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Can russia modernize russias future is at risk

Tweet Who invented electric lights? Why is simply having talented scientists not enough?

  • All of these outward manifestations of statehood are reinforced by rituals, concerts, and parades that promote the idea of national unity;
  • The current four-party system will grow outdated as the leaders of the three parties that have played the role of a token opposition for many years likely step down;
  • The article thrust an aging Kharkov economist who happened to be the brother-in-law of pianist Vladimir Horowitz with a penchant for studying the problems of machine-building into a position of international prominence;
  • Who remembers him now?

How does the political situation influence the production of innovations? Why has Russia not been able to modernize itself completely after three hundred years of trying?

There have been many attempts for Russia to modernize itself technologically, and each time it seems not to make it.

Very often the leaders of Russia think that the problem is in technology itself. And it turns out, in my opinion, that the problem is not in the technology itself, the problem is in the fact that the society, Russian society, does not contain those supporting factors — economic, political, social, legal, — those factors which are necessary for technology to continue to grow. I think that Russian leaders from Peter the Great to Putin and Medvedev, to put it simply, a little too simply, have made the same mistake: But the fact of the matter is the technology by itself will not do the trick — you have to reform the society.

But let me give you one example. In the nineteenth century Russian inventors Ladygin and others Yablochkov invented the electric lights, before Thomas Edison. And they electrified the streets of Paris and London, and Yablochkov became wealthy in France.

Can russia modernize russias future is at risk

Then when he took his same lamps, his same technology and returned to Russia — he failed, he went bankrupt. There are many, many examples of this. In the field of diodes and lasers Russians were pioneers.

  • Well just one example;
  • You need something like that here too in order for a field in which you are very, very good — space technology — in order for that to continue to be very, very good and for not to stagnate, not for it to grow old and be surpassed by other countries.

Russians built the first digital computer — his name was Sergey Lebedev, who did it — the first digital computer in continental Europe. For a while Russians were leaders in computers. The failure is not among the scientists and engineers.

Problems of Modernization in Russia

What are those factors? Well just one example. You need patent laws, and you need a court system. That has to be settled some way. And there are disputes like that going on all the time. Sometimes an individual company wins, sometimes an individual company loses in these battles.

But the most important thing is that the companies continue to have faith that the legal system is fair.

  1. And eventually the Russians abandoned their independent architecture and adopted the architecture of IBM. De-Stalinization under Khrushchev was a breakthrough in and of itself, creating an opening for political and economic reforms.
  2. What are those factors?
  3. The failure is not among the scientists and engineers. Russians built the first digital computer — his name was Sergey Lebedev, who did it — the first digital computer in continental Europe.

There are always exceptions, of course, but in general that the legal system is fair. The legal system, in my opinion, is not fair. That kind of legal environment is just as important for the promotion of technology as it is having very good universities or research institutes — you gotta have those too. The tax system has to be fair, there has to be the existence of investors. In Russia there are, of course, investors, but not as many as there should be.

The investors who are here by and large are more interested in safe investments: That kind of environment also does not exist in Russia. In Russia very often, not always, but very often successful entrepreneurs who become wealthy are seen by the political authorities as rivals, as competitors.

  1. I mentioned two of them, Yablochkov and Ladygin, who invented electric lights before Thomas Edison.
  2. De-Stalinization under Khrushchev was a breakthrough in and of itself, creating an opening for political and economic reforms.
  3. In Russia there are, of course, investors, but not as many as there should be. Read more In a western democracy, an economic collapse on the scale experienced by Russia would have been extremely difficult to digest politically, as the global surge in populism demonstrates.
  4. There are many, many examples of this. Again, they were pioneers in the development of computers, but they lost out in the race for commercialization and economic success.
  5. There are many, many examples of this.

But on the whole the attitude of the top leaders of the Russian government has been — if a very successful entrepreneur emerges, either that person must be made a part of the system you kind of buy them off someway, including in the can russia modernize russias future is at risk or something or he is a rival. And what that means is that progress occurs in fits and starts: The space technology that you possess today is basically the same as what was developed in Soviet times.

These are private companies getting active in space. In the United States NASA, which is the state program for space, is gradually being, well, pushed aside might be a little too strong, but gradually being supplemented by private space companies. Out of the variety that is developing there — you get competition, some are good, some are not so good, and the best survive. You need something like that here too in order for a field in which you are very, very good — space technology — in order for that to continue to be very, very good and for not to stagnate, not for it to grow old and be surpassed by other countries.

It should be mentioned that there are many great inventors in the past in Russian history whom are no longer remembered, but they should be.

I mentioned two of them, Yablochkov and Ladygin, who invented electric lights before Thomas Edison. In fact, Thomas Edison got his first idea about electric lights from a Russian, Yablochkov. And who remembers him now? Then, Valentin Fabrikant in Leningrad.

He developed the basic principles of laser generation before anybody else did. Who remembers him now? And then there are some people who are remembered. They received the Nobel Prize for it. What share of that business in the world market does Russia have?

They were at the time as almost as good or as good as any computer anywhere in — the other competing countries were England and the United States, — but the Russians begin cooperating with the United States in the Apollo space program, very frequently the Russians could solve the problems of predicting orbits and so forth, mathematical problems, faster than the Americans could, because their computers were at least as good as the American.

And then what happened?

Problems of Modernization in Russia

American banks, American industries, — all started adopting computers, using computers in their businesses. Then computers became a commercial object, there was a lot of competition, commercial competition. And eventually the Russians abandoned their independent architecture and adopted the architecture of IBM. Again, they were pioneers in the development of computers, but they lost out in the race for commercialization and economic success. That pattern gets repeated again and again.

  • But the fact of the matter is the technology by itself will not do the trick — you have to reform the society;
  • The failure is not among the scientists and engineers;
  • In the United States NASA, which is the state program for space, is gradually being, well, pushed aside might be a little too strong, but gradually being supplemented by private space companies;
  • There have been many attempts for Russia to modernize itself technologically, and each time it seems not to make it;
  • However, in modern Russia, it is rare to see coalitions for reform based on class or profession.

They have shown again and again that they are leaders.