Wednesday, May 2, 2012

When did you first realize that the US lost the Cold War?

     This story crystallized something that had been forming in my brain for some time, the sad realization that, contrary to popular image, the US had actually lost the Cold War, not Russia (then operating as the chief gangster in the gangster's USSR).

     Think about it:  since time immemorial, the definition of victory is that you get to impose your will on your defeated enemies in return for cessation of hostilities; they have to adopt your values and become like you, rather than the other way around.

     By that standard, then the US is the clear loser of the post-war period of paranoia and balance of terror called The Cold War, which is popularly misunderstood to have ended with the dissolution of the USSR.  With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the gangsters in charge of the old Soviet Union no longer had to bear the crushing burden of maintaining a military all out of proportion to their needs; rather, they could immediately shrink their military dramatically, with no loss in security, and set about spending on themselves rather than trying to placate a loose confederation of historic tribal enemies and victims of Stalinist repression. 

    So while they don't seem much like the winner, they obviously are when compared to us, because, by the end of the Cold War, the US had adopted every last one of the values of the old Soviet system, from a gigantic secret political police bureau (KGB/CIA) operating without any oversight, from an insanely overmuscled military whose care and feeding required ever greater sacrifice from the proles at home, and finally to the willingness to completely obliterate individuals through torture, all in the name of "homeland security."  Like the Soviets, we insist on being able to listen to phone conversations of the natives, we force the populace to undergo random searches before engaging in internal travels, we greatly fear anyone crossing the borders and subject them to intensely political scrutiny, barring dissidents with strange ideas like "freedom."