Are We Going Down Like the Soviets?

Be sure to read this entire article.  It follows along my own fears.  

An excerpt:

You remember the Soviet Union, now almost 20 years in its grave.  But who gives it a second thought today?  Even in its glory years that “evil empire” was sometimes referred to as “the second superpower.”  In 1991, after seven decades, it suddenly disintegrated and disappeared, leaving the United States — the “sole superpower,” even the “hyperpower,” on planet Earth — surprised but triumphant.

The USSR had been heading for the exits for quite a while, not that official Washington had a clue.  At the moment it happened, Soviet “experts” like Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (then director of the CIA) still expected the Cold War to go on and on.  In Washington, eyes were trained on the might of the Soviet military, which the Soviet leadership had never stopped feeding, even as its sclerotic bureaucracy was rotting, its economy (which had ceased to grow in the late 1970s) was tanking, budget deficits were soaring, indebtedness to other countries was growing, and social welfare payments were eating into what funds remained.  Not even a vigorous, reformist leader like Mikhail Gorbachev could staunch the rot, especially when, in the late 1980s, the price of Russian oil fell drastically.

Looking back, the most distinctive feature of the last years of the Soviet Union may have been the way it continued to pour money into its military — and its military adventure in Afghanistan — when it was already going bankrupt and the society it had built was beginning to collapse around it.  In the end, its aging leaders made a devastating miscalculation.  They mistook military power for power on this planet.  Armed to the teeth and possessing a nuclear force capable of destroying the Earth many times over, the Soviets nonetheless remained the vastly poorer, weaker, and (except when it came to the arms race) far less technologically innovative of the two superpowers.

One Response to “Are We Going Down Like the Soviets?”

  1. limitedrepublic.com Says:

    No. We are far more unified than the Soviet Union ever was. The vast super majority of Americans speak and understand a form of the English language.

    Second and third generation Hispanics actually do assimilate. The United States isn’t a collection of conquered nations. Unless, we identify the American “South”, Texas, Hawaii and native nations as such.

    We are far more similar than we are different. Even with culture wars and grave differences in values. The United States is far more cohesive than the Soviet Union. Although, in some ways, both have been held together by force.


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