Sergei Kapitsa (cont)
Well, this story is a window to cease. . .
K: I must say, we were speaking nationwide on these matters.
In other words, now both these stories, the Leontieff story and
this Aganbegyan story, point up the fact that untold numbers of
people knew what was happening to the economy, whereas the public
picture was kept under control.
K: Well, to a certain extent, but, you see, again, we were
speaking nationwide on these matters.
K: The first program, not everyone was supposed to see.
Because here's the one with Leontieff in the late seventies.
And hundreds of thousands, what millions?
Millions of people saw that program?
K: Yeah. Both of them were seen by millions of people.
Well, some first reflections on this bifurcation, this double type
of a culture, let's call it--this goes all the way back, because
Aganbegyan was starting to see things I suppose in the sixties.
K: Well, certainly, you see.
Trying to tell Kosygin some of this.
K: Yes, Kosygin understood these things perfectly well, and
I know that he was one of our greatest statesmen, in fact.
Well, these two anecdotes of the interviews of Leontieff and Aganbegyan
point to a dawning awareness that was outside the official public
recognition, that the economy was not only not working; it seemed
to be heading towards a decline. First, how far back does
this recognition go? When did you become aware of this?
Could you tell us something about that?
K: Well, it's a very complicated issue, you see--the idea
that the economy has to have strong evidence of State control, that
is obvious. You take the economy say of modern Europe -- America
is not the best example. Half of the major industries--like
transportation, energy -- are nationalized. That means they
are state controlled. Or they are controlled by such huge
agglomerations of power and money that they really serve, like in
Japan, they're called private, but really they are serving the public
interest rather than private interests -- it's a matter of management
rather than principle. So the issue of state control
can be impersonated in many ways.
our economy was -- I think the worst part of it, was that it was
a military economy. I remember I had a conversation with Galbraith
once. I toured the United States, speaking to all the major
economists; and that's another good story. And one of my interviews
was with Galbraith, who always equaled himself with the military
economy of America during the war. During the war, the American
economy was highly centralized and controlled simply to carry out
the military effort. See, that is why Roosevelt could not
could not raise two billion to make the atom bomb without even telling
his congress, and so on. That is the way you can win a war.
Galbraith was one of the instruments of these economic policies.
But immediately after the war, this whole military establishment,
government control of the economy was dismantled, and you came back
to the free market economy, maybe even too free market economy.
But that's another problem.