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Subject: Going fascist, a bad thing?
mattw    10/29/2004 1:48:32 AM
We all hoped for Russia to go from communism to democracy. It doesn't appear to be heading that way. I am sort of perplexed if it is a bad thing long term for Russia. First of all, I don't know of a succesful C to D transformation in history. That means I don't know. Examples otherwise certainly welcome. Mainly though, I always wondered how "communal" property could be privatized. It seems it couldn't. Either crime or fascism, or more properly, crime and corruption leading to fascism seem to have been the options. It all hinges on Putin. A fascist government led by a benign ruler is the best government of all, but those nasty decades, or centuries, or millenia that come between them make us put up with duh-ya and flipper. My central point is that the property issue in Russia had to get resolved. It looked like the crime bosses were going to be the future leaders of Russia. Now, it looks like Putin is the leader of Russia. Which is worse? I know I don't know, and that's because our news covers dead white chicks whose husbands probably killed them rather than international news. (One of those reasons why we are unpopular overseas/across borders)
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swami    RE:Going fascist, a bad thing?   10/30/2004 4:37:36 PM
Yes, going fascist is a bad thing. I don't understand why you are having a problem thinking of countries who have successfully moved from Communism to Democracy. Almost all of eastern Europe made the transition quite well. Thirteen nations have fully made the transition (East Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Czech Rep, Slovakia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia). Nine more may do so in the future (Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bosnia, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan), although there are real grounds for doubt in all those countries. Russia, Belorussia and the Central Asian republics are the only post-communist countries where democracy looks very unlikely in the near future. The key variable in this ability to transform is the "Westerness" of the culture. Eastern Europe was heavily influenced by western culture. The further away from the western heartland you go, the less the influence western culture has. Russia adopted western military traditions without absorbing our political traditions. Then, with Communism and now "Fascism", Russia has absorbed anti-democratic political traditions. It now seems to be absorbing western market-based economics. I do believe that a true Russian democracy was a possibility and that the west should have been more aggressive in promoting it. But ultimately, it was in the hands of the Russian people, and it is probably too late. You are correct in stressing the importance of privatising the economy. Capitalism creates economic growth, which lays the foundation for democracy. Fascism is not a good thing, but it may be the best we can hope for right now. But the "property issue" was not a competition between fascism and crime bosses. It was a competition between markets and a partial return to Communism. That is why Yeltsin sided with the oligarchs. What is happening is Putin is centralizing government power in his hands while staying within a market-based economy that Yeltsin created. I guess that you could call it Fascism. The mafia-run economy has matured into a true market-based capitalist economy. And it has the economic growth to prove it. I don't think Putin created this change. The real threat is a Nazi-style Fascism in Russia that looks to creation of a real empire through military conquest. Given Russian history, this is a very real possibility. Certainly, many Russians would support that. But I think a Franco- or Peron-style fascism without expanisionism is more probable. This is far worse than democracy, but if it leads to strong economic growth, it will probably lay the foundation for a true democracy. By the way, China seems to be moving towards a similar "market fascism." So in conclusion, fascism is a bad thing, but far superior to communism. And it was not inevitable that Russia would go Fascist instead of Democratic, but now it looks like a foregone conclusion. In 20 years, though, you may see it happen. Hope that helps clarify the issue.
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stratego    RE:Going fascist, a bad thing?--swami   1/13/2005 1:01:33 AM
In terms of Russia's current governmental form, have you noticed that 1/2 of the highest ranking people in the government (inlcuding the leader) are former ranking KGB guys? Russia is being ruled by the KGB. Technically, the KGB has eveolved into 2 organizations: SVB (international) and (I can't remember the national branch), so KGB is a good way to describe the government. What is their "philosphy of government" like? Like the mafia, basically, except the mafia has never been involved in killing millions of people at once, and the KGB has. So its the Mafia without the "nice guy" component.
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Soviet Spetsnaz    RE:Going fascist, a bad thing?   3/28/2005 3:44:13 AM
>>Thirteen nations have fully made the transition ([...], Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia). Yugoslavia was never communistic. >>Nine more may do so in the future ([...] Kosovo...) Kosovo is part of Serbia, not an independent state. >>Communism and now "Fascism", Russia has absorbed anti-democratic political traditions. It now seems to be absorbing western market-based economics.<< Fascism ruled in Russia for almost 75 years. Theoretically, Russia was never communistic. The communism in Russia was totally different from Marxism. >>I do believe that a true Russian democracy was a possibility and that the west should have been more aggressive in promoting it.<< What would be the difference ? You seriously belive Russia and the U.S. would be buddies ?
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mattw    RE:Going fascist, a bad thing?   4/8/2005 2:38:58 AM
Gentlemen, I believe that Russia went through much more severe purges than did most of the eastern European countries. Also, many eastern European countries only became communist when they were strong-armed by Russia and its massive military forces which had overrun them on the way to Berlin and then stayed a while. I'm not a specialist, in fact I feel like a ding dong for not thinking about the former Warsaw Pact countries of eastern Europe. Also, it has been awile since I originally posted this statement, and Putin has taken some turns for the worse since then. I believe backing Iran's nuclear aspirations, or at least a reaffirmation of such, the underhanded involvement in Ukraine, and a growing tendency to appear more ambitious as the power gets to him all warn of future tensions. But remember, Russia's a big player now in the oil industry. That is going to afford Russia a lot of leeway with the U.S.
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60srad       2/24/2010 4:43:01 PM
> We all hoped for Russia to go from communism to democracy.
Wrong!  We all hoped for Russia to go from totalitarianism to democracy.
Instead, they went from communism to a Reagan/Bush version of corrupt
crapitalism, complete with the organized crime that comes from deregulation.
ECONOMICS!  Don't be like a typical ignorant conservative.
Fascism is what you get when craporate crapitalism corrupts democracy
to the point that craporations run the show and the government is no
longer of, by, or for the people.
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