Soviet Union: Crisis of Personality

Building a new political and economic system from scratch, the country's reformers must cope with a mind-set unaccustomed to freedom

Speaking in New York last month, newly elected Russian Federation president Boris Yeltsin angrily cited an example of the kind of "exploitation" he would not allow: a middleman who bought meat in Moscow and sold it as shashlik in a city less than a hundred miles away for a big markup. Meeting Yeltsin immediately after, S. Frederick Starr, president of Oberlin College in Ohio and a Sovietologist, suggested that instead of putting the dealer out of action, the Russian leader ought to encourage five more hustlers to go into the business. That way more shashlik would be distributed while competition slashed...

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