October 29, 2003 by AK
Crisis update — switching to political blogging?
This time, the Washington Post puts it well: Billionaire’s Arrest Delineates The Battle for Russia’s Future, with a subtitle: “Reformers Despair; KGB Veterans Seen Triumphant”.
I do not hold all KGB veterans in contempt; the KGB consisted of more than a dozen departments, some of which had nothing to do with crushing internal dissent or training Arab terrorists. Putin himself was an foreign intelligence agent — nothing inherently wrong about the trade. But the KGB has left a deep, ineffaceable impression on their inner selves, making them the kinds of people the least fit to run a government or a business in a modern democratic country. Their human capital has little value in all decent environments, and it is no wonder they want to create an environment in which it would re-appreciate.
In other words, I’m on the side of Russian businessmen against control freaks, although the former are mostly crooked, and the latter might even turn out honest.
Plus, I do think property rights matter; almost all property was once stolen, but unless the result of the theft is legitimized, there can be no development, just fighting over control.
I did not mean to blog about politics much; I thought I had more interesting things to say. But if this crisis plays out as the doomsayers predict; if it proves to be the start of a KGB takeover, — I should focus on politics, and nothing else, as long as it remains physically possible. I am sure other Russian bloggers will join me.
The National Review has nothing to say about the Russian developments, not even in the Corner. They are still fixated on Iraq. Just you wait, guys — Putin’s boys will make Iraq look like a footnote in a textbook on 21st century history.
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