After End of the Cold War Limits of U.S. Political Intellect Emerged

Some Americans are unhappy at the necessity to relitigate the end of the Cold War. The end was res judicata and stare decisis, and then the Democrats stepped in to restructure and renew conflict with Russia as a proxy for Cold War. One must win the peace instead of backsliding into Cold War. President Clinton bungled the restructuring work with Boris Yeltsin; a feminine C.I.S. or sis was made while the Ukraine and Crimea were wrested from the weak sister Russia. Eventually Yeltsin anointed Vladimir Putin and a stronger Russia emerged.

After the end of the Cold War the most apparent lessons one may learn concerning bi-lateral U.S.-Russian relations is the limit of U.S. political intelligence and the failure to adapt. President Reagan experienced shock and resistance in his administration when he sought to eliminate all U.S. and Soviet nuclear weapons. Democrats today are about as anti-Russian as were old-line anti-Soviet political warriors. They have shown an inability to adapt or even to recognize the serious effort Russia put into reform and transition toward democracy and free enterprise. After a few more comments I will repost a paper I wrote concerning the Russian Super-Presidential powers. The next President after Vladimir Putin will inherit those powers.

The Russian Super-Presidency emerged something like the way war-time powers of Lincoln or F.D.R. emerged to address critical domestic and foreign issues. President Putin seems occasionally amused by the U.S. political failure to recognize or even support the substantial changes Russia has gone through to try to build a new nation dedicated to the proposition that all men and women are created equal and are deserving of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with an equal say in government through democracy. In order to reform and construct existing institution in Russia and to keep the peace emergency powers of the President became codified. Some day perhaps those powers will be reformed and reduced too.

The fundamental errors the U.S.A. has made about Russia involve a failure to accurate understand Russian and European history the past thousand years. Half of the Ukraine with the border on the Dnepr River and the Crimea belonging to Russia were fundamental historical requisites for the Russian state separated from the Soviet Union. Ambitions for land fueled by Western Europe made that a bone of contention worthy of reigniting the Cold War. The policy has driven the Russians to stronger relations with foreign nations somewhat antipathetic to U.S. international interests. The short-sighted and greedy policy has wrought significant damage to U.S. economic and environmental interests of the Arctic region too.

For the New Year it would be good if the U.S. political establishment developed more competence in Russian-American relations and recognition of historical and political geographic interests. Russia as an economic and military ally brings synergy toward positive resolution of numerous world conflicts. Adverse relations with Russia fuel the fires of a constellation of conflicts.

Russia and Super-Presidency; Evolving Constitution and Economics

August 16, 2018

The Super-presidency arose after the constitutional crisis between President Yeltsin and the Supreme Soviet in 1993. Yeltsin dismissed the Soviet who refused to leave. The matter was settled by armed conflict. The sole surviving institution author; the President made resolutions that formed the basis of a new constitution and set the parameters for the existence of the new legislative body, the Duma. 

The President had extraordinary powers. Acting in the role of Caesar and James Madison simultaneously, President Yeltsin had to create a new state government within an existing advanced society, rather than for a frontier society as the author of the U.S. Constitution was able to accomplish with almost unanimous support from his peers.

 Yeltsin had to get support from certain parties with real power such as rural governors and oligarchs and that led to some corruption. Yeltsin began a work of reform in process and trusted in Vladimir Putin to continue the legacy of building a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal and the chief guardian of the state somewhat more so than others. Polity IV Country Report 2009-2010 Polity IV Country Report 2009-2010

On the Federal Organs of Power during the Transitional Period

Polozhenie ‘O federal’nykh organakh vlasti na perekhodnyi period’ (Resolution “On the Federal Organs of Power during the Transitional Period”),” in Iz istorii sozdania konstitutsii Rossiiskoi Federatsii, vol. 4/3, 461-466.

My general view of the Russian government challenges since 1998…

Russia since the 1998 financial crisis and default has only slowly yet somewhat steadily moved toward reform such that a market economy prevails. It was not so many years ago that Vladimir Putin ended the oligarch domination of the economy and domination of former Soviet assets that they had taken much of. That order of oligarch power was regarded as an unfair distribution of wealth, yet was left somewhat as it was. The economy moved toward liberalization sometimes with substantial state investment and stimulation.

The process was advanced by the rise in world oil prices in the 2000s that continued until the crash following fracking of old oil fields to renew supply. A surfeit of world oil production made oil dependent states lose much revenue. Alaska in the United States faced a government budget crisis and Russia too lost nearly half of its GDP.

If bad actors are targeted, the principle of mass punishment should not target the innocent too. The U.S. should encourage Russia to continue developing a market economy along sound ecological economic principles rather than provide mass punishment for making Crimea a ninth federal district.

Even so Russia continued a slower advance toward a market economy though the state held some major banks and oil companies. It began an income tax of a modest scale though it had difficulty collecting that. Russia faced many internal and external challenges before the regime of foreign sanctions began to appear for international contention to permanently wrest away the Ukraine and Crimea from Russia.

The second largest party in Russia is still the communist party. The United Russia party- by far the largest, is basically a coalition of four formerly separate parties that joined to beat the communists. The economic and social dynamics of economic reform is occurring concurrent with reform of government, and eventually constitutional structures, and stimulation of business and new infrastructure development. All of that is challenging and expensive. While the United States and Europe tend to place themselves into a belligerent and adversarial as possible position comprising something of a threat to Russian security.

My concern is that the sanctions and hostile external relationship with Russia will retard the growth of Russia as a market economy and in the long run solidify less than free enterprise elements in Russia.

Apparently Russians have a trust in state run media and state ownership of business because of historical reasons that lie in the fact that authoritarian or Tsarist government were the fact of Russia for 1000 years. Only since the end of the Cold War has Russia had a pluralist government, although a multi-party Duma/congress existed briefly, shortly before the Bolshevik takeover to end that and the tsar.

Ronald Reagan had a policy of constructive engagement with South Africa and that led to the DeClerk government and end of apartheid. Reagan also ended the Cold War along with President Gorbachev in part because of hi affable character engendering trust. The United States should think deeply about its reckless sanctions on Russia, since they may harm U.S. interests more than Russian, in the long run.





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