April 3-4 2018
Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). Key theme: "Russia and the world: image of the future".
№14. Round table “The crisis of capitalism: the Social-Democratic response”

Published: March 30th, 2017

March 30, in the framework of the 5th Moscow Economic Forum in Moscow State University. The conference "The Crisis of Capitalism: Social-Democratic Response" has been held. The participants discussed the challenges and tasks facing the Social-Democratic forces in Russia today. The discussion was moderated by the moderator Ruslan Grinberg, co-chairman of the Forum, scientific director of the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Science. He noted that there is not only a crisis of capitalism, but also a crisis of social democracy. The failure of Social-Democratic ideas in Europe is observed.

Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, director of the Institute of Sociology RAS Mikhail Gorshkov expressed the opinion that the social and democratic response to the crisis of capitalism can be sought in different coordinates. "The surest way is to turn to the state of mass consciousness, the consciousness of the majority of the population of the country, and see what happens to it during the transformation period," Gorshkov said..

According to the academician, the changes that took place during the years of reforms in the Russian mass consciousness are connected with the formation of a worldview model based precisely on the social democratic ideology. Citizens associate democracy with raising the standard of living of people, implementing the principle of social justice and ensuring social order. The current authorities, according to the scientist, cannot realize these needs of the population.

"The market of a powerless state leads to the replacement of irresponsible state power by unregulated private enrichment leading to economic and social decline," Gorshkov commented the IMF report.

Gennady Gudkov, a former State Duma deputy, agreed with the academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He stressed that all financial flows in Russia have been handpicked or nationalized in the interests of the nomenclature, in whose hands both political and economic power is located. And this flawed form of capitalism by form of government and purpose made corruption.

"Look, our governors are stealing, the mayors are stealing, Khoroshavin is arrested in Sakhalin, Gaiser is arrested in Komi, Minister Serdyukov has left responsibility for what services, Minister Ulyukayev was arrested. Our Prime Minister, Dimon, the hero of films with viewing in 15 million person and an exit of tens thousand people on streets. Here is our nomenclature country, that is, the country in which, by and large, the form of property corresponds to the form of government,” the politician believes..

The main task of the Russian Social Democracy in these conditions, Gudkov is sure, is to fight for common democratic values that must return to Russia and save the country from future catastrophes, civil wars, revolutions and other upheavals.

The head of the research institute "TIGER" at Kozminsky University, Deputy Prime Minister (2002-2003) and Minister of Finance of Poland (1994-1997, 2002-2003) Grzegorz Kolodko presented his view on the agenda of the Social Democrats. According to him, it is necessary to change the paradigm of the future, so that there is social capital, unity of society and justice. It is necessary to understand how best to dispose of this reality, getting rid of bureaucratic shortcomings, and use the full intellectual capital. To do this, it is necessary to change the paradigm of the future, in which there must be social capital, social cohesion and justice.

The need to update the social-democratic project said the professor at Moscow State University Alexander Buzgalin. He proposed to organize unpaid collective work for pensioners and the unemployed, to differentiate the social, public and private sectors, as well as completely ban commercial advertising.

The Secretary General of the European Institute for Political, Economic and Social Research (EURISPES) Marco Riccheri told about the Italian experience. Now, the expert believes, not the workers but the consumers are exploited, it is precisely these that are being crushed by modern capitalism. He stressed that the social democratic policy should focus not only on improving the well-being.

"It is impossible to measure politics only by economic factors:" Give me more money, "" Help me.» It is necessary to work with values that form a more conscious, more solidary society. That is the point. It is necessary to pay attention not to quantity, but to quality, to work on those things that make life really do valuable," concludes Riccheri.

Participants in the discussion agreed that the drivers of social-democratic ideas should be the driving force of reforms: self-sufficient Russians who are ready to bear responsibility for the family, and that part of the population that cannot survive without state support. And the priority of social democracy should be the establishment in Russia of democratic freedoms and mechanisms. Without democracy, there will be neither social nor economic development.