Sunday, August 31, 2008

Stalin Must Be Rolling Over In His Grave

From the NYT:
A decade after capitalism transformed Russian industry, an agricultural revolution is stirring the countryside, shaking up village life and sweeping aside the collective farms that resisted earlier reform efforts and remain the dominant form of agriculture.

The change is being driven by soaring global food prices (the price of wheat alone rose 77 percent last year) and a new reform allowing foreigners to own agricultural land. Together, they have created a land rush in rural Russia.

“Where else do you have such an abundance of land?” Samir Suleymanov, the World Bank’s director for Russia, asked in an interview.

As a result, the business of buying and reforming collective farms is suddenly and improbably very profitable, attracting hedge fund managers, Russian oligarchs, Swedish portfolio investors and even a descendant of White Russian émigré nobility.

Hahahahaha. White Russians and hedge funders buying up Soviet collectivized farms. Now I've seen everything. Anyway, here's a random book recommendation on the collectivization of Soviet farms and the deliberate famine engineered by Stalin in the Ukraine during the early 1930s: The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine by Robert Conquest.

5 comments:

zeyd said...

The entire import/export market in Russia is controlled by the mafia. A large amount of the Russian wheat that enters the Pakistani market is of substandard quality that's allowed to come through because the documents/certificates etc to be produced are readily forged by the Russian mafia. Pakistan is rapidly becoming a dumping ground for inferior quality wheat.

If the PSI's (pre-shipment inspectors) offer any resistance or objection to the commodity loaded, they're disposed of. Yes, movie-style disposal with a bullet to the head. No joke.

Ahsan said...

And yet you support Chelsea. Tsk tsk tsk.

AKS said...

Speaking of Russian gangsters I just read an article in the Daily Mail (of all places) about 'Russia's gangster graveyard' located in Ekaterinburg - Russia's most mafia-ridden city. The article ends with a charming history lesson:

"Ekaterinburg has been long infamous for its slayings.

"Just three miles from here is the spot where in 1918 the last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, his wife, Alexandra, and their five children were executed by Bolsheviks on the orders of Lenin.

"But there is no memorial to them. Their bodies were soaked in acid and burned before being disposed in a mineshaft."

@ Zeyd

Commiserations on missing out on Robinho. How do you think Abramovich is going to respond?

zeyd said...

@ Ahsan

Yeah dude I do, and if I switch allegiances now, I may be the one with a bullet lodged between my eyes.

@ AKS

No commiserations required; I'm quite happy we didn't break the British transfer record again for a guy who, let's face it, isn't worth 32 million quid. I'm happy with our squad and hopefully this will allow some of our youth players to come through.

I'm not sure how Roman will respond to this. It's quite hilarious really when you think about it - Roman is a relative pauper compared to this Arab group. City will spend close to 200 million over the next year. Don''t think it'll change the way Roman goes about his business though; it just means that there's another big, big, player in the market and we're not the big fish anymore. It was bound to happen...the question is, how are Liverpool and Arsenal going to respond as they seem to be the most vulnerable now?

Ahsan said...

You know what I really want to see? Ferguson selling Ronaldo to City.