Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Putin’s gamble

Masha Lipman warns that "The arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russia’s biggest oil tycoon, followed by the seizure of shares of his company, signals a dramatic escalation of the political change underway in this country." Putin is walking a dangerous--and tyrannic--path here; he has arrested the country’s richest man. There are going to be massive consequences. There already have been some, and arguably the country is in a crisis. Here is Leon Aron (once again) on the issue. The Russians are hitting back at the U.S.’s criticism of their tyrannic ways. There are fears within Russia that this is the start of the re-nationalization of industry and putting an end to the possibility of wealth creation. What do you think would happen to Russia if foreign investment stopped, by the way? Or, if their is a sharp increase in capital flight out of Russia? The Economist’s take on this matter. You should pay attention to this.

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Then again, it’s hard to feel much sympathy for a bunch of corrupt thuggish oligarchs whose shady deals aren’t exactly a model of capitalism. Maybe Putin will be Russia’s Pinochet, cleaning up some messes that, arguably, need some cleaning. Or maybe he is just a petty tyrant. *shrug* Time will tell.

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