Oxymoron of the day: "state capitalism"
jbone at place.org
jbone at place.org
Tue Nov 4 13:08:16 PST 2003
Anti-memes: state capitalism, "the Russian president can prosecute
whoever he chooses," "I am doing the same [buying political influence]
in the United States," abusing prosecutorial authority for political
ends, etc. Make it stop, make the double-speak and the brokenated
Russia May Be Heading For State Capitalism: Soros
MOSCOW, NOVEMBER 4:
Russian businessmen may have to take their orders from the state after
the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the nation’s richest tycoon,
billionaire financier George Soros was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
“Russia may now be entering a phase of state capitalism, where all the
owners of capital realise that they are dependent on the state,” Mr
Soros told Yevgeny Kiselyev, editor of Moskovsky Novosti, a weekly
acquired recently by Khodorkovsky.
Khodorkovsky, former head of Russian oil major YUKOS, was arrested at
gunpoint 10 days ago and charged on seven counts of fraud and tax
evasion. “Persecution of Khodorkovsky... sends an unmistakeable
message, that nobody can be independent of the state,” Mr Soros said.
Khodorkovsky stood down as YUKOS chief executive on Monday, after
prosecutors froze his shares in the company last week, effectively
preventing him from negotiating their sale to another company. The
assault on Khodorkovsky and some of his associates, who make up a group
of core shareholders in the company, is widely believed to have been
orchestrated by Kremlin hardliners apparently alarmed by Khodorkovsky’s
“I believe that he acted within the contraints of the law in supporting
political parties. I am doing the same in the United States,” said Mr
Soros. Accusations against Khodorkovsky, which have their roots in a
sell-off of state assets at bargain prices in the 1990s, could be
levelled against any of the so-called “oligarchs” who have enriched
themselves since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. “Since
practically everybody in Russia broke the law during the turbulent
years following the collapse of the Soviet system, the Russian
president can prosecute whoever he chooses,” said Mr Soros. The oil
magnate’s arrest also appeared to have electoral appeal, said Mr Soros.
Most Russians live in poverty and only a relatively small minority,
mostly in Moscow and St Petersburg, have enjoyed improved living
standards in recent years. “Undoubtedly, this may be very popular with
the electorate, since people harbour justified resentment against the
oligarchs. But, Khodorkovsky was the most enlightened among them.”
Campaigning for December elections to the State Duma, the lower house
of parliament, started this week and presidential elections, which
President Vladimir is expected to win comfortably, are due in March
“He (Khodorkovsky) led the way from ‘robber capitalism’ to more
legitimate capitalism. By cracking down on Mr Khodorkovsky the
development of legitimate capitalism is now interrupted,” he added.
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