When Dictatorships Collapse, They Fail Fast
Both the Biden administration in the US and Trudeau here in Canada were slow off the blocks to rally behind the Cuban people who are fighting for their freedom and an end to Communist dictatorship in Cuba. Had they been BLM protestors or Antifa I’m sure they would have been there in solidarity immediately. But because the people of Cuba want to go in the opposite direction that the US and Canada seem to be headed, what we got instead was COVID-shaming from the corporate media and hedging, half-assed platitudes from Western governments.
The textbook definition of Communism is supposed mean a classless society, one in which everybody is treated the same, even to the point where beyond having equal access to opportunity, we arrive at equality of outcome.
Nevermind that, as Kristian Niemietz enumerated in his Socialism: The Failed Idea That Never Dies, equality hasn’t happened in any self-described communist or socialist regime, either now or in the past. The Cubans have experienced this viscerally for over 60 years and they’ve had enough of it.
They know that communism means a bifurcation of society into two tiers. A small overlord class to whom all the privilege and wealth accrues, and the larger underclass. Equality only exists in this latter pool of serfs in that they are all equally impoverished and subjugated. That’s equality of outcome.
Simon Mikhailovich, am emigre from the Soviet Union was on George Gammon’s Rebel Capitalist Show and he described what it was like in the closing years of the USSR:
“By the time the 70’s came, The Soviet Union had gotten into stagnation, and so the economy started stagnating. Nothing was going anywhere. People had the same jobs, the same salaries, and lived in the same apartments. It took 12 years to get a phone line and you had to know somebody. It became more and more difficult to get decent food. If you wanted it you had to go to the farmers market where very few people could afford it.
In the meantime the elites and the party oligarchs here, whatever you want to call it, they have their own transportation system, their own system of sanitoriums and resorts. Their own cars in trains. Any of that sounds familiar to you?
There are restaurants where they could get in and other people couldn’t get in. And normal people, even middle class people, had no access to any of that, and of course working class people? Forget it. So as the inequality started growing at that level (I’m not comparing it necessarily directly to the United States), but by this time inequality started growing, the government propaganda intensified, because of the inability to explain coherently why there’s no meat in the stores while every five year plan was always over fulfilled and everything was better than expected and every number was better than anybody could’ve hoped for.”
When Gammon asked him how the government was able to explain the cognitive dissonance at such as mass level, Mikhailovich replied with one word: “Propaganda”.
Despite the documented fact that this is where socialism invariably leads, every time, collectivism’s star is ascendent. Call it Democratic Socialism, Cultural Marxism or even its palatable sounding dog whistles like Stakeholder Capitalism, the masses are being gaslit and propagandized into a state where they yearn for subjugation.
They crave for it. They’ll vote for it. They’ll demand it.
In a recent interview on Macro Voices, Victor Shvets was describing why, with the cost of capital headed for zero and being stuck there permanently, we’re departing an era of capitalism and headed into one of global collectivism. The conversation was supposed to be your standard issue inflation-or-deflation debate. Instead Shvet came right out and said it: we’re headed for a period of, for lack of a better descriptor, global communism.
“The question of whether we need freedom in order to be wealthy, prosperous and innovative, over the last 500 years the answer was absolutely yes, but is it still the answer as we go forward?”
He thinks not, and he drew a through-line from Karl Marx, to Keynesian Bliss all the way into Fully Automated Luxury Communism, saying in essence,
“ Capital markets will be nationalized because it will be too dangerous to be left in private hands. At the end of this process, there are no capital markets, because everything is either infinite or zero, you’re either worth everything, or you’re worth nothing”
I ordered Shvets book, called fittingly enough “The Great Rupture”, and it hasn’t arrived yet, so I don’t know if he’s advocating for this or just prognosticating it (although the subtitle is “Do we need to be FREE?“). I too have been predicting a similar outcome while wishing (hoping) I’m completely wrong about it. This is The Great Bifurcation scenario from my Jackpot Chronicles series.
Where I possibly differ from Shvets is he seemed to think this would become a ubiquitous state for everyone. But I think it plays out the way it always does: A two tier society with hyper-cronyism on top and communism on the bottom. Only this time, if it succeeds, it could happen globally. Everywhere.
No more middle class, and the lower class thinks they’re saving the world from climate change and evil capitalists when all they’ve really done is abrogated their own rights, traded their property for debt and consigned themselves to never-ending servitude. Meanwhile the elites will rule from their private jets and super-yachts. Pontificating about carbon footprints and wealth inequality.
But the Great Bifurcation isn’t inevitable.
It’s only one of the four scenarios posited in a post-pandemic world but the worrisome aspect is that the globalists appear to be preferring this outcome. The defining characteristic of the zeitgeist is a largely manufactured narrative that for the good of the collective, everybody else has to ratchet down their living standards and forfeit their civil liberties.
Another possibility is The Great Reject.
This is the idea that with COVID, lockdowns, the New Normal and The Great Reset; tectonic shifts that would have otherwise taken decades or more to play out have been pulled forward too fast. That the people trying to ram it through, the Davos crew, the global elites, the Brahmin woke and the technocrats, have all overplayed their hands and set off a backlash.
I am beginning to see signs that this scenario is unfolding.
That may seem counter-intuitive, with government overreach and post-pandemic mission creep seemingly in overdrive.
But this moment in time seems reminiscent of how Mikhailovich further describes the end of not one, but two totalitarian regimes in Russia within the same century.
He relates to us the words of Georgy Lvov who, headed the provisional government in 1917 before the Bolshevik coup. In a 1964 interview when Lvov was in his 80’s, he described how an 800-year old regime empire fell and teaches those who care to listen just how fast a seemingly unassailable power structure can turn to dust, almost overnight:
“The crisis started in the fall of 16. The Tsar was deposed in February of 17, so five months before it happened, nobody realized it. Not only did nobody realize it, the consensus was for exactly the opposite, The consensus was that the Tsar’s administration was clamping down on civil liberties and the dark road of repression was ahead. Civil liberties were constrained and the Tsar was going to take over, and would clamp down even more. The Deep State in todays language, was in complete control and clamping down.
For context, the tradition that fell apart was in power for 800 years leading up to that moment, and the Romanov Dynasty was in power for 300 years.
And then the whole thing came down in 72 hours.”
After 800 years, from one Friday to Sunday night. It was all over.
We’re headed for something very different than the prior neo-Liberal era and we don’t know exactly what that is. The best we can do is to try to position for it in against a backdrop of a world where everything will be digital and centralized, albeit increasingly unstable, volatile and ultimately unsustainable. We see decentralization in the crypto-economy and anti-fiat like gold as the inoculants against late stage globalism and insurance for whatever comes next.
There may be a last ditch head fake into collectivism and socialism that could last a generation, perhaps even two. But as happens with all centrally planned systems in general and collectivist regimes specifically, they ultimately fail.
The Cubans may even leapfrog this phase as they may be exiting their Communist experiment now, just as the rest of us seem to be intent on entering one.
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