Why So Many Russians Hate Mikhail Gorbachev

The Soviet Union ran on a command economy. To a great extent, it was isolated from the rest of the world economy. When the Soviet Union came apart in 1991, it had to reconstruct its economy to work with the rest of the world. That would never have been easy.

But as Gorbachev was rightly blamed for the breakup of the Soviet Union, the economic mess of the 1990s was not his fault. However, blame for one meant blame for the other to many ordinary citizens.

Paul Krugman offers economic information from 1990s Russia to show why Russians might have been angry. It was bad.

Many Russians lost all their savings. The way enterprises were privatized built the oligarch class.

Could it have been done better? Many of the satellites and former republics managed softer landings. A team from Harvard University advised the Russian government on economic “shock therapy.” The US Congress, led by Newt Gingrich’s Republicans, would have nothing to do with a Marshall Plan for the former Soviet Union. They barely were willing to fund a pittance for helping Russia to make its nuclear inventory safe.

Many Russians blame Gorbachev.

Also – why some of the former republics hate Gorbachev. It’s different from how Russians feel. And how Americans can’t transcend their priors about Gorbachev’s legacy.

Cross-posted to Lawyers, Guns & Money

Links – October 28, 2016

One of the best articles on understanding Vladimir Putin that I have read. By Fiona Hill.

Putin’s Chaos Strategy Is Coming Back to Bite Him in the Ass. Also very good.

Russia is trying to hack the election. What should the US do? If you’ve been reading my comments, you already know this. And it looks like Putin realizes that Donald Trump is not going to win, so he seems to have been on good behavior in his speech at the Valdai Club. This is consistent with his “chaos strategy” and the tactical approach described by Fiona Hill. Read More