Thursday, April 26, 2007

The KGB Never Went Away

What was George Bush thinking when he said that Vladimir Putin was a good man? Despite the fact that Communism fell, one of its greatest enablers, the KGB, never went away. Russian society is more closely resembling Communism now than in any of the

It's ironic that at the death of "The Man Who Killed Communism", Boris Yeltsin, it has become necessary to comment on a totalitarian resurgence in the former Soviet Union.

The Russian judiciary used to be independent. No longer. Can you get the truth from the news in Russia? Not nearly as much as before. What about people who disagree with Putin? They get shown the door or a prison cell or are asked to resign if they're lucky. If not, they are served chemicals, such as polonium, (or more often lead) for dessert. What about people who get rich providing an important product or service to the people of Russia? They get a prison cell. All the while, the KGB gets its cut of everything--capitalism, legal judgment, and the dispensing of news and information.

I spoke with a Russian friend last night. He still marvels at the trust that Americans show each other in their everyday--particularly when it comes to business--dealings. We have nothing like this in Russia, he told me. After all these years, they have not been able to escape the spectre of Communism. Perhaps because some of its most integral features never really went away, but went into dormancy for a while. Well, they're baaaa-aaaack! in all their diabolical splendor.

Russia has a dismal history on the subjects of liberty and human rights. This is no excuse, however, for President Putin and his harem of killers and usurpers.

1 comment:

  1. Distrust has more to do with the culture of capitalism with its inherent spirit of competition. Why should one trust his competitor? Although, in capitalism there may be some trust between not competing companies. But in general there is a total distrust between individuals, neighbors, and strangers in capitalism. Simply because they are all engaged in a constant rat race.

    In contrast in communism there is absolutely no rat race, no competition. Therefore there is more ground for the trust between individuals to develop. Distrust in Russia today is the product of deterioration of the communist culture, the ideals of brotherhood. Ask your Russian friend if they did not condemn the infamous pandemic practice in capitalist countries to neglect a person in need of help on the street or to indifferently turn away from a victim of a verbal and physical abuse on the street, or a person needing medical assistance, etc. Capitalist indifference was odd to the Russian people and was vigorously condemned in communist era. The only source of distrust was KGB. You never knew where the whistle blower might appear. So the people could not openly discuss and criticize the government with each other. But concerning the trust in a helping hand, it was there, the trust. Not now maybe, again because of capitalism. Capitalism in general is dehumanizing, with its cult of money and materialism. In contrast communism does not have a cult of money. With its ideals of equality and brotherhood communism is more spiritual than capitalism. Once again, in communist society people expected and trusted more in offered helping hand than in capitalism

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