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Corruption in Russia is a form of transactional grease in the absence of any generally accepted and legally codified alternative. Taken together, these transactions well describe a form of neo-feudalism. This should not be terribly surprising to the historically aware, for that was more or less the stage that Russian socio-economic development had reached when it was frozen by more than seventy years of Communist rule. It has now thawed.


Russia today is thus a type of “corporate state” in which politics is just another kind of business. Political problems are solved as if they were commercial ones, and commercial ones as if they were political. The elite’s most important goal is the preservation of a system that enables incompetents to control the country’s wealth. Hoping that change will come when the current ruling class retires and newcomers replace them is forlorn.