Tucker Carlson says Russia is a great country because a communist-era subway station in Moscow has a chandelier

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/02/15/tucker-carlson-says-russia-is-a-great-country-because-a-communist-era-subway-station-in-moscow-has-a-chandelier.html


I’m old enough to remember the Cold War-era Kremlin crowing about how the Moscow subway system was far superior to anything in the U.S. It was idiotic then, even more so now.


So is Carlson suggesting American cities should invest more money in public transit, infrastructure maintenance, jobs programs and housing for the poor?

The Soviets did have a better track record than the United States by a few metrics. For example, the rate of homelessness was very low because the right to shelter was (and remains) enshrined in their Constitution. The grand public transit centers weren’t proof of a utopian society but they weren’t nothing either.

A rational person who wasn’t blinded by ideology might ask themselves “how can we craft policy that preserves the best successes of American society while integrating some of the successes of other societies, even the Soviets?” but of course anyone who suggested Russia did anything better than the United States was immediately branded a commie and ostracized. (At least, back in the Cold War.)




I’m sure it’s on his bucket list.


You know if we spent the kind of money it takes for fancy fixtures and enough police to keep everyone in-line, he would complain about the amount of debt and high taxes. You just can’t make people like TC happy.


meanwhile, the chronically underfunded, but critically necessary american systems rent entire stations to the highest bidder.


There are people on the American far right who admire North Korea for its supposed racial purity and economic self-sufficiency. The Russian fascist ideologue Alexander Dugin is also an admirer.

In U.S. far-right circles, interest in North Korea seems to have developed after the 2011 publication of B.R Myers’ book “The Cleanest Race,” which argues that a belief in Koreans racial purity is a central part of North Korea’s state ideology.

Matt Heimbach, a once notable figure in the U.S. far-right movement, said the book “definitely opened my eyes” to North Korean political culture. Heimbach authored a manifesto titled “White Juche,” which advocated for “white nationalism” and urged a departure from conventional conservative ideologies, eventually expressing his personal admiration for Adolf Hitler.


I think he’s less interested in seizing the means the production and is more interested in the corruption and tyranny part.


I wasn’t talking about ideology. I was talking about the subway system. Having ridden on multiple metro system here and overseas, I’ll take NYC’s dirty old system any day of the week. The near-ubiquitous geography, and 24/7/365 coverage makes it superior to pretty much every other system in the world, imo. Moscow does have nice stations, though. So do many other cities. But, at the end of the day (literally), you don’t ride public transit for the aesthetics.


I haven’t ridden Moscow’s transit system. Is it harder to use than NYC’s?

For all its faults I know that a lot of Soviet infrastructure was built with the idea that most people wouldn’t be dependent on private automobiles.


Only if he promises to let it fall on him, Phantom of the Opera style.

Episode 2 Whatever GIF


Who was going to Moscow in October 2023 to see the tourist attractions - or anything else, for that matter? I would hope such an article would be dated before Putin invaded Ukraine.

I really enjoyed The Man in the High Castle, but am surprised looking at the pictures from the New York subway. They are over the top! But they do capture what the show was about.

I remain puzzled what one has to do with the other. :thinking:


I went to St. Petersburg in '99. Their subways were great. But there were also homeless and panhandlers, something that depressed my wife as she says there weren’t in the mid 80s when she went to Moscow to study.

Also IIRC the subways there were built big and deep because they doubled as shelters in the event of nuclear war.


we used to have nice subway stations too.

I wonder if Tucker would complain if we started building nice public infrastructure agian?


Ain’t that the truth.


It is entirely likely that Tucker would find life in Russia more congenial than life in the USA, and I heartily encourage him to give it a try.


Metro stations in Kyiv and Kharkiv are doubling as bomb shelters right now. Ukraine’s metro systems also have grandiose Soviet stations that would impress Tucker.


The Moscow subway stations are indeed spectacular as well as extensive. I did a self-guided tour of the best stations when I was there (including rubbing the nose of the heroic partisan dog for luck).

The subway cars, on the other hand, were 1950s vintage. Well-kept, but definitely rattletrap antiques kept running out of necessity by dedicated workers. I don’t know how sophisticated the signals system is, but can’t imagine it matches American ones.

Correct. They’re very deep. It takes around 2-3 minutes to ride the escalator all the way up or down at most stations. There’ also apparently a secret subway system called “Metro-2” that connects a bunch of Stalin-era bunkers.


Don’t understand his logic… other European and Asian countries have splendid metro and train stations, is not a Stalin-URSS-Putin thingie.

Also, Tucker is one of the “let’s get rid of all public transportation and get into cars” kind of MAGA guys, so… what is even the point of his argument?