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ronya
Nov 8, 2010

I'm the normal one.

You hate ridden fucks will regret your words when you eventually grow up.

Peace.
unlike the 1980s Soviet Union, China is not willing to throw endless barrels of money down a black hole of Cuba/Angola/Libya/Syria/Ethiopia (in percentage-of-GDP terms Soviet empire was very costly for the Soviets, in the ballpark of what Algeria cost France or Ultramar cost Portugal in their respective closing years). So there is correspondingly no need to back regional proxies there either. It turns out that the US does not actually have a structural dispositional interest in overturning elections in Latin America without the possibility of Soviet intervention

also unlike the 1980s, with the notable exception of Singapore, key longtime US partners in East and Southeast Asia have democratized since then: the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia have all undergone democratization, sometimes under heavy US pressure

this shift is the reason for the US embrace of the democracy/dictatorship angle, and so one can readily expect the US to keep playing it up

XJP thought has an angle of "socialist consultative democracy" 社会主义协商民主 (an older phrase) or "whole-processs people's democracy" 全过程人民民主 (XJPism) which shares some aspects of the 1980s Soviet position on the distinctive features of Soviet democracy - in particular the Soviets played up the concept that mass involvement in civic governance was a sufficient condition for democracy, so that quoting numbers of thousands of people who participate in municipal governance is ipso facto evidence of democratic input (see e.g., the presentation of the 1977 constitution, which formally abolished the dictatorship of the proletariat as having been fulfilled). It did not matter if most of the participation was passive.

However, there are also differences. Contemporary China downplays the mass participation - it has been many years since the 单位 work unit has been able to run local government in any city, rather than complain to it - and instead embeds the Western 1980s innovation of public consultation and public transparency as integral components of democracy in its place. With this embrace comes an accreting norm that petitioners who do "play by the rules" - whose advocacy of 舆论 is firmly conditional on party support, by advocating one segment of the party against another (say) - should not be treated roughly; public calls to abolish 寻衅滋事 (picking quarrels and provoking trouble) as 口袋罪 catchall prosecution now appear in the Chinese press itself (e.g., here is this guy writing a column in the state press). The fact that such calls by prominent figures are public and allowed to remain public shows the level of domestic disquiet about such aging features of the judicial system. So China has some way to go in maturing its own distinctively post-Soviet conception on democratic alternatives, and it knows it.

in the here and now, anyway, China has chosen to politely scrub Biden's remark rather than play it up in outrage. So it's inconsequential at home.

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Google Jeb Bush
Mar 28, 2010


They even broke into my safe!

ronya posted:

(in percentage-of-GDP terms Soviet empire was very costly for the Soviets, in the ballpark of what Algeria cost France or Ultramar cost Portugal in their respective closing years).

i had to double take and google this one

I didn't know there was a war for (the remnants of?) Portuguese Africa because by that point Portugal was not precisely a big name in global affairs

also, it ran until 1974, that's practically today

fart simpson
Jul 2, 2005

DEATH TO AMERICA
:xickos:

ronya posted:

It turns out that the US does not actually have a structural dispositional interest in overturning elections in Latin America without the possibility of Soviet intervention

yes it does, we never stopped interfering in latin america despite the soviet union being long gone. like, the us just recently did a coup in bolivia after elections didnít go our way

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

Google Jeb Bush posted:

i had to double take and google this one

I didn't know there was a war for (the remnants of?) Portuguese Africa because by that point Portugal was not precisely a big name in global affairs

also, it ran until 1974, that's practically today

Not only did the Portuguese colonial empire run a decade longer than everyone else's, it ended not because they decided the cost wasn't worth it and went home but because they were forcibly ejected.

fart simpson
Jul 2, 2005

DEATH TO AMERICA
:xickos:

they didnít give up macau until 1999

ronya
Nov 8, 2010

I'm the normal one.

You hate ridden fucks will regret your words when you eventually grow up.

Peace.
France, for its part, does continue to maintain Overseas France, albeit the West is now reconciled to the concept that if it wants such prestige territories then it has to accept that it has to bribe them immensely to keep voting to stay. Some of these territories have significant size, e.g., French Guiana. But their populations are all modest. By necessity it cannot maintain a large population under such largesse.

Portugal had a domestic revolution over paying 3-4% of GDP to maintain its pretensions in Africa, about the same % the Soviets were faced with by the mid 1980s. It's important to recognize that the Portuguese were not defeated militarily as such; this was not French Indochina, but rather akin to French Algeria; ultimately what broke its empire was the unpalatable costs at home of maintaining one in a GATT age. So the Soviet comparison is apt. Brooks and Wohlforth memorably described the Soviet clientelism in Eastern Europe as "modern historyís worst case of imperial overstretch", which is quite striking given what else has been going on in modern history.

quote:

For a brief moment Russian nationalists stood at the forefront of an anti-imperial front because they shared the idea that the peripheries were a financial burden for the centre and because they associated the Soviet 'empire' with the socialism they detested. The corrosive effect of the traumatic Afghanistan War had been chipping away at many Soviet citizens' desire for imperial adventures. Economic decline, combined with the new opportunities to give voice to extreme discontent, led many during perestroika to inveigh against the spending of 'Russian money' in the 'Third World'. An old Soviet internationalist complained in 1991: 'I speak of the foreign debt, the lack of food, infant mortality, the political repressions in many Latin American countries, and the answer is: "Enough of feeding these wogs. They are ungrateful cattle. Remember Indonesia ó we fed them, fed them; Egypt, we fed them, fed them, and then they all showed us their arses" ... All these opponents of mine had the same solid conviction: the lack of sausage at our shop counters is to be blamed on the Cubans, the Vietnamese, the Ethiopians and all the other scum from the "Third World".

Mark, J., Iacob, B. C., Rupprecht, T., & Spaskovska, L. (2019). 1989. Cambridge University Press, pp190

One reason Beijing has been quick to clarify that 1b1r is not a blank cheque...

ronya fucked around with this message at 11:38 on Nov 19, 2023

ronya
Nov 8, 2010

I'm the normal one.

You hate ridden fucks will regret your words when you eventually grow up.

Peace.
https://twitter.com/DemesDavid/status/1726165815807074701

https://twitter.com/wentisung/status/1726174301337043208

that was quick

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

*Stupid Babby*

Well we all knew that was going to happen. Just funny that it happened in 3 1/2 days.

I'm very happy that every article talking about this has a small footnote of "Terry Gou is also in the race." Five months ago I was scared about that.

Fuligin
Oct 27, 2010

wait what the fuck??

The implication that the SU's one sided relationship with its scattered client states was akin in nature to Portugal's and France's overseas colonial possessions (turned postcolonial 'interests') is pretty :rolleyes:, but I appreciate the insights on how contemporary Chinese officials might interpet that free-handed largesse re: Belt and Road.

ronya
Nov 8, 2010

I'm the normal one.

You hate ridden fucks will regret your words when you eventually grow up.

Peace.
He's too vacillatory. He had to signal opennes to a deal, but he should have exited guns blazing and accusing the KMT of all manner of perfidy and dishonest negotiation, not yeah-maybe for an additional day.

Which was really the challenge going in: establishing the TPP as the senior partner of the opposition and ready to take power rather than the new kid on the block.

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007

YAP YAP YAP

fart simpson posted:

yes it does, we never stopped interfering in latin america despite the soviet union being long gone. like, the us just recently did a coup in bolivia after elections didnít go our way

The US didn't need to do a coup in Bolivia. Morales pissed everyone off on his own.

ronya
Nov 8, 2010

I'm the normal one.

You hate ridden fucks will regret your words when you eventually grow up.

Peace.

Fuligin posted:

The implication that the SU's one sided relationship with its scattered client states was akin in nature to Portugal's and France's overseas colonial possessions (turned postcolonial 'interests') is pretty :rolleyes:, but I appreciate the insights on how contemporary Chinese officials might interpet that free-handed largesse re: Belt and Road.

lots of things are incomparable, but I find whole points of GDP to be be big, hard-to-miss things for contextualizing the level of domestic disquiet regarding the costs of empire (or, likewise, for setting out why Chinese conduct today might be structurally different from Soviet conduct back when, despite facial similarities in rhetoric and gestures at past solidarity)

it is true that whilst the West had a swathe of the globe under the precarious rule of a nativized-to-varying-degrees ruling elite amounting to <1% of the population, whose membership was conditional on continued legitimation of metropole institutions, it was deeply averse to hybrid warfare ("communist subversion"). In the democracy-vs-dictatorship stakes it was appreciated that socialists, if not outright communists, would probably win free and fair elections. Later during the Cold War this dynamic switched sides, of course: evil empire, colour/people power revolutions.

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

Pictured: Poster prepares to celebrate Holy Communion (probablY)

This avatar made possible by a gift from the Religionthread Posters Relief Fund

Kchama posted:

The US didn't need to do a coup in Bolivia. Morales pissed everyone off on his own.

Yeah that explains why his party got re-elected double quick and the people who couped him are currently being put on trial for the massacres that were committed.

i fly airplanes
Sep 6, 2010


I STOLE A PIE FROM ESTELLE GETTY
https://x.com/jhaboush/status/1725908138006659485?s=46

Seems kind of pointless without Israel at the table here. Saudis intent on doing these moves solely for optics/to piss off Americans, similar to their Iran deal.

Also, Arab League.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007


Josef bugman posted:

Yeah that explains why his party got re-elected double quick and the people who couped him are currently being put on trial for the massacres that were committed.

Weren't there more fraudulent ballots than the margin of victory in 2019? It seems hard to blame that on the US.

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007

YAP YAP YAP

Josef bugman posted:

Yeah that explains why his party got re-elected double quick and the people who couped him are currently being put on trial for the massacres that were committed.

There... doesn't need to be US involvement for a coup to happen. The US is not responsible for everything.

Anez was stupid enough on her own to go for a coup when everyone (including his own allies in the unions!) had angrily thrown out Morales for blatantly rigging the election. The US didn't need to be involved at all. Also shockingly, Morales is not his party, and when the other party tried to take advantage of him being thrown out to take power, they got thrown out as well.

DeadlyMuffin posted:

Weren't there more fraudulent ballots than the margin of victory in 2019? It seems hard to blame that on the US.

Yes, that combined with Morales trying to get rid of term limits for himself as well as a bunch of other things led to a perfect storm of people being pissed at him specifically and not his party.

Kchama fucked around with this message at 15:17 on Nov 19, 2023

Silver2195
Apr 4, 2012

Kchama posted:

There... doesn't need to be US involvement for a coup to happen. The US is not responsible for everything.

Anez was stupid enough on her own to go for a coup when everyone (including his own allies in the unions!) had angrily thrown out Morales for blatantly rigging the election. The US didn't need to be involved at all.

I donít think that was quite how it happened; I thought the evidence of election fraud turned out to be falsified. In any case, though, that doesnít make the US responsible for the coup.

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007

YAP YAP YAP

Silver2195 posted:

I donít think that was quite how it happened; I thought the evidence of election fraud turned out to be falsified. In any case, though, that doesnít make the US responsible for the coup.

Eh. One org said it was falsified, but then everyone else disagreed and nobody believed that one org, so 'it was blatantly rigged' was one of the reasons everyone was mad, true or not.

tristeham
Jul 31, 2022

nm

tristeham fucked around with this message at 19:09 on Nov 19, 2023

Dopilsya
Apr 3, 2010
^^^
Probably outside the scope of this thread, but for Bolivia, the OAS and EU issued reports alleging fraud and at least mishandling of data. (the intial OAS report said there were a lot irregularities, the final said there was evidence of willful manipulation IIRC). A later MIT study said that the results were at least statistically plausible which does cast doubt on at least how much fraud there was. At least some reporters have interpreted that as definitive prove that there was no fraud at all, but that's not really what they were saying. I don't know that anyone can definitively say that what irregularities existed would have made the election come out a different way, though.

Worth noting that there were essentially two coups in Boliva-- first by Morales, then by Anez. The Bolivian Constitution has a 2 term limit for the president (much like the US) and Morales decided to run again in violation of that. In order to justify it, he launched a referendum effort to overturn the term limits. That referendum failed, at which point he had the judiciary overturn the referendum results and declare term limits unconstitutional. Then the 2019 election with its issues, followed by Anez's actions, which I think we can at least characterize as an illegal seizure of power.


fart simpson posted:

yes it does, we never stopped interfering in latin america despite the soviet union being long gone. like, the us just recently did a coup in bolivia after elections didnít go our way

As far as "US did a coup" this is nonsense not backed by the evidence at all. Frankly, I think your claim hinges on the idea that a critical mass of people in the "global south" (another monolithizing term I dislike) are infantile sheeple and when the OAS (who is really Soros, or the CIA, or whatever) issue a report alleging irregularities they jump immediately to carry out the wishes of their masters.

i fly airplanes
Sep 6, 2010


I STOLE A PIE FROM ESTELLE GETTY

Kchama posted:

There... doesn't need to be US involvement for a coup to happen. The US is not responsible for everything.

Anez was stupid enough on her own to go for a coup when everyone (including his own allies in the unions!) had angrily thrown out Morales for blatantly rigging the election. The US didn't need to be involved at all. Also shockingly, Morales is not his party, and when the other party tried to take advantage of him being thrown out to take power, they got thrown out as well.

Yes, that combined with Morales trying to get rid of term limits for himself as well as a bunch of other things led to a perfect storm of people being pissed at him specifically and not his party.

It's like speaking to children: alleging that anything that happens that they don't like is a result of USA/the CIA/foreign interference, and things that they do like, baiting the same thing (Venezuela/Maduro/resistance/"the people" is so popular they overcame US interference, the CIA is so incompetent, etc)

What do the kids call it these days? Main Character Syndrome?

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

Owling Howl
Jul 17, 2019

Dopilsya posted:

As far as "US did a coup" this is nonsense not backed by the evidence at all. Frankly, I think your claim hinges on the idea that a critical mass of people in the "global south" (another monolithizing term I dislike) are infantile sheeple and when the OAS (who is really Soros, or the CIA, or whatever) issue a report alleging irregularities they jump immediately to carry out the wishes of their masters.

Pretty cool you can coup governments by issuing reports though. The OAS really has enormous power - probably even more than the Vatican or the Bilderberg group.

ronya
Nov 8, 2010

I'm the normal one.

You hate ridden fucks will regret your words when you eventually grow up.

Peace.

i fly airplanes posted:

https://x.com/jhaboush/status/1725908138006659485?s=46

Seems kind of pointless without Israel at the table here. Saudis intent on doing these moves solely for optics/to piss off Americans, similar to their Iran deal.

Also, Arab League.

apparently they are visiting all the UNSC permanent member capitals, which is suitably anodyne and inoffensive; some shuttle diplomacy seems necessary for the actual logistics of securing a humanitarian corridor certainly

Herstory Begins Now
Aug 5, 2003
SOME REALLY TEDIOUS DUMB SHIT THAT SUCKS ASS TO READ ->>

ronya posted:

lots of things are incomparable, but I find whole points of GDP to be be big, hard-to-miss things for contextualizing the level of domestic disquiet regarding the costs of empire (or, likewise, for setting out why Chinese conduct today might be structurally different from Soviet conduct back when, despite facial similarities in rhetoric and gestures at past solidarity)

it is true that whilst the West had a swathe of the globe under the precarious rule of a nativized-to-varying-degrees ruling elite amounting to <1% of the population, whose membership was conditional on continued legitimation of metropole institutions, it was deeply averse to hybrid warfare ("communist subversion"). In the democracy-vs-dictatorship stakes it was appreciated that socialists, if not outright communists, would probably win free and fair elections. Later during the Cold War this dynamic switched sides, of course: evil empire, colour/people power revolutions.

One thing that really struck me in traveling to areas that had been in the Soviet sphere and particularly even on the farther end of it (eg Nicaragua) is just how much left over evidence there was of Soviet support in the form of machinery, heavy vehicles, and so on. Soviet support really was not just some budgetary after thought. Similarly if you travel around Eastern Europe the amount of stuff the Soviets built is staggering. Some of the stuff is very good quality, other stuff like the Kruschevkas or other non-prestige construction was quite a bit lower, and then there's just a bunch of unremarkable but mostly perfectly serviceable infrastructure. On that last point of yours: It was also striking how little actual good will it bought relative to the profound distaste for Soviet repression that is, in many cases, the apparent bulk of the Soviet legacy

Herstory Begins Now fucked around with this message at 20:43 on Nov 19, 2023

Neurolimal
Nov 3, 2012
Dead men can't defend themselves; there's been a lot of time to kill fond memories of the USSR. I've posted these in D&D enough times that I probably come off as a broken record, but:




Opinion of the USSR basically sharply correlates to whether or not you were an adult at the time that it fell.

V. Illych L.
Apr 11, 2008

ASK ME ABOUT LUMBER

the soviets were a very useful figure to blame for a lot of stuff, and soviet rule was highly thuggish and often quite primitive in its demonstrations of force

a big part of the project of (state) socialism is to transfer economic conflict into the explicitly political realm rather than outsource it to generalised market discipline, under the formal reasoning that the outcomes of market processes are intensely alienating and produce a large number of undesired outcomes. the idea is that a political process can in principle produce better outcomes. the soviet mentality of political power never quite got over its revolutionary and post-revolutionary phase, and considered open repression perfectly reasonable and open lies worthwhile so long as they were in the cause of advancing the world revolution.

you can see something of this in the stalinist policy of the arts in high culture - guys like shostakovich were constantly being charged with counts of formalism when they made something too high-faluting. in a capitalist system, shostakovich's earlier, more experimental works would probably just have not been very popular and so he would've been forced by market pressure to adjust or to simply play to a reduced, specialist (probably quite well-off) audience. however, because the soviet system makes all this stuff explicitly political, you get people making arguments which make little sense to us about a weird term called "formalism" to replicate this effect and force the "formalist" to make humiliating public apologies. as it turns out, a lot of people really resent being subject to this kind of system precisely because there are obvious agents who could in principle be held to account for their mistreatment and yet are not. this goes double for people who have a reasonable expectation that they would be successful under a market-governed regime, such as prominent artists, organisers and academics. in the end, the soviets had no clear answer to the question of elite loyalty

so when the soviets fall and the opposition takes over, that opposition has some very legitimate axes to grind against the old regime, and their founding doctrines are all about opposition to said regime anyway. from here follows some half-informed impressions about how this has played out in china:
mao seems to have relied on something similar to the soviet approach; repoliticise all areas of public life and harness the forces thus unleashed to bring forward the communist project. as far as i can tell, dengism made a strategic decision to allow open markets to emerge and operate under controlled circumstances and in certain sectors, alleviating some of the pressure from these systems and letting the governing class govern in peace. the american expectation has been that this would lead to governing-class alignment with broader US strategic interests (in practice the post-cold war order), but it doesn't seem to have happened, and xi jinping seems to have taken things in a very different direction.

Herstory Begins Now
Aug 5, 2003
SOME REALLY TEDIOUS DUMB SHIT THAT SUCKS ASS TO READ ->>
Yeah one of my biggest takeaways was and remains that coerciveness takes a hundred fold effort to undo, and even that very often doesn't succeed. People hate being coerced, hate having anyone they care about coerced, particularly in more extreme ways that states tend to, and that the memory of coercion takes a very, very long time to fade. Usually 2-3 generations and sometimes more.

ronya
Nov 8, 2010

I'm the normal one.

You hate ridden fucks will regret your words when you eventually grow up.

Peace.
https://twitter.com/duandang/status/1726453310188912824

that is, only the counties with active territorial beefs with China rather than those that might prioritize a talk shop as long as the salami slicing is kept down to a dull roar, like Indonesia or Singapore

This is a not a comfortable club (Vietnam is far more armed than the other two, Malaysia would much rather have Islamic prestige than regional prestige if not for the offshore oil it instrumentally needs to fund Islamic prestige, and the Philippines is firmly stuck in the lower middle income trap watching Vietnam sail past) but if it takes off, it might alter the hapless SCS COC status quo

ronya
Nov 8, 2010

I'm the normal one.

You hate ridden fucks will regret your words when you eventually grow up.

Peace.
It was a good number of decades between Stalinism and 1989 - whilst the difficulty in calibrating the right level of brutality across the Brezhnev years generated a perpetual class of dissident intelligentsia who could legitimize or become leaders of a protest movement (and whose grievances would therefore be taken to articulate the wider movement), it was not itself the protest movement. It's a necessary but not sufficient condition.

Of the lessons contemporary neoauthoritarianism in China takes away here, it is that one should not sign up to 1975 Helsinki Accords-style commitments to human rights to begin with (which tied Soviet hands in responsively escalating towards the end, when previously non-existentially-threatening reformism escalated suddenly toward democratization and multiparty elections) - there is e.g. simply no reason to let (say) Ilham Tohti be free to begin with. Nothing save a desire for respect in the West actually obliged the Soviets to let the Pope walk around Warsaw unmolested. The 1980s Soviets felt an obligation to notionally respecting free speech except where socialist rule is explicitly questioned; hence Xi is hot on the concept of denying the need to concede to a human-rights framework and denying the inevitability of having to do so. This presents the shift from Hu/Jiang where open resignation by Party members in public on the future could be heard and read.

This play is something of an untested one, I think. I feel like it's vulnerable to the same evolution the Soviets experienced: eventually the class of dissidents evolves to be, increasingly, non-Othered people with sufficient bona fides and then it feels unjust to publicly destroy them. "Fairness and justness" 公平与正义 norms have a particular shape regardless of whether they are encoded in domestic rights jurisprudence.

ronya fucked around with this message at 09:42 on Nov 20, 2023

V. Illych L.
Apr 11, 2008

ASK ME ABOUT LUMBER

Herstory Begins Now posted:

Yeah one of my biggest takeaways was and remains that coerciveness takes a hundred fold effort to undo, and even that very often doesn't succeed. People hate being coerced, hate having anyone they care about coerced, particularly in more extreme ways that states tend to, and that the memory of coercion takes a very, very long time to fade. Usually 2-3 generations and sometimes more.

also the new governing elite's whole legitimising narrative is opposition to the soviet project, and that narrative was fully acceptable to every other surrounding elite. for a lot of ordinary people, the eastern bloc wasn't bad and often tends to be remembered fondly (call it irrational ostalgie or Lived Experience(tm), but as neuroliminal notes it's an empirical fact fact). these people and their impulses have very limited influence on policy or means of transferring their attitudes to the next generations, and so it quickly gives way to any convenient pinning of what ails ya on the historical shadow of bolshevism

i do think there's something to be said for the "well yes this guy is formally a Human Rights Activist but he's also very, very annoying and obnoxious and this is why he's in jail" approach. if you don't raise expectations of accountability the argument made has to be for accountability as such, which as long as you can keep the broad mass politic in line is a very abstract and difficult argument to make. i guess we'll see

ronya
Nov 8, 2010

I'm the normal one.

You hate ridden fucks will regret your words when you eventually grow up.

Peace.

V. Illych L. posted:

i do think there's something to be said for the "well yes this guy is formally a Human Rights Activist but he's also very, very annoying and obnoxious and this is why he's in jail" approach. if you don't raise expectations of accountability the argument made has to be for accountability as such, which as long as you can keep the broad mass politic in line is a very abstract and difficult argument to make. i guess we'll see

that does succinctly capture the usefulness/problems of the "picking quarrels and causing trouble" catchall criminal offence approach

but which, as I remarked, domestic Chinese thinkers are increasingly uncomfortable with

I would forecast the probable evolution of disempowering local government from such discretion and transferring it to the center first (in a bid to stymie self-serving local abuse of the law), and then subsequently a natural demand for cross-provincial consistency in enforcement emerges, which then undermines the local responsiveness in managing dissent which originally existed + taking away local government's incentive to enforce such discretionary judgments

ronya fucked around with this message at 17:39 on Nov 20, 2023

i fly airplanes
Sep 6, 2010


I STOLE A PIE FROM ESTELLE GETTY

Neurolimal posted:

Dead men can't defend themselves; there's been a lot of time to kill fond memories of the USSR. I've posted these in D&D enough times that I probably come off as a broken record, but:




Opinion of the USSR basically sharply correlates to whether or not you were an adult at the time that it fell.

Try polling East Germany, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia and other Warsaw Pact countries on what their views are of the USSR. It's even more stark.

https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2017/06/29/in-russia-nostalgia-for-soviet-union-and-positive-feelings-about-stalin/

It's not about the West killing off "fond memories of the USSR", it correlates to Russian propaganda and control.

Even in Russia, polls show this:

V. Illych L.
Apr 11, 2008

ASK ME ABOUT LUMBER

i fly airplanes posted:

Try polling East Germany, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia and other Warsaw Pact countries on what their views are of the USSR. It's even more stark.

https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2017/06/29/in-russia-nostalgia-for-soviet-union-and-positive-feelings-about-stalin/

It's not about the West killing off "fond memories of the USSR", it correlates to Russian propaganda and control.

Even in Russia, polls show this:

the assertion with which you seem to take issue is that there's a strong correlation between "was adult [in the soviet union? in the eastern bloc?] in circa 1990" and "positive opinion of the soviet union" and that seems to be supported by your link. the effect naturally varies depending on country and probably experience of the Soviet period, but i don't see how your evidence refutes of the claim being made - in fact, from the polls in that link, the tendency appears to be universal with only its effect size varying. also several of the countries you mention are not represented in the polling data. i know that as of 2009 opinions of the communist period were fairly positive among older east germans (https://www.spiegel.de/internationa...m-a-634122.html), but i imagine that feelings were cooler in poland, at least. i have no clear expectations about the other eastern bloc countries, but it would indeed be interesting to see such polls.

it's not clear to me what you're trying to argue with the poll of russian irredentism over time except that the russians think they have geopolitical grievances, so i'm not going to try to address that

Glah
Jun 21, 2005
I think his point wasn't to challenge the clear correlation amongst age cohorts in different countries trending towards negative as lived experience fades away but the fondness aspect itself. Were we to approach Soviet Union as an imperialist project, it makes sense that people who had lived experience of living in the core would defend it more than the subjugated peoples. And that shows in the polling too.

In similar way I wouldn't be surprised if we were to poll people who lived through for example the fall of British empire and saw that Englishmen thought it more of a disaster than people from colonies. But I don't think it would tell us much about goodness of British empire or that dead men can't defend themselves if younger cohorts had more negative view about it.

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

There's also a fairly big difference between asking 'did you like the Soviet Union?' and 'do you think the way the USSR fell made things better?'

Objectively the 90's were a disaster for Russia and things have been pretty bad/stagnant in many of the other SSRs other than the Baltics, the correct answer is that the experience of the breakup was harmful for most people.

Glah posted:

I think his point wasn't to challenge the clear correlation amongst age cohorts in different countries trending towards negative as lived experience fades away but the fondness aspect itself. Were we to approach Soviet Union as an imperialist project, it makes sense that people who had lived experience of living in the core would defend it more than the subjugated peoples. And that shows in the polling too.

In similar way I wouldn't be surprised if we were to poll people who lived through for example the fall of British empire and saw that Englishmen thought it more of a disaster than people from colonies. But I don't think it would tell us much about goodness of British empire or that dead men can't defend themselves if younger cohorts had more negative view about it.

The key thing to remember about the USSR was that it was an unusual empire in that the core subsidised the periphery, not the other way around. Still had the brutal repression of the periphery (and the core). That's why it's Russia that chose to dissolve the USSR and the periphery republics were more on the fence; the Republics liked the subsidies but not the occupation, Russians didn't like seeing money flowing outwards while they were broke and seeing everyone still hate them for it.

Herstory Begins Now
Aug 5, 2003
SOME REALLY TEDIOUS DUMB SHIT THAT SUCKS ASS TO READ ->>
Yeah and a binary approve/disapprove really fails to account for the depth of sentiment, which is a conspicuously large part of the equation to just discount.

V. Illych L.
Apr 11, 2008

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Glah posted:

I think his point wasn't to challenge the clear correlation amongst age cohorts in different countries trending towards negative as lived experience fades away but the fondness aspect itself. Were we to approach Soviet Union as an imperialist project, it makes sense that people who had lived experience of living in the core would defend it more than the subjugated peoples. And that shows in the polling too.

In similar way I wouldn't be surprised if we were to poll people who lived through for example the fall of British empire and saw that Englishmen thought it more of a disaster than people from colonies. But I don't think it would tell us much about goodness of British empire or that dead men can't defend themselves if younger cohorts had more negative view about it.

i think this is reading a lot into that post which is not obviously in the text, to be honest.

i also disagree with your allegory to the british empire on two points - the first being that an institution directly descended from and invested in the legitimacy of the british empire is, in fact, still around (so it's not a dead man) and the second being that i don't think there's any particular reason to think that e.g. indians or kenyans who lived through the latter days of the empire in their regions would approve of it more than people born after independence absent actual polling evidence of that. we do have evidence of such an effect in the peripheral parts of the soviet union and at least one of its satellites.

until fairly recently the official line has been fairly clearly anti-soviet in all of the european-adjacent republics apart from belarus (and, more recently, russia). it is not unreasonable to think that this has something to do with public perceptions of the state on the part of people who weren't conscious during its existence, especially when it's borne out by polling evidence.

to put it another way: i feel fairly comfortable with predicting that the recent, more positive line on aspects of the soviet project from the russian government (if maintained) is going to make the kids that grow up with the revised curriculum more positively disposed to the soviet union than people who grew up in the period between, let's say, 1992-2015

Glah
Jun 21, 2005

V. Illych L. posted:

i think this is reading a lot into that post which is not obviously in the text, to be honest.

I thought it was obvious because it's the only way the post makes sense as a counter assertation instead of any other interpretation for very much the same reasons you outlined in your previous post. And it makes the point about Russian irredentism make sense too, they don't miss political and economic system of Soviet Union, they miss the lands of their neighbours that made "them" an empire. And that was what I was going for in my British empire example, it wasn't supposed to be 1 on 1 allegory, it was just an example of how people view past empires and how their views might differ depending on their own identity.

But then again I'm not the original poster so dunno. That's just how I read the post and how it made sense to me while you were wracking your brain about it not making sense.

V. Illych L.
Apr 11, 2008

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Glah posted:

I thought it was obvious because it's the only way the post makes sense as a counter assertation instead of any other interpretation for very much the same reasons you outlined in your previous post. And it makes the point about Russian irredentism make sense too, they don't miss political and economic system of Soviet Union, they miss the lands of their neighbours that made "them" an empire. And that was what I was going for in my British empire example, it wasn't supposed to be 1 on 1 allegory, it was just an example of how people view past empires and how their views might differ depending on their own identity.

But then again I'm not the original poster so dunno. That's just how I read the post and how it made sense to me while you were wracking your brain about it not making sense.

if the charitable interpretation is that the post is meant to counter a claim which other than the one explicitly made (in this case it's unclear what the precise claim being rebutted would be - everyone who lived to see the soviet union liked it? some people liked the soviet union? people in the satellites didn't like the soviet union? the latter is plausible, but not supported at all by the provided evidence), i think charity is doing us something of a disservice. it's also notably asymmetrical; it requires the claim being rebutted to be a much broader one than is apparently put forward, so we'd be assuming a suspicious reading of neuroliminal's post to provide a charitable reading of i fly airplanes' post

it's possible to say that russians generally have a better opinion of the soviet union than e.g. estonians for reasons of perceived national greatness, but that doesn't work to counter the claim made, and it doesn't seem address the ukrainians in neuroliminal's poll having a larger effect size than the russians. at best, the case being made is that there is also an effect of russian national pride in perceptions of the soviet union (again, this is certainly plausible!), but this would not actually be a rebuttal of neuroliminal's interpretation of the provided data. the post seems to want to do more ("It's not about the West killing off "fond memories of the USSR", it correlates to Russian propaganda and control."), i.e. perceptions of the soviet union are not correlated to a western-aligned/western-led (depending, again, on how suspicious we want to be of neuroliminal's original post - i certainly didn't read it as implying that this was all a foreign imposition) anti-soviet educational effort, but are correlated to how susceptible people are to russian propaganda. this would be irreconcilable with neuroliminal's position, but is not borne out by the evidence provided. i do think there's something to be said for the alternative interpretation that "the fall of the USSR was bad" can also mean "the period in which the USSR fell was really bad" and not necessarily "the USSR was good", but i don't think that this fully accounts for just how stark this generational effect is, nor the east german story which was phrased more explicitly.

basically i'm saying that imo a more plausible interpretation of the post in question is that it's just missing its target or wrong. that is fine - this can be demonstrated and then the china thread can ideally go back to discussing china with the question of generational attitudes towards the soviet union a largely settled empirical question. i do think that there being such an effect is relevant, because the soviet project and the people's republic of china have many points of contact and it's worth noting that that project remains much more popular/much less unpopular to people with their own memories of it, implying that the general brutishness of the regime did not actually cause a general collapse of legitimacy among the masses, and when we discuss chinese neo-authoritarian strategies that is pertinent; if one's interpretation is that what the soviets did wrong was pretend to not be brutes and then behave brutally, which caused disaffection among certain elite segments who quite liked the idea of not being brutes, which contributed to the collapse of legitimacy among those elites, then just not entertaining those pretensions is a perfectly reasonable lesson to learn from the soviet collapse. it does not make sense if the correct interpretation is that the brutality itself destroyed popular consent for the soviet project per se - if that is the only supportable view, then the neo-authoritarians in ronya's telling seem to just be stupid.

V. Illych L. fucked around with this message at 23:12 on Nov 22, 2023

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Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

I think the extremely rapid rise of right-to-far-right nationalist sentiment in the USSR and across the Warsaw Pact is a pretty strong indicator that the conventional wisdom that there was no ideological love for the USSR at at is correct, and that people value things they associate with stability over things they associate with instability.

e; to link to China, it's very superficially like the way when China gave up on socialism it pivoted to a state capitalism and ethnonationalist ideology rather than democratise.

Alchenar fucked around with this message at 07:32 on Nov 23, 2023

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