Wednesday, February 14, 2007

So Reagan and Lenin are in Heaven...

This picture, from Russia, says so much about the realities of economics, the Cold War, the humiliation of socialism, etc., that I don't really think I can add anything to it.

No doubt Reagan is laughing his ass off at Lenin up above.


zephyr said...

Very true. Except that Lenin could not possibly get into heaven.

Anonymous said...

Reagan was the man. I remember a comment that made the news when Reagan died about how this man was tired of people saying that Reagan ended the cold war, because fact of the matter was that Reagan WON the cold war.

Anonymous said...

Workers of the world arise! Your fries are ready.

Kasia said...

If memory serves that style of 'art' is known as Socialist Realist. I think it would be better named "Socialism, Realistically."

Anonymous said...

The great irony here is that Capitalism is the only system that actually enables regular workers to own the means of production. Communism just turns it over to the government to run it for the supposed benefit of the workers, which always turned out just great in practice.

And what do the pinko bastards have to say about capitalism? They condemn the fact that corporations act only in the interest of their shareholders. Funny, isn't that what the Commies were trying to achieve, but failed utterly? I bet that would just burn them up if they ever stopped to think about it.

Alfred T. Mahan said...

Personally, I think this style should be renamed either "Workers Of The World, We Failed!" or "Who Farted?"

The_Bad said...

God forbid the shareholders make any money! What makes them angry is that, in their system, the government is the only shareholder.

The_Bad said...

I would like to thank the person who commented anonymously regarding Reagan winning the Cold War. That statement got me to ranting extensively here.

Anonymous said...

Rhetoric about victory doesn't mean that the speaker is the reason why the other side fell.

Gorbachev let some of the pressure off of the boot that had been standing on the throats of his subjects, and it got out of hand. As soon as people had more freedom to speak their minds, they got a whole lot harder to control. Their economy had already stalled, but that failure was inherent to Communism and had nothing to do with Reagan.

If Gorbachev had been a hardline anti-liberalization nut like the guys before him, the Soviet Union could very possibly still be around. It'd be an even worse train wreck than it was before, but it would probably still exist. Maybe they'd have lost some satellites due to rebellions, but maybe not.

So what did Reagan do? He gave some nice speeches. He built some more weapons. But at the end, the Soviet Union imploded under its own weight when Gorbachev loosened his grip a bit, not because of anything that Reagan did. The Soviets had been able to maintain a vastly larger military force than the US for decades, it's not like Reagan's military budget boosts scared the Soviets into thinking that we were going to invade them and make them collapse out of fear.

Alfred T. Mahan said...

I am going to disagree completely but politely with Mr. Fuller's last point.

Reagan showed that a capitalist economy could produce superior goods in every facet of society, that it could, in fact, militarize space if it wanted to, and the Soviets could not keep up in a Communist command economy. Who, outside of Berkeley, Ann Arbor and Uptown, wanted to buy sneakers made in Moscow? When I was in high school, my school organized trips to the SU, and the teachers constantly fretted because students brought approximately thirty pairs of Levi's and came back with, say, Leningrad (a slight exaggeration, but not much).

Why? Because Commie consumer goods SUCKED! If Mr. Gorbachev had decided to keep a hard line in the face of vastly increasing Western prosperity as evidenced by Reagan's speeches, as opposed to Carter's appeasing crap and Nixon's detente, if the satellites had gone, the SU would have fallen. Violently.

It had been done once before, after all, and what's sauce for the Czar is sauce for the commisars.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your polite disagreement. It makes things more interesting. :)

"Reagan showed that a capitalist economy could produce superior goods in every facet of society"

The Soviet Union was always behind the US in their standard of living. When millions starved for the first Five Year plan, wasn't that sufficient proof?

The only people who would seriously believe that the Soviets lived a better life than Americans are the sort of people who still think that Communism is a great system. Reagan didn't prove anything new there.

"that it could, in fact, militarize space if it wanted to"

The Soviets deployed anti-satellite weapons around 1976. The US developed that technology later. That point went to the Soviets, not to Reagan. The "Star Wars" program didn't prove anything, or produce any meaningful results. The only anti-ballistic missile program ever deployed by the United States lasted for four months, ending in 1976.

"and the Soviets could not keep up in a Communist command economy"

The Soviets never could. Reagan didn't prove anything new there. Mass starvation proved that point better than anything Reagan did.

So no, Reagan didn't "win" the Cold War, and he didn't "end" it either. He just happened to be in office at the time when the Soviets self-destructed. He didn't do anything substantial to win the war of ideas, and he didn't push the Soviets into their collapse.

Alfred T. Mahan said...

I concede the point on the anti-satellite weaponry ("A touch, I do confess it") :]; however, if you examine the development of anti-ballistic missile defense, you will find that the United States had developed a working and integrated system and was prepared to deploy it as early as the last years of the Eisenhower adminstration, but it was killed off by Robert "Jerk" McNamara.

Not that I am biased, you understand.

The prospect of American cities defended by nuclear-tipped interceptors is one to make several people I knew in college quake with fear.

My point in this is that Reagan was able to point to capitalism's strengths at a time when the West had been uncertain of those strengths; sometimes the team really does need a cheerleader to inspire confidence in itself and point out that the other team is weaker than they appear, and, in this case, Reagan was a cheerleader.

Was/is communism inherently flawed? Certainly. You and I can see that, because we know its flaws, but this wasn't seen at the time, nor (sadly) is it being seen today (or taught, for some reason-witness the fawning praise for Castro's Cuba). However, it was a war, and every war needs both a winner and a loser. Communism lost, the West won, and the leader of the West (to the chagrin of many) was Ronald Reagan.

What is so fascinating about this discussion, to digress for a moment, is that it's sort of like discussing the battle of Cannae in 216 BC; it's a masterpiece, sure, but even Hannibal needed Varro against him to pull it off. Reagan was able to do the right things at the right time to showcase what the West was capable of at a time when the SU was particularly vulnerable; they needed to show that they could provide their citizens with a modern way of life, and when they couldn't do that the old-fashioned way (authoritarian), the leash slipped. The Communist bloc collapsed, and lo and behold, the Cold War ended.

Anonymous said...

Try the Museum of Communism! Above McDonald's, next to casino.