19 December 2011

Ruining a Hercules

I am in the middle of Alec Nove's An Economic History of the USSR (Pelican Books, 1975) and have found some interesting parallels with the - not economic, but anti-economic - policies of communist Russia and the anti-economic policies of the Obama regime. So far the most disturbing similarity I discovered is between pre-communist, czarist Russia and America on its current fast-track to some form of neo-communism. The big-picture views of both their situations are identical in essentials - and profoundly scary.

Consider what is happening around us. The government's policies are stifling America's private sector and keeping her natural resources in their useless natural state. There is the communist-directed OWS movement which has the potential to become violent. There is a TEA Party movement trying to bring constitutionalism to an incompetent government engaged in continuous power grabs and spending wildly to the point of bankruptcy.

All that has happened before - a century ago, on the other side of the world.

From Nove:
The following is an extract from a book by an Austrian observer, Hugo Ganz, published in 1904 and entitled The Downfall of Russia. It is said to be a conversation between Ganz himself and a senior official who asked to remain anonymous:
   "What will be the end, then?"
   "The end will be that the terror from above will awaken the terror from below, that peasant revolts will break out and that assassination will increase."
   "And is there no possibility of organizing the revolution so that it shall not rage senselessly?"
   "There is no one with whom I have spoken who would fail to paint the future of this country in the darkest colours. Can there be no change of the fatal policy which is ruining the country?" 
   "Not before a great general catastrophe. When we shall be compelled for the first time partly to repudiate our debts - and that may happen sooner than we now believe - on that day, being no longer able to pay our old debts with new ones - for we shall no longer be able to conceal our internal bankruptcy from foreign countries and from the Emperor - steps will be taken, perhaps..." 
   "Is there no mistake possible here in what you are saying?" 
   "Whoever, like myself, has known the state kitchen for the last twenty-five years has no longer any doubts. The autocracy is not equal to the problems of a modern great power, and it would be against all historical precedent to assume that it would voluntarily yield without external pressure to a constitutional form of government." 
   "We must wish then, for Russia's sake, that the catastrophe comes as quickly as possible."
   "I repeat to you that it is perhaps nearer than we all think or are willing to admit. That is the hope; that is our secret consolation...We are near to collapse, like an athlete with great muscles and perhaps incurable heart weakness. We still maintain ourselves upright with stimulants, by loans, which like all stimulants only help to ruin the system more quickly. With that we are a rich country with all conceivable natural resources, simply ill-governed and prevented from unlocking our resources. But is this the first time that quacks have ruined a Hercules that has fallen into their hands?" (p. 27)

Need America continue this repeating of Russia's history?

America's crisis has been a long-time in the making and is arriving at its climax, but it is not too late for us to get to work at stopping the quacks in Washington from ruining this Hercules.

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