'..Putin’s Russia .. feudalism..' - '..The Byzantine choice was fundamental in the evolution of Russian society and state compared to Western Europe..'
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'..Putin’s Russia .. feudalism..' - '..The Byzantine choice was fundamental in the evolution of Russian society and state compared to Western Europe..'

Posted by ProjectC 
'Putin’s Russia has been given many labels, from kleptocracy to Mafia state, but the most analytically helpful may be among the oldest: feudalism. “It is not a metaphor but a very exact definition of the system,” Andrey Movchan, a banker and finance expert in Moscow, said. If in the Middle Ages the chief feudal currency was land, in today’s Russia it is hydrocarbon wealth. Movchan explained how, in the Middle Ages, feudal lords were often “one handshake away from the king: their post, and the size of the resource, was decided by the king alone.” The land ultimately belonged to the king, and was awarded to feudal lords on a provisional basis. The same is true in Russia today, he said.'

- Joshua Yaffa, Putin’s Shadow Cabinet and the Bridge to Crimea, May 29, 2017


'Russia, which had been in the general flow of European development and under the cultural influence of Western Europe until the start of the thirteenth century, had by the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries turned into a traditional centralized agrarian state with all its features—omnipotent ruler, subjects with no rights, absence of democratic institutions, weak protection of private property, and absence of independent cities and local self-government.'

'..The Byzantine choice was fundamental in the evolution of Russian society and state compared to Western Europe.

Russia was separated culturally, religiously, politically, and ideologically from the center of innovation that Western Europe was rapidly becoming; it perceived Western Europe, and was perceived by it, as something alien and foreign. The consequence was the narrowing of cultural exchanged and more suspicion and isolationism.

An independent church as a center of influence, separate from secular power and frequently successfully opposing it, was a very important institution that restricted the expansion of state power throughout the centuries that paved the way for Europe's rise. There was no such tradition in Russia. It did not develop the cultural and religious communality of the European world on the one hand and the absence of political unity on the other, a combination that stimulated competition among cities and states and made inevitable the use of efficient innovations.

Another point of difference in the trajectories of development of Russia and Western Europe was the proximity of the great steppe and the Mongol invasion of the thirteenth century. (p. 148)

..

By the late fifteenth century the socioeconomic trajectories of Europe and Russia had diverged significantly. In Europe, especially in the northwest, elements of a taxpayers' democracy were becoming entrenched. For an agrarian society with its typically limited administrative capabilities, this change was a prerequisite to the safeguarding of private property .. Russia's system was of the Eastern despotic type (p.149) .. It did not presume the existence of bodies that represented the interests of the taxpayers. It did maximize the resources that the state could take from the peasant population through a centralized bureaucracy and state enforcement .. This did not stimulate efforts to increase the productivity of the soil.

..

Russia's long subjugation to the Horde and interaction with it led to the country's lag behind Europe's cultural and institutional development. The concepts prevalent in the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries about the omnipotence of the Russian ruler, his limitless rights, and the subservience of his subjects is completely Eastern and shows few traces of the institutional heritage from the pre-Mongol era. (p. 150)

Russia, which had been in the general flow of European development and under the cultural influence of Western Europe until the start of the thirteenth century, had by the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries turned into a traditional centralized agrarian state with all its features—omnipotent ruler, subjects with no rights, absence of democratic institutions, weak protection of private property, and absence of independent cities and local self-government. (p. 151)

..

..if as a result of geographic discoveries and the collapse of the steppe states, there is an abundance of land, an agrarian civilization has only two alternative strategies. The first: evolution into an egalitarian society with almost no differences in strata, minimal reallocation of revenue, and, as a rule, absence of direct mandatory taxes and payments (this is how the British colonies in North America developed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries). The second: direct and harsh state enforcement that denies the peasants free movement and the advantages of access to fertile land.

..

In Russia .. the early sixteenth century .. the assimilation of the Eastern European reinstitution of serfdom .. the creation of the Russian system of serfdom. (p. 151)'

- Yegor Gaidar, Russia: A Long View


Context

'What Russia needs today is to learn how to develop steadily .. avoiding wars..' - Yegor Gaidar

'..Archduke Otto .. warned .. Russian imperialism .. conquering Ukraine, folding it into Russia and using it as a platform for further major operations in Europe..' - Prince Michael of Liechtenstein

'[Russia] may become a threat to the world. That is the worst thing that could happen to Russia.' - Yegor Gaidar


Entrepreneurship - '..the calculation problem is much more general than has usually been realized.' - Dr. Peter G. Klein

'The widespread image of the CIA's demonic powers in Russia is the mirror image of Washington's conviction..' - Gaidar

'Rule of law emerges from property rights.' - Karen Dawisha ("Putin's Kleptocracy - Who Owns Russia?")


'..the import substitution industrialisation (ISI) strategy .. Russia..'