- Jan 14, 2016
Pavel Grudinin - Director of the Lenin State Farm
A very interesting article in today's Financial Times, which unfortunately I can't link to.
It seems the Communist Party of the Russian Federation is taking an unusual approach to this year's Presidential election. Instead of running their long time Chairman, Gennady Zyuganov, they are running a candidate who isn't even a member of the Communist Party. But, he is a Communist, and he runs the Lenin State Farm outside of Moscow. During the years of Yeltsin chaos, the workers of the Lenin State Farm bought the farm and turned it into a worker's collective. But this is not a small farm. It's turnover is in excess of 70 million US dollars a year. The proceeds of the farm are used to build housing and schools and kindergartens for the workers and to pay for their health care. Indeed, the workers are paid twice the Russian industrial average wage and have a far higher standard of living than the average Russian worker.
The Communist Party are putting forward the idea that Russians really don't have to put up with Putin because there's no alternative. In fact there is an alternative to the Dictatorship of Corruption - and that is for workers to take their own lives into their own hands.
The Communist Party candidate and Lenin Farm director is Pavel Grudinin. He gives himself the same pay and lives in the same type of apartment as the rest of the workers on the farm. With his mop of grey hair and mustache, people say he makes them nostalgic for the glorious days of Stalin and Soviet Power. However, his opponents accuse him of being a populist who just says what the people want to hear. They also criticise the fact that he is not a career politician and has no experience.
As for myself, I have no doubt that Putin will comfortably win again. And I'm not one of these Western idiots who pray for Putin's demise. He has done great work in putting Russia back on her feet after the years of Yeltsin chaos. He has curtailed the Oligarchs to some extent. And he has saved Syria from becoming another Libyan Holocaust. That said, Putin has serious problems as a leader. He can only go so far as he is really a one man show. His party are a rabble of con men and chancers, and when Putin is gone I'm afraid there will be nobody to replace him. For that reason, I would like to see strong men of the people like Pavel Grudinin come up through the political system and be ready to take power when the time comes.