July 01, 2002

The Shape of Things Already Come

Well, it’s official. On June 5, Russians went to sleep in the uncertainties of a Transitional Economy; on June 6 they woke up capitalists in a Market Economy.

The change in status was largely courtesy of US President George Bush, who came into office leery of the Russian bear, and demonstrably cool toward Vladimir Putin. But, since September 11, Bush has come around. Now the Kremlin is our ally in a global war and Putin is likened to a teddy bear—why else would you nickname a former KGB agent “Pootie-Poot”?

Truth be told, the roots of Russia’s transition to a Market Economy stretch back a bit further—about 300 years. It was then that Peter the Great sought to impose coffee on his tea-loving nation. But the dark drink never really caught on. But that is changing ...

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