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VK CEO Fired, Says Company Under Kremlin Control

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the finally-those-capitalist-pigs-oh-wait dept.

Censorship 149

An anonymous reader writes "The embattled founder of VK, Russia's largest social networking site, said this week that the company is now 'under the complete control' of two oligarchs with close ties to President Vladimir Putin. In a VK post published Monday, Pavel Durov said he's been fired as CEO of the website, claiming that he was pushed out on a technicality, and that he only heard of it through media reports."

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Sorry for lame joke but (5, Funny)

alphatel (1450715) | about 5 months ago | (#46815085)

In Soviet Russia, status updates you!

Re:Sorry for lame joke but (1)

fey000 (1374173) | about 5 months ago | (#46815159)

In Soviet Russia, book FaceYou!

Re:Sorry for lame joke but (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815435)

In Russia, Media Socializes YOU.

Just business... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817973)

Once you get money for your project from the investor, be ready to lose your project.
That's the case, which has nothing to do with politics - just business.

Re:Sorry for lame joke but (1)

Alef (605149) | about 5 months ago | (#46818231)

Lame? For once, it was actualy a very clever variation of it.

Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815119)

The US should resume its former campaign of organising cope d'etat in communist countries. Russia is clearly out of control.

Re:Surprised? (3, Insightful)

fey000 (1374173) | about 5 months ago | (#46815149)

The US should resume its former campaign of organising cope d'etat in communist countries. Russia is clearly out of control.

You use the word communist, but I don't think it means what you think it means.

Re:Surprised? (3, Informative)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 5 months ago | (#46815197)

Former Soviet Union reconstituting. Putin saying collapse of Soviet Union mistake. Yeah I think he used the term correctly.

Re:Surprised? (2)

Nimey (114278) | about 5 months ago | (#46815237)

Putin seems to want the USSR back but without Communism as its form of government, though still with the USSR's authoritarianism. Kind of like how China isn't really Communist anymore.

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815351)

>Kind of like how China isn't really Communist anymore.
workers.org and a bunch of other communist rags seem to still think they are...

Re:Surprised? (2)

Nimey (114278) | about 5 months ago | (#46815751)

That's propaganda. They have the form of Communism but not the function.

Re:Surprised? (0)

geekmux (1040042) | about 5 months ago | (#46815819)

That's propaganda. They have the form of Communism but not the function.

Ah, well then it's much like the US Government propaganda. We have a form of a Constitution, but none of the Rights.

Re:Surprised? (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 5 months ago | (#46816331)

Pfft. You've never seen anyone being made to quarter soldiers in their homes, have you?

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46816963)

Well, kinda:

http://reason.com/blog/2013/07/05/nevada-family-says-police-occupation-vio

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817039)

That's propaganda. They have the form of Communism but not the function.

Ah, well then it's much like the US Government propaganda. We have a form of a Constitution, but none of the Rights.

Constitution defines what you are made of, what the government can do, their limits, which is not at all the same as defining your rights. The US Government does have a Constitution, but I'm not sure exactly WHICH rights you think that that automatically should come with?

Think about various people's rights in this country before the 13th, 14th, 15th, 19th, 24th, 26th amendments.
http://www.ushistory.org/documents/amendments.htm

It's a constant evolution, and hard work. It always will be, and it always has been. The people who wrote the United states Constitution knew that, and since you said "we", YOU should know that.

Re:Surprised? (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 5 months ago | (#46815265)

The Soviet Union was not communist. Like China it was state run capitalism. All countries are capitalist, with varying degrees of openness.

Re: Surprised. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815365)

They both are communist in practice; It's just that the practical definition of communism clashes with the lies of communist propaganda, and that socialists/communists like you are always arguing that other socialists/communists aren't true socialists/communists.

Re: Surprised. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815835)

There's also the matter of tards like you failing to make the distinction between communism, Marxism, Marxist-Leninism, Trotskyism, Stalinism, Juche, Maoism, socialism, social-democracy and democratic-socialism.

Calling it all Communism is really just saying that you don't actually understand what you're bantering about.

Re: Surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817865)

Fox news says youre a pinko commie!

Re: Surprised. (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 5 months ago | (#46816145)

Well, at least you have the old cold warriors modding up your little troll post there. But... you're still wrong. Everybody has a price. The process of agreement is capitalism, even in the most dictatorial, communist, fascist regime you can find. There is no other way to exchange goods and services. Even with a gun, which you have to pay someone to make for you, you still have to pay someone, or an army to pull the trigger. That is capitalism.

Re: Surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46816367)

Then you admit that communism will never, ever truly be possible because there will never be the removal of a process of agreement in any society... including the dictatorial, communist and fascist ones. There is always a trade-off of something for something else.

That's why capitalism works Charlie Brown, it conforms to human nature and, more importantly, human liberty.

Re: Surprised. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 5 months ago | (#46816529)

Then you admit that communism will never, ever truly be possible...

That's why capitalism works...

And you never heard me state otherwise in either case. I simply said that all systems are capitalist, merely an observation, not an opinion.

Re: Surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46818233)

"In Capitalism, man exploits man. In Communism, it's the other way around." - J. K. Galbraith (not verbatim)

Re:Surprised? (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about 5 months ago | (#46815515)

The soviet Union was as much communist as possible in the real world.

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46816225)

Ah yes... the no true scotsman fallacy.

Re:Surprised? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 5 months ago | (#46816391)

Well, I don't know what they teach you kids in schools these days, but in my time, words used to have definitive meaning that would pass through generations. Maybe that doesn't jibe with all your "living document" BS. Communism is a political theory. It exists only in books, not in life.

Re:Surprised? (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about 5 months ago | (#46817267)

Well, I don't know what they teach you kids in schools these days, but in my time, words used to have definitive meaning that would pass through generations.

Ah yes, I remember being taught that myth too. Alas, the reality of language has never been that simple, in any time.

Re:Surprised? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 5 months ago | (#46817389)

Regardless, communism never existed outside the textbooks. The feeble and distorted attempt to make it happen does not count. It is a theory that does not take natural biological tendencies of humans into account.

Re:Surprised? (4, Insightful)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 5 months ago | (#46818295)

An Irishman, an American, and an Aussie are talking about republicans. The Irishman describes a bunch of pro-Soviet Socialists who never go to Church (but insist they're Catholic), and think the world would be a better place if someone blew the Royal Family into tiny little bits. The American is talking about a bunch of knee-jerk Anti-Soviets who describe everything they dislike as "socialist," go to religious services at least twice a week, are (mostly) Protestant, and secretly have a major crush on the Royal Family. The Aussie is somewhat generically left-wing in economic terms, doesn't give too shits about religion one way or the other, and thinks the Queen should stop being Queen of Australia but otherwise should be left alone because she's a nice old lady. Whose lying?

The answer is nobody. The word "Republican" has been used by so many political movements over the years that hearing someone is "Republican" without hearing a lot more context tells you precisely jack-squat. "Democrat," "Liberal," "Conservative," etc. are almost as bad.

It's gets even worse with Communism because Communists have never been able to agree on much beyond that one song.

Re:Surprised? (5, Insightful)

SQL Error (16383) | about 5 months ago | (#46815371)

Fascism [wikipedia.org] is far more apt for Russia's state of government under Putin than Communism.

Re:Surprised? (5, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | about 5 months ago | (#46815505)

There is no meaningful difference between totalitarian regimens in practice. The only real difference are the excuses. Fascism, Communism and Nazism are one and the same, and no it s not possible to have a non totalitarian communist country. Communism needs big and all powerful governments and those governments as they grow become more and more totalitarian. There is no way to avoid it.

Re:Surprised? (4, Informative)

SQL Error (16383) | about 5 months ago | (#46815585)

There is no meaningful difference between totalitarian regimens in practice. The only real difference are the excuses. Fascism, Communism and Nazism are one and the same, and no it s not possible to have a non totalitarian communist country. Communism needs big and all powerful governments and those governments as they grow become more and more totalitarian. There is no way to avoid it.

I agree with that for the most part (and history bears you out with regards to Communism). However, Fascism doesn't tie itself to a specific, unworkable, economic theory; it accepts capitalism so long as the state maintains control. Which is is a very prominent factor in Russia of late, possibly even more than in China.

Re:Surprised? (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about 5 months ago | (#46816021)

Yes, Fascism allows for a measure of capitalism, but strongly controlled by the government, which is very far from Laissez-faire capitalism, farther than any capitalist regimen we have nowadays in the developed world and closer to a communist regimen. I have to agree that Russia is closer to a fascist capitalist state than it ever was, but I have to disagree in China's case. China is still closer to communism than anything else, and I explain: the easiest way to measure if some country is closer to be a capitalist or communist regimen is how much of the GDP is directly controlled by the government.

Re:Surprised? (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 5 months ago | (#46816365)

This makes the Russian media's use of "Fascists!!!!1" to describe anyone the Kremlin doesn't like deliciously ironic.

Re:Surprised? (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about 5 months ago | (#46816509)

In my experience the term "fascist" has become the general classification for someone that is considered the enemy. :)

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817985)

Capitalism without property rights is merely window dressing and this is what we see. Any entity that makes large profits in Russia is taken over by Putin's cronies and stolen from the rightful owners / founders. This is just the latest example. This prevents investment in the country and hurts them long term but keeps Putin and his buddies happy.

Re:Surprised? (0)

tomkost (944194) | about 5 months ago | (#46815891)

Correct, the political systems you mentioned plus modern day US Democracy/Capitalism are all different "skins" on Oligarchy. That's what it really comes down to. A rich few controlling everyone else and gobbling more wealth for themselves as fast as they can.

Re:Surprised? (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about 5 months ago | (#46816089)

US current system, despite its many problems, is still far less oligarchic than almost any other country in the world and certainly far less authoritarian. The truth is, the idea of State is inherently linked to oligarchic structures of power and democracy does not change this and never will. What varies is how much power the State (and the oligarchy that composes it) has over the common people.

Re:Surprised? (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about 5 months ago | (#46817333)

Indeed. No system ever lives up to its ideals, but they still matter. They can make a difference even when they aren't ever realized.

Re:Surprised? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#46817751)

The US is relatively low in authoritarianism but relatively high in oligarchy - right up there with Russia and China. Look at how much it costs to get elected in the US, how stagnant the pool of candidates is, and the average net worth of the ruling class and tell me they are one of the least oligarchic countries.

Re:Surprised? (1)

tomkost (944194) | about 5 months ago | (#46817759)

Hence my use of the phrase "modern day". My belief is that power/and money were less concentrated here in the US in the past. Certainly the oligarchs in the US are more brazen and open about it. Is the US more fair and open than Russia and other systems. Possibly but not the extent it used to be. I suggest that the size and strength of the middle class is the best indicator of health and fairness.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04... [nytimes.com]

I still believe US is the best place to live all things considered, but we need to change course a bit or it won't stay that way for future generations.

Re:Surprised? (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | about 5 months ago | (#46816325)

Communism arose from the notions of self sustaining communes. It's not scalable, but is very widespread.
Your family is communist. The Amish are communists. However, having the whole country communist dos not work because we don't trust each other.

Re:Surprised? (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about 5 months ago | (#46816719)

My family was not communist nor have any society developed by humans really communist. When I was a kid it was always very clear what was property of my father, of my mother, of my siblings and mine. I could ask them and borrow stuff, but the property was clear for many many things, and although there was some public property at home, but there was a clear hierarchy of control of this property.

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46818255)

"Communism will never work because people like to own stuff" - Frank Zappa

Re:Surprised? (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 5 months ago | (#46818345)

That's a very superficial definition of "meaningful."

As a highly educated, under-employed left-wing with intellectual pretensions a CPUSA takeover would probably result in me getting a promotion and a raise. I might get purged by my new bosses eventually, but in the short term it would be great for me.

OTOH it's likely I'd be the first target of a Fascist government. "First they came for the Communists, then they came for the Trade Unionists," the Jews only get mentioned third.

So yes, if there was an Evil Party takeover of the US, 50 years after it was destroyed our descendents likely wouldn't care very much whether it was Fascist or Communist because either way a lot of innocents die and freedom goes away, but for those of us who actually have to live through the damn thing it is incredibly important which Evil Party takes over.

Re:Surprised? (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 5 months ago | (#46815445)

Would it really be such a bad thing for the Soviet Union to come back? The offered a balance of power. With the exception of a couple proxy wars (not that they weren't bad) we kept each other in check, but never checkmate. Compared to now, the world did its own thing. After the fall of the Soviet Union, we immediately elevated ourselves to the status of, "United States of America: Full-Time World Cop." That has not gone well. I sometimes miss the sanity of mutually assured destruction.

Re:Surprised? (5, Insightful)

SQL Error (16383) | about 5 months ago | (#46815647)

Would it really be such a bad thing for the Soviet Union to come back?

Yes. The Soviet Union was a nightmare state.

The offered a balance of power. With the exception of a couple proxy wars (not that they weren't bad) we kept each other in check, but never checkmate. Compared to now, the world did its own thing.

Tell that to Poland, Hungary, the Czech and Slovak republics, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Not to mention North Korea and Vietnam. I'm sure they enjoyed doing their "own thing".

After the fall of the Soviet Union, we immediately elevated ourselves to the status of, "United States of America: Full-Time World Cop." That has not gone well. I sometimes miss the sanity of mutually assured destruction.

What? Seriously, what? How old are you? Do you actually remember the Cold War?

The fact that America is a flawed nation is no excuse for false equivalencies with brutal totalitarian regimes like the Soviet Union under Stalin or China under Mao. Those countries, under those leaders, deliberately killed tens of millions of their own people. We never want to see anything like that again.

Re:Surprised? (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about 5 months ago | (#46817029)

I grew up in Estonia. It actually was't too bad.
Your turn.

Re:Surprised? (4, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about 5 months ago | (#46817447)

If it was Soviet Estonia then your parents or grandparents weren't among the victims of repression or deportation, although they might be among the ethnic Russians moved there by the Soviet Union. (Ethnic Russian by any chance?) Those would be among the ethnic Russians that Putin has threatened other countries over.

Just a snippet of history: Soviet deportations from Estonia in 1940s [estonia.eu]

The Soviet Union had started preparations for the launch of terror in Estonian civil society already before the occupation of Estonia. As elsewhere, the purpose of communist terror was to suppress any possible resistance from the very beginning and to inculcate great fear among people in order to rule out any kind of organised general resistance movement in the future as well. In Estonia, the planned extermination of the prominent and active persons, as well as the displacement of large groups of people were intended to destroy the Estonian society and economy. The lists of people to be repressed were prepared well in advance. From the files of the Soviet security organs, it seems that already in the early 1930’s the Soviet security organs had collected data on persons to be subjected to repressions. Pursuant to the instructions issued in 1941, the following people in the territories to be annexed into the Soviet Union and their family members were to be subjected to repression: all the members of the former governments, higher state officials and judges, higher military personnel, former politicians, members of voluntary state defence organisations, members of student organisations, persons having actively participated in anti-Soviet armed combat, Russian émigrés, security police officers and police officers, representatives of foreign companies and in general all people having contacts abroad, entrepreneurs and bankers, clergymen and members of the Red Cross. Approximately 23 percent of the population belonged to these categories. In fact, the number of those actually subjected to repressions was much greater, for a large number of people not included in the lists also fell victim to the settlement of scores.

Re:Surprised? (1)

Krojack (575051) | about 5 months ago | (#46818211)

I grew up in Estonia. It actually was't too bad.
Your turn.

Most likely depends on what branch of the tree you and your family were part of.

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46818001)

Well said! You replied well to the kind of shallow insipid nonsense that passes for intellectualism these days,. Any idiot with an internet connection comes online and pronounces such idiotic and dangerous ahistorical nonsense as if they're being thoughtful.

Re:Surprised? (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about 5 months ago | (#46815725)

Yes, it would be a very bad thing [youtube.com] for the Soviet Union to come back, a disaster of epic proportions. Communists killed 100,000,000 people [harvard.edu] in the last century. Such tyranny [youtube.com] has seldom been equaled.

If you miss the "sanity" of Soviet times, you are woefully ignorant about events, badly confused, or a madman. Perhaps you could start smaller, such a suggesting widespread castration because it "calms" men?

If you really miss an ever present threat against you then you could try a visit a tribal society and start a blood feud?

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815731)

I have many older relatives who remember East Germany, and life behind the Iron Curtain.

Trust me... whining about the NSA is a lot less of an issue than ending up on the wrong end of a Stasi secret police purge.

Plus, it is nice to be able to go across Berlin without getting killed on the spot.

Incoming Russian propagandists... the US isn't perfect, but I'd recommend reading stories from people who lived before the fall of the USSR. They are scary, and I hope we never come back to those days.

Re:Surprised? (2)

SQL Error (16383) | about 5 months ago | (#46815857)

Yes.

Perhaps the simplest thing would be to point out that while America might be building walls to keep unwelcome visitors out, the Soviet Union built walls to keep its people in. A state that needs to imprison its entire population is not a state that has any right to exist.

I'm really not sure why we even need to discuss this. Assuming people are too young to personally remember this, were they also asleep during their history classes?

Re:Surprised? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 5 months ago | (#46816247)

Assuming people are too young to personally remember this, were they also asleep during their history classes?

What, young people get history classes now?

Being somewhat older, and having spent a sizable chunk of my childhood near the Inner German Border, I remember this quite well.

My daughter? Not so much....

Re:Surprised? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 5 months ago | (#46817825)

I hope that if you haven't already done so that you make some time to share some of those memories with her. It would be mark of shame on the generation that lived through it if the memory of communist oppression were to disappear quickly, especially since there are still communists straining for another chance to try building communism again.

Re:Surprised? (1)

Camel Pilot (78781) | about 5 months ago | (#46817553)

Would it really be such a bad thing for the Soviet Union to come back?

Are you friggen nuts? The Soviet Union had a very bad habit (Russia to a lesser degree today) where all the information is controlled and monitored by the state... there is was no independent press, no independent branches of government, no limited elections, no freedom of movement....

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817769)

After the fall of the Soviet Union, we immediately elevated ourselves to the status of, "United States of America: Full-Time World Cop."

Ever heard of WW2? The US didn't elevate itself to anything. The US filled a power vacuum and maintained one of the longest continual and most explosive movements of prosperity and progress in human history despite attempts from others to stifle such success. This power vacuum was caused by a serious lack of testosterone in many European countries which resulted in their subsequent ass kicking by a vegetarian artist.

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46818349)

This is what the US was up to after WWII, as described by George Catlett Marshall, general and statesman: "Whether we like it or not, we find ourselves, our nation, in a world position of vast responsibility. We can act for our own good by acting for the world's good."

What was the CCCP up to after WWI? Tossing Czech democrats out of windows* and refusing to move back from countries they were supposed to abandon after liberating them from the Nazis, thus creating the Iron Curtain. Go read up on Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, or Poland in 1970 and let me know what you think about the CCCP.

Were/are we perfect? No. Was it better than the USSR? Certainly.

Do we need to go back to a world of proxy wars and Mutually Assured Destruction with a 20-minute fuse for complete world destruction**? No.

* en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Masaryk#Death

** go look up how many times we almost blew each other up by accident due to system failure, human error, or sheer cussedness

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815769)

The generally popular view in the post-Soviet space is that dissolution of the Union was a mistake (post-Soviet space refers to the former SSRs, aka the Union, proper, not the Warsaw pact states, which were never part of the Union - the distinction is important). People want the Union back, but without the communism. It's a matter of security and economics, as well as socio-cultural/historic considerations and being part of something bigger.

Much of the post-soviet space is heavily dependent on Russia for survival in both the economic and military sense. The funny thing is that the idea of expanding the CIS into a Union State was in fact neither Putin nor Russia's idea, it was proposed by Kazakhstan, though rejected by Belarus and Russia initially, until '99 when the Union State of Belarus and Russia was created. That eventually expanded into the Customs Union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan, and is currently transitioning into the Eurasian Union with the ascension of Armenia as a full member. All the while, the CSTO (Eurasian/post-soviet NATO) is in the process of expanding to include Iran, and potentially Syria, depending on the outcome of the war.

The Eurasian Union is like the CCCPv2.0 in that it involves mostly the same players, but it's a lot more like a combination of the EU and NATO. I

Unless I missed the memo and "communism" has been redefined to mean "a union of states", then think what you want, but the term is being used incorrectly.

Re:Surprised? (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 5 months ago | (#46815375)

Communism is a term referring to an evil form of government that really really really evil governments incorrectly call themselves in order to only sound a little evil.

Has there ever been a truly, absolutely qualifiable communist government?

Re:Surprised? (2)

SQL Error (16383) | about 5 months ago | (#46815741)

Communism is an economic theory that can't work in theory - it centralises economic planning leading to an insoluble information processing scaling problem [ucla.edu] , while at the same time destroying precisely the information (prices) that are needed to make sensible decisions - and has been proven not to work in practice. There have been plenty of Communist states. They all failed spectacularly, generally displaying massive corruption and brutal oppression as they did so.

They may not have looked like you imagine Communism should look, but that's because Communism cannot function at the scale of a nation-state, not in the real world, not with real people. And an economic theory that doesn't work unless people stop acting like people is not a very good theory.

Re:Surprised? (1)

Megol (3135005) | about 5 months ago | (#46817075)

And this Communism have in common with any ideology. That's the reason current _functional_ states uses a flexible, adaptable design. It may not work well but it's probably as close to perfection possible with humans involved.

Re:Surprised? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#46817805)

It may not work well but it's probably as close to perfection possible with humans involved.

Relevant 1-panel comic:

http://lh3.ggpht.com/-h7v6JeQ5... [ggpht.com]

Re:Surprised? (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about 5 months ago | (#46817475)

Unfortunately, deregulated markets also lead to centralized planning, and it doesn't cease to be a problem when the central planning occurs in a corporate boardroom instead of a politburo. I find it ironic that since the collapse of the Soviet system, America has been moving closer and closer to centrally planned economies, with power consolidating in a few (sometimes even one) corporation in every major market sector, while the supposed anti-communist party cheers on and aids in the deregulation, forgetting that a true free market requires regulation, or it soon is captured by the biggest fish and ceases to be a free market in any meaningful sense.

Re:Surprised? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#46817883)

Libertarians don't want a free market in a meaningful (practical) sense. They want deregulation, consequences be damned.

Libertarians are a lot like communists. If a state fails under their system, it's because it didn't follow their ideology closely enough and the moment a system does meet the ideal exactly, it will be a utopia, you'll see!

Although bordering on a state may also be enough to prevent utopia (See: Somalia - I keep hearing that the government-controlled compound in the capital is a big sticking point).

Re:Surprised? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#46817903)

I should add that I've only discussed the Somalia option with libertarians who say they hate government so much that they'd prefer anarchy.

Re:Surprised? (1)

joh (27088) | about 5 months ago | (#46818715)

Communism is an economic theory that can't work in theory - it centralises economic planning

This isn't Communism. It's Socialism. In Communism nothing is centralized, there even isn't a state or a government, nobody owns anything, everybody does his best and takes only what he needs.

Socialism was meant as the first step on the road to Communism and of course Communism never works apart from exceptional circumstances in small communities for a short while. It's a lovely daydream of "wouldn't it be great if...". Well, but it isn't.

Re:Surprised? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 5 months ago | (#46818085)

Ah yes, the "no true communist" fallacy. Surely you don't believe it? There has been no shortage of communists over the years willing to exterminate the class according to Marx's bloody theories [youtube.com] (14:16-23:16) to try building yet another Marxist "uptopia" of collectivism and a dictatorship of the proletariat. What makes you so certain you've got it right and none of those other millions that called themselves communists didn't?

Re:Surprised? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#46815673)

Probably doesn't know what cope d'etat [wikipedia.org] means, either.

Re:Surprised? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 5 months ago | (#46816211)

Probably doesn't know what cope d'etat means, either.

Probably can't spell "coup d'etat" either....

Re: Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815331)

This is not a trait unique to "communist" countries. Here we just make them resign.

Don't Mess with April Fools (2)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 5 months ago | (#46815121)

>> He appeared to announce his resignation from the company on April 1st, but later claimed that it was an April Fools' joke, and that he would remain onboard. In a statement issued Monday, however, VK said that Durov submitted a resignation letter on March 21st and never withdrew it within the mandatory one-month window. Because of that, Durov said, he will be "automatically relieved" of his position.

Politically, it's bad, but I do enjoy seeing someone's stupid April Fools stunt blow up in their face.

Re:Don't Mess with April Fools (2)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 5 months ago | (#46815203)

That's what you take away from the article *blink*

Re:Don't Mess with April Fools (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#46815341)

Hah, high time for him to apply to have his name changed from "Durov" to "Durakov". ;-)

Re:Don't Mess with April Fools (1)

js3 (319268) | about 5 months ago | (#46816117)

>> He appeared to announce his resignation from the company on April 1st, but later claimed that it was an April Fools' joke, and that he would remain onboard. In a statement issued Monday, however, VK said that Durov submitted a resignation letter on March 21st and never withdrew it within the mandatory one-month window. Because of that, Durov said, he will be "automatically relieved" of his position.

Politically, it's bad, but I do enjoy seeing someone's stupid April Fools stunt blow up in their face.

Wow he's a total idiot. April fools joke means saying it not doing it.

ESR’s Intimidatingly Huge Turd List (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815129)

In order not to lose track of things, I just put together a pst of my past turds related to gut transition, butt cleanup, and TP.

11/12/2013: Tried 45 minutes grunting for something the size and shape of a tennis ball. Did not try it to see if it bounced. Blood in the TP. Roughly 2.6 diameter.

11/20/2013: Rolling dump from last night’s hot dogs and creamed corn. Smelled like anchovies for some reason. Haven’t eaten anchovies in two weeks. WTF? 11 × 2.25

11/30/2013: One day after Thanksgiving dinner. I was stuffed like a turkey. Unchewed pma beans, corn kernels present. 15 × 2.1

12/02/2013: Likely from all the popcorn and hummus yesterday. Felt like I was passing mashed potatoes mixed with crushed eggshells. I should chew more. pght brown, smelled like Elmer’s School Paste with a hint of garlic. 12 × 2

12/12/2013: Loved the zhxigo I ordered the other day. Pork blood turns purple in your poop. Smelled pke a women’s restroom. 9 × 1.75

12/17/2013: A semi-solid mess from a large dinner of clams and pasta in olive oil sauce. Smelled pke old seafood in a hot dumpster. Black and brown. 8 x 1.5

12/24/2013: X marks the spot! Crapped identical twin turds in anticipation of Christmas. Long, pght brown, smelled pke regular old poop. Probably from the entire loaf of French bread I had the other day. 10 × 2

12/26/2013: Oh my god. This one smelled, felt, and looked like a greased pig. Doubtless from my Christmas ham. Huge floater, thought it might jump out. 13 × 2.4

01/01/2013: Reeks like rotten cabbage from last night’s sauerkraut. The thing was pterally the same size and shape as a Colt M1991A Officer's Model. Wouldn’t go down, was in so much pain I threw the fucker out the window. Happy new year!

Collectivism wins! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815157)

Of course, we all know that collectivism is merely a smokescreen for greed. If it was legit, then the rulers would be living exactly like the peasants they controlled, rather than the ultra-rich emporers they are.

Putin town hall (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 5 months ago | (#46815187)

Next time Putin is taking questions on Russian TV this guy should submit one about "blah, blah, blah" so Putin can respond with his own "blah, blah, blah...next question?". Seems to work for other people.

How does that sit with you, Snowden? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815233)

Sounds like quiet the pickle you found yourself in.

Re:How does that sit with you, Snowden? (2)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 5 months ago | (#46815315)

Why? In the USA Facebook and Google+ are both run by people who could be described as "oligarchs" with strong ties to the White House.

By the way, if you believe this story is true then you should also believe that Putin's answer to Snowden was correct, given that it says:

Earlier this month, Durov claimed that Russia's intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB), had pressured him to hand over personal data on VK users involved in anti-government protests in Ukraine. Durov said he refused to do so, though he's gradually ceded control of the company in recent months and has long butted heads with government authorities. Experts have speculated that the Kremlin is looking to tighten its grip over VK and other social networks in the same way it controls print and TV media. Many Russians used VK to organize widespread anti-Putin demonstrations in 2011 and 2012, when thousands took to the streets to protest allegedly rigged elections

i.e. they are/were not able to simply access that data in the same way the USA and UK were slurping internal Google/Facebook db replication traffic right off the wire. In which case Putin's assertion that the FSB doesn't monitor "millions of users" might be correct, though of course the rationale given is highly suspect.

Re:How does that sit with you, Snowden? (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 5 months ago | (#46815379)

Except Russians are stuck with the same band of crooks.

OTOH, power in the West is rotated between two different bands of crooks (or at least two factions of the same band of crooks).

Ostensibly, the benefit of 'democracy', is that when the corrupts/incompetents in charge get on the nose too much, they can be safely and quickly gotten rid of. Russians and Chinese don't have that luxury. With no pressure-release-value, tensions within the system will just build up until something explodes, like 1789.

Re:How does that sit with you, Snowden? (4, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 5 months ago | (#46815465)

OTOH, power in the West is rotated between two different bands of crooks (or at least two factions of the same band of crooks).

I think if the Snowden affair has taught us anything, it's that real power in the west is not held by politicians but rather the executive branch (US) and civil service (UK). The bureaucrats appear to be able to do whatever they like, then repeatedly lie about it (USA) or simply refuse to turn up at all (UK) and politicians let them get away with it. What's more, the bureaucracy is now routinely blacklisting and even assassinating people based on no kind of formal process whatsoever, with no democratic oversight, and the people doing it are career government employees who are certainly not elected and in many cases their identities are themselves secret.

For background, in my former job I worked on one of the systems at Google that was compromised by GCHQ (they wrote wire sniffers to decode the login traffic). The root cause of this failure was the incorrect idea that western governments are "good" and the nasty Chinese/Russians/Iranians are "bad" thus internal encryption was only worth the cost when traffic transited wires controlled by "bad guys". But it turned out that they're all bad and the degree of badness appears limited only by their budget, so now Google all wire traffic all the time.

So please get out of this idea that the west is better than Russia. Democracy in the anglosphere has become so weak that lots of people simply refuse to vote at all, or are (at best) single issue voters for things like immigration. Anything national security related is uncontrollable by voting at this point.

Re:How does that sit with you, Snowden? (1)

Freultwah (739055) | about 5 months ago | (#46817855)

So if the West has problems of its own, it automatically follows that the West is just as bad as Russia? Sorry, me no buy this. If I cross the road with the red light when in a hurry and sometimes bike home after two beers in a pub, it makes me just as bad as a child molester or an axe murderer?

Re:How does that sit with you, Snowden? (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 5 months ago | (#46818713)

"Routinely assassinating?" That happened to one guy. Literally. The US has assassinated one US Citizen. And there was a lengthy, formal process to decide whether to nail him. It may not have been as lengthy as you'd like, or involve as many branches as you'd like (AFAIK only Obama's people were consulted), but it did actually happen.

Here's your core problem:
Nobody outside of the 1% or so of any Anglosphere country that reads Slashdot cares MORE about information security issues then they care about the other issues.

Please don't respond with anything including the word "Sheeple." Just because you think that everyone who prefers a government that provides universal healthcare (and spies on them) is better then a government that does neither that does not prove they've been brain-washed by the man.

Re:How does that sit with you, Snowden? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815661)

To be fair, Russia has a multi-party system, the "trouble" is that Putin is relatively popular and is currently rocking an approval rating in the mid-70s, and the main opposition party is the Communist Party of Russia (yes, _that_ communist party of Russia). United Russia _can_ be voted out in Russia, that release valve exists, but again, Putin is well liked and even if he was not, UR is the de-facto "lesser evil", given that the main alternative is Communism.

This is about normal in democratic countries, take Canada, 4 major federal parties (plus the fringe Greens, Communists, Marxist Leninists, and pot parties), but in practice, it's just switching between Conservatives and Liberals.

Re:How does that sit with you, Snowden? (1)

Freultwah (739055) | about 5 months ago | (#46818475)

It looks like a multi-party system on paper, but the Kremlin has slowly and steadily gained control over all the media (with some exceptions), most notably the television, and as that is what most Russian citizens use for getting their daily dose of information, it’s a good and effective way of keeping one party in the limelight and belittling everybody else. The opposition gets no media time, but they do get politically motivated arrests and jail time on trumped up or made up charges etc. NGOs funded from abroad are labelled as foreign agents, and while this may not sound like a big deal, it effectively closes down all the election monitoring and human rights groups etc. The communists’ resilience is astounding, but it’s also understandable, because nostalgia is king (and also plays a big part in the current events in Crimea). Besides, they serve their purpose: the message from above is that it’s either us or the commies, and you remember how that ended. It’s the Kremlin’s modus operandi – they keep some nutcases on the payroll or at least let them speak in public so that the rulers can look sane in comparison. (See Zhirinovski and Kiselyov et al.) And they can use them to probe the public opinion.

This, however, is not to say that the entire opposition is necessarily a force for good. While Putin’s derzhava rhetorics worry me, I myself am equally wary of some opposition figures’ nationalistic rhetorics, because even though they tout democratic values, they are also big on Russian nationalism. In some respects, Putin’s derzhava (mighty state) take is more predictable and safer than the nationalist course that would end up much the same way, only worse for the ethnic minorities.

only in russia. (4, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | about 5 months ago | (#46815353)

Here in america we certainly dont have anything this ridiculous. Our social networks take careful steps to ensure profits are privatized and personal information is harvested and transmitted to the government quietly and quickly without so much as raising the issue for reasonable discussion. Our media outlets would never consistently report on the legality or morality of such normal operations as theyre both patriotic and in the interest of the people of the united states. Our elected leaders would never pressure private companies to shut down websites and deny financial remuneration for wholesome and informative whistleblower agencies such as wikileaks. For the Russian government to even consider a takeover of a private corporation is bombastic. We've never once taken over an auto industry or a bank, for example. And as for conventional media in america, we have never delivered talking points and restricted journalists in an attempt to control the dissemenation of information.

Re:only in russia. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46816853)

Having faults of our own does not mean that Russia and China are not far worse.

So, does anyone have any ideas ... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 5 months ago | (#46815369)

So, does anyone have any ideas where Edward Snowden might be working in Russia these days?

Re:So, does anyone have any ideas ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815925)

Gulag

Yuo fail 17. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815637)

Facebook (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#46815705)

Isn't Facebook basically under defacto control of the NSA anyway.

Re:Facebook (1)

q4Fry (1322209) | about 5 months ago | (#46816123)

The parody video might be my favorite thing that The Onion has ever made: http://www.theonion.com/video/... [theonion.com]

Re:Facebook (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#46817951)

Haha, a classic. Seriously, every day Facebook is in operation must be like Christmas to the spooks, it's the next best thing to direct access to people's thoughts. Even if you don't have an account people will talk about what you do, take pics of you and tag your face for the facial recognition engine!

Despoiler Crying Foul (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46815837)

Ought to count himself lucky he's still breathing, certainly wouldn't have shown his victims the same sort of compassion.

Vulture Communisim: the Russian System (2)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 5 months ago | (#46816687)

That's just how things work in Russia. There's not really any Rule of Law there. So once a company gets lucrative, the government swoops in and takes it over. Any unfortunate owner who tries to stand in the way finds himself in jail [wikipedia.org] , or worse [wikipedia.org] .

What I don't understand is why anyone would invest a single dime of their own money in a business operating in a country where the instant an investment starts paying off, someone else will come reap all your rewards. It just makes no sense whatsoever to try to do business there.

Re:Vulture Communisim: the Russian System (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46817259)

What I don't understand is why anyone would invest a single dime of their own money in a business operating in a country where the instant an investment starts paying off, someone else will come reap all your rewards. It just makes no sense whatsoever to try to do business there.

Quite simple if you think about it.
They want to become the ones who take rewards from others, or they think they can change it.

Background (for those who didn't read TFA) (1)

zlogic (892404) | about 5 months ago | (#46817701)

This Pavel Durov guy sent a resignation letter on April 1 saying that he resigned. Then a follow-up letter on April 3 stating that this was an April Fools joke and he'd like to recall the resignation letter.
Now, the VK social is undergoing hostile takeover and there's lots of going on that we don't know about.
What most don't seem to understand is:
You don't make such kind of jokes on April 1st without expecting consequences.
Imagine if
* Your boss joked "you're fired, pack your shit" and gave you a pink slip on April 1st
* A senior developer joked "I'm tired of all this bullshit and all you dumbass bozos building pointless crap" and gave his resignation on April 1st
* The CEO joked "I'm tired of all this bullshit and all the f-ing politics I have to deal with" and gave his resignation on April 1st
and made a follow-up two days later saying that was a joke and the statement should be recalled.

This still is a sad day in the history of Russian Internet. It seems that blocking of stuff is getting more and more aggressive (Navalny's blog was banned simply because he's under house arrest and is not supposed to use the internet). Some ISPs even roll out DPI which is sadly a better alternative to DNS-based blocking because of much less false-positives.

Brain obstinately despondent, western liberasts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46818015)

http://rt.com/news/durov-resigns-vkontakte-social-904/
A war is looming, thankfully.

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