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InvisibleOneMoreRobot3021
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Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin
    #7221943 - 07/25/07 11:57 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

scary

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's youths admire Soviet dictator Josef Stalin -- who presided over the deaths of millions of people -- and want to kick immigrants out of Russia, according to a poll released on Wednesday.

The poll, carried out by the Yuri Levada Centre, was presented by two U.S. academics who called it "The Putin Generation: the political views of Russia's youth".

When asked if Stalin was a wise leader, half of the 1,802 respondents, aged from 16 to 19, agreed he was.

"Fifty-four percent agreed that Stalin did more good than bad," said Theodore Gerber, a sociologist from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Forty-six percent disagreed with the statement that Stalin was a cruel tyrant."

Stalin, who took over from Vladimir Lenin, built a system of terror and repression in which tens millions of people died or were killed. He died in 1953.

"What we find troubling is that there is a substantial proportion of young people in Russia today who hold positive or ambivalent views on Stalin and his legacy," Gerber said.

"We think it would probably be more appropriate if there was more condemnation of the Stalin era."

The poll showed 17 percent of the young people disagreed that Stalin was responsible for the imprisonment, torture and execution of millions of innocent people, while 40 percent thought his role in the repression had been exaggerated.

The majority of respondents thought the collapse of the Soviet Union was a tragedy and two thirds thought that America was a rival and enemy. Only a fifth viewed Iran as a potential rival or enemy.

Most young people also wanted immigrants kicked out of Russia: 62 percent said they agreed with the statement that the Russian government should evict most immigrants.

But 64 percent agreed with the idea that immigrants should be allowed to have Russian citizenship if they abided with Russian laws and customs.

The poll showed the biggest concern for the youth was the problem of drugs, followed by unemployment, poverty, corruption, education, crime, HIV/AIDS and ecology.

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Well, I certainly find that disturbing...but I guess you can't expect any better when the country's essentially being run by a bunch of ex-KGB thugs and brutes. I believe Putin recently addressed a gathering of Soviet - I mean, Russian - history teachers encouraging them to teach the country's youths that they have "nothing in our past to be ashamed of."


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OfflineArcofaJourney
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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #7222547 - 07/25/07 02:49 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

History is doomed to repeat itself.


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Offlinezappaisgod
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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: ArcofaJourney]
    #7223319 - 07/25/07 05:48 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

No it's not. Those are "disaffected" youths. I love that word, it cracks me up every time. Most of them grow out of it and get too busy with their own lives. See the decline of liberal leanings as Americans mature. Most people grow up and abandon their childish thoughts.


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: zappaisgod]
    #7223386 - 07/25/07 06:08 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Hell... I respect Stalin, the man was the most ruthless motherfucker in history, killed millions upon millions of people, and almost ignited the trigger for all out nuclear holocaust and died peacefully in his bed. How can you not respect that much power?


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: zappaisgod]
    #7223448 - 07/25/07 06:29 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

zappaisgod said:
No it's not. Those are "disaffected" youths. I love that word, it cracks me up every time. Most of them grow out of it and get too busy with their own lives. See the decline of liberal leanings as Americans mature. Most people grow up and abandon their childish thoughts.




OK Mr. Know-it All. i know plenty of people who have become more liberal with age. And plenty of nations that changed to more liberal societies as time goes on...but because you say things with such force and conviction you're automatically right.


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: ArcofaJourney]
    #7223714 - 07/25/07 07:49 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Your statement about nations is no doubt true, otherwise there would be zero socialist states. Individual humans? I know lots of liberals. I know lots of conservatives. I don't know one single person who has become more liberal with age. Some have remained as liberal but none have become more liberal. Furthermore, to my larger point, whiny powerless youths tend to latch onto whatever is anti-establishment, no matter what the establishment is, until they join that group. And almost everybody does grow up.


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: zappaisgod]
    #7223813 - 07/25/07 08:17 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

That may be true in your circle, no doubt, but not in mine. i can think of several family members, friends, and co-workers that have changed over time. My college roommate ( i know you won't care or believe this...but) grew up in a VERY Conservative family, voted Republican up until 2000. i would consider him one of my more liberal friends now. He's even a vegan :ooo:  i've met a few people that have done the opposite as well as you suggest. i wouldn't consider it stupid to get more liberal over time, since most of the people i know seem to be doing OK with it in their lives.


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: ArcofaJourney]
    #7225871 - 07/26/07 10:25 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Seriously, what are the ages we're talking about? I'm talking about 18 into 40+. Not 16 to 25. It takes years to recover from a collidge edumacation.


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: zappaisgod]
    #7226268 - 07/26/07 11:54 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

How about we look at actual numbers instead of using anecdotal evidence?

The Handbook of Aging and Cognition suggests that people do not infact become more conservative as they get older, based upon opinion surveys taken in the 1930s-1960s being compared with similar surveys being administered to the then-retired population in the 1980s and 1990s. Statistical problems aside, the comparisons raise some good points.

Older people are generally more concerned with funding medicare and social security, and both are generally considered "liberal" programs. There's also no question that on the social front, whether it be the legalization of pornography, alcohol, gambling, or the fight against racism, most people have become more liberal.

Of course, this also only compares people in their youth and again after they're retired, so it is possible that everyone becomes conservative for a while around 40 before devolving back into liberalism, but I find that unlikely.

What I do find more likely is that people simply do not change that much, but that the entire nation has also been shifting to the right for the past 40 years. This is expanded upon in The Right Nation, where Economist contributors Micklethwait and Wooldridge point out that opinion polls on subjects like Big Business and immigration have moved more in line with Republican views over the past 4 decades (again, by looking at survey data).

One of the more interesting points made by Micklethwait and Wooldridge is that a quick comparison of Nixon's economic policy and Bill Clinton's reveals that Clinton was more of a contemporary Republican than Nixon was (think NAFTA, reduced government spending, and reducing trade barriers with Japan).

This is also fairly evident by looking at youth voter data going back to 1998. This site: http://media.pfaw.org/pdf/cav/YouthVote.pdf has youth exit polls going back a decade.

Note that in 1998, nearly as many young voters were Republican as were Democrat! Now, clearly there is some kind of general shift towards Republican with age (hence the disparity, and well-known poll data that democrats always win the youth vote) but it's also a very slight shift, probably affecting a small percentage of people who vote democrat when they're young.

So, yes, some people do become more conservative with age, but I haven't found survey data suggesting some kind of massive trend that effects all voters who choose liberal parties.


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #7226293 - 07/26/07 12:00 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

I'm really not that surprised that Russian Youths support Stalin.

In many ways, I think it's not unlike a drug user struggling with addiction. For years everyone was told "The USA is no better off, Communism is working, We are winning" and it was all brought to a collapsing hault.

Who wouldn't consciously retreat into blissful ignorance?

That doesn't mean history will repeat itself, however. The initial revolution happened because of an equally repressive regime - the Tsars. Instead Russian is probably doomed to look more and more like an African dictatorship as time goes on. Votes will become increasingly meaningless, oil wealth will be taken by oligarchs, the military will become ever more focused on maintaining internal control and less on fighting outsiders.


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: Economist]
    #7226924 - 07/26/07 02:38 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

Economist said:
How about we look at actual numbers instead of using anecdotal evidence?

The Handbook of Aging and Cognition suggests that people do not infact become more conservative as they get older, based upon opinion surveys taken in the 1930s-1960s being compared with similar surveys being administered to the then-retired population in the 1980s and 1990s. Statistical problems aside, the comparisons raise some good points.




This would be very nice except the link doesn't seem relevant to the discussion at hand. It's also a whole fucking book. Are you joking?
Quote:



Older people are generally more concerned with funding medicare and social security, and both are generally considered "liberal" programs. There's also no question that on the social front, whether it be the legalization of pornography, alcohol, gambling, or the fight against racism, most people have become more liberal.




All of these things are true but not on point, which point is that individuals become more conservative as they age (As a sop I will throw in that those eligible for soc sec after having PAID into it for decades do think they are due some return. Is that liberal? I don't think so). Further, I could make a very strong argument, and at other times have, that prohibition is a LIBERAL notion.
Quote:



Of course, this also only compares people in their youth and again after they're retired, so it is possible that everyone becomes conservative for a while around 40 before devolving back into liberalism, but I find that unlikely.




Once again, I don't think the geezers have actually become liberal based on the criteria you have provided. If anything their insistence of demanding a return on their investment is conservative. Quintessentially.
Quote:



What I do find more likely is that people simply do not change that much, but that the entire nation has also been shifting to the right for the past 40 years. This is expanded upon in The Right Nation, where Economist contributors Micklethwait and Wooldridge point out that opinion polls on subjects like Big Business and immigration have moved more in line with Republican views over the past 4 decades (again, by looking at survey data).




Man, you really have to stop linking whole books. Has the US moved to the right over the last 40 years? Oy. As a scholarly study I find 1967 to be such an arbitrary delineation as to be downright deceptive. 1957 would be much more appropriate. So much happened between '57 and '67 that to start something right after is ludicrous. Further, I would dispute the notion that the country was more liberal then anyway. In 1974 I had more than one occasion where my hair length led to confrontations. I don't know what that scholarly study says because I won't read the whole book but any notion that the general public was accepting of diversity is so ludicrous as to question the author's sanity. Here's my experience starting in the 50s. Big surge left in the late 60s continued through the late 70s with a slow tempering toward the right since. We are no where near the situation in the early 60s. But, and I repeat myself, this has not one thing to do with an individual's change. Old people die and are replaced by new old people. Young people age and are replaced by new babies. You are falling into a trap of anthropomorphizing society. Society isn't a person, it's a concept. Societal evolution has zero to do with an individual's evolution.
Quote:





One of the more interesting points made by Micklethwait and Wooldridge is that a quick comparison of Nixon's economic policy and Bill Clinton's reveals that Clinton was more of a contemporary Republican than Nixon was (think NAFTA, reduced government spending, and reducing trade barriers with Japan).




I think one really should look at the makeup of Congress for that, not the Presidency. But I agree, Nixon was a domestic failure. See price caps on gasoline.
Quote:



This is also fairly evident by looking at youth voter data going back to 1998. This site: http://media.pfaw.org/pdf/cav/YouthVote.pdf has youth exit polls going back a decade.

Note that in 1998, nearly as many young voters were Republican as were Democrat! Now, clearly there is some kind of general shift towards Republican with age (hence the disparity, and well-known poll data that democrats always win the youth vote) but it's also a very slight shift, probably affecting a small percentage of people who vote democrat when they're young.

So, yes, some people do become more conservative with age, but I haven't found survey data suggesting some kind of massive trend that effects all voters who choose liberal parties.




Nothing you have cited is relevant to an individual's change. Societies are not people. As people age they move from dependency and resentment to responsibility and being resented. The soc sec thing is irrelevant. They're not liberal, they just want what they paid for. That is NOT a handout (liberal). Mostly, I need to repeat myself:
You are falling into a trap of anthropomorphizing society.


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: zappaisgod]
    #7226960 - 07/26/07 02:49 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

We're working on the assumption here that if these Russian youths become more conservative the less likely they'll admire Stalin right? i think the whole argument is bunk. Stalin was a paranoid power monger, neither left nor right. His only ideology was his own brutal Totalitarianism. Communism was mearly his vessel.


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: ArcofaJourney]
    #7226980 - 07/26/07 02:55 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Caught me. I agree with you about the true nature of Stalin. I'm not sure that is relevant to what these morons believe, which is the romantic version of Stalin as a communist hero. Like the other arch murderer, Mao. Or Che.


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #7238751 - 07/30/07 12:03 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

that stalin would be so popular in russia shouldnt be that difficult to understand.. considering that bush and giuliani are similarly popular here...


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: zappaisgod]
    #7238805 - 07/30/07 12:45 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

zappaisgod said:
This would be very nice except the link doesn't seem relevant to the discussion at hand. It's also a whole fucking book. Are you joking?




It's a googlebook, you can use google to search for the words or phrase you're looking for. For the section I was looking at search for "people become more conservative as they get older" that exact phrase is used.

Quote:

zappaisgod said:
All of these things are true but not on point, which point is that individuals become more conservative as they age (As a sop I will throw in that those eligible for soc sec after having PAID into it for decades do think they are due some return. Is that liberal? I don't think so). Further, I could make a very strong argument, and at other times have, that prohibition is a LIBERAL notion.




This is a good point, but the problem is that we have no perfect way of measuring how people change politically as they grow older. You are correct in saying that people may support Medicare or Social Security for different reasons when they are older, and even reasons that conservatives would agree with, but the problem is that we don't have other good measures.

Quote:

zappaisgod said:
You are falling into a trap of anthropomorphizing society. Society isn't a person, it's a concept. Societal evolution has zero to do with an individual's evolution.
Quote:



Again, what I'm trying to do is draw conclusions from imperfect measures rather than anecdotal evidence. Anecdotes don't get us anywhere, you have a story, he has a story, back and forth, it doesn't end.

So what kind of evidence do we have available? Aside from voting records and political platforms I can't think of much else. Unfortunately individual voting records aren't kept (that would defeat the point of the "secret ballot") so we have to go by broad surveys. Is this a perfect measure? Certainly not, and you are right to point that out. But you are also free to cite better evidence.

Quote:

zappaisgod said:
Nothing you have cited is relevant to an individual's change. Societies are not people. As people age they move from dependency and resentment to responsibility and being resented. The soc sec thing is irrelevant.




I believe the youth voter survey is very relevant. If we note that the conservative youth vote trails the overall conservative vote, and always has, then it definitely lends credence to the argument that people become more conservative with age. However, looking at the trail, we see that it's only slight, and wasn't even that large going back to 1998, suggesting that either there was a generation that started out so liberal they were still voting that way despite conservative leanings later in life, OR, that people ultimately don't change very much, and how you vote when you're young is a good predictor of how you will vote when you're old.


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: Economist]
    #7238837 - 07/30/07 01:02 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

Economist said:
I'm really not that surprised that Russian Youths support Stalin.

In many ways, I think it's not unlike a drug user struggling with addiction.  For years everyone was told "The USA is no better off, Communism is working, We are winning" and it was all brought to a collapsing hault.

Who wouldn't consciously retreat into blissful ignorance?

That doesn't mean history will repeat itself, however.  The initial revolution happened because of an equally repressive regime -  the Tsars.  Instead Russian is probably doomed to look more and more like an African dictatorship as time goes on.  Votes will become increasingly meaningless, oil wealth will be taken by oligarchs, the military will become ever more focused on maintaining internal control and less on fighting outsiders.




:thumbup:

But, I've heard you remark that USA "won" the coldwar between the USSR. Two superpowers one of capitalism and one of complete state control.

But dont you think that the idea of "superpower" who kind of mingles or polices the world was the very same ideal that led to the collapse of the USSR's respective strategies. They had incorporated so many different ethnicities and autocratic and brutish control and the establishment of puppet states such as Afghanistan, or funded meaningless wars in Angola, in essence trying to spread their vision of a utopia, a somewhat distorted one. Combined with its losses it cracked under pressure and the result was a series of wars and civil wars that still persist, Chechnya,Azerbaijian and Balkan states etc.

On a parrelel level Western powers and also particular arab states are also trying to spread their ideals of "free market capitalism" by restructuring autocratic dictators and replacing them with "puppet" governments to ensure that their society could become "westernized" and invested by foreign investors to get the country rolling, what they didnt count on was the opposition, the looting of armories, the chaos that ensued when coalition forces dismantled their entire buearacratic and military arm, and thus chaos ensued.

The next large mistake in the making is Mexico, The Mexican government has received billions in US aid to combat its military forces, its in essence militarized the drug trade, and the army and police are splitting off into their respective cartels who offer them more then a mexican government salary, The Mexican state will be completely hollowed out, and throw in a alleged fraudulent campaign between a leftist candidate and a USA backed candidate things will definitely heat up. Its no coincidence miss america was booed.
In the next 10 years their will be a massive migration of Mexicans in the USA.

Then, Throw in Russia whose expelled british dignitaries and wont extradite the suspects in the litvenko poisoning, tensions with the EU and Gazprom, DDoSing Estonian government sites, assassinating whistleblowers and reporters, and Chechens are still a threat to the Oil Pipeline in the Caucasus.

Then you got Israel gearing up for a possible military offensive into lebanon and gaza, and Hezbollah is arming themselves in a massive way, and now Hamas will probably become even more radicalized since their funding is coming directly from Iran and Syria. Venezuela is supplying refining equipment to Iran to make their refining capibilites more efficient.

Pakistan is crumbling from the ceasefire that ended with pashtun tribesmen, and the Red Mosque incident has become a pariah for mr. Musharaff who already has a renegade judge willing to coup his ass out, the whole entire area will be split into ethnic conflict.

Now specific european foreign investors are providing Iran with essential nuclear refining capabilities and Iran has also been using its proxy armies of Sadrs Mahdi and SCIRI Badr men as a tool to launder cash and alter the balance of power from the US and Sunni's clearly into the shiite favor. They play ball with the US but secretely they are the ones planting bombs at night. They are biding their time while the US concentrates on Sunni's and that boogeyman Al Qaeda (ISI) the Shiites will wait till the US is done doing their dirty work and after that, i dont know what will happen. Al Qaeda in Iraq is probably only 1200 strong in Iraq, they have networks of madrassas globably, mostly Saudi that recruit suicide bombers. The bombing of Shiite crowds is never claimed in their statements. Its to destabilize the region and keep the US pouring cash into a ever fracturing Iraqi government, and Kurdish rebels are border raiding turkish and iranian installations, and the weapons were provided by the US.

This is a prelude to massive war, it could take 1 month, it could take 6 months, it could take 3 years but if feedback loops arent established then its limited warfare, via open source ad hoc provacateurs.


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: The_Red_Crayon]
    #7238900 - 07/30/07 01:34 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

I think the fundamental disagreement here is on how and why the Soviet Union collapsed.

In my view they collapsed simply because there is no solution to the Economic Calculation Problem. In most capitalist economies it's easy to tell who needs/wants what. Goods in demand have high prices and over-produced goods have low prices.

Without a market, there's no way to tell who actually needs what. You can spend your time conducting expensive government studies, but since everyone has an incentive to lie about how much they need of what inputs, it's nearly impossible to get an accurate picture. Resources are wasted on the studies, the analysis, the planning, etc. and in the end the whole process is almost useless.

Russia is filled with relics of this process. The BBC just happened to report on one today, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/6918885.stm Tons of money was invested in creating an artificial railroad hub which was ultimately worthless and has since collapsed into disuse. In a capitalist society this wouldn't have happened because new freight rail depots don't come into being unless businesses and/or consumers demand them first.

Sure, the Soviets wasted a ton of money on adventures in Afghanistan and Cuba, and gave away money to everyone under the sun who would pretend to be Marxist, but what really did them in was a system that cannot possibly hope to be efficient. Compassionate, perhaps, but never efficient.

Similarly, last I checked the US wasn't trying to impose capitalism anywhere. Why, I don't know. Instead we're trying to implement democracy. I don't know why we do this and I don't support it. Even when we set up puppet regimes, free-market capitalism is almost never the goal. Instead the goal is usually "regional stability" or fighting drug trafficking, or something of that nature. I honestly cannot recall a time since the 1910s when we sent a military expedition with the express goal of opening up a foreign country's market.

As for the rest, I think that most of the regional problems will work themselves out.

For example, when Pakistan falls apart I don't think India and China are just going to through up their hands and let the US deal with it. Both countries probably already have plans in place to deal with Pakistan once it crumbles.

And while Israel will definitely strike at Lebanon again, I don't think Hezbollah is actually going to be able to harm Israel. When they can't, they'll ultimately lose followers, rather than gain them, and it could even have a demoralizing effect on Hamas rather than an empowering one. No one is going to believe Hezbollah's outright lies anymore once it becomes clear that "half of Israel" was not actually destroyed, and that Israel can and will make life very difficult in Lebanon. Few people will follow you into war if you cannot achieve your aims, and Hezbollah is decades away from having the capabilities required to achieve its aims.

Once it becomes clear that Hezbollah brings nothing to its followers other than starvation and humanitarian crises, Hamas followers will probably also begin to think twice.

I think the good model for this would be Egypt and the Soviet Union between 1960 and 1973. Egypt was willing to go along with the Soviet Union as long as it kept promising enough power to easily overwhelm Israel (similar to the promise Hezbollah keeps making today). Egypt went along with this until the Yom Kippur War was over and it was clear that war with Israel meant nothing other than wasted resources and occupied land. Once that became clear Egypt severed its ties with the Soviets. I see no reason to believe that the Lebanese will not similarly come around after another battle or two as well.


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: Economist]
    #7238922 - 07/30/07 01:45 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Its a tough decision to see what will happen, but their is a great deal of weaponization in the greater middle eastern region, it could become a powderkeg.

Everything else seems logical, and I try to be openminded.

Whats your opinion on Mexico?


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: Annapurna1]
    #7239474 - 07/30/07 10:01 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

Annapurna1 said:
that stalin would be so popular in russia shouldnt be that difficult to understand.. considering that bush and giuliani are similarly popular here...




Yeah...I mean all three of those guys went to town on peasants in their own country, murdering them by the millions...yeah..


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Acid doesn't give you truths; it builds machines that push the envelope of perception. Whatever revelations came to me then have dissolved like skywriting. All I really know is that those few years saddled me with a faith in the redemptive potential of the imagination which, however flat, stale and unprofitable the world seems to me now, I cannot for the life of me shake.

-Erik Davis


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InvisibleAnnapurna1
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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #7241427 - 07/30/07 09:30 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

OneLessForeskin said:
Quote:

Annapurna1 said:
that stalin would be so popular in russia shouldnt be that difficult to understand.. considering that bush and giuliani are similarly popular here...




Yeah...I mean all three of those guys went to town on peasants in their own country, murdering them by the millions...yeah..




"amerikkka is the freest country in the world"...yeah..right...


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: Economist]
    #7241896 - 07/31/07 12:01 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:


In my view they collapsed simply because there is no solution to the Economic Calculation Problem. In most capitalist economies it's easy to tell who needs/wants what. Goods in demand have high prices and over-produced goods have low prices.





This does not explain the collapse or the history of the USSR really. If you look at the history of the economy of the Soviet Union, it was developing at an extraordinary rate (percentage-wise) compared to say, the US, even though this is in terms of percentage and obviously not overall GDP. From the 1930s until the 1960s, economic planning made the USSR a world power and its economy developed at a greater rate than most free-market nations until the stagnation set in.

Would it truly take 40 years for the Economic Calculation problem to create stagnation in the Soviet economy? And is it just a coincidence that the USSR collapsed at the same time as its rulers tried to liberalize it with Glasnost and Perestroika?

It seems to me that with the new openness of society at the end of the USSR, when people began realizing the atrocities their government had committed after some of the propaganda had been lifted from their eyes, the politically active segment of the population decided it was time for change. I do not think economic planning is necessarily doomed to failure; I cannot explain, however, the immense growth of the USSR during some of its history, or the stagnation preceding the decades before its collapse. It seems when the most economic planning and centralization was occuring during World War II and in the decades following it that the USSR also had its greatest economic growth.


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: Ravus]
    #7242029 - 07/31/07 12:44 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Ravus, I think there are two primary problems with the "but the USSR saw huge GDP growth in the early years!" argument.

The first is the idea that capitalism ruled in Russia before communism. It did not. The Tsars stifled nearly all economic activities. The transition from serfdom in 1861 was poorly planned, resulting in peasants becoming unable to support themselves, and land was reapportioned in a way that result in ever-dropping grain production. When a finance minister (notably Witte) was somewhat successful in stimulating industrial growth, he was viewed as a threat to the power of the Tsars and was transferred to a no-power position.

The state also maintained control of key infrastructure development, notably the railroads, which in the US were built by private corporations. As a result, the trans-siberian railroad was completed for military, rather than industrial purposes, and trade with Europe was forced to take place mostly by sea.

After such horrible mismanagement it would be hard not to see GDP growth.

But that's only the first part of the problem. The next deals with what GDP measures, which is simply output and not useful output.

This is why the idea of PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) is used in conjunction with GDP measures. In terms of PPP, there is no question that the Soviet Union had fallen WAY behind the US (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_regions_by_past_GDP_(PPP) ). This makes sense, as the Soviet Union was good at producing entirely too many guns, bullets, and tanks, but not so good at producing wheat (which it actually had to import from the US) and other consumer goods.

As I have already posted an example of, the Soviet Union is littered with relics of gross mismanagement, railroads to nowhere, factories that cost more to run than they produced, dozens of anecdotes about breadlines, etc.

It certainly did not take 40 years for the Economic Calculation Problem to cause stagnation in the Soviet Economy, most of the stagnation was already observable by the 1970s. What took 40 years of complete and total economic collapse.

As for the post-WWII growth, also keep in mind that merely rebuilding from the war would cause massive year-on-year growth numbers, it's when you make global comparisons that the truth comes out. In 1950 the Soviet Union barely produced more than the UK (in PPP terms). By the 1970s it was less than half as productive as the US, and had been outpaced by Japan, a country with half the Soviet Population.

Also, keep in mind that "openness" had nothing to do with free speach and everything to to with trade and economics. The system collapsed when it was confronted with genuine competition through trade, whereas most of the "facts" about Soviet Atrocities have still yet to surface.


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: Economist]
    #7242096 - 07/31/07 01:04 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

Also, keep in mind that "openness" had nothing to do with free speach and everything to to with trade and economics. The system collapsed when it was confronted with genuine competition through trade, whereas most of the "facts" about Soviet Atrocities have still yet to surface.




I think you underestimate the effects of Glasnost upon Soviet society. Openness had a great deal to do with free speech, and it was this free speech that inevitabily contributed, if not lead to, the collapse of communism in the USSR. If the USSR was already economically decaying by the beginning of its stagnation in the 1970s, and if the dissolution of the USSR was mostly caused by its economics and not by its repression of nationalism and non-communist ideologies, then why was it not until 1991 that the USSR fully came to an end? While the USSR had a great deal of problems, and may have inevitably collapsed anyway, the social reforms instituted by Gorbachev and their unintended effects did in fact lead to the dissolution of the USSR, not only economic problems which had existed for decades prior.

Quote:

Glasnost initially allowed only the divulgence of information by the state. Gorbachev held that if the Soviet Union was more open and honest about its past, then Soviet and Eastern European citizens would be more likely to follow Gorbachev's economic lead. Even a large number of bureaucrats in the KGB supported glasnost. The KGB's information network had become burdened and as ineffective as the bureaucracy that it supported. Therefore, many KGB officials assumed that fostering an atmosphere of openness would result in new and better informants.

Although Gorbachev intended glasnost to strengthen the communist regime, he did not initiate a crack-down when Soviet citizens went beyond the original intent of glasnost. Soviet intellectuals began questioning the very tenets of Soviet Communism and attacked the Communist Party in newspapers, journals, film, and books. Eastern European thinkers followed the lead of their Soviet counterparts.

Consequently, glasnost had the unintended effect of spurring nationalist and anti-communist movements in Eastern Europe and the Soviet republics. Dissidents in Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and other Soviet-satellite states staged labor demonstrations. Citizens took to the streets, demanding that the Communist Party step aside and allow democratic elections. In fall 1989, the Berlin Wall, long a symbol of the division between Eastern Europe and the world, fell, allowing East and West Berliners to cross freely. The Communist Party and its East Germany secret police organization, the Stasi, had lost power. Within months of the fall of the Berlin Wall, other Eastern European countries broke away from Moscow's influence and expelled their communist leaders. With the exception of Romania, most of the revolutions of 1989 and early 1990 were relatively peaceful.

In the wake of the Eastern European revolts and the euphoria that followed, the Soviet Union had little choice but to allow greater freedoms. In February, 1990, the Communist Party agreed to relinquish its political monopoly. Many of the civic groups that had been voicing displeasure with the Soviet system formed political parties. Most of these new parties, especially those outside of Russia had a nationalist agenda. Within a month, the Baltic republic of Lithuania declared itself an independent state. Other Soviet republics quickly followed.

In June 1991, Gorbachev allowed free elections to choose a president of the Russian Republic. Boris Yeltsin, a former Gorbachev-supporter, won a landslide victory over Gorbachev's chosen candidate. In August, 1991, a group of communists hardliners attempted a poorly organized coup while Gorbachev was on vacation at the Black Sea. The coup failed, and strengthened Boris Yeltsin, the primary target of the coup. The coup also undermined the leadership of Gorbachev, who continued to govern ineffectively until his resignation on December 25, 1991. The following day, the Supreme Soviet officially declared an end to the Soviet Union.



http://www.espionageinfo.com/Co-Cop/Cold-War-1972-1989-the-Collapse-of-the-Soviet-Union.html

Of course, it seems to me the Soviet Union had no choice, in part because of its economics. It takes a great deal of money to support a police state, and by the 1980s the USSR did not have the money. But the economic situation was only one contributing factor of many that led to the USSR's inability to control people's speech and politics, which is what finally turned the USSR into 15 separate nations.


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: The_Red_Crayon]
    #7242144 - 07/31/07 01:17 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

The_Red_Crayon said:
Its a tough decision to see what will happen, but their is a great deal of weaponization in the greater middle eastern region, it could become a powderkeg.

Everything else seems logical, and I try to be openminded.

Whats your opinion on Mexico?




I agree with your prediction. We already saw a coup nearly take place during Mexico's elections last summer, so an acutal uprising cannot be far off.

The difference is that I'm just not that bothered. Every period of massive immigration to the US has actually resulted in greater economic benefit to the US, so I'm in favor of throwing the borders wide open.

I understand the whole "but we'd be overwhelmed" argument, but I just don't agree. The fact of the matter is that the US is most likely assimilating up to 2 million illegal aliens every year, and we're so good at absorbing them we barely notice its going on. The only real difference will be that we notice one big wave, and then the benefits of additional workers will begin to rain down.

If 10 million Mexicans really did walk in tomorrow, we'd only be hurt by it if we did something stupid (like attempt to feed and clothe them for free), in which case we'd actually have to blame our own socialist tendancies and not the migration itself.


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: Economist]
    #7244276 - 07/31/07 04:08 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

The problem with illegal immigration is their is no way of checking who is going through, how do we know that Al Qaeda isnt smuggling weapons through, if they can traffik humans and tons of drugs then why not weapons components or sleeper agents.

The other issue is that we dont know "exactly" how many illegal immigrants are even in this country since we cant exactly census poll them, the other thing is they are a drain on healthcare since most dont own insurance, since their employers pay them under the table, not to mention collect their employers clientelle database (i've worked with illegals).

Illegal immigrants arent playing for team america, their playing for team mexico,


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Re: Poll shows more than 50 percent of Russian youths admire Josef Stalin [Re: The_Red_Crayon]
    #7244477 - 07/31/07 05:30 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

i wonder what percentage of american youths even know who Josef Stalin is. That's the real scary thing.


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