In the second half of his op-ed in the Washington Post today, former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev entirely credits himself and fellow countrymen for the end of his country's Communist dictatorship, and claims that it's the Western capitalist model that is currently failing.
In the process, he espouses positions that seem to have been copied from the Democratic Party's past few platforms, as well as from U.S. Dear Leader Barack Obama's governing model.
Following Gobachev's ridiculous rewrite of the Soviet Union's final decade (you know it's ridiculous because the name "Reagan" never appears; he doesn't even believe that the break-up should have happened), here are key passages from the former dictator's admonishments of the West (the most obvious direct lifts from Obama and Dems are in bold):
(After the fall and break-up of the Soviet Union) The "Washington Consensus," the dogma of free markets, deregulation and balanced budgets at any cost, was force-fed to the rest of the world.
But then came the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, and it became clear that the new Western model was an illusion that benefited chiefly the very rich. Statistics show that the poor and the middle class saw little or no benefit from the economic growth of the past decades.
The current global crisis demonstrates that the leaders of major powers, particularly the United States, had missed the signals that called for a perestroika. The result is a crisis that is not just financial and economic. It is political, too.
The model that emerged during the final decades of the 20th century has turned out to be unsustainable. It was based on a drive for super-profits and hyper-consumption for a few, on unrestrained exploitation of resources and on social and environmental irresponsibility.
..... The time has come for "creative construction," for striking the right balance between the government and the market, for integrating social and environmental factors and demilitarizing the economy.
Washington will have to play a special role in this new perestroika, not just because the United States wields great economic, political and military power in today's global world, but because America was the main architect, and America's elite the main beneficiary, of the current world economic model. That model is now cracking and will, sooner or later, be replaced. That will be a complex and painful process for everyone, including the United States.
But if all the proposed solutions and action now come down to a mere rebranding of the old system, we are bound to see another, perhaps even greater upheaval down the road. The current model does not need adjusting; it needs replacing. I have no ready-made prescriptions. But I am convinced that a new model will emerge, one that will emphasize public needs and public goods, such as a cleaner environment, well-functioning infrastructure and public transportation, sound education and health systems and affordable housing.
..... In our time, we faced up to the main tasks of putting an end to the division of the world, winding down the nuclear arms race and defusing conflicts. We will cope with the new global challenges as well, but only if everyone understands the need for real, cardinal change -- for a global perestroika.
- As to Gorbachev's allegation of no poor or middle-class benefit from a quarter-century of capitalistic expansion, at least in the U.S. from 2003-2007, income inequality did not grow, and every economic quintile gained. With the onset during the second half of 2008 of the POR (Pelosi-Obma-Reid) Economy aka the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Recession as normal people define it, that may no longer be true, as the less-skilled have historically been more likely to lose their jobs. Gorby also somehow missed the growth during the past two decades of solid middle-class populations in India and China, to name just two.
- "Unrestrained exploitation of resources" -- we should be so lucky. The fact is that the U.S. has locked up trillions of dollars worth of oil and natural gas in the name of environmental purity. This refusal to use God-given resources, perhaps unprecedented in human history, has arguably contributed to worldwide economic instability.
- "Environmental irresponsibility" -- Please. The worst environmental offenses, from Chernobyl to seriously polluted rivers and streams, occurred in the Soviet Union, in a system that simply didn't have the means to clean up after itself.
The media bias angle in all of this is seeing whether the Post gives anyone from the Reagan Era a chance to respond to Gorbachev's massive assemblage of falsehoods and false prescriptions. I'll bet not.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.