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  #1  
Old 10-29-2011, 07:53 PM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Worldwise: Democracy in Russia (Robert Wright & Alexey Sidorenko)

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  #2  
Old 10-29-2011, 08:37 PM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
 
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Default Re: Worldwise: Democracy in Russia (Robert Wright & Alexey Sidorenko)

Thanks to Bob for bringing us another interesting guest from a foreign country. Looking forward to the conversation.

Interesting as they are, one can only take so much of conversations about the Republican primaries and how much people hate or don't hate Obama.

Last edited by Diane1976; 10-29-2011 at 08:40 PM..
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  #3  
Old 10-29-2011, 09:38 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Worldwise: Democracy in Russia (Robert Wright & Alexey Sidorenko)

Interesting so far about Russia, and thank you Bob for FINALLY providing me a perfect link to where I think you go wrong sometimes.

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/396...1:43&out=22:00


NO! it's not a good thing in and of itself that most people are happy because it allows for scenarios like the popular will of the majority to suppress other weaker groups.


jim crow, persecution of non muslims, or non specific faction muslims, or politicians who take a stance against blasphemy laws being murdered...

even if ALL those things had popular support of the people, that does not make them good for those societies, it makes them worse.

It's only OK if you have a sort of neutral/amoral view of policy and positions. Then, whatever makes people happy, and by extension gets them to leave us alone, is AoK
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  #4  
Old 10-29-2011, 10:45 PM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
 
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Default Re: Worldwise: Democracy in Russia (Robert Wright & Alexey Sidorenko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonIrenicus View Post
Interesting so far about Russia, and thank you Bob for FINALLY providing me a perfect link to where I think you go wrong sometimes.

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/396...1:43&out=22:00


NO! it's not a good thing in and of itself that most people are happy because it allows for scenarios like the popular will of the majority to suppress other weaker groups. etc. .........
You're right, and that may be only one negative result of too much direct democracy. As Bob said in an article that was posted here somewhere, the founding fathers had no intention of establishing a direct democracy system. They favoured representative democracy, and they put in place many safeguards so that the government wouldn't be taken over by unscrupulous rabble rousing types, or the ignorant.

He thinks the Internet, and the new media chopped up into niches and a thousand special interest groups has corrupted the system as it was intended. The other thing that has contributed, I think, is the penchant for referendums, recall, and the like, not to mention professional politicians who specialize in attracting people with simplistic slogans. Also, the constant attempt by media not to hold government accountable, which was supposed to be its role, but to be partisan and to feed off degrading gossip about politicians.

It's a good thing we made progress to things like universal suffrage, the Civil Rights Act and the end of the draft before all this happened or we never would have. You can always have to much of any good thing, democracy included.
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  #5  
Old 10-30-2011, 04:17 AM
Olavus Olavus is offline
 
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Default Re: Worldwise: Democracy in Russia (Robert Wright & Alexey Sidorenko)

The Father Sunshine was a western aficionado.

Why Stalin loved Tarzan and wanted John Wayne shot

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/3...ayne-shot.html
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  #6  
Old 10-30-2011, 08:56 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Worldwise: Democracy in Russia (Robert Wright & Alexey Sidorenko)

Alexey: "Tomorrow?!?"

Hilarious. I'm curious to know what percentage of the Russian populace believes that Vladimir Putin's "discovery" of antique urns during his first diving trip was legitimate. Also, it's nice to know that the government uses anti-Americanism as a cynical governing measure and isn't real policy. One Rocky IV movie was enough.
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  #7  
Old 10-30-2011, 01:48 PM
rcocean rcocean is offline
 
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Default Bob's point about the Majority being happy

as a good thing is correct. Its nice that after Tsar and Communism the Russian people finally have a government that seems interested in making the Russian people happy as opposed to oppressing them.

As for Russians thinking the USA would invade them. Maybe, if McCain, Senator Goober (SC), and a bunch of loudmouth Neo-cons would stop attacking Russia and Putin or saying crazy crap like "We're all Georgians Now" Russia wouldn't feel so threatened.

Its amazing how Americans feel they can stick their nose in everyone's business, but if Russia returns the favor, it "Anti-Americanism"

Last edited by rcocean; 10-30-2011 at 01:53 PM..
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  #8  
Old 10-30-2011, 04:45 PM
dieter dieter is offline
 
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Default I'm not convinced that Russia is not democratic

Nothing Alexey Sidorenko related in this diavlog strikes me as slam dunk evidence that Russia is not a democratic state.

Let's go through the list:

Established parties using procedural and other means to stiffle the formation of new parties? Seen that before.

An establishment media that ignores certain points of views and issues? Sounds familiar.

Entanglement between big business, big media and the political establishment? Oh, the humanity! I'm shocked, shocked I say.

A complacent public that looks the other way wrt. corruption, as long as their personal economic situation keeps improving? Say it ain't so!

The notion that the US tramples all over the world like an elephant in a porcelain shop to impose it's will? There is no government propaganda necessariy to convey that impression.

Unresolved assassinations in the context of poor police work and the presence of organized crime is certainly the most disturbing of the accussations at hand. But we nevertheless accept Italy and Turkey to be democratic nevertheless.

Now it might be that the cumulative intensity of all of these ills in the Russian case are strong enough to make it undemocratic in total. But then again, all dissident ex-pats claim that their own country of origin is outstandingly deplorable.
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  #9  
Old 10-30-2011, 04:48 PM
dieter dieter is offline
 
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Default John McCain threatened Putin directly

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcocean View Post
As for Russians thinking the USA would invade them. Maybe, if McCain, Senator Goober (SC), and a bunch of loudmouth Neo-cons would stop attacking Russia and Putin or saying crazy crap like "We're all Georgians Now" Russia wouldn't feel so threatened.
http://pik.tv/en/news/story/21981-mc...ld-worry-putin

Quote:
“Dictators in all countries, including Bashar al-Assad and, possibly, Mr. Putin and some Chinese leaders should be worried. I think this is spring, but not only the Arab Spring,” McCain said during the BBC’s Newsnight show.
I'm increasingly convinced that the non-election of John McCain saved us from WWIII. Not that Obama is a peacenik by any stretch of the imagination.
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  #10  
Old 10-30-2011, 06:21 PM
harkin harkin is offline
 
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Default Re: Worldwise: Democracy in Russia (Robert Wright & Alexey Sidorenko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diane1976
one can only take so much of conversations about the Republican primaries and how much people hate or don't hate Obama.
It's disgust with a media and party that presented this clown as a legitimate chief executive, not hate for the man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diane1976
.....not to mention professional politicians who specialize in attracting people with simplistic slogans.
heh
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  #11  
Old 10-30-2011, 08:32 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: I'm not convinced that Russia is not democratic

The most basic test is whether or not putin and co would allow themselves to be shuffled out of power if the public turned against them.

Also, if one of the methods of dealing with people who criticize you and undermine your popularity is assassination... that kind of degrades the legitimacy of the government, elected or not.
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  #12  
Old 10-30-2011, 08:38 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Worldwise: Democracy in Russia (Robert Wright & Alexey Sidorenko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by harkin View Post
It's disgust with a media and party that presented this clown as a legitimate chief executive, not hate for the man.
Don't you just love it when a post simply implodes as its own refutation?
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  #13  
Old 10-30-2011, 10:10 PM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
 
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Default Re: Worldwise: Democracy in Russia (Robert Wright & Alexey Sidorenko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
.......... Also, it's nice to know that the government uses anti-Americanism as a cynical governing measure and isn't real policy........
There's nothing new about politicians playing on the fears of people towards a foreign enemy, real or imagined. That's the oldest trick in the books. Exactly what threat was Iraq to the US, and how does that compare to the threat Russians might feel of the US, given its aggressive policies?
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  #14  
Old 10-30-2011, 10:36 PM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
 
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Default Re: Worldwise: Democracy in Russia (Robert Wright & Alexey Sidorenko)

I wonder if this is true. According to NYT, no sooner did O announce reductions of troops in Iraq, he said the US would increase troops in half a dozen other ME countries, all the friendly dictatorships.

"President Obama might be vowing to pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of the year, but officials and diplomats tell The New York Times that the administration is planning to boost American troops in the Persian Gulf region even after the withdrawal. This could include new combat forces in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates, with an eye on the threat of Iran."



http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/wo...gulf.html?_r=1
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  #15  
Old 10-30-2011, 11:06 PM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
 
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Default Re: Worldwise: Democracy in Russia (Robert Wright & Alexey Sidorenko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diane1976 View Post
I wonder if this is true. According to NYT, no sooner did O announce reductions of troops in Iraq, he said the US would increase troops in half a dozen other ME countries, all the friendly dictatorships.

"President Obama might be vowing to pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of the year, but officials and diplomats tell The New York Times that the administration is planning to boost American troops in the Persian Gulf region even after the withdrawal. This could include new combat forces in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates, with an eye on the threat of Iran."



http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/wo...gulf.html?_r=1
Actually, he didn't say. The Administration leaked this info. That's so typical of them. What a weird PR strategy.
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  #16  
Old 10-31-2011, 07:14 AM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: Worldwise: Democracy in Russia (Robert Wright & Alexey Sidorenko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diane1976 View Post
Exactly what threat was Iraq to the US, and how does that compare to the threat Russians might feel of the US, given its aggressive policies?
If the Russians conceive of themselves as having fallen to the point where they consider the Iraqi event to be a perilous example of what could befall them, then we are watching a national insecurity unfold before our eyes that is historic in its scale.
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  #17  
Old 10-31-2011, 04:31 PM
David Edenden David Edenden is offline
 
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Default Re: Bob's point about the Majority being happy

Alexy, the real question is "Would the U.S be friendlier a more democratic Russia? Why not write an article.

I don't think it would unless Russia adopted a totally subservient posture towards the US in the manner of Britain, Japan and Germany.

Just look at the verbal tirade against France when it had the temerity to question the invasion of Iraq by Bush 2.

The US political class is working overtime to make sure the the economic power of China is not translated into political power.

You can expect continued US hostility to Russia no matter how democratic it is.

For example, Macedonia is quite democratic but that still has not stoped the US congress from supporting the wiping off the face of the map Macedonia, the Macedonian language, Macedonian Orthodox Church etc. to appease the Greek lobby


And finally you should discuss the easy treason that Russian emigres have adopted as they settle into new found countries in the west.
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  #18  
Old 10-31-2011, 10:35 PM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
 
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Default Re: Worldwise: Democracy in Russia (Robert Wright & Alexey Sidorenko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
If the Russians conceive of themselves as having fallen to the point where they consider the Iraqi event to be a perilous example of what could befall them, then we are watching a national insecurity unfold before our eyes that is historic in its scale.
Hmm. Well, it wouldn’t be Iraq by itself. I had the impression Alexey was talking about a sense of something like the “falling dominos” theory. It doesn’t make sense to me that people would see Libya the same way they see Iraq, but maybe if you’re a Russian it’s just one more example of US aggression, along with the drones in various places and the troops all over the world, nuclear arms, and the seeming power and influence, etc.

In any case I think my point was that you don’t have to be living in some backward dictatorship, or semi-democracy, to be paranoid about foreign threats, or to have the government play on them. So my Iraq example was meant to refer to Bush convincing Americans Iraq was a threat to them which I know some people think was justified but a lot don't.

I could also use maybe a better example, the example of Canada which is quite democratic, and is the country most geographically and culturally close to the US. Canadians feel a sense of admiration and loyalty to the US but they also feel a kind of paranoia or fear of the US, not that it will invade, but that it might rip of resources or inadvertently harm Canada, or swamp it identity-wise. That feeling emerges in response to certain US policies, like “buy American” for example, but when O visited here he seemed to be aware and said it didn’t mean Canada. The only time I remember people being actually fearful that the US might intentionally harm Canada was in the Bush years, because Canada didn’t support the Iraq war. But, as it turned out, Bush eventually turned up here and said, in effect, they wouldn’t do that.

So, all this to say, that maybe if this country of Canada that is so attached to the US, culturally, geographically and historically, can have these kinds of feelings, how much more so might more distant places, more backward, less democratic places that don’t have shared values and culture. Maybe it’s just an extreme version of the same thing. Maybe what’s needed is an awareness of how people feel and for a president to understand, which O seemed to do at first but he sort of faded away.

This is just a pet theory of mine. Hoping this might make some sense to you.
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  #19  
Old 11-01-2011, 09:15 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Worldwise: Democracy in Russia (Robert Wright & Alexey Sidorenko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diane1976 View Post
There's nothing new about politicians playing on the fears of people towards a foreign enemy, real or imagined. That's the oldest trick in the books. Exactly what threat was Iraq to the US, and how does that compare to the threat Russians might feel of the US, given its aggressive policies?
Yes, I agree. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough.

As you've stated, creating foreign enemies for the purposes of political opportunism is nothing new. I'm only relieved to hear about the level of fear mongering. That is, if Alexey is right about the aspirations of the Russian government, that tells me that they aren't interested in ever going down old paths. Staying slightly hostile is a good thing and my guess is that it's the only realistic thing to do.
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  #20  
Old 11-12-2011, 10:32 AM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Worldwise: Democracy in Russia (Robert Wright & Alexey Sidorenko)

I've was unable to listen much around the time this one was posted, so just now got around to it. Extremely interesting, and I'd like to encourage Bob to return to the topic.
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