Back to Index

RUSSIA and capitalism

Christopher Jones says: "It was reported today that 25,000 people are without heat in Karelia, northern Russia -- this comes every year after another. Is this Cameron Sawyer's capitalist Nirvana? Despite a decrepit infrastructure, a genocidal war in Chechnya and muzzling a free press, western businessmen continue to think that Putin is their boy -- "the best ruler since Catherine the Great." There is nothing "great" about that individual: I am familiar enough with Russia's history to know that several rebellions against Catherine were all bloodily suppressed and that she was implicated in the murder of her husband".

RH: There is much truth in what Christopher says. I now view the glories of St, Petersburg as the supreme Potemkin village. It is a worldwide phenomenon. In Spain, while Madrid was a modern capitalist city, Las Hurdes were notoriously primitive. In China it is Shanghai and the rural west, in Peru it is Lima and the Andean villages, in Argentina Buenos Aires and Tucuman, in Brazil, Copacabana and the favelas. The trickle down theory says capitalism will solve these problems. Unfortunately, millions do no believe it. Will a better way of running the world be found? Does it exist? Is it possible? This is the big question facing the modern world.

Ronald Hilton - 1/13/03