10 November 2008

Perestroika? Hmm...

Drudge has linked to an article about Gorbachev's recommendation for President-elect Obama: PERESTROIKA.


(Showing age...) I was fairly young when Gorbachev came to power, but I remember hearing perestroika and glasnost and some other seldom-used member of that triad... and I remember that they were "good things."

Anyway, that word caught my attention, and I looked it up.

Here's Wikipedia's definition:
the Russian term (now used in English) for the economic reforms introduced in June 1987[1] by the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Its literal meaning is "restructuring", referring to the restructuring of the Soviet economy.
And here's another - from Gorbachev himself in 1987 - read the whole thing if you're up for night terrors:
...overcoming the stagnation process, breaking down the braking mechanism, creating a dependable and effective mechanism for acceleration of social and economic progress and giving it greater dynamism

...utmost respect for the individual

...the revival and development of the principles of democratic centralism in running the national economy, the universal introduction of economic methods

...a resolute shift to scientific methods

...the combination of the achievements of the scientific and technological revolution with a planned economy

...ever better satisfaction of the Soviet people's requirements for good living and working conditions, for good rest and recreation, education and health care.

...elimination from society of the distortions of socialist ethics
ACK!!! Run like the wind, people!!!

*ahem... regaining composure* Let's take some of these one at a time:

  • "Breaking down the braking mechanism?" You mean, like what's left of our divinely-inspired Constitution's checks and balances? In favor of "accelerat[ing]... social and economic progress?" Bad idea, especially since it depends on who's allowed to define, "progress."
  • Combining science and technology with a planned economy? It's not too far from those words to "eugenics."
  • Satisfying "people's requirements for good living and working conditions, for good rest and recreation, education and health care" - like FDR's Second Bill of Rights?
  • Eliminating "the distortions of socialist ethics" - (I'm assuming he's not referring to the distortions that ARE socialist ethics...) - that sure sounds like shutting down criticism and silencing disagreement, to me.
We must fight these things!!!

Granted, from reading up on it at Wikipedia, it seemed to be a move in the right direction, the way it was sold: freeing up the economy - to a point. Freeing up political discourse - to a point.

But everything was still ultimately under state control - it seems like the populist Gorbachev and his glasnost were able to make the people (and world media) happier about it, though.

Let's be careful what we let ourselves be made happy about, because "utmost respect for the individual" is incongruous with the rest of those definitions.


its just me said...

A former Russian leader would be the last person that I would fear when it comes down to America and our constituion.

That's just me though.

kannie said...

It's Just Me -

I understand that Gorbachev would seem largely irrelevant in today's world; the problem is that his ideas didn't start with him, and they are still real, current socialist/communist policy - and those are the policies that Obama (and his wife) and others soon in power have studied formatively...

Kruschev asserted that Americans would never accept communism outright, but that we would gradually accept it. Here's an audio file with Secretary Benson's quote. The quote is at the end of a long file, but because of the misquotes abounding, I wanted to be sure to find something with the exact audio quote from Secretary Benson. (Second source here - again, toward the end of it, since it's part of a talk he was giving.) The only thing that Benson's critics find is, "well, we don't really know what was said... maybe Benson just heard what he wanted to hear," and I'm disposed to take him at his word.

Gorbachev's ideas (and more particularly, those of his predecessors) have had a tremendous influence on our government and education system. With recently declassified documentation, we have learned that the Soviet infiltration was thorough in both those "realms" during the Cold War, and I observe that it has remained so since then.

Evil individuals and organizations, both overt and covert, have sought to attack our freedoms and society practically since its inception (but moreso in the last century); and as they still form the foundation for today's movements, I don't think it is wise for us to dismiss them.

Jennifer Dunn said...

Thanks for breaking it down.
A lot of those phrases sound quite nice..."acceleration of social and economic progress," "combination of achievements," "better satisfaction of living," etc...if you just skim through it, all of those points sound great! We might believe he was trying to usher in a real Utopia.

I agree with you completely. We need to know exactly what language like this really means, and what the implications would be for our country if any of those principles were to be applied, as we have good reason to believe Obama wishes to accomplish.

Jennifer Dunn said...

I don't think I ever got that last sentence worded well before I submitted that comment.

its just me said...


Are you saying that Barack & Michelle Obama studies Gorbachev? For what purpose would that be? He also studied Kennedy and has made several references to Kennedy but I've never heard him mention Gorbachev.

I think that's a little far fetched.

kannie said...

It's Just Me -

Not directly studied Gorbachev, no.

But studied under advocates of communism, statism, and militancy, yes.

Marxism is the philosophy followed by the people whom he deliberately sought out for his education, once he was able to choose.

Obama wants to be Kennedy, but Kennedy didn't advocate redistributing wealth and class warfare, AFAIK. Instead, he thought communism was a bad idea ;-).

its just me said...

Do any of the other American philosophies that he studied count? Is that a fact that he studied under professors that believed in communism or an assumption?

kannie said...

It's Just Me -

Regrettably, it's fact... here's a link to a (rather long and repetitive) article about one particular "friend" in Hawaii, Frank Marshall Davis.

Here's an article that has a broader list and this quote:

"To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully," the Democratic presidential candidate wrote in his memoir, "Dreams From My Father." "The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists."

It's evident that - even if he's not technically a member of the Communist Party proper, he's been influenced - and has chosen to be influenced - by hard-core, militant communists who have a fundamental problem with our entire system of Constitutional government.

His campaign agenda also included a lot of strangely-familiar (Marxist) ideas: compulsory "charity"/service, government controls on income, higher taxes on "the rich," blaming "the rich" for the ills of society (which is partly fair in some cases but scandalous as a basis for entire "class" punishment), environmental and economic controls, a notion that you can forcibly make life "fair," etc.

Regarding any other philosophies he may have studied, I haven't heard any... I'd assume that he got the "typical" exposure to principles of capitalism and Constitutional government in his education - but even my education just told me the evils and selfish, hard-hearted nature of capitalism, and the nuts and bolts of our form of government rather than why it's the way it is and what's helpful about it, LOL. So to answer that part of your question, I'm not sure what else he might have studied.

So... I'm not sure at this point whether he's truly sold on hard-core communism or whether he's just in with the political machinery; time will tell. Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff is a pretty telling choice either way, though, as he uses behind-the-scenes bullying and intimidation to accomplish what he wants - hardly respectful of a supposed democracy...

its just me said...

Thanks Kannie,
I will research the information that you have passed on to me and comment on it later. I don't want to comment on anything that I have no idea about.

Thanks again

kannie said...

Here's another link to a story with some more info from a guy who's spent years researching.

kannie said...

Thanks a ton for asking questions and participating in the discussion! I'm trying not to go beyond what I know, too, and it's really helpful (to me, at least, LOL... it gets my thoughts in better order) when I need to explain my points and where I'm coming from, more - thanks again! :-)

its just me said...

Thank you. Open discussions and conversations are what we need. Regardless of whatever views we all may have, we're all in this together.

Ann said...

Wow..thanks for breaking those down. Amazing how "good" they sound at face-value. Yikes!