This kind of stuff lends me to believe that we, the U.S.A is eventually headed in to another Cold War with Russia. Putin been busy Steering Russia back to its old ways by limited the free press, assassinating reporters who disagree with him. He has a very Strong hold over private business, Russian Parliament and the Legislative branch essentially he’s a becoming another more PR friendly type of Stalin. When is the US going to recognize (publicly anyway) that Russia under Putin is going in the wrong direction?
Nobody wants another cold war between our countries, so the world is inclined to ignore the fact that its starting to happen. Whats your guys take on this am I crazy or is Putin, Stalin in a nice suit?
Whoa there. Putin is getting a little out of hand, but he’s got a long way to go before he reaches Joseph “murder everyone who even slightly offends me including my second wife and the doctor who told me to quit smoking” Stalin.
I agree, but he’s creating his own dictatorship quietly under the radar of most of the world. Stalin was blunt and in your face kinda of a dictator. Where as Putin smiles shakes your hand then has you poisoned with some concoction that is hardly traceable, visits the family and says how terrible this unexpected death was and mentions in a convincing manner how he hopes this affliction ISN’T GENETIC.
If it’s old Russia it’s the good ol’ Russia of the Pre-Revolutionary days and the same balancing equation between corruption and autocracy. This doesn’t mean it’s good, or permanent - i don’t really have a good feel for the direction of Russia, being out of the news loop for some time - but it does seem like Russia has real problems with corruption in a country with scarce resources, and that the iron fist is always the tempting solution.
The only problem is that it’s not like pre-Revolutionary Russia in that wealth was being a plantation owner with lots of serfs, but wealth today is in trading transnational blackmarket goods or monopolies in natural resources production. The idea of Russia as the entrepot of illicit goods from all over Eastern Europe and Central Asia has some pretty disturbing implications over the long term.
Well first, I don’t think it’s under the radar of anyone in the wake of the Litvanenko thing. Second, Stalin was well-loved by many as a result of the incredibly strong Soviet propaganda machine of the time.
It might not be under the radar but in the US our press tends to want to cover Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears saga’s on the front pages while burring things like Litvanenko incident on the back pages. I know they are looking to make money and Anna and Britney sell, but it’s a sad state of our Democracy when Hollywood stars are more important then serious world developments.
Capitalism and democracy in Russia would still be a good idea. It’s not like Putin’s destroying some magical wonderland of free market economics and libertarian ideals. He’s just trying to clean up the social and economic disaster Yeltsin and the mob left for him.
Stalin nostalgia is even making a comeback these days and most Russians know better. They look back on a time when Russia was a respected superpower, defeated the Nazis, and everyone (who wasn’t exiled or killed - but why dwell?) had jobs and pensions guaranteed. Compared to now? Even the military wasn’t getting regular paychecks last time I looked.
Post-Soviet Russia is a case study in basic human asshole-ness. Those poor people get fucked every which way they can and suck it up because they are culturally ingrained to do so. I don’t know what it will take to get the whole nation back on track; maybe another 30-40 years of people growing up in a non-Soviet mindset and finally coming to power?
I agree that the Russian people as a whole haven’t tried to stop Putin probably because they are used to being shit on by there government, and hopefully the people will stand up in the future too take control.
I think that Putin has taken full advantage of our current war of terror, to tighten his grip on Russian and surrounding country’s. He knows full well that the US whats/needs Russia perceived cooperation or rather non-interference with our operations. If Russia comes out against our actions on the war on terror there will be fears world wide that cold war conflicts could flare up, although I doubt Russia could afford such conflicts currently but Russia still has that projection of power that it had from its cold wars days and of course they still have a plentiful supply of Nukes. Which they might be inclined to sell to terrorists states if the US and Russia where involved in another pseudo war in the middle east.
The scenario is unlikely but all Putin needs is the perception of failed diplomatic relationship with the US to put the world on edge for WW3, after all the US’s current relationship with Russia is projected as a Friendly and non threating to the world and Putin’s been leveraging that assumption to take full control over Russia, while the US has done little or nothing to call him on his actions.
Sure, Russia disagrees with much of the US foreign policy at the moment. So does France. France also has nuclear weapons. Are we in danger of a cold war with France?
Russia is probably more of an “authoritarian democracy” than a dictatorship - by the best measure of everyone involved, Putin’s government is genuinely popular, as the Russians tried robber-baron capitalism under Yeltsin and were desperate for a counteracting Iron Fist. In a free election, Putin would win handily. He is genuinely popular and appreciated for bringing a small measure of stability to Russia.
As long as the West doesn’t respond to Putin’s “blue baiting”, which is for domestic consumption, Russia will continue to be part of the world economy and move lurchingly towards normalcy. Unlike the Soviet Union, which aspired to world revolution and the overthrow of Western regimes as its state religion (regardless of how closely that was followed in practice) Russia seeks to be the modern-day version of the Empire under Peter the Great. Expansionist, yes, confrontational, sometimes, but still a member of the global community.
I agree that Putin would win in a free election at the moment, but my point is how much longer will Russia have free elections? Putin’s already taken away freedom of the press which is the first step to creating a dictatorship, he has hand picked his Parliament and judges and really has no opposition in his government or the mainstream press.
There are free press outlets in Russia - newspapers in Russia run the gamut from tabloid rumor mongering to business analysis to nationalist Jew-hating. They’re just not the major television networks, all of which are owned by Kremlin holding companies.
Arguably the US mass media networks aren’t exactly paragons of the free press either.
Putin is masterfully putting forth a range of shellgame parties that seemingly cover every space of the political spectrum yet all, in the end, support the status quo. You know, kind of like two parties in the US.
Of course America isn’t quite the authoritarian oligarchy Russia is, but it’s pretty simplistic to simply point and cry “DICTATORSHIP!”. Russia’s situation is a lot more complex. And the average Russian today is a LOT freer than they were 20 years ago. And arguably, they don’t WANT to be as “free” as they were 10 years ago.
It’s true that most Russians didn’t know how to grasp the opportunity of free society 10 years ago, and maybe its better to slowly give them a taste over a longer period of time until they feel comfortable with it, but I just hope Putin will allow them too continue eating piece’s of the freedom pie in the coming years and decades.
EDIT: And I’m not saying Russia or anyone else for that matter has to model their democracy after the United States (Lord knows we have our problems too). I’m just saying that if government decides what you see on T.V. and read in newspapers then its no longer a free democracy.
Russia doesn’t need nukes against the US anymore. If anything, they are more of a deterrant against new-comers (NK, India, Pakistan, etc). If the Russians wanted to make us nervous they could do just fine squeezing oil, timber, and natural gas exports. They’ve seen the Middle East do it.