The Grand Irony Of RussiaGate: The US Becomes More Like The USSR Every Day

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

When the Soviet regime exiled Sakharov in 1980, everybody assumed the USSR was permanent and impregnable to collapse.

There are many ironies in the RussiaGate drama, but none greater than this: The U.S. becomes more like the former U.S.S.R. every day. Longtime correspondent Bart D. sketches out the irony:

I look at the US economy and what I see in actual everyday life is that corrupted capitalism has resulted in the same problems for average citizens as what crony communism did for the citizens of the USSR.

Poor consumer choice. Poor resource allocation. Poor quality consumer products. Poor environmental management/outcomes. Hyper-vigilance and hyper-control of Government over its people. Dodgy Utilities. The difference is that the Soviet Union had a better healthcare system than USA currently has and better housing availability for common people.

How’s the irony! Capitalism and Communism ultimately end up with similar outcomes and for the same reason: Cartel behaviours and cronyism.

Exactly. When the system is rigged to benefit insiders, cartels, cronies and elites at the expense of the many "outsiders," the status quo must mask this reality with propaganda and Big Lies: that is, keep repeating the lie until people believe it due to its embrace by "experts" and authorities.

Case in point: inflation. The masses consuming the mainstream media apparently accept the Big Lie that inflation (i.e. loss of purchasing power of our money) is 2%, i.e. near zero.

But the reality is quite different: stagnant wages + soaring real-world inflation = lower standards of living, which is precisely what the bottom 80% of American households have been experiencing for the past decade of "growth" and "recovery."

The citizens of the old Soviet regime had a wry saying: they pretend to pay us and we pretend to work. I propose a variation for the hapless US citizenry:

They pretend inflation is low and we pretend to be prosperous.

The current clampdown on social media and alternative media in America is ripped right from the playbook of the Soviet regime. We must "protect" you from "fake news," lest you start questioning the official narratives of strong growth, prosperity, low inflation, etc.

Then there's the case of Julian Assange, in exile for releasing what everyone concedes is factual evidence on par with The Pentagon Papers in the 1970s which blew up the false (but convenient to the elites) narratives of the Vietnam War.

They can't paint Assange with the "fake news" brush, so they exile him just as the old Soviet regime exiled Andrei Sakharov in 1980, a hero of the Soviet Union and laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975.

Please note that the Soviet Union collapsed a decade after exiling Sakharov.Ramping up repression and official propaganda, strangling dissent and marginalizing independent skeptics are the desperate, last-ditch tactics of a doomed regime that only serves the interests of insiders and elites.

There are many pathways to collapse, with financial collapse being a favorite of regimes that print/borrow immense sums to buy off their populace and enrich the insiders/elites-- for example, Venezuela:

When the Soviet regime exiled Sakharov in 1980, everybody assumed the USSR was permanent and impregnable to collapse. In other words, "it can't happen here." But it did happen, and believing "it can't happen here" did nothing but hasten the collapse.

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shortonoil Adolfsteinbergovitch Fri, 08/10/2018 - 17:36 Permalink

And, so now the Russian worker is one of the most productive in the world. So what's his point? Maybe he doesn't have one? Within the next five years the world will be hit with a massive energy crisis. And no, the FED didn't do it. Guess what, they have been lying to you; surprise! Economies will fold like cardboard boxes in a hurricane. A negotiated, and ratified treaty between the US and Russia will be the only way out for the US.

In reply to by Adolfsteinbergovitch

gdpetti shortonoil Fri, 08/10/2018 - 18:08 Permalink

Too late for the States, and the entire West... but that collapse sucks in most everyone... .which is why RUssia is unloading those Tbills, buying the PMs etc.. empires in decline are always like this.... Instead of playing the Russia card, this writer would do better to use London as an example.... remember the 'shits and giggles' from that private cabal? London is independent.... how 'rigged' is that? And who started the Soviet Union under the Bolsheviks? the same private cabal that owns the West.... using the Russia card is a distraction device.. .either this chap is doing it on purpose or in ignorance... which?

In reply to by shortonoil

OverTheHedge Arrowflinger Fri, 08/10/2018 - 23:25 Permalink

Then stop obeying the myriad abitrary laws and regulations and see what happens.

Or just don't pay your property tax, and see what level of freedom you have. You are correct free, provided you comply.

Slaves were not chained up, because they were expected not to run away. However, if they did choose to run.....

In reply to by Arrowflinger

Endgame Napoleon Sonny Brakes Fri, 08/10/2018 - 17:36 Permalink

Tattoos should not be financed by $6,431 in yearly, refundable child-tax-credit cash. Many moms can do that since their major household bills are covered by monthly welfare when they stay under the income limits for the programs by working part time, with their subsidized rent and EBT groceries freeing up that tax-cash infusion for mom-pampering treats. Tattoos are a luxury, not a luxury that I would spend any extra money on if I had any, but to each his / her own as long as Uncle Sam is not the financing option. 

In reply to by Sonny Brakes

JailBanksters Sonny Brakes Fri, 08/10/2018 - 18:23 Permalink

I'm sure a lot get Tattoos because they think it's cool and not seeing the darker side.

But it is a form of Branding, and what is Branding ?

They have always been associated with Paganism, Heathen, Demonism, Occult

They certainly are appearing more in TV Shows and Movies

It's almost as if the people of Hollywood are Trying to get people out of their Christian Beliefs

In reply to by Sonny Brakes

Faeriedust JailBanksters Fri, 08/10/2018 - 21:44 Permalink

More precisely, they were a core element of European stone-age religious cults.  That's why you find them on the Coprolithic Iceman.  They only went out of fashion among the Christian elites during the medieval era, and even then, only among the elites, who signaled their Christian virtue by not wearing the old signs on their bodies.  Lower classes, whose adoption of Christianity was under duress, only gradually gave  up some of the older signs and replaced them with a mixture of Christian symbols as well as older ones.  After all, for a pagan, you can never have too many Gods watching over you.

Branding is what Someone Else does to you, to mark you as property.  Tatoos are marks of group-membership, status, and religious identity.  Of course Pagans have taken to them again (to excess). 

In reply to by JailBanksters

vofreason Prehuman Insight Fri, 08/10/2018 - 17:36 Permalink

Which is exactly why we have a population dumb enough to embrace Trump.  It's pathetic and there isn't an argument from any Trump supporter that isn't grounded in racism or just plain crazy fabrication like the stupid Uranium one nonsense.  Wake up! He's a cheap con man!!!  He's been in bed with the world's worst people for decades while he screws people over left and right the same way he is doing to the country now.  It's just sad half the country is dumb enough to buy it as they chant "go space force!" ..... and when asked why they say "uhhh...Neil Armstrong is cool".  Idiocracy come to life.

In reply to by Prehuman Insight

shortonoil vofreason Fri, 08/10/2018 - 18:06 Permalink

If Xi started a war with the US over a couple of worthless islands, and unproven (like in hypothetical) oil and gas reserves, the communist party of China would vote to buy him a piano wire bowtie, to be delivered early for his next birthday. China is not going to attack a US Fleet. A couple more should be showing up any day.

By the way, one of these Fleets has 1000 times the fire power expended during all 4 years of WWII, and they can deliver it in about 10 minutes.

In reply to by vofreason

DeathMerchant simpson seers Fri, 08/10/2018 - 18:57 Permalink

Fucked how ?? Like you and the fucked up country of your choice are so powerful now that you can take out the US with zero repercussions?? No damage, no payback??? I wish the fuck you or whoever you think you represent would try it and see what the fuck happens. The fact of the matter is that if what you imply was even remotely possible, it would have already been done. You're the one that is fucked, one way or the other.

In reply to by simpson seers

simpson seers DeathMerchant Fri, 08/10/2018 - 21:10 Permalink

fucked how?, your education is not my job, it's yours you yank moron.

I've implied nothing, need to get your posts in order or get glasses or maybe an education, oh wait,

that would require a brain. Sorry about that my little muritard. Don't worry

we'll try and send a few more comic books to educate yourselves with.

Oh wait, that would require a brain. Sorry muritard you're on your own.

In reply to by DeathMerchant

caconhma shortonoil Fri, 08/10/2018 - 18:49 Permalink

Hitler's generals had the same thinking about USSR: they expected to defeat the Soviet Union in just 3-4 months. In less than 4 years, the Soviet army was in Berlin occupying the half of Germany. It is the History.

Today, the USA couldn't even defeat Iraq and Afghanistan. Just forget about North Korea.  And now, the USA can conquer China with 1.5B people and over 8,000 nukes?

America is divided. In just a few years America will be in flames of a civil war and a potential disintegration.

In reply to by shortonoil

Faeriedust vofreason Fri, 08/10/2018 - 21:52 Permalink

Trump is doing a number of unpleasant things that are absolutely necessary if anything resembling this country is going to survive as the lights go out and the planes can't afford to fly any more.  There isn't enough energy in the world to go on importing fresh flowers from Israel by overnight air to decorate overpriced wedding parties.  Trade needs to be limited to the things that we can't make or build ourselves and that we actually need, rather than cheap (and overpriced at that low, low, price) junk nobody needs and most people wouldn't even want if there were any reasonable alternatives.  We need to become self-sufficient again.  Of course no nation can be totally self-sufficient, but we can do a LOT more than we have been.  When the dollar has completely ceased to be the world's reserve currency -- and that process is well-begun -- we will have to be able to produce.  And since that process has already begun, we need to get a move-on.  Trump justifies his policies with bullshit, but there is some tight and rational logic underneath them.  The American Century is over.  We have to learn to survive in a new world.

In reply to by vofreason

jonny quest Faeriedust Sat, 08/11/2018 - 00:35 Permalink

First of all there is enough energy to go around for everyone on the planet; Tesla did that research on free energy at the turn of the 20th century.  But what to do when you can't put a meter on it?  Well, it's suppressed.  There's also enough medical knowledge to keep humanity healthy and robust into old age, but the Rockefellers decided upon the allopathic side of medicine with their oil-based cures and pablums instead of homeopathy and preventive medicine.

That's what the conspiracy people say.  So if the above is true, why didn't the Soviets follow the opposite path of the west to make their economy (and ideology) the shining example - after all it only took them 5 years to develop an atomic bomb so spy craft seemed to be something they were good at?  Is it because a) it's not true, or b) the Soviets were the opposite of western "free" market capitalism, but really followed the same rules?

Given the history of Lenin/Trotsky, you can say b, but after WW2, I would have to say the Soviets parted ways entirely from the west as they were hung out and left to dry against the Nazis.  And yet, they didn't really prosper post WW2 while the USA did, in spades.

I'm no student of logic, but I'd say there is no free lunch which leads to the conclusion that my first paragraph is mostly hopium and bunk.  But the western elites did what they could to keep economic and political power in the hands of the few; there is enough public domain verifiable info to make that case without question. 

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. My best guess is that everyone who's alive today will see how it plays out in their lifetimes.


In reply to by Faeriedust

Endgame Napoleon Handful of Dust Fri, 08/10/2018 - 17:28 Permalink

Also add poor customer service. That we-pretend-to-pay-you / we-pretend-to-work attitude explains many of the workplaces I’ve seen. Governed by absenteeism cliques, at least half of the employees were as non-customer-service-oriented as they were absentee. Of course, wages have not risen in 40 years, and our form of capitalism is welfare-rigged. The 40-year wage depression hurts some more than others, and the ironic part is that those getting the worst end of the stick are often the ones putting in the most effort. Eventually, people get tired of it and evacuate the rigged system.

Enter 101 million US citizens of working age out of the labor force.

These articles explain a lot of it, actually. I’ll buy the book eventually. 

In reply to by Handful of Dust

RationalLuddite Handful of Dust Fri, 08/10/2018 - 19:56 Permalink

Poor education no. Sorry but ironically you yourself have been slightly brainwashed in this point.  This is understandable i admit, as i believed this too previously.  The education under the USSR was actually superb, hence their consistent (since 2004 Russian students always  #1) world number 1 ranking for 12 year olds and university graduates still today and their STEM/ Rocket science etc superiority. 

Brainwashing  ... yeah a little,  but like here on ZH they often weren't sure of the truth but they were damned sure that Pravda was lying by ommission.

Please try to remember that 1950s USSR was a different beast to say 1970s & 80s USSR. Watch footage. Learn.

Ushanka Show podcasts on Youtube are a nice easy way to being  understanding late Soviet era life



Btw this article was SPOT ON. Terrific .

In reply to by Handful of Dust

vofreason Fri, 08/10/2018 - 17:13 Permalink

Hey Trumptards!!! .... ask yourself ..... "what would Putin have the President do if he were under his control?" ...... praise dictators, start trouble with our allies, question the media, question the judicial system, validate racist ideals, protect the oil and gas industries, deny Russia did anything wrong??? .....

seriously .... what would he do that Trump hasn't already done? .... and don't say lift sanctions because he tried to not impose them but was forced by congress.  He is trying to stop any investigation into their election interference and cybercrime and it's so obvious that Trump is the only one that denies it....... WHY!?!?!?!?!?

vofreason Hefalonicle Fri, 08/10/2018 - 17:30 Permalink

He's got guilty pleas and indictments!  You people are getting kicked in the balls and as long as Trump says "no I'm not" you believe it, I just don't get it.  He's just looting the presidency and doing nothing to help you and now he's in bed with the Russians and all of a sudden Republicans love Russia!?!?!?


....and you think he's this "great businessman" which is such a joke.  I'm guessing the truth is that he was so in debt to the Russian and other shady oligarchs he borrowed money from that he's in bed with them now.  All of the real estate world has thought of him as a joke for decades and no commercial bank will do business with him.  The only reason he has been able to stay around at all is that he was given a fortune to buy Manhattan real estate in the 70's and 80's and you could have had a monkey run that business and it would have succeeded.  Other than that all his ventures have been total failures or outright frauds. 

In reply to by Hefalonicle

Calvertsbio vofreason Fri, 08/10/2018 - 17:55 Permalink

I wouldn't even Justify to someone like that... It is now Mueller who has to PROVE that Trump is what he is ? Get OUT ! Trump was this same guy back at the commodore hotel dealing with the city.

Nothing different other than he is more of the same guy. using people that back him to gain an advantage, no matter what it is for... Guy is reckless and only people that like him will not tell the truth when this is all over with, just like they wont accept reality now...

Same people that supported Bush, nothing changed.

In reply to by vofreason

Endgame Napoleon vofreason Fri, 08/10/2018 - 18:12 Permalink

For many voters, it was never about Trump—the man—but the fact that Trump, the candidate, got some IGNORED issues on the table for discussion, bypassing a bought-and-paid-for corporate media. That is the Disney News, the AT&T News and the rest.

The major broadcast news outlets do not even mention any of the serious economic issues, brought up in this article. Why?

Because their corporate bosses are part of the neoliberal-globalist economy that has helped to depress wages for 40 years. The corporations that own the media are facilitators of the type of in-substantial, temporary and part-time jobs—often filled by welfare-fueled legal / illegal immigrants and outsourced temps—that will not sustain a strong middle class in the USA.

They could care less. They ignore it.

Trump, at least, was verbally honest about the mass underemployment of US citizens during the campaign season, but not now. He really went after ONE—and it is just one—of the key reasons for mass underemployment of US citizens: out-of-control, welfare-enabled, illegal immigration and unreasonable amounts of welfare-buttressed, non-merit-based, legal immigration.

He has not done anything about it for his voters, though. You are right about that.

The bought-and-paid-for US Congress is probably the biggest obstacle, but he should have hired some experienced people who know how to navigate that swampy place. There are likely some who could have helped him get the job done. Bannon might have been able to do it with more leeway, or maybe, people like Ann Coulter or Pat Buchanan could have helped.

Or, he could get one of the few congressmen who has been strong on the issue of stopping illegal immigration to help him push through some legislation, like a wall or a major reduction in non-merit-based immigration, that will outlast his time in office? What about Tom Tancredo? Would he know how to get a Deplorables-first bill pushed through the murky swamp? Trump needs some experts on key Deplorable agenda items—-some experienced people. Illegal immigration is the biggest one. 

As for Russia, many likely voters are old enough to remember the Cold War and regard it as thirty-year-old news. It is not because we are naive about Russia. We just do not think Russia is the biggest threat that the US faces. It would be better to have diplomatic relations with them, especially since they pulled out of Eastern Europe 30 years ago. Eastern Europe is about as far as we should stretch the blanket of NATO. Russians have also made a lot of top-flight cultural contributions to the world, right up there with Europe. It is not right to treat them like they are unworthy of diplomacy. It makes no sense.

In reply to by vofreason

FIAT CON Endgame Napoleon Fri, 08/10/2018 - 21:37 Permalink

Give DJT some time ffs, He has every Globalist and elite after him, every MSM channel in the world assaulting him and his Family, every leader of every allied .gov against him, the entire corrupt US .gov after him using the FBI, Cya and everything they can Trying to destroy him.

All of this  while donating his salary back to the Country.

Just wait a little longer tsahtf.

Any of you keyboard warriors want to step up and be in his footsteps?



In reply to by Endgame Napoleon