RUSSIA: A Pair of Pants

A year ago, when Stalin purged Economics Planner Nikolai Voznesensky from the Politburo, a top U.S. diplomat in Moscow said: "Voznesensky made one big mistake. He tried too hard to please Stalin by turning out capital goods [to rebuild Russia] instead of consumer goods. He thought the Russian people could wait a little longer while he made a good showing. What the average Russian wanted was a pair of pants.

The diplomat had stated a truth about Russia which many Western observers have failed to grasp: the Kremlin cares deeply about the morale of the Russian people. Thanks to censorship and...

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