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Friday, March 30, 2007

Pining for Dictatorship

One of the more truly absurd bits of propaganda circulated about Russians is that the only reason they support Soviet policies is their poverty and cruel circumstances. Give Russians financial stability, they say, and they'll favor democratic polices just as much as anyone.

HA! Check out this forum on Way to Russia where the participants wax nostaligic about the USSR despite the alleged booming Russian economy and rock-solid leadership of wildly popular Vladimir Putin. The dominant theme seems to be how superior Soviet culture was to what Russia has today. For instance, one poster writes:

Westerners often think that the Soviet Union was some Nazi-era state and that if the Germans had won WWII, the 3rd Reich would have looked something like the USSR. That's completely opposite of the truth. Sure the Soviet economy wasn't anything to boast about and most people were poor by western standards, but Soviet culture was IMENSELY superior to the culture today. Soviet culture was in more ways than not, an extension of traditional Russian culture, based on peace, love, and friendship. The Soviet Union may not have had a high standard of living, but it had it's dignity. Why do you think the Middle East and Islam is so hateful of the west? Because they want to stand up for their cultural values which have intertwined their society for thousands of years. The only other option for them is to be turned into a cesspool like Russia has been.
It's quite true, of course, that the highly stylish manner Stalin developed for sending folks off the the GULAG cannot ever be compared to the crude tactics of today's Russian rulers. But can you imagine what people would say about a forum of Germans talking about the high points of Nazi culture? Why oh why won't they say that about neo-Soviets? After all, the Soviet regime murdered far more Russians than the Nazis.

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