Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

USSR shouldn’t be dead, Gorbi

I continue to be surprised how many liberals still think well of Gorbachev, and the USSR. Things were nice and neat, stable; everything was clear. No more. In this USA Today interview with him, he makes clear that the USSR should have been preserved, and could have been preserved; he merely wanted some decentralization, but things got out of hand. Oh, and he also doesn’t like the rearranging going on the Middle East.

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A commie without the teeth. He deserves credit for one thing: not pulling the trigger. That’s big, but not the stuff of genuine statesmanship. Gorbachev played his constructive, or non-obstructive, part 15-20 years ago and should now be ignored.

We WON the Cold War. We should never let anyone talk of the "end" of the Cold War. The Cold War wasn’t the problem. Gorbo’s commie system was.

Everything was nice, neat, and stable because Reagan was in the game.
Putin has been throwing it all out the window though.

But they are not moving to a totalitarian system, because that clearly did not work. Maybe Gorbi would not mind that as much. Putin seems to be moving, rather, into national socialism, preferring mostly private ownership of companies as less trouble for the state, less expense. It looks authoritarian, in Jeanne Kirkpatrick’s distinction.

Yes, we all ought to be grateful to Gorbachev for acknowledging that their totalitarianism was crumbling. One could wish that Reagan had still been in the game for the fall. What might we have done to help?

Before the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russians had 7 months of dysfunctional democracy. From 1905 to 1917 they had a "republic" in which the Tsar and the upper class could stimey reforms and continue to be more or less autocratic. The Russians seem to prefer autocracy.

In Pipes’ book on the Russian Revolution, he records that many senior aristoctrats held in Bolshevik prisons were cheered by the increase in executions and other signs of authoritarianism. They preferrred this to the chaos of the Provisional government / Soviet power "sharing" arrangement. Kind of depressing, really...

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