Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Alexander Mercouris — Putin’s Team is United: Talk of a Purge is Wrong

An article has recently appeared in The Huffington Post which discusses rumours of an imminent purge of liberals from Russia’s government.
According to this view Russia’s President Putin is coming under increasing pressure from hardliners within Russia’s political elite to carry out a thorough purge of Atlanticists and liberals within the government.
The hardliners are also supposedly demanding a thorough overhaul of economic policy. They want Putin to jettison the current liberal oriented free-market policy in favour of an economic mobilisation of the country to withstand the challenge of the West. The details are sketchy but undoubtedly what is being talked about involves the reintroduction of capital controls and of forms of central planning that go far beyond what Russia has now.
The first point to make about this article in The Huffington Post is that it essentially repeats something that was said a month ago in an article by The Saker published by the Unz Review and on his own website. The similarity is in fact so great that I find it impossible to put it down to mere coincidence. There are clearly rumours circulating and both The Saker and the historian Stephen Cohen (the main source for The Huffington Post article) are picking up on them.

What however are the prospects of a purge of liberals happening in Russia?
The short answer I am sure is none.
Mercouris does not address the military aspect of this, which Stephen F. Cohen and The Saker have raised. If the general staff is convinced that NATO is moving against Russia, then the situation is different. But otherwise, the analysis seems to me to be correct. Most of the reporting in the West to the contrary is just wishful thinking.

From the MMT pov, Russia's main economic problem now is the liberal influence that is constraining Russia to follow the failed neoclassical West rather than use the tools available to increase effective demand in order to stimulate investment, as old Keynesians and Post Keynesians would recommend, as well as ramping up supply in areas of shortage in order to alleviate inflation rather than relying on central bank monetarism.

The bottom line is that Russia has vast real resources available and the fiscal tools to employ those resources.

The Duran
Putin’s Team is United: Talk of a Purge is Wrong
Alexander Mercouris

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