Rand returns to Russia?

From: Technotranscendence (neptune@mars.superlink.net)
Date: Fri Apr 28 2000 - 08:32:54 MDT

From: BBfromM@aol.com
Sent: Thursday, April 27, 2000 9:55 PM
Subject: Ayn Rand returns to Russia!!!!!!!

The question was raised: What would Ayn Rand say about the following
My response was that she would not have been able to say anything; she would
have fainted dead away.

Barbara Branden

Moscow Times
April 26, 2000
Putin's Adviser Extols Ayn Rand
By Catherine Belton
Staff Writer

Newly appointed presidential economics adviser Andrei Illarionov showed his
economic colors Tuesday as he vociferously supported the ideas of one of the
most influential shapers of Western thought on free markets - Ayn Rand.

"Every import tariff and every limit on foreign-exchange transactions is a
blow to our consciousness. Every tax acts against our freedom," he said at a
news conference Tuesday dedicated to the launch of Rand's work in the
Russian language. Rand gained acclaim in the 1940s for her theory of
"objectivism," which forwards laissez-faire capitalism as the only system
to protect individual freedom.

Illarionov called for hauling back state interference in the economy and
said it was a myth to claim that liberal reforms had taken place in Russia
over the last eight years.

He added that for Russia to experience the "economic miracles" enjoyed by
countries like Taiwan and Japan, state spending would have to be slashed.

"If we really want fast economic growth, than sooner or later we have to cut
down state spending to no more than 20 percent of GDP and cut back the tax
base to the same level," he said.

President-elect Vladimir Putin has called for Russia to escalate economic
growth to 10 percent per year to catch up "fast" to the rest of the world.
But Illarionov would not say Tuesday whether his views on chopping back the
state to achieve that growth had found favor with his new boss.

"Mr. Putin listens attentively to all economic views and proposals and then
makes his decision," was all that Illarionov would say.

However, Illarionov said he's hoping the rest of Russia will fall under
Rand's spell. Dmitry Kostygin and Yaroslav Remenchuk, the publishers and
translators of her works, said Tuesday they want to persuade the Education
Ministry to make Rand compulsory reading in schools.

Putin meanwhile has a copy of "Atlas Shrugged" in his personal library,
Illarionov said, though he did not say whether the book had been read or
appreciated by the president-elect.

Illarionov cited opinion polls in the United States as placing "Atlas
Shrugged" as the second most influential book after the Bible, and singled
out Rand's influence on Alan Greenspan, the chairman of the U.S. Federal

"Greenspan's been acclaimed many times over as the genius behind America's
'New Economics' and the economic boom of the '90s. He was a personal friend
of Rand," Illarionov said. "If people here are likewise influenced by her
work, than I will be very glad."

But while saying state regulation was a blow to individual freedom,
Illarionov cited Chile's economic plan under the dictatorship of General
Augusto Pinochet as an ideal example of good economic programming.

He also criticized Putin's economic think tank for planning to write a
300-page economic program.

"It's better for programs to be short. One of the best examples is the
program produced by Chile. It was 15 pages long and simply laid out
principles and the basis for the state's relationship with society," he
said. "1975 to 1990 was the golden period of Chilean economic reform,
during which time Chile overtook the rest of Latin America."

Illarionov compared the Central Bank issuing monetary emissions that are not
backed up by reserves to a citizen printing fake money in his own backyard.

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