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Forum LockedRoots of the Cold War

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Majkes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 20:20
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

[QUOTE=Majkes]
Well, as a technicality, I can agree, but if Saxony is part of the Confederation, and Poland is in personal union by the position of the king of Saxony, how is Poland not "Confederation territory?"  Wink   As policy, and to keep them quiet, Bonaparte left the "old princes" of Germany (Bavaria, Saxony, etc.) sovereign in their own territories, but Poland was a different matter.  
 
Of course, you understand Bonaparte drew resources and large numbers of troops from Poland, and that this area had been viewed as a key region for the eventual donations of land to the emperor's military support - support he needed to legitimize and retain power.  The dynastic revolution was that Bonaparte's relatives became kings and the aristocratic revolution was that the new aristocracy (marshals; generals) needed estates from new territory.  It did not go as planned, but that was part of the intent.
 
Anyway, to the point of the matter, Poland was far too important as a French place d'armes in the rivalry with Russia that developed after Tilsit.  This was little different than the position of Poland as a forward deployment for the Czars after Vienna - or than it had been before, in the 18th century. 
 
It is also analogous to the Position of Poland after WW II.  It was again de facto a part of the Russian empire (with a Red Czar).  Poland was as much a part of Russia's cordon as the Grand Duchy of Warsaw was a part of France's cordon.  Russia sees NATO influence in Poland as a potential threat little different than French influence in the Grand Duchy.  Saying the Gr. D. was not "in" the Confederation of the Rhine is similar to saying Poland was an independent state in 1950.
     
 
We are heading out of topic but as you are a modWink....Your reasoning is quite logic but I just indicated that in fact Grand Duchy wasn't a part of Confederation of the Rhine which is a fact. The Saxonian king on Polish throne made Grand Duchy allied with Confedaration but still not part of it. The second thing is that Saxonian king wasn't Napoleon's pupet that Poles were forced to accept. He was accepted along the Poles before Napoleon came to power and PLC proposed Polish throne to Saxonian king in 1791.
You are right, Napoleon forced small Grand Duch to enormous effort. In the war against Russia it created 100.000 army.
I think Russia begins to accept Poland in NATO. Now they are rather focused how to not loose Ukraine. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 21:20
Majkes,
 
I am looking at all this as "roots of the Cold war."  It does blend together, I think.
 
Incidentally, King Frederick Augustus (as former King of Poland) was used by Bonaparte as bait for the "possible" re-establishment of the Kingdom of Poland.  That got the French some political support in Poland.  Poland was not an ally but a dependency, and Frederick Augustus was sovereign there in name only.  Poniatowski ran the Grand Duchy...in the interests of France.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Majkes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 22:03
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Majkes,
 
I am looking at all this as "roots of the Cold war."  It does blend together, I think.
 
Incidentally, King Frederick Augustus (as former King of Poland) was used by Bonaparte as bait for the "possible" re-establishment of the Kingdom of Poland.  That got the French some political support in Poland.  Poland was not an ally but a dependency, and Frederick Augustus was sovereign there in name only.  Poniatowski ran the Grand Duchy...in the interests of France.
 
 
You looked back real deep with this "roots" Pike.
I agree with what You sad but even without Saxonian king Poles would support Napoleon as there were no other option. Napoleon was fightin Poland enemies so he was natural friend.
As for the roots of Cold War they were the same like other wars: greed for power, money, resources. Ideology just to have something to show the mob. This everlasting story just key players are changing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WolfHound85 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2009 at 03:41
Originally posted by Majkes Majkes wrote:

Originally posted by WolfHound85 WolfHound85 wrote:

[QUOTE=pikeshot1600]
Russia was strong after World War Two a lot stronger than Imperial Russia which hardly won any wars under the Czars. However Poland was weaker and Russia easily dominated Poland, Belorussia, and Ukraine. Also Russia always had plans to dominate it's neighbors I guess that is why Grandma never tells me to trust the Russians. But on a side note I am American(with Polish heritage) I am just going to Poland to study for my masters :)
 
Hello Wolfhound, Russia under Tzars won many wars. Let's just mention wars with Sweden, Turkey and last but not least Napoleonic wars.

True but the wars the Czars won were wars against smaller countries. I guess I thinking more of the Crimean war. Anyways I doubt Russia ever had the idea or the chance to rule half of Europe until the end of World War Two.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jun-2009 at 17:51
Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

 Looks like you never heard of Russian technological advances. Shocked
 
Enlighten me.
 
The Soviets were really good at "acquiring" and adapting other peoples inventions to suit Soviet military needs but how much real invention was going on in the U.S.S.R. Its' agriculture, domestic sector, healthcare, housing, information technology, etc... were all years behind anything in the west. Massive missiles, maneuverable fighters and underwater rockets aside how impressive were the Soviets technologically.
 
 


Edited by DukeC - 08-Jun-2009 at 17:52
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WolfHound85 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jun-2009 at 23:19
Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

 Looks like you never heard of Russian technological advances. Shocked
 
Enlighten me.
 
The Soviets were really good at "acquiring" and adapting other peoples inventions to suit Soviet military needs but how much real invention was going on in the U.S.S.R. Its' agriculture, domestic sector, healthcare, housing, information technology, etc... were all years behind anything in the west. Massive missiles, maneuverable fighters and underwater rockets aside how impressive were the Soviets technologically.
 
 

HEHE thats because they took a lot of Nazi scientists to develop those weapon systems after World War Two. Plus the Soviets were never interested in domestic policy the economy and science was more geared towards war.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jun-2009 at 23:20
Massive missiles, maneuverable fighters and aircrafts, space program and submarines were actually main points of Soveit technological advance and you can't live them aside. However they are not only ones. Science, majorly physics and mathematics was also highly developed.  People like Landau, Kapitsa, Abrikosov, Ginzburg, Alferov, Vasov, Prokhorov, Cherenkov, Tamm, Frank,  Vexler, Bogolyubov, Blohintsev, Pontryagin, Fomenko, Kolmogorov, Lyapunov did not adapt other's inventions. Chemistry also got boost by the same technological advance that you wanted to live aside.
Buildings built at Stalin's time were actually excellent although buildings got worse with Hruschov. Those slums are ugly and unconfortable indeed. Although you can compare them to many contemporary english buildings. Who told you that healthcare in Soviet Union was bad? This is simply not true. It got worse in late 1980s but this was a result of general crisis of Soviet system. Most scientific institutes used contemporary computers and the difference from the west became evident only in 1980s, again when the crisis of the hole system started.
The fact that Russians were stealing technologies from the west  does not mean that Americans and Europeans didn't do the same. Quite many scientists immigrated from USSR and to USSR so technological "acquiring" and adapting had two ways.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jun-2009 at 23:26
Originally posted by WolfHound85 WolfHound85 wrote:

HEHE thats because they took a lot of Nazi scientists to develop those weapon systems after World War Two.
Nazi scientist were taken not only by Russians but by Americans and Europeans too. The whole cosmonautics started with German engineers.
 
Quote
Plus the Soviets were never interested in domestic policy the economy and science was more geared towards war.
This is not true. Science was well sponsored apart from biology (although there were quite many good biologists and biological institutions) and economics. Google cities like Puschino or Dubna.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2009 at 17:55
Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

Massive missiles, maneuverable fighters and aircrafts, space program and submarines were actually main points of Soveit technological advance and you can't live them aside.
 
Like the U.S. rocket program the Soviets drew heavily on German science and technology. The first successful Soviet jet fighter used a reverse engineered British Nene engine and Soviet submarines got much quieter in the mid 1980s after sophisticated machining tools were acquired from Toshiba without U.S. approval.
 
I don't think a closed society like the one present in the Soviet Union-especially under Stalin-is very condusive to science and technological innovation. From what I understand about Soviet healthcare, it was very good...if you were part of the elite. You got care with western produced medicines and the latest diagnostic tools, for the rest it could be somewhat scary. Most of the best drugs were imported from East Germany IIRC and even those weren't up to western standards.
 
I'm don't claim that the Soviet Union didn't have some very bright people, Stalin murdered one of the most promising geneticists of his time Nikolai Vavilov, and the mathematical breakthrough that allowed steal aircraft to be built was produced by Petr Ufimtsev. But how much further would science and technology in Russia and the entire region have gone if it had been allowed to find it's own way?


Edited by DukeC - 09-Jun-2009 at 17:57
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2009 at 22:38
Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

Like the U.S. rocket program the Soviets drew heavily on German science and technology. The first successful Soviet jet fighter used a reverse engineered British Nene engine and Soviet submarines got much quieter in the mid 1980s after sophisticated machining tools were acquired from Toshiba without U.S. approval.  
Does it mean that these are copies of western analogs? Not at all. Rockets were farther developed to the level much better than American analogs, aircrafts were  similar in quality to Boing or Airbus crafts. Cars were shit in SU, but track industry was and still remains very good.  I see a technological advance here.
 
What I can agree with is --development of electronics in USSR wasn't nearly as good as in the West. It was basically sh..t. But what I am absolutely sure, that if SU wouldn't colapse after some 10-15 years this sector would be developed.
 
Quote  
I don't think a closed society like the one present in the Soviet Union-especially under Stalin-is very condusive to science and technological innovation.
Science and openness of the society do not correlate at all. It is rather matter of money which USSR had selling resources. I gave you some examples of top scientists, you can easely check their levels.  I guess you will agree with me that there were top  scientists like Heisenberg in Nazi Germany -- close society as well. And by the way, the most prominent scientists were frequently allowed to visit western countries and some western scientists visited Russia. These contacts, however, were not frequent enough. Another problem with communication was that Russians frequently published their papers in Russian, which obviously made it less available for nonrussian readers. This was not necessarily due to iron curtain -- look for instance Russian presoviet mathematician Alexander Lyapunov. He created mathematical methods allowing to estimate a stability of nonlinear systems. These methods were not used in the West untill late 1930s (he died in 1918) when Kolmogorov published french translation of his works. Now they are widely used by the whole world. 
 
 
Quote
From what I understand about Soviet healthcare, it was very good...if you were part of the elite. You got care with western produced medicines and the latest diagnostic tools, for the rest it could be somewhat scary. Most of the best drugs were imported from East Germany IIRC and even those weren't up to western standards.
Well, this is true to some extent but it is overestimation. First of all, it was absolutely free as in many european countries. However, in contrast to, for example, Sweden or UK (from my own experience) one gets treatment much easier, as everything was paid automatically by the state. Correct me if I am wrong but in USA  many people can't afford full covering health  insurance and hence best treatment is not available for everyone. Second, drugs were imported not only from East Germany but from many other countries -- Bulgaria, Jugoslavia, Poland etc. And also produced in USSR as well. Can't judge their quality, probably they were not as well purified purified as western analogs. Yet, there was a quite tough quality control. Finally, doctors themselves were highly educated in USSR and other socialist countries and many of them now work in EU and USA without signifficant additional study of medicine.
So I wouldn't say that basic medicine was much worse than in Europe or States. I do not say it was paradise, there were lots of problems, especially in far villages. Also emergency medicine wasn't good enough, but still there were many good sides as well.
 
And one more thing -- do not underestimate the size of the elite. It was much larger than you can imagine. Scientists, army officers,  and also artists, actors, musicians  etc. --"cultural worker" as they were called  --  had special hospitals and clinics. Include here their relatives (close and not so close) and you will get basically the whole Soviet Union population.Smile There were also clinics built for members of all sorts of  organizations (like factories, institutes etc.) and they were usually better than the public ones. Also there were ridiculously cheap vouchers to all sorts of sanatoria where people also received medical and/or profilactic treatments. I will repeate again -- they were very very cheap and affordable for everyone -- although there were cues for many of them Wink.  All this, I think, contradicts to widely accepted opinion that state didn't take care of people and spent all the resources only on military projects.  
 
Quote  
I'm don't claim that the Soviet Union didn't have some very bright people, Stalin murdered one of the most promising geneticists of his time Nikolai Vavilov, and the mathematical breakthrough that allowed steal aircraft to be built was produced by Petr Ufimtsev. But how much further would science and technology in Russia and the entire region have gone if it had been allowed to find it's own way?
Well, what I try to pursuade you is that they were not some, but many and were supported by the state. I agree with you it would be better for science and technology or  any other aspect of life if Russia didn't have communism period but it was not as bad as you imagine anyway.


Edited by Anton - 09-Jun-2009 at 22:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Act of Oblivion Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 03:05

….hello everyone…

…its been an interesting read so far….

..with the original question in mind, I tend to think that there might be some confusion over the term ‘roots’ and  ‘origins’ of the Cold War…using the ‘ancestry’ argument, an observer could pretty much delve back in time to almost any point in recorded history to find the ‘roots’ of any particular set of circumstances…while this is most definitely a constructive endeavour,  the task can get bogged down in examining  practically every event that ultimately led to 20th (and 21st) century history…for example, without America or the USSR, there could not have been a Cold War as we know it (or maybe not, but I doubt any other global power on the same level as the United States and the Soviet Union would have evolved in the Post-World War II era, possibly China in a non-Communist form?)…it would be counter factual to speculate on what other form a Cold War would have taken without the Soviet Union and the United States unless the term ‘Cold War’ is employed to encompass all forms of ideological, political and military divergence between any countries…which in this case it is not, the Cold War is a explicit term for ideological, geopolitical and general strategic non-cooperation between the US and the Soviet Union in the 20th century....

…so, to establish the circumstances that enabled the Cold War to have participants, do we examine the British policy of tea taxation in order to establish an independent United States or even look at the Scandinavian pedigree of the Rus, without which, according to the ‘roots’ theory, there would not have been a Soviet Union, and thus no ‘Cold War’…its like saying the foundation of World War II can be found in the Norman conquest, or World War I was caused by the defeat of the Spanish Armada…this method I think misses the context when exploring the core subject, in other words, what were the of origins of the Cold War?...

…the idea of a ‘Cold War’ is linked to the lack of ‘peaceful co-existence’ between the two major participants…..and peaceful-coexistence is the key phrase here..with the United States reasonably established on the worlds stage at the turn of the 20th century, I think it is only possible, realistically, to go back to the formation of the Soviet Union to find a tentative ‘root’ of the Cold War (and the 1917 Revolution was by no means a predetermined event, even in 1918).. …however, the revolution was a success, and this sets the primary pre-condition necessary for the emergence of the Cold War as recorded by history…you could not have had the Cold War without one country or the other….…

…there are many episodes in history put forward by historians when attempting to pin-point the start of the Cold War… perhaps it is even possible to see Stalin’s consolidation as leader of the Soviet Union as a focal point, after all, he was a man who fought ‘cold wars’ in every aspect of his life….I do not believe though, that Stalin’s acquisition of Eastern Europe signalled the start of non-co-operation, as the Atlantic Alliance was complicit in this arrangement and the ‘Big Three’ were still collaborating in the fight against Nazi Germany…all this only pointed to the possibility of a later ideological conflict….the year 1945 is most often viewed as ‘the’ beginning of serious Soviet-American divergence, but even after Hitler’s defeat, the Soviet Union and America worked closely to end the war in the Pacific..maybe the moment of Japan’s surrender is significant?…but Moscow and Washington were still trying to work together in the immediate post-war period…was it Kennan’s 1946 ‘long telegram’ that signalled the beginning?... some argue that the barrel to barrel stand off in Berlin marked the onset of the Cold War?..... as for me, I have yet to find a conclusive answer although I veer towards the enunciation of the Truman Doctrine in 1947 as my most valid response, but even then Truman did not implicitly mention the Soviet Union (although it was obvious) suggesting that a thread of belief in co-operation with the USSR was still held by the American Government..…

…. So, just because the USSR and US existed did not mean that ‘Cold War’ was a foregone conclusion, even perhaps right up until 1948 (although there is still no consensus among historians on this issue)…most people can speculate about the pre-conditions that might lead to war, hot or cold, (Hitler  in 1945, ‘foresaw’ a Soviet-American conflict, as did  Alexis de Tocqueville in 1835 who wrote of a Russian/Anglo-American confrontation but not necessarily militarily hostile) but none of this proved that Cold War was inevitable….it can only be with the use of hindsight that roots stretching over centuries can be theorised… …

…all the best..AoO…

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 13:31
AoO,
 
Articulate and well reasoned as usual.  However Wink, Duke's original thought was the roots of the Cold War.  Those roots go deep imo, and is not hindsight what history is about?
 
In the last 300 years, Russia has been in serious conflict, if not hot war, with every major Western political entity.  There have been few periods when there was not either war, or rumors of war, with almost any important Western power you can name (not to mention the Turks). 
 
Is Russian "paranioa" understandable?  Probably so, but that did not begin with the need for the Berlin airlift or the disappearance of Swedish diplomats or the murder of eastern European politicians.  It went far back before the late 1940s.
 
History is subjective; so are origins.  Roots are more systemic, at least in my view.
 
  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 14:36
Just a minor correction to one of the early posts:

In re:  "Before the invasion of South Korea, there were no US forces on the Korean peninsula."

The last U.S. combat force, a Regimental Combat Team of the 7th Infantry Division, departed in June 1949. A U.S. 500 man training force (Korea Military Advisory Group) remained. The ROK Army was at that time being reorganized from a constabulary force into a military force. By June 1950, all divisions had yet to be formed and fully equipped. Artillery was minimal, and there no tanks yet, if memory serves.

A memoir written by a ROK Colonel paints a picture of a late 1947 Regiment with a single battalion, still understrength, issued Japanese Arisaka rifles, for which they had been given no ammunition. That was procured by local diving girls going down off Cheju-do and bringing up stocks that the Japanese had dumped at war's end. At the time, the National police were far better armed than the ROK Army. (A translation of this memoir was on a "Kimsoft" site run by a Korean American who has since passed away.)

Via emails traded several years back with a party claiming to be a former Soviet officer who had served in Korea between 1945 and 48, this individual argued that the Soviets had never intended to make Korea a satellite. Rather, the goal was to assist in the establishment of a Communist state friendly to the USSR. To bolster this claim, he pointed out the support given by the Russians to the "Uibyeong" (Righteous Armies) from 1918-1924, and the asylum afforded Korean Nationalists who sought refuge in the Soviet Fart East, leading many of them to become Communists, and the presence of several thousand Soviet-Koreans in the WWII Red Army. He argued that while the USSR did have interests in Korea, the level of interest was much lower than for Poland and Eastern Europe. Events of the 1930s, particularly the experiences of the Northeast Asia Anti-Japanese United Army, had created much good will towards the Soviets within the Korean independence movement, leading many non-Communists to view the Soviets favorably. That fact that the emerging ROK police and Army's leaders all had ties to the Japanese reinforced feelings that the Soviets were a positive force. His bottom line was that there was no "plan" to make Korea a Soviet satellite state.

I suppose it is a matter of degree, but the implication was that Soviet intentions were to leave Korea to its own devices internally, under the assumption that it would remain politically faithful to the country that had helped it set up an independent state. Dr. Andrei Lankov, a University of Leningrad Ph.D. who has done post-graduate studies at Kim Il-sung University, shares similar views, but has pointed out that some of the DPRK's vaunted programs, such as land reform, were mere implementations of similar Soviet programs, down to the letter of the law.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 15:39
lirelou,
 
"Assisting" the establishment of Communist states friendly to the USSR had already been put in place in east Europe.  Russians could always maintain that Korea (either one of them or two) was a satellite of their Chinese fellow travellers.  The difference is definitely a matter of degree.
 
Russian interests in the Korean peninsula have historically been both economic and strategic.  That predates the USSR.  Take a look at the location of Vladivostok.
 
 
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Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Articulate and well reasoned as usual.  However , Duke's original thought was the roots of the Cold War.  Those roots go deep imo, and is not hindsight what history is about?

..thanks Pikeshot, a much appreciated compliment, especially coming from a respected member of this forum..…

…however, although you have a more than valid point about hindsight  and the pursuit of history (although much of Cold War history was written while the conflict was still taking place)… in the case of the Soviet-American non-cooperation, just because we now know that the Cold War became a reality, there is the danger that we ‘read’ too much into prior events that we suppose contributed to the clash of future interests between the US and the USSR…and I think looking back too far makes assumptions about history that were just not there when particular events occurred…all the most obvious points of reference, the creation of the Soviet Union, the emergence of Stalin, the well documented ideological conflict of ideas between communism and capitalism, the supposed ‘spilt’ between the Allies in 1945, did not mean that the Cold War would actually happen…the Cold War was fostered by Soviet-American non-cooperation, and it can be argued that both countries were still working together to some degree, no matter how slight, up until 1947-48….

…the more contentious idea is to ask how extensive the Cold War actually was while it was believed to be ‘active,’ when both the Soviet Union and America still co-operated, at various times, in many cultural, commercial and strategic aspects…was the Cold War an intermittent concept interrupted by periods of relative peaceful-co-existence?..was the Cuban Crisis a form of co-operation to avoid major escalation?...detente? the SALT agreements etc…and not all the proposals were instigated by Washington, Moscow was also pro-active in seeking solutions to existing conflicts of interest…perhaps trust was the major factor, a dispute between divergent ideologies which if we are to look for roots, then maybe the birth of communism and capitalist political philosophies are key areas to examine…?

 

Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Is Russian "paranioa" understandable?  Probably so, but that did not begin with the need for the Berlin airlift or the disappearance of Swedish diplomats or the murder of eastern European politicians.  It went far back before the late 1940s.

…yes, I think ‘Soviet’ paranoia is understandable given the history you have previously have outlined; the almost continual threat to Russia and her national security…but is it therefore possible to state that there would not have been a Cold War, say, if the Mongol incursion on Russia did not happen?..or was Cold War predestined because the Mongol attacks did occur?..is that what we mean by ‘roots’ or it might be that I am missing the point?..

....the roots of Russian (or Soviet) paranoia is perhaps another topic?.... in my albeit limited experience of Russian and Soviet culture, and minding the danger of generalisation, I have found feelings of paranoia are more inherent in the ‘individual’ rather than viewed as a national political pre-occupation…..this has more to do with the harsh pre-Revolution and subsequent history of the ordinary Russian’s day-to-day existence and the subsequent bleak view of the future that was formed…for many, the death of Tsarist rule and the arrival of Communist leaders just meant replacing one dictatorial leadership for another, there was perceived no real substantive change in ordinary life….this lack of confidence in the future and heightened sense of suspiciousness can found in practically all walks of Russian life and more often than not, geared towards fellow citizens rather than an all-encompassing (or united) mistrust of the outside world…indeed, compared to the pervasive, almost commercialised Western fear of a Communist threat to the world,  I have found most Russians I have had contact with, although still wary of outside interference, did not perceive (during the Cold War) a potential ‘total’ destructive, American-led danger to Russia… a more free-thinking leader might have led the Soviet Union and its technological and cultural creativity to better ends, but Soviet foreign policy was formed and guided right from the very top…in the context of the Cold War, and the totalitarianism of Stalin’s Soviet Union, it is perhaps desirable to try and understand the paranoia of one man in order to find a possible root of future conflict…
 
All the best…AoO…

 

 

 

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DukeC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 17:47
Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

Does it mean that these are copies of western analogs? Not at all. Rockets were farther developed to the level much better than American analogs, aircrafts were  similar in quality to Boing or Airbus crafts. Cars were shit in SU, but track industry was and still remains very good.  I see a technological advance here.
 
Not sure what you mean about the rockets, the western pinnacle is arguably the Saturn V which successfully delivered seven Apollo missions to the moons surface, while the Soviet N1 never really got off the ground. Soviet passenger transport aircraft were adequate but they tended to have shorter range and less comfort than western designs, it's hard to top the 737 and 747 for the impact they had on aviation worldwide. I'm probably biased here though, my dad's best friend was a Boeing electrical engineer for three decades. Antonov did build some very impressive heavy lifters though.
 
Quote What I can agree with is --development of electronics in USSR wasn't nearly as good as in the West. It was basically sh..t. But what I am absolutely sure, that if SU wouldn't colapse after some 10-15 years this sector would be developed.
 
Which gets back to my point that governments that tend to oppress freedom of information also discourage the development of technology to enable it.
 
Quote Science and openness of the society do not correlate at all. It is rather matter of money which USSR had selling resources. I gave you some examples of top scientists, you can easely check their levels.  I guess you will agree with me that there were top  scientists like Heisenberg in Nazi Germany -- close society as well. And by the way, the most prominent scientists were frequently allowed to visit western countries and some western scientists visited Russia. These contacts, however, were not frequent enough. Another problem with communication was that Russians frequently published their papers in Russian, which obviously made it less available for nonrussian readers. This was not necessarily due to iron curtain -- look for instance Russian presoviet mathematician Alexander Lyapunov. He created mathematical methods allowing to estimate a stability of nonlinear systems. These methods were not used in the West untill late 1930s (he died in 1918) when Kolmogorov published french translation of his works. Now they are widely used by the whole world.
 
Science does best in an environment of free sharing of ideas and little control on direction, something I think that was basically lacking in the U.S.S.R. Soviet scientists did well considering the limitations they were under, but I think many went into military R&D, something that also happened in the U.S. to a lesser degree due to domestic demand for technology and a more open society.
 
 
Quote Well, this is true to some extent but it is overestimation. First of all, it was absolutely free as in many european countries. However, in contrast to, for example, Sweden or UK (from my own experience) one gets treatment much easier, as everything was paid automatically by the state. Correct me if I am wrong but in USA  many people can't afford full covering health  insurance and hence best treatment is not available for everyone. Second, drugs were imported not only from East Germany but from many other countries -- Bulgaria, Jugoslavia, Poland etc. And also produced in USSR as well. Can't judge their quality, probably they were not as well purified purified as western analogs. Yet, there was a quite tough quality control. Finally, doctors themselves were highly educated in USSR and other socialist countries and many of them now work in EU and USA without signifficant additional study of medicine.
So I wouldn't say that basic medicine was much worse than in Europe or States. I do not say it was paradise, there were lots of problems, especially in far villages. Also emergency medicine wasn't good enough, but still there were many good sides as well.
 
Healthcare in the U.S. is amazing...if you have the bucks. Far too many people do without which does cause some serious social problems that many want to see cleared up. Canada is better in some regards though we do have long waiting times.
 
Weren't doctors paid on the same level as factory workers in the U.S.S.R, that would tend to discourage some from entering the field.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jun-2009 at 01:49
Pikeshot, the Russians never called the shots in Korea, as they did in Eastern Europe. Why they did not is properly a subject for a Korea forum, but suffice it to say that the political processes in Eastern Europe had been under development for centuries, while Korea, which had been a dirt poor Confucian monarchy up until 1910, had no real experience in self-government. With the death of Stalin, Kim Il-sung was free to go his own way. I'm well aware of Vladivostok. Are you aware tht Yul Brenner's grandfather owned and operated a hunting and beach lodge for White Russians just over the Russian border in North Korea? The Russians obtained recognition of that border (by the Chinese) in 1860. The bottom line is that because of external power politics, a Korean civil war became the first hot test of the Cold War.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2009 at 00:15
Whatever the roots of the North Korean state it's pretty clear that the invasion of South Korea was sanctioned and made possible by Stalin and was his way of striking back at the U.S. for causing a Soviet failure during  the Berlin Blockade. Stalin also got co-operation from the Chinese communists who agreed to send in troops in support of North Korea if it became neccessary as it did. The Soviets trained and equipped the large North Korean army and also shipped technology and experts to build the Chinese defence industry. Throughout the Korean war Soviets forces were active in Korea, ten air divisions were deployed over the duration and there were over 50 Soviet aces.
 
At the july 1954 party plenum, Khrushchev himself made it clear that Stalin and Molotov were responsible for staring the Cold War and asked what good did the Korean war really do. It's probably a good thing that Stalin died when he did as he felt war was inevitable with the west to further Soviet aims and in 1952 was planning to build 10,000 jet bombers and even looked at plans to invade Alaska. Khrushchev backed off of direct confrontation with the west but remained committed  to communist revolution worldwide and in the later half of the 1950s began to rely on nuclear brinksmanship which came very close to starting WW III in 1962.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2009 at 01:40
The Cold War still exists on the Korean peninsula.  The idiotic thinking of the regime in Pyong Yang is that what they do really matters:  Ha! We can launch a missle that might reach Alaska, or we can shell Seoul.
 
So?  The result of such an event could mean fried, undernourished North Koreans.  Would anyone notice?  That is not likely.  Those most comfortable with such an outcome might be Japanese and Chinese and Russians who would no longer have to deal with unstable, pipsqueak megalomaniacs in north Asia.  It is difficult to see devastation being permitted away from the Korean peninsula.  The consequences to North Koreans (or to South Koreans) are hardly likely to matter in Tokyo or Beijing or Washington, D.C.
 
     


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 13-Jun-2009 at 01:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2009 at 18:17
Duke C. Yes, Stalin gave his blessing. He also required that Mao Zhe-dong approve the action. Kim Il-sung was anxious to reunify the Peninsula on his own terms, thereby solidifying his position as the lead Communist. He based his decision on Pak Hyon-yong's reports that the resistance in the South had built up to the point that the Norks would be welcomed as liberators. Which they were, in some regions, and among some political circles. Kim blamed the failure of the war on Pak, and had him tried and executed after the war. Unlike Kim, Pak was a real Communist who had built much of the Party in Korea when Kim was just a junior nobody up in Manchuria and the Soviet Union. (OK, commanding a battalion of the 88th Independent Infantry, i.e., "sniper" Brigade, as a Captain, counted for a small something.) The underlying point is that the roots of the cold war lie in more than Western-Soviet relations.

Pikeshot: Amen! Perhaps it is time for the U.S. to seriously question why they remain in Korea. Why continue a "looking glass" cold war? If North Korea wants to nvade the South, let the South Koreans settled the issue themselves, perhaps with U.S. Air suport.  One thing is certain, if the Norks collapse due to reasons other than UNC operations, it is a unilateral South Korean problem.
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