Guest Post: Underneath Their Autocratic Rulers, Russia And U.S. On Diverging Societal Paths

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by L. Todd Wood, a former special operations helicopter pilot and bond trader.  

Underneath Their Autocratic Rulers, Russia and U.S. on Diverging Societal Paths

As the State of the Union address highlighted, both the Russia Federation and the United States have leaders that lean toward various degrees of autocratic government to achieve their agendas.  President Putin rules with an iron fist and treats the legislative branch as an afterthought to use as needed but otherwise ignores.  President Obama declares he will use executive action to get what he wants and quietly uses government agencies to intimidate and stifle his opposition in flagrant abuses of power.  Putin has dismantled the Russian free press and imprisoned vocal opponents.  The majority of the American press does Obama’s bidding for him while the administration puts movie makers in jail. 

Underneath the tyrannical policies of the two Presidents, American and Russian society are diverging.  First let’s look at welfare – it really doesn’t exist in Russia.  If you’re a single mother raising your child alone, the state will pay you less than $50 a month.  Unemployment insurance is also miniscule.  The minimum wage is around $200 a month.  I recently asked a Russian friend what they would receive if they lost their job.  Her answer was, “It’s my problem, why should the government pay?”  Health care is free but of very low quality.  Russians with money typically choose private care and buy their own private health insurance. 

In the United States, we are seeing an obscene explosion of the nanny-state.  Obamacare has been exposed as a huge wealth redistribution scheme.  The CBO states that the ACA is a disincentive to work.  Disability payments are skyrocketing.  The number of Americans receiving food stamps has doubled and is spiraling out of control.  Welfare work requirements have been weakened.  The left continuously pushes to add more immigrants to the government dole and refuses to enforce current immigration law.

The difference in the tax code between the two countries is also striking.  If you live in New York, the combined government tax bite is above sixty percent.  It is a safe bet that any Democratic state government will continue to try and raise taxes.  Obama raised rates on the top earners in America and would boost them across the board if he could.  In Russia, the individual tax rate is a flat thirteen percent.  There is an eighteen percent VAT and the corporate rate is twenty-four percent.  If Russia could remove her corrupt barriers to entry, her economy would explode higher.

The difference between the two nations when approaching geopolitical challenges cannot be more extreme.  The United States has shown a willingness to abandon long standing allies time and time again on the global chessboard.  Whether it be Israel, Poland, or Saudi Arabia, the Obama administration has shrank from global leadership and left a gigantic vacuum for President Putin to happily fill.  Russia has shown a willingness to ignore Western political correctness and stand up for Russian long-term interests.  One only has to look to the Iranian nuclear issue, the Syrian situation, or the Snowden embarrassment to see evidence of Putin schooling the American government.  The American position seems to consist of avoiding conflict and appeasing adversaries rather than standing up for historical American values, our allies, and our way of life.

One of the most interesting differences that has been inconveniently obvious in the international press is the Russian refusal to embrace the religion of global warming.  While the American government strives to shut down energy economic engines of power, Russia uses energy to achieve its national goals.  Putin has been quoted as describing the climate change alarmist agenda as a marketing scheme.  Putin has not bought into the madness of crowds to the benefit of Russia.

Perhaps the most curious cavern between the United States and Russia is their approach to religion.  The church was effectively shut down during the Soviet experiment.  However, in the last few decades, the Russian Orthodox Church has roared back to favor in Russian government opinion.  President Putin has even felt emboldened enough to accuse the West of being morally decadent.  The Democratic Party in the United States has largely morphed into an atheistic, anything goes, hedonist entity.  One only has to look at the refusal of the Obama administration to enforce marijuana laws in America to find evidence of this fact. 

I recently had a conversation with a young urban professional in Moscow.  Their comment to me was that most young Russians were embarrassed of the communist revolution in Russia.  “They killed our best people,” this person commented.  I find it curious that the Rolling Stone recently published an article extolling the benefits of the teachings of Karl Marx and echoing the mindset of many of the current millennial generation in America.  When the youth of American are yearning for communism, I fear America must relearn the very harsh lessons of the past.  If Russia can ever deal with the specter of corruption, her society may leap to the future.

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The Gooch's picture


flacon's picture

Just leave me alone! I don't need to be GOVERNed by some pompous asshole. 

logicalman's picture

I don't need to be (and don't want to be) governed - by an asshole, or anyone else for that matter.

How does one human being get the right to tell another human being what to do?

Putin and Obama are just different faces on the same parasitic and criminal activity known as 'government'

Just mobsters really, using violence, or the threat thereof, to further the same thing - more for them and their cronies at the expense of everyone else.

disabledvet's picture

rumor is the shad are in in Florida.

adeptish's picture

Here's a gem...

"The United States has shown a willingness to abandon long standing allies time and time again on the global chessboard.  Whether it be Israel, Poland, or Saudi Arabia,"

The mandatory weekend clown car piece, albeit with a sprinkle of good analysis.


TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


The mandatory weekend clown car piece

Yep. This guy is the Robert Brusca of foreign policy.

TahoeBilly2012's picture

"The Democratic Party in the United States has largely morphed into an atheistic, anything goes, hedonist entity (Jewish) ." 

yogibear's picture

The baboon, Obama vs a stateman-like Putin. No contest here.

Putin thinks before he takes action whereas Obama just does before he thinks.

Nice going Obama and your reckeless admin....

FUxK the EU’: US diplomat Victoria Nuland


angel_of_joy's picture

Obama would love to think before doing things too, but he can't !

Apart from a very modest natural intellect, he never learned the HOW part...

TBT or not TBT's picture

But, but, he graduated from Harvard Law!

NidStyles's picture

The real difference is that Putin doesn't try to cover up that he's reall a gangster. He's also not scared of the banks.

Seize Mars's picture

The idea was and is to "westernize" the Soviets, and to "Sovietize" America. So they engineered the "collapse" of the Soviets. Nothing could be further from the truth. They didn't collapse. They are still in business, full force.

Meanwhile, they have turned the US into a shitty police state.

This was all done on purpose, by design.

Furthermore, this plan was all made public - nobody believed it because it was too fantastic to be believed. But believe it. they are going for broke here - 100% world domination with a world government.

Think about the asshole known as "Obama." We don't even know his real name. He has fired top miltary men in charge of America's nuclear arsenal and replaced them with dual citizens.

Wake the fuck up.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Thank you for reminding us and of this cue from the past... 30 years ago to be exact.

If you haven't seen it before enjoy!

lakecity55's picture

Right on.

But he did not reveal the name of the Agent they would place in the White House.

Now we know the Agent's name, but it's too late.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

"Think about the asshole known as "Obama." We don't even know his real name. He has fired top miltary men in charge of America's nuclear arsenal and replaced them with dual citizens."...

Knock, Knock!... Who's there?

Major General Jack!...  Major General Jack Who?

Major General Jack Weinstein  -The one you've never heard of before that doesn't qualify given his rank and "citizenship status" as the replacement for the prior Air Force General who was fired along with several others but you'll get him anyway!!!

LMAOLORI's picture




Could there be a little more behind Russia's Tribute to Stalin at the Olympic's?  Maybe a deliberate slap back to Obama and others to inform them they still will not play along.

disabledvet's picture

they did cry when Stalin died.

logicalman's picture

More people cried when he was alive.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

"Could there be a little more behind Russia's Tribute to Stalin at the Olympic's?  Maybe a deliberate slap back to Obama and others to inform them they still will not play along."...

Got to admit it's not sitting very well with me either,and it's surreal with the timing.  Perhaps Putin is summoning that memory to serve as a veiled warning -who knows? Don't think it's appropriate given the legacy, but we need to be mindful of what he grew up in.

Having said that, as Americans with representatives like Nuland & Friends that half fucked with everyone else on the planet and will probably not be thrown out of their stations or be put in jail for life for violating their international treaty obligations -I'm in no position to judge. 

Sure looks like Yuri Bezmenov as messenger when Reagan was in the White House nailed it!


Leaf of Tree's picture

There are quite a few 'conspiracy theories'.

Here is one that you might find intriguing.


Glasnost & Perestroika were orchestrated by the Russian masterminds to deceive the West that Communism died. Shocker right?

A high profile KGB officer, Anatoliy Golitsyn, defected to the Americans in 1961 in Finland.

He wrote 2 books about soviet deception and multi decade strategic planning.

New Lies For Old


In 1984, Golitsyn published the book New Lies For Old, wherein he warned about a long-term deception strategy of seeming retreat from hard-line Communism designed to lull the West into a false sense of security, and finally economically cripple and diplomatically isolate the United States.

Among other things, Golitsyn stated:

- "The 'liberalization' in the Soviet Union would be spectacular and impressive. Formal pronouncements might be made about a reduction in the communist party's role; its monopoly would be apparently curtailed."

- "If liberalization should be extended to East Germany, demolition of the Berlin Wall might even be contemplated."

- "The European Parliament might become an all-European socialist parliament with representation from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. 'Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals' would turn out to be a neutral, socialist Europe."


The Perestroika Deception


In 1995 he published a book containing purported memoranda attributed to Golitsyn entitled The Perestroika Deception which claimed:

- "The Soviet strategists are concealing the secret coordination that exists and will continue between Moscow and the 'nationalist' leaders of the 'independent' republics."

- "The power of the KGB remains as great as ever... Talk of cosmetic changes in the KGB and its supervision is deliberately publicized to support the myth of 'democratization' of the Soviet political system."

- "Scratch these new, instant Soviet 'democrats,' 'anti-Communists,' and 'nationalists' who have sprouted out of nowhere, and underneath will be found secret Party members or KGB agents."


logicalman's picture

The real power - using divide and conquer methods.

Governement is the problem, not the solution.

Parisnights's picture


Common mistake throughout the article-- The Democrat party, whether in New York or Chicago- is not Democratic.  Too many ppl  make this mistake.

TBT or not TBT's picture

It is not libertarian, I'll give you that, but it is very big on Democracy. Mob rule and demagoguery is their path to power. They are taking down the USA the way Ben Franklin and others warned it could be, by voting themselves ever more goodies from the public treasury. Currently the permanent employees and dependents of the government are so numerous the only way to back out of this is collapse.

Rafferty's picture

Sometimes things are so outlandish you just can't get your head around them.  But there's a lot to support what Mars says, including the Captain's link which i first saw many years ago.

Raging Debate's picture

Seize Mars - Considered this a bit myself but i concluded it wasnt a grand conspiracy. Look at what Bill Clinton did in the late 90's with deregulation and putting a mass of new cops on the beat. Note, these were't regulatory agencies, but cops for the little guy. They knew what was going to happen after looting the place. The regulatory agencies budgets were decreased during the Bush presidency.

Communism is what happens after a place is looted to force the people to pay for one another in the absense of a healthy economy.

Backing up a couple decades, the solution to stagnatimg growth of the 70's was free trade policies to bring down the costs of labor. That is government supporting big business, probably where the ideas of public/private partnerships really took root.

I think we' ve about bottomed out now. Doesnt mean it's rosy it sucks but the new trade raping deal TPP was put ice by Harry Reid. Slight shifts to correct massive imbalances happen not out of goodness of heart by politicians but by growing pressure from the public which despite some opinions here do matter. The banking theft and now Obamacare have woken up the public. It seems too little to late for this government to survive in current form.

Remember Geithner and Bernanke being asked at Congressional hearing in 2008 (or maybe it was 2009) if they supported a new currency to replace the dollar? Both said yes.

I do not anticipate a civil war, I see more and more people checking out of this system of call it a relearning of life's priorities.

Yen Cross's picture

   Putin, definitely wins the distended cranial/temporal vein competition.    "Hands down."

  The movie 'Scanners', keeps coming to mind.

sylviasays's picture

 Obozo, definitely wins the stickin out big jug ears competition.    "Hands down."



The movie 'Scanners', keeps coming to mind.

Yen Cross's picture

  Obozo is in an class of his own!   {Choom Master General}

lakecity55's picture

I would rather have Putin as my Dictator. You could hunt and fish with him, plus he loves his country.

Our dictator only hunts in Gay Bars, and is an illegal alien who hates Amerika.

Forward, Nazobamunism!!

Iocosus's picture

The United States has shown a willingness to abandon long standing allies time and time again on the global chessboard.  Whether it be Israel, Poland, or Saudi Arabia, the Obama administration has shrank from global leadership and left a gigantic vacuum for President Putin to happily fill.

The American position seems to consist of avoiding conflict and appeasing adversaries rather than standing up for historical American values, our allies, and our way of life.

This guy should have remained in his gunship murdering brown people who hate us for our freedoms. USA! USA! USA!

El Vaquero's picture

I was going to post something about that, but you beat me to it.  Perhaps he missed Gulf War I, Afghanistan, Gulf War II and excessive droning.  We avoid conflict with somebody who might stand a chance of actually hitting back.  Then there's this little gem:


The Democratic Party in the United States has largely morphed into an atheistic, anything goes, hedonist entity.  One only has to look at the refusal of the Obama administration to enforce marijuana laws in America to find evidence of this fact. 

Because smoking weed is soooooo immoral, right?  It's so immoral that we must send 'roided out adrenaline junkies out to bust down people's doors, shoot their dogs, and sometimes shoot the people themselves.  It's definitely worth taking people's lives over a little marijuana. /sarc  What a cocksucker. 

Iocosus's picture

He's trolling the government narrative.

And as for the drugs, it's like Tom Smykowski from the movie "Office Space" being interviewed by the Bobs. Much like the CIA, his job is on the line and he is forced to explain his irrevelancies. The CIA is threatened by a diminished income stream from these marijuana legalizations. Alas, they'll always have heroin, after all, our troops are in Afghanistan acting as security guards for 'dem poppy fields.

TuPhat's picture

I Agree, El Vaquero.  I don't use it but weed is not immoral.  A lot of what the gov does is immoral and many people in the usa are immoral but I would rather have the freedom to be immoral or not than to let the gov force everyone to submit to their definition of morality.

El Vaquero's picture

That's the thing about morality.  Everybody has a different take on what is moral and what is not.  Even two different people who will point to the Bible will have disagreements about what is moral.  So, who gets to decide what is moral and what is not?  The people who want to use government to enforce morality might be sorry if they get what they asked for.


There was a bill before my state legislature that was going to allow using the Bible as a history text.  It was in committee, and there was rancorous debate about the merits of this bill.  One member of the committee unwittingly killed it when she said "But what version of the Bible should it be?"  Then she amended it to state that it would be the King James version.  It was Ash Wednesday, and a bunch of the people on the committee had ash crosses drawn on their foreheads.  Needless to say, the bill was tabled, because those Catholics didn't like a Protestant dictating what version of Christianity to use. 


The lesson can be applied to other areas of government intrusion as well.  Your morals may not be my morals, but if we can agree not to steal from each other or beat each other down, we can get along just fine. 


P.S. I only tried weed once, and it was a bad experience.  I still say, legalize it. 

BruntFCA's picture

Read "Vices are not crimes" by 19C US Author Lysander Spooner.

You can get it very cheaply from Amazon.

JR's picture

In that Spooner believes that government should not prevent or punish vice, he surely must also contend that it is not the responsibility of the rest of us, then, to pay for the consequences of those vices, be they “unwanted” children, AIDS, poverty, destitution, or whatever…

Let the man who freely engages in his vices pick up the tab for the consequences of his vices.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Hey now. That'd be anathema to Obamacare's "community rating" pricing and other brilliances, like not taking into consideration existing conditions.

logicalman's picture

I only tried weed once too......

for forty years, so far.

Anusocracy's picture

Good article on morality.

The Moral Instinct by Steven Pinker

"The Moralization Switch

The starting point for appreciating that there is a distinctive part of our psychology for morality is seeing how moral judgments differ from other kinds of opinions we have on how people ought to behave. Moralization is a psychological state that can be turned on and off like a switch, and when it is on, a distinctive mind-set commandeers our thinking. This is the mind-set that makes us deem actions immoral (“killing is wrong”), rather than merely disagreeable (“I hate brussels sprouts”), unfashionable (“bell-bottoms are out”) or imprudent (“don’t scratch mosquito bites”).

The first hallmark of moralization is that the rules it invokes are felt to be universal. Prohibitions of rape and murder, for example, are felt not to be matters of local custom but to be universally and objectively warranted. One can easily say, “I don’t like brussels sprouts, but I don’t care if you eat them,” but no one would say, “I don’t like killing, but I don’t care if you murder someone.”

The other hallmark is that people feel that those who commit immoral acts deserve to be punished. Not only is it allowable to inflict pain on a person who has broken a moral rule; it is wrong not to, to “let them get away with it.” People are thus untroubled in inviting divine retribution or the power of the state to harm other people they deem immoral. Bertrand Russell wrote, “The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell.”

We all know what it feels like when the moralization switch flips inside us — the righteous glow, the burning dudgeon, the drive to recruit others to the cause. The psychologist Paul Rozin has studied the toggle switch by comparing two kinds of people who engage in the same behavior but with different switch settings. Health vegetarians avoid meat for practical reasons, like lowering cholesterol and avoiding toxins. Moral vegetarians avoid meat for ethical reasons: to avoid complicity in the suffering of animals. By investigating their feelings about meat-eating, Rozin showed that the moral motive sets off a cascade of opinions. Moral vegetarians are more likely to treat meat as a contaminant — they refuse, for example, to eat a bowl of soup into which a drop of beef broth has fallen. They are more likely to think that other people ought to be vegetarians, and are more likely to imbue their dietary habits with other virtues, like believing that meat avoidance makes people less aggressive and bestial."

Johnny Cocknballs's picture

I have to disagree.  I think Pinker is cognitive psychology's equivalent of Deepak Chopra.  There's a sort of "halo effect" associated with being associated with Harvard.  It sometimes protects bad science, and bad economics.

Nietzche had a good one with "there are no moral phenomena at all, only a moral interpretation of phenomena" but the universality people like Pinker see is kind of Texas sharpshooter - what is harmful to the group and this is distinguished in dogmatic terms with the concept of "sin" which often involves harm to no one.

Even "harm" can be relative.

Voltaire — 'It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.'

 Objectively, for example, cutting the foreskin off an 8 day old baby, without his consent, so that he is a member of the "tribe" chosen by God to be special and unique to Him and to also have a birthright to certain, vaguely defined lands {this is the origin of ciricumcision, membership in the tribe that has the covenant for the land based on race/ethnicity not faith} seems both absurd and immoral - but if you have other beliefs, that harm becomes a benefit.

Or, for example, forcing women to cover themselves because of fear of your own libido?  Apart from punishing others for your own supposed moral weakness, it presupposes that women's comfort, equality, and preferences simply don't matter.  If sexual thoughts are deemed such a "harm" {really, "sin" which is not harm but a violation of dogma} then repression of women is of no moral consequence, and perversely, becomes morally necessary.

"Murder" is wrong - but when do we call it "murder"?  I think that much of what we did in Iraq was murder, my dad thought it was necessary to "fight terror" and can't be convinced otherwise, because 9/11...  which he believes was done by "Al Qaeda" because, in a nutshell, anything that begins to question any part of that narrative violates his faith in a trustworthy government, media, and he will not let his faith be questioned.


Which is why moral interpretations based on religious faith or dogma are stupid and often harmful.


Anusocracy's picture

"there are no moral phenomena at all, only a moral interpretation of phenomena"

That's evident in the moralization switch. Like beauty, morality is in the eye of the beholder.

"Voltaire — 'It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.'"

Man doesn't apply ingroup morality to outgroups. To do that you have to become human.

I don't disagree with what you are saying. To me, moral beliefs should be treated like political and religious beliefs - kept personal.

Like the other two, they are private 'knowledge'.

Raging Debate's picture

Goverment morality:

Weed is bad. We'll collect fines as taxes, make people work for .80 an hour in jail.

Weed is good. We'll legalize it and tax it. Collect fees to expunge your record from all that immoral behavior. For all other prior felons distibuting weed. Oh well....

JR's picture

Would you let Obama recommend marijuana for your child if you knew the following:

Herbert Marcuse of the infamous Frankfurt School of Western Marxist critical theory and founder of the New Left said that the youth of America would be disarmed through a combination of sex and drugs, etc., who would become happy, non-productive people who wouldn’t fight wars. And, according to a critic, Marcuse left behind the notion of tolerance that accepts “anything from the left, but silences the right.”

Apparently “stoned hippies make lousy soldiers and will not oppose your aggression elsewhere throughout the globe.”

So why would our government employ people like Marcuse?  Well, if the ultimate goal is control, “you can neutralize the best and brightest on the campuses (with the poisoned candy of drugs and sex packaged in an attractive musical coating) so they don’t really think about what you are doing.”

“There will still be plenty of poor and uneducated people to use as cannon fodder.”

And, they’ll vote Democrat, i.e., for tolerance. And in walks Obama to the Oval Office to tell America’s youth that marijuana is not a gateway drug… to coke, or heroin…

Teenagers who smoke cannabis damage their brains for LIFE and may be more likely to develop schizophrenia  | The Daily Mail

  • U.S. study found that mice exposed to even small doses of marijuana for 20 days suffered lasting brain damage into adulthood
  • Results highlight how teenagers who regularly smoke weed may have a greater risk of developing schizophrenia

July 25, 2013-- Teenagers who regularly smoke cannabis suffer long lasting brain damage and are in much greater danger of developing schizophrenia. 

American researchers say the drug is particularly dangerous for a group of people who have a genetic susceptibility to the mental health disorder - and it could be the trigger for it.

Asaf Keller, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said the results highlight the dangers of teenagers smoking cannabis during their formative years.

The study, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, exposed young mice to the active ingredient in marijuana for 20 days.

It found that their brain activity was impaired, with the damage continuing into adulthood…

 Previous research has shown that children who started using marijuana before the age of 16 are at greater risk of permanent brain damage, and have a significantly higher incidence of psychiatric disorders.

‘Adolescence is the critical period during which marijuana use can be damaging,’ said the study's lead author, Sylvina Mullins Raver, a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland School of Medicine

CANNABIS DESTROYS YOUR GET-UP-AND-GO A separate study by Imperial College London last month revealed that long-term use of cannabis destroys dopamine, the feel-good chemical in the brain that inspires a spirit of get-up-and-go. 

Previous research has suggested taking marijuana can lead to individuals becoming withdrawn, lethargic and apathetic...

The cannabis users had their first experience with the drug between the ages of 12 and 18…

Read more:

El Vaquero's picture



Let's not forget the "Think about the children" meme, which has been used as a call to curtail liberties in the past.   


Let people make their own decisions and quit fear mongering.  Alcohol and tobacco are bad for people too.  Letting people make bad decisions in life is part of liberty.  We survived with legal marijuana in this country from the beginning until its prohibition the 21st century.  I want the 4th amendment back. 


This is the kind of propaganda that was used to make marijuana illegal:


Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, jazz musicians, and entertainers. Their satanic music is driven by marijuana, and marijuana smoking by white women makes them want to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and others. It is a drug that causes insanity, criminality, and death — the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.


-Harry Anslinger, Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics


Marijuana prohibition is fundamentally based on a lie. 

hidingfromhelis's picture

If health were really the issue, high fructose corn syrup would be a much higher priority, wouldn't it?

TBT or not TBT's picture

HFCS is about 5 to 10% higher in fructose than bad old cane sugar, which is 50% fructose. The former is a little sweeter and cheaper per unit of added sweetness, atop being a little easier to use.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Sorry, I don't want to pay a dime to support former or current drug abusers, and I don't want my kid to get addicted and fucked up this way. I want the cops and schools and and the adults of my community to eschew that shit, punish it, shame it right the fuck out of town.

Raging Debate's picture


Here's my take: Smoke all the dope you want, just dont ask me to buy your twinkies when your baked. Also, everything in moderation. A drink of Scotch wont't hurt you in a sitting but a bottle will