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Weak Social Base of Capitalism


In order to be successful, any radical reform must take into account not just the material conditions prevailing in a given country but also the cultural, religious, and psychological makeup of its population. Over centuries Russia has evolved as a Eurasian power with distinctive historical, economic, and political characteristics, and a way of life different from Western norms. Being open to influences from both the East and the West, Russia has always followed its own path. 

"Thou Shalt Not Covet". The Tenth Commandment

However, the radical westernizers of the early 1990s ignored some of the age-old values and ideals that form the core of the mentality of the Russian people. The attempt to create overnight a bourgeois society of a Western type and establish full-scale capitalist relations in a society that for over seventy years had officially repudiated them was a utopian idea, and doomed to fail. There is little doubt that the social and political system that will ultimately emerge from the post-Communist transition will in many ways be different from Western patterns.

To the average Russian, the idea of social justice has been more important than those of freedom and democracy. The interests of the collective and the state traditionally have taken precedence over those of the individual. The moral code of the Russia Orthodox Church condemns profit hunting and wealth accumulation, preaching instead self-sacrifice for the common good. The Communist doctrine, which replaced Orthodoxy as Russias state ideology for much of the twentieth century, equally discouraged capitalist habits of mind. It is clear that Russia needs to find its own model of capitalism with Russian characteristics.

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Deformed Capitalism

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The "Catching up" Cycles
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