With the Russian invasion of Ukraine still in full swing, the brunt of it has spread far and wide with many still stranded while others fight at the frontlines. Unfortunately, the war started by the bureaucrats has not only affected the Ukrainians but also the Russian citizens who had no say in Russia’s orchestration.
Almost the entirety of the world has chosen to ostracize the entirety of the Russian citizenry in the form of multiple economic sanctions, both private and governmental, and there’s not much hope in the name of recovery any time soon.
During the course of the same battle of sanctions and blood, Russian billionaires have begun to face a major portion of the economic attacks towards the Russian government. Almost all of them have been dubbed as “oligarchs” rather than calling them as what they really are “businesspeople”. Thus, it is only fair for us to look at what makes them so different from their Western counterparts.
How Russian Oligarchs Are Made
The making of the Russian Oligarchy has its foundations in the history of Russia itself. As and when the Soviet Union had opened its gates towards privatisation, it was the private and underhanded business folk who chose to get their piece of the pie at the earliest.
With the Soviet Union facing intermittent collapse, the government had left ownership of a number of state-owned assets and had auctioned them out. During the course of this business transaction, it was through corrupt discourse and informal deals with state officials that the oligarchy found its foundations.
However, the first oligarchs find their existence to have begun from the days of Mikhail Gorbachev, the then President of the former Soviet Union. During his tenure in office, the Soviet government had dipped their feet into the world of market liberalization.
Thus, the entrepreneurs took advantage of the situation and accumulated wealth during this period of quasi-market strategies and regulation owing to huge opportunities for economic arbitrage. It must be avowed as to how oligarchy essentially means “rule of the few.” Unfortunately, that’s just how the world works now.
Initially, these oligarchs have almost always found themselves in some form of governmental capacity or the other. For an instance, Roman Abramovich, the former Chelsea owner, has held the position of the governor of Chukotka, a Russian autonomous region.
During the course of his tenure, however, he was absolutely essential for the absolute welfare of the residents of Chukotka. Using a considerate amount of money for their welfare, he increased the standard of living of residents of Chukotka. This trend almost always appears for the “oligarchs” as they tended to the needs of the citizens with a fair amount of persistence.
Also Read: Here’s Why Israel-Palestine, Yemen War Doesn’t Receive Such Media Coverage As The Russia-Ukraine War
How Western Billionaires Are Made
Fair to state that almost everyone is aware of how this section in itself is unfounded owing to the sole reason that not much is available to actually show you the ways of how a Western billionaire is made.
Unfortunately, the course of having western billionaires made is no different from how oligarchies work. On more instances than one, they hold a particular monopoly over absolutely essential organs of a greatly globalized world.
No matter what one does, a western businessperson, almost always, comes from families of great influence, sometimes stealing ideas during the course of their journey.
If one believes that there exists much difference between a Russian Oligarch and an American billionaire, then that entire idea would be unfounded. To put matters into perspective, Rupert Murdoch and Michael Bloomberg, combined, own almost half of the world’s news sources.
With Murdoch owning around 120 newspapers all over the world, while owning other news agencies on the side, controls almost all of the news that the consumer consumes on the day-to-day.
On the other hand, Michael Bloomberg owns the entirety of the Bloomberg enterprise, giving him absolute control over not just American news, but also Indian, with Quint.
In a similar vein, even social media has become monopolized, with Facebook (or the Metaverse if we are being serious) owning almost the entirety of the social media world.
Starting from Facebook to Instagram to WhatsApp, the entire industry walks and runs at the whims of one man. It is unfortunate, to say the least, that we do not attack our western businesspeople to hold them accountable and even when they are held accountable, the loopholes work things out.
Now, the ball falls at your court, the reader, to decide if the Russian “oligarch” is any different from your day-to-day western billionaire. In my opinion, we should start calling every other business person an oligarch.
Disclaimer: This article is fact-checked
Image Sources: Google Images
Sources: The Atlantic, CNN, Forbes
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