Our Millennium-Old Civilization Is at Threat
The attempts to rupture the continuity of history, “to start it all from scratch” have been experienced in Russia more than once: The early 17th century saw that in the Time of Trouble; later, Peter’s reforms came, and then the February and October revolutions. The attempts to disrupt and discard the national tradition are made again these days.
They all have ended in fiascos, in fact. And the fiascos were followed by a revival: the phoenix of Russia would rise from its ashes. However, overcoming the obsessions of self-destruction took so much time and effort; the revivals would cost so dearly in terms of sacrifices.
In 1991, the Russian statehood was plunged, again, into a contra-natural state of self-annihilation. We were pushed several steps down the stairs of evolution/devolution. We found ourselves among the countries doomed to live aimlessly, losing more and more under the globalization. At the same time, not only the country’s ‘elites’ but considerable parts of its populace as well developed a mental dependence on the West. Now, the has come when we are called to sweep away the main ill-effects of the contra-natural Time of Troubles that our people experienced at the end of the 20th century.
To escape critical risks imminently threatening its very existence, the Russian State faces, today, the dire necessity of a decisive advance strategy. If the current delayed-action course is continued any further, the Russian Federation will run into such overwhelming threats that may soon turn its ongoing in-system crisis into a downright collapse. Another year of the delayed-action drift may lead to an irreversible erosion of the country’s sovereignty. More specifically, one can expect a major war within a year, whose outcome would be unfavorable for us .
It is now that a strategic breakthrough is still feasible. In the current situation, there is a window of opportunity half-open for Russia, through which we can find a way back onto our own path of development, breaking away from the rules of unfair play imposed by the transnational forces.
Changes in the political line have already been set out by the President. Countermeasures are taken against agents of foreign influence on the country’s polity and public opinion. The leadership reexamines its attitudes towards the high-ranking officialdom, the role of ideological mechanisms and mass media, actions in the information realm. Huge resources are funneled into the main direction of growth, i.e. an upswing of Russia’s military-industrial complex (MIC).
Those are the first signs of a breakthrough strategy, as we see it, which is yet to be developed into a system. The systemic nature of the re-formation required is conditioned by a systemic nature of Russia’s crisis, and a complicated nature and intensity of the global crisis. A major breakthrough cannot be effected or be effective if confined to some segment of activity. To be effective, strategic changes must be implemented simultaneously in a few pivotal segments of development. They must set off a large-scale re-formation of the entire Russian Statehood – setting off, in effect, a New Course for the country.
The situation has changed irreversibly. Those who still hope for a return to the pre-crisis ‘2000s’ are wrong in their expectation. The critical deficiency of strategic-action commitment in the governing echelons becomes a factor of existential threat by itself. From a number of signs and indications one can see that the country’s leadership is coming to an understanding that the state machinery, in its present shape, is unable to meet the new challenges. There is a gap growing between the leadership’s rhetoric, which is now coming closer to the historical and cultural Russian norm, and the prevailing political reality. Thus, Putin’s executive orders, signed on May 7, 2012, in pursuance of the main guidelines of his election program, have hung in a void of the bureaucracy’s veil of silence and incomprehension. As for his words that Russia needs now a modernization like that of the 1930s, these made a good half of the ‘elite’ fall into a brain freeze.
The large parts of the country’s governing stratum have quite different guidelines and concerns. They concern themselves with taking out their funds, wives, and children abroad; instead of “serving the State”, the state officials concerns themselves with “making a living”; with foreign business and foreign interests being quite a force for many of them. As for Russia’s wealthiest magnates, most of their assets have been carted off into offshore havens. Many of them, in fact, have half-emigrated, acquiring British or other foreign citizenships.
The deficiency of sovereign strategic-action commitment in the governing strata is only too evident. Out of all that, we believe, there rises an urgent imperative call for a turnaround, proceeding from an unambiguous expression of the nation’s inherent will, and a goal-focused re-building of the governing elite, which is feasible only based on an appeal to the nation’s popular majority and its basic tradition-steeped value system. The leadership can gain a footing for such fundamental breakthrough action only by consolidating, under a common cause, the people’s majority as the country’s constitutional supreme sovereign, and a repository of its specific civilization identity.
This report gives an outline of reorientation of Russia towards a Major Breakthrough action. The entire state system is to be redirected. This is, inevitably, a sketchy outline of the technical process involved. Yet we hope that it will give a clear idea of what the partisans of a strong sovereign Russian State see as our national imperatives.
A new course for the country springs from the need to avert mortal threats to Russia’s millennium-old civilization, and is called upon to preserve us a nation, with a soul, mindset, will, and cultural identity of our own, entitled to decide what kind of future should be in store for our children.
I. On the Scope and Trends of Change on the Global Scene
The world capitalist system is undergoing the most acute crisis, unparalleled in its history. The crisis is system-wide, and involves geographically the entire planet. Experts describe it as a concentrated sum total of traits of the greatest crisis of the past. In effect, it reveals a stalemate dead-end into which the world has been dragged by a handful of avaricious global-scale usurers with connections in major ‘family funds’.
At the same time, they themselves, or their acolytes and stooges (‘think tanks’, intelligence agencies, etc.) design and suggest schemes for a way out. According to them, solutions to the crisis are to be sought at the expense of greater part of the planet’s population. It is on the graves of dead human billions that the ‘ruling upper crust’ wishes to build a “brave new world” of theirs. To do so, they think of staging clashes of the world’s major civilizations, orchestrating wars between scores of countries, reducing the planet’s population by a few billions, mainly at the cost of non-western areas of humanity. To that deadly end, a broad variety of means can be brought into operation, such as starvation, bloody conflicts, new and old kinds of epidemics, suppression of human fertility by most updated means, same-sex ‘marriages’, GMOs, and so on and so forth. The new world of theirs is to be marked by an increasingly strict control over humans, and human behavior, as well as over information flows and, of course, resources .
Since the end of World War II, the globalist upper crust has raised and fostered their offshoots virtually throughout the world: those cohorts of local ‘aliens’ (‘alien’ to targeted countries) who follow the calls of the global matrix control center. As early as under George W. Bush, the so-called ‘colored revolutions’ were orchestrated mainly through pseudo-NGOs (QUANGO) rather than corporation lobbies. Finally, under Barak Obama, the latest stage of postindustrial society, the global power brokers have incited surrogate revolutions using monopolized ‘social networks’ co-sponsored by the global oligarchs’ family funds (Omidyar Network, Rockefeller Family Fund, Soros Foundations, etc.), and operating as public private partnerships. Those networks using 2.0 technologies (Worldchanging, Global Voices, Avaaz, Ushahidi, Techchange), while rallying the youth under a ‘freedom-of-information’ banner, are managed from few strategic centers by a very narrow ring of people (the New America Foundation is an example). That is their way to gain profits, including profits from fratricidal civil clashes, and ‘regime changes’.
In his book The Choice Z., Brzezinski described those groups of local ‘aliens’ as being well aware of their interests of transnational origin (that run counter to their countries’ popular majorities). It is to such cohorts of local ‘aliens’, dressed up as ‘liberals’ or ‘neoliberals’, that the task is assigned by their masters to help shift the main burden of the crisis from the world’s high and mighty ones onto the weaker ones, thus wiping off, with a Rubber of History, ‘useless eaters’ from the face of the earth, making it possible for the masters to appropriate the lands and resources that belonged to the weaker ones.
In the crisis-ridden world of today, there develop several geopolitical/geo-economic processes of importance, with two of them deserving special attention. One is a globalization process. Basically, that is a development trend, driven by the endgame idea of a world government, which would wish to exercise tight control over the world’s thinned populations and remaining resources, and act as the sole master of finances and various machines of noneconomic coercion. Another development trend could be termed neo-imperial one. It refers to the emergent macro-regional blocs of countries, based on common geopolitical and geo-economic interests. Such blocs can already be descried through the veil of globalization, which is bulging at the seams. Their borderlines remind one of the lineaments of past world powers. The age-old keys, thus, may open up the locks of new doors – doors into the future.
The globalist and neo-imperial processes are now intertwined to such an extent that it is often not easy to say which of the roles this or that State, or closed structure, play. Possibly, many political actors will have yet to choose between the two difficult options: to go into the future either with the globalists (thus, ceding their sovereignty), or with the partisans of re-emergent empires.
However, it is clear that, insofar as the two trends are in conflict, their implementation will entail the most fierce struggle for control over resources (regional wars, larger wars in Eurasia or Africa, and an all-out global war cannot be ruled out), mass movements of population (another ‘great transmigration of peoples’), and armed interventions into many countries, especially those with large unexplored resources (minerals, water, land). Obviously, the largest and richest of such territories is northern Eurasia, that is, our country.
A program targeting the appropriation of Eurasian resources was launched by supra-national (originally, Britain-based) corporate-oligarchic clubs as early as the 1880s. In 1991, after a hundred years’ war, the Western powers achieved, to a large extent, the goals, which were set in the late 19th century, and which were within an inch of success during the Civil War of 1918-21, but were thwarted by Stalin and those behind him in the late 1920s. However, the very fact that Russia, today, continues to exist as an officially sovereign State with a nuclear war arsenal (due to that, Russia is regarded by the US as one of its principal enemies) is an impediment for a full implementation of the schemes aimed at an all-around control over Russia’s resources and territories.
The Cold War the West had waged against the USSR did not discontinue in 1991. Its target is now Russia, against which the western powers struggled well before 1917, and continued to do so after 1917. Z. Brzezinski, in his interview to the Nouvel Observateur, made it cynically clear: throughout its history, the West had fought Russia (whatever her name might be) rather than Communism. It is no surprise, therefore, that after 1991, the western information-psychological war against Russia went on, and when the country’s leadership attempted to broaden its field of maneuver beyond the tight constraints inherited from the troubled years of Gorbachev’s and Yeltsin’s ‘freedoms’, it was escalated sharply. This was especially palpable in the tightly synchronized reaction of leading western figures to Putin’s comeback to the office of President in 2011-12.
What is more, the outside forces and their local political assets will be trying to stir up unrest in the country to set into motion the tried-and-true (it was set in motion in Russia in 1917 and, again, in 1991) mechanism of “Crisis – War (civil) – Revolution/Turmoil”, or some other form of ‘controlled chaos’. (Americans, such as Stratfor’s G. Friedman, admit that destabilization is actually the aim of their policies, globally). By means of destabilization the rivals of Russia will be trying to ensure against possible re-emergence of a strong power in Eurasia and, above all, avert the resurgence of a powerful Russia.
More pressure will also be brought on Russia due to developments on these three fronts:
- The tightening conditions in the West amidst the growing system-wide crisis of capitalism;
- The exacerbation of economic tensions between China and the USA;
- Fomented threats of climatic and geophysical catastrophes.
The last trend demands special attention. An augury has been spread up in the transnational media that, in case of great climatic convulsions, northern Eurasia will be the planet’s only stable and resources-replete area. The augury itself is questionable, yet the contention has been openly or implicitly supported by leading western politicians (with the ‘fifth-column’ agents in Russia parroting them): It is unfair, they said, that the Russians hold such huge territories and resources, which they do not utilize. Ergo, those territories, such as Siberia and the Far East, must become a part of “global common weal”.
In effect, this amounts to a point-blank suggestion that transnational control be imposed over Russia’s territories, thus curtailing its sovereignty and dismembering it territorially. Revealingly, in November 2012, the Brookings Institution in cooperation with the London School of Economics brought out the ‘Project on Internal Displacement’, which they had worked on for 3 years. That is a scenario for mass population displacements following the threat of real or feigned climate change, which is only the tip of a much broader iceberg of related closed research.
The ongoing and oncoming repartition of the world is not only about the grab of resources and assets under a guise. What is at stake is the issue of human survival: who may survive, and who may not?
II. The World Crisis Affords Ample Opportunities for Russia
This crisis has a moral aspect to it, too. That becomes especially evident when long overdue economic problems are settled by the western transnational high-ups by resorting to the proverbial “continuation of politics by other means”. That was done prior to, and during World War I. In a similar vein, the 1940s saw the US corporations making tremendous profits out of World War II. Again, at the end of the ‘Cold war’, the breakup of the USSR and the Soviet bloc came amid an unparalleled expansion of the US-based transnational corporate interests, and enormous capital and brainpower outflows from the post-soviet countries. Similar developments occurred a year ago, with the unraveling of the “Arab Spring”, when the assets confiscated from an arbitrary selection of ‘dictators’ were not given back to the nations whose liberties the western politicians seemed to be so painfully anxious about.
From all this it follows that, today, very serious threats are impending for Russia. At the same time, hopefully, there emerge opportunities which were non-existent yesterday. The fact is that, at present, new lines are drawn between several rivaling global power groups due to radically exacerbated conflicts within the global power elite. Analysts tend to depict the changing situation in terms of confrontation between two major ‘clans’, or clusters of interests; the real world, however, is far more complicated than such bipolar picture. The thing is that members and allies of all the major ‘clans’/clusters are represented, mainly, in the same supranational structures of global governance and coordination (orchestration) and in the Federal Reserve System (FRS), albeit in various proportions. The acuteness of conflict arises not only from the ongoing world crisis but also from the fact that the FRS’s lease period for the printing of US currency expires at the end of 2012.
Otherwise put, what is taking shape globally in the 2010s is analogous in a sense to what existed at the turn of the 1920s/1930s. History, these days, repeats itself: Russia does need a new reindustrialization. Also, a large enough market, in this case, is required to build a viable powerful economy. At the same time, there open up now, for Russia, more opportunities to go into building a self-sustained macro-region in Eurasia.
It appears that some global-elite players no longer see a Russia-led integration in the ex-Soviet area as a totally unacceptable scenario. At any rate, until recently any feeble move in the RF leadership to turn aside from the road of economic ‘liberalism’ was crushed in the egg by those who control, in the West, the assets of Russia’s “offshore nobility”. At present, however, the globalizers’ codes of conduct become more varied allowing for our country’s development, and even for the building of a Russia-based Eurasian macro-region.
Russia may and must capitalize on the ongoing epochal shift involving changing rules of the game in the world market and politics. This being said, it should be stressed that taking advantage of divisions between certain global players is not the main thing. The window of opportunities, which could now be open for us, demands above all our own clear vision of a prospective transit onto a new technological mode, a dynamic development, and a life-saving Major Breakthrough. The system-wide crisis, including its technological, financial, psychological, and ideological dimensions, allows for a reconfiguration in the balance of powers: While the world’s leading powers get immobilized, those who have lagged behind may break forth into the lead. A determination to act ought to ensue from this clear vision of the situation, to be followed by appropriate system-based strategic work. This is pivotal.
In 1931, J. Stalin said that within a decade the USSR would have to race a distance that other countries had covered in a century, or else the country would be crumpled up. At the time, the Soviet Union did make an unparalleled spurt, which laid a basis for the war victory, further achievements in space exploration, and for acquiring a superpower status. At present, we can hardly have 10 years at hand – only 5 to 7 years at best; the ‘fifth column’ is now stronger than it was in the 1930s, and the globalizing West, more powerful, comparatively. These days, therefore, a mobilization spurt must be far more forceful and resourceful.
Actually, this amounts to a revolution from above. If this is not done, then another revolution from below will gather, of which outside forces will avail themselves most certainly: That was precisely how they destroyed the Tsarist Russia, and later the Soviet Russia, whose authorities missed the right moment to effect life-saving strategic change. Nevertheless, we live at the time when crises do have ripple effect. Strangely enough, it is the world crisis itself that offers, to Russia, an opportunity. Catching it, Russia may not only survive but win as well – while coming back to its millennium-old history.
Historically, political developments in the outside world were more than once favorable to our country: Owing to severe turmoil in Europe or the world, Russia was able to get out of its own historic pitfalls several times. To illustrate, one can go back to the aftermath of the 17th-century Time of Trouble: Europe, then, was torn apart by the Thirty Years’ War (1618-48). Or let us recall the post-Peter-I period (when Russia, again, was very weak): the Europeans were immersed in the wars for various ‘successions’ (Spanish, Austrian); also, there was a similar period of respite in the aftermath of World War I. In similar historic circumstances, even a short period of respite would help the country to survive.
However, as is well-known, “luck is an inventing god” (A.S. Pushkin). This means that a crisis can help only the one who is prepared to meet it – prepared in terms of one’s intelligence and determination. The ‘intelligence’, in this case, refers to one’s awareness of the realities of the Russian and world crises, and of an urgent need to change the course. The ‘determination’ stands for one’s willingness to act accordingly, and - quashing the enemies, both domestic and alien ones – go fighting for the Truth of one’s own civilization, its precious memory, good name, and independence.
III. A Major Breakthrough Is a Vital Necessity
In modern and recent history, there appear only these four scenarios for the resolution of in-system societal crises.
Disintegration: Society disintegrates, with its in-system crisis going temporarily depthward to lower levels of societal fabric to come up to the surface later to be resolved along the lines of one of the three scenarios that follow.
Hostile Takeover: Direct or indirect occupation by an alien power; surrendering society is integrated in other power/powers’ strategic project/projects and subdued to alien strategic interests.
Revolution by Counter-Elite: Counter to the previously established project and power system there emerges a fundamentally new project and, accordingly, a new subject of action to implement it.
Mobilization-Based Breakthrough: Building-up and implementing a reflexive system-based strategy leading to a qualitative transformation of an entire system.
Now, if the current global conditions outside and in Russia are taken into account, then there remains only one option: a system-based strategy which should emerge and be implemented in the form of an emergency mobilization-driven project. As far as the country’s survival is concerned, there are no other ways out.
The mobilization project for Russia results from the following political reasons (factors):
- A major war is highly probable within the next 7 to 10 years;
- The existing system of corruption practices threatens the state, but can be dismantled in flexible and soft ways only within an mobilization project;
- It is only within a special mobilization project that a new effective system of state government can be molded, able to meet the critical challenges and threats of the prewar period;
- Absent a hard-framed mobilization project, the 20 trillion rubles allocated for rearmament programs in view of the looming war dangers would be misappropriated, to a large extent. Furthermore, even the best state-of-the art types of armaments may turn out to be wasted or useless in the absence of appropriate personnel recruitment programs, enhanced mobilization-driven conscience, focused improvement of the social relations and institutions involved, and restituting the duly level of professional training of specialists;
- It is precisely under successful mobilization projects that long-term national strategies of system-based modernization have been carried out effectively; there are virtually no examples to the contrary (due to Russia’s stature and caliber, any alternative scenarios of modernization should be seen as pure wishful thinking);
- A mobilization project promoting the introduction of innovations in the country’s real economy is a necessary prerequisite for a strategic breakthrough in a number of key sectors, and for entering the 6th wave of technological revolution;
- The current phase of the system-wide global crisis sees an exacerbated competition between specific national mobilization projects 
History shows that the world powers having mobilization projects that were successful in a period of drastic global-scene changes would become the cornerstones of a subsequently emergent global system. Thus, in the aftermath of World War II, which was the final stage of the 20th-century system-wide global crisis, there emerged a global system based precisely on the competing strategies of Stalin and Roosevelt, which, in turn, sprang from the implementation of two specific mobilization projects.
At present, very few actors on the world scene may have under their belt such one-of-a-kind background experience of mobilization emergency project-building as Russia has as the Soviet Union’s successor. This being said, it must be emphasized that in building and implementing a system-based mobilization project it is vitally important to avoid importing or assimilating in an uncritical way - from the past or from abroad – any previous mobilization methods.
When evaluating and applying various mobilization methods and mechanisms used previously or today the USSR, the USA, China, or other countries, we should bear in mind as well such factors as our resources-related advantages (thus a priority should be placed on the adoption of technologies in the extractive sector), limited labor supplies, specific cultural patterns (labor force redeployments will require enhanced incentives), etc.
The vitally imperative demand for a mobilization-based ‘Major Breakthrough’ can be validated from various standpoints. Thus, for one, it ensues from what is the bottom line of the present-day world crisis. It is becoming evident that further growth is no longer possible within the production methods of the 5th wave of technology revolution; so there is a demand for an advance onto the next (sixth) wave of technology revolution, based on a new cluster of technologies. Massive employment of such processes would enable substantial changes in the pattern of demand, giving rise to a new long-range paradigm of economic growth.
As happened at similar turning points in the past, i.e. in the previous periods of transit from one technological mode to another (in the 1930s, or in the 1970s), the bottleneck lies in the existing system of economic and political institutions, which are unprepared to launch the transition process.
The amounts of investment infusions needed to bring about such transition are huge. In Russia, the overall investment expenditures should be doubled, investments in R&D increased by a factor of 3 or 4, and in state-of-the-art technologies, 50-fold or so. That would tax the country’s powers to the utmost, demanding the goal-oriented concentration of resources for a period of 5 to 10 years.
The opportunity exists for the country’s advanced development, based on a rapid build-up of the innovative technological mode, whose annual worldwide-average rate of growth is now 35%, and, according to estimates, will be maintained for long in the years to come. In this perspective, however, the financial and economic system, which is now operating in Russia, is totally dysfunctional – both in the budgetary machinery and the credit sector. What is more, the assets created in the country’s economy are extensively moved out abroad, and used to fund western countries’ advances in technologies.
Therefore, to bring about the breakthrough in question, one should resort to a mobilizing function of the State. In the modern context, it is the State that has become the principal agent of development. The achievements of China, Korea, Japan, and the general ‘eastward shift’ in the trends of economic growth indicate the main lineaments of a development-friendly system of national economy management. To a large extent, these are based on the reception of our country’s past experience, both positive and negative, i.e. on a careful and critical assessment of the Soviet planned economy model and methods of the 1930s – 1950s. None of the countries, to be sure, operate a centrally planned economy with prices administered from top to bottom, yet the State there plays a pivotal role in ensuring a the development of more advanced technological modes of production.
However, no State could achieve much in fact if it did not profess an ideology which, in turn, should be in tune with the country’s specific history, civilization-specific codes, and cultural hallmarks.
IV. An Ideology for Mobilization Project
The mobilization project for contemporary Russia must pursue, in our view, the following strategic objectives:
· To make up and build up a sovereign strategic Agent of Action, the embodiment of a Russian civilization-specific code;
· To curtail as far as possible the Russian State’ dependence on outside powers and forces;
· To redirect the country’s economy onto the path of rapid development, with attaining a role of its own in the latest generation of technologies, and creating its own innovation market segments;
· To reindustrialize the post-soviet economy, relying on the economy’s state sector as the main driving force and a pivotal structure of a would-be Eurasian socioeconomic system ;
· To reunite the now divided Russian people (Belorussia, Ukraine, Russia) for the benefit of common survival, and as a base for a wider Eurasian integration;
· To shape a multi-layer system of Eurasian integration at the following levels: (a) Eurasian economic macro-region; (b) Sovereign credit and financial center; (c) Common military and general security organization; (d) Supranational political union body; (e) Common cultural and language community; (f) Common area for technology, science, and education; (g) United multi-polar ideological space, based on the ideology of inter-national/inter-cultural accord and brotherhood.
Parallel to this, the Major Breakthrough strategy shall pursue the following aims:
§ National consent is to be attained as regards the proposed program of development;
§ Mobilization-conscious centralization of control and government functions in several key segments of activity;
§ To enhance the protection of, and support for, the traditional values of the country’s popular majority, understood as the nation’s basic moral foothold;
§ To recognize the ethnic Russian people as the Russian State’s basic constituent force;
§ To adopt of a comprehensive policy promoting positive demographic trends;
§ To shape a mobilization-conscious world vision in the popular opinion, with the hierarchies of domestic or foreign foes as well as partners and allies;
§ To pursue a policy of healthy economic protectionism;
§ To shield the state policy-making bodies from the preponderant influence of lobby agents of big business interests, foreign or domestic;
§ To wage a political and ideological campaign aimed at shaping ‘mobilization-conscious conscience’ in the ranks of state servants, and among the leading social institutions’ personnel;
§ To create a higher type of motivation (based on the values of creative work, solidarity, and justice) to counterbalance and overcome the ideological templates of consumerism and moral degeneration;
§ To pursue a strong social policy aimed at supporting and developing human potential, fostering humans’ creative, productive, and moral powers;
§ To revive the full-blooded systems of education and professional/technical training, needed to meet the demands of the reindustrialization, and the development of science, innovations, and cultural creativity.
To realize the mobilization project, the myths and phony icons of the neoliberal epoch have to be debunked and denounced. Their subversive role in the country’s recent history (the country’s competitiveness was drastically reduced; the country failed to make up an independent center of global influence, and was subdued to outside manipulations) is to be exposed.
To illustrate, let us cite some of the most conspicuous of those fables, dogmatic teachings, and their practical effects or by-effects:
o The fable of ‘postindustrial society’ as the highest phase in the development of humanity;
o The teaching that the State, for the sake of increased ‘efficiency’, should withdraw from social welfare sector, fundamental science research, education, culture sphere, and mass media realm, and that all these should be subdued to ‘free market’ developments;
o The embellishment of venture capitalism (‘start-ups puffery’ for the sake of commercialization of innovations);
o Making a cult of IT-technologies and communication industry, hyped up into principal economic growth-drivers;
o Fables about how good it would be for the State to engage in neoliberal financial gambling games (this resulted in such effects as the augmented refinancing rates, ‘unnatural selection’ practices in the banking system in crisis periods, condoning the outflow of financial assets into offshore tax havens, abandoning production economy priorities in creating special economic zones, and much more);
o Encouraging increased disproportions in regional development;
o Importing the European ideology of multiculturalism, which gives encouragement to massive immigration, and leads to the spread of ethnic enclaves;
o Creating conditions conducive to ethnically tainted social conflicts;
o Creating conditions conducive to the spread of social pessimism and social envy;
o Making a cult of artificial desires incited by advertising and branding industry;
o Promoting the idea of development as something meant to please foreign investors instead of development for the benefit of our country and its people;
o And so on and so forth.
To elaborate a more detailed version of mobilization-project ideology, an act of top-level political decision is needed, by which a special structure should be launched. The structure must be independent of any pressures from corporate lobbies and clannish or personal bureaucratic interests. It is to become an assembly of people coming from a narrow layer of specialists with an insight into what is going on in the main segments of national life. Those people shall help to obviate errors in setting goals for the Major Breakthrough strategy, and ought to work out a flexible model of relevant (meaningful) development priorities for the country’s future.
Such body may be named Strategic Council of Russia. Its first goal would be to create an integral multidimensional and, what’s more, realistic picture of the ongoing processes in the country and beyond. That body should bring into its work ‘envoys’ from various expert communities (academia, researchers, inventors, innovation implementers, political analysts and forecasters). Under its auspices, competing analytical teams will be set up, which should advance and argue for their visions of the country’s future ways of development. Those standpoints, even if they explicitly differ, should be thoroughly elaborated, and, in an appropriate form, submitted to the State leadership and certain cases, if it is useful, to the notice of public at large by publication of the teams’ studies and reports. Through the Strategic Council one can start gathering key intellectual and administrative cadres for the ‘unit of change’, i.e. initiate selection of personalities for top positions in the President’s new, ‘transition-phase’ executive bodies.
Further on, those two functions – conceptual and personnel-recruitment ones – will be performed at different levels by a reformed RF government and a RF Supreme Cadres Commission (see below).
At the next stage, the Strategic Council could operate as a key agency for elaborating and coordinating key ideological and strategic documents pertaining to the country’s development, and linking efforts of the country’s leadership, state and social agencies in legislation, forecasting, strategic planning, and strategic project-building.
Assembling, at the Strategic Council, ‘statist-minded’ specialists will typify further efforts in recruiting personnel for those key decision-making centers that will be launching the mobilization project, and then consolidating its results. Those ought to be special personnel assembling points, created anew and independently from the existing bureaucratic system, in several key domains. More specifically, they ought to be built in such domains as research and technological development, mass-media, state administration system, departmental and corporate systems of economy management, and some others.
V. Common Cause Comes Before Specific Interests
The mobilization project assumes that large sections of the population should be drawn into the processes of change through the Common Cause ideology.
The Common Cause aims to overcome estrangements between society and the State, between the people and various social groups (former clans, specific crony-corporate structures, caste-like groups, ethnocracies). As soon as the country’s political leadership adopts the ideology of Common Cause, it will convert itself from the arbitrator of clan-like groupings into a societal system-building lynchpin.
As N. S. Trubetskoy put it with a reason, “those who are selected to govern” (i.e. ideocratic elite members) must have a high moral profile. To that end, the political style of the Major Breakthrough strategy must be based on a system of unambiguous self-sacrifice-expressing gestures, made by the leadership, in the name of the leadership, and by any elites swearing allegiance to the New Course. The morality of self-sacrifice required should manifest itself at least in the elite members’ willingness to sacrifice one’s material, pecuniary interests. This must be an issue for everyone, and must become a matter of special importance and regular attention for the now active state servants as well as the new elite recruits. An allegiance to such pattern of behavior among top government officers and politicians (seen not as a fancy of sorts but as a socially and politically correct behavior), their ability to give up hyper-consumption should be established as a new moral trend in the development of the State.
Ditto the corporate elite members, who - under the mobilization project – will have to drastically enhance the efficiency of social policies in their companies and regions for the benefit of the workers and populations involved. The psychology of crony and petty-bourgeois ‘rat-racing’ must be fought down. Its outstanding specimens – devotees of ostentatious luxury and hedonism - must be conspicuously forced out of the national elite.
In the transition to the ideocracy, new cadres will become the key issue. At that, there emerges, again, an analogy with Stalin, with his well-known slogan, “Cadres are all-important!”. When, in 1932, Stalin was preparing a ‘major breakthrough’, the special services were set the task to search for talented people all over the country. Such people were found – thousands of them. Some of them had to obtain, at a quickened pace, secondary-school training first, then higher-school diplomas. Later, in 1937-38, there appeared, on the scene, thirty-year-old CP regional secretaries, plant directors, government ministers. Today, however, to simply re-act what was done under Stalin is impossible. New methods are now needed.
Basically, there exist two principal modes of elite recruitment: a special selection among the cadres now available on the scene, and a call from above addressed to whoever may want to participate, in accordance with clearly stated conditions and requirements, in the work of an emergent new system of vertical mobility. Vertical mobility is an indispensable part of mobilization (it is not by chance that the two words come from the same root).
In this case, one can proceed in the following way. Following the declaration on the launch of mobilization project, or even before such declaration, there emerges, in a force-paced way, a far-flung structure for the search, selection, and placement of cadres of required qualifications. The system should include a network of ‘president’s schools’ and centers of personnel selection using the advanced human-science and psychological techniques. More specifically, along with the well-known established techniques, it is necessary to employ in-depth methods testing ideological affinity and honesty. One’s aptitude for state service should be evaluated, based not only on physical or psychological health conditions, but also on such indices that show one’s education background, value system, world outlook, his face-value and in-depth motivation for state service (such testing techniques are now available).
Without doubt, an access to the renovated administrative and managerial elite should be open, in principle, for mature competent people from the existing bureaucratic machinery, if their reputation is not singed by corruption. At the same time, the ‘call-from-above’ operation would lead to an upward mobility of a large number of people who were not part of the governing class of the 1990s/2000s. Many of them will be young enough. One should call to mind, too, those skilled practitioners who worried along following the Soviet industry collapse, and who have survived each in his own fashion and as hard as he can (many of them are now 50 or 60, and they may turn out to be extremely useful in the reindustrialization).
The organization of core groups of active functionaries should proceed from one coordinating center, with creating a network of schools for the new cadres, including military-type schools, as well as permanent or temporary personnel commissions at the level of federal districts. All those organized efforts should be coordinated and directed by the Supreme Cadres Commission, reporting directly to the head of state.
Depending on the governing-elite candidates’ competence and education levels, most of them (especially, younger cadres) shall pass special intensive instruction courses. As distinct from standard retraining or further vocational training courses, they will be focused methodologically on the techniques used to create special social and human project planning teams. Those teams will focus on these activities:
· Creating new or renovated motivation (feeling for, and self-adjusting for an adequate motivation as one of the goals of instruction).
· Psycho-technical training and the skills of social project planning (the goal is to enhance creativity, flexibility, and lateral thinking capabilities, and also the skills and habit patterns of effective collaboration within a team).
· The instruction program accentuates cultural-political and spiritual-political dimensions.
· Expanding the world outlook using the advanced studies in elite theory, conflict theory, country studies, studies of religion, ethno-psychology, history of closed (secret) societies, systems theory, etc.
· Capability to build forecasting (anticipation) models, and readjust them against reality tests.
The next phase in the implementation of mobilization-related personnel development program will be the new cadres’ missionary work, or ‘work in the field’: like those “25 thousand advanced workers” were once sent to the countryside (in the early 1930s), today’s cohort of new cadres will bring the Common Cause ideology into specific corporations, groups, sectors of national life.
A more detailed description of the techniques of elite-building and elite reformation is beyond the scope of this report. However, to illustrate how an unconventional solution can be found to a topical problem one can cite this scheme: a special institution for mobilization of active youth can be created as a kind of mixed enterprise, which, being similar, in a way, to age-old artels or soviet-period student construction teams, would operate, basically, as a capitalist enterprise (attending directly, without middlemen, to orders of interested companies or individual customers). To make good money would be the main, albeit not the only one, incentive for such young people.
If private business is compelled to reckon with the settings imposed on it by dominating clan-like groupings, which are interested in higher prices, corruption rent revenue, and non-competitive conditions, then this kind of state-backed social institution could in fact conduct ‘special operations’ of sorts aimed at intensifying the country’s development, while, at the same time, drawing active youth into useful activities, and creating social lifts for them. Such institution could become an agent of the so-called ‘closing technologies’, the innovations rejected under the existing system, and will enable to make pinpoint ‘breakthroughs’ in specific branches and regions. For instance, they could engage in the erection of towns from contemporary ‘construction sets’ (‘Three-Storied Russia’ program), new digital communications, or projects aimed at increasing power stations’ performance factor. If successful enough, such institution might go into even more ambitious projects, such as building highways, aluminum plants, or deep catalytic conversion refineries.
The activities of such institutions can only be successful, if they are well coordinated from the center, taking into account the dynamic of regional development, local needs and wants, and the role of a specific economic project within the general scheme of mobilization-driven development of the country.
Such institutions should also co-opt such young people who, under the prevailing conditions, often turn into social and human waste. Working shoulder to shoulder, those people, who may come from various ethnic groups and regions, will perceive themselves as belonging to one people, as brothers and friends united by a positive Common Cause, not by a criminal clan group. Joint work, celebrations, and excursions will bring them together into new communions, creating a different lifestyle, a new way of life. They will no longer be a mass of sottish, estranged individuals that can be held in leash by ethnic criminal gangs, which is often the case in today’s cities and towns. Thereby the country will gain, as well, good soldiers and citizens, who are used to work, and know how to cooperate at work.
VI. Political-Spiritual Mobilization in the Media Realm
Under the current conditions, when an information-psychological war has been openly unleashed against our country as well as other countries and civilizations, state-run mass-media ought to become a defense line, and the officials employed in that sphere must be personally accountable for the state of public opinion. In the legislation concerned, and in the practice of journalistic broadcasting on the state-run channels, it is essential to have one’s own sense of purpose, one’s own meaningful strategy, and ability to act proactively, which is more important than isolated defensive responses to unfriendly foreign encroachments.
The revival of Russia’s civilization-cultural codes must be based on the education of a new generation, which will be a long process. No time is left for that now. Accordingly, many tasks in the area will have to be tackled on an on-going basis, by changing some key tunings in the media realm, in the areas of culture and arts. The state-run media are to play a key role in that retuning of mentality and public opinion.
Taking into account the established and deep-seated morals and manners in the country’s media community, it is naïve to think that the existing state-run media could become effective agents in implementing the ‘Major Breakthrough’ ideology. Reform in that sphere should be launched with the creation of a special built-anew state-run media holding, which will become an information mouthpiece and moving spirit of the mobilization project. In effect, only a specially built patriotic media holding, by concentrating the advanced cadres and creative solutions, could become that experimental ground on which a new national ideology will be elaborated and introduced, and an adequate ‘world vision’ presented.
For some time, the new media holding may be developing in an environment that will be very different from it, giving rise to a sense of mental dissonance, psychological conflict. One need not be uptight about it. Such ‘duality of power’ in the media realm cannot continue for long: there will occur a natural polarization in the media and among journalistic teams, based on the alternative strategies. And also, a moral support for the new course from the greater part of the audience and readership should be a factor of utter importance in those processes of self-determination in the media community. Moreover, if the country’s leadership shows its determination and firm resolution, that would play a significant role, too. Such determination and firmness will help to convince the floating minds.
The emergence of a new vertically-mobilized segment in the media realm will start giving the washy and spontaneous information market a more definite shape. So far, the media policy in the state-run outlets has been molded based on responding to current failures or threats, in a ‘challenge-response’ mode. Meanwhile, it must be goal-oriented rather than reactive.
The mobilization media holding could include:
· One federal TV channel;
· A powerful enough news agency, capable of competing with the world’s large generators of news flows (without that, a comprehensive information policy is impossible);
· Several newspapers and magazines;
· Several radio stations;
· Several internet portals;
· Several publishing houses;
· Film studio for the production of theatrical, documentary, and animated cartoon films;
The patriotic media holding should have its own information-analytical ‘brain center’ (related directly to the Strategic Council of Russia), and keep its own information pace rather than respond to outside agendas. It implements a state strategy in information, cultural, and spiritual-moral dimensions, being, in effect, a special operation aimed at spiritual and mental mobilization. The leading media’s tonality should change from depressive to an optimistic and inspiring one. New state projects contributing to the growth of state sector, new wave of innovations, achievements in science, education, and cultural creativity must be the focus of attention in the media as the tag line and cream of the national life.
Under the Major Breakthrough strategy, the state-run mass media and mass-culture-oriented state projects, beside informing, educating, and instructing the public, must also bear in mind a more difficult super-task – that of creating a vision of our national future, grown out of the present-day real-life people, their plans and creative capabilities. To make the mobilization project convincing, one ought to demonstrate a new character type – a heroic character capable of going the extra mile, a creative forceful personality, who is building a developed, organized country, and who believes in himself and the nation’s potential.
Within the state-run media corporation, a special corps of personnel for state-run media will be trained. One of the principal results of the new corporation’s operation will be a focused program of training of would-be top managers for other media companies. Subsequently, those best cadres will be placed at all the media where the State has a share as directors, or members of the board of directors or supervisory board. If certain are made in the media-related legislation, those cadres will be able to operate as a kind of ‘inside controllers’ over the adherence to the new rules of conduct at the information market, when all the information media will be placed before the accomplished fact: they have to bear a certain responsibility within the national Common Cause project.
As early as possible, at the initial phase of reformation, it will make sense to revise the existing approaches of the State toward some sectors of mass information market in terms of a balance of interests of foreign and national agents. The problem is especially acute in the Runet and Russian-language social networks. What is developing in our country, in fact, is a supranational anonymous ‘fifth power’, which is gradually superseding the press and television.
According to the Civil Society Development Fund, five out of Runet’s top twenty (in terms average daily audience) are not Russian in origin (Google, YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter). Of the remaining 15 Russian web services many have a large share of foreign capital, and furthermore, popular Russian services tend to change their registration for a foreign one. If one sits idly by, in a few years most of the Runet will be controlled by services located on servers beyond Russia, and registered in foreign domains. In fact, we are outsourcing control over public opinion, or if you call a cat a cat, we turn over the minds and emotions of our children into the disposal of outside forces. Finding themselves in an open-ended reality, they may become easy targets for attacks on the Russian mentality, for information winds bringing the viruses of expertly presented illusions.
Unfortunately, the information-psychological warfare challenge is poorly comprehended at the level of state authorities. And this is despite the fact that the same people who orchestrated the “Arab spring” come to our country “to study the blogosphere”, and in spite of the well-known fact that the so-called counterculture luminaries make one community with the political operatives of information-psychological warfare, which can be seen from the figures of Madonna, Lady Gaga, Peter Gabriel, Whoopi Goldberg.
The events of ‘colored revolutions’ and the ‘Arab spring’ show that in various countries parts of younger generation are manipulated instrumentally to attain the objectives set beyond those countries, and detrimental to their interests. It is the youth that spend a lion’s share of their lives in cyberspace, from where they pick up not only erudition, but value attitudes as well. The cyberspace is more authoritative for them than their parents, teachers, first employers, state services, TV channels.
Owing to this, the implementation of a special national program for the development of internet community should be seen as an imperative priority. Also, laws should be adopted to curtail the rights of foreign or foreign-based legal persons for the development of information networks and media in Russia.
In this report, we do not touch upon many aspects of political-spiritual mobilization in other domains, such as culture, pedagogy, religion, and freedom of conscience. We intend to address those topics in the Izborsk Club’s other reports and communications.
VII. Changing the Government System:
Ideologically, the government system ought to be re-formed based on the principles of ‘mobilization-conscious conscience’, introduced as consistently as possible due to considerations of emergency. Moreover, the ‘mobilization-conscious conscience’ should not be conceived as ‘self-defensive’, based on fear, suspicion, and foxhole-religion moods: by contrast, it must proceed from a positive faith, i.e. it must be, in effect, an
‘offensive-dominated’ consciousness, based on a faith in the justice of one’s cause.
Insofar as such ‘mobilization-conscious conscience’ is introduced consistently, this can split the embedded system of corruption. Moreover, fostering the said consciousness, if it is done efficiently, will create institutional, ideological, and economic opportunities for a rapid building of a new kind of Russian elite, capable of coping with the oncoming flow of increasingly complicated crises and conflicts of domestic or foreign origin. With this new elite rising, the existing crony-corporate, regional, and criminal groups, with their particularistic concerns and motivations, will be unable to resist them.
The state sector of economy, as a special institution, is to make up a strategic backbone of the country’s economy at large, while the military-industrial complex (as well as state corporations, major banks, key enterprises in the fuel-and-energy complex, natural monopolies, and development agencies, associated with it), which was, and will always be an absolutely indispensable tool for ensuring the national security, will constitute a hardcore of the state sector itself.
At the initial, most difficult, phase of the re-formation process, as was noted earlier, the key agencies for mobilization and rotation-of-office processes will be the Strategic Council, which will be working out a system-based program of a Major Breakthrough, and the Supreme Cadres Commission, making decisions that may run counter to the interests of existing political and financial groupings, who will be struggling to maintain the status-quo.
The next step in this mobilization project scheme will be the institution of a fundamentally new control agency, a State Control Committee. It should be built as an integrating body assembling thoroughly selected cadres, using the blueprints of the Presidential Control Directorate, Federal Service for Financial Monitoring, and Accounts Chamber (with the main powers of those three bodies delegated to it).
The specific method used to enhance control over administrative officers will consist in relocating the main points of power concentrations: instead of adding levels to the power vertical, powers should be centralized in a few key state administration agencies, by which the re-formed system will attain a higher flexibility and increased adaptability to the oncoming tasks. As a result, a large corps of new administrators will be found and trained, who will owe their promotion to their own ability to work for the benefit of the State, and who will have a direct interest in implementing the policies of the head of state, and in giving him aberration-free information.
The next step in mobilization: instituting the principal mobilization body, a center of national decision-making, with direct liaison channels to the existing state agencies, centers of expertise, and social structures. This key body might be called National Mobilization Council. It should be responsible for taking most important operative decisions in various spheres, such as political administration, foreign policy, economy, social welfare, military affairs, law enforcement, intelligence, information realm. Under its auspices, there will emerge expert councils for the main directions of re-formation and development. This new structure and its machinery should be built in a non-public operation mode. Directives pertaining to the coordination of newly created bodies, personal composition of their administrative staff and expert councils, planned personnel solutions, and doctrine documents cannot be announced until a special decree of the head of state. The division of powers between the National Mobilization Council and Strategic Council should follow this principle: while the first operates as an emergency body of executive authority, the latter is a planning body, working out strategic policy objectives and state doctrine documents.
The subsequent phase of mobilization involves the rotation of offices, and structural re-formation of the RF government, its administrative machine, and its ministries and agencies. In terms of the amount of work involved, that is the main stage of re-formation process. Also, one can safely say that there are a large number of people who, due to their insufficient professional competence, or serious implication in corruption, will create a threat by sabotaging the re-formation directly or indirectly. The problem will demand a special attention of the President, and must be the object of regular control of the State Control Committee, and the National Mobilization Council. During this phase, many operative decisions, normally lying within the government’s competence, will be made at the National Mobilization Council level.
Parallel to that re-formation, the process of a massive crime-fighting and anticorruption strategy should be launched, to be carried out by a newly created Council on Combating Crime. Together with the key special services and a National Guard structure , this Council will wage a purposeful struggle aimed at suppressing all the real or potential rival mechanisms of power control over society, such as organized world, mafias, corruption networks, regional clannish structures. The most notorious of corrupt officials get arrested, and test cases conducted. As the rotation of offices has made headway at the Interior Ministry, Investigation Committee, and Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Crime-Combating program will be moved from an emergency mode into a regular mode. Before that, the Council on Combating Crime and its special investigation organs should have prioritized prerogative powers to conduct criminal investigations in any cases of interest until a case is brought to court. To go
through this transition, or extraordinary period within the shortest time possible is in the best interest of the country, but to do so, the changeover process must be conducted drastically and intensively.
In the course of crime-fighting campaign, the public attention should be focused on the most wide-scale and outrageous types of crimes, such as drug-trafficking networks, human trafficking, illegal enterprise and immigration as well as creating clan-like monopolies on the markets or in the administration system (during the same period, the government carries out a parallel campaign, aimed at opening markets for all the producers, including local retailers, at eliminating the chains of parasitic intermedia in the transportation of goods and trade).
In the anti-corruption policies, in the mobilization period, it is desirable to resort to the following solutions:
· To introduce the ‘presumption of guilt’ principle in case of a discrepancy between official incomes and expenses in the families of officials;
· Non-use of prescriptive time limits for corruption-related crimes;
· To establish that the proof by documentary evidence of a corrupt official’s guilt gives the courts ground to take one into custody to prevent one from exerting pressure on the investigation ;
· To establish that a bribe-giver, if he cooperates with the investigation, can be acquitted;
· To regard the heads of companies affiliated to a bribe-receiver’s companies as fully liable accomplices in crime;
· To introduce a full confiscation of all property and assets (except for what is needed for a modest life) of the family members of those charged with organized crime offenses (including corrupt officials), if the latter do not cooperate with the investigation;
· To widely use the well-known western anti-corruption methods and technologies as well as the native advanced studies in the methods of inquiry and information-obtaining in anti-corruption investigations;
· To institute provisional special courts dealing exclusively with corruption-related and organized-crime cases, and ensure due security for their officers;
· To remove from the country all the ‘crowned thieves’ even though their guilt has not been established (such action has had successful precedents in Belorussia, Moldavia, Turkmenistan, Georgia);
· To establish that those convicted of corruption-related crimes shall be incapacitated for life from holding an office in state administration, or any legal office, or be elected to any elective post.
VIII. Technological Transition Challenges:
to Ride on the Wave
Since the early 2000s, the world economy has entered a turndown phase in the long wave (of the long Kondratiev cycle). This indicates that the potential for further growth, based on technologies of the fifth wave of innovation, is now to a large extent exhausted. Having lost opportunities for obtaining high enough profits in real economy, the capital surged into financial markets, blowing up speculative bubbles, which subsequently imploded. The developed nations (their monetary and financial authorities) have attempted to cope with the crises by lowering the official discount rates down to zero, and by infusing unlimited amounts of liquidity, which is like trying to suppress a fire with kerosene. To create conditions for a true fundamental improvement in the economy, one should have let the excessive virtual financial assets self-immolate in one way or another. The western financial authorities’ ongoing policies only inject more and more uncovered money into the system.
To pave the way for a fundamental improvement in the economy, and towards an economic growth in the long run, it is necessary to speed up a transition into the sixth wave of technology revolution. Such revolution can build up a new sustainable mass demand by creating new classes of goods and services, increasing drastically labor efficiency and productivity, and changing the mix of types of energy and materials used (including new manmade materials with preset attributes, enhanced qualities, longer life duration, etc.).
In the years to come, success will be found by those who will be the first to come onto a growth path of the new technological wave, and will be able to invest in its various aspects at the earlier phases of development. On the other hand, as far as the new technology paths get shaped, entering them will become increasingly costly, because, at present, the sixth technological wave is at the end of its embryonic phase of development, and is preparing to come out into a growth phase. Its expansion is restrained by the want of finish and insignificant market size of such technologies, and also by the fact that the existing socioeconomic surroundings are unprepared yet for a massive use of them.
The global crisis is to end in an overflow of much of the capital left over after collapsed financial bubbles into the production projects of the next technological wave.
The unpreparedness of today’s institutions for a rapid advance into the sixth technological mode, exacerbated by the critical conditions in economy and business (lowering investment stimuli, and heightening risks), drives the world economy into a depression, the usual companion of the Kondratiev-cycle ‘winter’. Under these conditions, it is the State that must take the initiative, and set about doing whatever is needed for a new major technological advance.
The current situation in the world economy is a reincarnation of the Great Depression, which also witnessed an overproduction crisis. To overcome such crisis, one should dramatically raise taxes on high money, and increase substantially budget expenditures, which was done by F.D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression. In the developed countries, however, the consumption, as of today, makes up a lion’s share of GNP, while the state debt levels go off scale and through the roof.
The ongoing money pumping into the western economies will result in the end in the financial system’s self-destruction. However, due to the anticipated structural changes in those economies, caused by an oncoming technological production mode, one can foresee the possible beginning of a new long wave of economic growth. What is at stake is the ‘price’ (costs) of such technological changeover. The ‘price’ will depend on how long the changeover process will take, and on some general economic conditions.
In the developed countries, the existing debt burdens deny them to a large extent the opportunity to offset the depression by means of fiscal and budgetary policies, for the period of technological transition. So the transition, there, will take place against an unfavorable economic background, with the living standards of the population falling substantially. In contrast, the developing countries, such as China, Brazil, India, Russia, etc., have a larger range of discretion for the expansion of their economies by developing domestic markets and raising the living standards of poor enough population (in effect, creating a massive middle class by means of redistribution systems) to stimulate the aggregate demand, while at the same time creating conditions for the advance onto the next technological mode of production. No wonder that, according to Goldman Sachs analysts, the BRIC countries’ share in the world consumption is going to grow from 23% in the last decade to 62% in the 2010-20 decade (with an annual growth rate 10%), whereas the developed countries’ share will be shrinking resulting from the collapse of debt pyramid schemes.
Now, against this background, there opens up, for Russia, a well-grounded historic opportunity – that of making a strategic breakthrough out of the quagmire, in which it found itself resulting from the economic policies of the last two decades, to become a leader in the sixth wave of technology revolution, and a center of world economic development. During the last three centuries, Russia made such breakthroughs twice, under Peter I, and under Stalin.
The ‘growth without development’ that was taking place in Russia in the 2000s, based the remaining production technologies left over after the ‘reforms’ of the 1990s, have run out of steam. To surmount the economic growth structural constraints, one ought to energize radically the investment and innovation activities, which is possible only with the GNP annual growth rates being at least as high as 8%, industrial production growth, 10%, capital investments growth, 15%, and growth of R&D expenditures, 20%.
The goal of the Major Breakthrough is to ensure advance in key areas of focus of the sixth technological wave of innovation, winning positions in appropriate market segments, seen as a condition for the progressive and dynamic development of Russia.
It is general knowledge that, resulting from the protracted economic crisis of the 1990s, the previous mechanisms of extended reproduction and implementation of the R&D results were wrecked, while new ones were not launched. This being said, the current situation should be seen as unique in one respect: owing to a relatively high savings rate in the GNP, one can increase the country’s capital investments by 50% without lowering the consumption levels (the savings rate, in Russia, is about 30% of GNP, while that of capital expenditures, only 20%). Consequently, the potential for development is available, what is lacking is a mechanism and organized agencies for it, which ought to be created.
The key idea of a Major Breakthrough, to be implemented under the Mobilization Project, amounts to an outrunning development of basic production facilities of the next technological mode, and to taking out the Russian economy, as early as possible, into the growth phase of a new long economic wave. To do so, one ought to concentrate and direct resources into the development of the technologically most promising manufacturing units, which requires a goal-focused national finance and investment policy, embracing the appropriate instruments of monetary-and-credit, fiscal-and-budgetary, foreign economic, and industrial policies. These should be guided towards developing the basic units of a new technological mode and reach synergies when building clusters of such units, which requires a coordination of a macroeconomic policy with the priorities of long-term engineering and economic development. Such priorities ought to be defined, based on the long-range regularities in economic growth, global trends in engineering and economic development, and national competitive advantages.
Research-and-engineering forecasting enables one to define key directions in the development of the oncoming technological mode: biotechnologies based on molecular biology and genetic engineering, nanotechnologies, artificial intelligence systems, global information networks, and integrated high-speed transportation systems. To those one should add such branches-carriers of the new technological mode that will cause much of the demand for the new products: aerospace technologies, production of construction material presets, aviation industry, nuclear power industry, solar energy. The existing know-how capacities in such science-intensive industries as nuclear power, aerospace, and aviation technologies, in molecular biology, genetic engineering, and nanotechnologies offer, to Russia, the opportunity for an outrunning development of the new technological mode, and chances to become a leader in the areas where a new long wave of economic development may emerge.
IX. Institutional and financial framework conditions for a Major Breakthrough
The amount of the country’s national wealth available, and its still existent developmental and intellectual potentials, allow the country to avail itself of opportunities now opening due to the ongoing world crisis. It is precisely in such period of the system-wide global crisis that the countries that have been economic laggards are given a chance to work an “economic miracle” due to a more rapid development of key factors and capacities of the new technological mode.
To do so, as the world record shows (for instance, the record of structural crises of the 1930s and 1970s), a powerful enough impetus is needed to initiate a renewal of basic capital on a new technological basis. The record of such breakthroughs in the new industrial nations, such as post-war Japan, contemporary China as well as the USSR, shows that the rate of accumulation, needed for the investment and innovation activity involved, must be increased to 35-40%, with concentrating the resources mainly in the ‘breakthrough sectors’ of global economic growth. Also, in order to ‘remain on the ridge’ of a new wave of economic growth, investments in the production capacities of a new technological mode should go up annually by at least 50%, and the share of R&D expenditures in GNP reach 4%.
However, it should be stressed that the said level of investment and innovation activity is at least twice as high as the potential of a financial-investment system now established in Russia. Throughout the entire post-soviet period, the main bottleneck in the development of the Russian economy has been the Central Bank’s headstrong policy of imposing quantitative constraints on the money supply. As a result, the rate of monetization of the Russian economy (money quantity against GNP), even though going up from 16 to 45% during the last decade, is still considerably lower than in the developed countries (70 – 100%)
In the 2000s, there developed a structural distortion in the Central Bank’s sources of money supply, resulting from an increase in its net foreign assets beyond the optimum amount needed for ensuring a reliable operation of the Russian economy. The CB began to sterilize ‘excessive’ money by placing it and keeping it idle in the money-box of the Stabilization Fund. The inflow of petrodollars was redirected into the back-up of American pyramid schemes, while the expenditures on the development of the Russian economy remained substantially lower than in the developed countries.
If the money emission remains to be tied to the amount of foreign currency obtained (currency board system), this will deprive the Russian economy of the opportunity now opening to win positions of its own in a market structure that will emerge within the sixth technological mode. The opportunity to use, for the benefit of the country, its developmental and intellectual potential will also be missed.
The established financial policy has resulted in the underdevelopment of mechanisms of refinancing of economic activity, the deficit of ‘long money’ and internal sources of investment financing, and in subduing the evolution of the economy to outside demand, which is the main cause of its continuing reliance on raw materials sectors.
Throughout the pre-crisis years, the CB, whose main function is to organize money emission and circulation in the country, was doing ‘exactly the opposite’ of what it was supposed to do: instead of money emission it was engaged in withdrawing money from the economy. Under such policies, no wonder that, in Russia, a full-fledged banking system has never emerged.
As regards Russia, the ‘currency-board’ monetary and currency policy consists in that the CB can issue into circulation precisely as many rubles as many US dollars, euro, etc. come to the country in earnings, based the ruble’s current exchange rates. This means that Russia’s national financial system is not national at all, because it depends entirely on the amount of US dollars, euro, pounds coming into the country, and the ‘lender of last resort’ for the ruble is not the Bank of Russia, but the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, and the Bank of England.
According to our estimates, because of the differences in the policies of the CB and the banks that are reserve currency issuers, Russia suffers huge losses. Due to an unequal exchange, we lose $80 billion annually only in monetary and credit operations. Thus, the European Central Bank, for instance, with a wave of a wand, can pour a trillion euro into the economy, while it takes Russia 10 years to earn the trillion through oil exports. In the last years, the reserve currency issuers have abandoned all quantitative constraints on their money emission, while we continue to ‘give’ them a large part of our national wealth.
Therefore, changing the status and role of the Bank of Russia (CB) is utterly important in obtaining a full sovereignty of Russia over its economy. The main rationale of existence of the CB must consist in the implementation of state monopoly on the organization of money circulation and money emission with a view to ensure favorable conditions for economic development. Beside the currency stability, those conditions include access to available credit, the mechanisms of savings accumulation and their transformation into long-tern investments, the technologies of reliable refinancing of extended reproduction, as well as ensuring the timely creation and assimilation of new knowledge and technologies.
To ‘nationalize the ruble’, one has to eliminate the linking of the ruble emission to the volumes of foreign currency inflow and the country’s official monetary reserves. Today, the ruble is not a national currency of sovereign Russia, it is a second-hand ‘clone’ of the US dollar, and the Bank of Russia, a subsidiary office (without the title of a legal entity) of the US Federal Reserve System.
The crisis Russia experiences is not caused by an excessive money supply and financial bubbles that ensue. It is a structural crisis, resulting from low efficiency and resource-sector dependency of the economy, complicated by its chronic under-monetization. Experiencing an acute deficit of investments and credit, the economy of Russia has been working itself ‘flat out’ for a long time. To restore the domestic market, to see a rise in innovation and investment activity with a view of modernization and an outrunning development, it needs a substantial increase in the level of monetization, an expansion of credit and banking system capacity.
The results of the pre-crisis period policies show that the mechanisms of market self-organization, by themselves, cannot achieve the rate of accumulation needed for the modernization of economy.
From this it follows that there is a precondition for the success of a Big Breakthrough and outrunning development strategies, and this is the availability of an effective national investment-directing financial system, capable of ensuring the transfer of capital into the development of new production capacities, and relying on the domestic sources of credit. To create such system, it is necessary:
· To create a system of strategic planning, capable of discovering long-range prospects of economic development;
· To ensure the macroeconomic conditions required for an outrunning development of the new technological mode;
· To set up institutions for financing those projects that deal with the build-up and development of engineering and manufacturing units of a new technological mode, and the spheres of consumption of their products.
Naturally, any of these steps should be elaborated in detail, including specific mechanisms of action. That would take us beyond the format of this report. We shall confine ourselves to one example.
Thus, at the federal level, the system of strategic planning could include the following list of documents:
· Long-term (25-30 years) forecasts, envisaging various scenarios of development of the economy, depending on variations in changing external and internal objective factors, as well as on variations in socioeconomic policies;
· Middle-term (10-12 years) Conception of socioeconomic development, coordinated with the General schedule of development and localization of productive forces. They define the main goals, tasks, and priorities of socioeconomic development of the country, and the list of goal-directed state programs of various levels;
· Indicative plan of socioeconomic development for a 3-year period, establishing the desired indicators of development, and a system of actions to be undertaken to achieve them (the term ‘indicative’ means that the indicators involved can be seen as reference points by all non-state management agents, but are obliging for all the agencies of state administration, including state representatives at company boards;
· Middle-term state (federal, regional, and branch-level) programs, correlated with each other in terms of goals and investments, ensuring the attainment of the given goals of development;
· Three-year/five-year plans of development of the country, in which branch-level and territorial programs of development will be tied in with each other (they are not now); the priorities of development and the list of ‘development-driving’ state programs are defined: electronic engineering, software engineering, machine-building, aircraft manufacturing, railways, nuclear technologies, biotechnologies, new materials, etc.);
· Annual budgets and three-year budget plans (on a rolling basis), which are shaped, based on the goal targets defined in the Conception, indicative plan, and middle-term programs.
Appropriate institutions of direction and loops of guidance ought to be created to ensure the effective operation of the national investment-directing financial system. More specifically, one of such institutions should be an Agency for Advanced Technologies, specializing in a quest of innovative solutions and inventions in engineering, which may be of value as technologies (to begin with, among the so-called ‘closing technologies’, developed in the late soviet MIC), in bringing them up to production prototypes, and introducing them into the market. Beside that, it will be necessary to set up an Agency for Economic Reconstruction, which would centralize all assistance to the non-financial sector, and the management of state-owned property (including state-owned corporations), in a view to attain the strategic goals of development, above all in such spheres as:
· Renovating the country’s infrastructures;
· Affordable housing construction
· Renovating agribusiness industry
· Creating a demand for high-tech products, and for new engineering solutions that can make up the base of clusters of innovative growth.
Target indicators ought to be set for the performance of state institutions of development, state corporations and agencies according to their areas of activity, aimed at creating globally competitive production capacities of the new technological mode, and envisaging mechanisms of accountability for their timely attainment.
The fiscal and budgetary policies must be brought in compliance with the goals of outrunning development. To that end, it will be necessary:
- To include the budgetary process into a system of strategic planning; accordingly, budgetary priorities should be defined conforming to strategic plans; a continuity must be ensured in maintaining budgetary compliance with the strategic goals and programs; procedures of accountability must be introduced for the attainment of goals and targets set.
- The federal budgetary expenditure patterns ought to be brought in line with the generally known expenditure split-ups required in view of the goals of development, including a two-fold increase in the expenditures on science and innovative activities, a 50-percent increase in the expenditures on healthcare and education, plus additional allocations to stimulate the development of a new technological mode.
- Adopting a comprehensive program of tax incentives aimed at stimulating innovative activities, including such measures: deducing a sum of expenses on R&D, assimilating novel technologies, acquiring new equipment, technological upgrading, renovation, etc. from profit-tax-related taxable base; giving a 3-year-long tax relief on property tax with regard to the equipment acquired when realizing innovative projects; tax privileges to companies that commission research jobs in Russia.
The monetary and credit policies should also reshaped to conform to the goals of development. Relative to the developed countries, banking loans still make up an insignificant share among the investment financing sources in Russia. We might have our GNP twice as big, the volume of investments thrice as high, and a far more advanced structure of the economy, if the CB, instead of curbing the growth of Russian economy, would have used the state monopoly on expanding the money supply to provide credits for economic development.
Keeping the base refinancing rate at levels which are considerably higher than the average profitability in the manufacturing sector, the CB blocks the development of a larger banking system, containing the demand for money within short-term speculative operations, and the super-profitable base materials branches. Such policy, they argue, aims to keep the base financing rate above the rate of inflation. But, in the first place, the high rate of inflation was the by-effect of actions of the CB itself and the RF government; and secondly, most of the developed countries will set the refinancing rate at ‘negative’ levels (lower than inflation) in order to stimulate the economy in recession or depression periods. It will be set higher than inflation when the economy is ‘overheating’ in order to put a restraint on its explosive growth.
The refinancing rate cannot be higher than an average profit rate in the manufacturing sector (2-3%, according to general present-day practices), while the loan terms should correspond to a typical length of an engineering-and-manufacturing cycle in manufacturing industries (5-7 years).
At that, moreover, one has to learn lessons from the lamentable effects of the anti-crisis policies of 2008-09. Then, as soon as the Russian banks received cheap unsecured credits from the CB, they immediately forwarded them into speculative activities at the currency market. In order to secure the economic system against such practices, Russia ought to introduce legislation similar to the Glass-Stigall law, adopted in the USA in 1933, in the heat of the Great Depression, restricting the banks’ opportunities for speculation.
Amid a growing instability of the world monetary-financial system, one should extend the sphere of circulation of one’s national currency, encouraging the expansion of national financial institutions into the markets of countries, associated with Russia, such as CIS countries, China, etc.
In order to augment the potential of Russian monetary system, and strengthen its position in the world economy, one ought to encourage a transition to mutual payments in the Rubles within the CIS countries, in the Rubles and Euro with EC, and in the Rubles and Yuan with China. Moreover, ruble-denominated credits should be offered to the countries-importers of Russian goods to support the trade turnover.
To augment the position of the Ruble in the currency system, one should launch and build up a ruble-denominated exchange trade in oil, oil products, lumber, mineral fertilizers, metals, and other raw material goods. The Russian producers of such goods should be obliged to sell, through such Government-registered commodity exchanges, no less than a half of their products, including the exported ones.
It must be seen as totally abnormal that the State abandoned an active structural and industrial policy two decades ago, and has not pursued any ever since. Russia’s recent hasty entrance into the WTO now seriously narrows the State’s potential for such policy in terms of means and methods. At the same time, reasonable protectionism is indeed indispensable (or even, frankly, imperative) with regard to the most vulnerable and important industries, especially those that ensure the sovereignty and security (military, food supply, financial, etc.) of the country and its economy, as well as such branches on which our future and future competitiveness will depend under the next technological mode. Beside the MIC industries, agribusiness industry, and a number of machine-building industries, these include high-tech double-purpose technologies.
We must have reliable effective mechanisms for defending the industries of prospective future as well as programs for their development. The absence of such mechanisms and programs, apparently, results from a misconception of what high technologies really are, still reigning at the government level. Within the misconception, high-techs stand only for computer gadgets, communications tools, and cyberspace ‘social networks’. Meanwhile, the sphere of high-tech technologies includes the backbone branches of manufacturing, energy sector, and transportation. Russia has significant keys to the future in some of them, such as aerospace, optics, medicine, and many others. The strategic planning should envisage the introduction of high technologies precisely in such backbone branches, making up the core of national economic potential.
X. Societal Conditions for the Mobilization Project
The reforms of the crisis-ridden financial and economic system, now discussed at the G-20 level, envisage mainly ‘cosmetic’ repairs, whereas the system is in want of a complete overhaul.
Abating the most flagrant misbalances in the financial sphere will not rule out a relapse of the disease. The changes required for a fundamental abolition of the disease will necessarily touch upon the issue of principles underlying the socioeconomic model.
It ought to be admitted unequivocally that abandoning the moral dimension is driving the world economy into a catastrophe.
To truly overcome the crisis (in the world at large as well as in Russia, specifically), one is to engage oneself in the quest for a novel socioeconomic paradigm, based upon moral principles, such as justice, intelligent creation, and common good.
The future of humans and human society will depend on how harmonious and coherent the new paradigm can be.
It appears that among the basic constituents of the new model a special place will be given to solidary mechanisms in economy. One has to reconsider a balance between competitive-type and solidary-type economic relations. It is apparent enough that, in this trial period for the world and for Russia, and taking into account the great challenges to be met ahead, the priority must be given to solidary mechanisms.
The pendulum of history is relentless and imperative: From the dominion where individualistic values, personal egoism, and the grasping reflex prevailed, it will swing in favor of common good, common cause, and social interest.
Another dominant constituent: justice principle. The apparent deficit of justice in the world is a pivotal misbalance in the global system, which causes conflicts, and is extremely dangerous, threatening the stability of the entire sociopolitical and geopolitical system.
Apart from the global scene, one should note a special significance of the value of justice in the Russian sociopolitical paradigm. In Russia, justice belongs to one of the basic needs, and, as we know from history, insofar as that need remains ungratified, it is fraught with powerful social cataclysms and devastating social upheavals.
The deficit of justice shows itself not only in the unequal incomes, but also in the handicaps not allowing people to find or follow their callings. It shows itself, too, in blocked paths for vertical mobility; in the morally ‘egalitarian’ approach towards different kinds of work (such as socially useful, productive, and defense-related work, or socially optional and parasitical jobs), in the direct or indirect encouragement of parasitic occupations; in the emergence of a market of excessively expensive “eco-friendly” foodstuffs and “healers” which are not medicines – parallel to a deficit of vitally essential medicines or low-priced staples; in the deficit of supply of inexpensive housing – parallel to a high demand for real-estate housing; in the growing tariffs of housing and public utilities, whose services are deteriorating; in the deficits of transport infrastructures – running parallel to a high level of motorization in major cities. All those contradictions, taken together, lay under the nation a lot of ‘ticking bombs’, create numerous ‘vulnerable’, or ‘disadvantaged’ population groups (which can be seen as potential target groups to be activated by outside manipulators), encourage social envy and social frustrations, augment the number of people setting their hearts on emigration in quest of better life.
When setting now goals for Russia, one must bear in mind the degradation of its economy and its key mechanisms that has occurred, and also bear in mind the time lost for its development, and spent instead on the detrimental or sterile reforms. The changes for the worse have affected the competitive positions of the country on the scene of global economic competition. Its economic sovereignty has been to a large extent undermined. Therefore, the program for economic changes in Russia has to be guided by the imperative of a major leap forward.
Russia is in want of a mobilization project in order to make a large-scale breakthrough, thus going into a higher level of economic and technological development. This being said, it is obvious that any mobilization project should proceed from these assumptions:
- A higher level of state regulation in the economy and public life in general, a more active role of the State as a directing and inspiring force. Therefore, it is, in effect, an antipode of the RF economic policies, which were a guise for ‘criminal revolution’;
- The unity of all the social strata and an atmosphere of mass enthusiasm, which are impossible in society torn with sharp contradictions, where there is a “war of all against all”.
The implementation of such project is impossible and incompatible with the existing flagrant inequality, when one social layer sees the point of life in an unending race of glamour consumption, while the other remains in the condition of an unending struggle for physical survival. Such society will reject any calls for development, because, instead of the sense of being part of a common cause, common interests, an atmosphere of concern with the end results of common actions, it necessarily evokes general estrangement, a sense of hopelessness and futility of efforts or actions for the attainment of common national goals, which appear to be delusory.
It was this model of economic and social reforms, based on radical individualism, and which led to the emergence of an extremely iniquitous and atomized society, that was forced on Russia in the early 1990s. What is more, it masqueraded, then, as a single option possible. That was a blatant lie, and it pursued purposes running counter to the interests of the country and its development. History has seen quite different models of reforms, based on the ideologies of common cause, and the wide use of solidary motivation and collectivist mechanisms: see the historical record of Japan, South Korea, China, and other successful countries with rapidly growing economies, to say nothing of the postwar record of countries in continental Europe.
The established levels of inequality, and the frustrations resulting from trampling on the deep-seated need for justice are so immense that they have turned now into a basic deterrent to development, and a factor that is steadily eroding the legitimacy of authority and the existing social order; in effect, that is now a factor of erosion of society as such.
According to estimates, incomes in the top 10-percent bracket exceed those in the low 10-percent by 30-40 times in the country’s capitals and major cities, and by 70-80 times in the country at large. If the levels of accumulated wealth are taken, then the gap will be far bigger. At the same time, in the developed countries the income gap is, on the average, as big as 10 times, and in the countries of Northern Europe, 4 to 6 times.
Based on this fact alone, there emerges an urgent necessity: a redistribution policy of the State must be immediately activated.
Taking this immense or even outrageous inequality in living standards and wealth into account, one can no longer resign oneself to the existence of income-tax flat scale, or to the underdeveloped and undifferentiated system of taxation of personal property. Under the existing conditions, such system of income and property taxes in our society is nonsensical. l
It is even more nonsensical in the light of the fact that in Great Britain, the outpost of liberalism, the top rate for high income bracket (over 150 thousand pounds annually) was set at 50% two years ago, and in France they recently announced even a more drastic increase in the taxation of high incomes. The tax rate for incomes between 150 thousand and a million euro is set at 45%, and in the over-a-million-euro bracket, at 75%.
Let us note that the introduction of a sumptuary tax, supported by the country’s popular majority, has been sabotaged by the authorities concerned. All the discussions of the subject in the governing establishment (in the State Duma as well as the appropriate ministries and agencies) were vague and indecisive and were, in effect, boycotted under the pressure of the lobbyists concerned. As regards this issue, the existing situation is intolerable and utterly cynical.
It is necessary to abolish the regressive scale of mandatory social due fees (under which a poor one pays more than a wealthy one), and set its aggregate rate at no more than 15% of the labor compensation fund, irrespective of the levels of labor compensation.
If ensuring the right to life is, at least, a minimum condition of a civilized society and state, then ensuring a real minimum subsistence income for all citizens of Russia should be set as a goal. That will entail increased annual expenses in the budgets of all levels in the amount of 600 billion rubles, which could be obtained by curbing corruption and through confiscation of corrupt officials’ assets, or in case of urgency, out of the accumulated budgetary reserves (over 7 trillion rubles).
Ensuring the real minimum subsistence (and for families with children, social) income, differentiated regionally (depending on different price levels, climatic and transportation conditions, with a view of ensuring similar social standards and living conditions throughout the country) can become an impartial general criteria of success of the state social policy on the whole.
With a view of reducing social inequality, as well as improving demographic trends, the interest rates on household and mortgage loans (including any associated payments) should be set at a level of the CB’s refinancing rate. At the same time, the latter itself should be substantially reduced. In the regions with a population deficit, mortgage credit should be written off gradually following the birth of every child (25%, 50%, 75%, 100%, accordingly).
The social consumption funds should be rebuilt energetically. Such funds played an immense role in the Soviet system, while in the post-soviet world they were demolished to a large extent, and were privatized under the onslaught of free-market fundamentalists, who were masquerading as liberals. The arguments they used were threefold: 1) the social consumption funds favor excessive social leveling, encouraging attitudes of social dependency; 2) being public or state-run, they are, by definition, inefficient; 3) the State has no means to support them, and should not have any under a market economy.
Yet, the historical record of countries where genuine liberal values are not as perverted as with our pseudo-liberals (USA, Western Europe, Japan), shows a different picture: social consumption funds are well developed and operate effectively; their availability is not a factor of social dependency, they are instrumental in creating equal opportunities of access to the essentials, and in the last analysis, are factors supporting societal unity, mechanisms of social reconciliation and partnership.
What should be ensured at the very least is a general access to healthcare system and education, with an enhanced control over the quality of their services. All the pseudo-innovations that lead to a commercialization of education or, for that matter, budgetary sphere in general must be cancelled. Free secondary-school education (free in reality) should be guaranteed. In the higher education schools (this covers first higher education only), at least one half of the student places should be free, and at technical higher schools, at least three-quarters of such places. Optimally, there should be, as well, a strong social policy in the housing sphere, to ensure affordable social housing.
We have borrowed from the developed countries their negative features while ignoring the better ones.
For instance, the values of work ethic, creative and productive work are still a focus of attention at social, political, and expertly discussions in the developed countries. It is well-known that this factor was directly implicated in the economic achievements of such countries as Germany or Japan, and it is still instrumental in making their economies comparatively stable under the ongoing crisis.
Productive work and activity are directly related to creativity, creation of values. The skills needed for productive work are built in education and training, and due to personal development. However, productive work as such is a value: it is, at least, a value in the sense that it gives meaning to a person’s life, and determines, to a large extent, his/her moral dimension.
The enjoyment of work as a moral value is a thing in itself, and unlike anything else. The true enjoyment of work is related to creation processes.
Solidary work is of special importance: it socialized the individual, brings him into collective efforts aimed at improvements in life, into social interests, into the ideology of common cause, and gives him a sense of belonging to other people, and to society at large. The solidary work, where an entrepreneur’s gusto, a statesmanlike sense, an engineer’s talent, and a worker’s initiative come together, is the most effective way for re-building a nation, because such work process aims to transfigure, creatively restructure the noosphere, win over the entropy, and overcome social pessimism. Solidary work is a socioeconomic projection of the Christian tenet about active love of one’s neighbor.
All this stresses the importance of fostering the priority of work in the public conscience and consciousness by creating such model of society and economy that would encourage work motivation, work merits and achievements, and would ensure just and fair remuneration (material and moral) for socially useful labor, for work qualification and skills. Accordingly, it should also ensure a different correlation between profits and labor earnings in the composition of GNP, which would enable to set the labor earnings at a level corresponding to the country’s general level of development (now the share of profits is exaggerated out of proportion, while that of labor earnings downsized). It is also necessary to remove such outrageous disproportions in earnings that result in the deterioration of the quality and structure of employment (e.g. the salary of a university professor is lower than that of a hired salesman in a street kiosk).
However, instead of the priority of work, we are now faced with the priority and cult of success.
The cult of success is immoral, because it worships success irrespective of ways of its achievement. In the present-day world outlook, shared by many, society is divided not into useful and useless people, not into creators and parasites (or parasitic dependents), and not into creators and consumers. It is divided into “winners” and “losers”, successful ones and unsuccessful ones. What is more, such ‘success’ is likely to come to one who is unconstrained by any moral concerns, while the other one, who is restrained by moral principles, is actually doomed to lose in such race. It ensues, evidently enough, that such motivation is driving morality out of society, undermines its foundations, distorts the ideas of good and evil (by devaluating good, on the one hand, and by institutionalizing and actually condoning evil, on the other hand).
The potential of traditional Russian work ethic, which could be activated by reviving and strengthening such solidary forms of work activity as artel-type teams or cooperatives, is hardly used, and lies hidden in a napkin.
It is clear that the State will be able to play its new directing and inspiring role under the project only in case if, in the eyes of society, it will come forward as an originator of justice in social relations, a source of education according to one’s makings, employment according to one’s calling, remuneration according to one’s merit, and judgment according the truth.
XI. Newborn Elite and the Image of the Leader
During the period of systemic re-formation, the leader’s personality image becomes of crucial importance. He impersonates the Common Cause, determination to implement a Major Breakthrough strategy, leading the country through a period of mortal dangers. Mobilization processes among the elites and state bureaucracies begin to take shape, proceeding from the leader’s image, from how he looks, what he says, how he defines the current agenda. Beside being flawless, the leader should typify energetically and convincingly the opposite of what the struggle is waged against.
At the same time, this image of his is projected at once onto a newborn elite substratum, the ‘guards of mobilization’, a Major Breakthrough advance-guard. One person cannot make up a full-bodied agent and bearer of the ideology and energy of the advance. Therefore, to secure an emergent system, new organized forms for elite formation should be set up, where the processes of in-group communication and consolidation will take place, headed by men from top power circles.
The most essential condition for a success of the Major Breakthrough strategy is this: the corps of Russia’s novel super-managers should make up a self-conscious community. Ties between them should transcend the lines of any agencies and branches, patterns of ownership, parties, etc. They should collaborate with each other like members of one comradeship-in-arms, and trust each other in whatever concerns their service to the Common Cause. The newborn elite will brought together, based on a shared doctrine (ideas and goals), joint project-building activity, common communication network, shared leisure-time interests. It must be emphasized that their corporate community will not be a legal political party, or any political party at all. Another aspect of such a newborn community will be its demotic nature. They will be a demotic elite, demotic aristocracy rather than an exclusive stratum shutting themselves off behind administrative barriers.
One of the main and most efficacious mechanisms for the processes of system renovation, and for securing its gains, will be the personal example shown by the leader, who should remain, at the same time, open and accessible. That is a kind of moral and image-making innovation, which can help to revive and elevate the entire system of power. Even though a hierarchy and reasonable subordination are maintained, there should not be, about him, any ‘high-wall fence’, an air of secrets and suspicions. He should be accessible in communication, modest in consumption, self-disciplined, attentive to the needs of those around him, and marked by a spirited commitment to the common goal. In this sense, he must be transparent for the nation and, above all, for his top office staff, the corps of innovative managers and producers. The latter, through their personalities, should pass on the archetype of a new - refined and elevated - image of the State. (Even the most sophisticated means of control, repression, prevention, or encouragement won’t be effective, if this factor is not brought into effect).
The national leader, at the moment of radical system trans-formation, ought to reveal a new image of his, typifying a new political course, and a reaffirmed national sovereignty. At the first step in the trans-formation process (on the eve of an official declaration on the institution of the State Control Committee and National Mobilization Council), as an initial step towards shaping a national consensus, the leader comes out with a direct address to the nation. It contains an admission of mistakes in certain aspects of the country’s political strategy as well as an expression of firm faith in the moral and vital potential of the people, in the validity of its aspirations and hopes. Before the leader’s appearance in this new image of his, the intra-elite polemics, giving pretexts for speculation in domestic and foreign media, should cease; and a weighed pause should be made in the leader’s public statements, which is necessary, among other things, for his concentration before the momentous decision. In that period, a series of decrees and orders are issued concerning appointments in the system of state broadcasting, including previously agreed-upon steps towards creating a new media holding.
Following the principled address of the head of state, the National Mobilization Council is convened; the President’s article on flaws in the systems of control over the executive bodies is followed by an initiative aimed at instituting a State Control Committee. The head of state issues a series of non-public decrees and orders on the reforms of control agencies in the Ministry of Defense, in the Interior Ministry services for combating organized crime, and in the FSS services for information protection.
At the next step, the head of state comes out with a publication on a new course in economic policies, aimed at the outrunning development of a new technological mode. The activities of the government’s ‘economic bloc’ agencies are analyzed in detail, and arguments are presented for the creation of the Committee on State Economic Planning and Agency for Advanced Technologies.
Following the leadership’s official statements on the need to strengthen Russia’s legal sovereignty, there develops a public discussion of amendments to the main act of legislation (the Constitution, Civil Code, Administrative Code, Criminal Code, etc.), and appropriate initiatives aimed at strengthening the sovereignty of Russia’s legal system.
Today, when the three most economically developed countries of post-Soviet Eurasia, have surmounted differences of minor importance, and are converging in terms of legislation and regulations, we have a good chance to jointly perform a breakthrough into the future, and jointly proceed to a new technological mode, leaving behind the discredited concepts of postindustrial ‘general and complete globalization’. Insofar as the proverbial ‘global masters’ are at a loss, we can – together with our neighbors – mobilize intellect, industrial potential, and labor capacities to break out from today’s stalemate.
We can get rid of outside control bondage, rejection of foreign assistance (like that from USAID) is not sufficient. We could also withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights’ Protocol 14, and undertake a review of federal laws adopted under the influence of outside interests. We could lend our support to nations seeking fairer conditions of world trade and access to decision-making in the supranational bodies. We could bring forward an alternative to hypocritical imitation of anti-drug and anti-AIDS campaigns, proposing, in collaboration with China, a program for a genuine economic revival of Afghanistan. Engaging both scientific and ecclesiastical bodies, we could confront international institutions like the UN, OIC, LAS, the African Union, with an unbiased, eco-phobia-free research of climatic processes, along with an alternative program for combating desertification, soil salinization, etc., and publicly expose a conflict of interests in the international environmentalist establishment.
Contrary to Malthusian views, the human being is essentially different from the animal. Super-tasks are indispensable for his life: a human being, as a socio-biological creature, miserably degenerates without a cause that transcends his daily existence; hence the human need of faith or ideology; hence the human selfless devotion. Man is genuinely happy when creating a new essence, a new worth, or a new implementation of idea. This principle is peculiarly inherent in the Russian civilization and exemplified, in various epochs, with amazingly rapid acquirement of new knowledge, and emergence of new industrial sectors, professions and service arms.
Just enable the ignition, and the aesthetics and ethics of labor will shake off the sediment of frustration and incertitude; the timely revealed talents will find ways for self-realization in accord with vocations, and the achievements of gifted explorers, inventors, and innovators will not go down the drain of marketing but will be introduced for the nation’s benefit, with technologies of novel materials contributing to enhanced ways of extraction and processing of raw materials, improved infrastructure, construction, and restoration, and with thousands of square kilometers of land, now abandoned in abeyance, retrieved into the rhythm of economic and social turnover.
For the authors of the report the principal issue is: How can the degenerating Russia of today be turned into a prosperous Russia? How to transform the existing system in a way enabling the nation not just to survive in the ongoing global chaos but to achieve new success and victories on its path through history. We can see that the scenario of a ‘revolution from above’, mobilizing the nation and transforming the State, is still a feasible possibility.
Our ideological antagonists prefer a different scenario for Russia, far more costly and risky, up to the risk of a total loss of sovereignty and disintegration. It is noteworthy that, instead of proposing solutions to actual multidimensional challenges of the time, the ‘quagmire opposition’ crowd is chewing over the same mantra (“not the right man heads the country”), and unable to propose anything but “fair elections”. As for their recommendations (for instance, to bring foreign ‘independent’ directors into the boards of Russian corporations) and practical actions, these may only prompt the authorities to cede whatever is left of Russia’s political and economic sovereignty.
In fact, the challenges Russia is facing today amount to a single challenge. What is now thrown into the balance is the existence of our Russian civilization: to be, or not to be, this is the question. The threat is looming not over a particular government office but over all of them; not over a particular political party but over all of them; not over a particular traditional religion but over all of them; not over a particular branch of culture but over the whole cultural heritage. To pass such a test with flying colors, we should respond to all the challenges involved, not reducing them to particular social groups or branches of activity. A fundamental challenge requires a fundamental response. In order to respond to the most complicated crisis, the national organism is to mobilize all of its forces.
The main conclusions of our report can be summarized as follows:
1. The world financial crisis that burst out in 2008 is a system-wide crisis, and has various farfetched implications for the entire contemporary world. It is becoming increasingly manifest and threatening. It is likely to reach its climax within the next 18 to 24 months, whereas the severest period for Russia will come with a certain time lag, in the years 2015-16.
2. The crisis induces increasing political and strategic uncertainty for all the global actors, with specific challenges for the Russian Federation. This escalation of uncertainly is fraught with a series of regional armed conflicts close to Russia’s borders, which may eventually escalate into a new global war, possibly involving the use of WMD.
3. Taking the above into account, one must think of a preparation for that ‘super-critical’ period. According to the authors’ conclusions, an urgent build-up and implementation of a nation-wide ‘Major Breakthrough’ Strategy is the only option for an effectual Russian response to the challenges of the systemic crisis.
4. The relevant strategy for Russia should be explicated in a special design of creative mobilization, inspiring the entire society, and involving all its basic social strata, - inter alia by means of a broad public discussion.
5. Russians have to realize that their country is going to enter a new epoch of its history. At this stage, the State is considered, without any reservations, as the principal vehicle of development. National mobilization, based on the nation’s Common Cause, is officially declared the basis of a new ideology.
6. National resources are allotted for massive investments in re-industrialization of the country, and its transition to the new (6th) technological mode. (As demonstrated in the report, the rate of capital investments can be increased by 50% without lowering the levels of consumption, which makes the above task realistic enough).
7. The Major Breakthrough strategy is implemented in an orderly way within an expanding Eurasian macro-region by transforming the entire system of post-soviet space towards re-integration.
8. The nation’s spiritual mobilization rests upon development of a qualitatively new machine of state-run media that deliberately promotes a comprehensive world outlook for the oncoming epoch, shaping the corresponding agenda and outlining the nation’s vision of the future.
9. The report outlines a step-by-step approach to transformation of the country’s administration and government system. Thus, we set out a preliminary scheme for those new presidential power agencies that need to be created to ensure a shift of basic functions and powers into new centers of political decision-making, as otherwise the mobilization project would sink into the quagmire of old bureaucratic crony-oligarchic system.
Among them the report lists the following bodies:
Ø The Strategic Council (doctrine elaboration and strategic development planning);
Ø The Supreme Cadres Commission, with a network of subordinate local commissions (recruitment, testing, training, and retraining of administrative cadres);
Ø The State Control Committee (deep monitoring of the performance of executive agencies under the mobilization project; promotion of talented practicians that proved to be effective in the new conditions);
Ø The National Mobilization Council (principal mobilization body at the time of emergency transformation; a pivot of operative decision-making, coordination, and adjustment in the relations between ‘old’ and ‘new’ state agencies);
Ø The Council on Combating Crime (in the emergency phase, a central agency to combat corruption and crime);
Ø The Agency for Advanced Technologies (selection, introduction, and market promotion of engineering solutions and inventions of value);
Ø The Agency for Economic Reconstruction (re-industrialization, upgrading the infrastructure, agribusiness industry, housing construction, creation of innovative clusters).
 One example of a likely development: the war in Syria may grow into a larger-scale war conflict spreading over to the countries contiguous to Russia. Under the current global crisis, in order to resolve problems of their own, the world powers as well as the global power brokers may step up efforts to drag Russia into such war.
 Such scenario can be reconstructed – at least, partly – using open sources. Thus, many of its aspects found their way into the Agenda-XXI UN Conference in Rio (1992), in the emblematic addresses at the State of the World Forum 1995, or in the presentations of leading figures of the proverbial Council on Foreign Relations. As for the means for attaining such (neo-Malthusian) objectives, they were pronounced as early as 1973 in the so-called Humanist Manifesto by Paul Kurtz and Edwin Wilson, which argued in favor of a general and final globalization. The list of human rights in the manifesto, whose objectives are now being pursued by the world’s elites, did not include the right to life yet embraced (quote) “an individual’s right to die with dignity, euthanasia, and the right to suicide” as well as to “the many varieties of sexual exploration”. It is only natural, of course, that traditional religions were proclaimed to be “obstacles to human progress”.
 Including the regular partners of the above-mentioned CFR (Carnegie Foundation network, Pacific Council on International Policy), the International Crisis Group, the NED/Freedom House, USAID, Millennium Challenge corporation, etc.
 September 2001 saw the launch of a new phase in the development of a potential mobilization project in the USA. As for China, where a high level of ideological mobilization of the society and polity has been maintained due to the authorities’ focused effort, they have hardly ever stopped making improvement in their mobilization project-building.
 Many of the post-soviet elites, who are anxious about the prospects of their nationalities’ survival, will understand such an ideological turn, and will openly support it.
 It is desirable to create a Presidential National Guard force in order to avert attempts at a coup by the corrupted ‘elite’. The National Guard can be created, based on units of air-born troops, and combined special-ops units (Special-operation forces). Furthermore, it can include, as well, a new special service, which will compete with the other special services, providing the head of state with an additional medium of information.
 At present, Article 290, part 1 of the RF Criminal Code is not classified as grave offense, so the accused, even under a criminal investigation, are not taken into custody based on Article 91, 108 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which allows them to influence the course of investigation by, for instance, making such amendments in administrative instructions that may entitle them to taking a corruption-related decision. As a result, the cases are redefined into Article 159 (fraud) and, despite the clearly proven guilt, end up in conditional sentence judgments. So a bribe-receiver, even when brought to account, in most cases comes back to where he was.
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