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Russian Opposition Figure Thinks Anti-Putin Movement Has Faltered

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the revolution-is-exhausting dept.

Politics 144

New submitter FilatovEV writes "Interview with Russian liberal opposition politician Vladimir Milov taken by Los Angeles Times reveals a different side of the Western narrative about Russia." From the article: "All they have for a plan is a very simple formula: Let's lead a million people out into the streets, and that will scare the hell out of Putin. He will run away, and we will grab power. But even if they get a sufficient number of people out in the street, they don't know what to do next. All they can do is chant their old anti-Putin incantations instead of offering a program of action. "

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yeah and? (3, Interesting)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444189)

Ever see the movie Network?

You have to get mad first...

Re:yeah and? (4, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444227)

Correct. And it should be pointed out that people don't have a responsibility to agree on everything just because they agree the current dictator had got to go.

Re:yeah and? (2)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444253)

There are consequences to throwing out a dictator without coming up with a replacement.

Re:yeah and? (2)

Bobakitoo (1814374) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444419)

There are consequences to throwing out a dictator without coming up with a replacement.

But you do it anyway when the consequences of keeping him are worst.

Re:yeah and? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41444761)

Except that they're not. The Russians were fooled once with Gorbachev and Yeltsin. Unbridled capitalism does not work. Putin is a dictator, but he is a dictator who wants Russia to remain strong and to make oligarchs subservient to the interests of the state.

It's exactly the same approach which has made China successful, except that China is about forty years behind in human rights terms: allow businessmen to get rich by doing whatever it is they do as long as they don't act against the interests of the country. By doing exactly the opposite since Reagan/Thatcher - i.e. making governments subservient to the will of big business - we are now in the shit.

I would vote Putin any day. I don't want the right to a free press which will be ignored anyway - illusions of freedom serve no purpose to anyone but the stupid.

Re:yeah and? (1)

ezdiy (2717051) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445215)

Amen.

Amen to that !! (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445525)

Except that they're not. The Russians were fooled once with Gorbachev and Yeltsin. Unbridled capitalism does not work. Putin is a dictator, but he is a dictator who wants Russia to remain strong and to make oligarchs subservient to the interests of the state.

It's exactly the same approach which has made China successful, except that China is about forty years behind in human rights terms: allow businessmen to get rich by doing whatever it is they do as long as they don't act against the interests of the country. By doing exactly the opposite since Reagan/Thatcher - i.e. making governments subservient to the will of big business - we are now in the shit.

I would vote Putin any day. I don't want the right to a free press which will be ignored anyway - illusions of freedom serve no purpose to anyone but the stupid.

Amen !!

Re:yeah and? (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445973)

The Russians were fooled once with Gorbachev and Yeltsin. Unbridled capitalism does not work.

A system where ownership of capital depends on your connections to the ruling class is not capitalism but cronyism. And that's still the system in place today.

By doing exactly the opposite since Reagan/Thatcher - i.e. making governments subservient to the will of big business - we are now in the shit.

Let me guess. A UK resident who still hasn't gotten over the Thatcher era. No one else whines about Thatcher.

As to Putin wanting "to remain strong", so did Reagan and Thatcher for their respective countries. The latter were far more successful than Putin has been.

I would vote Putin any day. I don't want the right to a free press which will be ignored anyway - illusions of freedom serve no purpose to anyone but the stupid.

Ah, so you're a useful idiot. One only needs to look at countries with a free press to see that your point of view is shit. Sure, there are blatant propaganda sources like Fox News in the US. But word gets around, be it in the "main stream media", the blogs, or whatever. One can't have genuine freedom if one doesn't have a clue what's going on.

Re:yeah and? (1)

lyuden (2009390) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446711)

> But word gets around, be it in the "main stream media", the blogs, or whatever In Russia we have several opposition radio stations, blog activity concentrated at livejournal.com and this site is in the hands of opposition if it is in anybody hands. Television is whole another story, but who watch TV's nowadays. The level of discussion sometimes quite low, I can get banned by people who says that there is no free speech in Russia, only for comment where I say that I voted for Putin. We don't have any kind of Great Firewall and my 30Mb/s for $20/m is quite good on global scale and I am not even in Moscow. There are several sites access to which are blocked, but this list is public, and sites go there after court decision, and most of them are child pornography, or sites calling for coup d'état and organization of new shariat law state on part territory of Russia and several nearby countries. Freedom of speech is not so bad in Russia as it's portrayed in some western media.

Re:yeah and? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446573)

What, exactly, did Putin do in the "interests of the state", other than where it happened inadvertently when doing things in the interests of himself?

And why do you state that the only other alternative is "unbridled capitalism"? I don't want that, but neither do I want Putin. Luckily, opposition has a whole spectrum of candidates who offer various positions, and some of which are moderate and to my liking.

But do keep voting for the guy who stomps you. After all, as the guy himself says, if you don't vote to keep him, you'll end up with someone else who'll stomp harder still. Right?

Re:yeah and? (1)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446689)

What's good in modern Russia is that for one loudmouth idiot (pro-Putin or anti-Putin, any color or taste) there are 10 or 100 silent, but normal people, who just want to live their lives in comfort, mind their own business and raise their kids accordingly. What's bad... well, the same. So, with the help of small band of well-paid or just mentally handicapped people ("Nashists" from Seleger, extreme-right "patriots" or even Orthodoxal religious fanatics), our current powers-to-be can do absolutely everything they want, because most people will just silently live with that, not feeling strong and united enough (or even motivated enough) to really change something.

So, repeating one sad joke from late-Perestroyka years, "realistic way to make thing right in Russia is just wait for Martians to come and fix everything". And yes, many people in Russia do think that Putin has to go, and some may even name his possible successors, but no one will even lift his finger to do something about it. Problem is not with the people like OP, problem is with everyone else who says nothing at all.

Re:yeah and? (1)

lyuden (2009390) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446731)

What, exactly, did Putin do in the "interests of the state", other than where it happened inadvertently when doing things in the interests of himself?

Who knows. But it's better then it was before him. And quite normal. So he has benefit of doubt.

if you don't vote to keep him, you'll end up with someone else who'll stomp harder still. Right?

Yes. If it's not Putin then it will be communists. Liberals never get close enough.

Re:yeah and? (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446767)

Who knows. But it's better then it was before him.

Buy a goat, sell a goat...

And quite normal.

A lot of people beg to differ. I don't consider it normal when the state, directly or indirectly, controls every TV channel in the country.

Yes. If it's not Putin then it will be communists.

Commies get, what, a steady 20% votes every election? They've got a single faithful bloc of people voting for them, but those are mostly aging people on pensions, and the further we go, the fewer there are of them. There is also a vocal young commie minority, but it's really tiny (same as vocal minorities on other sides of the spectrum, really).

Re:yeah and? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445481)

There are a number of historical examples where the consequences of overthrowing a government turned out worse, such as the overthrow of the Czar of Russia or the ending of the Weimar Republic.

What the hell is Slashdot turning into? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445621)

From TFA:

How do your colleagues take your criticism?
 
  Unfortunately, they took my criticism very badly and accused me of having been recruited by the Kremlin. I don't have any relations with them now. I think these people must leave the political stage and engage themselves in writing stories and blogs, exposing corruption schemes and so on, and leave the political work to those who want to struggle for power in earnest.
You, for example?
 
  Why not? I could make a very good opposition candidate.

I do not know why TFA appears on Slashdot.
 
What is Slashdot anyway?
 
Is Slashdot a place for geeks whose interests are girls and tech.
 
Or has Slashdot become a place for fanbois of Western democracies?
 
Is Slashdot so hard up on credible stories that this type of shameless plug of a pathetic Russian politician.
 
TFA has nothing to do with sexy technology, nor anything about online censorship.
 
What the hell is Slashdot turning into?
 

Re:yeah and? (-1, Flamebait)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444451)

The consequences, with or without a replacement would be pretty severe.

Think Syria raised to the power of 10.

The Russian army would have no compunction against shooting down citizens in the streets by the hundreds, which is exactly what Putin would order. There is a reason Russia backs Bashar al-Assad to the hilt, and its because they see nothing wrong with what he is doing, and consider it the normal response to any uprising.

Russian opposition watch this happening, and the support for it expressed by the Russian government.

They can read between the lines.

Re:yeah and? (5, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445007)

I'm not sure where you get your information, but level of sanity of your source is quite questionable. I'm not going to even bother talking about facts, of which your tirade is completely void.

First of all, majority of russians support Putin. There really is no question about this, not even in opposition camps. In fact, one of the main arguments in the opposition camps is that they need to "wake up the nation to oppose Putin". Because they're not opposing him now. Heck, even western election monitoring bodies agree on this part. They just disagree with how much of a majority support Putin commands in Russia.

As a result, Putin wouldn't have to "order an army to shoot down citizens". The anti-Putin mob would be counter mobbed by local youth groups and pro-Putin hardliners, of whom there's plenty. As has happened before.

In Syria, we have a fairly open civil war between different ethnic groups in a country where one ethnic minority has successfully oppressed all other groups for decades. To even think to compare this situation to Russia requires complete of ignorance of basic human interactions. I shudder to think what kind of environment one must live in to suffer from such illusions.

Re:yeah and? (1)

nbauman (624611) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445627)

I shudder to think what kind of environment one must live in to suffer from such illusions.

The Bush White House? Commentary magazine?

Re:yeah and? (5, Interesting)

Yomers (863527) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445675)

Mod parent up!

I would like to add a few points:

-fear of what happened after "perestroyka" in a name of democracy (USSR collapse, local wars, hyperinflation, poverty, corruption to name a few)
-those opposition leaders are no better than guys in power - they want to get to the feeder, or the a fed from US, or they are fed by current powers to show how crazy opposition is.
-real democracy currently works only in a few small European countries with very educated (on average) population. In Russia fair elections and free (means controlled by big businesses) media will result in Special Olympics game of shit-throwing, so every candidate will be in deep shit and the one who will promise more free money to old people and throw more quality shit on the opponents will win.

Some of the people who were on the streets in Russia lately do not want to change Putin for somebody, just want him to behave in a manner expected from elected president and not get too self confident

I'm Russian living abroad for long time, I get my information from different sources. I do not know this "opposition leader" who gave this interview, do not understand why his opinion matters, especially to the nerds.

Re:yeah and? (2)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445323)

The "revolution" in Syria started near the border and is chock full of Al-Qaeda and is being funded by Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

This is definitively not a spontaneous movement.

Re:yeah and? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445607)

So you say.

Re:yeah and? (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446587)

There is a reason Russia backs Bashar al-Assad to the hilt, and its ...

... Russian naval military base in Tartus [wikipedia.org] . Which, obviously, would cease to exist the moment Syria is under control of a pro-Western regime.

Re:yeah and? (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444281)

Yeah. They can build coalitions based on selling natural resources to foreign banks and vandalizing churches with nude, obscenity-laden "performances."

Yay!

Re:yeah and? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41444299)

Yeah, because getting mad really worked in the movie Network. No, actually nothing changed, and the main character was assassinated and forgotten.

Re:yeah and? (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444315)

If you've understood the message of the movie, you'd know that getting mad was part of the program. At least half of the Russian "opposition" leaders are most likely a part of the program to some extent.

Re:yeah and? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41444381)

> At least half of the Russian "opposition" leaders are most likely a part of the program to some extent.

Oh please...

Re:yeah and? (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444423)

Oh please what?

Re:yeah and? (1)

mspohr (589790) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445267)

1. Get mad
2. ?????
3. Profit!

It's always that middle step which is the problem.

He shouldn't feel bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41444195)

But even if they get a sufficient number of people out in the street, they don't know what to do next.

That's why a lot of political movements end in failure.

Re:He shouldn't feel bad (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445249)

That's why a lot of political movements end in failure.

I think a lot of them end in failure because jets don't have windows that open.

Putin (3, Funny)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444203)

His small talk has changed foreign policy. Sasquatch has taken a picture of him. He once ran a marathon, just because it was on his way. He is... the most interesting man in the world.

Sleepy (1)

geddo (1412061) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444219)

I tried to RTFA but I nodded off, where's the bacon guy... has he made to Cali yet?

Just like the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41444237)

This sounds a lot like the GOP strategy in the USA:

But even if they get a sufficient number of people out in the street, they don't know what to do next. All they can do is chant their old anti-Putin incantations instead of offering a program of action. "

They are good at trotting out anti-Democrat slogans, but can't articulate any clear plan to improve things for the middle class.

Re:Just like the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41444263)

I'd say repealing Obamacare is a helluva good start.

Re:Just like the USA (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444431)

I'd say repealing Obamacare is a helluva good start.

Right, because health care was so affordable for the middle class before. That's why almost everyone was insured.

Re:Just like the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41444557)

Actually, I don't mind Obamacare so much, but what I'm really looking for in a president is someone who understands (or at least has cracked open one of the following textbooks):

Economics
History
Foreign Policy
The US Constitution

What I can't figure out is if Obama is actually stupid, or if he's just bent on making the situation worse for everyone by intentionally following paths that have been (repeatedly!) demonstrated to be worse for the greater good.

FWIW, I doubt Romney knows anything about the preceding subjects, either.

Re:Just like the USA (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444609)

I'd say repealing Obamacare is a helluva good start.

Why? I've heard many (mostly republicans) say that we need to repeal Obamacare, but why?

Do you not think providing health care coverage for everyone is important?

Do you not understand why providing healthcare insurance for everyone means that everyone (healthy or not) needs to have coverage?

Do you think that forcing insurers to accept those with prexisting conditions is wrong? If so, how will people unlucky enough to have a chronic illness obtain coverage?

What should happen to those who are unable to obtain healthcare insurance on their own when they have a serious medical condition? Are you OK with paying for their urgent treatment in the ER? Should they be left to die? If so, are you ok with paying for their burial, or should they be left to rot wherever they happened to die?

Do you worry that it's too close to "socialist" healthcare coverage? How do you feel about Medicare?

So really, what is it that bothers you so much about providing healthcare coverage?

Re:Just like the USA (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446043)

Do you not think providing health care coverage for everyone is important?

It'd be nice, I'll grant. However, there's a question that never really gets answered, somehow: Who's going to pay for it? AIUI, if you can't pay, it's free, and right there's a big problem because the demand for a free good is infinite.

Re:Just like the USA (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446135)

Do you not think providing health care coverage for everyone is important?

It'd be nice, I'll grant. However, there's a question that never really gets answered, somehow: Who's going to pay for it? AIUI, if you can't pay, it's free, and right there's a big problem because the demand for a free good is infinite.

Obamacare is not "free" to most people -- most people will purchase private healthcare insurance. Those that can't afford private health insurance will have their costs covered by the government, much like the situation today.

But even if the government did provide "free" healthcare, it would be just as "free" as the other governmental services that most modern countries provide - fire protection services, police services, roads (taxes on cars pay only a fraction of road costs), military protection, etc.

Demand for healthcare is not infinite even if it's "free" because healthcare practitioners don't dole out unlimited amounts of healthcare - you matter how many times you beg for a head CT after you stub your toe, your doctor isn't going to prescribe one. I have practically unlimited healthcare through my employers plan, I pay only a $15 copay for each visit -- but whether my copay was $0 or $100, I don't think I would visit the doctor any more or less frequently than I do now. I don't *want* any non-neccessary drugs or medical procedures.

And you're missing the other half of the equation.... who is paying for healthcare now? We're not letting (usually) people die in the street because they can't afford healthcare, those that can't afford health insurance wait until they have an urgent situation and then they visit an ER where they know they will get care regardless of ability to pay. And when they can't pay and the ER has to absorb the cost, then the rest of us end up paying more in taxes and/or our healthcare costs to cover it. So you're paying for universal healthcare whether you want to or not, but you're probably paying more now than if you paid for more preventative care so people can have their ailments treated before it requires a trip to the ER.

Re:Just like the USA (2)

gizmonic (302697) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446609)

So really, what is it that bothers you so much about providing healthcare coverage?

I'll bite on this one. It's not the coverage, it's the way in which it was implemented. I know what I am paying for my healthcare at work, and I know what my company pays (it's a 25% / 75% split). So, take my plan (which, btw, is the most expensive one offered as my wife has asthma and we tend to need services more than others), and multiply that by 25 million (as my plan covers 2 people). Guess what? You could have covered all uninsured 50 million people (which includes people not here legally) for slightly more than what the Universal Health Care Act is supposed to cost. And that assumes you're paying my price, which, with a group of 50,000,000, you very likely wouldn't be. At even 75% of what I pay, you'd have 100% coverage for about 80-85% of the yearly cost of the UHCA without having to change a single other thing.

So, from a simple financial standpoint, it makes no sense whatsoever to make a law that requires thousands of IRS agents to be hired when you could have done it cheaper and easier simply buying a private plan for everyone who didn't have one. But, that's just it. This wasn't about healthcare coverage, it was 100% about control. The government wants to control every aspect of our lives, as it thinks it knows better than us what is good for us. And they don't want private plans, they want single payer coverage, because they're stuck on the firm belief that an evil private corporation can't ever do anything better than the benevolent government. Cause they've managed everything else so well financially so far, right?

Do you even know WHY your job pays for your health care in the US? Because there was a time when the government stepped in and mandated pay freezes for everyone. But benefits weren't considered pay, so to win people over to work for them, companies started offering free health coverage, since they couldn't offer competitive salaries. Over time, it digressed into what we have today, where the only affordable plan is the one your company offers, and even if you decided to buy a different one, the premiums wouldn't count as tax deductible since that only works for buying your employer's plan. So, in the end, I am not my Insurer's customer, my employer is, and the insurer knows they don't have to keep me happy, they only have to keep my employer happy, as I don't have a choice. Funny how government regulation and meddling in private affairs has led us to the point we are now, yet we have people claiming it's all capitalism's fault and we need yet more regulation to fix it.

If you truly wanted to fix healthcare, instead of passing a law that "we have to pass to find out what's in it" you'd decouple healthcare from employment, and allow people to buy any plan from anywhere. Unfettered capitalism isn't the answer though. You'd still need some regulation to cover pre-existing conditions as well as something to handle people who can afford coverage and don't buy it, along with the last bit of paying for coverage for those who can't afford it. You'd end up with a cheaper system, that cost the government less, and provided universal coverage (while allowing people to willfully exclude themselves and suffer their own consequences of that exclusion) and everyone would be happy.

But like I said, this was never about universal coverage, it was always 100% about control. If not, why did McDonald's get a pass from having to provide coverage to their minimum wage employees, which this whole thing was supposed to help?

That's what bothers me about it.

Re:Just like the USA (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444269)

Hey asshole, lets not turn this into the drudgereport.

Re:Just like the USA (2)

geddo (1412061) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444341)

Hey asshole, lets not turn this into the drudgereport.

Hey Spoogestain! I got nothin, just figured if we were going to start name calling I'd get my $.02 in.

Re:Just like the USA (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444469)

Actually, it sounds more like Occupy. The only movement that has accurately identified the problems that face us, but can't field any practical alternatives.

Re:Just like the USA (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445047)

In all the honesty, the problems are simply too big for a movement that small to address. It would probably require a massive consensus of most of the Western world to solve the conundrum of our current political and financial system (as they are currently essentially one system).

Re:Just like the USA (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445383)

Except in Russia the only "problem" opposition politicians can name is, "We can't win elections, so something must be wrong!". In reality, everyone (or almost everyone) in Russia simply hates them, and mildly dislikes Putin.

Who cares? (0)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444277)

Why is this on Slashdot? Is there a tech/science/maths/nerd angle I'm missing. The guys a dick, and he runs a relatively unimportant country with the spending power of Spain or something.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444401)

I hear there are hackers in Russia. And they have computers and stuff there too.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444581)

great, do a news story about them

Re:Who cares? (4, Funny)

guttentag (313541) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444435)

Why is this on Slashdot? Is there a tech/science/maths/nerd angle I'm missing.

To help you see the nerd angle, I'm going to answer your questions in Reverse Russian Notation:

There are many smart tech/science/maths/nerd people in Russia. Don't forget they're only the ones still putting humans in space. This is also where many of the black hats penetrating Western computers are based, because things are so bad there this is the best employment a lot of those smart people can get.

This is on slashdot because ever since Kasparov was arrested they need someone to come up with a strategy for revolution, and slashdot is full of people who are well-versed in the "Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, ???, Profit" form. With a thousand slashdot monkeys submitting thousands of random 5-step plans, someone is bound to come up with the answer. Then all they have to do is figure out which one is correct.

+

Slashdot set Russia up the revolution

Sounds like OWS (3, Insightful)

zlexiss (14056) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444295)

Sounds much like Occupy Wall Street in the USA. Didn't like the status quo, but doomed with no clear platform or list of achievable goals.

"We want change"
"Well, what policy changes are you hoping get made?"
"We don't know"

Re:Sounds like OWS (2)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444383)

It was more like:

"We want change!"
"What do you want?"
"We want resolution on $Economic/Regional_Issue!"

Where $Economic/Regional_Issue is a hugely disparate, often contradictory laundry list of intractible demands.

Things like "no more bailouts!" And "bail out student loans!"

The problem was that the OWS crowd could not agree on much beyond "the status quo is unacceptable!". As such, they could not *agree* on a short list. The overall demands from all the actors in the protests were untenable.

Re:Sounds like OWS (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444441)

Occupy did actually make some fairly specific demands that were entirely ignored by those in power. One of the most notable was a demand that banks and if appropriate their officers be prosecuted when they were found to have committed fraud (the Obama administration instead announced a few months ago that they were closing the investigation on Goldman Sachs without pressing any kind of charge whatsoever even though some pretty damning evidence is a matter of public record).

The vaguer message of Occupy was that the Democratic Party in the US has utterly ignored the liberals in their base in an effort to pander to Wall St and the right wing. And why should people like Obama do that, when all they need to do to get their votes is scare the bejeesus out of them by threatening them with the prospect of President Romney?

Re:Sounds like OWS (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444465)

Most (possibly all) political parties ignore their core voters because they have nowhere else to go. What are they going to do? Vote for the other guy?

Re:Sounds like OWS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41444537)

The Tea Party and Occupy were both answers to that question: if a political party is ignoring enough of their core, then candidates or parties that care about the issues the core voters care about will run and take those votes. Of course, the main difference is that the Tea Party actually got people elected and Occupy does not seem to have even tried. (Personally, given the choice, I'd much rather have Occupy people in Congress than Tea Party people.)

Re:Sounds like OWS (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444569)

What are they going to do? Vote for the other guy?

Not "the other guy", but sometimes they vote for some other guy. That's how Clinton got elected - G.H.W. Bush and Ross Perot together got something like 68% of the vote. But Clinton was elected with 42% because Reagan Republicans self-destructed.

Re:Sounds like OWS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41444811)

68 + 42 != 100

Re:Sounds like OWS (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444941)

Yea, it was actually 56.3% to 43% [ucsb.edu] . Memory is fading...but the damage from that election remains with us today.

Re:Sounds like OWS (3, Insightful)

pseudofrog (570061) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446095)

Yeah, totally. Remember when we had that budget surplus? What a disaster.

Re:Sounds like OWS (0)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444483)

The vaguer message of Occupy was that the Democratic Party in the US has utterly ignored the liberals in their base in an effort to pander to Wall St and the right wing.

Yet the GOP panders to their most extreme right wing, even though there's no risk of losing that group.

Re:Sounds like OWS (4, Informative)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444519)

OWS was also the subject of a fairly successful smear campaign to malign the protestors as a bunch of lazy whiners, who wanted free stuff, as opposed to angry and disenfranchised people demanding culpability of the persons responsible for the financial meltdown.

There were quite a few people frm both sides of the political spectrum in OWS, which the media capitalized on. The leftwing focused more on the social aspects, and the rightwing focused more on the financial. This was presented by the media as a heterogenous group without specific charges, who were protesting nebulously. The effectiveness of this slanted coverage is evident by the language used elsewhere in this thread.

Re:Sounds like OWS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41444539)

Occupy did actually make some fairly specific demands that were entirely ignored by those in power.

Yea, that's what GP said. They got a few people out on the street making various "demands" that were ignored.

The biggest threat Demoncrats can use against Romney is that the economy will improve and all the people living on handouts today might have to work for a living. Horrors!

Re:Sounds like OWS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41444917)

The biggest threat Demoncrats can use against Romney is that the economy will improve

Any explanations on how the changes Romney wants to make will improve the economy are welcome. The best I've got is:

"Rich people get to keep their money."

And?

"and what?" ...

I won't deny it isn't nice for rich people, and having a smaller government is something I'd love to pretend that the Republicans actually want (remember: for all the whining "conservatives" make about the FDA making healthcare expensive, Schedule II is all that stands between you and an army of stoned zombies. Republicans won't touch that, or anything else they can use to forbid people from violating their "morality") but I'm still waiting to see an explanation of how rich people keeping more money is going to quadruple hiring, get houses to sell again, and increase our GDP more than half a percent.

Obama may not be fixing the problem, but I'm not seeing Romney being able to either. I'm probably voting straight ticket Libertarian again. They might not be able to fix the problem either, but at least they're not flaming hypocrites about it.

Re:Sounds like OWS (3, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444639)

Haven't you seen any of the election coverage? "Liberals" don't hold the power. Independents do. Just look at the money spent on battleground states like Ohio and Iowa and Colorado. Now look at the money spent on firmly "red" or "blue" states like California, Texas, Alabama, New York.

Who are independents? Well, if you're in IT support of any kind, just imagine your most average user. Imagine the most middle-of-the-road, undistinguished, normal person. Those are your independents.

Don't get me wrong. They're not stupid by any measure. No, most of them are fairly good at what they do. They're just not really that good at anything else. Politics, understanding social issues, these are among the things they're not so good at. So to make a decision, they rely on campaign speeches and television ads and above all else, their gut feelings.

The gut feeling is often useful in small environments of few variables. It is not so helpful when it comes to large things like national economies and social welfare and things pertaining to more than three individuals with three differing interests. But it's really all they have, since they're very average and the matters at hand are very, very complex.

And they're not motivated by the wealth congregating in a smaller number of individuals. They don't care about the social ramifications of legalized abortions. Now, they'd certainly be interested if they weren't able to put dinner on their table every night, but they'd only be interested to the extent of getting dinner back on their table. They're not so interested in understanding the entire process where dinner ultimately ends up on their table, from deficit spending to farm subsidies to transportation to taxation to local education. They scratch their heads at such things. Now, bring in constitutional law, and they just turn away.

A functioning democracy (not a republic, because we went away from that a long time ago) requires an educated, well-informed voting populace. We don't have a functioning democracy because the majority of the voters are neither, largely because they have been socially engineered since the advent of the television to have no interest in either.

OWS was a failure of epic proportions. Or perhaps, in making these people look as ridiculous as they possibly could, and in allowing them a forum in which to vent, it could be considered an epic victory. Only, the people didn't win, the corporations did.

Re:Sounds like OWS (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444967)

Politics, understanding social issues, these are among the things they're not so good at.

Are you saying that voting a straight ticket because you have always voted for that party shows a better understanding of issues? I fail to see the logic in that.

Re:Sounds like OWS (3, Interesting)

nbauman (624611) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445895)

The vaguer message of Occupy was that the Democratic Party in the US has utterly ignored the liberals in their base in an effort to pander to Wall St and the right wing. And why should people like Obama do that, when all they need to do to get their votes is scare the bejeesus out of them by threatening them with the prospect of President Romney?

I heard Amy Goodman of Democracy Now give a good answer to that, when she introduced Ralph Nader in the 2000 election. The Republican Party has been moving further and further to the right. The Democratic Party has been moving further to the right to match them. On domestic policy, the Democratic Party is further to the right now than Richard Nixon (don't forget, Nixon's secretary of HEW was Pat Moynihan). If we continue to vote for the Democratic Party, they will continue to move to the right until there's no meaningful difference between them. We have to vote for third party candidates to tell the Democrats that they can't take us for granted.

Since that time, Obama gave us a health care plan that was literally written by the Heritage Foundation. His chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, told progressives that they were "fucking retarded" for wanting the single payer system Obama promised us. He appointed Wall Street financiers to run his White House. They tossed Acorn under the bus, which was one of the best campaign organizing tools they had.

What I don't understand is why the Democrats didn't learn from 2000 that if you tell the left wing of your party to go fuck themselves, you can lose an election. Maybe it's like training a mule -- you have to hit them on the head with a sledgehammer -- again.

I think it's like a strike. You don't want to go on strike, you don't want to lose weeks or months of salary, you don't want to take a chance on having your employer move to China. But if we hadn't gone on strike over the last 100 years, we would be making Chinese wages right now, and if we never go on strike, we will be making Chinese wages.

Somebody tell the Democrats. If you tell us to fuck off one more time, we'll fuck up your election, just like we did in 1968 and in 2000.

Re:Sounds like OWS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41444599)

What utter bullshit. May I refer you to this article [guardian.co.uk] by Naomi Klein:

The mainstream media was declaring continually "OWS has no message". Frustrated, I simply asked them. I began soliciting online "What is it you want?" answers from Occupy. In the first 15 minutes, I received 100 answers. These were truly eye-opening.

The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which lets boundless sums enter the campaign process.

No 2: reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act – the Depression-era law, done away with by President Clinton, that separates investment banks from commercial banks. This law would correct the conditions for the recent crisis, as investment banks could not take risks for profit that create fake derivatives out of thin air, and wipe out the commercial and savings banks.

No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.

When I saw this list – and especially the last agenda item – the scales fell from my eyes. Of course, these unarmed people would be having the shit kicked out of them.

I was never a card-carrying OWSer, and was typically disparaging of them in fact, but they certainly did have specific policy changes in mind, many of which I would say are pretty consistent with the agitators at (ostensibly) the other end of the political spectrum. So it is not at all surprising that those specifics have been largely obscured by the media.

Naomi Wolf, rather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41444651)

Apologies for the mis-attribution.

Re:Sounds like OWS (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445243)

Sounds much like Occupy Wall Street in the USA. Didn't like the status quo, but doomed with no clear platform or list of achievable goals.

Sounds like the American revolutionaries. Did you know they didn't come up with the Constitution until over a DECADE after declaring independence? And that their Declaration of Independence had no clear platform or list of achievable goals, containing instead a paragraph of platitudes like "the right to pursue happiness" followed a laundry list of bitching about the status quo?

I guess that must be why their revolution failed, right?

Re:Sounds like OWS (1)

nbauman (624611) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445769)

They didn't know because the Bloomberg Administration kicked them out of Zucotti Park and kept chasing them away from any other place they tried to set up.

Hell, the Bloomberg Administration wouldn't even let them use microphones. They refused to let them rent portable toilets, and then complained when they used restaurant bathrooms.

How much would the Americans have accomplished if the Continental Congress had to disband after 2 months?

OWS accomplished one good, important thing: They said that the richest 1% of the country had a wildly disproportionate amount of wealth and power, didn't deserve it, and was using it to fuck the rest of us. A lot of people believed that, but that wasn't in the public discussion. OWS put it into the public discussion.

What do we do about it? Well, as Bertold Brecht said, you have to answer that question yourself.

One thing we don't do is make compromises, write a platform, collect $100 million, and try to beat the 2 big parties at their own game.

Another thing we don't do -- I don't think -- is to organize a movement and deliver ourselves to the service of the Democratic party, who will tell us again after the next election, "Thank you very much, now go fuck yourselves as we make some deals with our corporate masters, the Blue Dogs and Republicans."

But you have to think for yourself and make your own decisions. OWS did enough thinking for you. You don't like it? Go start your own organization.

Re:Sounds like OWS (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446607)

Except it's not. There are very specific demands that Russian opposition is currently making, and most of them are centered around free and fair elections where opposition parties are not barred from registering for various contrived or mysterious reasons, and where there's no widespread fraud when counting the votes.

The specific parties which make up the opposition also have their own platforms for policy changes, ranging from more vague stuff that e.g. nationalists talk about, to rather specific things that communists or liberals propose. The idea is to get democracy working properly first, then let the people vote on who gets to run the country from here on.

the short list... (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444321)

1) enact stricter enforcement and regulation on govt involvement with illegal activity. (Russians are supposedly good at being heavy handed. Cracking down on abusive behavior should be easy enough, as long as you can keep the pendulum swinging too far.)

2) legal system reforms that provide immunity to witnesses and juries concerning testimony and verdicts. Make it safe to state what is true, and not simply what is "expected", or "approved."

3) hardball removal and blacklisting of politicians, judges, and prosecutors who fail to live up to #2.

4) prison system reforms

That should be a good starting place.

Re:the short list... (1)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446753)

Ahem... from 1917 to 1937 everything that has been done in Russia by bolsheviks has been done with the same premises - your 4 points were among their main principles (at least, many of them really believed in that). I doubt that anyone would want THAT to happen again.

No democratic parties in Russia with sane agenda. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41444331)

I am yet to see an enthusiastic democratic party with a well-thought agenda here in Russia. I don't see them much neither on TV (not that I watch it much, though), nor on the streets or the Internet. I could understand the argument that the government is meddling with their publicity time, but they seem to be acting extremely passive and almost lazy on their own web sites as well. I'm having a hunch this is pretty much the reason that they are "allowed" to exist and prove that our country is indeed "democratic". Or maybe the majority of people actually supports the dominating United Russia and no trickery is involved, I really can't tell anymore.

Plan of Action (1)

genkernel (1761338) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444361)

So what exactly are you proposing then, a Russian revolution? Seriously, what *can* they do? They have no governmental authority outside of a vote, and even supposing Putin steps down (itself a ridiculous proposition) they still will have no governmental authority. All they would be able to do, without guns and ammo, is make some noise and hope his replacement listens.

They already have a plan of action and it is shout into the wind and hope people hear. Perhaps enough people will hear so that Putin won't win the next election, perhaps Putin will make some effort to be less of a PITA for them, and perhaps Putin's eventual replacement will take note of their discontent more than he does. Year sure, they can hope Putin will step down, but who among the protestors really think that's gonna happen. Remember that Putin in all likelihood won the vote without direct fraud, so making noise in public really is an end to itself right now.

Re:Plan of Action (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445553)

Perhaps enough people will hear so that Putin won't win the next election

You know which party is consistently #2 in recent Russian elections, right?

Re:Plan of Action (1)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446771)

Oh, that paid-off half-assed lap-dog clowns called "communists" today? Ones who don't even risk to voice their protests too loud, and would even (oh, the irony) distance from protesting people on the street, calling them "orange disease"? Please, they aren't even funny anymore.

RE: Russian opposition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41444421)

...and this is technology-related news how?

Re: Russian opposition (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444467)

It could fall under the second part of the slogan: "news that matters."

Deteriorating political conditions in and between Russia and the rest of the world, as Russia makes the dive deeper back down the rabbithole of communist dictatorial govt and secrecy, can have far-reaching implications internationally.

Take for instance, the "strained" relations between Russia and the USA, concerning the strategic missile installations being installed in the middle eastern puppet states. A fully dictator led Russia under Putin could herald a return to cold-war aggression between the USA and Russia.

We narrowly escaped nuclear armagheddon last time, because the USA was more financially prosperous, and won by attrition.

Seen the state of USA's financial prosperity lately? I wouldn't bet on that outcome for part II.

Re: Russian opposition (2)

ezdiy (2717051) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445417)

I, for being one of the citizens of one of these puppet states, welcome our new nuke-wielding, choice-giving overlord.

On a serious note, US radar installations - built under the guise of "humanitarian NATO purposes", are giving rather crisp picture of geopolitical situation in ex-soviet satellite states of eastern to mid Europe. CIA prefers to buy politicians via straight, old fashioned strong-arm political tactics (think ACTA) against EU and state politicians. Russian influence, on the other hand, manifests itself via ex-criminal oligarchs from the 90s, who are actually the most powerful financial groups in our area nowadays.

Basically, the roles have switched. Americans are thought-police, whatever Moscow used to be under the communist rule. Russians are all about hard cold cash and much more subtle - it's take it or leave it. US tactics is really strong arm, which is effective only short term, it will eventually end with swift reaction to the opposite direction.

Re: Russian opposition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41445889)

...and this is technology-related news how?

Yep, 'cause we are actually talkin' about whether will be blocked Youtube FOR ALL or not (for example).

http://habrahabr.ru/post/151759/

--
From Russia (=~ Rush Hour) With Love

Re: Russian opposition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41445907)

s/Coward/Brave/

Ok, yeah?

Nothing technical here (1)

Cute and Cuddly (2646619) | more than 2 years ago | (#41444495)

It is interesting, however I do not see the reason for this to be on slashdot.....

Sounds like Occupy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41444503)

Get a bunch of people out in the street, then don't have a plan on what to do.

It's the classic political problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41445003)

This kind of thing happens all the time, at all levels of government in all kinds of countries. Some folks don't like what the mayor is doing or the president or the governor. They start a campaign against the current government. If only everybody would see the light and join the movement, they could sweep out the old. But it never works. They don't have a program of action. The political party is basically the solution to this problem. A group of people with a common goal works out a program of action. It takes years. They communicate that program of action over and over again explaining how it would really make things better. They patiently remind voters when the government steals their ideas and implements them half heartedly. Eventually they get a few members elected. They work hard for their constituents and people are impressed. Word gets out that they are serious about their program. Over the span of several election cycles they increase their influence. Eventually they get elected and have to deal first hand with the messy business of changing government direction without angering too many voters. Maybe they will be elected again. Or maybe they will never be elected because the government party morphs into a party with almost the same program of action. Or some other opposition party does so. No matter. The important thing is to communicate ideas for change and see them implemented.

Street demonstrations are only a very small tool in the arsenal and don't work well unless the government is really actively repressive.

Everywhere, in the government and in the supporters of change, there are agent provocateurs stirring things up because they have a different agenda. Nobody every fully understands what is going on. Only in the most repressive environments are people foolish enough to react in a knee-jerk fashion. In most of the developed world voters tend to wait and see, and only move towards change in baby steps. That is the nature of human society and wishful thinking will not change it.

Today in Russia, life is good for more people that it is in the USA. Perhaps that is partly because Russians do not expect so much as Americans, but it is also partly because Russians have different cultural priorities. The same solutions do not work in both America and Russia. Some Russians would love to sweep aside the old (new) order and install something copied from abroad. But change very rarely occurs that way, and maybe the world is now to populous and interconnected for it to ever happen again. 1917 is history. Russia is no longer a country of revolutions. Boris Yeltsin could not muster as many supporters as the Bolsheviks. And the current crop of Russian complainers who talk to western reporters are not able to muster as many as Yeltsin was able to.

More Westerners should go to Russia for a holiday. It is a fascinating place to visit and it is so huge that you can only ever see a small bit of it. Spend a couple of days in Moscow if you must, but the real Russia is elsewhere and is full of surprises.

Like the Perot campaign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41445301)

Reminds me of the Perot campaign. We'll never really know what was going through his head. It really did seem like there was a "OMG, I never thought it would get this far, now what?" kind of dynamic there.

Such a shame, because if he had an actual organization behind him, he might have taken us in a better direction. That whole thing spawned the Reform Party, but it sputtered. The American people knew things were running off the rails, even then. They were hungry for a real American in the White House. Sigh...

Better title: (0)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445355)

"Russians don't have any problems with Putin".

Re:Better title: (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446615)

Many Russians have problems with Putin. Many others do not. I do know that I have not authorized you to speak on my own behalf, and I'm still a Russian citizen.

Re:Better title: (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446813)

I mean, in more general sense -- as in, compared to "opposition".

Re:Better title: (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446843)

Opposition is Russian, too.

Excellent (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445357)

Putin is a man who rejects Western liberalism and its evil works. Russia is still trying to recover from communism, another ruinous Western invention.

Re:Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41446439)

Putin is a man who rejects Western liberalism and its evil works. Russia is still trying to recover from communism, another ruinous Western invention.

Hey Moron. Learn some history. The Russian invented Communism. last I checked they are an eastern block country. Not Western. Ever herd of Marx and Lenin and Trotsky. The 1915 Russian revolution, Dumb ass.

Re:Excellent (5, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446621)

Hey Moron. Learn some history. The Russian invented Communism. Ever herd of Marx

I have bad news [wikipedia.org] for you...

Funny how OP is most probably... (2)

Kephie (2546342) | more than 2 years ago | (#41445909)

... paid pro-Putin poster. Since his russian forum is full of propaganda stuff about "rotten Western world", "stupid americans" and "great country of China".

do you really know what youre talking about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41446497)

I see a lot of comments here from people living in the States and in Central Europe,
but unless you read and speak Russian fluently I doubt you would really know enough to comment on such a statement.
How Putin is portrayed in the western media is going to be a lot different to the reality of Putin in Russia.
People are making wild assumptions based on stock answers to everything to do with Russia, and the ones from the states are the funniest
with their ideas on Russia being based on a cold war notion of Russia that passed by some 30 or more years ago.
The saddest thing is that the OP is probably right. The opposition to Putin may be faltering but I wouldnt dare to presume
they are right since I dont know enough about the day-to-day events of Russian politics as intimately as a Russian national would.
Interesting read though, OP, very interesting

Re:do you really know what youre talking about? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446625)

There are quite a few Russian nationals reading Slashdot, you know. We don't all agree on such things, though, not anymore than Americans agree on their stuff (judging by any story discussing Obama hereabouts).

Re:do you really know what youre talking about? (1)

Kephie (2546342) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446793)

Ok, if you insist. OP is, probably, UNpaid pro-Putin poster. But this is quite unlikely.
See, there are quite a few people that are paid for posting Putin propaganda all around russian internet at 85 roubles ($2.5) per comment. Very similiar to chineese "50 cent party".
There was a scandal earlier this year, when few of responsible kremlin leaders got their email hacked and whole paying-for-posts thing emerged.

Re:do you really know what youre talking about? (1)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446857)

It's just that many tech-savvy Russian Slashdot readers are busy looking for chance to move into more civilized country - from New Zealand to Czech Republic, for example. So they don't have time (and, more importantly, desire) to discuss these topics. Speaking from personal experience here - several of my friends have already left or are planning to leave soon.

Obvious fail (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446515)

You can't fight cheese curds and gravy [wikipedia.org] with ideology.

It is very simple (0)

Starfleet Command (936772) | more than 2 years ago | (#41446693)

Putin is the Boss
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