Gorbachev called it right. His aim was true. Perestroika… restructuring. The Soviet Union was thoroughly corrupt, incompetent, and insolvent. I suppose Gorby thought he could guide his country through a transition, but the system he headed was so astonishingly flimsy that it just fell apart in a few months, and even left him behind. Still, I regard it as one of the major miracles of history that Russia did not trip into a bloody civil war. Maybe Russia had enough blood-spilling with Stalin and World War Two. Otherwise, it was a kind of magic moment in 1990 when the whole rotten edifice crumbled neatly into its own grave.
What followed there was an impromptu and extremely half-assed melding of organized crime, unorganized crime, gestures to the rule of law, and a lot of leftover habits, paranoia, lethargy, and sheer will to live – with an overlay of mystical oriental intrigue. Russia staggers on with its oil and mineral reserves propping up what remains of modernity there. Their future will arrive on sleds.
We should be so lucky here. Given the situation, it’s not unthinkable that self-styled Texas secessionist Rick Perry could be the next president. On top of that, the guy is a Christian Dominionist nut. This outfit wants to capture all politics, culture, and media in what is now the USA and turn them into a sci-fi nightmare of correct thinking. You have no idea how dangerous and determined this group is. The Left ignores them at the peril of everyone. They are the corn-pone Nazis I’ve been warning you about.
That is not the kind of restructuring that is going to help this country. At the moment we’re trapped in our own gigantism and the “jobs” pitch is surely going to be just another page out of that. I’d like to hear Mr. Obama tell this country that Job Number One for us is getting more Americans into agriculture at the small, local scale. Translation: dismantle agri-business. Otherwise, we’re going to have a lot of starving people across this land. That might seem like a strange destination for America, but I suppose that’s why there’s all the kicking and screaming.