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Quote:
Russia is more alike to our present political state than it is to communism now.


Putin's dictatorship is almost exactly the way the USSR worked since WW II. Communist in name only. More like organized crime than anything else. That's the form of government Trump is emulating, but most people have no idea what "communism" means, and call anything they fear and hate "communist". So I'm saying use that ignorance. Most Americans feared and hated the USSR for decades. Trump's love affair with Putin and Kim should be seen the same way.

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Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Quote:
Russia is more alike to our present political state than it is to communism now.


Putin's dictatorship is almost exactly the way the USSR worked since WW II. Communist in name only. More like organized crime than anything else.


No it's not. It is radically different with corresponding different social and political problems.
I don't want to distract from the Russia hysteria indulgence except to say that your comparing very different political situation today.
Russia is being run by a radically different set of circumstances than it was during the Socialist era.
It is no longer a state run capitalist planned economy. It is now an oligarchic run capitalist economy.
Wealth accumulation/disparity is unlike anything during the soviet era. Tax avoidance is similar to the U.S. as well, with billions of dollars being laundered thru banks. Much as it does in the U.S. and Europe.

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It's the Despair Quotient!
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Yeah, Russia isn't communist anymore and hasn't been since Putin came to power.
Putin even has a saying:

Quote:
"Anyone who doesn't regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it restored has no brains."


What Putin seeks is restoration of an empire that more closely resembles a mix of organized crime, nationalistic state religion (Russian Orthodox) and the old Imperial Russian Empire of the Tsars.

A left wing communist style welfare state is the last thing on his mind, especially because communism welcomes all workers of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds. There is only one culture, the Russian Orthodox culture, and it only welcomes the oligarchs. All others and all else exists to service that oligarchy and only exist as the property of the oligarchy.


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Quote:
There is only one culture, the Russian Orthodox culture, and it only welcomes the oligarchs. All others and all else exists to service that oligarchy and only exist as the property of the oligarchy.


Essentially the same as here. White Christian culture and corporate greed.


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Speaking of Russia don't forget the Russian sect which, apparently, Jared Kushner is involved with and Putin apparently controls.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/...nd-putin-215007

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So you see no similarity between the current oligarches and the former Kommissars? I think that is a naive view of the USSR's true nature. In a supposedly communist country, they were definitely more equal than any others. With their dachas, mistresses, fancy cars, etc. Don't forget anyone who objected was sent to the gulags or just disappeared. Near the end, I think the USSR was every bit as corrupt as Putin's kleptocracy. The country talked a good game, but real life it was a different story.

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Wealth inequality was not near as great in the soviet era as it is today.
Tax evasion was not nearly as great as it is today.
public goods and services has been largely replaced with neoliberal (sorry NWP) privatization after the collapse.
The list goes on and you could make some case for similarities like 'the corruption is similar today as it was in the soviet era' but not nearly at the same scale.
I don't recall billions of dollars being laundered out of the country for only a few Kommissars to invest in real estate built on low lying barrier islands in Florida during the Soviet era.
The corruption and political interests are different in scale and orientation.

It would be like saying the democratic party is the same today as it was 40 years ago. Completely different ideology today than it was back then.

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I think you have no idea what Russia was like before collapse. I do as I had been there. I have also been there since. There is NO comparison - it was MUCH worse before the empire collapse.

Russian Germany is a good example but it was, pretty much, the same throughout. For instance, in eastern germany something like 90% of the population was busy ratting each other out. I have a shirttale relative who was a cop in russian Bulgaria. He has stories (he actually longs for the Russians to come back but the stories are horrifying)

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You would be right about knowing about Russia before the collapse JGW. I only knew what I've read or listened too during in the years leading up to the fall of the wall. Mind you, there was as much propaganda then as now and the picture would always be murky. No, I didn't travel to Russia. I did attend lectures from those who did as it held a certian amount of fascination about what it was like.
Worked with a lot of expat Russians. Had a shirt tail relative that traveled there after the collapse. Cashing in on the high value, low wage labor force that sprang up there overnight and has been a major supplier of hi tech components for his company.
Traveling to Russia must have been fascinating at the time. Would love to hear more about that.

I'm sorry, JGW, are you saying that it IS primarily the same as it was during the Soviet era as PIA has suggested? Do you think the type of corruption and level of graft are the same?

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Russia is now run, basically, by the Russian mafia which is controlled by Putin. Corruption, therefore, is the norm. I suspect the difference is that there are different titles. I suspect, however, their economy is more efficient. An example of that one is that in the Soviet Union they actually had one boot factory making only one size of boots. Oh, an interesting fact - the Russian army boot are actually rubber boots! (can you imagine the smells in their barracks?) I was only there for a couple of days. Spent a longer time, a few years ago when we took the trans Siberian from Beijing to Moscow. At the time there was a bit of turmoil and a LOT of elderly begging on the streets. I am not, incidentally, a regular traveler, or an expert, to Russia.

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