Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Soviet Collapse Ruined the U.S.
The Moscow Times ^ | 04 October 2010 | Alexei Bayer

Posted on 10/04/2010 3:16:00 AM PDT by vertolet888

In 2005, then-President Vladimir Putin called the collapse of the Soviet Union the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century. As time passes, I find myself agreeing with him more and more.

To be sure, my regrets are fundamentally different from Putin’s. I’ve been a U.S. citizen for three decades, and my son is as American as they come. The United States is clearly my home, and I consider myself a patriotic American. This is why I decry the disappearance of the Soviet empire. Its demise may have dealt a potentially mortal blow to the United States.

The Soviet Union strained its resources and pauperized, exploited and oppressed its own people in order to compete with the United States, the embodiment of the bitterly adversarial capitalist system. Most Soviets didn’t believe the authorities who told them that they were living and working in a “workers’ paradise.” It was a struggle that its leaders believed would prove the supremacy of communism. It was bad for the Soviet Union but a godsend for the United States.

The Soviet propaganda droned incessantly about how workers are impoverished and exploited under capitalism. It tried to flip the truth on its head: to deny that the U.S. government after the Great Depression implemented policies that helped raise incomes while drastically improving the work conditions and financial well-being of workers.

In the 1950s, things got even better for U.S. workers. The gap between the rich and the poor was the narrowest in U.S. history, and the U.S. middle class reached new levels of prosperity.

Soviet forays into post-colonial Africa and Asia and the revolutionary movements it fomented in Latin America forced Washington to pay attention to those countries and assist in their development. Even discounting support for the occasional tyrant, it did much good and helped spread U.S. influence and American values around the world. Even if they are not always followed in practice, democracy and free enterprise have become dominant political values globally.

To counter the Soviet “Evil Empire,” the United States willy-nilly had to go for the moral high ground and become a moral arbiter in world affairs. Now, China is gradually replacing U.S. influence the world over.

Finally, the Soviet Union strained its dysfunctional economic system to create a first-rate scientific and military complex. Sputnik, launched in 1957, galvanized the United States into action. A huge government effort to improve math, science and engineering followed. Funding for education and research was increased sharply, and the government and private universities expanded programs for the brightest students to go to the best universities, regardless of their parents’ ability to pay. The space race did little for the average Russian, but it did create a broad infrastructure for science and technology in the United States that set the foundation for U.S. supremacy in innovation, which the United States enjoys to this day.

After the Soviet collapse, Washington found a different adversary: al-Qaida. As a result, the leading 21st-century military and economic power is wasting its resources on a medieval war, gradually descending to the level of its new foe.

Osama bin Laden may be history’s greatest military strategist. He made Washington abandon its lofty moral ideals, forced the United States into a sea of debt and played a key role in pushing the United States off its pedestal of being the world’s supreme economic power. But ultimately, it is the collapse of the Soviet Union that is to blame.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections; Russia
KEYWORDS: coldwar; russia; usa; ussr

1 posted on 10/04/2010 3:16:03 AM PDT by vertolet888
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: vertolet888

“Osama bin Laden may be history’s greatest military strategist. He made Washington abandon its lofty moral ideals, forced the United States into a sea of debt and played a key role in pushing the United States off its pedestal of being the world’s supreme economic power.”

That is a bunch of baloney.


2 posted on 10/04/2010 3:28:21 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vertolet888

I would say when we tolerated atheists tossing God out of every institution and public sphere, we ruined our own nation.


3 posted on 10/04/2010 3:37:42 AM PDT by SkyPilot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver
There is balance to everything in life, tyranny and freedom,
good and evil and so forth.

When Russia fell that balance was thrown off kilter, so I think this there is something to this article, after a fashion.

4 posted on 10/04/2010 3:40:50 AM PDT by Carbonsteel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: vertolet888

Classic Russian revisionist history.

Socialism starting with Teddy Roosevelt (the RINO of his time) and then Wilson, FDR, Truman, Kennedy, LBJ, Carter and Democratic majorities in Congress have bankrupted the USA.


5 posted on 10/04/2010 3:41:06 AM PDT by whitedog57
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver

Communism brought misery and suffering to the world for about seventy years (now only paid lip service in China by the power elites).

Islam has beeing doing the same and worse for more than fourteen hundred years. Empowered by ill-gotten oil money, it’s far more dangerous than before.

Yes, it is sort of hokey to pine for the defunct USSR and to suggest that adversity alone is what builds the American character.

Kind of dumb, really. Wonder what this Russian immigrant thinks of the `New Russia’ under Vladimir “KGB” Putin?


6 posted on 10/04/2010 3:45:40 AM PDT by elcid1970 ("O Muslim! My bullets are dipped in pig grease!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: vertolet888
"As time passes, I find myself agreeing with him more and more."

Of course you do, you are a Russian communist posting in the Moscow Times."

"The Soviet Union strained its resources and pauperized, exploited and oppressed its own people in order to compete with the United States, the embodiment of the bitterly adversarial capitalist system."

"bitterly adversarial capitalist system" Sheesh. Capitalism is the most moral economic system in the world. We should have more of it not less, Comrade Alexei.

"It tried to flip the truth on its head: to deny that the U.S. government after the Great Depression implemented policies that helped raise incomes while drastically improving the work conditions and financial well-being of workers."

I see you have swallowed the Keynsian version of history wholesale, Comrade. You should read Milton Friedman and Hayek among others. The US Government's actions seriously prolonged the Great Depression.

" Now, China is gradually replacing U.S. influence the world over."

China's economy is one quarter the size of the US economy. The world's second culture is American. Just got back earlier this year from a trip to Africa. I don't think the Africans are going to be learning the four-tone Chinese language and using chopsticks very soon. But I can understand your being Russian where the Chinese will probably take over Eastern Siberia why you see it that way.

"After the Soviet collapse, Washington found a different adversary: al-Qaida. As a result, the leading 21st-century military and economic power is wasting its resources on a medieval war, gradually descending to the level of its new foe."

Let's see the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and we scoured around to find a new adversary because the US always needs an adversary? Poppycock. We have defeated al-Qaeda everywhere we have engaged it and liberated 50 million Muslims from its clutches. Something the Soviet Union was unable to do.

"Osama bin Laden may be history’s greatest military strategist."

He's at best living in a cave. He has not made a video or a verifiable appearance since 2003 and you think he's a great strategist? You do realize that he was building a magnificent villa for himself and his polygamous family on the outskirts of Kabul in 2001. Guess he got that bit of the strategy a bit wrong.

This article is a total joke, vertolet. Find better sources for your editorials.

7 posted on 10/04/2010 3:47:00 AM PDT by Roy Tucker ("You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."--Ayn Rand)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver

Really. You have to wonder what some of these people are smoking to come up with conclusions like that one. Osama “forced the U.S. into debt?” Really? I think he meant OBAMA. And despite our problems, last I looked China was the economic equivalent of . . . CALIFORNIA, with all its troubles.


8 posted on 10/04/2010 3:51:29 AM PDT by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Carbonsteel

He had me until that last part about OBL.


9 posted on 10/04/2010 3:58:48 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: vertolet888
He's right in one way. Once the USSR collapsed (i.e. we won the cold war) the liberal democrats could start pushing their social engineering policies full steam. They used the collapse of the USSR as 1) evidence that the USSR was never as big a threat as the Republicans and military had made it out to be, and 2) that there no longer was any need to invest in the military, and the ‘peace dividend’ could be used for social programs.

When the first President Bush was running for reelection against Clinton he said something that can be paraphrased as: ‘The collapse of the USSR doesn't mean the world is now safe. The vacuum created by the collapse of the USSR in some ways led us to a new kind of danger and instability that requires more leadership and vigilance, not less’. Of course, the country didn't listen and bought into the ‘it's the economy stupid’ mantra of the Clinton campaign. The liberal press saw their opportunity, and helped push Clinton across the finish line (they painted a much worse picture of the economy than was true, and ignored a recovery that was underway, and subsequently credited to Clinton). Of course Ross Perot didn't help either.

Bush senior was right. The post-USSR period was a crucial one, and we wound up with a President who ignored foreign policy, and who after recovering from the disaster that was the Hillarycare attempt, rode the wave of the dot com economy to broad popularity. When we should have been even more focused on the direction the world would take after the collapse of the USSR, we ignored it. We woke up only briefly after 9/11.

10 posted on 10/04/2010 4:05:06 AM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vertolet888

Osama bin Laden? History’s greatest military strategist?

Think again, pal. No, wait!...STOP thinking, okay?


11 posted on 10/04/2010 4:11:37 AM PDT by equaviator ("There's a (datum) plane on the horizon coming in...see it?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vertolet888

Bullshit... the dims caused ALL of this... progressives are ALL communists.

LLS


12 posted on 10/04/2010 4:27:59 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (WOLVERINES!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vertolet888

I don’t agree with the author that the collapse of the Soviet Union is primarily behind our current problems—but it is definitely a piece of the puzzle. More than anything else, I blame the rise of Entitlement/Nanny State and the Liberal takeover of so many institutions (schools, courts, MSM, even Churches).

IMHO, the fall of the Soviet Union removed a lot of barriers to stupidity. As long as the Soviet Boogeyman was there, we had to have a modern, ready military and maintain our anti-communist stance. Once it went away, the need for those things all but disappeared—basically, giving us a license to be stupid. Remember how eager the Dems were to spend the (non-existent) “Peace Dividend”. And our first President after the Cold War ended was Bill Clinton, the draft dodger. If you ask many young people today, they can’t explain what communism is or (more importantly) why is it bad.

9/11 sobered us up for a few years, but now I fear the previous trend has re-asserted itself and is accelerating. Can you say: Ground Zero Mosque?


13 posted on 10/04/2010 4:34:24 AM PDT by rbg81 (When you see Obama, shout: "DO YOUR JOB!!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pieceofthepuzzle

We didn’t win the cold war. If we had we wouldn’t have the Socialistic mess we have today. The social engineering here,the positive propaganda for Socialism,Communism,Fascism,or whatever it is, was going on long before the Communist collapse in the USSR. That helped get us into this mess. Are we to believe that the Communists suddenly gave up their ideology?

This started a long time ago,it didn’t happen in the past twenty or thirty years.


14 posted on 10/04/2010 4:40:02 AM PDT by FreeDeerHawk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: rbg81
The liberals (progressives)have caused or exacerbated every problem that now besets the US.
15 posted on 10/04/2010 4:55:59 AM PDT by luvbach1 (Stop Barry now. He can't help himself.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: vertolet888
Alexei Bayer gets all the way to the second paragraph before he fees obligated to prove he is "a patriotic American".

Then he lists chronological coincidences to try to show a causal relationship.

The simple fact is that the US Government personnel made incorrect choices (with the exception of the forced destruction of the Soviet Union) in responding to international situations and national policies.

There will always be moral and ethical degeneracy on every level. Tolerate and allow it and you lose, punish and destroy it and you and everybody else wins.

16 posted on 10/04/2010 4:59:37 AM PDT by Navy Patriot (Sarah and the Conservatives will rock your world.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vertolet888

It is interesting to remember that after his defeat at Waterloo, Napoleon I said: ‘That leaves Russia and the United States as the most significant nations in the new balance of power.’


17 posted on 10/04/2010 5:02:40 AM PDT by SMARTY ("What luck for rulers that men do not think." Adolph Hitler)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

What the United States needs are national goals (ratiotally chosen that we all agree on) . Then we need strategies to reach those goals. Then the costs gor each strategy needs to be determined. When the costs are determined, the acceptable strategies should be implemented.

Does anyone out there know what our national goals are? I don’t.


18 posted on 10/04/2010 5:08:39 AM PDT by Citizen Tom Paine (An old sailor sends)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: FreeDeerHawk
“Are we to believe that the Communists suddenly gave up their ideology?”

Absolutely not, and that's my point. The collapse of the USSR was just another chapter, not the end of the story. If anything it made the left more desperate and made them move up the timeline on the subversive efforts that were ongoing in the US for many years (as you point out). We did win the ‘cold war’ against the USSR, but not against communism.

Communism is fueled primarily by two factors: 1) ego, and 2) hatred/resentment. Marx was an egotistical jerk who hated ‘the system’. He's not unlike any other upper middle class university student who doesn't like what they envision as ‘authority’ and who have the luxury of being ‘intellectuals’ because someone else’s efforts are paying the bills. The best tools against communism are derision/humiliation and an economic war from the pocketbooks of those who would be the targets of ‘cultural revolution’ like the one in China. The first part targets the ego of the ‘progressive’ leaders who embrace ‘the cause’ as a way of elevating their importance in the world. It stokes their hatred/resentment to levels that causes them to implode (think Palin derangement syndrome). The second takes away their power to push their agenda.

The bigger ‘war’ of which you speak, the war against creeping ‘progressivism’ and ideological communism is real, and we have multiple enemies from within in this war. It's going to be a protracted and difficult war, but we will win, because socialism/communism is at its core idiotic.

19 posted on 10/04/2010 5:12:18 AM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: vertolet888

When I was in the military I can remember commenting re: Russia—

That was a sophisticated game, this (fighting terror) is just a brawl


20 posted on 10/04/2010 5:14:16 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heros have always been cowboys)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SkyPilot

Not really. We ruined our society and culture by tossing God out.

The country was designed and built by men, not God. And the country is currently being destroyed by men.


21 posted on 10/04/2010 5:25:35 AM PDT by jerry557
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

mark


22 posted on 10/04/2010 5:26:10 AM PDT by Ben Ficklin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vertolet888
Destroying your enemy is never a bad thing. But as the Japanese proverb states, "At the end of the war, tighten your helmet straps". There will always be another enemy. America failed to appreciate that. We dismantled out military, embarked on grand social spending programs and lived large assuming that it would be a century before anyone would challenge us again. Well it only took China 20 years.

With the full manpower of the cold war military combined with the firepower or the twenty first century we could have simply overrun Iraq and Afghanistan. But with the much smaller force available in 2001 we could never hope to occupy every single town. So insurgency always had a safe base of operations. Technology is great, but wars don't end until a grunt with a flag stands atop the fallen foe and says "this is mine now". A predator drone just can't do that. And the American army of the twenty first century can't put enough boots on the ground, because they buy their boots in China.
23 posted on 10/04/2010 5:28:16 AM PDT by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vertolet888

I get tired of people trying to write the obituary of the United States. We’ll come back from our current troubles, and we’ll continue to be a major player on the world stage.

And for the record, LIBERALISM is responsible for our current decline, not some flea-infested cave dweller in Afghanistan.


24 posted on 10/04/2010 5:35:02 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Obama, Pelosi and Reid - the Trio of Twits)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pieceofthepuzzle

They will never give it up. The left will continue to fight the war on capitalism until the end of humanity. They fully and 100% believe that communism must occur for human civilization to advance. They consider it superior to capitalism. And they consider communism the final destination in social-economic evolution.

You collapse a communist country, they simply move on to the next world power. You defeat them at the ballot box, they find a way to retool their propaganda (ie: hope and change) and will soon enough end up back in power eventually.

You just cant get rid of these people.


25 posted on 10/04/2010 5:42:41 AM PDT by jerry557
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: jerry557
“You just cant get rid of these people.”

Perhaps not, but you can most certainly defang them and marginalize them.

26 posted on 10/04/2010 5:56:49 AM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: vertolet888
I do not specifically agree with the author there is the boggeyman factor. Democratic types of government do well when there is a common threat. The problem for the US is that there was really now large threat after the USSR. Clinton tried to use the WOD as the evil but it could not absorb enough resources to be effective. OBL is really just a side show for Islamic takeover. Since the government cannot demonize Islam due to oil they are stuck with no real boogeyman.
27 posted on 10/04/2010 6:08:04 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Playing by the rules only works if both sides do it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Citizen Tom Paine
Does anyone out there know what our national goals are? I don’t.

Sure. I do know what our national goals are. One of our national goal is "to reduce dependence on foreign oil by restricting all means of domestic energy production and turning the US into an impoverished third world economy."

Another national goal is to "increase funding of education regardless of results and force everyone to attend public schools."

28 posted on 10/04/2010 6:17:25 AM PDT by nwrep
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: vertolet888

This guy does seem to have a good take on what was wrong with the Soviet Union, but he’s still too “Russia Centric.” Just because it’s still geographically the world’s biggest country doesn’t mean the rest of the world orbits around it.


29 posted on 10/04/2010 6:17:36 AM PDT by Elwood P. Doud
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vertolet888
Don't make the mistake to think that Obama and Osama represent any country or major group of people.
30 posted on 10/04/2010 6:30:51 AM PDT by mountainlion (concerned conservative.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pieceofthepuzzle
I beg your pardon, but at the end of the first gulf war, it was GHW Bush who proclaimed the New World Order, and was all for the "peace dividend". That's when the reductions in force started, I remember it well.

While the liberal democrats are more destructive, the Republicans can share in plenty of the blame. They may have temporarily slowed down the expansion of gov't post-1994, but expand, it did. They talk a good fight, but when it comes to delivering....oh, well.

31 posted on 10/04/2010 6:46:25 AM PDT by FlyVet (")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Roy Tucker

good rebut


32 posted on 10/04/2010 7:15:58 AM PDT by vanilla swirl (We are the Patrick Henry we have been waiting for!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: pieceofthepuzzle

There has been and always will be wars between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, only the uniforms change.


33 posted on 10/04/2010 7:18:30 AM PDT by dfwgator (Texas Rangers - AL West Champions)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: vertolet888
Osama bin Laden may be history’s greatest military strategist.

Ummm, no. But our actions since 9/11 has made Bin Laden look like a great strategist.

34 posted on 10/04/2010 7:23:52 AM PDT by Riodacat (Voltaire: "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." ‹(•¿•)›)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator
“There has been and always will be wars between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, only the uniforms change.”

You are so right.

35 posted on 10/04/2010 7:32:03 AM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: yldstrk

Right...It’s not as though we could’ve had a Space Race with an al Qaeda or the Taliban!


36 posted on 10/04/2010 4:54:44 PM PDT by equaviator ("There's a (datum) plane on the horizon coming in...see it?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: vanilla swirl

Thanks, I was hoping to get a little feedback from vertolet on his posting choices.


37 posted on 10/04/2010 11:29:34 PM PDT by Roy Tucker ("You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."--Ayn Rand)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Citizen Tom Paine

Does anyone out there know what our national goals are? I don’t.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Maximum Personal Liberty.


38 posted on 10/04/2010 11:36:36 PM PDT by Roy Tucker ("You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."--Ayn Rand)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson