Poverty and savagery. About Afghanistan, Russians, Donbass and the economy
The Taliban regime will be a criminal economy of raw materials, incapable of producing anything normally. This is not even a raw material appendage of other countries – it is a raw material appendage of their criminal bottom
The Taliban have occupied Kabul. A day before that, a video circulated around the world in which an Afghan girl without a hijab with braided pigtails in tears said that she was afraid for herself and all the women of Afghanistan. During the previous Taliban period, Afghan women were not allowed to work, study or receive treatment from male doctors unless accompanied by a husband. Those who violated these laws faced imprisonment, public flogging and even the death penalty. Today we see eerie footage from the Kabul airport, where thousands of people are trying to escape the new regime.
The country is rapidly plunging into savagery. There is no place for someone like this girl, who is not ready to live by the rules of Islamists, who is not ready to give up a normal life and education, who is not ready to be enslaved and executed, in this world that the Taliban are trying to create.
The economy of modern Afghanistan has long been built around drug trafficking, namely opium production. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates that in 2018 the opiate economy accounted for between 6% and 11% of Afghanistan’s GDP ($ 1.2-2.2 billion). For comparison, in the same year, the Afghan government collected only $ 2.5 billion of its own revenues (12.8% of the country’s GDP). Thus, government revenues are essentially equal to the value of the opium poppy economy.
At the heart of Afghanistan’s economy, according to the World Bank, is fragility and dependence on foreign economic aid, which has declined from about 100% of GDP in 2009 to 42.9% of GDP in 2020. In turn, the private sector is extremely small, and employment is concentrated in low-productivity agriculture (44% of the total labor force works in agriculture, and 60% of households receive some income from agriculture).
In other words, the Taliban regime will be a criminal economy of raw materials, unable to produce anything normal and reasonable. It is not even a raw material appendage of other countries – it is a raw material appendage of the criminal bottom of these countries.
The same thing that is now happening in Afghanistan was done by the Russians in our Donbass. Before the war, it was a territory where, good or bad, rules and laws worked, and people could live a normal life. It was transformed by the Russians into a semi-wild desert without rules, erased from the normal world. After that, the GDP of the occupied territories decreased by about half, plunging them into hopeless poverty.
The normal life of modern society is based on the interaction between people and institutions, between society and government, between business and government, between rich and poor. Rules, laws, morality, culture, and elementary decency ensure such interaction and enable the creation of successful societies, strong developed economies, technical progress and progress. Those who have such social interaction better have gone further. That is why developed countries have the lowest level of corruption and the highest level of prosperity, and it is in them that modern technologies are created that change our lives every day.
However, rules, institutions, social compromise (the order in which our lives are held) are constantly being tested. Examples arise every day – including in our country. Yesterday, under uncertain circumstances, the mayor of Kryvyi Rih died, which undoubtedly destabilizes the situation in the city. The day before yesterday, during the protests of nationalist organizations near the President’s Office, a journalist was beaten. This erodes the rules that protect freedom of speech and freedom of the press, which enable all of us to receive objective information.
Our institutions and rules, laws and organizations have been working poorly for 30 years. They are constantly attacked, washed out and broken. That is why we are so far behind other European countries. But we are not Afghanistan, and we are not the “DPR” or “ LPR”, where chaos won out. We were able to contain chaos within part of our territory – and even take out a flight with people from Taliban-held Kabul! We still have every chance to defeat chaos and build a strong, developed country.