The Spirit of Russian Economics

The Spirit of Russian Economics

The Spirit of Russian Economics

The Spirit of Russian Economics

Excerpt

The development of economic thought in Russia can be compared to a musical fugue. One after another, new voices enter the field, follow one another, coexist, interrelate, and contribute to the general construction, even through their fights for dominance. In every stage one of the voices is the typical, the leading. English, French, German, and native ideas were the leading voices of this historical fugue in Russia. An investigation of them disclosed the transitional character of the English and French influences, and the persistent increase of the German: especially, German philosophy, which served as a foundation of Russian nativism and anti-Germanism at the same time. The courses of history and of the development of ideas in Russia were less rectilinear, more burdened by traditions, by geography, than in the United States. In no other country was the transplantation and adoption of foreign ideas in the field of economics as strong and rapid as in Russia. The idea of Russian cultural isolation is a myth in the field of economics. No other country so peculiarly recreated foreign economic ideas and attempted to adjust them immediately to its own conditions. No other country fought against imported ideas as violently as Russia. Nowhere else was the national economic thought moving in such a humanistic fog and at the same time continuously attempting practical applications of its grandiose schemes. Nowhere else was the theoretical idea of human welfare and happiness so dominant over national elements. Terra incognita of the future has always been the happy hunting ground of the Russians, and their search for a new social structure became an intoxication--it was the content of their daydreams, night dreams, nightmares, drink dreams, and drug dreams. And at the same time the Russians . . .

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