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Books by Grigory Yavlinsky
Economics and Politics in Russia
The Center for Economic and Political Research (EPIcenter)
Nizhni Novgorod-Moscow, 1992

1.5. Actions

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All the arguments given above will remain just that, if different forces do not take some definite political steps. Politics is not just a word which can be as correct as one likes; it is the art of action. ("It is not he who devised the battle plan or found the necessary solution who shall win the battle, but he who took responsibility for its fulfillment": Napoleon).

It is important that all the acting forces of the process (the federal authorities, authorities of the territories and the local elite in general, political parties, the intelligentsia, etc.) make an attempt to act in agreement. Certainly, the intelligentsia, and the authorities of the territories or political parties can realize the need to move toward new federalism more urgently (than the federal authorities). This does not deny the possibility of cooperation and joint actions.

If one should try to imagine the approximate actions which the participants of the process could take even in the nearest several months, the following seem the most reasonable:

1. The authorities of the territories could try to form up interterritorial coordinating economic bodies, and then to the development of a political reform programme which would take into account the interests of the territories. Researchers, entrepreneurs, directors of state enterprises and the federal authorities could find here the necessary support.

Elections of the heads of regional and territorial administrations, at least in the territories where it is reasonable, is a separate, but still very important task;

2. The federal power could facilitate the introduction of changes in the law, proceeding from the fact that current economic transformations will be prepared "from below" (this refers in the first place to institutional changes in the economy);

3. It would be highly desirable for researchers in cooperation with the authorities to begin developing the concept of the new federalism (first of all to make up a draft of a new Federation Treaty, and a new Constitution), and to discuss the idea of the new federalism in the mass media;

4. It would be extremely important for political parties (of both democratic and patriotic orientation) to try to unite on the basis of the new federalism. If this happened, there would be a favourable impact on the political parties themselves, and they would again find themselves at the centre of public attention, and would again play one of the leading parts in social transformations. If the concept of the new federalism would be accepted, then the bloc of political parties could participate in its development, discussion, dissemination, and could fruitfully cooperate with the authorities of the territories.

Other actions are, of course, possible, and the list of them still obviously remains long. It is important to START ACTING, and then we'll be able to see the existing opportunities.

The claim that the movement to the new federation will be long does not necessarily imply that we should sit idle and wait.

Some steps have to be taken immediately, they should be quick and decisive, as time is passing, and opportunities for action are being reduced.

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