Home Misperceptions Russia - Then & Now Gallery Contact & Links About
© all rights reserved 2011
CURRENT GOVERNMENT       Like all governments, Russia  has an extensive bureaucracy,  but Russia’s is the most ubiquitous and pervasive in the world.   Over 160 different agencies (federal, regional, and local) keep  records on its citizenry.  This began in the 1620’s with serf  registration and exploded with the development of the federal  police OKHRANA in the 1860’s.  Information means control and  that is the key to governance in Russia.  As mentioned earlier, the  modern version has evolved into the present Soviet-style over a  period of over 200 years, with a radical reform taking place  between 1929-1953, during the rule of Stalin.  His style changed  service into a compliant, life-and-death concept.  Today, life-and-  death has been replaced with a mandated strict obedience and  disciplinary system which rewards the compliant.  This is  essential when only one person has absolute authority over the  entire country and there is no functioning constitution.  This  constitution is western and democratic in style and substance, so  it is selectively observed, utilized, and enforced only to serve the  needs of the ruling elite: useless by western standards.  So these  government jobs (employing about 5% of the overall population,  less than the 12-15% minimum in the West) are plum in a country  where more than 90% live in poverty, and most of them are  handed down, nepotism-style, to help ensure continuity.   The  minor role of the government, besides keeping track of the poor,  is tax collection.  Throughout Russia’s history, no one/no entity  has ever paid real taxes because the people have always  hated/distrusted  the government---so of course, very few  people/entities today pay taxes.  By law today, not paying taxes is  considered criminal, so the adjective criminal takes on a whole  new and very broad meaning.  So instead people pay bribes,  which have the advantage of not needing to be recorded and thus  not considered criminal in any context.   The most vital job of  bureaucrats is to collect and distribute bribes which involve the  government; these bribes amount to about 40% of the nation’s  economy.  About one third of this money  comes  from  international firms doing business in Russia and two thirds comes  from internal sources.  Al Capone, a much-revered man in  Russia, surely is looking down at this with great admiration.  To  expand the definition of this government function, it provides a  legal connection  between domestic businesses, over 90% of  which are owned by criminals (expanded, non-tax-paying  definition), and their international customers.  Here we are  describing the exporting of raw materials, mainly.  As well, 40% of  the nation’s economy comes from bribes being circulated  domestically, between Russians, and not involving the  government, officially.  This is why if a 100% government-funded  bridge should cost 1 million rubles and take 1 year to build, it will  actually cost 10 million rubles and take 10 years to build.  Or, if a  Church cost 800 million to build, the actual cost was only 80  million, etc., always because most money for construction keeps  getting siphoned off to pay bribes to the related government  officials indirectly.  Overall, the proportionate model is thus:  if the  
total amount of bribery is 1 trillion U.S. Dollars, the overall economy is about  1.3 trillion Dollars.  The 300 billion difference is represented by legitimate,  accountable activity like impoverished consumer spending /tax-paying,  government spending directly on health/welfare made directly on the  impoverished,  armed forces personnel , exporting of raw materials and  weapons, etc.   The are no laws, no ethics, and there is very little morality but a  great deal of honor in this highly refined hunter-gatherer, truly survival-of-the-  fittest system.  Of course, it’s just the opposite of the western adage about  there being no honor among thieves.  Russia is a different place.  Of course,  voting is not necessary in such an environment because it is meaningless.  In  relating the current time to Soviet history, it all goes back to that period  between 1929-1955 when much was needed to be done and there was no  money to do it.  Labor camps evolved into cities and the populations used theft  and barter to survive along with miniscule salaries.  Locales stole from regions,  which stole from the federal government.  It is an asset-rich country with a  socialist-evolved survival- of- the-fittest leadership whose survival  absolutely  must depend  on a constantly-weakened and impoverished citizenry, as in the  past.  Instead of turns of rubles from consumer spending by the entire  population, the Russian economy depends on turns from bribery made by less  than 10 % of the population.  It is important to note here that REAL criminals  (the orphans of wars) drove the labor camps, and their descendants run the  cities and businesses that evolved from them in the same fashion, with the  same mentality.  This makes the words crime, criminal, and criminality very  hard to define in Russia.  Russia molds government, business, and crime  together and makes them indistinguishable very often because of bribery.  The  further away from Moscow, the less government and the more criminality.  It  has reached a point in Siberia where Moscow has decided to fund it less and  less…the attitude has become: fund yourselves and  borrow from China…       Finally, a few words on Russia’s Government regarding how it is viewed  domestically and internationally.  Russia internationally often speaks regarding  world issues in the context of it’s membership in the United Nations and other  organizations which have legitimate legal structures that are universally  recognized.  Russia has absolutely no use for such structures when it speaks,  and when the world listens, it should realize that to Russians, the only  important context is their own lawless existence.  Two recent examples of this  are the non-tax paying criminal Khodorkovsky and the extortionist attorney  Magnitsky.  Russians don’t respect external laws or protocols, they respect  power and influence gained by force.  The basics of The RIGHT to fortress-  build, Screw the poor, Russia’s size/greatness, and Aw, the hell with everything  predetermine every word spoken to the international press, especially spoken  by Putin and Lavrov.  It’s their history, their evolution.  Russian leadership is, in  many ways,  compatible with that of Kim Jong  Il in North Korea, whose tiny,  impoverished country can’t change or evolve faster than many future  generations of slow progress will allow.  This is why they love/loved  Assad in  Syria, Ghadaffi in Libya, Chavez in Venezuela/Castro in Cuba (particularly,  since these two have used a veil of Socialism to achieve power, just like Stalin),  and the religious leadership in Iran (Church-controlled absolutism= absolute  power).  Even though The Russian Federation is much smaller and weaker  than its Soviet predecessor, it still wants to wield power and influence beyond  its borders without accepting that, statistically, it has no strength in any area  except nuclear power.  Government in Russia only serves the needs of  whoever is currently in power, and adapts to suit such needs.