Russia will have to create a truly world-class financial and credit system, providing the industry with affordable credit resources, recreating basic industries, and creating new industries of the 21st century. This should be the era of great growth and development. Otherwise, we are waiting for wilting, rotting and decay. It will also be greatness, but of a different kind.
If we try to formulate in four words that the main thing in capitalism is in addition to a market economy that has existed for at least a couple of millennia before its emergence, the result will be unequivocal: capitalism is affordable credit and industry.
Credit is because the main characteristic of capitalism, which distinguishes it from other socio-political formations (or, if in a different language, civilizations), is the expanded reproduction of everything, from goods to public relations. As Werner Sombart wrote, “capital dies if it is not realized, that is, if it does not reproduce itself with a certain profit”. And this is possible only under the condition that reproduction is supported by the main lubricant of capitalist development — money, the necessary amount of which is drawn from credit. That is why, according to the singer of capitalism and the prophet of his death, Karl Marx, “the credit system, on the one hand, is the immanent form of the capitalist mode of production, on the other hand, the driving force of its development into the highest and last possible form for it”.
Perhaps, it may seem trivial to someone, but the problem of Russian capitalism is that since its inception in the 90 of the 20th century, the Russian financial and credit system was built not on the basis of maintaining productive capital, but in fact only for the sake of financial and stock exchange speculations. Surprisingly, the “liberals”, busy reforming the Russian economy, did not realize that credit was the invisible hand of the market, which they liked to talk about. The capitalism generated by them appeared without this hand.
Production and consumption of metalworking equipment
An affordable loan is because financial constraints in those years contributed to the death of a significant part of Russian industry, primarily high-tech. Only when you begin to study the state of specific industries, do you understand the depth of their fall. But for the author of these lines, the death of the Russian fur industry, during the years of Soviet power, which was one of the main sources of foreign exchange in the country, which ranked first in the world in terms of fur production, became a symbol of the madness of the financial policy of those years. And this hen that laid the golden eggs was slaughtered - the cost of the loan was inaccessible to animal farms and hunting farms. The animals just died from hunger.
As with Ivan the Terrible
Now история repeats. Under regular conversations about fighting inflation, which also come from the 1992 year, the rates on loans, which never in Russia have dropped to reasonable values, are again raised to the heights completely inaccessible to industry. For some reason, the financial and economic authorities do not have a question: if twenty-five years of fighting inflation have not been successful, maybe it is necessary to change the economic policy?
What has been said about the connection between capitalism and credit only underscores what the majority (if you do not take into account big business and privileged government agencies) of Russian entrepreneurs-industrialists feel. And they feel, perhaps without realizing it, that Russian capitalism has so far been nothing more than “do-capitalism”. Because the market and material production existed before capitalism, but, unlike capitalist production, it was based on self-lending at the expense of its own profit and did not provide for expanded reproduction.
Marinus van Reimerswale. "Usurer", 1539
And the mass Russian entrepreneur-industrialist works the way the pre-capitalist craftsman worked, who did not have the opportunity to take advantage of a loan: from the order and from his own profit.
That is why dynasties of medieval artisans pass through the centuries, including creating unique and widely sought-after products that have not become Fords and Edison. They just had no money for it. After all, the modern banking system, aimed at the development of production, arose already at the end of the Middle Ages and marked the onset of capitalism. Prior to that, the state, trade, and usurers, whose very name of the profession became, from ancient times, a symbol of unjust enrichment, ruinous for those who used their services, mainly disposed of money. And it is very similar to the current Russian situation, the sensations from which Oleg Deripaska frankly conveyed, calling the Russian financial system usurious. It is not necessary to count on the fact that in such conditions Russia will have its own “Samsung” and “Intel”, a modern and diverse industry will rise.
But the possibility of access to the means of development is not only a problem for already established entrepreneurs. In Russia, a multimillion (up to 30 million) layer of people, mainly residents of small cities and rural areas, who live according to the laws of the primitive economy (in the magazine “Russian Reporter” it was called “garage”) has arisen. In small towns, the specialists of many city-forming enterprises after their closure moved from the workshops to their own garages and subsidiary farms, where they open the production of everything, everything from stools to helicopters. And the former collective farmers dig in the garden, engaging in self-sufficiency. Many of them, if they had access to cheap loans, could well create and develop their own business. But as long as they live as their ancestors lived somewhere in the era of Ivan the Terrible.
Russian policy formula
If credit is the invisible hand of the market, then industry is a natural form of capital investment in its development, distinguishing it from usurious income and from traditional agrarian production characteristic of the pre-capitalist era.
In the modern world there can be countries, especially small ones, with varying degrees of specialization both in financial services and in industrial production. And we know such countries, although this specialization is rather conditional. But on a global scale, credit and industry are inseparable. And there are countries that, by virtue of their size, are doomed to engage in both, if only because without their own financial system, sustainable sovereign development is impossible, which for large countries is a condition for their existence, and without industry in its present form, it is impossible to develop territories nor occupy the people. As Friedrich List wrote in the nineteenth century, another singer of capitalism, undeservedly ignored by modern neoliberals, “the manufacturing industry ... favors the sciences, arts and political improvement, increases people's wealth, population, government revenues and state power, provides the nation with means to expand trade relations with all parts of the world and to the base of the colonies, develops navigation and navy. " If we replace “colonies” with “international influence”, which corresponds to modern realities, then this is, strictly speaking, the formula for what the current Russian authorities are striving for, at least in words. And what should be the natural goal of the entire Russian society, in particular, domestic entrepreneurship. But while in Russia this formula does not work.
Production of agricultural machinery in the world
Thus, the authors of “Strategy-2020”, referring to the concepts of the so-called post-industrial society, write: “In the inertial scenario of innovation policy, priority support continues to traditional sectors of the previous technological wave (aircraft industry, nuclear energy, etc.). In the Progressor scenario, the priority is to support sectors of the new technological wave and access to growing markets (new high-tech, services, green growth, etc.). ”
We turned to this half-forgotten document to remind that, firstly, as shown in the article “We do not produce anything” (see “Expert” No. 47 for 2012 a year), it is the developed countries of Europe and North America that continue to be the centers of traditional industry of the highest level, primarily engineering. For example, Germany and today the actual monopolist in the field of precision machine tool construction. The Russian economy is faced with the task of achieving the same combination of traditional and new industries, which is characteristic of highly developed countries. And secondly, because those who are entrusted with the development of the “Strategy-2030”, it seems, absolutely nothing, consider Russia incapable, due to its inherent mentality, to mass production of high-quality products. Such an approach casts suspicions that the next strategy will again be imbued with the destructive spirit of post-industrialism, including from the promise that Russia allegedly cannot organize industry. And this is also not new. It is enough to recall how a recent economic official in modern Russia considered it necessary, referring to the low quality of our harvesters, to literally demand: “Rostselmash should be destroyed.” But despite everything, Rostselmash has resisted and is now one of the few Russian machine-building enterprises that also work for export. You can recall the same hysterical cries about the fate of AvtoVAZ.
Friedrich List: "Manufacturing industry ... favors the sciences, arts and political improvement, increases people's wealth, population, government revenues and state power"
All these tantrums are due to a misunderstanding of the causes of the problem of low quality products, which was typical of the late Soviet period and gave rise to capitulatory moods among people who had never had anything to do with industry. However, it had a completely different nature. The problem of poor quality was due to the fact that the Soviet industry, being isolated, was trying to produce literally everything that the rest of the world produces, and in large quantities, and overstrained it. The task of the modern development strategy of Russia should provide for the development of powerful industry in the conditions of reasonable cooperation and openness.
Economic guru tips
The connection between capitalism and credit only increases with the development of capitalism. As Carlota Perez, who developed the theory of the connection between technological revolutions and financial capital, emphasizes the innovative development of the modern capitalist economy based on the possibility of attracting free financial capital to innovations, which gives it dynamism, although it makes crises inevitable. The link between innovation and financial capital is determined by the fact that innovation can be developed only if the entrepreneur-innovator has access to sufficient financial resources. "It is the ability of these entrepreneurs to work with borrowed capital becomes a truly dynamic force ... With the increasing availability of funding for their projects and the resounding success of the pioneers, increasing the attractiveness of the new (technological. -" Expert ") paradigm, the number of such entrepreneurs begins to grow." It is at least naive to expect that the Russian economy will stand on the rails of innovative development under the conditions of the existing financial constraints in Russia.
Back in 2013, Carlota Perez wrote that inflation can only be overcome by supporting “the activities of national and regional development banks, which will issue loans at much lower rates for production, innovation, business expansion and job creation. This subsidy eventually pays off handsomely - through jobs, generating profits and taxes. Tightening belts and restrictive policies do not increase production growth rates. Restrictions can turn into a recession, the only way to rise again is to focus on growth, understanding the current technological potential. ”
Karl Marx: “The credit system, on the one hand, is the immanent form of the capitalist mode of production, on the other hand, the driving force of its development in the highest and last possible form for it”
The well-known Russian economist Sergey Glazyev offers the same measures, but we consciously refer to the opinion of the world-famous scientist, since the measures proposed by Glazyev are perceived with irony and are constantly rejected by current and retired officials and government economic theorists. Although the recent meetings of the Stolypinsky Club and the Liberal Platform of the United Russia party devoted to Glazyev’s proposals show that the business community, which is freeing itself from the shortages of quasi-liberalism, has finally begun to listen to them.
Suppose something happens: Russian capitalism will acquire its “invisible hand” and the loan will be available to economic agents. However, this will not solve the problem of high-tech development of the country. Because, as world experience shows since the days of Bismarck, innovative development is impossible without state support, without designating state priorities. Now it is fashionable to support the most advanced directions of NTP (or rather, to declare this support), which will have an effect after the 2030s. Within the framework of the National Technology Initiative, the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) has developed a whole set of roadmaps for the development of such areas as digital design and modeling, new materials, additive technologies, quantum communications, mechabiotronics, neurotechnology, and many others. And it is right. Behind this is the future, but this future will come only if there are highly developed basic industries in the country that provide an opportunity for the development of breakthrough industries. Otherwise, this future will be completely dependent on other countries. No matter how we feel about our industrialization of the 30s of the last century, its main message - to create basic industries so that everything else can be developed on the basis of them, turned out to be absolutely true. Moreover, the scale of our country, certainly not smaller than that of Japan and Germany, allows it. As Carlota Perez wrote, “Russia has enormous advantages in the form of a large population, a vast territory and numerous natural resources. While many countries are forced to search for their specialization, Russia can strive for a diversified economy that includes almost all sectors. ”
However, surprisingly, neither the ASI, nor the government, building ambitious plans for the development of the most advanced industries, did not include in the list of priorities the future development of basic industries. But the simplest analysis of any product and its manufacturing technology makes it possible to determine that these basic industries are machine tool building and electronic engineering. After all, any product consists of parts manufactured on some type of machine tools, and electronic components manufactured on machines that are created at the enterprises of electronic engineering. If you have these full-fledged industries, you can make any product - both traditional and modern. What is the cost of development and manufacturing in Russia, for example, of the most modern drones, if, as developers recognize, plastics, engines, electronic components and even fasteners (banal screws and nuts) for them have to be purchased in Europe? But all these components are products of traditional industry. In the modern world, as recent events have shown, such dependence may threaten the country's economic and political catastrophe. That is why developed countries or their associations have the full range of basic industries.
Moreover, this dependence gives rise to a sense of hopelessness: if we cannot even do some cogs, then ... As a result, we are raising a generation of people who have never been the first and do not even know the taste of leadership. For example, compare the feeling of a person who got to Zelenograd during the Soviet era, when he was one of the capitals of world electronics, and one who finds himself in the city now and sees business centers on the place of the legendary scientific institutes. Yes, and the media still advocate our secondary nature. It is impossible to hope for the innovative development of the country if the sense of leadership in the brains of a whole generation is destroyed. You can not go to the intellectual world ring with a sense of inferiority.
Export share in engineering products
An attempt to determine the development paths of the Russian economy through roadmaps in their current form, when, as already mentioned, everything in Russia is in short supply, from quality materials to cogs, clearly does not correspond to the scale of the tasks facing the country. Of course, the word "Gosplan" became a symbol of the Soviet planned economy and a scarecrow for those who, like the hell out of incense, shy away from everything that resembles the Soviet one. But even the example of drones shows that Russia cannot do without what can be called the capitalist Gosplan. Unlike the corresponding Soviet institution, it should not develop policy plans for the production of a product, but build pyramids of technological and logistical links, identifying bottlenecks, finding domestic producers who can embroider them and recommending them to take part in this pyramid. And in the absence of such manufacturers, to set before the relevant government agencies and the community of entrepreneurs the problem of organizing the corresponding production.
By the way, the absence of such a coordinating body was clearly felt during the construction of Olympic Sochi, during the construction of the Vostochny cosmodrome, where the president had to assume the functions of a coordinator.
And we will not be the inventors of the capitalist Gosplan. The planning role of such institutions as the General Planning Commissariat in France, the Economic Planning Office in Japan, and the Ministry of Economy and Knowledge in South Korea are well known. And in these, and in many other capitalist countries, quite to themselves, they adopt five-year development plans. Without detailed planning, it is impossible to imagine how to create - almost from scratch, and the development of Airbus Corporation, which united many European countries, which was based on a strategic research plan developed by EU experts.
And in China, the Gosplan still operates, created in the image and likeness of the Soviet. Moreover, the adviser to this Chinese department already during the reform period was John Galbraith, a world-famous scientist, who wrote: “The solution (which imposes economic development logic on the governments of capitalist countries. -“ Expert ”) consists in recognizing the logic of planning with the urgent need implementation coordination. Then a government body should be created to identify its violations and to ensure the coherence of growth in various parts of the economy ... It will take the creation of a state planning body ... Planning is needed that reflects not public interest, but planning interests. The creation of a planning apparatus, which the modern structure of the economy makes imperative, is ... the main task in the field of economics. " And this is an expert of world renown, and not advisers, fraudsters from the United States, who helped carry out privatization in Russia, and then were convicted for their fraud by a US court.
Carlota Perez: “It is the ability of these entrepreneurs [innovators] with borrowed capital to become a truly dynamic force ... With the increasing availability of funding for their projects and the resounding success of the pioneers, increasing the attractiveness of the new [technological] paradigm, the number of such entrepreneurs begins to grow”
The planning requirement applies to innovative companies. As the head of one of them, Yaroslav Petrichkovich Yeloslav Petrichkovich, Director General of Elvis Research Center, noted in an interview with our magazine several years ago (“These will be Russian eyes”, “Expert” No. 47 for 2009 a year), According to the method of Academician Oparin ". That is, to create a “broth” of “nutrients” in the form of, say, some laws, technoparks, special economic zones, “heat up” official decrees and money with lightning — and there, all of a sudden, an innovative life will arise.
This is a myth, because infrastructure investments are necessary, but not sufficient. The creation and development of large global companies has always happened with the participation of the state. The key companies for technologically developed countries are national treasure and are protected by the state. A free market at the level of a company like Intel is an illusion. The creation of Samsung is a decade of state support. How else could it have been in a poor and illiterate country, like South Korea, to create such a company without state support? Such state support can be carried out only at the level of such a comprehensive institution as the State Planning Committee, whose role in South Korea is performed by the agency with the saying title “Ministry of Economy and Knowledge”. In Russia, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is trying to play this role, but, frankly, its capacity is not enough.
We need to create several firms of this scale, like Samsung, in key traditional and new industries. They will become technological hubs, generating and uniting around themselves the very small innovative business that everyone in Russia dreams of. Because in the world there is practically no independent small innovative business. All such businesses revolve around large companies: in electronics - Intel, Samsung, IBM, in machine tools - Gildemeister, Yamazaki Mazak, in electronic engineering - ASML.
We are waiting for a great era
In the coming years, Russia will have to create a truly world-class financial and credit system, providing the industry with affordable loans, recreating basic industries, and creating new sectors of the 21st century economy. This should be the era of great growth and development. Otherwise, we are waiting for wilting, rotting and decay. The epoch of decay can also be great in its own way. But it will be a greatness of another kind.