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Gorbachev’s Sermon on the Mount

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Posted on Nov 11, 2009
AP / Herbert Knosowski

He’s a superstar: Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signs an autograph while crossing the Bornholmer Street bridge in Berlin during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

By Robert Scheer

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” That biblical quotation certainly applies to Mikhail Gorbachev, a man not honored enough for the example he set and whose past practices and recent cautions about Afghanistan should be heeded by Barack Obama. Or, on a secular note, if the Sermon on the Mount doesn’t cut it for you, take German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s praise for the former Soviet leader at the ceremony marking the fall of the Berlin Wall, which he helped destroy: “You courageously allowed things to happen, and that was much more than we could have expected.” 

The hero’s reception granted Gorbachev when he accompanied the German leader across the Bornholmer Street bridge to mark the 20th anniversary of the end of the city’s division was credit long overdue. As The New York Times reported: “More than 1,000 people lined the bridge Monday night under gray skies and a steady drizzle to hear the chancellor speak, but their loudest cheers came when she thanked Mr. Gorbachev for the reforming attitude he brought to the Soviet leadership that helped make the events of that historic night possible.” The crowd, chanting “Gorby, Gorby, Gorby,” understood that he had done something unique for a world leader: He admitted the error of his system’s ways and radically reversed its course.

The surrender of immense political power, personal as well as international in scope, is something we never expect from leaders, but Gorbachev set a model of self-sacrifice for a larger purpose that one wishes others would follow. How rare in history for a leader of such great standing to surrender his position, along with its abundance of personal perquisites, for the larger common good. How unexpected for the leader of a military colossus to turn swords into plowshares.

That is what Gorbachev did, beginning with his bold outreach to Western leaders including Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, prompting the latter to say, “I like Mr. Gorbachev; we can do business together.” The British prime minister influenced President Reagan to take a similarly open stance, and when Gorbachev reciprocated, the Cold War effectively came to an end. Gorbachev’s words were followed by actions, beginning with suspension of the scheduled deployment of intermediate-range nuclear weapons. That was followed with an even bolder proposal to cut both the Soviet and U.S. nuclear arsenals by half and then act to eliminate them altogether. Most important for the current moment was Gorbachev’s decisive moves to reduce the Soviet troop presence in Afghanistan, followed by his 1988 announcement of the full withdrawal of troops from that country.

Gorbachev drew on his experience in a CNN interview Sunday during which he again played the part of peacemaker, urging Obama to pull troops out of Afghanistan. “I think that our experience deserves attention,” the former Soviet president said. He recommended that the U.S., in the hope of bringing an end to “the long suffering of the [Afghan] people,” focus on “dialogue” and that “withdrawal from Afghanistan should be the goal.”

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Unfortunately, it seems from media leaks that President Obama is moving in the opposite direction. The speculation now is that he will increase U.S. forces by a number slightly less than the 40,000 that Gen. Stanley McChrystal has requested, a decision that would make no sense at all. If the goal is, as McChrystal’s report defined it, to rebuild Afghan civil society from the ground up, something on the order of the half-million troops that were dispatched to Vietnam will be required. But that cannot be done without a draft, and we all know that outcome would not be politically acceptable to either the Democratic or Republican party.

Nor is such nation-building advisable, even if the American public and the treasury would support it. Our war in Afghanistan is no more warranted than the one the Soviets waged. Ironically, they were opposing Muslim fanatics we supplied with Stinger rockets and whose descendants we now blame for terrorism. In the name of fighting Soviet imperialism, our CIA recruited the worst of the worst and called them freedom fighters until we renamed them terrorists. We got it terribly wrong then, and yet we still insist that we know what we are doing in that country.

When Gorbachev came to power he, like Obama, inherited a war that was not in the interest of his nation. If the response of a Soviet dictator was to end it, might we not be justified in expecting the enlightened president of a democratic society to do the same?

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


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By Inherit The Wind, November 17, 2009 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

TD3:
Amazing! You STILL defend FT’s continual outrageous lies about me—and claim he’s “honest”! 

I guess you just have no concept of what honesty is. It’s not just a word you say your friends have and your opponents don’t.  It means there are verifiable facts being truly represented.  Lack of honesty means they are falsely represented, deliberately.

FT has deliberately presented false statements about me.  How is that “honesty”?

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By truedigger3, November 17, 2009 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

Re:By Inherit The Wind, November 17 at 12:05 am #

ITW,

It is futile and waste of time and energy to defend oneself against continuous stream of false acusations and lies coming from you, but here is a parting shot:
I am not here posting to gang with FT or anybody against you or against anybody. I am here to express my honest opinion about the subject at hand and not to defend any particular position or philosophy.
Surprise! Surprise! Sometimes I agree with you and sometimes I disagree with FT, but at least he is honest but you and your “soul mate” sepharad are dishonest and couple of sophist bullshitters. Nuf said!!!

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By drbhelthi, November 17, 2009 at 5:09 am Link to this comment

Opinions, opinions.
They often remind me of the exclamation of Fredrik Bartz, Enkirch an der Mosel, November 1977, one evening. We were discussing the opinions of German politicians at that time, while drinking fresh, German coffee and eating Erna Bartz´s fresh-baked cake. Fritz was drunk as a skunk, but quite lucid.  All of a sudden, he stood up, shouted, “All normal people have two things in common.”  He sat down and quitely continued, ” an asshole and an opinion.”

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By Inherit The Wind, November 16, 2009 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3, November 16 at 2:26 pm #

Re:By Inherit The Wind, November 16 at 8:40 am #


For the last several years, I have been posting in truthdig, and in all that time, there was not the slightest whiff of any partisanship in my posts.
As a matter of fact, I always attacked partisanship and declared over and over that we are having only a single party in this country which is the party of big money/corpo party and that both the Democratic and Republican parties are nothing but two different masks for that party.
But what else is new!! Here we go again with ITW accusing people with false charges or putting words in their mouths they didn’t say then start clobbering for that.
Enough of that ITW!!!?.

*****************************************************

Don’t dish out what you cannot take, you pompous empty suit!

You just ripped two other poster up and down for being “partisan” when YOU are one of the MOST partisn members of “The Contingent”.  You remind me of those crazy-religious Christians who claim they have NO religion!  (because THEY have the “truth” and everybody else’s faith is a “religion”).

You want “none of that”?  Well, the day you shut down as Folktruther’s ditto-head, shouting “Amen, Brother” every time he spouts one of his ugly lies about me and my positions, well, I’ll think about it.

The day you say “No, FT. I may not like ITW or his opinions and think his arguments are bullshit, but he never said that, doesn’t believe that and never implies what you say he does.  You are WRONGING him by attacking him for positions he doesn’t have!”, well that’s the day you’ll earn my respect and a salute from me. 

You can dislike me, detest my positions, and, if you can, prove me wrong.  You can even occasionally misquote me.  But don’t back a continual pattern of lies about me because it SERVES YOUR PURPOSE!

Until then, you are just another left-wing version of Sean Hannity or Glen Beck

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By ThomasG, November 16, 2009 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, Nov.16 at 3:36pm,

You are correct, if the United States had not meddled in internal Soviet affairs there would have been a more orderly transition to a Demand Economy in the United Soviet Socialist Republics, but the United States did meddle in Soviet affairs and Boris Yelsin was the result that eliminated an orderly transition to a Demand Economy.

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By Anarcissie, November 16, 2009 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

Truthdig’s comment system is quite odd.  If you look below you’ll see two copies of my previous message; the higher, supposedly later one, was written earlier, contains a typo, and was only previewed; the one further down is the one that I posted.  I am trying to imagine how someone could program that.

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By truedigger3, November 16, 2009 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie wrote:
“it is my belief that had it not been for Gorbachev and people like him, civil war would have occurred in the Soviet Union.”
_____________________________________________________

NO, Anarcissie, NO.
That doesn’t apply here.
When Gorbachev took power there were no opposition to the system but obvious shortcommings that needed reforms. Gorbachov started these reforms that led to instead of reforming the system but destroying it.
The ruling elite and their cronies and associated organized crime picked up the pieces and became the new capitalists and the soviet people suffered tremendously.
That was Gorbachov contribution which he deserves nothing but contempt and derision for it.

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By truedigger3, November 16, 2009 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

Re:By Inherit The Wind, November 16 at 8:40 am #


For the last several years, I have been posting in truthdig, and in all that time, there was not the slightest whiff of any partisanship in my posts.
As a matter of fact, I always attacked partisanship and declared over and over that we are having only a single party in this country which is the party of big money/corpo party and that both the Democratic and Republican parties are nothing but two different masks for that party.
But what else is new!! Here we go again with ITW accusing people with false charges or putting words in their mouths they didn’t say then start clobbering for that.
Enough of that ITW!!!?.

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By Anarcissie, November 16, 2009 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

ardee—ThomasG appears to not know that the political face of capitalism is liberalism, historically speaking, anyway.  It is true liberal-capitalist polities have often generated into fascism, but fascist-capitalist regimes don’t work very well, as witness their numerous instances of failure in Latin America.

truedigger3—it is my belief that had it not been for Gorbachev and people like him, civil war would have occurred in the Soviet Union.  I think I said that at least once before.  The most common response of a ruling class whose position is threatened or compromised is to hunker down and fight for power and survival as a class with every weapon at its command.  So, for me, a dismissal of Gorbachev implies a fondness for more dramatic conclusions.

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By Anarcissie, November 16, 2009 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

ardee—ThomasG appears to not know that the political face of capitalism is liberalism, historically speaking, anyway.  It is true liberal-capitalist polities have often degenerated into fascism, but fascist-capitalist regimes don’t work very well, as witness their numerous instances of failure in Latin America.

truedigger3—it is my belief that had it not been for Gorbachev and people like him, civil war would have occurred in the Soviet Union.  I think I said that at least once before.  The most common response of a ruling class whose position is threatened or compromised is to hunker down and fight for power and survival as a class with every weapon at its command.  So, for me, a dismissal of Gorbachev implies a fondness for more dramatic conclusions.

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By ardee, November 16, 2009 at 4:41 am Link to this comment

To compare Capitalism to socialism implies that Capitalism is a means of running a community, city, county, state or nation.  And, so far as I am aware, there is NO community, city, county, state, or nation that is or can be run by the means of running an economy, Capitalism, that could exist, unless the community, city, county, state, or nation is privately owned or under fascist control.

Bold my addition..

1,. In my best Elmer Fudd voice; “he dont know ouwa govt. vewwy well, do he?”

2. The bold indicates that, within his screed, Thomas answers his own question.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 16, 2009 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

truedigger3, November 16 at 4:15 am #

Peet,

Trying to engage in an intelligent discussion with ThomasG or MarthaA “who are the same” is futile and waste of time and energy. She is hopelessly Partisan DLC Democrat hack. Also that applies to louise. Regards.
*************************************************

Coming from you that’s about as funny as Bill O’Reilly claiming he’s an “independent” and not a Republican!

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By truedigger3, November 16, 2009 at 12:15 am Link to this comment

Peet,

Trying to engage in an intelligent discussion with ThomasG or MarthaA “who are the same” is futile and waste of time and energy. She is hopelessly Partisan DLC Democrat hack. Also that applies to louise. Regards.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 15, 2009 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment

Peet:

You’ve finally brought this thread back to an intelligent discussion—where reasonable people can disagree.  Thanks.  Been away all day…family stuff that needed to be handled.

OK, you make a very strong case, one of which is ACTUALLY highly accurate and reflects a US/Western paranoia of the USSR than was ever appropriate—but that the Stalinistic suspicion of the West was equally paranoid and led BOTH sides to acting in ways that were evil and stupid.

But you founder on two points:
1) “Some people here have continued to insist that Communism or Socialism have inherent flaws that contributed to their demise. I say that is an opinion that conveniently ignores massive amounts of historical evidence to the contrary in order to basically advance a ruling class point of view. “
and
2) “To re-state: Socialism has never been allowed to develop in peace, so anything resembling control conditions regarding it have never existed.”

one: The inherent flaws argument is a very powerful one.  In not only points out THAT they failed, but WHY they failed, and, finally, why they MUST fail.  2 word: Human nature. 1 word: Greed.  I said this before—Capitalism’s advantage over Socialism is that it EXPLOITS greed at all levels as the prime motivation.  Socialism tries to CONQUER greed.  Think of “greed” as the economic Afghanistan—nobody’s ever been able to conquer it.

two: Anarcissie basically nailed this one down, but I have a different angle. NO system has ever been “allowed” to just develop.  It had to fight, scrape, kick, claw and grasp in order to win.  Socialism “won” and found that it was ruled by Stalins and Kim Jong Ills and Ceaucesus—and THEY are no different than their “capitalist” counterparts in their corruption for power, wealth and, (of course) sex.

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By Peetawonkus, November 15, 2009 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment

Thank you, ThomasG. I’m glad we’re both agreed that I is speshul.

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By ThomasG, November 15, 2009 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

Peetawonkus, Nov.15 at 8:30pm,

If you are content with comparing Apples to Oranges, as you say, continue on your merry way toward YOUR universal truth, that Oranges do grow on Apple Trees and Apples really do grow on Orange Trees.

Those like YOU, that have YOUR higher level of understanding and universal truth are Special People and as “special people”, YOU apparently require a “special” “universal truth” that is not contingent upon objective reality.

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By Peetawonkus, November 15, 2009 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

radson

I must disagree. You say “the Soviet system was based on aggression towards it’s neighbors and the first major instance was against Poland in the 1920’s ,where the Miracle on the Vistula occurred, afterwards they signed the Treaty of Riga,which redefined Poland’s borders.”

But that’s not entirely true. The Soviet Union was barely a year old when Western powers, in 1918, landed occupying forces. The United States was among those Western Powers. The Treat of Riga, while true, ignores that Poland had been a willing staging area for Westen Intervention. And continued to be so right up until the Nazis invaded them. Indeed, it’s a role that Poland, to the embarrassment of much of modern Europe, still seems eager to play. During the Russian Civil War, Western money financed the White Russians. Much of that Western money was funneled through Poland. These animosities between Poland and Russia go back centuries and, sadly, changes in economic and political systems don’t seem to have changed basic emotions in the area. The myth of Finland is that it was simply a humble nation minding its own business until the Soviets invaded it. Again, not entirely true. Finland was a fascist country and a willing staging ground for Nazi spies and sabotage launched into Soviet territory.

In any case, I maintain that the first shots were not fired by the Soviet Union. Russia historically had been attacked by the West, not the other way around. We might again disagree as to when the first attacks began. The Nazis maintained they were going to finish the business the Teutonic Knights started. True or half-legend, it was a useful myth for rallying the troops. But even if we start with Napoleon, the Russians had reason to be suspicious of the West. For one thing, the Soviets had read Hitler’s Mein Kampf and, unlike the West, Stalin believed Hitler meant to do what he said, if he got the chance. Which was exterminate the Slavic people and seize their lands. Proponents of Russian aggression always point to the Eastern Bloc era of Soviet occupation. But again, that ignores that those nations, until the end of WWII, were fascist states and active collaborators with the Nazis in the invasion and devastation of the Soviet Union. I daresay under the circumstances, had the shoe been on our foot, we would have been equally hard on collaborator nations who actively sought the destruction of America. And you can bet we would have used them as buffer states.

Again, I feel compelled to add that I do not see the Soviet Union in a romantic glow. Although I would say that while they were around, the US ruling class at least made a better show of Democracy than they do now. However, I find no historical evidence that any Socialist state fired the first shots. Maybe the second and the third…but not the first.

Having said the above, there is much in your recent post I agree with.

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By radson, November 15, 2009 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

Now that the tempest has passed the thread has become more reasonable , I’ll share part of the blame for the storm.TDer 3 you have mentioned that the West was partly responsible for the rise of the Nazi war machine and your close.The British always maintained a powerful influence in European affairs ,even if it was a detriment to their so-called allies ,it was a way of ensuring her imperialistic hegemony .The argument that the Soviets were ignored concerning the build-up of the German war machine through the West’s blind eye is incomplete.Russia during her period of industrialization was greatly aided by German expertise in developing the Soviet industries ,secondly the German practical theory of the Blitz was in a large part conducted in Russia ,because of the limitations of Versailles where there was a good deal of testing of new equipment ,Spain became the live testing ground during Franco’s revolution,the construction of a Graf-Spee type of pocket battleship in Leningrad several years before the Ribbentrop -Molotov Pact is another indication of
Soviet German cooperation .The Soviet historians assessment of being neglected by the West is incomplete.Also when the Soviets invaded Finland for the very lame excuse of protecting Leningrad ,the Allies (British,
French and the remnants of the Polish) army were preparing to send an expeditionary force to halt the Soviet aggression ,it was the German invasion of Norway that cancelled support for Finland.

Peet the Soviet system was based on aggression towards it’s neighbors and the first major instance was against Poland in the 1920’s ,where the Miracle on the Vistula occurred,afterwards they signed the Treaty of
Riga ,which redefined Poland’s borders.Your posts with regards to the benefits of the WOPS and the strength of the Unions has it’s merits in America ,but at the time it was based on the Comintern and the recruitment of individuals to promote the Proletarian revolution ,had it come to fruition there is no guarantee that it would have deviated from the treatment that was meted out to the Russian citizens.Logically the removal of the Russian
aristocracy ,should have send shivers up the spines of the remainder of the elites throughout Europe due to the threat that it posed to their respective lineage and the Hapsburg dating game.Nevertheless Socialism is rather a new concept ,compared to Capitalism ,but there exist overlapping ideologies between the two with regards to the Soviet version ,namely Milton Freidman’s experiments in South America where shock was used to implement a new model.Many countries have a form of Socialism ,France ,Canada ,but they still maintain a market economy and therefore are neither purely Capitalist nor Socialist yet they are functioning societies.What Global warming and the depletions of the Earths natural resources will bring in the evolution and or downfall of societies is uncertain ,but the inevitability exists.

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By Peetawonkus, November 15, 2009 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

ThomasG,

Thanks for straightening everyone out on the definitions. Whatever did we do before you came along?

False frames. Hmmm. That’s a fancy way of saying we can’t compare apples to oranges. But pithy sayings and catchy little bumpersticker phrases don’t add up to universal truths. If we continued to follow your logic, nothing could be compared to anything else. Except, of course, itself, or those things so like itself as to be virtually identical. “False frames” sounds like a nice way to not have to talk about anything. I’ll take compare, contrast…and test any day.

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By drbhelthi, November 15, 2009 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

One retired CIA agent revealed a bit of the internal putrification of top-level US leaders, and some of the dastardly illegal habits of the CIA, until his recent assassination.  He wrote that anywhere in the world where foment against a foreign government exists, the CIA is in some way involved.  Examplia gratia, last year, Bush Jr. was reported to have uttered, in his genteel manner of verbal puking, „ if I don´t get South Ossetia for the pipeline, I´m no longer interested in Georgia !! “ 

It was reported that when Sakashvilli gave the order to march and begin the genocide, there were over twenty US soldier-types in his midst advising him.  Privates and corporals are not sent to advise a foreign government paid pimp of the white house.  Hopefully, the subject „officer- treasonists“ will be discovered and punished, or perhaps have the self-respect to engage in Hari-Kari.  Blowing the whistle beforehand is preferable.  Does anyone know the total in US $ that was wasted in the process of empowering Sakashvilli and his imps to break with Moscow ? Separately, how much was paid in salaries of all US personnel that were involved?  Since the top-level in the white house and pentagon is responsible for the subterfuge, is the US liable for reparations to South Ossetians ?  The $400,000,000 handed out in bribes by the CIA in Iran a couple months ago, organizing the demonstrations against president Ahmadinedschad, was stupid.  The black-money-hole of the CIA should be plugged !!!

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By truedigger3, November 15, 2009 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie wrote addressing me:
“No doubt several million dead, a world in flames, and bodies and wreckage piled up all over the place would have been more exciting. I’d rather see it in the movies than the real world, though.  To each his own, I guess.”
__________________________________________________
Who said that?? Not me or anyone else in this thread.!!
You too are putting words in people mouths they didn’t say and then clobbering them for it???!!
This what I wrote about the fall of the Soviet Union and why it happened mostly peacefully:

“There was no civil war and massive bloodshed because the leaders of the old system became the new capitalists or their enablers and benefactors in the new system!!.”

How that corrolates with the garbage you attributed to me??  Are you hallucinating?? What is the matter with you??!! Calm down will ya!!!

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By ThomasG, November 15, 2009 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

Peetawonkus, Nov.15 at 4:22pm, and Anarcissie, Nov.15 at 3:46pm,

Capitalism is the act, process, or result of operating an economy based upon the use of capital.

Socialism is the act, process, or result of operating a greater or lesser community; a group of people living together in one locality and subject to the same laws, with common benefit, ownership and participation; i.e., a community, city, county, state, or nation.

It is a false frame to compare Capitalism to socialism or socialism to Capitalism, because Capitalism is the means of operating an economy within a community, city, county, state, or nation; and socialism is the means of operating the community, city, county, state, or nation where the Capitalist economy is located.

It is a false frame when comparisons are employed that do not utilize LIKE TERMS.  Capitalism can be compared to other forms of Capitalism as a means of running an economy; and socialism can be compared to other forms of socialism as a means of running a community, city, county, state, or nation; but to compare the means of running an economy, Capitalism,  to the means of running a state or nation, socialism, is a comparison of unlike terms, and therefore a false frame.

To compare Capitalism to socialism implies that Capitalism is a means of running a community, city, county, state or nation.  And, so far as I am aware, there is NO community, city, county, state, or nation that is or can be run by the means of running an economy, Capitalism, that could exist, unless the community, city, county, state, or nation is privately owned or under fascist control.

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By Anarcissie, November 15, 2009 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

Peetawonkus—any producers’ cooperative or partnership where the workers have a voice in the conduct of the business is socialist by the definition I gave.  World-wide, there are supposed to be millions of such cooperatives; there are certainly main thousands in the U.S.

Of course, you could come up with a different definition of socialism.  Right-wingers like to pretend it’s control of everything by the government, so according to them the pharaohs were socialists, Hitler was a socialist, and so on.  I won’t bother with that.  There are other, leftish, definitions, but those I’ve encountered besides the one I gave have been pretty vague.

As for living in peace, capitalist states have fought each other and states and peoples of other kinds quite vigorously since the appearance of capitalism five or six hundred years ago, just as their predecessors did.  I can’t think of one, in fact, which was not involved in dozens of wars, invasions, imperial ventures and so forth unless it had become the satellite of some more powerful state doing it for them.  War and the threat of war are the fundamental conditions of statecraft.

I suppose a socialist state might be possible, although the form of the state, control of the many by the few, seems inimical to the idea of socialism; ideologically there would have to be some kind of legerdemain as there is with liberalism—now we’re equal, now we’re not—and setting it up would be pretty tricky.  In any case, if one is going to have a state one must be prepared to fight, because that’s what states are about.  Lenin, Trotsky and so forth accepted the game, and Mao said political power grows out of the barrel of a gun, so I don’t think any of them were unrealistic about the prospects.

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By Peetawonkus, November 15, 2009 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie

I don’t see your logic. You’ve imposed an either/or situation on something, which, historically, is anything but. And I would love to know where these “millions of examples” of worker owned and controlled means of production are.

“If socialism means something imposed by state power, then of course it has not been allowed to develop in peace.”

And why is that, exactly? As opposed to Capitalism imposed by state power, which is what we have, why must Socialism, of any form, be not allowed to develop in peace? And who gets to decide whether it’s some pure form of worker controlled Socialism or a top down imposed form?

In other words, it’s OK for Capitalist countries to use their wealth and power to throw a monkey wrench into any other country that doesn’t meet the Capitalist standards of Socialist purity?

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By Anarcissie, November 15, 2009 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

Peetawonkus, November 15 at 3:02 pm:
’... Socialism has never been allowed to develop in peace ....’

If socialism means “the means of production owned and controlled by the workeers” as it did to the people to invented the idea, then it has developed under all kinds of conditions and there are millions of examples of it all over the world.

If socialism means something imposed by state power, then of course it has not been allowed to develop in peace.  The state is war, or more precisely a social organization designed to serve the desires and interests of its ruling class, war, the threat of war, and forceful repression being its chief and most basic instruments.  Lenin and Trotsky, Mao, and so forth accepted this framework, challenging existing capitalist, feudal and fascist states all over the world and imposing hard repression domestically.  Regardless of whether these methods were correct or necessary, one can hardly expect those challenged to have been kindly or indulgent, especially if one holds them to have been morally inferior to their challengers.

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By Anarcissie, November 15, 2009 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

truedigger3, November 14 at 7:53 pm:
‘Anarcissie wrote:

”  What we do owe to Gorbachev and his allies was that in the Soviet Union this transition was accomplished without civil war and massive bloodshed.  “
____________________________________________________

There was no civil war and massive bloodshed because the leaders of the old system became the new capitalists or their enablers and benefactors in the new system!!.
Gorbachev failed miserably as a politician and as a leader and deserves nothing but contempt and derision.’

No doubt several million dead, a world in flames, and bodies and wreckage piled up all over the place would have been more exciting.  I’d rather see it in the movies than the real world, though.  To each his own, I guess.

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By Peetawonkus, November 15, 2009 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind

I don’t recall saying “If ITW doesn’t like Marxism he must LOVE neo-cons’ capitalism.” There must be better ways to win arguments than putting words in a strawman’s mouth and then knocking him down for what he never said.

However, since we’re explaining ourselves, I’m well aware of the faults of the countries in which Communism and Socialism was once instituted. In no sense do I believe the Soviet Union was a worker’s paradise. We can all agree that what it became was a far cry from what it was intended to be. But neither do I subscribe to the numerous paranoid fantasies that were created about it before it’s demise, and after. Ultimately it’s my conviction that the USSR was more sinned against than sinning. It has simply been my point, all along on this post, that every single people-oriented government on this planet has been subjected to intense hostility from their beginnings. Relentless hostility has a way of changing governments and people, frequently for the worst, and problems within the USSR can just as often as not be traced back to external pressures and hostilities. In hindsight, it’s amazing the USSR survived as long as it did.

Some people here have continued to insist that Communism or Socialism have inherent flaws that contributed to their demise. I say that is an opinion that conveniently ignores massive amounts of historical evidence to the contrary in order to basically advance a ruling class point of view. We can easily point to crazies like Kim Jong Ill, and indeed North Korea is a hideous aberration of a state. We could also say that the intervention of the United State in Korea in the 1950s, to keep it from “going Communist” and the US funded executions of hundreds of thousands of Liberal to Leftist Koreans, directly contributed to creatures like Kim Jong Ill being able to eventually rise to power. These things have a way of becoming self-fulfilling prophecies. Perhaps if we hadn’t overthrown Mossedegh in Iran or funded the Taliban against the Soviets, we wouldn’t be facing our current crisis with those regions. In any case, North Korea is as much “Communist” as the United States is a Democracy. And in that sense I agree with you, that a small ruling class always seems to wiggle their way into power no matter what kind of system is in place. One possible difference between us is that I don’t see that as inevitable.

To re-state: Socialism has never been allowed to develop in peace, so anything resembling control conditions regarding it have never existed. We could go on all day naming the countries the United States overthrew—or tried to overthrow—simply because US corporations wanted to use them as their private casinos, farms and oil pumps. Then, of course, when the dust has settled, the Senator from Exxon and the Professor from Aetna step forward to tell us peasants that Socialism doesn’t work. Well, I wonder how well Capitalism would work if its reckless follies weren’t being constantly bailed out by taxpayer money. Socialism seems to work just dandy—when it’s being applied to banks, large corporations and the wealthy. Socialism and Marxism only seem to be dirty words when we’re talking about applying them to the other 90% of the human race.

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By ardee, November 15, 2009 at 5:09 am Link to this comment

I forgot to note that we are all the same, deep down…

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By ardee, November 15, 2009 at 5:07 am Link to this comment

You know, there a 10 kinds of people in this world: Those who understand binary….and those who don’t.

Hmmm shouldn’t that read 01 kinds of people?

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By Inherit The Wind, November 14, 2009 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

And Inherit The Wind:
Oh, I haven’t forgotten about you. I’m not a hopeless apologist for Marxism. I have lots of hope. A great many of the rights you currently enjoy in these here United Snakes of America were fought for, and won, because of, well, Marxists, Wobblies, Socialists, Anarchists and Reformers way to the left of what was acceptable in their day. All these people struggled against police, thugs, goons, the ignorance of their times, and were jailed, beaten and many times murdered for what they did without hope of profit. Yet you find it so hard to believe that level of violence wasn’t brought to bear by Capitalist ruling classes against nations that dared another system. As to survivability of Marxist states, Capitalism, which was an enormous revolution in its own time against the power of aristocracies, has had 500 years to perfect its game. Socialism had less than 100. The world hasn’t ended yet..and there’s still plenty of time to finish history.

I don’t know whether you read Ayn Rand or not. But your ramblings about pregnant teenage girls and religion, not to mention your fundamental errors about Marxism show that, really, you don’t what you’re talking about. And it’s impossible to have serious conversations with people who know nothing about the subjects they pour their fury on. Sort of like those people who show up at town meetings to shout their convictions about fantasies, all the while screaming that they aren’t the idiots.
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Peety-boy, you haven’t been around here much. I don’t intimidate and certainly not from didactic trolls like you.

Your understanding of history is beyond weak and into laughable. The heroic battles of the Wobs have NOTHING to do with the Soviet system or any of the Communist states, no matter HOW you try to hook them together.

Also, like FT, you are a binary thinker.  “If ITW doesn’t like Marxism he must LOVE neo-cons’ capitalism.”  Typical weak-brained dogmatic knee-jerk thinking—if you can call it thinking. 

I’m well aware of Capitalism’s weaknesses AND for its most prosperous ones to then try bending or breaking the system solely to maintain their own position and that of those in their group: Exhibit A: George W. Bush, who wouldn’t be allowed to manage a MacDonald’s or a gas station if he hadn’t been lucky in his parents.

But I’m also aware of Marxism’s weaknesses as it has failed so catastrophically around the world.  Funny thing, though.  Those who do best and prosper the most under Socialism do EXACTLY THE SAME THING AS THE CAPITALISTS!!!!  They bend, twist and corrupt the system to maintain and enhance their own power and wealth and that of there friends and off-spring.  Exhibit B: Kim Jong Ill—a man whom NOBODY would let be a dog catcher but because of who his daddy was, becomes leader in a so-called Marxist state which really is nothing more than a feudal kingdom with this Richard III as King.

Or Exhibit C: Raul Castro whose main qualification is in his choice of brother. ‘Nuf ced on him!

Yeah, I’ve read and studied Ayn Rand—lots of flaws there too.  Her understanding of corporations and why they exist is feeble and her rape fantasies invaded and corrupted many of her ideas.

You had NO understanding whatsoever of the “pregnant teenager” analogy. ...figures.

Do yourself a favor: Don’t rely on FT for facts or knowledge of history. His accuracy rivals….Sean Hannity’s.

You know, there a 10 kinds of people in this world: Those who understand binary….and those who don’t.

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By truedigger3, November 14, 2009 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

radson wrote:
“The Soviets were industrializing at a feverish pace ,not only for the modernization of the State ,but also for reasons of aggrandizement,the methods employed were horrific with regards to the manpower employed.”
___________________________________________________

The main reason for the feverish pace of industrialization by the Soviets were the near certainty that Nazi Germany will attack the Soviet Union with the under the table approval of the West.
The reason they reached that conclusion is that when Hitler came to power and started to re-arm the west refused to interfere and looked the other way despite the pleading and warnings from the Soviet Union.

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By truedigger3, November 14, 2009 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

Peetawonkus wrote:
“A great many of the rights you currently enjoy in these here United Snakes of America were fought for, and won, because of, well, Marxists, Wobblies, Socialists, Anarchists and Reformers way to the left of what was acceptable in their day. All these people struggled against police, thugs, goons, the ignorance of their times, and were jailed, beaten and many times murdered for what they did without hope of profit. Yet you find it so hard to believe that level of violence wasn’t brought to bear by Capitalist ruling classes against nations that dared another system. As to survivability of Marxist states, Capitalism, which was an enormous revolution in its own time against the power of aristocracies, has had 500 years to perfect its game. Socialism had less than 100.”
__________________________________________________

Although I am a left of center guy, and not a marxist,  I agree with the above statement except the “snakes” word.

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By truedigger3, November 14, 2009 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie wrote:

”  What we do owe to Gorbachev and his allies was that in the Soviet Union this transition was accomplished without civil war and massive bloodshed.  “
____________________________________________________

There was no civil war and massive bloodshed because the leaders of the old system became the new capitalists or their enablers and benefactors in the new system!!.
Gorbachev failed miserably as a politician and as a leader and deserves nothing but contempt and derision.

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By TAO Walker, November 14, 2009 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

The obsessive fascination so starkly on-display here, with all the tea-cup tempestuousness of their virtual world-o’-hurt, does not bode well for the survival prospects of even its ‘truthdigging’ inmates.  It isn’t simply that the entire damned CONtraption is, in its essential nature, only make-believe.  The real impediment to any mutually beneficial organic response to its operators’ industrial-strength depredations is what has likely become among domesticated peoples a CONgenital inability to recognize this institutionalized ideological pretense for the just-plain-kid-stuff it is and has always been.

That artificially arrested Human development is an observable mass-effect of “civilization” is something long recognized by at least a few papered professional experts in the field.  That this might be among its primary purposes, however, remains beyond even their ken….not surprising, since they are invariably ‘products’ theirownselfs of the process.

It is, of course, a serious enough matter that homo domesticus lacks any real perspective on its dire common predicament, but is limited rather to an incoherent montage of “events” and “personalities” put-together mostly by those with a heavily vested interest in popularized ignorance.  What is much more devastating to its chances, however, is the ubiquitously shared CONceit amongst the “individual” captives that no such wider (and deeper) view is even “humanly possible”....nevermind that one actually exists and is accessible.

So even here near THE END of their one-way ride to oblivion, our tame Sisters and Brothers persist in their infantile belief they will manage somehow, at the last minute, to commandeer the meat-wagon, turn its death-dealing machinery to purposes of their own devising, and steer it off into some endlessly beautiful landscape to “live happily ever-after.”  Hell, it happens a hundred times every day on TV and in the movies.

Maybe just urging people to “Wake-up!” is actually doing something of a dis-service to them.  ‘Cause that’ll do ‘em no good at all if they don’t quickly grow-up, too.

HokaHey!

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By Folktruther, November 14, 2009 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

As the old saying goes, “It’s hard to fight an enemy who has an outpost in your head.”

  I nver heard that before, Peet.  Call me an old sentimental fool but I think that the old sayings are best.

Anarcissie, the difference between the Chinese power system and the US system is crucial.  The Chinese are more concerned about power than profit.  They will sacrifice profit for power advantages of the Chinsese state.  In the US neoliberal system, profit drives power, since the power system is not centralized around a state or party.

So the Chinese system is a better power system, especially for getting the people from the farms to the cities.  Once this is done in a couple of decades, then one can expect a sharp divisiion to grow between power and the people, since it is a class system.  but I don’t know if the US-Israeli sysstem will last that long, since it clearly is leading to montrious inequality and destitution.

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By radson, November 14, 2009 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

Peetawonkus

So according to your expertise on the subject ,you claim that i read many books ,but the wrong books ,and also for someone that reads many books ,they must somehow be fans of Readers digest and CNN ,which is probably true in your case.Neither interests me and by the way who’s the anchorman for CNN ;is it a family member of yours.The cultural reference is interesting and indicative of your shallowness with regards to your rebuttal ,which in your last post is simply lacking concerning the subject matter.It’s interesting how you spun my argument around ,I’ll give you that ,concerning a Rehash ,you should abstain ,smoking too much of the stuff has a tendency of warping the mind.

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By Peetawonkus, November 14, 2009 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

radson,
What a remarkably conventional rehash of the old same ideas. You’ve clearly read a lot of books…but they’re the wrong books. This Reader’s Digest version of political history only serves to prop up mainstream opinions you already held before you read them. You’ve certainly mastered the art of repeating the CNN version of history. The next step is to start questioning not only the assumptions you hold but the assumptions of your culture. As the old saying goes, “It’s hard to fight an enemy who has an outpost in your head.”

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By Anarcissie, November 14, 2009 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, November 14 at 11:03 am:
’”I think any instance of a class-organized industrial system is going to metamorphose into capitalism.”

  True, anarcissie, but you tend to think all forms of power are the same and therefore all forms of capitalism are the same. ...’

I don’t think all forms of capitalism are the same.  The cultural histories of American, British, Western European, Chinese, Japanese, Four-Tigers, etc., instances of capitalism have followed very different paths and they still have different characteristics, at least to the extent I am able to perceive them (not very well, because I’m sitting in New York City by myself, not traveling around the world with a team of anthropologists).  They do seem to be evolving in such a way as to become more similar to one another; it seems that they are creating general political structures which have the same form as the internal political structures of the corporations, that is, authoritarian central management with a certain amount of closely-watched free enterprise at much lower levels.  The U.S. is something of an outlier among them because it is presently engaged in bankrupting itself for the sake of empire.

I don’t doubt that many in the ex-Soviet Union suffered as a result of the breakup, but a civil war there, which could have involved missiles, nuclear weapons, and the participation of other great powers, might well have made World War 2 look like the proverbial Sunday-school picnic.

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By radson, November 14, 2009 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

Peetawonkus

The October Revolution and the bloody decades that followed ,was a Warped form of Marxist Ideology ,institutionalized by Lenin.Stalin took the state sponsored Terror to a level never before witnessed by mankind ,Stalins’ objective was to gain absolute control of the State ,which he did .The Soviets were industrializing at a feverish pace ,not only for the modernization of the State ,but also for reasons of aggrandizement,the methods employed were horrific with regards to the manpower employed.The genocidal approach that was inflicted upon the Ukrainian people for the goals of collectivisation was a testament in
itself ,but one must remember that by mass murder you can’t collectivize,so what was done with the harvested grain ;it was sold for industrialization.The terror inflicted upon the Russian people for decades was a method of controlling them and the Gulag work camps were maintained for cheap labor ,although some experts on the subject would argue that it was rather expensive to run the camps,due to corruption and unrealistic quotas.A question that is often debated is whether the Soviet Union would have attacked Germany ,instead of the other way around and conquered all of Europe ,the Soviets were certainly preparing for it.
The Stalinist propaganda machine was operating in many countries and the Comintern was swaying the masses spreading the so-called beauty of the system ,many fell it’s spell in the West ,and that is why ,once the truth was revealed ,it was so difficult to accept,Robert Conquests’ book the Great Terror was considered to be outlandish.Fast forward into time ,how many countries of Eastern ,Central Europe do you think would actually have fought against the West for the Soviets.The Soviets did begin to experiment with a truer version of Marxism and socialism ,with all the communal benefits that the system encompasses ,but that proved to be conflicting with their ideology of aggrandizement ,and very expensive.The Cold war was an enormous windfall for the MIC ,but not only that ,it was a way of maintaining the massive US industrial base since the end of the Great Depression and the start of WWII,this has not changed fundamentally.Mikhail Gorbatchev did the unthinkable at the time by seeking to change the Soviet system ,perhaps he didn’t realize at the time how the dominos would fall ,but one thing is certain the US has not changed much ,and yes a new social order is probably inevitable but what it will be is difficult to define at the moment.

My second reply to you was based on your reply to me

Cheers

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By Folktruther, November 14, 2009 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

” I think any instance of a class-organized industrial system is going to metamorphose into capitalism.”

  True, anarcissie, but you tend to think all forms of power are the same and therefore all forms of capitalism are the same.  It is true that Chinese capitalism is oppresssive, but it serves the needs of the Chinese people much better than neoliberal capitalism, and is far more effective by the traditioal economic indexes than American capitalism.  When the state owns the banks the people benefit more than when the banks own the power figures of the state.

And while it is true that there was not much VISIBLE bloodshed in the Soviet conterrevolution, at least hundrreds of thousands died due to economic privation, and possibly millions.  Putin had to take the oil industry back from what the Russians called the ‘oligarchs’ and put an oil billionaire in jail, a dictatorial act if ever the American ruling class and the media they own ever saw one.

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By Peetawonkus, November 13, 2009 at 11:27 pm Link to this comment

Ah, Radson,
When logic, evidence and history fail, you resort to incoherent philosophy spiced with high school poetry. Brilliant. Who could fail to be swayed by…what point are trying to make?

And Inherit The Wind:
Oh, I haven’t forgotten about you. I’m not a hopeless apologist for Marxism. I have lots of hope. A great many of the rights you currently enjoy in these here United Snakes of America were fought for, and won, because of, well, Marxists, Wobblies, Socialists, Anarchists and Reformers way to the left of what was acceptable in their day. All these people struggled against police, thugs, goons, the ignorance of their times, and were jailed, beaten and many times murdered for what they did without hope of profit. Yet you find it so hard to believe that level of violence wasn’t brought to bear by Capitalist ruling classes against nations that dared another system. As to survivability of Marxist states, Capitalism, which was an enormous revolution in its own time against the power of aristocracies, has had 500 years to perfect its game. Socialism had less than 100. The world hasn’t ended yet..and there’s still plenty of time to finish history.

I don’t know whether you read Ayn Rand or not. But your ramblings about pregnant teenage girls and religion, not to mention your fundamental errors about Marxism show that, really, you don’t what you’re talking about. And it’s impossible to have serious conversations with people who know nothing about the subjects they pour their fury on. Sort of like those people who show up at town meetings to shout their convictions about fantasies, all the while screaming that they aren’t the idiots.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 13, 2009 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, November 13 at 11:47 pm #

I think any instance of a class-organized industrial system is going to metamorphose into capitalism.  The Soviet Union, China and some other states tried to jump over the capitalist phase, but now, it appears, they are all capitalist although with authoritarian rather than liberal government.  And the United States appears to be moving in the authoritarian direction.  (As a few have suggested, the meeting point seems to be a sort of world empire of capital.)  Hence I would say that transition of the Russian Empire / Soviet Union was just part of a normal historical process.  What we do owe to Gorbachev and his allies was that in the Soviet Union this transition was accomplished without civil war and massive bloodshed.  Usually, ruling classes fight to the death for any shred of power they can retain.  You can imagine what would happen if someone tried to depose the ruling class of the United States.
***************************************************

Don’t remember you ever having such a cogent and insightful post before.  Good job, A!

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By Anarcissie, November 13, 2009 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

I think any instance of a class-organized industrial system is going to metamorphose into capitalism.  The Soviet Union, China and some other states tried to jump over the capitalist phase, but now, it appears, they are all capitalist although with authoritarian rather than liberal government.  And the United States appears to be moving in the authoritarian direction.  (As a few have suggested, the meeting point seems to be a sort of world empire of capital.)  Hence I would say that transition of the Russian Empire / Soviet Union was just part of a normal historical process.  What we do owe to Gorbachev and his allies was that in the Soviet Union this transition was accomplished without civil war and massive bloodshed.  Usually, ruling classes fight to the death for any shred of power they can retain.  You can imagine what would happen if someone tried to depose the ruling class of the United States.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 13, 2009 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

Peetawonkus, November 13 at 7:42 pm #

So right you are, Folktruther.
I should know by now you can’t persuade these types on anything like evidence or history.
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By Folktruther, November 13 at 5:55 pm #

You’re wasting your time, Peet.  Inherit has read his Ayn Rand, he knows all about marxism.
**********************************************

And yet ANOTHER lie Folktruther keeps spreading: That I love Ayn Rand and think she is without numerous flaws.

I see, Peet, you are another hopeless apologist for Marxism.  For over 30 years I’ve heard the same litany from your type:

“When Capitalism fails it is due to the inherent contradiction of Capitalism.

When Marxism fails, it is due to sabotage by Capitalism.”

The inability to see the ONLY logical inference is laughable: 

How come Marxism isn’t strong enough inherently to stand up to Capitalism’s interference but Capitalism is strong enough to stand up to Marxism’s interference?

The answer is that Capitalism feeds off people’s greed and self-interest and Marxism tries to suppress that.  Sorta like all the hyper-religious community where somehow lots of teenage girls are getting pregnant: The preachers are working AGAINST human behavior instead of with it.

Remember: because I refuse to believe in idiotic ideas I’ve watched fail for the last 40 years means I am CLEARLY not the idiot at the table!

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By radson, November 13, 2009 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

Peetawonkas

Climbing mountains is one thing denying that they are there, is irrational,you mention that mountains are not sifted,they are to be climbed ,yet only certain mountains qualify to your philosophies When a mountain is rendered to dust ,then yes it must be sifted through to understand that part of history which ,in a sense does touch the global stage,and in order to understand the entire landscape one must venture to all the corners of the foothills before the mountain comes into view.

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By Peetawonkus, November 13, 2009 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment

radson,
Sigh…
It’s not how many mountains of “info” one sifts through. It’s choosing the right mountains. And we climb them, not sift through them. I think that’s your problem right there…

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By radson, November 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

Peetawonkus

So how many mountains of info did you actually sift through to come to your amazing conclusions,are you not yet convinced that your theory’s are well documented and highly promoted by the Western Civilization,that oftentimes doesn’t even mention anything East of the Oder river ,with the exception of Russia.Your mentioning of the Teutonic Knights is nonsense to say the least ,perhaps Grumwald will ring a bell
and no -Novgorod is not part of the Moscovy Russ and never was .Perhaps reading Professor Norman Davies works will enlighten your mind somewhat,in the meantime what your stating is nothing new.

Cheers

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By Peetawonkus, November 13, 2009 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

So right you are, Folktruther.
I should know by now you can’t persuade these types on anything like evidence or history.

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By Folktruther, November 13, 2009 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

You’re wasting your time, Peet.  Inherit has read his Ayn Rand, he knows all about marxism.

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By Peetawonkus, November 13, 2009 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind

Yes, well, the other “spoutings” consist of the tired old line that something inside Socialism itself is inherently flawed and so contributed to its alleged downfall. This coming from people whose economic theories and ideologies have nearly crashed the world’s economy—how many times in the last century? If it didn’t have so many tragic consequences it would be laughable.

Your point of view would exonerate the West from any culpability in the destruction of the Soviet Union. Not only does that point of view lack a historical perspective, it imagines that economies exist in a vacuum where they succeed or fail on their own merits. You say countries like the Soviet Union jumped. I say they were pushed. Every Socialist, Communist, heck, even vaguely Populist government on this planet that has ever existed has been met with reflex hostility and been under full-scale assault since its inception. Every country that even hinted that the people who do all the actual work in a country ought to have some say in its governance was duly overthrown by the CIA. And when direct force couldn’t be applied, blockades were enacted, loans blocked, a massive propaganda campaign of lies unleashed, etc. Then, of course, when these countries struggle under these burdens, their very struggle is pointed to as an example of their “failures.”

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By Folktruther, November 13, 2009 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

The specifics of how the counterrevolution occurred in Russia are still not known, and thus its hard to tell the simple holistic truth about it.

But one factor was definitely the USSR withdrawal from Afghanistan.  Russia has a tradition of revolt when it encounters military defeat.  The 1905 uprising against Czarism was a product of the Russian naval defeat by Japan.  The 1917 revolution occurred while Russia was being defeated by Germany.

It was the failure of the Kerensky goverment of the bourgiouse to end the war that made Lenin realize that the Russian bourgeoise was too weak to carry out its historical tasks, and led to the communist revolution in an overwhelmingly peasant country.  Under capitalist invasion and threats, this in turn led to the excessive centralization which destroyed the USSR.  That and Gorbacehev’s massive failure to deal with it successfully.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 13, 2009 at 4:18 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, November 12 at 9:51 pm #

Peetawonkus—the theory that Reagan’s U$$A forced the USSR to spend a lot of money on war by spending a lot of money on war itself has been widely noised about; if I’ve heard of it, it must have been.  I think mostly right-wingers like the theory because it justifies Saint Ronnie’s numerous military boondoggles, but I have heard a similar poor little old Soviet Union line from people a bit further left.
**************************************************

Actually, some hard-core old-line Soviets like to spout the same idea: that way they don’t have to accept that their system was inherently flawed and everything they believed in was clearly and obviously wrong. (Kinda like our very own neo-cons)

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By Peetawonkus, November 12, 2009 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie

I’m sure you have seen this theory that Reagan’s U$$A crashed the Soviet Union economy by war spending. After Reaganonmics had nearly crashed our economy, as one of the by-products of that deficit inducing military pork, Reagan himself freely admitted his administration’s intent vis-a-vis the Soviet Union. It isn’t a secret. My point is that you don’t hear it on CNN or in any of the corporate media. Why? Because it interferes with the script of
Socialist incompetence. Never mind that the Wizards of Wall Street again nearly collapsed the economy of the planet. When the State Religion is Capitalism, that narrative never seems to gain legs. More people haven’t heard of this “popular theory” than have,
presumably because they’ve never encountered this notion in any places they get information.

I certainly agree with you that the ruling class of the Soviet Union, in its final days, did exactly what you describe. However, trying to explain why, up to that point, the Soviet Union felt it had to meet war dollars with war rubles can only be done within the context of Russian history. Russia, and later the Soviet Union, has suffered one massive and horrific military invasion from the West after another, beginning with the medieval Teutonic Knights. They had historical precedent to cite when it came to justifying military spending. Did it make sense in a post-nuclear era? Probably not, but the habits built up over hundreds of years don’t die just because they’re subjected to reason. And it was very easy for the Soviet military to sell the idea of a possible Western attack to a population, many of whom remembered having suffered through exactly that.

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By Anarcissie, November 12, 2009 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment

Peetawonkus—the theory that Reagan’s U$$A forced the USSR to spend a lot of money on war by spending a lot of money on war itself has been widely noised about; if I’ve heard of it, it must have been.  I think mostly right-wingers like the theory because it justifies Saint Ronnie’s numerous military boondoggles, but I have heard a similar poor little old Soviet Union line from people a bit further left.

However, the necessity of keeping up a huge military machine to deter aggression by the U.S. doesn’t make sense unless one is also going to compete with the U.S. for world domination.  One doesn’t have to be equal or bigger than an aggressor to deter aggression, one just has to be able to deliver enough damage to make aggression unprofitable.  You’re probably not going to shoot me in the head even if all I can do is shoot you in the foot.

My own take on the dissolution of the Soviet Union is that people like Yeltsin—the upper layers of the Soviet ruling class—believed that they could cut a better deal for themselves by breaking up the empire and turning capitalist.  The reactionary, putschist “Gang of Eight” gave them the opportunity they needed.  They all made a great mess of things, but I don’t think that’s what they intended.

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By Peetawonkus, November 12, 2009 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

“But just like Solzhenitsyn who also showed many of the same admirable traits, Gorbachev has been treated to an ambivalent status ever since the end of the Cold War charade by erstwhile Western adversaries.”

I’m not sure how many “admirable traits” Solzhenitsyn had. Those who came to know him didn’t find many, though they went looking for them, expecting to find them because, after all, he was an opponent of the evil USSR. Unfortunately, aside from being a willing tool, he was also a Royalist, for God’s sake. He wanted to restore the Czar to the Russian throne. Once it was finally discovered how nutty Solzhenitsyn really was, he was rarely allowed to speak in public and so slunk off into sullen hermitage. Now that his usefulness is at an end, he can presumably join Yakov Smirnoff telling unfunny jokes to elderly Obama haters in Branson.

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By Samson, November 12, 2009 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

And to some extend, Chernobyl points out how bad choices in how a society governs and manages itself can lead to the collapse of that society.

One key feature of Chernobyl is that the same agency that was in charge of safety was also the operators of the plant.  The Soviet atomic power agency, I don’t know the name, filled both roles.

Prior to its opening, there were some tests not performed on the reactor.  The agency was in a hurry to meet its targets for plant openings and power production. Instead they opted to run the tests at the time of its first shut down for refueling.

Note, I’m not saying capitalism is better than communism in this regard.  In the US, as the NRC becomes less and less of an oversight agency, and more of just a tool of the nuclear industry, its more and more likely that the NRC would sign off on a similar deal.

The following is from memory, so may not be exactly right.  But the accident went something like this.  When the first shutdown came, they were going to run this test.  The test involved measuring how long the plant could power its only electricity off the momentum in the spinning flywheels as the reactor was shut down.  This is a key backup feature in a nuke plant, giving a few minutes to get backup electrical generators going.

But, the power grid needed more power than expected.  So the shut down kept getting delayed.  The operators should have abandoned the test, but that would have caused either an expensive restart and reshutdown of the reactor.  And the test really did need to be done.  Its kinda nice to know that if the plant loses power grid and the reactor shuts down, that you’ll have some electricity to operate the reactor controls until the backup generators get going.

The operators tried to both supply power to the grid and to keep the chances of running this test going. In doing so, they put the reactor into a dangerous state.  The fact that they were doing it on a fuel load that was at the end of its cycle contributed to this.

One ‘feature’ of that sort of style of reactor is that they can go out of control very quickly.  When things go wrong, they snowball.  That’s what happened.  Through hours of process of trying to run this test and being delayed by demands from the grid, they got the reactor into such a state that it could go out of control.  When it did, it went from “uh-oh” to “oh #$$%!” faster than you can say it.

One other thing to remember about nuclear power plants is that they aren’t immune to human failings.  And everyone can have a bad day.  And bureaucracies can make bad decisions.  That’s another reason to avoid a technology where having a bad day is a really bad day for everyone.

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By Samson, November 12, 2009 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

To C.C. Dillion,

I’ve always believed that Chernobyl had more to do with the collapse of the Soviet Union than it is normally given credit.

A nation that was struggling to get by before that was suddenly faced with enormous unplanned for costs.

—They shut down 20 similar reactor sites, and had to buy either oil or electricity from abroad to replace that energy.
—Chernobyl is in the middle of the Ukraine, which is known as the bread-basket of the area. Much like the American midwest.  To properly deal with the radiation from the accident, they should have destroyed much of the food crops growing in that region that spring.
—When they couldn’t afford that, they encurred more public health costs as people got sick.
—A major urban area, Kiev was dosed with radiation and seriously disrupted.  One would expect that very little of the planned productive work of that area was actually accomplished in that spring. 

On a good day, a nuclear plant is better than a coal plant.  The nuclear industry correctly points out that there is less radiation at the boundary fence of a nuclear plant than at a coal plant.  Remember coal has carbon-14 in it, the element used for radioactive dating.

But, the key is that a bad day at a coal plant might involve a boiler exploding, the tragic deaths of a few workers, and the shut down of the plant for awhile.

A bad day at a nuclear plant means a 20 km zone that people still aren’t supposed to enter today, and the destruction of food crops for hundreds of miles around (much of Europe in actuality).

And I believe contributed greatly to the fall of a government.  The old SU incurred enormous expenses due to Chernobyl.  The Soviet Union collapsed three years after Chernobyl.

The risks of a bad day at a nuclear plant far out weigh the slight benefits of many good days.

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By prole, November 12, 2009 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

“Chancellor Angela Merkel’s praise for the former Soviet leader at the ceremony marking the fall of the Berlin Wall, which he helped destroy: ‘You courageously allowed things to happen, and that was much more than we could have expected.’”...certainly has an appropriate undertone of irony to it. The truth is, that despite all the Triumphalism propaganda in the West, the fall of communism, or at least the Bolshevik brand of it, took the West by surprise as much as it did those wrapped up in it. And it’s probably missed by nostalgic cold warriors in the West at least as much as it is by their former enemies in the old Eastern bloc. Gorbachev was unquestionably a towering political figure of great political courage and personal integrity. But just like Solzhenitsyn who also showed many of the same admirable traits, Gorbachev has been treated to an ambivalent status ever since the end of the Cold War charade by erstwhile Western adversaries. They’re happy to trot him out for public occasions of Triumphalist celebration like the one on Bornholmer Street bridge in Berlin during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, just like they were delighted to parade Solzhenitsyn around in public, as long as he was bashing the USSR. But when either one, or other former Soviet dissidents, question the West’s own evils, the publicity quickly evaporates. “The crowd, chanting “Gorby, Gorby, Gorby,” understood that he had done something unique for a world leader: He admitted the error of his system’s ways and radically reversed its course.” But the crowd might just as well be chanting “Gorby, Gorby, Gorby” for his admitting the errors of his opponents’ system’s ways too, as he so frequently has, but with far less effect, sadly. In an interview with Business Week last spring, Gorby made his true feelings known:

BW: Is the financial crisis a comeuppance for the West, for the U.S.?
Gorbachev: I believe so.
BW: Did the U.S. deserve that comeuppance?
Gorbachev: I already answered yes.

  And he further explained the rest of his vision for world post-‘89, which doesn’t get as much attention in the West:

BW: Is this a historic moment like it was for the Soviet Union in 1989—a moment when the U.S. economic way is over, and as you have described it, we will have a hybrid of the free market and socialism?
Gorbachev: There is no doubt that we need a new type of economic governance in the world. They have been working on the basis of principles developed almost a century ago. I think there will no longer be one country like the United States or a group of countries, as it has been, making all the decisions. There can be no Politburo in the world now…”

And so if “When Gorbachev came to power he, like Obama, inherited a war that was not in the interest of his nation [and] If the response of a Soviet dictator was to end it, might we not be justified in expecting the enlightened president of a democratic society to do the same?” The question then would appear to be, can the world continue to wait for an “enlightened president” to finally appear in the U.S. someday or will that always be an oxymoron? If Obama’s Politburo continues on course heedless of the enlightened ex-dictator Gorbachev’s advice on the economy and Afghanistan and much else, Amerika’s comeuppance will continue to be richly deserved, until we have our own revolution.

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By TAO Walker, November 12, 2009 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

The tenets of the cult of the “individual” demand that no notice at all be taken of the obvious fact it is the entirety of the sub-species homo domesticus being swept into oblivion on a rip-tide of institutionalized idiocy.  So there must be these paeans to this that or another celebrity who manages to rise briefly (and barely) above the generally debillitated level of the common herd, to “make a difference” among some portion of the doomed.

Presently in the U.S.S.A. it is one Barack Obama who is nominally in-charge of applying cosmetics to the putrid corpse of “global” empire.  One Joe Biden might get the job at almost any time, if “The Situation” should suddenly deteriorate to the point of requiring yet another super-star sacrificial victim.  In 2012 its impossibly onerous demands might have to be met for a moment by a bona fide and self-proclaimed expert in the field….one Sarah Palin.

It is not easy, here in Indian Country, to find much basis for “HOPE!” that our tame Sisters and Brothers will get free of the web of illusions keeping them entrapped inside the command-and-control regime put in-place only to exploit and destroy them.  This endless parsing of essentially meaningless “events” and critiquing of puppet performances may be a testimony to just how very much “misery loves company,” but holds out only the same feckless DEAD END for all who indulge in it.

Imagine how people are going to feel one Day, waking-up to find it was all a totally unnecessary exercise in F.U.(and everybody else into the “bargain”)-tility, that never for one minute was anything but….and all for the “greater glory” of who or what, again?  Oh, and remember those fools CONvinced Gorbachev’s birthmark was proof he was “the anti-christ”?

Nobody really LIVES in the land-of-make-believe.  It’s a pretty shitty place even to visit.

HokaHey!

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By Peetawonkus, November 12, 2009 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie—

“A popular theory”? When on earth has that ever been a “popular theory?” You certainly don’t hear it from any major news or other media outlets. The Soviet Union is supposed to have imploded, according to the doctrine of “popular theory” because of inborn Socialist incompetence in running economies. This is the same mindset that has bristled with hostility toward tiny Cuba since its inception, tried to invade numerous times, tried to sabotage the economy, block credit, institute trade embargoes—and then points to Cuba’s poverty as “proof” that Socialism doesn’t work. I assume from your tone that in your mind “popular theory” is a way of saying it isn’t true. But of course it is. Reagan, Thatcher and their merry band of thugs, after the so-called collapse of the Soviet Union, freely admitted to anyone who was paying attention that’s what they wanted to do: force the Soviet Union into unnecessary military spending and cripple them.

As to the reason why you “don’t see any reason why the Soviet Union had to attempt to maintain military parity with the U.S.”, well, I suppose they could have exposed themselves to military attack. We had three times the number of missiles pointed at them than they had us. If someone who has hated you from birth is holding two guns on you to your one, you’re always welcome to set yours down first and see what happens.

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By Anarcissie, November 12, 2009 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

Peetawonkus, November 12 at 2:04 pm:
‘One thing to remember about the Soviet Union at the time of its “collapse” was that it housed approximately 9% of the world’s wealth, compared to about 3/4 of the world’s wealth housed in North America and Europe. Reagan and the ruling class basically outspent the Soviet Union in war dollars right into the ground. ...’

I’ve never followed the logic of this popular theory.  I don’t see any reason why the Soviet Union had to attempt to maintain military parity with the U.S.

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By Peetawonkus, November 12, 2009 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

One thing to remember about the Soviet Union at the time of its “collapse” was that it housed approximately 9% of the world’s wealth, compared to about 3/4 of the world’s wealth housed in North America and Europe. Reagan and the ruling class basically outspent the Soviet Union in war dollars right into the ground. No one bothers to remember the huge military spending increases in America in the first half of the Reagan years, all justified on the basis of completely falsified CIA reports about the enormity of the Soviet “threat.” After nearly 75 years of constant harassment and militarization by the vastly wealthier West, a massive invasion by the Nazis that smashed the country and slaughtered at least 20 million people and a post-war economy that was trying to pull itself up by its bootstraps because the West put every obstacle conceivable in its way—and people still parrot the old bullshit that Communist and Socialist societies fail. Yes, they made a lot of mistakes. So has Capitalism. Since everyone is keeping score, let’s ask how millions have died on Capitalism’s watch wordwide since its shining dawn 500 years ago. Oh, but the US would never do what Stalin did. Right. Why don’t we get a Native American and ask him? Yes, the Soviet Union overspent on militarism. Iraq? Afghanistan, anyone? Hello? We’re broke and in debt to the Chinese for wars we’ll never finish. Yes, the Soviet Union limited personal freedoms. And what they hell has been going in this country since 9-11 and the Bush regime? Rah, rah, rah, the old Soviet Union is dead. And look at the shithole Russia has become now, run by the same thugs and cabals of drugs, guns and money that run everything everywhere else. At least people had health care and jobs once upon a time. Wonderful progress. Communism may have died but Democracy in the West sure wasn’t the winner. One of greatest obstacles to progress in this country is when liberals and progressives started lining up to kick Communism and show they hate it just as much as Rupert Murdoch. Three cheers for the Corporate State, one Nation, under Wall Mart, with Feudalism for all.

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By johannes, November 12, 2009 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

TO Mv Guy

      No sir, its pure and simple the bureaucratic abses who kills every system on the long run, 5 bureaucrates create an 6 one and so on, they have no economic value, no production only paper work, without any meening.

It helps to give the not so educated citizen bureaucratic jobs, lesser out of work, in the USA about 80% of the lesser bureaucrates are colored people, and between 80 and 90% colored are inhabitants of the prisons.

On the long run that works either.

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By MvGuy, November 12, 2009 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

Strange to find myself trying to sort out the events of 1989 More important, to entertain which is preferable, a larger conglomeration[state] with some vision, goal, aim which would represent an ideological mission or more smaller states or devolved form like what we now see in what was was Yugoslavia. Both the U.S. and the former Soviet Union, China too are the former large driven states.. Those who advocate that the breakup of the Soviet galaxy of states was good, should also take the position that the breakup of the U.S. & China is desirable…...  Why..  The answer is POWER..  In the beginning these “vision” states tend to pursue their vision with the power created by their vision.  Think Russia 1917 and the American Revolutionary [War]Revolt. But as their dream becomes corrupt by various [“practical adjustments”] they pursue power to enforce their ever changing almost meaningless vision….eventually it becomes their"greatness” [exceptionalism] and them in charge of things.  It is easy to get people to follow when you improve their lives and bring prosperity, but as you exhaust your fortune on guns, bombs, ships planes… Soon you bring debt and slavery, the resources are being channeled to control those who the empire formerly sought to liberate…  Because the EMPIRE has now become what it was formerly out to conquer…  For Gorby, perhaps the Eureka moment was the “people” punching a hole in the wall to escape the “peoples” paradise… Perhaps for the Americans the Eurica moment should have been the 911 slight of hand and the loss of their bill of rights as the prize.. No more vision, just raw power and the prosperity of debt…...

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By johannes, November 12, 2009 at 6:41 am Link to this comment

In reality wath has killed the USSR is the bureaucracy, this all the time growing polypus, is wath on the end kills of his host.

The same is happening in Europe, more and more bureaucrates, more and more paper laws, they are corrupt and eat out the inner cirkels of our society, and has nothing to do with freedom or democratic ruling, it can and is not aloud to excist in this way

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By truedigger3, November 12, 2009 at 5:47 am Link to this comment

In the last couple of decades or so in the Soviet Union, one important factor that largely contributed to the demise of the Soviet Union and is overlooked by many people was the wide spread prevalence of nepotism and cronyism and its corrosive and decayive effects.
Many of the most important and senesitive positions were set aside by the ruling apparachiks for their relatives, friends and cronies where competence and reliability were not investigated or tested.
Some of those “golden boys” as were called by many soviets were compotent and reliable but quite a few were incompotent, corrupt and unreliable and did considerable amount of damgage.
One suspects that the sudden meteoric rise of Gorbachev might has been due to nepotism or cronyism.
He was utterly incompetent as a leader and as a politician and for that he deserves nothing but contempt and derision.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, November 12, 2009 at 5:32 am Link to this comment

Some comments from the Eastern European perspective:

1) Reagan had nothing to do with collapse other than helping the Soviet treasury run dry.  USSR was broke by time of Reagan and then they were forced to compete on Star Wars system (which was an exceptional shell game with very little real science).  They couldn’t afford it any more than they could Afghanistan.  And we need to remember that they were propping up Communist governments all over the world which was a massive strain on the treasury.  Being isolated and having a currency that was not internationalized, they couldn’t just run out and borrow their way out of the problem like the US.  They were definitely in a deep box!

2) Afghanistan was Soviet Waterloo, I my opinion.  It created a strong current against government which was probably partial cause of the collapse.  Most people I know here either lost someone or knew someone who died there.  It was a disaster for Gorbachev.

3) Chernobyl was also a huge disaster for USSR.  The government failed to tell people about the fire until it was too late.  In the days after the explosion, Kiev (only 90 miles from the site) was not informed of disaster and people were heavily exposed.  This also happened on Gorbachev watch.  So much for openness.

4) The economy basically ran into the ditch during Gorbachev’s economic freedoms.  Already scarce products disappeared completely as things were stolen.  My wife has horror stories of queuing up for hours to get almost everything during that period.

I’m inclined to believe the revolution just ran out of steam.  Stalin destroyed all semblance of the Marxist state (replaced with a full blown dictatorship) and ensuing governments only made the problem worse.  The central planning system was a disaster because it was totally out of touch with the needs and wants of the population.  People just got tired of being exhorted to sacrifice more and more for the revolution while their personal situations stagnated or got worse.  And they were getting more and more information about the “yellow brick road” in the West.

We talked about this in my English class this AM.  Several programmers who are too young to remember what it was like.  But I asked about their parents and things got a bit more lively.  Most older generation thought things were better before the collapse.  But the children feel differently and would not go back under any circumstances.

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By johannes, November 12, 2009 at 4:22 am Link to this comment

To AK 1968,


Freedom is waths happening in your mind, and certain wath is whispered in your ear by the multi media.

And this steamroller of whole and half lies, from the so called free Media’s who indoctrinate on a dayly base specialy the lower classes, is doing more harm and pain to people as we are thinking.

Some animals are more equal as others !!!!!!

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By AK1968, November 12, 2009 at 3:02 am Link to this comment

I want to stress a point regarding the perceived role of the US in the world:

The vast majority of people who fled USSR & eastern europe wanted to be able to live in a social system that offered them more ecomonic freedom & freedom of expression.

So during the Cold War the US was a seen as beacon of freedom & hope for a different way of being in the world. Over the last few years thanks to the actions of the house of war & bush administration this notion has been reversed.

So now we have the US exporting fear & anger as well as economic problems to the rest of the world. This strikes at the very heart of hope for the future of humanity.

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By AK1968, November 12, 2009 at 2:45 am Link to this comment

Thanks for this great writeup Robert Scheer;

Iam an Australian citizen who’s parents left USSR in 1976, I am a keen student of history, world events & geoplitics.

I support the general thrust of what Gorbachev has said re the difficult situation that Obama finds himself in. The period b/w the fall of USSR & 9/11 is full of wasted opportunities for the US to redirect its focus away from the military/industrial war machine & empire building. Its easy to say this in hindsight but the leadership in business & politics decided it was OK to adopt the attitute of “WE CAN BE FAT / DUMB & HAPPY” & “GREED IS GOOD” 

*Ingemar* makes an important point in that a significant portion of DDR population were “lost” after the wall came down, they had to change their world view & make painfull adjustments in their lives. The same goes for USSR, there was a great deal of economic displacement, crime, weapon smiggling to 3rd world, etc.

I personally dont think that Obama has the right team of people around him to draft & introduce the reforms that are needed + he has to battle with both dems & rep in the House & Senate. I feel sorry for the guy because he is a good, kind hearted, intelligent fellow.

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By Anarcissie, November 11, 2009 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, November 11 at 9:11 pm:
‘Good article by Wills, Anarcissie, but fundamentally misleading in one respect.  As Danial Ellsberg has said publically, the Bushites, particularly Cheney-rumsfield, have engeered a coup involving the 9.11-anthrax public relations homicide, which changed the US form of power system.  Similar to the Roman Republic turning into the Roman Empire. ...  Obama is not following in the footsteps of Bill Clinton, he is following in the footsteps of Bush.’

I see the footsteps of Clinton and the footsteps of Bush as having historical and logical continuity.  I think the main item of difference (which I concede is quite important) is whether the empire is going to be entirely supranational, or based on some powerful nation-state.  If the latter, the U.S. ruling class would probably rather be that nation-state rather than its satraps.  You are quite right in noting that the Bush administration made many things legal and practical which had hitherto been illegal, such as the almost total nullification of the Fourth Amendment, and that Obama has accepted these.  In this sense he is particularly following the footsteps of Bush.  But in a larger sense both he, Bush and Clinton are following the track of empire laid down at least by the end of World War 2.

Rome also had a rather long transition from its republican institutions to total imperial monarchy.  Even the godfather Augustus pretended to consult the Senate, as did a number of his successors.

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By PatrickHenry, November 11, 2009 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment

I’m still waiting for my peace dividend.

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By Big B, November 11, 2009 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

It seems there are still a good many americans that believe Gorby and Ronny caused the fall of the Berlin Wall, and subsequently, communism.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The USSR was bankrupt in the 1970’s. They knew it, as did our military intelligence services. But Ronny the puppet and his numerous MIC handlers needed a boogy man around so they could continue to sell the “evil empire” bullshit, and continue to spend our childrens future on munitians. They still hate Gorby to this day for just closing up shop and making their sole purpose in life go away (Damn good thing we had cultivated western hatred among the fundamentalist muslin hoards as a backup!

Where were all the fiscal conservatives bitching when Ronny was running up huge debts in the 80’s? Oh that’s right, as long as it’s for bombs 400 billion dollar deficits are OK.

Are we really this dumb?

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By Inherit The Wind, November 11, 2009 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

Ed Harges, November 11 at 7:59 pm #

It has always made me sick to my stomach the way Ronald Reagan is given the
credit for ending Russia’s Communist dictatorship. Gorbachev deserves the credit
overwhelmingly. All the US did was make sure that the transition out of
dictatorship was as economically and socially traumatic, chaotic, and painful as
possible for those who lived through it.

**********************************************

Huh?

**********************************************
truedigger3, November 11 at 7:54 pm #

johannes wrote:
“Stalin came from Georgia and had partial Chazaren blood, as had Winston Churchill his mother came from a very rich New York Chazaren famelie.,”
___________________________________________________

So, are you saying that both Stalin and Churchill had jewish blood.
They also said “and I am not kidding” that Hitler and Ahmaddinejad of Iran have jewish blood too.
It seems that all the famous leaders whether they are evil or not, have jewish blood.
Things are getting out of hand and starting to be real rediculous.
Don’t believe evrything you read.

***********************************************

WTF is going on?

***********************************************
ardee, November 11 at 9:37 am #

Inherit The Wind, November 11 at 9:03 am #

Before I even read the comments I said to myself: “I’ll bet Folktruther rips Gorbachev, hates him, and layers insults on him.”

I had exactly the same epiphany…Not to rip FT who is certainly entitled to his own opinion but the legacy of Gorbachev certainly differs from his own assessment.

I find more than a bit odd the reference to the ‘destruction of the power of the white man’ comment. Is that really such a bad thing when seeing what that power accomplished from a historical perspective?

Further I see the Chinese economy in the very same light, as tenuous and fragile, as exploitative and as doomed as is our own.

Now if you will excuse me I think I need to lie down. All this agreement with ITW has had its affect….
****************************************

OK, I am now OFFICIALLY SERIOUSLY weirded out!  In ONE THREAD I find myself in 100% agreement with BOTH Ed Harges AND Truthdigger3 (two guys who would probably cross the street to avoid talking to me) AND in total agreement with Ardee, with whom I battle 90% of the time!

Folks this certainly is a banner day for TruthDig.  Had FT not made a fool of himself (yet again) it might have meant the Apocalypse was here!

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By Ingemar, November 11, 2009 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am not an american. I am from Europe. It seems to me that you think everybody in Europe are celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall. That´s not quite so.
In a recent poll 50 per cent of former East Germans said life was better in former DDR.
DDR had no unemployment. Education was free of charge for all. All health service was also free, including dental care. The youths had purposeful activites in their free time. The crime rate was presumably the lowest in Europe. You didn´t have to worry about not to be able to pay your rent because the rent for an apartment was very low.
All this was a result of the “terrible” Socialist system.
I can say to you this much: If the Berlin Wall had remained today many west-europeans had moved to DDR.
I would call this article by Robert Scheer: Gorbachev´s false Sermon on the mount.

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By Folktruther, November 11, 2009 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

Good article by Wills, Anarcissie, but fundamentally misleading in one respect.  As Danial Ellsberg has said publically, the Bushites, particularly Cheney-rumsfield, have engeered a coup involving the 9.11-anthrax public relations homicide, which changed the US form of power system.  Similar to the Roman Republic turning into the Roman Empire.

When the War on Communism of the 20th century segued into the War on Terrorism of the 21st, the changes itemized by Wills were legitmated and institutionalized.  the US power structure was GANGSTERIZED, its lawlwessness imposed by what Chomsky calls the Mafia prinicple, an attack,intimidation and fear instillation on any form of defiance, foreign or domestic.  The quantiy of anti-Communist terror by the US transformed and crystilized as the quality of barbarism that we currently enjoy now.

You think all forms of oppression are pretty much the same historically so it doesn’t much matter to you.  But the difference to the American people, as occurred when Gorbacev-Yelsin changed the Soviet system, is significant to most people.  the wild irrationality of the American mainstream truth consensus is a product of the last decade, although of course rooted in the past.  Obama is not following in the footsteps of Bill Clinton, he is following in the footsteps of Bush.

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By Ed Harges, November 11, 2009 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

It has always made me sick to my stomach the way Ronald Reagan is given the
credit for ending Russia’s Communist dictatorship. Gorbachev deserves the credit
overwhelmingly. All the US did was make sure that the transition out of
dictatorship was as economically and socially traumatic, chaotic, and painful as
possible for those who lived through it.

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By rollzone, November 11, 2009 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

hello. it’s always weird reading proud socialist point scorers. the fear and intimidation required to maintain socialism was the cause of Gorbachev allowing the wall to collapse. Reagan was the hero for this, and there is no substitute for him not being there. i doubt Gorby saw the writing on the wall, when he was willing to give a little candy diplomacy: for his own insecurities. how his strong arm state of power, mentally weakened itself into chaotic dissolution; still baffles me. similarly today, the tactic of conquer from within, is not legitimate; when we all know you can not change a spirit. it takes strength to control, and Russian nukes had it, and on militaristic fronts: we were equals. we have been left alone, to dabble with terrorists, until the war against the spread of communism can resume. Gorby can take some credit; and the blame for allowing the wild west cannibalization of his own country. i do not mean to diminish the victories and the brave fighting of the Russian armies and citizens against the Kraut machine; their battles were epic. however, supposedly, the need to fight on two fronts diminished assets available to the Krauts (Nazi was the only word ever **** by the censor police i have written) and had they had those assets available to them: apparently because it was so close a victory ... you may now be speaking German along with us. the Nazi empire would have replaced the Roman empire, and God’s purpose would be even more confounding than it is today. there are monolithic walls between politics, corporations, and the people today that scream for complete honest disclosure into deaf ears. tear those down instead of building more.

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By truedigger3, November 11, 2009 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

johannes wrote:
“Stalin came from Georgia and had partial Chazaren blood, as had Winston Churchill his mother came from a very rich New York Chazaren famelie.,”
___________________________________________________

So, are you saying that both Stalin and Churchill had jewish blood.
They also said “and I am not kidding” that Hitler and Ahmaddinejad of Iran have jewish blood too.
It seems that all the famous leaders whether they are evil or not, have jewish blood.
Things are getting out of hand and starting to be real rediculous.
Don’t believe evrything you read.

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By Anarcissie, November 11, 2009 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, November 11 at 4:41 pm:
’... Commeteers have argued that Gorbechev was confronted with an impossible historical task.  This is possible, but it was partly of his own making.  Just as Obama can’t withdraw from Afghanistan given the Bushites he put in war positions, Gorbachev’s approach led to the dismemberment of counter system to capitalist imperialism, as well as to its own form of oppression.  And as Dillon says, the Russians dispise him for it.’

No doubt the Russians who long for the good old days of empire despise Gorbachev.  However, I don’t agree that the Soviet Union was a counter to the imperial capitalism; it was more of a symbiont, especially after World War 2.  The conflicts with the U.S. / NATO and China, in historical perspective, look more and more like national pushing and shoving rather than serious ideological combat.

As for Obama, his problem is not the people he appointed but the people who appointed him, so to speak.  See http://www.nybooks.com/articles/23110 for Gary Wills’s take on his situation.  I doubt very much if he has the power to disassemble the empire over which he reigns that Gorbachev had, even if he wanted to, which he almost certainly doesn’t.

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By Mike3, November 11, 2009 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Fern Henley:
An interesting post; and I’m sure that more details of what you say will come to light. But what made the collapse of the Berlin Wall so unique; and so free of death and violence, a truly peaceful collapse, was because it came spontaneously from the people, it was not a CIA or Washington funded orchestrated protest like the farcical so called, “color revolutions” that followed it through Eastern Europe – it was genuine. The thugs in Washington then used the genuine article to foist their own agenda. Geopolitical chess and the greed for oil are interwoven.

That Thatcher didn’t want to see a united Germany is well know, but then who did Thatcher like?

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By Folktruther, November 11, 2009 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

the historical problem that Gorbachev faced whas that the power system was so centralied to rule the huge territory and multitude of populations that the economy could not function, and GDP growth was declining.  the Chinese solved the problem of the Stalinist system by using the market to produce consumer goods. 

Mao tried the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution to break the bureaucracy and to increase production, which was needed for military defense from encirclment of the US and the West.  But the problem was solved by Deng as the whole system morphed into the present planned-market system.

It has been argued that Russia was so traditioanlly centralized historically that no one could lead it to decentralize effecively, and that Gorbachev failed at an impossible task.  And as Mike says, Yelsin was much worse, a drunk supported by the West to dismantle the economy and give it largely to Jewish gangsters.  The Russians can largely thank Sommers for this rape, and the refusal of the West for econimic credits which largely destroyed the economy and led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of people.

Commeteers have argued that Gorbechev was confronted with an impossible historical task.  This is possible, but it was partly of his own making.  Just as Obama can’t withdraw from Afghanistan given the Bushites he put in war positions, Gorbachev’s approach led to the dismemberment of counter system to capitalist imperialism, as well as to its own form of oppression.  And as Dillon says, the Russians dispise him for it.

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By Samson, November 11, 2009 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment

In order for America to get an honest and true leader, the American people need to learn one critical thing.

Never, ever vote for candidates you see on TV.

The American system is built on large corporate ‘donations’ who then spend the money on large TV ad blitzes to get elected.  The one thing for sure is that any candidate with lots of TV ads has lots of corporate money.

And the candidates who given all of these millions of corporate money then go serve these corporations once elected.  If for no other reason than the fact that they immediately start dialing for more corporate money to fund the next campaign’s ad blitz.

And of course, since all the TV stations are corporate-owned, their fake news departments will also put the pro-corporate candidates on TV all the time.

It all ads up to this.  NEVER VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATES ON TV.

The honest candidate you want is the person who doesn’t have the money for TV ads and who asks supporters in for a ride from the airport when they come to town.  They are probably the one sleeping in a supporter’s home to save money.

Its an easy rule to learn and follow. DON’T VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATES ON TV!

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By Samson, November 11, 2009 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

The top British expert on Soviet foreign policy is named “Pravda”.  Really?

That just sounds phony. I wish it came with a link. But maybe it really is just one of those things where reality is much funnier than fiction could be.

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By Samson, November 11, 2009 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

Last year, I was hoping that the one good thing that might come from electing our Obama is that he might be our Gorbachev. 

Gorbachev was a party hack who used talk of ‘change’ to get himself elected.  Sound familiar. Except with Gorbachev, the change spun out of control and led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.  The ‘change’ the people wanted was much greater than what he originally planned to deliver.

But, there’s one huge difference between Gorbachev and Obama.  Gorbachev talked of ‘glasnost’ or of ‘openness’.  He opened up the state media to other views, was more tolerant of dissidents, and opened up the Soviet one-party elections to more candidates.

Under Obama, the US corporate media stays as solid as ever in locking out any dissenting views. Dissidents are attacked an arrested outside Obama’s nominating convention in Denver or later outside the G-20 in Pittsburg.  In Tehran, if you tweet about a protest, then you are a corporate-tv hero. In Pittsburgh, if you tweet about a protest, you are tracked down and arrested.

Under Obama, the US state policy is expanding their powers to spy on Americans.  Obama and his justice dept just told Congress to make permanent the bits of the Patriot Act that were originally given sunset times.  The official view of the Obama justice department is that civil liberties can not be allowed to interfere with the ‘efficiency’ of the government police that is spying on Americans.

Obama has obviously tried to learn from Gorbachev.  Obama seems certain to make sure that his phony campaign rhetoric of change will not be allowed to become any sort of real change that might empower or even encourage the American people that they are anything more than corporate slaves.

Make sure you all work really hard to pay the ridiculous prices on your soon-to-be-mandated corporate health insurance policy.  And Obama’s secret police will be watching closely to see who complains.

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By Fern Henley, November 11, 2009 at 11:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

September 16, 2009 (LPAC)—As divisions rise among the British imperialists, where some want an alternative to what they see as the failed Blair-Obama policies, there has been exposure of Gorbachov’s role as a British asset against German unification, simultaneous with early declassification of British Foreign Office files on the period of the fall of the Wall.

In a letter appearing in Financial Times today, Gorbachov’s role is exposed by Alex Pravda, a top British expert on Soviet foreign policy. Formerly at Chatham House, Pravda is now at St. Antony’s College, Oxford. He gives no source for his assertions, but they probably come from certain Kremlin documents which have just surfaced in London.

Alex Pravda writes:

“Sir, Philip Stephens rightly reminds us that Margaret Thatcher was not only hostile to German unification but also concerned to avoid destabilising Mikhail Gorbachev (‘A misreading of the past holds a lesson for the future,’ September 11).

“Well before she shared her misgivings about German unification with Francois Mitterrand, she made her views clear to Mr Gorbachev. Halfway through a meeting with him in Moscow on September 23 1989, she asked that notes not be taken of what she wanted to say about German developments. Mrs Thatcher then proceeded to confide that she and Mr Mitterrand were opposed to unification as they saw it bringing border change, undermining stability and posing a threat to security. The Soviet leader made no comment.

“At a politburo meeting on the eve of the fall of the Berlin wall, Mr Gorbachev explained western opposition to unification as an attempt to use the Soviet Union to obstruct the process and sow conflict between Moscow and Bonn to prevent their reaching a deal. He underestimated Mrs Thatcher’s visceral fear of the Germans, just as he overestimated Helmut Kohl’s personal assurances that he would co-operate with Moscow to manage a gradual change in relations between the two Germanys.

“Mr Gorbachev was surprised and angry at what he saw as Mr Kohl’s opportunistic use of chaos in the German Democratic Republic to swallow East Germany. Resigned to unification, Mr Gorbachev then went on to agree to NATO membership for a united Germany, not as ‘an admission of defeat’ — as Mr Stephens implies — but as a price worth paying for partnership with Bonn and Washington.”

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By ThomasG, November 11, 2009 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

The following quote from Mikhail Gorbachev was made during an interview on September 23, 2009, with editor Katrina Vanden Heuvel and her husband Stephen F. Cohen, a contributing editor of The Nation magazine:

“By the way, in 1987, after my first visit to the United States, Vice President Bush accompanied me to the airport, and told me, “Reagan is a Conservative, an EXTREME Conservative.  All the blockheads and dummies are for him, and when he says that something is necessary, they trust him.”—Mikhail Gorbachev

Are YOU one of the “blockheads and dummies” that were for the Right-Wing EXTREMIST Conservative Movement from Goldwater through Reagan, Bush I and Bush II that were/are being led against their best interests as “blockheads and dummies” by the “Great Communicator,” Ronald Wilson Reagan, and the Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Media Echo-Chamber?——and, are you still to this day supporting the Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Movement as a “blockhead and dummy”?  If you are, YOU should ask yourself—Why is it that I support a Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Republican Movement that considers my support as that of a “blockhead and dummy”?  You should also ask yourself— Why am I not supporting the Political Left, the Left-Wing Liberal Movement where my best interest is served and where I am not regarded as a “blockhead and dummy”?

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By Archie1954, November 11, 2009 at 10:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I consider Gorby to be one of the most important people of the 20th Century. His influence changed the world as we know it. Thank Heavens it was for the good. Now it is up to the rest of us to make his sacrifice worth it. No US trying to usurp world power to itself, that is just subsituting the USSR for USSR Light. We don’t need or want it!

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By FreeWill, November 11, 2009 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

If only Obama was to be half the leader that Gorbachev was we would extract ourselves from the futile meaningless war in Afghanistan. But this will never happen. Obams is a “compromise” lawyer who will, at all costs, maintain the status quo.  One needs only to look at who he has surrounded himself with for advisers to see he is no far sighted leader. Every concession has been made to compromise the people’s needs for increasing Corporate Profits.  Furthermore as the first black president he is even more shackled with what he can actually do.  His fear in that he’ll make a bad decision, (jeopardizing chances of black candidates to come), makes him impotent to make any good decisions. Fear and impotency do not make for a good leader.
  America is in desperate need of a honest and true leader.  Those who come closest to the task are quickly ridiculed by a largely ignorant population who passionately believe the “Corporate Speak” of mass media. I fear things must get far worse here at home before people will tare themselves away from their 40” Palsma and wake up to how their country and their liberty has been stolen from them.  The Russian had experienced horrific devastation on their own soil and vividly knew the waste of war.  We here have lost touch with that reality.

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By drbhelthi, November 11, 2009 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

“They” showed Reagen they could get him any time they wanted to.  He was convinced, and became the beloved, American, movie-star front man for GHW “Georg Scherff” Bush. Last year, an elderly German scientist told me, “Doc, certain German families have always known the true identity of the 41st U.S. President.”
http://www.proliberty.com/observer/20070405.htm

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By Anarcissie, November 11, 2009 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, November 11 at 6:50 am:
‘Gorbachev has the unique distinction of being a worse political leader than Bush 2.  Bush 2 merely damaged severely the political system he led; Gorbachev destroyed his. ...’

This seems highly praiseworthy to me.  How many empires have simply closed up shop without the usual catastrophe of blood and treasure?  If only such an American could be found to deal similarly with the American empire!  But I’m afraid we are on the ever-popular catastrophe route, as our leaders weep their crocodile tears and smile their crocodile smiles for Gorbachev, his country, and all the others they plan to devour and destroy.

Mikhail Sergeyevich, wherever you are, thank you.  You have taught a few of us to win by losing; to go forward by turning around; to find our way home by getting lost.

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By PatrickHenry, November 11, 2009 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

I know Russia is better off today because of Gorbachev than the Soviet Union was before he came to power.

American needs to go through such a transformation.

Reagan took the credit, but did little, I think Pink Floyds’s “The Wall” did more to incite the people.

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By Rodney, November 11, 2009 at 9:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Before we become the next former USSR I suggest we should end the wars in the middle east before Texas and Alaska susceed from the union. It would be great if all of the redneck I mean red states went along with them. Actually we all would be broke because of the wars and corporate greed, but we would be a happier America. Call it America Union where we could have universal health care,peace and prosperity sensible gun laws,and women and minorities would be treated as equals. And we could have America Confederate, where be could bring back slavery,bigotry,no rights for non whites anyone old enough to walk could carry a gum. Discrimination is legal and we keep the wars and the war machine along with our Christian army in countries all over the world upholding rogue regimes while we steal the world’s oil.

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By Hulk2008, November 11, 2009 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

Gorby was smart enough to see the futility of never-ending militarism - and so should the US.  Russian mothers were glad when their sons returned from Afghanistan - and American moms will be too.  Maybe Gorby was a visionary for the eventual success of his own people - his unstated “mission accomplished” saved Russian lives and money. 
    montanawildhack:
Apparently there are no “persons of color” in your neck of the woods.  For your edification, I highly recommend you try that phony parlance in certain neighborhoods of southside Chicago - I’m sure your lingo will be greatly appreciated there.

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By Mike3, November 11, 2009 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

Johannes:

You are right about countries that rewrite their own history. Look at America. Every American knows that it was Mel Gibson that defeated the British – and that, would you believe, before Australia, (as a country), even existed. He even shows us how Jesus was crucified. Truly one can say: sweet suffering Jesus!

You are also correct about the terrible price Russia paid fighting Nazi Germany. It was in fact the Russians that defeated Hitler. Hitler’s “invincible” 6th Army was stopped and then destroyed at Stalingrad, and a few months later, at Kursk there was the largest (arguably largest), tank battle ever to take place on this planet, where the Germans were stopped once more. Hitler’s better generals knew after that, that the war was over. But Hollywood and John Wayne has changed that picture somewhat and all we hear is D-Day and Omaha beach.

You are also right about the demonization of the Russians but that has to do with the Pentagon’s plans to get its hands on the oil, gas, and mineral wealth around the Caspian Sea and the Russians are in the way. The demonization of the Muslims is to get their hands on the oil in the Middle East. The attacks on the USS Liberty, USS Cole, 9/11 and a lot more besides are all false flag operations. The demonization process continues apace.

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By radson, November 11, 2009 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

Mikhail Gorbachev and the fall of the Soviet Union will always be intertwined in the history books of time.Yet there was a certain domino effect that lead to the final collapse of the Berlin Wall ,that is Parfois
mentioned in the movement that initiated the kinetic energy necessary to achieve the historic event .Whether one considers the Hungarian metamorphosis of the nineteen eighties the electrician that stood tall
in Gdansk ,the citizens of Polska no longer afraid of the terror that had bound them into submission for so many decades .Indeed M. Gorbachev did sense that the ring of power encircling Eastern Europe was
rusting away even though many of his staunchest henchmen did not not grasp the looming reality.Karol Wojtila was leading a peaceful revolution that was more powerful than Fear itself which was incomprehensible
to the shock doctrine advocates that had cemented a society where family members were taught to betray their loved-ones for the dubious benefit of State.Yes Mikhail Gorbachev began to taste the bittersweet fruit that is called Freedom, a human condition, that for the Proletariat was a free trip to Siberia.As the people of the West were peering into the lair of the beast they glimpsed the personages that made the headlines,the so-called movers and shakers of the times,yet the river that gives buoyancy to the vessel was too large to be noticed as the waves of change began splashing against the Wall of oppression.The US since the fall of the wall is transforming itself slowely but surely into the ideology that it has claimed to defeat so vehemently.

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By johannes, November 11, 2009 at 6:45 am Link to this comment

Every country in the world is writing his own history, so what do you think, 80% lies and the rest donne up.

Most ethnics in Europe come from the same place between the black sea and caspian sea, and the surroundings.

Georgia, had allways an great part of his population who came from the Chazaren, an Ethnic who took the Jewes fait, thats wy Georgia has such good relation with Israel ( weapens, mosdaq, )they like to crèated an other Jewes state.

That the Germans come slowly to the Russians, is something naturel, its about shame, what the Nazi’s has donne to the Russian people is onthinkable, but the politic has and is going for a demonisation of Russia, and putting the Jewes on the fore front, its not difficult to know why,  well they own the media and the USA politics.

It are the Russians who have won the war, with enormes loses, Stalin came from Georgia and had partial Chazaren blood, as had Winston Churchill his mother came from a very rich New York Chazaren famelie.

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By Mike3, November 11, 2009 at 6:35 am Link to this comment

ardee:
got your facts mixed up old chap – if I’ve made a mistake about your gender, my apologies. The delivery of gas was one thing; the conflict in Georgia was another quite separate ball game. And Merkel (if you remember), was singing Washington’s song about how bad and evil the Russians were attacking defenseless Georgia. Russian’s beef was not with Germany but with the Ukraine that was ripping off Russian gas. Don’t be taken in by Western propaganda that wants to drive a wedge between Russia and Germany.

But you are right about those who attack Gorbachev. The moron that did serious damage to Russia was Yeltsin. It was Yeltsin who let in the Milton Friedman, monetarist crowed, the free market looters, carpet baggers, that really hurt Russia. Gorbachev could do nothing to stop that. It was also Yeltsin who used Russian tanks to fire on his own citizens. Criticizing Gorbachev; is like criticizing a man who brings a runaway train to a stop in a station, but does not then driving the passenger’s home from the station after saving their lives. Criticizing Gorbachev also shows ignorance of recent history.

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By ardee, November 11, 2009 at 5:37 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, November 11 at 9:03 am #

Before I even read the comments I said to myself: “I’ll bet Folktruther rips Gorbachev, hates him, and layers insults on him.”

I had exactly the same epiphany…Not to rip FT who is certainly entitled to his own opinion but the legacy of Gorbachev certainly differs from his own assessment.

I find more than a bit odd the reference to the ‘destruction of the power of the white man’ comment. Is that really such a bad thing when seeing what that power accomplished from a historical perspective?

Further I see the Chinese economy in the very same light, as tenuous and fragile, as exploitative and as doomed as is our own.

Now if you will excuse me I think I need to lie down. All this agreement with ITW has had its affect….

Oh, one more thing, this:

What is quite amazing is that there is slowly a real friendship developing between the Germans and the Russians, and who would have thought it?

by Mike3.

I do recall , rather recently, during or shortly after the Georgia /South Ossetia incident that Russia was using its gas distribution as blackmail to hammer fealty from , among other nations, Germany….not exactly the act of a friend.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 11, 2009 at 5:03 am Link to this comment

Before I even read the comments I said to myself: “I’ll bet Folktruther rips Gorbachev, hates him, and layers insults on him.”

Why? Because Gorbachev let fall the great, failed Stalinist, GULAG-ridden, corrupt, so-called “Communist” state called the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics.  Of course, my prediction was spot on correct.  FT’s imbecilic defenses of the worst people and policies in the world simply because they are anti-American is as predictable as sunrise and sunset times.

Notice that FT then DEFENDS the People’s Republic of China’s massacre in 1989 and Tienanmen Square as a defense against change and blames…(are you ready for this?) GORBACHEV for the massacre!

This is in line with FT’s continued holding up China, with its slave labor, total disregard for intellectual property rights, continued problems deliberately tainted and adulterated products, and wildly increasing disproportions between rich and poor as the MODEL for modern economies!

With his ability to totally misunderstand anything and everything economic, he doesn’t see that China’s prosperity is on nearly as tenuous a thread as the rest of the world’s—and it’s already being challenged. These days, other countries have cheaper labor or better technology, and India, which does NOT use the Chinese system, is on the brink of blowing EVERYONE out of the water as their educated and trained classes are able to now remotely do jobs that we, in the US, have done locally.

IOW, Ross Perot’s “great sucking sound” isn’t going South to Latin and South America—it’s going West to India.

It takes talent for FT to be so wrong so consistently and DEMONSTRABLY about nearly everything.  I swear, if it’s raining, FT would claim it was a right-wing lie and the sun was really shining—even while he was getting soaking wet!

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