Pseudo-Revolutions from Above: Former Soviet Union and Trump’s America

Some history people don’t understand, at least as I see it. The fall of the former Soviet Union as described in “Revolution from Above: The Demise of the Soviet System” by David M. Kotz was not a bottom up revolution, as it is often lazily portrayed, but a top down one at least in Russia, engineered by the Soviet elite Nomenklatura as they were called.

They became envious in the mid 1980s of the American elite under Reagan, who were beginning to amass the fortunes of the Gilded Era. The Nomenklatura had lots of privilege but it was job dependent and not vast personal fortunes they could use to establish dynasties with or live outside Russia.

So they triggered the collapse of their own system and established a kleptocracy, stealing state assets as they were privatized. Meanwhile the people of Russia wanted to be like Sweden and instead they got Sicily. Out of the chaos and collapsing living standards and life expectancy, out of the anarchic kleptocracy an authoritarian regime of Putin eventually emerged using nationalism to divert attention from the rise of a plutocracy of the very rich.

Now the favor is being repeated in the reverse direction. The US mega rich counter envy the authoritarian power of Putin, and even more obscene wealth/power he has amassed and are seeking to emulate it in the US by electoral and media manipulation to create a similar kleptocracy here, with the same nationalist bigotry as the diversionary force to con the electoral turkeys to vote for Thanksgiving to come early over and over again. And Putin supports this as Russia remains an economic basket case and so all he can hope for is to benefit from international Trump caused chaos just as he benefitted from it within Russia. Unleash the dogs of chaos say Trump and Putin in chorus.

Gramsci Hegemony 101. So much easier to amass fortunes by the political-financial-kleptocratic-casino than actually making things people want or running a real democracy rather than a sham nationalist “populist” one.

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About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
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10 Responses to Pseudo-Revolutions from Above: Former Soviet Union and Trump’s America

  1. Tony Gee says:

    More of the same….

    Tony Gee

  2. Tony Gee says:

    Here we go, more Fear-mongering just as it was eight years ago just now its on the other-side. It’s very much like watching children play teeter-totter….will it ever change….No, because we will always have extremists…

    Tony Gee

    • I am afraid you don’t know what you are talking about being insulated in America. Trump is not like Romney or McCain if they had won or like Bush 2 or any other President. I come from Europe where we know such folks as Trump all too well. Cost us 50 million dead in WW2.

      I have lived in Turkey under military dictatorship and Greece ditto. Been to Franco’s Spain and did work at a distance for Salazar’s Portugal and Apartheid South Africa. They were all deeply corrupt family of the dictator/ruling clique profiting authoritarian nightmares. Trump is in that category not some teeter tooter. And yes there are extremist on the right, the Alt Right Neo Nazis. Not much sign of extremists on the left, though plenty of stupid people willing Trump to win to show how bad it could get, just like the German Communist Party in 1932.

      One of my friends there was in the Vorkuta coalfields in the Gulag. Another had a tatooed number on her wrist from a Nazi Concentration Camp. When I was a kid, children who had escaped the Holocaust joined my school. False equivalence of Trump to any other US politician opens to door to his style of fascism. If you are blind to this, you are part of the problem….

      • Tony Gee says:

        Yep that’s very similar to what the far right was saying about Obama but were shut down… Because Obama was black. Trump is being criticized by the far left just as the far right criticized Obama…..both presidents of the United States were/are acting what they believe is in the best interest of the people of America….The only difference is those who seek out against the sitting President of that point in time….This is all so American… OK…..What is American is acceptance of the law and enforcing the law and up holding the Constitution. The past presidents have picked and chose what laws they want to enforce nothing new and now is happening today…. it just so happens this president wants to enforce laws and some people just don’t like it…. I get it, to bad you don’t….nothing new we just have different views but do agree on that. To that I say…We all lived with eight years of Obama, we can live with four years of Trump and maybe four additional years….You just might change your mine in just a few years….
        I did not agree with Pres. Obama policy nor the ideology….So I waited it out I did survive…I thought about ending it all but I persevered. I have confidence you will too. I wish you will have patients like many of us in the middle had patience and gave Obama the opportunity.

        Tony Gee

      • The difference is that prior to his election hundreds of experienced Republicans were saying he was unfit to be President including all living US Presidents….Reagan would have said the same. Your false equivalence is bs to me.This time it’s different…

      • Tony Gee says:

        Really so you know people like Trump cost 50 billion people dead in World War II. So I guess you’re begging the question how many people will Trump cause to die? I guess we’ll find out in the next 4 years….. you said that Putin was not a traitor of his own country I think I disagree with that he had hundreds, thousands killed because they opposed him…. Hugo Chavez from Venezuela had thousands killed but I suppose he wasn’t a traitor either in your eyes….. Hitler was he a traitor of his own country….? who killed millions of Jews or was it the Holocaust never happened in your eyes…?….. let’s think about some more heads of state who slaughtered their people I suppose those we’re not traitors either…. Saddam Hussein, China, Egypt and Russia to name few do I need to mention more….

        Tony Gee

      • Don’t get me wrong: I hate Putin and don’t doubt he got many people killed. But he didn’t get them killed in the service of the US. Trump is clearly in hock to Putin, probably has the mysterious 19% stake in the newly privatized Russian state oil assets that will be freed up if sanctions are lifted. If they are are lifted: prima facia evidence of treason to be investigated fully. And yes I think all those you listed are abominable monsters but they weren’t monsters acting for another country and that is the definition of traitor: betraying your side to the other side. Definition of treason: the crime of betraying your country to a foreign power. There are plenty of other crimes including mass murder that don’t come under the heading treason but are far worse possibly. You know that, so don’t play word games on their crimes, eh?

  3. Tony Gee says:

    OK….I’ll be keeping an eye on this treason you talk about. However I would say that the far-right was referring to Obama as a traitor as well.
    I guess time will tell

    Tony Gee

    • That’s good Tony. That’s all we can do: watch out for it. And the only treason the right saw in President Obama was PWB: President While Black. They never cited any specifics, whereas with Trump we have his Putin links and his deeply corrupt reasons for ending sanctions for starters..

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