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The Big Answer

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Perestroika, The Third Wave And The Next World Order

an article by New Perspectives Quarterly

(our site's article review)

The 1988 article contains Alvin Toffler’s reflections on why Gorbachev sees the need for radical change in his country. Toffler told New Perspectives Quarterly back then that Gorby knows that the world is racing into the future while the U.S.S.R. is frozen in the past. It’s obsolete. So Gorby wanted to launch the Third Wave of change in his country.

Marx’s Second Wave ideas are also obsolete as well as being reductionistic: they are old, mechanistic-reductionistic-paradigm based. Central planning, state socialism, huge bureaucracies—all these things are obsolete. But the entrenched, greedy, shortsighted bureaucrats in the U.S.S.R. were standing in the way of reform because it threatens their privileged status. Gorby asked for openness (glasnost) of opinion and criticism. “. . . you can’t have an advanced economy based on massive flows of diverse information and you can’t have creative management based on the freedom to utter new ideas, no matter how crazy they may sound, without glasnost.” Of course, this endangered political stability. But that is merely a necessary part of the change process. Instability is part of change. Gorby had vision.

We all know how it all came out. But what about the Russian future? We’ll see.

Russia has become a kleptocracy—they have become a political system ranked as one of the world’s most corrupt. Russians, in a decade or so, might get frustrated at the political stagnation and lost economic opportunities. More than a million Russians have fled the country in recent years, many of them educated middle-class. They are very turned off by the rampant graft and political bigwigs who are getting filthy rich while the people suffer.

Russian flag
Russian flag: better their current semi-democratic government than their old Communist mess! Or is it?

Neocon nutjobs tell us that dumping our Bill of Rights and our Constitution was a prerequisite for our safety, which no intelligent citizen could possibly buy
Neocon nutjobs tell us that dumping our Bill of Rights and our Constitution was a prerequisite for our safety, which no intelligent citizen could possibly buy

This isn't to deny that the revolution took place, or that there is a functioning democratic government in Russia. And we can all appreciate the courage of Yeltsin and Gorbachev in salvaging the country by getting it off the Soviet Union path and onto the democracy path. But there are lots of human rights abuses, and Freedom House lists Russia as being "not free." Russia is a "hybrid regime", which has a kind of democratic government in place which is at least better than the old Communist-controlled mess. And before we disparage their corrupt, far-from-perfect democracy, we in the U.S. should look around at our corrupt, far-from-perfect democracy.

United States flag
United States flag: we love it here—so let's fix our national mess! (This website is helping the best we know how.)

Like so many authors these days, we love the U.S. but are depressed about the direction things are going, such as compromised rights, compromised privacy, government surveillance, elections actually meaning nothing anymore, election "reform" going in exactly the wrong direction thanks to a Supreme Court that acts like it's in the pockets of the Corporatocracy, the bailouts, the oligarchy that is replacing the democracy functionally—even if not in name, and the way the rich are getting richer, the middle class are getting shafted, and our elected representatives are doing the will of the corporations and NOT the will of the people. (See The US is an oligarchy, study concludes.) If enough of the middle class becomes part of the lower class as our wealth goes into the oligarchy's bulging pockets, the U.S. will be merely rich and poor—and you can bet that this will be the ugly precursor to Feudalism.

The middle class are getting shafted by an oligarchy that cares only about itself
The middle class are getting shafted by an oligarchy that cares only about itself

To confirm all this for yourself, consult these books (or merely our comments about them):

  1. Den of Thieves
  2. A Dream Deferred
  3. The Politics of Rich and Poor
  4. Who Will Tell The People: The Betrayal of American Democracy
  5. Perverse Incentives
  6. Post-Capitalist Society
  7. The Quickening of America
  8. America: What Went Wrong?
  9. The Content of America’s Character
  10. Moral Politics
  11. The Dream and the Nightmare
  12. Fooling America
  13. Demosclerosis
  14. A House Divided
  15. The Guru Papers
  16. Arrogant Capital
  17. The Way We Never Were
  18. Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite
  19. 8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back: How the U.S. Crushed Youth Resistance
  20. Supercapitalism
  21. The Road to Serfdom
  22. The Next Century
  23. Bankruptcy 1995: The Coming Collapse of America and How to Stop It
  24. Head to Head: The Coming Economic Battle Among Japan, Europe, and America
  25. Hey, You're Doing Great
  26. The Responsive Communitarian Platform
  27. The Rapids of Change: Social Entrepreneurship in Turbulent Times
  28. Bold New World: The Essential Road Map to the 21st Century

Get the picture?