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Sergei Guriev, Russia’s most prominent free market economist, left Moscow in 2013 for Paris, in fear of his liberty. He had publicly supported dissidents, criticized the administration’s policies, was an active and committed liberal, in politics as in economics. He produced, earlier this year, a 21st century equivalent of Niccolo Machiavelli’s “The Prince”: a blueprint of how the modern autocrat rules, and remains.

Unlike the Florentine, though, Guriev isn’t recommending a course of action, he’s describing it; and he doesn’t believe it will be good for the state, but ruinous. If he’s right about the nature of Russia’s governance, his country is in for a bad crash. And when Russia in its present condition crashes, the world will shake.

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