Hard lessons from the Soviet Union

The collapse of the 71 year old Soviet empire in 1989 stemmed mainly from the collapse of the Soviet economy, due to an unwinnable war in Afghanistan and a blown out military budget. The parallels with current US economic and geopolitical problems are obvious. Other similarities include the fact that the citizens of the US have lost any ability to influence their own government, as well as being stripped of basic civil liberties they are supposedly guaranteed under the Constitution.

The power structure in the US is clearly different from that of the former USSR. It’s not Communist Party bureaucrats who have seized control of our government – but powerful corporations with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. However like the Communist apparatchiks, these corporate interests have also assumed near total control over public information, via their ownership of electronic and print media outlets.

All this has occurred at a juncture in history when the human species faces three of the most urgent crises to ever face human kind – climatic instability resulting in an escalation of extreme weather events (deadly droughts, wild fires, storms and floods), fossil fuel depletion and the impending collapse of an extremely dysfunctional economic system.

It’s up to us – the government isn’t going to do it.

The government can’t and won’t do it. It is complicit and joined at the hip with the same forces who cratered the economy and who continue to profit at the expense of the rest of us. An awake and active citizenry can make the difference. Now’s the time to try. If not now, then when?

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