The head of the VEB.RF state corporation, Igor Shuvalov, said that the definition of entrepreneurship as a “valuable activity” should be fixed in the Russian Constitution, and business people themselves should be designated as the “advanced class”. In his opinion, it is entrepreneurship that creates the “new value”, and production plays a subordinate role … Did the senior official seriously say this? If so, then the ruling class in Russia has lost an adequate perception of reality. Shuvalov’s statement is as divorced from the state of things as the famous phrase of Marie Antoinette: “If they don’t have bread, let them eat cakes”.
“People engaged in entrepreneurial activity are the advanced class of those who create the new Russia … It is necessary to determine that entrepreneurship is the activity of a certain circle of people who are associated with the creation of the new value, and the production of goods or the service sector are derived from what is created by business people. Today, it is imperative that, as part of the amendments that are being prepared, it is recognized that entrepreneurs are people who create new values”.
The official also added that “the main qualities of entrepreneurship are being systematic and being profitable”.
For ten years Igor Shuvalov was the First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia. He is a member of the ruling party “The United Russia” and, of course, an ardent “patriot.” Back in 2011, Shuvalov was convicted of financial fraud: he acquired assets in the United States worth about $319 million. He replenished the family budget through the offshore company Sevenkey, registered in the Bahamas. The Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation did not find anything reprehensible in this. But the official, two years later, rewrote his income statement and announced that he had transferred all of his assets to the Russian jurisdiction.
The fighter for the interests of the “advanced class of entrepreneurs” is also known for the scandalous statement about housing. In June 2016, he laughed at apartments of 20 sq.m. and was surprised that people buy them. Shuvalov himself owns an apartment of 700 sq.m. His wife, Olga Shuvalova, is noticed in situations of scandalous luxury. Back in 2002, she admitted to reporters that her annual income was simply her husband’s property transferred to her. This is a typical way of Russian officials to circumvent the ban on doing business. In 2016, Olga Shuvalova became famous for taking her dogs on an airplane to an international exhibition. She did not just recognize this fact, but also saw some patriotic motive in it:
“We take our dogs on our declared plane to international exhibitions, among other things, to defend the honor of Russia!”
Mr. Shuvalov’s statement is a good slap in the face for those who preach the alleged absence of social classes and advocate “reconciliation and harmony” in the Russian society. What Shuvalov is right about is that entrepreneurship is connected with value creation. Business as a mass phenomenon is a parasite that sucks out human labor, devours values created by society, and disorganizes social production. To safeguard their right of ownership, the “advanced class” of the bourgeois everywhere excommunicates the vast masses of working people from knowledge, from education, replaces education with militant ignorance, and instills ridiculous prejudices and myths, including about their own “chosenness” and an exclusive role. Social production itself makes business a hostage to the “invisible hand of the market”, thereby turning the development of society into feverish throwing from crisis to crisis. Most capitalists are afraid of being exposed – they are afraid that the mass of citizens oppressed by them will realize that entrepreneurs are not the “advanced class”, but the “superfluous link” of modern society.
Mr. Shuvalov should think about the fate of the French queen.