Russian capital flight

James Farmelant farmelantj at
Sat Sep 12 03:30:05 PDT 1998

On Sat, 12 Sep 1998 06:59:49 +0100 Mark Jones <Jones_M at> writes:

>It is said that the difference is that Central Europe has
>a historical memory of precommunist commercial law and practice,
>whereas Russia doesn't. This is a lie, and it is enough
>to read any 19C Russian novel to see that Russia from top to
>bottom, from aristos to provincial gentry, to every peasant
>women keeping chickes, was as commercialised
>and obsessed with money-making as anywhere else.

In fact that is a theme of Dostoyevsky's novels. I seem to recall in one novel (perhaps _Crime and Punishment_ ) where he pokes fun of the doctrines of liberal economics that was coming into vogue in his time (just as it has in our time). His novel _The Possessed_ (or _The Devils_ in Britain) about a revolutionary conspiracy included references to the capitalist industrialization that was occurring in the 1870s that was already creating an industrial proletetariat. Writers like Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and Turgenev were very much concerned with the commercialization of Russian society in the 19th century.

As far as Russia not having a historical memory of commercial law and practice weren't the various reforms of the legal system introduced by Czar Alexander II in the 1860s designed to accomodate the Russian legal system to the development of a modern capitalist economy?

Jim Farmelant
>We shall see, in any case, how long term the Polish, Hungarian etc
>'miracles' are.

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