Russia in Search of a Third Way: Landmarks of 2001
The main engine of the global perestroika emerging today is the system of transnational corporations (TNC) that in itself represents a certain new world. It controls a substantial portion of industrial production, including the production of resources and practically the entire market for the development of new technology. However, its main distinction is the control of financial markets and monetary streams.
Some of the developmental tendencies of this new world have already become quite apparent, and if they are disregarded any analysis is deprived of all meaning. The first of these tendencies is that on a global scale there is a gradual transformation of the classical “market of Ricardo.” Monopolization produces its own undeniably clear laws, transforming the market greatly but leaving its essence. The battleground for profits is beginning to be replaced gradually by cartel agreements on the division the of the world’s profits. And in this process only the most fortunate capital unions are allowed to participate. The structure of political decisions and their means of adoption also change.
The position of separate countries in the global system is determined today by the level of social productivity of labor. Their differences bring about the emergence of a sort of hydraulic pump, when due to overfall the pressure pumps natural income (including intellect) and capital to the developed countries, while ecologically polluting industries and waste flow in the opposite direction. This situation gives rise to the self-intensifying inverse relation that separates all people further and further from each other on the scale of national prosperity.
There is one more precarious attribute of the world capitalist system that can lead to its total collapse: the quantity of financial transactions grows at a substantially greater rate than the number of real commercial agreements. Financial speculation is becoming much more appealing than any real industrial activity.
There is one more danger that looms over the modern world: due to the ability of modern technology to provide a high standard of living, only a small percentage of the able bodied population is sufficient even for material production. The service industry is not able to cancel out this disproportion, and the number of unemployed is continuously growing. It will continue to grow with the improvement of new technology.
What place will Russia assume in this difficult and discordant world? In the formation and realization of a strategy the determining role can only be played by the state. It shoulders the most difficult task: to lead the state into the TNC world without losing its Russian identity, and without sacrificing its history or culture. The task is difficult and demands both the highest levels of competence and talent.
The authors are convinced that the future of Russia, its “Third Way,” is connected not with the abolishment of existing social relations or the revolutionary reforms of established structure, but with a transformation to a taxation system in which the primary aim is to see the wealth which is owned by the taxpayer.
First of all wealth, but not today’s profit! If we want to seriously reform our economy and make it efficient and effective, give it social purpose and overcome the further impoverishment of our society, then it is necessary first of all to renounce to symbolic taxation of natural resource potential. It has nothing to do with either the strategy of transition to an ecologically sustainable development or with the nearest aims of economic improvement in Russia.
One of the most important elements of the “Third Way” is the foundation of its economy. The authors are proposing a transition to a system of income tax.
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