Andrea Peters, at the World Socialist Web Site, writing on “The political and social roots of Russia‘s wildfire disaster”:
The profoundly anti-democratic character of the Russian political system no doubt contributed to the wildfire disaster and the suffering of the population. However, this alone cannot explain why villages burnt to the ground for want of firefighting equipment or the peat bogs in surrounding Moscow were left unmonitored for fire danger.
The collapse of public services in Russia and the semi-privatization of the country’s forests are part and parcel of the restoration of capitalism, which the liberal opposition hails as a great historic achievement. The 2007 forest code passed by the Kremlin is not simply a product of Putin’s corrupt relationship with powerful logging and paper manufacturing interests in Russia. It is entirely in keeping with the political principles dictated by Russia’s market economy, in which the profit motive, not social needs, determines how resources will be utilized.
Read the rest of the article here.
Thanks to the ever-alert Louis Proyect for bringing this to our attention.