nomenklatura as it existed in Soviet times disappeared with the demise of the CPSU, but many of its members used their continuing connections with industry and finance to enrich themselves in the emerging capitalist system. According to a 1995 study conducted by the Russian Academy of Sciences, more than 60 percent of Russia's wealthiest millionaires, and 75 percent of the new political elite, are former members of the communist nomenklatura , and 38 percent of Russia's business people held economic positions in the CPSU. The wealth of the new capitalists, who constitute 1 to 2 percent of the population, derives from the ownership of private property, which was prohibited under the communist regime; from former black-market transactions that now are pursued legally; and from repatriation of funds that were secretly transferred abroad during the Soviet era.

The above quote is from Country Studies, which was produced "by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress as part of the Country Studies/Area Handbook Series sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Army between 1986 and 1998."

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