Reason Writers Around Town: Michael C. Moynihan on Russia Today


On November 9, 2009, the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Reason senior editor Michael C. Moynihan discussed his article "The Cold War Never Ended" on the Kremlin-backed television station Russia Today and who—if anyone—deserves credit for killing off the evil empire.

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  1. Why is a Russian television program in English? And why is Reason in scare quotes in the subtitle?

    1. In Soviet Russia, reason says “For a magazine called ‘you’, ….”

    2. Do you ever listen to shortwave radio? Many foreign countries provide at least some English language propag..oops.. I mean programming.

    3. Communism never came up with an italics font.

  2. Holy shit that’s some shitty production quality.

  3. You know what’s the real proof that Gorby wanted to maintain Marxism in the USSR? That he was always seeking arms agreements with Ronnie Raygun instead of doing everything he could to boost trade. Russia and America would be better off today had the Yeltsin yard sale of the nineties instead happened under Gorby in the eighties.

    Everybody was there to help out. Even Frank Zappa was willing to lend a hand. But all Gorby could do was worry about weapons and photo opps and why would normal teenagers want to watch slasher films. Because Gorby was a socialist.

    1. You know what’s the real proof that Gorby wanted to maintain Marxism in the USSR?

      I always took him for his word: He wanted to put a human face on socialism.

    2. When has Gorbachev ever denied he is/was a socialist? You’re hardly making a controversial observation. He didn’t destroy the USSR on purpose, he destroyed it out of gross incompetence. He actually seems to have believed in some idealistic Marxism with a human face. He may have been the last person in the Communist Party who did – no young people wanted to follow his path, they all just wanted out of the whole experiment. There were, and still are, only two paths most Russians seem to support – an authoritarian imperial path, or real liberalization. It’s hard to find “sincere caring” people of the left/liberal stripe in Russia.

      But there’s also a good argument that the USSR was just not reformable in the 1980s. Chinese style trade and market reforms would have just collapsed because no entrepreneurs trusted the bureaucrats to stay out of the way. The “Yeltsin yard sale” simply couldn’t happen until the old guard was cleared out of the way, too many vested interests.

      1. Or to put it another way – I’ve always felt Gorbachev was Russia’s Jimmy Carter, a sincere caring man out of touch with reality.

  4. I’m not sure that America killed the Soviet Union, but that doesn’t mean Obama can’t apologize for it.

  5. What Bankrupt USSR will Bankrupt the USA…Globalization.

    1. Yeah! They tookrrrrjobsss!

  6. Why? Why have the dramatic score compete with commentary? Why push the people into a little box? To make room for the fireworks? Why?

    Is that the true significance of Berlin Wall Day? Fireworks?

  7. Just for the record, I am all in favor of “Find your Russian beauty today” ads.

    …. Hobbit

  8. Russia Today spent too much of its production budget on the intro to “the Alyona Show.”

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