From Vladimir Golstein:
In the Soviet Union of My Day, There Was One Ruling Party.
It dominated the news, the public opinion, the promotions, the success, the value of a person, and plenty of other things that people like to associate with totalitarism.
It could call invasion a brotherly help; arrest and imprisonment — necessary measures required by public health, it would idolize real and imaginary enemies to suppress the dissent and stuff like that.
On the opposite side of it, there were “the alternatives.” The assorted band of all sorts of dissidents: monarchists, admirers of western ways, from rock to bell-bottom jeans, Marx readers who complained about discrepancies, born again Christians, all sort of sexual adventurers not happy with petty soviet morality and so on. Some of these guys were brilliant and honest, some –downright fascists and xenophobes. These group had their own outlets, their version of Fox News — all sort of NATO sponsored “voices.” Voice of America, Voice of Britain also known as BBC, voice of Germany (Deutsche Welle) and so on.
Myopic and corrupt as Soviet Establishment was, the opposition – -due to its ragamuffin status, never had a chance. Those people — and I drank with many of them — never had a chance. Too diverse, too paranoid, too crazy, too self-righteous.
It took years of the so called “economic laws” — promoted in schools, but ignored by political leadership and Soviet establishment –to bring the system down.
Fast forward to the US of today. We still have a totally unified, utterly myopic, and thorough corrupt Democratic Party. Which controls US versions of KGB, army, media, which shapes public opinion, which can turn any person or a country into a villain or saint. It calls invasions –humanitarian aid, declares dissidents as traitors, and does all sorts of things associated with totalitarism.
It has the opposition. The ragamuffin band of religious fanatics, libertarians, conservatives, rich Republicans (US version of monarchists), honest dissidents, all sorts of rebels, non-conformists and so on. Those people — and I drank with many of them — don’t have a chance. Too diverse, too paranoid, too self-righteous.
The control over people’s thinking that the Western leadership currently enjoys — is much stronger than the one ever observed in the Soviet Union. Most of the smart, ambitious, educated people think the same. All sort of “voices” — be they American, Chinese, or Russian – might report the alternative version of the events, but their chances of convincing anyone are as high as the Voice of America had in the Soviet Union.
This corrupt and self-destructive system based on mediocrity and lies, have as much chances to succeed as did the Soviets. They can push forward their demented or ignorant leaders — be it Brezhnev-Biden, or Shevardnadze–Blinken, and those guys can rely on cynical careerists to retain the status quo, but the moral, social, political and even economic and ecological laws – promoted in schools and ignored by the establishment, tell us a different story.
The corrupt system can try to re-assert itself Latin America, Europe, Middle East or Peoria, it can invent new threats and new public measures that need to be taken, but its days are numbered. Too much power, too much lies, too much corruption and cynicism.
A lot of Soviets survived perestroika. But a lot of them didn’t. It is like a storm, I guess. And one can hear it rumble.
One reply on “How 2021 in the USA feels like 1990 in the USSR (at least to one who sees the one, and saw the other)”
Another powerful post sir, thank you.
I can remember the days of Gorbachev and ‘glasnost’ and then Yelstsin; where, a window into ‘honest reform/reflection’ seemed possible – where semi-sincere ‘marxists’ and ‘Party-people’ were pleading with the public to ‘not abandon socialism altogether… to use this opening to press for freer speech, etc’
And it was way too little… way too late. These ‘radicals’ had played it (sycophantic) safe for so long that they had not a shred of MASS credibility left – much like the ‘radical left’ today.
So sad how the ‘intellectuals’ refuse to learn the lessons of history and so arrogantly repeat them.