When the Soviet regime exiled Sakharov in 1980, everybody assumed the USSR was permanent and impregnable to collapse.
There are many ironies in the RussiaGate drama, but none greater than this: The U.S. becomes more like the former U.S.S.R. every day. Longtime correspondent Bart D. sketches out the irony:
I look at the US economy and what I see in actual everyday life is that corrupted capitalism has resulted in the same problems for average citizens as what crony communism did for the citizens of the USSR.
Poor consumer choice. Poor resource allocation. Poor quality consumer products. Poor environmental management/outcomes. Hyper-vigilance and hyper-control of Government over its people. Dodgy Utilities. The difference is that the Soviet Union had a better healthcare system than USA currently has and better housing availability for common people.
How’s the irony! Capitalism and Communism ultimately end up with similar outcomes and for the same reason: Cartel behaviours and cronyism.
Exactly. When the system is rigged to benefit insiders, cartels, cronies and elites at the expense of the many “outsiders,” the status quo must mask this reality with propaganda and Big Lies: that is, keep repeating the lie until people believe it due to its embrace by “experts” and authorities.
Case in point: inflation. The masses consuming the mainstream media apparently accept the Big Lie that inflation (i.e. loss of purchasing power of our money) is 2%, i.e. near zero.
But the reality is quite different: stagnant wages + soaring real-world inflation = lower standards of living, which is precisely what the bottom 80% of American households have been experiencing for the past decade of “growth” and “recovery.”
The citizens of the old Soviet regime had a wry saying: they pretend to pay us and we pretend to work. I propose a variation for the hapless US citizenry:
They pretend inflation is low and we pretend to be prosperous.
The current clampdown on social media and alternative media in America is ripped right from the playbook of the Soviet regime. We must “protect” you from “fake news,” lest you start questioning the official narratives of strong growth, prosperity, low inflation, etc.
Then there’s the case of Julian Assange, in exile for releasing what everyone concedes is factual evidence on par with The Pentagon Papers in the 1970s which blew up the false (but convenient to the elites) narratives of the Vietnam War.
They can’t paint Assange with the “fake news” brush, so they exile him just as the old Soviet regime exiled Andrei Sakharov in 1980, a hero of the Soviet Union and laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975.
Please note that the Soviet Union collapsed a decade after exiling Sakharov.Ramping up repression and official propaganda, strangling dissent and marginalizing independent skeptics are the desperate, last-ditch tactics of a doomed regime that only serves the interests of insiders and elites.
There are many pathways to collapse, with financial collapse being a favorite of regimes that print/borrow immense sums to buy off their populace and enrich the insiders/elites– for example, Venezuela:
When the Soviet regime exiled Sakharov in 1980, everybody assumed the USSR was permanent and impregnable to collapse. In other words, “it can’t happen here.” But it did happen, and believing “it can’t happen here” did nothing but hasten the collapse.
My new book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition.
This article originally posted here.