Any Russian researcher engaged in the study of western countries, inevitably asks himself the question of how applicable their experience is to the Russian reality. Although political changes since 1985 have opened the way to free scientific analysis, they have not helped unequivocally to answer the above question. It might initially seem that the transition to a market economy would provide significant scope for the exploitation of western experience, but in practice this has been far from the case. The conditions under which western experience would be applied are simply too different. What can be heard in politicians' speeches, in reference to western experience, is frequently incorrect - incorrect information is a result, at best, of ignorance of the subject.