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Why do you think America won the Cold War?

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Why do you think America won the Cold War?

Postby Jackal » Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:20 am

I was just thinking about how Russia is everything America is not: the average person there is at least somewhat cultured, well-educated, and good at math and science. Russia has a rich history of scientific and artistic accomplishments which are at least equal to America's.

What's your opinion about why America is the superpower and Russia is not? Does it simply come down to economics or are there any deeper reasons for America's dominance in the world?
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Re: Why do you think America won the Cold War?

Postby momopi » Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:06 am

Jackal wrote:I was just thinking about how Russia is everything America is not: the average person there is at least somewhat cultured, well-educated, and good at math and science. Russia has a rich history of scientific and artistic accomplishments which are at least equal to America's.

What's your opinion about why America is the superpower and Russia is not? Does it simply come down to economics or are there any deeper reasons for America's dominance in the world?



One indicator of success is the ratio of women's out-marriage rate. Women has historically married up the socio-economic ladder, and thus if more foreign women want to marry into your country/ethnicity, then you're considered to be successful.

So count the number of Russian brides to US versus American brides to Russia, or any foreign brides to Russia. You'll have your answers there.

On a broader scale, you can also use immigration numbers. Education, art, math, and science are great only if the people stay and contribute to your country -- not if they bail for better paying jobs in America.

It's said that one day, when humanity expand into the stars, only the culls will eventually remain behind.
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Re: Why do you think America won the Cold War?

Postby ladislav » Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:19 am

Jackal wrote:I was just thinking about how Russia is everything America is not: the average person there is at least somewhat cultured, well-educated, and good at math and science. Russia has a rich history of scientific and artistic accomplishments which are at least equal to America's.

What's your opinion about why America is the superpower and Russia is not? Does it simply come down to economics or are there any deeper reasons for America's dominance in the world?


There are several factors and causes and not the only one. I will illustrate:

America is also everything Russia is not.

America is a very practical culture with a practical mind and a great deal of common sense. There is also the inherent discipline inherited from the Germanic founders of the country. While science is not up to par among the general population, the business sense and common sense is superb. The Anglo Saxon Protestant work ethics is what keeps the country going. If an average Joe is not a good scientist, he will import scientists from overseas. Americans are problem solvers, optimists and good salesmen. The national character has a can-do note to it. People are taught to achieve and triumph., That leads to great disasters ,but also great achievements. All useless and impractical stuff is gotten rid off. The only underclass are those who are not willing to work their butts off, by and large. An average person has a dream, and that dream has a spark to it, He will go at it until it is achieved.

America also offers a large area with many states and many opportunities. It is not ravaged by foreign invaders that wipe out 20,000,000 people in four years. It has no dictators that murder 30,000,000 people and pass incongruous laws that throw the country into turmoil. People do have some power there as opposed to Russia where they have virtually none. Also, America has great location and a temperate climate. The country is not bombed routinely whenever every major war takes place. September 11 or the 'fascism' of George Bush or McCarthyism are child's play compared to Russia's disasters and tragedies.
So, from the beginning, Americans are just more fortunate, and that leads to a character or optimism and the belief that life is generally, a positive thing.

The Russian national character is impressive at first- sophisticated, good at math, well-read, philosophical and communal. But there are major flaws in it that lead to its downfall. First- there is an inherent dark gloom in their society and the Orthodox religion. It is a pessimistic culture. They do not really use God for help the way people in the Bible belt do. Religion is more ceremonial-like. They are also not good at business and never had the Protestant formula of work= American dream. It was a peasant society that had only barely entered the industrial age when the 1917 revolution happened. And the abundant and rewarding capitalism ( such as what they had built in, say, Japan) never entered Russia. After they had killed all their aristocrats, the serfs came to power, and these were bitter and uncouth and not very well educated and with no industrial/business acumen. They tried to create a system of education and a strange new economy of a never tried before variety, and were successful at some things, but the people there cannot work independently and enjoy work; they have to be forced to work because work = serfdom in the Russian mind.

An average Russian is a philosopher, philologist, idealist, a long monologue man. A dreamer. An ideolog. Not a pragmatist. He is a talker. He talks the talk but does not walk the walk. Not much of a doer unless someone forces him to. Most people are very impractical and suffer from the same emotional unpredictability as many Latin cultures. They built the USSR on slave labor and idealistic foundations without thinking through the practicalities. Some things they succeeded in , most , they did not.

They could not sell their formula of "success" to the world because it simply did not work. People do not want to live in economies where stores are empty, where you have to stand in line daily to buy basic necessities, where things are drab, where salaries are low and where you have no right to travel abroad without a permit from the government. People around the world tried their socialism and saw that while it sounded good on paper, it did not function in real life.

The American capitalism, though, functions better. It is not perfect, but stores are full of food and any item you need -anything you want to buy- is there. Any job you want to have, well, you can have it. It helps individuals succeed better than the Soviet model.

Also, the English speaking people you meet through the Internet are somewhat of an elite. The average person you meet online is sophisticated; not the one you meet on the street. The general masses are not as smart as you think. You must have never lived in a small Russian town. I have. Same rednecks as American ones with one major difference- US rednecks are still hard workers, by and large; average Russian people are not. Gloomy, dark men drinking themselves to death, beating up their wives, musing about the meaning of life while poisoning themselves with vodka. The elites there still refer to them as 'cattle'. Whereas, in the USA, the general masses are quite sophisticated, at least in what they do and are generally successful at what they do. They do not have a gloomy streak to them. People work and are forward looking. Even the reddest- necked US rednecks.

The Russians could sell their model for a while to all these 3d world countries, but soon ,they too began seeing through the smoke and mirrors. Many also did not like being dictated by the Russians. They introduced inferior technology, inferior products and they did not bring much money with them. People in many countries like money, you know.

Russia also did not offer a dream of emigrating to it and succeeding. They did not invite people to settle and give them citizenship en mass. The only time they did that was by invitng Germans when they were under their German czarina- Catherine. But they did not give Germans the nationality and treated them badly after Catherine died.

They generally do not want foreigners to come and live there. It is not a land of opportunities. Plus they can be racist as hell, too. Russia is for ethnic Russkies. America is a beacon of hope to many many people. People immigrate there, work hard and succeed by and large.Even with the US racism and all, you can still succeed, In Russia it is harder. Plus you can never become a "Russkiy" if you are not of the original Slavic stock even if you were born there. But anyone can become some kind of American, even if a hyphenated one.

So, America has endeared a lot of the world to it because of all these things. Russia did not. They tried to introduce their melancholy, dark and sentimental culture to other countries but only succeeded in doing it by force and mainly among the conquered nations- Uzbeks, Ukrainians etc. These are now banning the Russian language and trying to get rid of it, It has brought nothing practical to help people except maybe some aesthetic dreaminess and poesy.


America , otoh has a pop culture that is very attractive to masses and it has products that are on the back tail of it that sell as the culture is introduced. It is so wise and practical! First a movie about cowboys, then jeans with cowboy hats introduced and sold. Then a movie about the 50ies, then Coca- Cola is sold. Americans are presented to the world as jovial, positive, winners, and the US values look attractive to many many disadvantaged masses around the world. Most people who have gone on to America have achieved great things. Even as we are happier abroad, we are happier there, paradoxically because of American passports and citizenship. American degrees, and, well, many American cultural traits. Even succeeding at emigrating out of the US and settling as a privileged US citizen somewhere else as is also an American thing. I hope you understand what I mean. This is why I never advocate expatriating, but rather combining the US with other countries so that a complete life can be had.

But going back to the original question

The biggest reason after all the above ones was simply that the USA drove them into bankruptcy with the Arms Race. They ran out of money. They could not keep up with the American mighty military-industrial-economic complex and the US allies' similar establishments. Their empire also collapsed as people under them wanted independence and were tired of living in drab countries with no products in stores, lousy quality cars ( or no cars) and just a very boring and unfree life.

That's it, in a gyst.
Last edited by ladislav on Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Winston » Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:43 am

That's a great dissertation Ladislav. I remember bringing up the same question to you before when we were with Mike sitting and drinking and talking.

Anyhow I always wondered something else.

How did the USSR suddenly collapse without warning? I remember one day waking up and hearing on the news in 1989 or 1990 that a coup had taken over the Russian government and that the USSR was no more. How did that happen without a battle or war or even a slow progression first? Or was I not paying attention?

I mean, one moment the USSR had the power to destroy us, and the next minute it's just gone? Huh?
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Postby ladislav » Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:43 am

How did the USSR suddenly collapse without warning?


Winston, I do not mean to imitate your Aussie enemy but please allow me some sarcasm. A warning? You mean they were supposed to send you a telegram or something? It was not sudden at all. The process began in 1985. Gorbachev came to power and began reforms. As his government weakened and got lost in squabbles, the Baltic countries declared independence. They were waiting for the chance for a long time. As Gorbachev was busy in Moscow, they joined a human chain across all these countries and Gorbie did not have enough resolve to stop them from splitting. Troops went in but they did not have the same bite as before. And the US recognized the independence immediately and told Gorbie "not to stand in the way of the inevitable". Do remember that the USA had never recognized the annexation of the Baltics in the 1940es. With improved communications and TV, the sights of the Russian troops shooting at Lithuanians and crashing them with tanks created an uproar around the world. This time the Russians were afraid of angering the West because they were so weak now.

First, it was Lithuania, then the other two ( Latvia and Estonia) just followed suit. It was very quick for those. Once the Balts were independent, a domino effect began. The -stans split off. Then the unthinkable happened- Ukraine became independent. After Ukraine declared independence, the USSR was done for. No more wheat and coal. Dead!


I remember one day waking up and hearing on the news in 1989 or 1990 that a coup had taken over the Russian government and that the USSR was no more. How did that happen without a battle or war or even a slow progression first? Or was I not paying attention?


That is right, you were not paying attention. Gorbie sent troops into Lithuania. There were battles. But then after the coup of hardliners that failed, Russia declared independence from USSR, too.

Code: Select all
I mean, one moment the USSR had the power to destroy us, and the next minute it's just gone?


Next minute? Man, you must buy a new watch. It took some two years- Lithuania became independent in 1989 and Ukraine in 1991. So did Russia.
Last edited by ladislav on Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:34 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Interesting...

Postby polya » Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:06 am

I think Ladislav has answered your questions very thoroughly, except that there wasn't really a cold war. It was a false paradigm that the US & USSR governments wanted to scare their people so they could tax their incomes (which is unconstitutional in the US) & use this money to try to dominate the World.
Let me explain:
1. Tax - only tax from companies and taxes on goods and services is constitutional - income tax is not! (I don't want to get into a technical debate now)
2. The cold war was not real. McCarthyism & the FBI ruined thousands of inncoient people for a lie. For example, why didn't the cold war ever turn hot? Because it was a lie told by the media to scare people into giving up their rights (does this sound familiar in our day?).
3. The US & USSR did have spheres of influence & the USSR's did decline after 1989, but the cold war wasn't lost by the USSR because there was not really a cold war at all.

Winston asked why the USSR collapsed without warning. Actually there were plenty of warnings, but the media never told us about them - e.g. the battle of the crops - how Russia couldn't feed itself since the 1970s. Chernobly was the nail in the coffin of the USSR, but the media didn't realise this in 1986.

Anyway, I'd be much more concerned with getting out of the US & buying gold with US dollars while they still have some value.
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Postby Winston » Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:58 am

Ladislav, be easy on me. In the 80's I was a kid who was bullied everyday and watched Star Trek as my escape entertainment. I didn't know what else to do. I was not educated on world events. I only saw Ronald Reagan on TV once in a while. That's all.

What I meant was that our media didn't tell us that there was an internal conflict in the Soviet Union and that it might collapse soon. That was never announced, at least not that I know of.
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Postby ladislav » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:21 pm

WWu777 wrote:Ladislav, be easy on me. In the 80's I was a kid who was bullied everyday and watched Star Trek as my escape entertainment. I didn't know what else to do. I was not educated on world events. I only saw Ronald Reagan on TV once in a while. That's all.

What I meant was that our media didn't tell us that there was an internal conflict in the Soviet Union and that it might collapse soon. That was never announced, at least not that I know of.


Oh, I see. OK, I'll be gentle with you. Well, I do remember the US media showing how Lithuania was invaded again and how the troops were crashing people by tanks. Maybe I was just following the events very closely. It was also all over newspapers. The thing with the Balts, they were lying in wait for 40+ years ready to pounce at the opportunity. Once they went, it was all over. The Muslim republics got the news and followed suit. The Russians were hoping Georgia and Ukraine would stay on, but no dice. These also fell off. Bang! It was in the news in the US. Maybe you simply did not follow up on that. You must have been too young. I was 29, you what? 15? Hey, don't be hard on yourself. But I do repeat- the coverage of the events was quite good. Just like when the Wall came down.
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OIL prices crashing helped cause the fall of USSR

Postby WorldTraveler » Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:11 pm

Thomas Friedman in his new book "Hot, Flat, and Crowded says that one of the main causes of the fall of the Soviet Union was the crash in the prices of OIL. There had been a gas crisis and prices were very high from late 1970s going into the 80s. Prices for oil were very high and Soviet Union sold all this oil to fund their handouts to the people and other programs. Then in the later 80s the price of oil crashed and Soviet Union could not fund their programs. This caused disatifaction and crash of the USSR economy.

Ladislav I like your comments on this. Sorry I don't have the actual details, but I hear the audiobook and don't have the real book to get the actual numbers.
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Re: Why do you think America won the Cold War?

Postby WorldTraveler » Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:47 pm

Jackal wrote:I was just thinking about how Russia is everything America is not: the average person there is at least somewhat cultured, well-educated, and good at math and science. Russia has a rich history of scientific and artistic accomplishments which are at least equal to America's.

What's your opinion about why America is the superpower and Russia is not? Does it simply come down to economics or are there any deeper reasons for America's dominance in the world?



I want to second Ladislav's statements that the average Russian is not worldly. I have lived in Italy and Ukraine, and have had friends live in other European countries. The basic people in these countries have NEVER traveled and have no clue about history, science, or the arts.

Winston always talks about the intelligent opened minded worldly Europeans. These are not the average ones. The average ones or even many w/ college degrees and good jobs have never traveled anywhere. What I also see in Europe is a much more ethnocentric view of their country. They are not open to the outside. Nothing like the melting pot of the US. Yes Americans should learn more about the world. Hopefully this will change as American is becoming less of "European" country.

Ladislov covered this elegantly.

I think the real negative of the USA and most W. European countries, is that a man can NOT get laid and certainly can NOT find a girl friend or wife. This is a very important for all men.
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Postby DarkMatter » Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:24 am

What's your opinion about why America is the superpower and Russia is not? Does it simply come down to economics or are there any deeper reasons for America's dominance in the world?


Because the Elitist banks dictate who becomes a superpower and who doesn't become a super power in this day in age. 8)

If the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and all their Bilderberg Conference butt buddies decide in their next secret Bilderberg meeting that the nation of say....

Zimbabwe will be the next super power, its gonna happen... :lol:

And ya know what, F&*@ those guys for screwing up the world. Too many people died because of these sick twisted Muthaf*&$#!!! :evil:
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Re: OIL prices crashing helped cause the fall of USSR

Postby ladislav » Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:48 am

WorldTraveler wrote:Thomas Friedman in his new book "Hot, Flat, and Crowded says that one of the main causes of the fall of the Soviet Union was the crash in the prices of OIL. There had been a gas crisis and prices were very high from late 1970s going into the 80s. Prices for oil were very high and Soviet Union sold all this oil to fund their handouts to the people and other programs. Then in the later 80s the price of oil crashed and Soviet Union could not fund their programs. This caused disatifaction and crash of the USSR economy.

Ladislav I like your comments on this. Sorry I don't have the actual details, but I hear the audiobook and don't have the real book to get the actual numbers.


Oh, yeah, that should also be one of the main reasons, however, as anything in life an effect is not caused by one thing but by many things. I should think that oil prices had fluctuated in the past, as well, and there were times when the country went through very big changes and there was not even enough food, however, it was held together by brutal dictatorship. No such oil crisis would break the country apart in the 1930ies for one. Stalin was at the helm, you see. Now with Gorbie and his Glasnost, well, everything just started falling apart and yes, the US arms race, the falling oil prices, the grumblings of the neighbors, etc. all that contributed to the fall.
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Re: Why do you think America won the Cold War?

Postby ladislav » Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:10 pm

WorldTraveler wrote:
Jackal wrote:I was just thinking about how Russia is everything America is not: the average person there is at least somewhat cultured, well-educated, and good at math and science. Russia has a rich history of scientific and artistic accomplishments which are at least equal to America's.

What's your opinion about why America is the superpower and Russia is not? Does it simply come down to economics or are there any deeper reasons for America's dominance in the world?



I want to second Ladislav's statements that the average Russian is not worldly. I have lived in Italy and Ukraine, and have had friends live in other European countries. The basic people in these countries have NEVER traveled and have no clue about history, science, or the arts.

Winston always talks about the intelligent opened minded worldly Europeans. These are not the average ones. The average ones or even many w/ college degrees and good jobs have never traveled anywhere. What I also see in Europe is a much more ethnocentric view of their country. They are not open to the outside. Nothing like the melting pot of the US. Yes Americans should learn more about the world. Hopefully this will change as American is becoming less of "European" country.

Ladislav covered this elegantly.

I think the real negative of the USA and most W. European countries, is that a man can NOT get laid and certainly can NOT find a girl friend or wife. This is a very important for all men.



I was in India in 2007 and the country has somewhat of an intellectual worldly elite. For example, take any train or airplane and you will be sharing seats/compartments with leaders, intelligentsia, thinkers etc. That is because an average person there could never afford to take a train or a plane. However, the average person is very poor, non-English speaking and has nothing to talk to you about except how and where to get food. Many, even college educated Indians have never been to Delhi- the capital of the country, let alone a foreign land.
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