Large-scale task and small-scale team
I remember well the rhetoric of the reformers of the early 1990s and I can responsibly say that they did not understand well the unpreparedness of the Soviet industrial sector to work in the market – they rely too much on the strength of market signals, they thought that even a frozen mammoth would get up and run after hearing these sounds. No, miracles do not happen. On the whole, it must be said that the quality of the team of reformers in the early 1990s, as can be seen now, left much to be desired. Yegor Gaidar really stood out for his unique outlook, breadth of outlook on the situation and political will. But all the rest … Suffice it to say that the notorious Ella Pamfilova, who now heads Putin’s CEC, was the Minister of Social Protection of the Population in the Gaidar government – you can check the level of her qualifications on any issues online right now. As the saying goes, what a minister is, so is social protection.
Again, it’s easy in hindsight to scold others for mistakes during one of the most complex economic transformations in world history. It would probably be more correct to say that the Soviet system, to put it mildly, did not produce qualified modern personnel in the field of market economy management. Therefore, as they say, “I blinded him from what was.”
This is a difficult and long conversation, and it must be conducted seriously, in isolation from clichés and clichés about “predatory reforms” and so on. You can watch the video version of the invitation to such a discussion in the form of a mini-series about the 1990s on my YouTube channel.
Summing up, I will say that neither we, ordinary people, nor Boris Yeltsin, nor the reformers of the 1990s imagined the full severity of the absolutely uncompetitive legacy that the USSR left us, adapting this legacy to normal modern realities turned out to be an incredibly difficult task. This did not take a year, as Yeltsin promised in the fall of 1991. But who could understand it then …
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