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Russia as an ultracapitalist state



From Moscow, Cameron Sawyer reports. "In today's issue of Argumenty i Fakty, there is a survey of Russian schoolchildren, asking what they want to be when they grow up. The answers are interesting and perplexing:
32% businessman
17% economist
13% banker
11% bandit
10% "New Russian" [Russian nouveau riche of unspecified occupation]
5% manager
1% cosmonaut
1% a "good person"
10% other

Where are the artists, movie stars, architects, lawyers? Not to speak of politicians, airline pilots, soldiers, firemen? [My guess is that a US poll would show similar results.RH]. I doubt if the survey was conducted in any very scientific way, but here nonetheless is a picture of a nation with an ultracommercial outlook, perhaps not the worst thing for a highly developed country like Russia which has fallen so far behind economically. And another small hint, perhaps, that Russia will be an economic superpower, as de Toqueville predicted many years ago.

In other pages, it can be seen that old jokes about Communism have not lost their popularity:

Party meeting at a factory. The party agitator is saying a speech: "Comrades! Communism is on the horizon!" Worker: "Who is 'horizon'"? Party agitator: "The horizon, comrade, is an imaginary line which get further and further away the closer you get to it."

Armenian Radio asks: "Will we live to see Communism?" Answer: "No, but it's too bad for our children."

At the party meeting, on comrade asks: "Must a party member pay his party dues [paid as a percentage of income] also on his bribes?" Answer: "If he's an honest Communist, then of course."

Armenian Radio asks: "Will there by money under Communism?" Answer: "There will be, but not everyone will have it."

Ronald Hilton - 7/24/02


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