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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


Out With the Old ...

St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak has written a letter to Russian President Boris Yeltsin with a proposal that the body of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin be buried at St. Petersburg's Volkov Cemetery, where his mother and sister are buried.

The news agency Interfax, citing reliable sources, reported that Sobchak proposed that the burial take place Jan. 21, the 71st anniversary of Lenin's death.

Izvestia, Jan. 12

And In With the New

Following is an excerpt from an open letter from State Duma deputy Mark Goryachev to President Boris Yeltsin.

Respected Boris Nikolayevich! Without beating around the bush, I will get right to the point: Become a tsar.

Your constitutional authority is already extremely great. Nicholas II himself would envy the power concentrated in your hands. Become a tsar.

Why do I approach you now with this request? After all, I am not a monarchist, and you have a reputation as a democratic leader.

The point is that Russian tsars have historically not only been autocrats but property owners as well. They owned all of Russia, of course, but they also had their own estates, villages and even factories. As the country's primary landowners, the tsars were personally interested in increasing their own property and, hence, in the flowering of the whole empire.

Become a tsar. Take on yourself the worries and responsibilities of a tsar. If you became the tsar, you would never trust the fate of your personal lands and enterprises to bureaucrats.

What is really going on in Russia today except the enrichment of the army of bureaucrats and the criminalization of the authorities? The people have not yet seen the reforms for which they elected you president and for the sake of which they have been willing "to wait just a little longer." There are still no guarantees of private property, there is no free market, it is not possible to feed one's family by freely selling one's labor or setting up one's own business.

Become tsar and take everything on yourself. Let everyone know that what is in Russia is the property of Yeltsin. Become the world's richest person.

But, like the English queen, pay taxes. Then you will have no choice but to move ahead on reforms, or your property will be ruined. Then you will learn that property is a burden, and that one must exert great effort to make it work. Then you will, even against your will, start taking care of increasing production, and you will be forced to take the initiative in legislation to protect producers and guarantee the sanctity of private property.

Boris Nikolayevich! Untie the hands of the rich and they will feed the poor, the homeless, the pensioners, the bureaucrats and the single mothers.

At the very least, give property over to those who today only control it, so that they will have to pay taxes. Let the forestry minister own the forests, and he will stop destroying them. Let the director of a boot factory own the factory, and he will make sure that it starts producing boots.

They know how to do this, Boris Nikolayevich. If they don't work now, it is because they don't know who they are working for. After all, the colective responsibility of your bureacracy is exactly the same as the collective irresponsibility of the Soviet people, who for 75 years worked for the sake of that bureaucracy. Then, the upper and lower strata of society truly deserved one another.

The country does not need more leaders, Mr. President. The country needs property owners -- for every clump of dirt, every work bench and every truck.

And it isn't really so important who becomes owners. But it is vital that someone does. I don't know how you feel, but I am ashamed when I hear Westerners ask, "How come Russia lives so poorly when it is so rich?"

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Jan. 11