[Marxism] Amnesty Calls on UN to stop the US, Qatar and Turkey funding and arming Syria Rebels
lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Aug 28 19:37:40 MDT 2012
On 8/28/12 9:22 PM, Carl G. Estabrook wrote:
> Whatever the peculiarities of the Russian church today - and it's a
> bit different from the pre-revolutionary church - it's hard to miss
> the fact that the most extensive anti-capitalist discourse in the
> Global South today is Christianity, primarily Catholic Christianity.
> There aren't many competitors.
Actually the most extensive anti-capitalist discourse comes from
Marxists. The Church engages in populist discourse in Russia that
dovetails neatly with Putin's nationalist demagogy.
If you are looking for Marxist analysis of contemporary Russia, I
recommend Boris Kargalitsky rather than the muddleheaded anti-Semite
Putin's Closed Government
31 May 2012
By Boris Kagarlitsky
There is a hard-and-fast rule on how new laws are passed in Russia: The
most important legislation is usually approved with the least public
discussion and debate.
Take, for example, the bill currently being considered in the State Duma
that will allow public officials and businesspeople to conceal serious
conflicts of interest, including their shareholdings in companies that
have large dealings with the government.
Few outside of government and big business knew anything about the bill
until information was recently leaked to the media. Nor did anyone know
that the bill was heavily lobbied by the Russian Union of Industrialists
and Entrepreneurs, or RSPP — unofficially known as "the union of oligarchs."
As oligarchs have increased their wealth over the past 15 or 20 years,
another disturbing trend has emerged: Soon after high-ranking officials
occupy their posts in government, their once-untalented relatives
suddenly become ingenious, innovative and wealthy businesspeople —
thanks in no small part to the fact that they have received generous
The high concentration of capital in the hands of oligarchs and
bureaucratic elite remains a distinguishing feature of Russia's
still-chaotic form of capitalism that dooms it to pathological
inefficiency. The bill proposed by the RSPP is just one more indication
that the ruling elite are reinforcing their control over the economy.
The RSPP proposes that all criteria for determining shareholder
affiliation be removed from the Civil Code. Lobbyists for big business
also propose adding a "secondary liability of officers" to the code. In
practice, this could mean that when a legal entity's property is
insufficient to satisfy creditors' claims, some of the employees of that
company would be forced to pay off those debts from their own pockets.
While in public statements government officials, lawmakers and big
business agree that Russia should move toward greater transparency and
stricter rules governing conflicts of interest, in practice — and behind
closed doors — they are doing everything possible to achieve the direct
Even the Economic Development Ministry considered some of the proposals
to be excessive. But more important, a schism has emerged between the
RSPP oligarchs and the small and midsize business leaders, who have
organized separate business associations and who clearly have different
interests and concerns.
Over the past 12 years, Vladimir Putin and United Russia leaders have
inundated us with flowery speeches and statements about the need to
build a social welfare state. They claim to be committed to improving
the lives of workers earning low salaries, modernizing the country and
improving the transparency in government and state-controlled
businesses. The overflowing concern for the common masses increased
exponentially during the recent campaigns for the Duma and presidential
But now that both elections are over, Putin and United Russia leaders
can all go back to business as usual — that is, to defending the
interests of those whom the authorities have always considered their
primary constituency: rich and powerful politicians, bureaucrats and
Boris Kagarlitsky is director of the Institute of Globalization Studies.
More information about the Marxism