Tuesday, January 24, 2012

BIG’s Blog: Death by a Thousand Cuts

At the end of World War II, the Soviet Union’s armies controlled Eastern Europe. Many of these Eastern European countries had been western-style democracies before the war. To his shame, FDR agreed to the Soviet demand to allow “spheres of influence” in the territories (former independent countries) occupied by the Allied armies.

There was never any question that the U. S., France and Britain would allow the countries they occupied to freely elect post-war governments, including Germany. The Soviets had other plans.

But even the Soviets knew they could not quickly impose their domination on eastern countries like Poland and Yugoslavia while the American and British armies were still in place.

The Soviet tactic was to slowly, very slowly, put like-minded communists in leadership positions, change former constitutions, and rewrite laws in these formerly democratic countries. Their thinking was that the populations wouldn’t rebel because the changes were slow and incremental. But they had the effect of slowly ceding democratic rights to the state; the state that was now dominated by Soviet puppet leaders. It was called “Death by a thousand cuts.”

Last Sunday the U. S. Postal Service raised rates yet again. Slow and insidious price increases by Postal management that do nothing to make the Postal Service a better service or that underpin changes that would turn the Postal Service into a viable 21st century organization and business. Death by a thousand cuts.


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