Russia is a unique autocratic civilization, not the West and not the East. Therefore, attempts to integrate Russia into the Western (global) capitalist system and make it competitive within the global market turn into colonial dependence and collapse for the country's economy. And for the people - poverty and extinction.
The European choice
Supporters of the liberal-democratic project believe that Russia is a culturalhistorical and economic periphery, the outskirts of the West, European civilization. That in Russia it is possible to establish life according to Western standards. What is necessary to carry out full economic, cultural, socio-political and ideological integration with the West. Create a parliamentary republic, an independent judiciary, a market economy, political pluralism, and abandon dense remnants like Orthodoxy. And happiness will come.
Westerners have already twice arranged confusion in Russia: in 1917 and 1991. Russian autocracy and Soviet civilization were destroyed in order for Russia to become part of the Western world.
The problem is that Russia is a unique autocratic civilization, not the West and not the East. There is an excellent work on this subject by Slavophil Nikolai Danilevsky: “Russia and Europe”. The path of integration of Russia with the West, its loss of its national identity, “Russianness” ultimately leads to the collapse of Russian statehood, society, their death. The classic example of such a catastrophe is 1917-1920. After the 1991 disaster, events went according to a milder scenario, but the losses of Russia and the Russian people were also huge. At the same time, Russia did not get out of the state of the systemic crisis.
Why Russia is not America
The essence of Russianness is the primacy of spirit over flesh-matter, truth over law, justice and truth over money-grubbing, common over personal. Therefore, Russia and Russians can never become part of the West. Otherwise, it will not be Russians, but slaves of the “golden calf” - a consumer society, the predatory world of capitalism.
In the West, it has long been noted that the Russian centralized state, from which the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union would later emerge, arose contrary to all logic and science: without a common market, transport connectivity, developed commodity-money relations, access to warm seas, in conditions of constant enemy onslaught at almost all borders, northern, western, southern and eastern; having nothing of what made the great powers England, France, and then the USA. It turns out that the Russian state arose, survived and intensified in spite of all objective facts. That Russia is a unique phenomenon in the history of mankind.
In this regard, it is worth noting the wonderful book by Andrei Parshev, “Why is Russia not America?” Our geo-economic realities and all the senselessness and harmfulness of “market reforms” for Russia are perfectly described there. Parshev shows that Russia is the coldest Arctic subarctic country in the world with enormous temperature differences. Annual temperatures range from minus fifty in the winter to plus fifty in the summer. All over the world, similar conditions are only in Mongolia. And in one US state - Alaska (but it is still warmer than Chukotka). In the same Scandinavia it is much warmer than ours (the influence of warm ocean currents). Our climate is purely continental, in contrast to the marine climate of both Western Europe and America. Not to mention the subtropics and tropics of Africa, South America and Southeast and South Asia. We do not have a warm Gulf Stream, which washes the western coast of the USA and Canada, brings warmth to Europe, including the northern countries. And in our country the cold rises not only from south to north, but from west to east, deep into the continent. Even in sunny Turkestan (Central Asia), where you can die from the summer heat, snowstorms and frosts occur in winter.
Russians and other peoples of our civilization live in a "world refrigerator." Moreover, with the collapse of the USSR, we lost the warmest territories. What does this mean in geo-economic terms !? That we can never create a competitive economy. All the mantras of our liberals that they pronounce from the time of “perestroika” and “shock reforms” of the 90s to the present day, about a market economy, liberalization, privatization, competition, an energy superpower, etc., are not only useless, but also harmful . It is pointless and unprofitable to invest in Russia. The costs of building powerful buildings with thick walls with deep foundations, with central heating are too high. A lot of fuel must be spent on heating housing and factory buildings. Too much labor costs, which require capital, heated apartments, hearty food and warm clothes. The country has to pay huge expenses for maintaining the system of schools, hospitals, prisons, the armed forces, and the transportation system. All this is much more complicated and expensive than in France or in China. Russians, unlike the whole world, have to maintain a huge heating system. We do not have warm seas and ice-free rivers. Even highways come out more expensive and worse than world ones (not counting theft), as temperature changes tear the canvas.
In Europe there is no central heating. Our ordinary snowfall for the United States and England is a natural disaster. In the West, they can build large private houses from timber and plywood, without capital foundations, as we have garden houses. Without furnaces and heating systems, with "potbelly stoves". With a huge living area. From century to century in Russia there are more expensive and cramped rooms, with low ceilings, with deep foundations, thick walls and stoves. Even Canada is warmer than Russia. There, almost the entire population lives on the southern part of the coast, which is located on the latitudes of the southern part of Ukraine and is washed by warm currents. The rest of the territory is almost empty, it is developed on a rotational basis.
Our Primorye, geographically so close to Korea and Japan, is colder than them. The Kuril Islands separate the warm part of the Pacific Ocean from the cold. Kamchatka, Sakhalin, Vladivostok and North Korea are in the cold zone. In December, in Vladivostok and Pyongyang, the average temperature is minus six, and in South Korea - plus 4-8. Almost all of Japan is in the range from plus 2 to 10. On the coast of Canada at the same time the temperature is in Japan and South Korea. Each degree is hundreds of thousands of tons of fuel for heating, materials for insulation. In southern Norway, in December, where the bulk of the country's population lives, the temperature is from plus 2 to 4. The Norwegians do not freeze the sea, as in central Japan. Denmark is even warmer. In England, Ireland, Northern France, Belgium and Holland, on the Atlantic coast of Canada - an area of 6 to 10 degrees heat. Like in Shanghai and Tokyo!
Therefore, creating production and investing in it is more profitable in Europe than ours. Even more profitable - in the USA, in the tropics - in Asia and Latin America. Even in Africa it is more profitable, despite the monstrous theft and unwillingness of the local population to work. Therefore, the production basically left even from the USA, with what Trump is trying to fight. Russia in the conditions of the world market, open economic borders and free competition will always lose. Even with the general “optimization” of the system, education, health care, the economy, the army, etc. Factories are much more profitable to build in Mexico and Vietnam. The situation is the same in agriculture.
Thus, in a market economy, Russians can never achieve a level of well-being equal to the inhabitants of Western Europe and the United States. Therefore, the dream of Western standards is a blatant lie. Like the myths of "Russian laziness", "Russian slavery" and the "communist yoke" that threw Russia hundreds of years ago. Attempts to integrate Russia into the Western (global) capitalist system, to make it competitive, turn into colonial dependence and collapse for its economy. And for the people - poverty and extinction. Only a small pro-Western elite flourishes, which is “successful” under the colonial model.
Obviously, copying the West is death for the Russian world. It is necessary to create your own, Russian style, autocratic world. Take the best that was in Ancient Russia, the Russian Empire, the Romanov Empire and Soviet civilization. We can live better than Westerners only when we build our cultural, scientific, technological and economic structure. We will break into the world of the future, where advanced technologies will allow us to fully master our vast and cold spaces.
As the current energy crisis shows, even attempts to become an energy power are in complete collapse. Russia cannot survive by selling only raw materials on the world market. Most of the country's population in such conditions "does not fit into the market." Oil and gas, almost all diamonds, cobalt, platinum group metals, apatites, copper, nickel, etc. are mined in the North of Russia. A significant part of forest and fish products are produced here. But all this is in the world in much more convenient places for mining. It is also more profitable to develop agriculture where it is warmer. For example, the agricultural sector of Bulgaria or Ukraine was needed only within the framework of the socialist camp. As soon as the social bloc was destroyed, the degradation of the national economy began, including the village, extinction and the flight of the population.
Russia is a “global refrigerator." And this means that even if Russian workers have productivity at the level of Japanese workers, and Russian engines and equipment become as economical as Western ones, if Russia solves the problem of thermal insulation of homes and industrial buildings, all in a global market, open borders and free competition, Russia will lose. Lose even with the full "optimization" of schools, hospitals, libraries, the army, etc. It will still be more profitable to invest in production in Mexico or Vietnam. For the same reason, all the constant spells that the Russian "responsible businessmen" are about to invest in Russia are either stupidity or outright deceit. Both “new Russians” earlier and current businessmen would be better off withdrawing money abroad by investing in real estate, yachts, airplanes, mistresses, etc.
Russia under the current scheme of participation in the global market is a raw materials appendage, no more. Moreover, as the current “Great Depression 2” shows, even the raw materials are of less interest to developed countries than before. The West relies on the transition to a new technological structure. And a hydrocarbon-based economy is a thing of the past. The bet on the "energy power" is practically a bit.
It is worth noting that the fact that the Russian Federation under Putin and Medvedev made very good money by selling resources is not the merit of the current “effective managers”, but of the USSR. Although the Soviet Union allegedly "produced only galoshes." Starting from the 1930s, at the expense of state funds and the mobilization of millions of workers in the North of Russia, a whole civilization was built: a network of cities, airfields, ports, railways and highways. The Soviet empire spent countless money (no one would have to spend it in the market), time and labor to transfer millions of tons of equipment and entire labor armies to the taiga and tundra, to develop found deposits, build mines and mines, factories and enterprises, pipelines. Including the current Gazprom. This allowed the USSR to create a super system that is resistant to any shock. However, private investors and market economies in the West would not do this.
All this has become the foundation of today's Russia, due to which the country still lives. This is not the merit of “effective managers”, who in the last decade, in essence, with their “wise” leadership, have killed this system, but of Soviet ministers, directors, engineers, geologists and workers. It was in the USSR that the northern industry was built with a huge margin of safety, which was enough even for the Russian Federation. But this situation does not last forever, as the current crisis shows.
The laws of geoeconomics are inexorable. Production is brought to where the climate is better, where labor is cheaper, costs are lower. This is true not only for Russia. The United States fell into the same trap. It is not for nothing that Trump is fighting to return production to the country, to make new industrialization. Otherwise, "good old America" will die.
The result is this: Russia cannot live in the so-called. the global market on an equal footing. A country cannot afford free trade. Only autarchy-autocracy. Nationalization of land, forests, bowels, strategic enterprises. Low energy prices inside the country, barriers to the import of finished goods that can be produced by ourselves. Import only unique machines and technologies. The export of raw materials is only in the public interest, it is necessary for the country itself. Either an exchange for other valuable raw materials that Russia does not have or lacks, or a redistribution of proceeds from the sale of raw materials to the development of advanced technologies.
You need to know that the “sweet life” of a consumer society, which was built in Russia, is bought at the expense of the export of unique mineral raw materials, at the expense of the future people. Moreover, within Russia itself, a free market is quite possible, with the heyday of small and medium-sized enterprises. Provided that the ruble will not change to currency. So that no one could export capital abroad.