• "God invented war so Americans could learn geography" -- Mark Twain.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Going Back to Which Century - The Return of the Boyars

The inimitable Kerry-Obambi team have wagged their boney fingers at Russia, accusing the erstwhile Soviet Union of "going back to the 19th century."  If diplomacy were vaudeville the Blustering Duo would walk away with the prize.

The original problem, of course, is that the US elite are about as ignorant of history as their own peasants. It is evident, that neither Kerry nor Obambi have heard of the Boyars.

The Boyars were that class of the slavic aristocracy ranked just beneath royal nobility.  The term does not have an exact equivalent in western hierarchies but it is fair to say that the Boyars were a class of chiefs who ruled vast estates like little kings.  They were the prop and the bane of those kings who ruled (at least nominally) the entire realm … although where "the realm" began and ended was often a matter of dispute.

In the 17th century, Peter the Great sought to curb the power and influence of the Boyars.  In truth, he simply westernized them into a superficially European aristocracy.  It was not until the Great October Revolution that an end was put to Boyardism.

In 1991, the Soviet Union was politically dissolved.  Equally dissolved was the centrally planned communist economy.  It is not too simple to say that the economic turkey was simply carved up into juicy pieces given to well connected individuals who became billionaires overnight.

What malicious idiots like Samantha Powers and Dinesh d'Souza call "liberalization" consists in this: the ordinary slob is allowed to run amok politically while the economic foundations of society are turned into "privatized" fiefs belonging to and run by Oligarchs.

The reason for this is also, basically, simple.  A modern mass society of 100, 200, 300 million stomachs cannot be run on the basis of little shops and carts, making shoes and delivering apples.  Sustaining those magnitudes of people requires commensurately large and coordinated infrastructures.  In fact, virtually everything becomes an infrastructure.  Walmart is no less an infrastructure than Gazprom.  

Anarchist pipe dreams aside, economic engines cannot be operated with the freedom and chaos of nominal politics. The paradigm of any large company is hierarchical and military.  This is a meta-political truth and it applies to any system.  Even within the planned soviet economy, large economic units were, in terms of their functional operation, autonomous divisions were run by economic colonels and generals.  "Privatisation" meant simply that these "division chiefs" were allowed to keep the profits for themselves rather than depositing them in the National Kitty.

In short, what happened in 1991 was the Return of the Boyars.  This was a return not to the 19th century but to the 16th.  With this in mind, the Kerry-Obambi exercise in chastisement can be seen for the utter imbecility it was.  What leaders of the neo-liberal global economy are in fact advocating, under the banner of "free trade" is simply a universal reverse march into the pre 19th.