View Poll Results: Would we be better off had the Cold War continued to this day?

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Thread: Would we be better off had the Cold War continued to this day?

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    Would we be better off had the Cold War continued to this day?

    The Cold War ended some 22 years ago. But are we better off as individuals and as societies?

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    Re: Would we be better off had the Cold War continued to this day?

    I suspect most people who lived under Communist rule will say that they're much better off today. And I agree. Europe no longer is divided, but united in peace and freedom. Hopefully, the current economic crisis will not change that.

    But I'm a bit worried about the new NATO/Russia antagonism. It might well become a problem again on the long run. Maybe the unique chance was missed in the early 90s to build a new global security structure including Russia, via OSCE and such organizations. Instead, the West has returned to a roll-back policy towards Russia. Don't really know enough about the details, so I'm not sure if missing this opportunity was the right thing to do, due to Russia's behavior, or if the West needlessly played away this opportunity.

    If economic crisis worsens, shakes up the West and makes the EU decompose, Russia might well feel to fill that vaccuum again. Hope this won't happen. We'll know in a few years or decades.
    "Not learning from mistakes is worse than committing mistakes. When you don't allow yourself to make mistakes, it is hard to be tolerant of others and it does not allow even God to be merciful."

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    Re: Would we be better off had the Cold War continued to this day?

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    I suspect most people who lived under Communist rule will say that they're much better off today.
    What, you don't know your own country?

    Homesick for a Dictatorship: Majority of Eastern Germans Feel Life Better under Communism - SPIEGEL ONLINE

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    Re: Would we be better off had the Cold War continued to this day?

    Well, these poll results are indication of a kind of nostalgia, but probably not exactly an indication they actually want the GDR back. There are other polls that show 90%+ of the east Germans agree that it's good the Berlin Wall fell and Germany was reunited.
    "Not learning from mistakes is worse than committing mistakes. When you don't allow yourself to make mistakes, it is hard to be tolerant of others and it does not allow even God to be merciful."

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    Re: Would we be better off had the Cold War continued to this day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canell View Post
    The Cold War ended some 22 years ago. But are we better off as individuals and as societies?
    interesting question ...and probably no easy answer.

    the answer will depend .... some material I have seen indicates that once the cold war was over and there was no need to compete against the USSR for hearts and minds ... in some parts of the developing world, so despite both sides manipulating these regions for their own ends during the cold war, at the end they were faced with indifference. with the legacy of colonialism and cold war rivalries, this contributed to "failed state" scenarios, and new types of wars.

    Had the cold war continued, would Afghanistan have been left to fester, providing a haven for terrorists to use as a base?

    how might Somalia be today? what about some of the other states in Africa where Islamism (ie political Islam) is on the rise?

    Latin America - or at least those countries where internal politics was influenced by the US's desire to stamp out communism, have now become better off, on average. but would argentina and chile have suffered so much without this kind of interference?

    When I travelled extensively in Eastern Europe a few years ago, I often met older people who said they were better off before ... and in many places I could see the poverty, so perhaps they were ... many young people seemed desperate to migrate because they saw less opportunity in their own countries. BUT ... they could. unlike my friend who had defected, and who had been unable to return and see her family for decades. Also, while there was incredible poverty, there was also a lot of money, and many seemed to be doing well. Even ordinary people seemed quite comfortable. but for others, the reality of life was also one where there was higher crime rates, greater homelessness, and for many women, prostitution had become the means to earn a living.

    In the west ... we don't fear MAD .... but we have had terrorist attacks and developed a fear of a new enemy, and our nations have been involved with long drawn out wars just as they had been during the cold war.

    the economy ... probably better, although since the end of the cold war, there has been a greater divergence in income in the west - which to my mind is a bad thing. I am not sure that this isn't somehow related to the absence of a viable "other" economic model - even if it wasn't one we hoped to emulate, it may have helped to keep our excesses in check.

    as an individual I cannot say which aspects of my life may be better due to other things, rather than the end of the cold war other than that I would have found it difficult - or impossible - to visit some of the places I have been had the cold war continued.
    Every political good carried to the extreme must be productive of evil.

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    Re: Would we be better off had the Cold War continued to this day?

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    Well, these poll results are indication of a kind of nostalgia, but probably not exactly an indication they actually want the GDR back. There are other polls that show 90%+ of the east Germans agree that it's good the Berlin Wall fell and Germany was reunited.
    Idk, I've heard many arguments for and against life during the Cold War. For example:

    Cold War Pros compared to now:

    - simple and predictable life;
    - well known enemy (unlike terrorism);
    - jobs and low unemployment;
    - lower crime rate;
    - space race;
    - lower income gap between classes;
    - good music;
    - less alienation;
    - etc;

    Nowadays Pros compared to Cold War:

    - lower nuclear threat;
    - flat TVs and computers. Lower MPG in cars. Technology in general;
    - International tourism;
    - cheap Chinese goods with good quality;
    - etc;

    May be you can add to the list.
    Last edited by Canell; 04-08-13 at 07:14 AM.

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    Re: Would we be better off had the Cold War continued to this day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canell View Post
    Idk, I've heard many arguments for and against life during the Cold War. For example:

    Cold War Pros compared to now:

    - simple and predictable life;
    - well known enemy (unlike terrorism);
    - jobs and low unemployment;
    - lower crime rate;
    - space race;
    - lower income gap between classes;
    - good music;
    - less alienation;
    - etc;

    Nowadays Pros compared to Cold War:

    - lower nuclear threat;
    - flat TVs and computers. Lower MPG in cars. Technology in general;
    - International tourism;
    - cheap Chinese goods with good quality;
    - etc;

    May be you can add to the list.
    some people I spoke to said there was more a sense of family and community - mind you I saw more of that than what we often see here anyway!
    Every political good carried to the extreme must be productive of evil.

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    Re: Would we be better off had the Cold War continued to this day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canell View Post
    Idk, I've heard many arguments for and against life during the Cold War. For example:

    Cold War Pros compared to now:

    - simple and predictable life;
    - well known enemy (unlike terrorism);
    - jobs and low unemployment;
    - lower crime rate;
    - space race;
    - lower income gap between classes;
    - good music;
    - less alienation;
    - etc;

    Nowadays Pros compared to Cold War:

    - lower nuclear threat;
    - flat TVs and computers. Lower MPG in cars. Technology in general;
    - International tourism;
    - cheap Chinese goods with good quality;
    - etc;

    May be you can add to the list.
    I think most of the "pros" you listed are more the expression of a general nostalgia for the times back then, than things that were better *because* of the Cold War.

    I mean sure, if you want to be nostalgic about 70s music, be my guest, as I perfectly understand that. But I don't think the music was better in the 70s *because* of the Cold War.
    "Not learning from mistakes is worse than committing mistakes. When you don't allow yourself to make mistakes, it is hard to be tolerant of others and it does not allow even God to be merciful."

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    Re: Would we be better off had the Cold War continued to this day?

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    I think most of the "pros" you listed are more the expression of a general nostalgia for the times back then, than things that were better *because* of the Cold War.

    I mean sure, if you want to be nostalgic about 70s music, be my guest, as I perfectly understand that. But I don't think the music was better in the 70s *because* of the Cold War.
    I think that's part of how I see it ... I'm old enough to think things were better in the "good old days" anyway, so if older people in eastern Europe think it was better back then .... are they viewing the past through rose coloured glasses, as I no doubt have a tendency to do, or is their perspective based on accurate recall?
    Every political good carried to the extreme must be productive of evil.

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    Re: Would we be better off had the Cold War continued to this day?

    Quote Originally Posted by marywollstonecraft View Post
    I think that's part of how I see it ... I'm old enough to think things were better in the "good old days" anyway, so if older people in eastern Europe think it was better back then .... are they viewing the past through rose coloured glasses, as I no doubt have a tendency to do, or is their perspective based on accurate recall?
    I think this exactly is the case when it comes to many East Germans. A general nostalgia for subjectively simpler times, when they were still young, enjoyed their youth, and their spouse was not gone to the West yet to marry a Westener.
    "Not learning from mistakes is worse than committing mistakes. When you don't allow yourself to make mistakes, it is hard to be tolerant of others and it does not allow even God to be merciful."

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