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Thanks for posting this, poemless:

On a serious note, if this topic interests you, come see how blackhawk and I duke it out over "managed democracy" and how blackhawk wins.  Kinda. Ish.

I stopped following your blog far too soon.  Glad you gave me a second look.  I think you at least gave as good as you got and I learned a great deal about Medvedev and contemporary Russia.  

The last academic course I took in Russian History was in 1965, so since then I have relied mostly on media and didn't have a reliable calibration on my B.S. detector.  I have long held that elected representative government is something that must evolve organically over time in each society and is not some reductionist fantasy of a simple formula that can be applied, cookie cutter style.  Same for economic systems.  

Given that serfdom was only abolished by Alexander II, the Russians have come a long way in a short time.  Comparable evolution in the English speaking world could be considered to have started with the Tudors.  For the USA, a lot of the blood spilled along the way was shed in England in the 17th century. There is very little "democracy" in the workplace here, and the structure and conduct of our economy is such a sick joke that I cannot imagine how anyone can feel triumphant about that.  Most just buy the corporate PR without even realizing it.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jul 11th, 2008 at 11:12:24 PM EST
The last academic course I took in Russian History was in 1965

Sadly, I think this is probably the case with most "Russia experts" and foreign policy advisers...

I have relied mostly on media and didn't have a reliable calibration on my B.S. detector.

Again, you are in the vast majority.  You're why I write. ;)

Given that serfdom was only abolished by Alexander II, the Russians have come a long way in a short time.

Er, whaaa?  Russia abolished serfdom several years before America abolished slavery.  And 1861 was like, a long time ago!  You make it sound like Russia was lightyears behind civilization or something.  The liberal reforms of Russia in the 19th Century, which also included things like jury trials and local self-government, were pretty impressive, and for many, not liberal enough.  So let's set aside this idea that Russia's only recently emerged from some cave to join the Enlightenment.  Which, I know, is not exactly what you were saying.  But it could rub someone that way.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Sat Jul 12th, 2008 at 03:04:17 PM EST
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Russia abolished serfdom several years before America abolished slavery.

Two years < several.  1861-1863.  And of course in America, we had the more "advanced" race-based slavery. :-/  We imprisoned whites, exterminated Native Americans and enslaved blacks, though not universally on any of the three counts.

And 1861 was like, a long time ago!

A matter of perspective.  My paternal grandfather was born in 1850.

But it could rub someone that way.

Anyone we know?  Some folks are just plain touchy! ;-)    

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jul 12th, 2008 at 04:41:41 PM EST
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