Friday, August 8, 2008

The USSR is back!

They're not calling it the USSR, but it's back. It looks very much like Putin has quietly restructured the country to a system that will be much more robust than "Communism." I use quotation marks simply because actual Marxist Communism doesn't exist; it's simply been an excuse to set up an authoritarian government.

The new Russia, much like the transforming China, makes no pretenses of being communist. If you visit China today, there's no egalitarianism, and the State doesn't take care of the average person. You work hard, or you die from starvation. The workers are not indistinguishable from their leaders, who are fabulously wealthy, having been made rich by the labor of the proletariat.

Hm, that's kind of like John Edwards, Barack Obama or George Bush, isn't it? But I digress--they made their money in a capitalist system, in which it's fine to become rich even if it's not popular.

Why do I say the USSR is back? Putin is invading former USSR satellite states, bringing them back under Russian domination. This is not a surprise. We knew Putin was headed this way since he abolished elections for regional governors, making them Presidential appointees.

"Putin's not president anymore!" one might object. Well, true. However, he selected his replacement for the Presidency, then moved comfortably into the Prime Minister's chair following an election that left fair observers with a lot of doubts.

In short, we have a new USSR calling itself Russia, structured like China. Democracy was a brief experiment there and we can now probably expect a new cold war, as indicated by Putin's increasingly hostile rhetoric.

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