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Comparison: USA v. USSR

by Signo Vinces Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2005 at 4:44 AM

Is life today in the USA like life yesterday in the USSR? The inexorable conflict between the totalitarian government’s need for repression and man’s desire for freedom can only be resolved by revolution.

The centralization of political power in the hands of the federal government has allowed it to create a totalitarian state that in many ways is reminiscent of the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Yes, there still are significant differences between the USA and the former USSR. Consumer goods are readily available in the USA (although our gigantic trade deficits indicate they are not produced here.) Some of our Constitutional rights remain intact, albeit eroded.

But let’s look at the similarities. Quotations about the USSR are from USC Professor Rodger Swearingen’s book - “The World of Communism” (1962).

Constitution, Government, Political Parties

USSR:

“In theory, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is a federally organized constitutional democracy [...] in practice, the constitution is relatively unimportant. [...] The various republics have little actual power [...] The Soviets have a “one-party system of government” [...] No other political parties are deemed necessary [...] The nature of the Communist system makes voting in the Soviet Union a meaningless gesture, an exercise in rubber-stamping the party’s choice.”

USA:

The USA claims to be a Constitutional Union of States, but the federal government routinely disregards the Constitution. The fifty State governments have little actual power. We are continually told that we have a “two party system.” In practice, the two nominal parties function as one party, having no significant areas of disagreement. Third parties are legal, but deemed unnecessary. Only two of the 535 members of Congress are independents.

As a result of the one-party system, voting is a meaningless gesture. The reelection rate for Congressional incumbents is 95 - 98%.

Politicians

USSR:

“There are fundamental differences between professional politicians in other systems and in the Communist system. [...] In communist system, he who grabs power grabs privileges and indirectly grabs property. Consequently in Communism, power or politics as a profession is the ideal of those who have the the desire or the prospect of living as parasites at the expense of others.”

USA:

Federal judges and Congressmen are paid a minimum salary range of 5,000 to 8,000. These salaries place them in the top 5% of all income earners - public or private.

Yet federal judges complain constantly that they are underpaid, and Congress automatically grants itself a pay raise every year.

In the event that tax revenues become insufficient to pay these salaries, federal judges decided in Kelo v. City of New London that private property can be grabbed and sold in order to generate more taxes.

Many would agree that the federal government has an essentially parasitic nature.

Foreign Policy

USSR:

“The fundamental attitude of the United States toward other peoples is that they should have the right to determine their fate themselves, without any other nation telling them what they can or cannot do. [...] our policy generally has been “hands off” [...] we have not adopted a policy of wholesale intervention in all countries of the world for the purpose of imposing American-style regimes on people everywhere.”

“The Soviet policy has been the opposite. While paying lip service to the principle of self-determination, the Russians have repeatedly, as a matter of policy, interfered with the affairs of other states whenever they thought it to their advantage, and whenever they thought they could get away with it.”

“The United States finds it difficult to combat such a ruthless foe by traditional, peaceful means. The Communists have no reluctance about using force. [...] If the Soviet threat were removed, we could, no doubt, move more quickly to abolish such unbecoming means altogether.”

USA:

Regardless of what it might say, the federal government does not believe that other nations have a right to self-determination. The federal government currently stations troops on over 6,000 military bases in 146 different countries.

That government routinely deploys those troops to enforce UN resolutions or impose what it calls “democracy.”

Contrary to Professor Swearingen’s prediction, the fall of the USSR did not result in the federal government curtailing the “unbecoming means” of force. On the contrary, it occasioned a binge of warmongering. Since the fall of the USSR, the federal government launched wars in Panama, Iraq (twice) Somalia, Bosnia, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.

The “Bush doctrine” claims that the federal government has the right as the “world’s sole remaining superpower” to launch “preemptive wars” against other countries.

Religion

USSR:

“The current phase [...] is one of rampant propaganda against religion. Mandatory public schools teach atheism as a regular part of the program.” “From the first grade, the child learns that “there is no God.” “The government press maintains a constant campaign against religion.” [...] This takes the form of making jokes about the “old-fashioned people” who still believe the “nonsense about God.”

“Why, then does the Soviet government permit some churches to remain open? Isn’t this freedom of religion? [...] Religious freedom is more than an open church building. It has to do with attitudes, laws, policies and goals. True, there are a number of of Protestant, Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches open throughout Russia. So long as the churches remain open, the men in Moscow can use this fact to convince the uninformed that there is religious freedom. After all, the churches are open!”

USA:

In theory, the Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. In practice, federal judges have ordered a “separation of church and state” that finds no mention in the Constitution.

Government schools or government funded organizations are ordered to make no reference to religion. For example, federal judges banned public school students from reciting the pledge of allegiance because it contains the words “under God.” The whole point of the phony “separation of church and state” is to ensure that the Christian religion never affects “attitudes, laws, policies and goals.”

But the Churches are open.

Education

USSR:

“The search for genuine truth has no place in Communist education. Students are not allowed to hear both sides of a question in courses in the social sciences and humanities. Much of his education turns out to be indoctrination and propaganda. His education is specialized, limited and slanted. If he is bright, he will have been well prepared to be a cog in the Soviet machine.”

USA:

“Politically correct” curricula in the social sciences and humanities amount to propaganda and indoctrination. State and local public schools operate under the direction of federal authorities - the “No Child Left Behind Act” (a/k/a the “No Child Moves Ahead Act”)

Local school boards lack authority to prescribe their own curriculum. For example, a federal judge ordered that Georgia schools must teach evolution as a fact, not just a theory.

The federal government’s educational system is designed to achieve mass indoctrination and produce a politically uniform, tractable citizenry.

Press

USSR:

“The Soviet Press ... has no freedom, no life of its own. There are 10,000 newspapers in the Soviet Union, but not one dares express an opinion which differs in the slightest degree from the official Party view on any major issue” [...] On the other hand, the “press of the Free World represents a wide range of differing political viewpoints and purposes.”

USA:

Nominally, there are thousands of newspapers and radio stations and hundreds of television channels. But the FCC and the Department of Justice (sic) allow most of them to be owned and controlled by a few media conglomerates.

According to media expert Tom Wolzien, 80% of the prime time TV audience is watching channels owned by media conglomerates such as Viacom, Disney, Time-Warner, News Corp. and NBC/Universal. For example, he notes that of the top 25 cable channels, 20 are now owned by one of the big five media companies.

In exchange for the federal government granting them an oligopoly, the media conglomerates refrain from criticizing its policies or exposing its corruption. Paul Craig Roberts notes that the media’s historical role as government watchdog has diminished as a result of media consolidation.

The media conglomerates permit a narrow range of political viewpoints that more or less correspond to those of the Republicrat Party. The voices of independent journalists like Nat Hentoff, Joseph Sobran or the late Samuel Francis are not heard.

Family Life

USSR:

“Many of the jobs customarily held by men in America are done by women in the Soviet Union” The USSR boasts: “we have eliminated discrimination based on sex.”

“From the Soviet government’s point of view, it is in fact essential that as many women as possible work [...] The great majority of families in the Soviet Union would find it difficult to exist on the wages of the husband alone. Salaries are too low [...] Sunday is almost always taken up by shopping. [...] Recreation in leisure time, as we know it in the United States, is not part of the average Soviet citizen’s daily life.”

Divorce is legal for almost any reason. “The old quip was “Just marriage is grounds for divorce in Russia” The early revolutionaries prided themselves on the contempt with which they held the marriage relationship”

USA:

Through various trade, monetary, immigration and tax policies, the federal government has depressed the value of its citizens’ labor. According to the federal government’s own statistics, the average private sector hourly wage, adjusted for inflation and before taxes, declined from over .00 in 1973 to .50 in 1996.

During this period, families found it difficult to exist on the wages of the husband alone. Women were pressured to enter the workforce in order to maintain their family’s standard of living. This hardship to family life was sold as “women's liberation.”

Since most women are employed outside the home during the week, weekends are filled with household chores, errands and shopping. Many families lack time for recreation. Paid vacations of two weeks or more, which used to be standard for America’s middle class, are becoming a rarity.

Also, as America’s culture has become less Christian and more materialistic, Sundays are often spent at the shopping mall.

Divorce and cohabitation have become rampant. As a result, 37% of America’s children grow up apart from one or both of their biological parents - the highest percentage among Western nations.

Possibility of Reform

USSR:

“Why don’t people in the Communist countries rebel against the system, or leave, if it’s a bad as we hear it is?”

“Rebellion is never an easy task. It is especially difficult in a totalitarian police state [...] we find an extensive system of surveillance [...] All Soviet citizens must carry identification papers.”

“Economic and social pressures are now the favorite means of enforcing the party’s demands for strict conformity. [...] Punitive unemployment can be the equivalent of a death sentence in the Soviet Union today. Not only does the individual lose his job and housing; no one will hire him.”

“The fact that people who conform get ahead and live more happily also promotes acceptance of the Soviet system.”

USA:

In order to identify and eventually suppress political dissent, which it calls “extremism,” the federal government is increasing surveillance of its own citizens.

The Patriot Act (sic) allows warrantless seizures of private records without probable cause and “sneak and peek” searches of private residences.

For years, the federal government has been using the Social Security Number and Drivers’ License to identify and track its citizens. The government’s use of surveillance cameras is expected to rise sharply.

Again, due to federal government policies, good jobs are hard to find, and once secured, people are reluctant to jeopardize their employment by engaging in dissent or resistance.

Many Americans subscribe to “politically correct” conformist views in order to “get ahead,” or out of a reasonable fear that an honest expression of their views will lead to reprisals, such as getting fired.

Conclusion: USA v. USSR

A “totalitarian” government is defined as one in which an “authoritarian government tolerates only one political party, to which all other institutions are subordinated and which demands the complete subservience of the individual to the state.” [OED]

Such a government will centralize all political power at the federal level, in order to impose its policies universally and uniformly. The centralized government will feature only one political party (either nominally or in practice) in order to limit the scope of political debate and marginalize dissent. Anything that can limit the authority or discretion of government officials, like a written Constitution, is routinely dispensed with. The members of the ruling political party enjoy lavish salaries and privileges. Private property is subject to heavy taxation and the threat of confiscation.

Randolph Bourne observed that for totalitarian governments, “War is the Health of the State.” Such governments respect the sovereignty of other nations as little as that of their own citizenry.

Totalitarian governments insist that all other human institutions - Church, School, Press and Family - must obediently serve their purposes. No institution may rival their power or stand in their way. No person, even the divine Person, may stand above or apart from totalitarian governments. Their subjects are not allowed to pledge allegiance to the State’s being “under God.”

If any person reserves to himself the autonomy to think or act freely, to form his own beliefs and purposes, the totalitarian government will seek his destruction. The complete subservience of individuals to the State means that individuals cannot be free to serve anything or anyone else. The totalitarian State permits no rivalries.

Since totalitarian governments repress human freedom to the point of denying human nature, their own citizens will eventually seek to overthrow them. Totalitarian governments know this, and try to quash incipient rebellion through the use of surveillance and other police-state tactics.

The inexorable conflict between the totalitarian government’s need for repression and man’s desire for freedom can only be resolved by revolution.

Next: Part 2 of 2

Comparison: USA v. USSR

Is the federal government poised for a “Soviet-style” collapse?

X - In Hoc Signo Vinces

Luke Exilarch - luke@eXilemm.com

August 16, 2005

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