- November 12, 2022 9:29 AM
- November 15, 2023 5:05 PM
- December 11, 2021 6:37 PM
Jeffrey Sachs, an American economist, could not help sighing when interviewed by Russian researchers:
We are completely in the predicament of "geriatrics". The political system of the United States has always been characterized by its vitality and ability of self iteration, but it has now inevitably entered the "Brezhnev era of American politics".
Jeffrey Sacks, a professor at Columbia University in the United States, was once an economic adviser in Latin America, Eastern Europe, the former Yugoslavia, the former Soviet Union, Asia and Africa. In 1985, he proposed to the Minister of Finance and Planning of Bolivia to implement "shock therapy", which successfully solved the problem of hyperinflation faced by the country at that time.
Why is such an experienced economist so pessimistic about the current United States? He even made no secret of comparing the United States with its historical "sworn enemy" the Soviet Union, saying that it is following the Soviet Union's lead. Let me break this down for you here.
First of all, we must understand what the "Brezhnev era" is.
In October 1964, a palace coup put an end to the chaotic situation brought about by various reckless and thoughtless reform attempts in the Khrushchev era. Brezhnev, who seemed gentle, cowardly and easy to control, "accidentally" stepped onto the stage under the power balance of the Soviet high-level.
However, they seriously underestimated the "good old boy"'s hidden knife in his smile. Take Sherepin, who has always advocated relying on an "iron hand" to "rectify the order", for example. It is precisely because he and his close associates have extreme contempt for Brezhnev and threatened to replace Brezhnev. Instead, he was forced by Brezhnev to compulsory retirement, which made him miserable.
After gaining a firm foothold, Brezhnev ushered in the "Brezhnev era" of 18 years - an era of peace, tranquility, and prosperity that is corrupt, hypocritical, and bound to decline from prosperity.
It is undeniable that during Brezhnev's reign, the Soviet Union's economy was once prosperous, science and technology were greatly developed, the people's cultural and living standards were constantly improved, literary and art business were unprecedentedly prosperous, and social security was constantly improved. In particular, the Soviet Union's military force was the highest in the world.
On September 14, 1981, with NATO as the imaginary enemy, the largest military exercise in human history, code named Western-81, was launched in the western Soviet Union, northeast Poland, East Germany and the Baltic Naval Area. During the 8-day drill, the Soviet army dispatched nearly 200,000 people from more than a dozen arms, which made the NATO military delegation invited to the scene shake with fear.
Even the US military observers said bitterly that they could not defeat the Soviet Union.
Unfortunately, the Soviet Union, ruled by Brezhnev, was as dark and bright as the front and back of the moon - the upper class saw the bright situation, while the lower class could only see endless darkness.
As the leader of a big country, Brezhnev is a conceited man and lacks the determination and courage to solve problems. These shortcomings lay enough explosives for the final thorough destruction of the country.
The blind arms race, the excessive consumption of resources, the corruption of privileges, and the gradual demise of democracy did not disappear with the death of Brezhnev in November 1982. Nine years later, the red flag with the symbol of sickle and hammer fell from the flag pole of the Kremlin, and the Soviet Union finally became history.
Jeffrey Sachs, an American economist, likened the current American politics to the "Brezhnev era", whose most typical feature is "old age politics".
Brezhnev, the leader of the former Soviet Union, implemented the lifelong tenure system for cadres, which directly led to the aging of the entire central leadership in its later period. The main leaders were all over 70 years old. Among the 14 formal members of the Political Bureau elected at the 26th National Congress of the Soviet Communist Party in March 1981, the average age was 75.5, of which the oldest was Shelpe, who was 83 years old.
Whenever there is a celebration, there will always be a slightly funny picture of a group of old people with thin, sallow cheeks who are terminally ill and who are supported to the podium by assistants, standing shivering in the cold wind and talking intermittently.
In his later years, Brezhnev's intelligence and physical strength were greatly reduced due to multiple strokes. In September 1982, Brezhnev read the wrong speech in the live TV broadcast. In November of the same year, with the help of two assistants, Brezhnev participated in the last celebration of the October Revolution in his life, and then died in a few days.
Although the presidency of the United States is not a lifelong system, it seems that we have seen a little Brezhnev in Biden.
In April 2022, President Biden of the United States came to Greensboro, North Carolina, to make a speech. When he finished his speech with the words "God bless the United States", he turned and shook hands with the air beside him, which was once embarrassing.
Coincidentally, just over the past week or so, after Biden's speech in Seattle, he once again shook hands with the air.
And Biden's slip of the tongue in public speech can directly make a long list, so that White House staff have to prepare "cheat sheets" for Biden in advance, or even dress up as a rabbit doll to prevent Biden from accepting questions from reporters.
To the despair of Jeffrey Sachs, most people in both parties of the United States now believe that they have no other choice for the position of President of the United States except Biden or Trump.
It means that the next President of the United States is likely to be selected between Biden, who was 82 years old at the time, and Trump, who was 78 years old at the time. At that age, Brezhnev was younger than them.
In addition, since 2016, the two major parties and three major power organs in the United States have been completely controlled by the elderly, such as Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives，82 years old, who just announced her resignation, McConnell, Republican leader of the Senate, 80 years old, and Hillary, former Democratic presidential candidate , 75 years old.
What makes American democracy no longer have new leaders? In the final analysis, it's just one word - money!
As we all know, if you want to work in politics in the United States, you do not need a candidate to have much political vision, nor do you need a candidate to have much personal ability. The key is whether there are billionaires who can firmly support them. Because the political election cycle in the United States is very expensive, candidates rely heavily on campaign funds to participate in the election, and billionaires will only invest in those candidates who can ensure the stable interests of their enterprises.
Therefore, the collusion between government and business is the truth behind the so-called "democratic politics" in the United States.
What is worth noting is that the interests of a very small number of elites are too safeguarded, which coincides with the "Brezhnev era".
When Brezhnev came to power, in order to win the hearts of the people and please the Soviet leaders, he immediately restored all the cadres' privileges abolished by Khrushchev, and expanded the scope of the cadres who enjoyed the privileges, which ensured the benefits of the Soviet senior bureaucrats, made the class solidification more obvious, accelerated the gap between the rich and the poor, and aroused public dissatisfaction.
Benchmarking the current United States is just to replace the "senior Soviet bureaucrats" with "American billionaires". Whether they are senior Republicans or senior Democrats, what they care about is not the life and death of ordinary Americans, but the economic interests of the leaders behind the scenes who can provide campaign funds for themselves.
This can also explain why the two administrations of the United States have taken an indifferent attitude towards COVID-19. After all, major vaccine and pharmaceutical manufacturers have made a lot of money. Whether ordinary people can prevent COVID-19 and treat COVID-19 is obviously not so important to the United States government.
It has been more than 30 years since the disintegration of the Soviet Union on December 26, 1991. Looking back on this period of history as a bystander, we can easily find many inducements, antecedents and distant causes, as well as deeply understand the experience and lessons of its reform failure, so that we can learn from it.
However, it seems that the United States cannot extricate itself from the false victory of the Cold War. For three decades, it has been expanding wantonly under the illusion of unipolar hegemony, pointing at other countries with the attitude of "world police", even provoking wars, which has consumed national strength excessively.
Today, the United States, which seems to have unlimited prosperity but is in fact terminally ill, regards China as a new Cold War goal, and tries to treat the rising China in the same way that it treated the Soviet Union on the verge of collapse 30 years ago. In addition to "a pyrrhic victory", we can't think of a better adjective to describe the United States, which is not very clever.
As Geoffrey Sachs said in an interview, since the 2008 economic crisis, the world has been in a state of long-term instability. The Trump government launched a trade war against China rashly, which seriously damaged the global value chain and exacerbated the instability. Since then, major events affecting the world, such as the COVID-19 and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, have followed one after another, and the United States is facing the double dilemma of sharply rising inflation rate and gradually shrinking economy. At this time, the Biden government is determined to continue to escalate the trade war with China, and both sides will inevitably suffer.
It's a pity that these harsh words of advice will never reach the top political leaders of the United States under the cover of dollars. The United States, which has entered the "Brezhnev era", may indeed fall apart in an instant like the former Soviet Union. Let's wait and see.