At one time in the USA, you used to hear people say “just do it, it’s a free country”. People don’t say that anymore, and probably for good reason. Freedom in the USA is rapidly disappearing from living memory as we have become the most taxed, controlled, regulated, monitored, policed, and imprisoned society that has ever existed. The article I’m linking to below should make anyone take pause to consider how history is replete with ironies. The USA, or at least the illusion of the political system that I grew up with, disappeared long-ago. Historians may argue over when it really disappeared, 1865? 1965? 2001? Take your pick. Politics is a byproduct of governance, and all people get the government they deserve.
For a long time I’ve wanted to write a short monograph on the interesting similarities, the mutual fascination, and the love/hate relationship that existed between the USA and the USSR. Some day I’ll get around to it. One can almost see signs of a sibling rivalry between a brother and a sister when trying to make sense of the complicated relationship between the two nations. The USSR dissolved in 1991, but for the sake of argument I will say that my observations below apply equally to contemporary Russia, its successor state, and the largest fragment of the former USSR and the Russian Empire.
The USA and USSR have many similarities. Here are a few examples:
-The USA and USSR (today’s Russia) are both empires in the sense that nations are collections of people with a common language and a shared culture, but empires are collections of peoples from many different nations who are united under a regime.
-Both the USA and the USSR were formed out of violent revolutions.
-Both the USA and the USSR are the only two “nations” formed on the basis of a political philosophy and not an ethnic identity.
-Both nations claim they represent freedom, equality, and democracy. Both have written constitutions guaranteeing individual rights which both nation’s regimes simply ignore when found to be inconvenient.
-Both nations have laws and regulations that are often arbitrarily enforced, a corrupted and compliant judiciary, and a huge secret police apparatus that routinely spies on its people.
-Both nation’s governments make successful use of propaganda, easily manipulate the media, and demonize their opponents.
-Both governments operate a huge penal system, and for people caught in the legal systems of either government the truth is often not a defense.
-Both governments usurp parents’ right to direct the upbringing of their children and routinely remove children from citizens accused of political crimes.
-Both nations have practiced imperial politics by trying to extend their influence world-wide, invading and annexing territories, establishing protectorates, and imposing their political and cultural values on their subject peoples.
-The USA has a history of growth with a policy of western expansion over the North American continent that either displaced or incorporated native peoples. The USA saw this as its manifest destiny, and its right.
-Russians were the USSR’s core ethnic group who are a Slavic people originating in Eastern Europe. The Russian Empire conquered and settled its “Wild East” by incorporating all of northern Asia which established Russia as a continental territory stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Arctic and Pacific Oceans. Russia also saw growth as its right and destiny, and the East as a place of limitless resources and opportunity. It pressed on by jumping the Bering Sea into North America by settling Alaska and establishing small settlements and temporary camps all the way down the coast into northern California (Fort Ross and the Russian River, near Sacramento). The USSR can be seen as a continuation of the Russian Empire with different political objectives.
-Both nations view each other as rivals for global influence, and obstacles to each other’s continued growth.
I might add that many of today’s Russian’s still see the loss of Alaska to the USA in 1867 as a deeply wounding traumatic event in their history. The only analogy I can offer would be as if the USA had sliced off and sold the entire Louisiana Purchase to Russia because it was lightly settled, undeveloped, indefensible, and the government’s attention was focused elsewhere. That the whole of Alaska went for only $7.2 million only rubs salt into their wound.
In any case, as I wrote above, it is the fate of people to inherit the type of government they deserve. Americans can learn much from Russians because Russians know how to suffer and survive bad government. Americans prefer to live in denial, and I’m not sure that we recognize how much liberty has been lost in even the last two generations.
“What Americans have learned in the 21st century is that the US government lies about everything and breaks every law. Without whistleblowers, Americans will remain in the dark as “their” government enserfs them, destroying every liberty, and impoverishes them with endless wars for Washington’s and Wall Street’s hegemony.”
The link to the article: