Is the USA becoming the former USSR?

“Old Heraclitus, who was indeed a very great sage, discovered the most marvelous of all psychological laws: the regulative function of opposites. He called it enantiodromia, a running contrariwise, by which he meant that sooner or later everything runs into its opposite.” –Carl Jung

There’s nothing more fun than discovering! As a Generation Xer, I have probably seen more discoveries than any other generation in the history of humankind, except for those who are still alive and came before me. Year after year, for my entire life, things have only gotten better. Music recordings, from records to 8-tracks to cassette tapes to compact discs (CDs) to mini CDs to floppy discs to flash drives to present day streaming services. Video, from heavy bulky tube TVs to the first VCR to DVDs to streaming on digital devices. Phones, from the rotary dial to something we carry around in our pockets or wear on our wrists. Communication, from letters sent by post to fax machines to personal computers to the Internet, email, and text messaging.

I could fill this post, maybe even a book, with technological advancements that have made my life easier, consistently, for my entire life. I have experienced more techno-social changes than perhaps all humans who have ever lived and died before me, combined. This has fundamentally shaped me. I think back to my school days, typing my papers on a heavy iron typewriter. Each key required a strong finger to push down hard and fast enough for the ink to leave an impression of one letter on the page. It was a lot of work! Just when I got my rhythm, it happened often that I would suddenly hit the wrong key. This was a drag because it required me to roll the paper back, paint “whiteout” on the error, allow time for it to dry, and then roll it back into place. My alignment was always off; one letter lower or higher than the others.

While life has gotten easier, we’ve gotten weaker. I’ve noticed that I have nearly forgotten how to write in cursive. I would flop in a Spelling Bee. And I don’t think I could go back to the typewriter. I lost my patience. I have normalized leisure to an extent that if techno-society weren’t there for me, I’m not sure that I could survive. I’m not even sure I’d want to survive, but I think I would try to figure how, and find joy again in nature, etc. My point being we have all changed, but we don’t realize the extent or understand the consequences of those changes in the real world. We believe that we as a species have advanced to a level of permanent prosperity, where things only always get better. Many of us, myself included, have no idea how to survive and thrive outside of this aberration in human history.

Self discoveries, however, are healthier than technological ones. It is much more gratifying when we figure out something about ourselves that we didn’t understand before, like where we come from, our purpose or how we fit into the world. Unfortunately, big tech has sort of erased people’s ability to do this effectively. When Jung read Heraclitus, he was excited and empowered by the rediscovery of an ancient truth that he called the most marvelous psychological law. In the West, this law is known as enantiodromia, a bulky mellifluous word that many people have never heard. A pendulum swings to one side as far as it can before it must change direction and swing the other way. Heraclitus explained, “Cold things warm, and warm things cool. Wet things dry, and parched things get wet.” In the East, this law is yin yang—when yang becomes yin it has reached its extreme, and vice versa.

Jung wrote, “This characteristic phenomenon practically always occurs when an extreme, one-sided tendency dominates conscious life; in time an equally powerful counter position is built up, which first inhibits the conscious performance and subsequently breaks through the conscious control.” In psychology, it marks a rebirth in one’s awareness and personality, similar to a near-death experience. In the natural world, it is a total transformation which transpires by way of implosion or explosion. Who would’ve thought that releasing pressure from an atom could provoke such massive energy? Why man built destructive weapons with his knowledge is something I will never understand or appreciate about humanity.

Every week, I read a plethora of news, from a variety of international sources, to get a better sense about what’s going on in the world from a geopolitical perspective. I don’t get paid for it—I choose to do it, and to write these posts, because I am fascinated by communication and culture, which I studied in college. I also love the process of learning through writing. Don’t get me wrong, I probably wouldn’t bother if I only had an old iron typewriter and printing press…too much work. For years, everywhere I look, I have noticed more and more extremes in Western society. All American politics has shifted to the left. The right is now the old left, and the old left is now the far left. Russia is becoming more like the old USA, and the new USA is becoming more like old Russia. Have you seen the streets of Russia? They are so different than our streets today. Just take a look…

Last week, I came upon a short essay: Is America Losing? by Matthew Piepenburg. He noted this same enantiodromia that I’ve been seeing:

Is the USA the Old USSR?

In fact, and with a humble nod to modesty, blunt-speak, current events, simple math and almost tragic irony, the actual evidence of history since 1992 suggests that today’s Divided States of America (DSA) (and Pravda-like media) appears to look far more like the defeated USSR than the victor presented by Mr. Fukuyama…

Such dramatic statements, of course, mean nothing without facts, and we all deserve a careful use of the same if we seek to replace emotion with data and hence see, argue and prepare ourselves politically and financially with more clarity.

Growing up in America, I didn’t learn about Russian history. I learned about Michael Jackson and watched movies like ET and Back to the Future. History was out of style…everything was about going forward. All I really knew about Russians (Soviets) was that they were the bad guys in the world and Americans were the good guys. For some reason, many educated Americans still cling to this rudimentary dualistic understanding of people, nations, and cultures. Since I don’t buy into the whole good and evil paradigm of things, I set out to discover what this dichotomy was all about. In early 2022, when I wrote This Means War (Part 1), I was trying to wrap my brain around how a nation could win a world war but collapse from within.

For some unknown reason, Russia felt compelled to fight in World War I to its own peril. Imagine you have a rundown and broken house on a foundation that’s rotting out. Your whole family lives in this house, and they are not doing well. They need your help, but you don’t have any money. So you go to the bank, get a loan, and send the borrowed money to your friends so they can fix their houses. Then you go bankrupt and leave your family to fend for themselves. This doesn’t make sense, and when something (or someone) doesn’t make sense to me, I wonder if things are not what they seem. What Russia sacrificed to fight in WWI alongside the USA is mindboggling. What’s even more dizzying is the USA doing the same thing now! It’s definitely counternatural.

The Soviet Union was a vision that came from the Bolshevik, who represented the Russian people with the broken house whose dad took out loan after loan to fight wars far far away. The Bolshevik’s goals were represented by a short slogan: Peace, Land, Bread! Peace meant stopping Russia’s involvement in World War I. Bread represented the food shortages which would resolve when they stopped fighting the battles of their friends. Land would go to the peasants to grow food, raise livestock, etc. The working-class people were tired of Tsarism, war, and suffering. I don’t blame them. For some reason, their leaders were more interested in world affairs than in their own country’s prosperity. Think about that.

The Communist, November 5, 1921. Published by the Communist Party of Great Britain. Marxists Internet Archive.

We have been led to believe that democracy is the opposite of tyranny, that communism is the opposite of capitalism, and that our leaders are fighting like superheroes would for social virtues and the well being of others in the world. Socialism is synonymous to liberalism and the left, while capitalism is somehow linked to conservatism and the right. Each side thinks the other side is evil. We think of them as opposites, but are they really? Communism advocates common ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, and is motivated by equal opportunity. Capitalism advocates private ownership and is motivated by profit. Notice they are both about ownership—about owning things. Who owns what is the only major difference.

Deeper than communism and capitalism, lies collectivism and individualism as the real opposing forces, as the real opposites. Resource abundance, fueled by debt and discovery, drove the world into a hyper-individualist state of being, where independence and individual rights were put on a pedestal. America was crowned by the world as a beacon of hope, an example of human potential and greatness, an economic nirvana, a place where leisure could thrive and life could become easier and more enjoyable for everyone. On the other hand, resource scarcity is now driving the world back towards collectivism, and America is now being epitomized as the world bully, the resistance. While the populace thinks these changes are being driven by “evil” others, they are actually being driven by natural laws like supply and demand, and enantiodromia.

In The Four Giants: Nvidia, Bitcoin, Dollar, and Gold, I explained how in 1933, FDR took American’s gold and fundamentally changed the nation into a welfare state. We had already exited capitalism individualism and were on our way to communism collectivism. Capitalism is fueled by abundance and by virtues like individualism. Communism is fueled by scarcity and by virtues like collectivism. In 2008, the government abolished the free marketplace by bailing out private companies, and they did it again in 2020. There’s also a plunge protection team now that keeps markets controlled. Big banks are not allowed to fail. The Fed controls interest rates against the natural forces of economics. On the other side of the world, however, the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991, and has been moving closer to capitalism ever since. Russia has little debt, compared to the U.S.

Chart from Lumen Learning, Introduction to Business course.

So what was good about the Soviet Union? Well, they got what they wanted, which were equal opportunities for women, minorities, and the laboring middle and lower classes. And that’s exactly and only what the Left now wants. They got free education for the smartest—not everyone got to go to school. Also what our Left wants. They got free healthcare and generous retirement and vacation benefits. The food was fresh and healthy, without chemicals and processing. People weren’t bothered by world news, because it was often hidden from them. Lots of censorship and propaganda kept people ignorant and obedient in an alternate reality, so self-censorship wasn’t a thing like today.

On the flip side, the Russian people experienced shortages of consumer goods and stagflation for a long time. They had to wait in long lines to get things that they needed to survive. Land was distributed amongst the citizens, and industry was nationalized, but millions of people starved to death because workers were not allowed to eat their own grain which was state property. Work wasn’t motivated by opportunity, but by authority. Anyone who opposed the state’s actions was either imprisoned in concentration camps or executed. Millions were imprisoned in labor camps called Gulags, because Stalin wanted to turn the USSR into a major world power through rapid industrialization.

In the 1930s, Stalin started a campaign called the Great Purge to execute anyone who threatened communism, including politicians and intellectuals. This was similar to the anti-vax campaigns and the hostility that was slung at anyone who had a personal reason for not getting the jab. After World War II, Stalin funded the development of communism in other lands, in the same way that the U.S. seems to fund the spread of democracy. When Stalin died in 1953, things started falling apart. By the 1970s, it was apparent that the virtues of the Soviet Union were a scam. There was a rise in the political elite, and a great wealth divide. These elites lived posh in nice homes, took luxury vacations, and ate at fancy restaurants, while millions of everyday people were dying of starvation.

Needless to say, this created a lot of intranational tension. On an economic front, the USSR underproduced and stagnated, spending too much money to build up their military industrial complex at the expense of the economy. Gorbachev then tried to reverse the decline by doing away with destructive practices like book banning and secret police. He tried bringing more transparency into the system by allowing multi-candidate elections also. Then he tried to move the country away from a managed state-owned economy to having privately owned businesses and free markets, but people didn’t know how to be entrepreneurial and it was a slow process.

When Gorbachev and Regan ended the Cold War, the U.S. managed to isolate the Soviet Union from the rest of the world economy, similar to what it tried to do again at the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War. This weakened the Soviet economy in the 80s, further depressing the average citizen, which subsequently led to regime change and collapse. It was a process, all part of the most marvelous psychosocial law of enantiodromia that Heraclitus and Jung wrote about. When the U.S. tried to isolate Russia again in 2022, it backfired by strengthening Russia on the global stage. The U.S. stole Russia’s money, and lost the trust of many nations. This corresponds with a world that’s shifting from individualistic to collective virtues.

The global picture couldn’t be clearer, but American hubris just can’t see. While the U.S. is busy bullying the rest of the world using tariffs and military to retain control, the BRICS alliance and resource-rich nations are aligning themselves together, against the dollar-debt regime that doesn’t make sense going forward. This parallels a natural world that is running out of easy-to-access natural resources that fuel world trade and the global economy, and to the contrary, seeks to waste those precious resources on mega-energy compactors like crypto currencies and AI. Remember, we Generation Xers know nothing but easier and better. What happens when people realize this is just a temporary blissful blip in humankind? What happens to our kids who experienced virtually nothing of the technological changes that we did, and have no former understanding? Let’s think, and pray.

My blog posts are published every Sunday, and they’re free for anyone to read and share. If you would like to support me financially in this weekly process of thinking and writing, I’d be most grateful. For this reason, I started a Wendy Williamson Patreon page. If Patreon isn’t your thing, you can send a one-time gift via Paypal to Thank you!



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