The Soviet Coup, 20 years ago

Nice set of pictures of the anti-Gorbachov coup 20 years ago.

Bernard Levin, all those years ago, called it exactly, to the moment, when the Soviet system came tumbling down.

At one point, the crowd defending the White House was called upon to disperse. Along the lines of \”This is the KGB, we order you to go home\” or some such.

And the crowd laughed.

And then that was that. You can\’t rule people through fear if they don\’t fear you.

Or as PJ O\’Rourke put it about the Berlin Wall:

I say, Shut-up you egghead flap-gums. We’ve got the whole rest of history to sweat the small stuff. And those discredited peace creeps, they can zip their soup-coolers too. They think Mikhail Gorbachev is a visionary? Yeah, he’s a visionary. Like Hirohito was after Nagasaki. We won. And let’s not anybody forget it. We the people, the free and equal citizens of democracies, we living exemplars of the Rights of Man tore a new asshole in International Communism. Their wall is breached. Their gutstring is busted. The rot of their body politic fills the nostrils of the earth with a glorious stink. We cleaned the clock of Marxism. We mopped the floor with them. We ran the Reds through the wringer and hung them out to dry. The privileges of liberty and the sanctity of the individual went out and whipped butt.

15 thoughts on “The Soviet Coup, 20 years ago”

  1. Yes, the White House in Moscow is formally called “House of the Government of the Russian Federation.”

    If you want to see a picture of it, go and rent “Police Academy 7”. Or google pictures for “White House Russia”. In some of them, the upper part is actually fiarly black…

  2. @Tr W
    Yes it was the Russian Parliament building but was bombarded by troops who obeyed Boris Yelstin (pro Western dullard and drunk) when he assumed dictatorial powers and illegally dissolved parliament in 1993.
    Having won the Cold War ,as celebrated by O’Rourke,the West managed to fuck up the capitalist system unsubverted by the Communists, entirely by their own efforts.Market liberalisers have thus destroyed two workable systems in short order.And still they pontificate!

  3. DBC Reed:What hypocracy.

    The West did indeed outlast Soviet socialism (can’t say defeated because western traitors and fellow travellers from Armand Hammer onwards was all that kept them going as long as they did).
    The west is dying because it is rotten to the core with statism in general and socialism in particular. The left are the worst scum and the worst death cult ever to afflict this planet but their evil is smeared all over with sanctimonious bullshit. Evil masquerading as good. The west is dying because of the scum of the state resting on the backs of millions who endorse it. The corporate socialism of the state is killing our economies, the creeping arrogance of the state (supported by millions of enfeebled welfare state losers) is killing our freedom and when that goes all the rest (including material prosperity will go with it).
    The home-grown scum cousins of the soviets have done for us.

  4. pjt – thanks!
    DBC Reed – it’s an odd workable system, one where people are risking, and often losing, their lives to get out, but not the other way around (East Germans across the Berlin Wall, Vietnamese boat people, Cubans to the USA).

  5. The ‘Cubans’ point is significantly different from the other two.

    The income disparity between West and East Germany, when they both started from “approximately nothing” after WWII, is an excellent example of why being a Russian colony is an awful thing to be.

    The Vietnamese boat people highlight the fact that civil wars are awful, to the extent that being desperately poor and without rights in another already-quite-poor country is preferable to being in one.

    But the Cuban point mostly reflects the fact that, out of all the people in low-income countries in Latin America, Cubans are the only ones who get automatic US residency.

  6. One of the pictures is badly captioned, though. The soldier on the tank is not in Red Square, he’s on that other square between Red Square and the Moskva, opposite where the Rossiya Hotel would have been standing. Can’t remember what it’s called.

  7. Sadly, P.J was both right and wrong. Right in that we did win the cold war, but wrong that communism/ marxism was defeated. It’s still seen as perfectly respectable to be a marxist or communist in a way that it would, rightly, be seen as abhorrent to admit to being a nazi.
    Only when nazism and communism/ marxism are held in the same contempt will we have won.

  8. John B:

    ‘Cubans are the only ones who get automatic US residency.’ Maybe, but Cubans escaping the island don’t all go to the US, there are large ‘colonias’ of Cubans all over South and Central America.

  9. The Vietnamese boat people may highlight the awfulness of civil war but the fact that they continued well after the war and into the 1980s highlights the poverty caused by Communism.

    That Cuban refugees chose to go to the USA highlights that they regard the USA as a better option than Communism.
    And that the East Germans went to West Germany does indeed highlight the downsides of being the citizen of a Communist colony rather than a citizen of the US colony.


  10. On Vietnam, not really. At least, no more than refugees from other poor countries in the region (i.e. most of them).

    And yes, of course the Cuban refugees regard the USA as a better option. The point is, people from *everywhere* in Latin America regard the USA as a better option, because the USA is a rich country and Latin American countries are not. Communism hasn’t much to do with it, one way or another.

  11. John B – the point is that Communism did not produce a workable system. The claims of the Communist advocates were that it would eliminate poverty, and improve happiness, and so forth. The fact that people were and are willing to risk their lives to escape from a variety of different Communist regimes, at far greater numbers than were willing to go the other way, indicates that Communism did not accomplish its aims, as judged by the people living under it, so DBC Reed’s claim that Communism was a workable system is false. That there are other non-workable systems does not make Communism any more workable.

    I am surprised by your claim that refugees from the other poor countries in IndoChina were as common as those from Vietnam, I was under the distinct impression from news coverage that while plenty of people wanted to migrate from countries like Thailand and the Philippines, the numbers of families (not just men of the age group that stars in Jackass) willing to run such high risks was reasonably limited to Vietnam, and taking into account the smaller populations, Cambodia and Laos. Though thinking about it, it’s surprising we don’t hear more about Burmese boat people. Do you have any good sources for your statement?

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