Accumulation, primitive, more or less

dms dmschanoes at
Sun Jul 20 13:31:13 MDT 2003

>From hardcopy NYT 7/18:


"Prime Minister Mikhail M. Kasyanov sought to calm anxiety in his country's
business community today by publicly stating that Russia would not review
the origins of the fortunes made in its much-questioned privatization

Mr. Kasyanov is the first senior official to publicly address the issue of
whether [or not] the Kremlin will seek to wrest the fortunes from rich
Russians who made their money in a lawless program of state asset sales in
the mid-1990s.

Fear of property repatriation has consumed the Russian elite for the last
two weeks since the arrest of an ally of Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, a powerful
tycoon, on charges that he violated a privatization contract.....

The investigations have frightened the business community for two reasons.
First, much of Russia's current economic revival was born of its corrupt
privatization program of the mid 1990s......

But perhaps more important is the implicit message on property rights....

'The topic of privatizqation in Russia needs to be forgotten,' said Boris E.
Nemtsov, parliamentary leader of the Union of Right Forces....."

Several comments:  First, particularly for those who see primitive
accumulation as an ongoing, permanent, process in capital accumulation, the
experience of Russia will be very enlightening.

Secondly, a correction of fact:  Russia's current economic revival is not
born of the corrupt privatization program of the mid 1990s,  Actually that
privatization program was both PRODUCT and PRODUCER of the USSR's economic
collapse and the fracturing of efficient agricultural production and
exchange between city and countryside.  The coincident "moment" with
privatization is the monumental depression which reduced GDP by half between
1994 and 1998 and life expectancy to levels of that in the least developed
areas of the world.  The "revival" is based on one thing, and one thing
only, the increased price of oil leading to increased output of oil (adios,
Mr. Hubbert, the offset curve turned upwards).

Based on item 2, it is certainly clear that the transformation of the social
relations of production in Russia was not based on the influx of wealth,
investment, from the West, but on the preliminary decay of the economy, and
the DISPOSSESSION, collective, of  laborers, from the instruments of

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