Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 24, 2021

NY Times Acknowledges U.S. Failure In Russia - Adds More To What Caused It

The U.S. finally acknowledges the utter defeat of its major manipulation strategy in Russia.

The news comes in form of a New York Times analysis of Russia's recent Duma election.

The core sentence:

Dismal results for the opposition in an election last weekend that was not free or fair only drove home a mood of defeat. The election underscored the grim reality that Russia’s pro-Western and pro-democratic opposition, a focus of American and other Western countries’ policy toward Russia for years now, has no visible strategy to regain relevance.

All the millions of dollars invested and thousands of CIA framed 'news' reports about Russia's opposition launched in 'western' outlets like the NY Times have been in vain.

One would think that the above insight would lead to some reflection about how or why the strategy has failed.

  • Was it probably wrong to support 'liberal' clowns like Navalny who are actually too fascist to be acceptable to more than 2% of the Russian electorate?
  • Was there a way to achieve a different outcome by looking at the real problems Russians have with Putin's neo-liberal economic policies?
  • Was is false to pay no attention to the real opposition in Russia, the one that gets real votes?

Unfortunately the rest of the piece shows that the NY Times author is unable to discuss or to even ask such questions. He instead continues with false claims about Russia's democratic system:

The Central Election Commission reported — as usual after Russian elections — a landslide for parties and politicians loyal to President Vladimir V. Putin. The vote in parliamentary elections cleared a seemingly easy path for Mr. Putin to seek a fifth term as president in 2024.

There was no such landslide for parties and politicians loyal to Putin.

In fact Putin's party, United Russia, only got 49% of the votes, a loss of 5 percentage points from the 2016 election. It also lost 19 of its seats in the parliament. The Communist Party was the winner in this election. It gained 6 percentage points from 13% in 2016 to 19% in 2021 and 15 new parliament seats. That significant move is not mentioned at all in the NYT writeup:

The pro-government party, United Russia, won just short of 50 percent of the national vote, and 198 out of 225 seats allocated in district-level elections. The Communist Party of Russia, which runs in elections as an opposition party but votes with United Russia once in Parliament, came in second place, with 19 percent. Three other parties, all seen as loyal to Mr. Putin, also won seats. No candidates in open opposition to Mr. Putin entered Parliament.

The claim that the Communist Party is voting with United Russia is outright false. It may have done so on some issues of national importance, like the return of Crimea to Russia, but surly votes against most other laws and the budget resolutions United Russia supports.

The other three parties are likewise opposed to Putin and most of his policies. They, like the Communists, would vote him out if they had the majority needed to do that.

It didn’t help that Google and Apple, under pressure from the Kremlin, removed an app promoting candidates Mr. Navalny had endorsed just before the vote.

A depper analysis of the fate of the candidates Navalny's 'smart voting' promoted would be of interest. But to go there the NY Times would have to tell you this:

I discuss Alexei Navalny’s ’smart voting’ scheme in the light of the list of preferred candidates for this week’s Russian parliamentary elections just issued by Navalny’s team. There are 225 single member constituencies up for grab. Team Navalny recommends one candidate per constituency and suggests voters cast their ballot for thar person, as the candidate most likely to beat the ruling United Russia party.

So who does Navalny recommend?

Communists mostly (61% of the total), plus some from the left nationalist Just Russia, and the occasional person from other parties. But only a handful of liberals.

In short, voting smart means voting Communist.

Now tell me, please, what’s so smart about that? As I argue in my article, precious little.

The NY Times author can not acknowledge those facts because he hates the communists even more than he hates United Russia:

With Russia’s pro-democracy groups now crushed, the center of gravity of the Russian political opposition may shift in other, unappealing directions, wrote Tatyana Stanovaya, a nonresident scholar at the Moscow Carnegie Center. The Communist Party, for example, has shifted toward open confrontation with the Kremlin with an ideology of Soviet revival more extreme even than Mr. Putin’s.

Weren't we just told above that the Communist Party 'votes with United Russia once in Parliament'? Now it suddenly is in 'open confrontation with the Kremlin'? How can both claims, just a few paragraphs apart, be true? Hint, the aren't.

And the claim that the Communists have 'an ideology of Soviet revival more extreme even than Mr. Putin’s' is just blatant nonsense.

Putin hates the Soviet ideology and openly rejects it. What he works on is a national revival of Russia by means of a neo-liberal economic policies. The Communist are opposed to that. They reject the neo-liberal economic system. They want to re-nationalize big companies and re-introduce an income distribution system that favors the working class over capital owners. Acknowledging those difference would actually help the NY Times reader to make sense of this paragraph:

But the disillusionment is economic. Most street protests in Russia in recent years have been provincial labor actions that gained little national notice, said Yekaterina Schulmann, an associate fellow at Chatham House, a trend the Communist Party is well positioned to exploit.

Those labor actions also gained no international notice. The NYT's Moscow bureau might by a reason why that is the case.

If the NY Times had reported on those labor actions, instead of the clownery around Navalny, it probably could have made a difference. If U.S. support over the last two decades would had gone to some nationalist minded social-democratic party in Russia, instead of the fake 'liberals', the election outcome this year would probably have been different.

But that would have required factual reporting from Russia and a non-ideological analysis of Russia's political and economical system. Neither of which is available at the upper levels of the U.S. of A.

Posted by b on September 24, 2021 at 18:04 UTC | Permalink

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by: tucenz 57 "A revolution can mean one turn - so you are back to where you started"

<= return to start, do not pass "GO", do not collect $200, lose a turn, and pay the community $ to continue in the game of life.. ..but such an outcome, might be preferable to landing on a 6 hotel developed Boardwalk property owned by some other.. ? ??

I have not seen, or heard of, a standard nation state ..? There are 256 nations in the nation state franchise.. The PIGOs (private imperialistic global Oligarch) own each and every one one of them..

I would love to see debated at B's bar..what exactly is the standard nation state..what are the minimum and maximum ranges allowed to nation state Actors, for each element that defines the standard nation state? History is full of lies mostly because the historians who publish it are corrupt in their purpose for the publication.

History has not yet developed into a science, because there are few, in any, accepted standards of reporting <=neither the depth of investigation nor the manner of reporting the findings are defined into standards. Historical publications mostly analyze the elements of revolution that led to a change in the status quo, and focus on the war the forced that change? <=maybe a PIGO induced thing to keep everyone in the dark ? <=remember the nation state system incarcerates everyone in the world at the same time, all of the time. it is at the center of the survival of humanity and we know very little about it.

Few if any historical analysis have identified the elements and defined the acceptable operating range for those elements (there is no standard to teach the children of the world by, everyone learns the history as the PIGO in charge of your nation states wants you to learn) that caused or allowed national unrest in sufficient quantity to induce the risk and turmoils of revolution. The PIGOs have the elements that identify "unjust and immoral unrest" down pat because they fear retribution, but human risings in revolution after revolution have yet to order their causes and index the results into a true science.

The PIGOs for the most part are the promoters and owners of not only the MSM <=current news publication but also the owners of the audiences who engage their publications and researchers and authors of history seek to access the publications owned by the PIGO because profit is a corruption of human purpose that corrupts. To date published history satisfies the PIGO demand for obscurity, confusion and disorder.. but has yielded almost nothing to those the nation state system governs (basically every governed person).

Maybe the corruptions we all experience from the nation state system are the fault of our governed selves? Maybe humanity has yet to refine its ideal or acceptable nation state governing system? What is proper, acceptable, necessary and off limits is not defined. We all have been trained to look at the organizing documents of the respective nation state within the PIGO organized nation state system?

The nation state is an organizational structure designed by bandits seeking to elect or appoint politicians capable to keep those the nation state governs from interfering with the activities of the PIGOs either by physical invasion or by purpose of activities conducted by those the nation state governs.

Governance needs to be developed into a set of standards. Standards that constitute acceptable behaviors by nation state Actors. Elements of the nation state need to be identified and fitted into the package of standards that allows the governorships of one government to the next to be compared and evaluated. War is only one element, but it is the most often element found discussed in historical publications.

In other words, we the governed humans have no idea what is good or bad for us? We would not recognized a great, better or worse system of governance because we have not yet defined it and therefore we have no way to grade the behaviors of its actors and no way to index its efficiencies and to follow its progress in the development of humanity society on this earth.

There is not even a standard of performance, no rating system capable to determine acceptable performance wrt target performance. There is no standard because the PIGOs want it that way, confusion, division of idea and purpose is the defense system of the PIGO.

So there is little to hold "PIGOs" responsible for the performance of the nation state he or she owns? Overpowering the nation state may be what the PIGO (private Imperialist Global Oligarch) wants?

Posted by: snake | Sep 25 2021 13:30 utc | 101

There's been a great discussion in this thread, with lots of interesting but often competing themes bandying to and fro. Many thanks to those who contributed.

Remember though those wise words often repeated by the Buddha: "It is not wise to say 'Only this is true, everything else is false'". Some of those competing themes discussed above need not be mutually exclusive (even if they may seem so at times). Viewed in the right perspective, even what appear to be mutually exclusive views can sometimes (not always) be reconciled.

Posted by: BM | Sep 25 2021 14:15 utc | 102

no mr dontbelieve, I'm a western and mostly a fan of the majority of Putin s policies. And I know very well that he's a conservative and sponsors a sad bunch of neo liberal policies.
Which in the past 00-10 decade, even had a space to make some sense but not any longer. And with a few others I would love to sweept Nabiulina and co out to northern Siberia for a 10 year sabatic period.

Posted by: augusto | Sep 25 2021 14:16 utc | 103

@ Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 25 2021 11:06 utc | 92

Poland was a special case. It had a very complicated history pre-WWII, and was the main geopolitical enemy of the USSR. It is absurd to extrapolate what happened to Poland to the entire Soviet sphere.

--//--

@ Posted by: Gordog | Sep 25 2021 9:49 utc | 85

Tsarist Russia was, by far, the poorest of the imperialist powers. If you read the epoch writings (19th Century) from Western Europe, you can clearly see the Russians were essentially considered to be the monkeys of Europe, the proverbial ugly, disabled cousin. It was Europe's Deep South. It was still feudal by the time WWI was waged - and that's the main reason it simply evaporated in it: the feudal mode of production simply wasn't prepared to wage such modern type of war.

Stalin wasn't "beloved" by the Russian people. We don't have evidence for that. But he certainly represented the will of the vast majority of the VKP(B). The interesting question for the historian is why he came to be the figurehead of such vast majority.

To me, this question seems to be clear enough: the Soviet system was created all of a sudden, in the direst and most chaotic of the situations. It was only Lenin's leadership and genius, alongside the absolute authority of the VKP(B) politburo, that kept the whole thing together during the critical years of the Civil War and in its aftermath (1923-1924) - that's the only explanation for the fact that Russia itself didn't disintegrate after the collapse of the feudal land tenure system.

Since the system was completely new and without any precedent, even the members of the politburo didn't know where true power really lied. While Lenin was alive, this wasn't an issue. But, after he died, it simply became clear that true power lied in the General Secretariat, that is, true power in the new system lied in the institution that approved new members of the Party and distributed State offices by nomination. By chance, it was Stalin who was the General Secretary. And he was also the head of the Orgburo - the boring, but crucial institution of the new system. Lenin knew that, hence, in his "testament", he said Stalin had accumulated a huge amount of power - but the other members didn't know that.

The fact Stalin was at the right place, the right time, when Lenin died, make some people speculate that, if Sverdlov hadn't died tragically, he would be the most powerful man of the USSR instead of Stalin. Like I said, those were chaotic times, nobody really knew what would happen and which were the forces in action. The debates in the Party seem to be ideological, but they were not - it was a never seen before system, an unprecedented feat, a sail to unknown waters.

There's absolutely no evidence (in fact, there's plenty of evidence of the opposite) Stalin represented the crude and uncultured, but pure, Russian nationalist peasant against the evil and conspirator clique of Jewish intellectuals. The debates in the VKP(B) never took this turn. When anti-semitic attacks happened against Trotsky, Stalin, Bukharin and the others were the first to defend him against such type of argumentation. Trotsky was never accused by anyone for being a "know-it-all", or "too intellectual". The debate was purely political and intellectual, both sides presenting their arguments. That Stalin had a style of mostly using people below him in the chain of power to make the argumentation doesn't change the fact that he also knew what he was talking about at the political-theoretical level. He was as Bolshevik as anyone else.

Nationalism was never an issue in the Bolshevik Party. The Russian people never accused the Bolsheviks of being anti-Russian internationalists. This is revisionism. After all, modern Russians continue to speak Russian, the Orthodox Church and cathedrals are still there, Russian culture is still there, Cyrillic alphabet continues to be there. The key here is to understand the international conjecture of the early 1920s: the Second International decided that every social-democratic party should topple their own government and install proletarian governments in case of a world war; only the Bolsheviks did it.

When they did it they found out the Western social-democratic parties had betrayed the Second International and supported the war efforts (plus the German Revolution, which was crushed). Suddenly, in the space of less than one year, the Bolsheviks found themselves completely isolated and vulnerable. The only weapon of counter-attack they had was propaganda warfare in order to incite communist revolutions in the Western powers. That they did, in a process that culminated with the creation of the Third International (Comintern) in 1919. But the important issue here is that the Russian people completely understand that: they knew that, in order to protect Russia, they needed to act internationally. There wasn't any distinction between a nationalist and an internationalist policy: both were part of the whole. It is insulting to the Russian people to say it isn't capable of discerning complex abstractions such as nationalism and internationalism.

It is easy for Putin to accuse the Bolsheviks of being anti-Russian internationalists behind all of those nuclear missiles and S-500s - but those didn't exist in 1917-1923.

--//--

@ Posted by: Jezabeel | Sep 25 2021 9:31 utc | 84

There's a very famous story known by historians of culture about post-WWII France.

Right after WWII ended in France, the first allied people who landed on it from outside was a team of OSS personnel and some other French notables - Rothschild among them. The very first place they visited in just liberated France was Rothschild's mansion in Paris. They entered it, opened the wine case/wardrobe that existed there in his room and celebrated the victory.

Rothschild's mansion was kept untouched by the Nazis. With the furniture, with the wines, with everything.

And people still claim the Nazis were "men of the people" (and I'm not even delving on the fact Hitler gifted himself with a castle and other mansions in the German countryside).

--//--

@ Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 25 2021 6:16 utc | 81

Stalin didn't create the term "Stalinism". He created the term "Marxism-Leninism".

"Stalinism" was a pejorative term created by his political enemies.

He didn't differentiate himself from Lenin at all. On the contrary, he made every effort to reassure the Soviet people he was the direct, most literal possible, continuation of Lenin.

--//--

@ Posted by: m | Sep 25 2021 5:50 utc | 80

From what I've heard, the KPRF was some kind of "nationalist party" during Gorbachev, and only adopted the term "communist" during the Yeltsin era. They're more like the Slavophile party than the communist party.

Although, if you read Zyuganov's interviews and the texts in the KPRF's website, you can clearly see they know at least the essentials of Marxism.

--//--

@ Posted by: Rob | Sep 25 2021 4:17 utc | 75

That's exactly what my earlier comments were all about. Stalin is one of the best documented persons in History, there's absolutely no need to idealize/demonize him.

The first decade of the Revolution is one of the best documented periods of History. Lenin has his complete works published, Trotsky also has his complete works, Stalin has his complete works. Even some other more obscure leading Bolsheviks had their complete works or at least collections of works published. Plus, we have the published deliberations of the VKP(B) and Comintern, and the Soviet archives with all the decrees etc. etc.

Long story short, the era that we need to idealize the least is the early Soviet era. I don't understand why some many people still go to such enormous lengths to falsify and mystify this era and its personae.

Posted by: vk | Sep 25 2021 14:29 utc | 104

If we must have a state ruling all of central North America plus Alaska, Hawaii, far-flung territories and imperial outposts, I support a progressive consumption tax limiting capitalists' consumption, even capping it at some level. Common juries hearing tax evasion cases distinguish consumption from investment and other spending. I wouldn't call the tax an income distribution system favoring the working class. It limits the privilege of state constituents. I'm not sure who constitutes the working class.

What is a non-ideological analysis of anything? How does one think at all outside of ideology?

Posted by: Martin Brock | Sep 25 2021 14:30 utc | 105

Currently, the EU is reeling from gas prices approaching 1 USD / m3. Why?? What does this portend?

The matter is analyzed in depth by my Spanish engineer friend at:

https://crashoil.blogspot.com

"11 years ago, I wrote a post called " El pico del gas ". That article, analyzed the situation regarding the production of natural gas in the world, and the estimates, at that time, that the peak of gas production would be reached by 2020. I also mentioned a report by the Energy Watch Group which predicted that Europe would begin to have serious gas supply problems around 2015, due to the fact that gas is more easily transported by pipeline and Europe's main suppliers were entering their production decline, and transportation by methane tanker has many limitations.

The expected serious supply problems did not occur in 2015, although in recent years there has been tightness in the supply of this hydrocarbon (especially evident in the problems of the United Kingdom during the past winters). The situation was postponed until around 2020 via increases of imports of Liquefied Natural Gas (NGL), which is the one transported by ship.

Europe has greatly increased its capacity to import gas by sea. In particular, Spain is the country that has increased its re-gasification structure the most, with 6 large plants built or expanded in recent years, which are perfectly integrated with the national gas network.

The reason why Europe has reached its maximum gas supply capacity, a few years before the world reaches its natural gas peak , is because the two countries that are its main suppliers (by production capacity and geographical proximity) are already at their respective local natural gas peak(s), namely Russia and Algeria.

Successive Russian energy ministers have been warning for years that Russia's oil and gas production is peaking and will begin to decline in the coming years. Furthermore, it has already been made clear that Russia will prioritize domestic consumption over exports; In fact, when you look at Russia's natural gas consumption, you see that the significant production rise in 2017 and 2018 basically served to cover self-consumption needs.

In Europe, and especially in Germany, it is expected that the recent commissioning of the NordStream 2 gas pipeline (which runs along the Baltic Sea bed and connects Russia directly with Germany) will serve to alleviate the supply problems of the Teutonic country and the European gas system. This is partly true, since Russia will be able to send more gas directly for consumption in Germany and thus avoid having to pay to go through other countries such as Ukraine, which keep part of the gas as a toll. Leaving aside the dire consequences that the fact that their gas influx is reduced will have for these "intermediate" countries, the truth is that Russia is already at its maximum productive capacity and from now on it will send us less gas every year. As anticipated in the 2010 article.

If there is a severe winter, Russia has made it clear that it will prioritize the needs of its own population. I anticipate supply problems this winter because this year Russian gas inventories are almost empty."

Author: Antonio Turiel.
Licenciado en CC. Físicas por la UAM (1993).
Licenciado en CC. Matemáticas por la UAM (1994).
Doctor en Física Teórica por la UAM (1998).
Investigador Científico en el Institut de Ciències del Mar del CSIC.

Dr. Turiel in the above article is basically predicting that UK, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Moldova will freeze this winter. Southern EU will be served by South Stream. France will increasingly rely upon NDF nuclear. Norway and Denmark are self-sufficient. Sweden will need to burn firewood, Ditto Finland.

INDY

Posted by: George W Oprisko | Sep 25 2021 15:44 utc | 106

vk@101
I mostly agree with you, and thanks for taking the time to spell out some thoughts on the Stalin era. I think the obfuscations about that era, mass-produced in the west, serve a very specific goal. Not that the USSR's socialism was perfect, but if we look at the totality (no pun) of what was achieved by the USSR - IN SPITE of cold and hot wars, economic sabotage, relentless demonisation, arms race, and a starting point well behind the west - it is mind-blowing. An honest analysis, without biases, would have to come to that conclusion. (And that is not even considering that the last 500 years of the western 'development' was based on brutal exploitation of the rest of the world.) The west cannot afford for its population to learn such truths, as they would deeply subservice of its way of life.

Posted by: GoraKoshka | Sep 25 2021 15:52 utc | 107

Correction: The west cannot afford for its population to learn such truths, as they would be deeply subversive of its way of life.

Posted by: GoraKoshka | Sep 25 2021 15:54 utc | 108

“ Putin hates the Soviet ideology and openly rejects it. What he works on is a national revival of Russia by means of a neo-liberal economic policies.” Is this accurate? Could it be true that Putin supports neo-liberal economic policies? That is difficult to believe. Why, considering the obvious ongoing collapse in the West brought about largely due to such policies would Putin be crazy enough to support them? Particularly since the economic policies of China - which clearly are more in line with how B describes the position of the Russian communist party - obviously extremely effective and productive? Could someone please explain this to me?

Posted by: Joseph Dillard | Sep 25 2021 16:10 utc | 109

Cirsium @ 95:

That article you linked to is from The New York Times. Is that a credible source when it comes to Russia?

Also the source quoted with those horror stories is the infamous Memorial NGO, which is registered as a foreign agent in Russia.

In the past they have defended Chechen terrorists, including the notorious Boku Umarov, who carried out a number of bombings in train stations and airports, killing dozens of innocents.

Who is to say that among those killed were ordinary innocent folks? There is no reason for that. They claim 320 clergy were killed. That may be true.

The Russian Orthodox church has a similar bloody history as the Catholic church. Do you know what they call serfs in Russian? Christians! The Russian word is Krestyani.

They were called that because the church had absolute control over their miserable lives. Serfs were emancipated in Russia in 1860, just four years before negro slaves were emancipated in the US.

I do believe the world is full of rotten people. I believe some of them do deserve to be taken out and shot.

For the most part, the clergy were allowed to carry on with their work. They just didn't get the money that they used to get from the Tsars. As a result some churches had to close down, due to lack of funds. They weren't shut down, although a few were, when the building could be put to a more necessary use, like social services.

A lot of the clergy took the modest diminishment of their privileges very badly. Some became downright militant!

The issue of Stalin era executions is a much bigger and nuanced story than the New York Times cares to investigate honestly.

The lives of those 'Christians' were completely transformed. For the first time they could go to school and university. They could become somebody.

Not that the church liked that. They much preferred having their little illiterate slaves.

I grew up in a fundamentalist Evangelical family. These people are not reality-based. Fortunately my father didn't really believe in it, he just went through the motions to keep the peace. There is no reasoning with religious nuts.

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 25 2021 16:10 utc | 110

VK, you have a habit of passing off make-believe as 'facts.'

I have traveled and seen all the imperial era splendor. There is nothing like it in Europe, or anywhere for that matter.

The Russian empire was more populous than Britain, France and Germany combined. Why didn't the Nobels migrate to the 'rich' European countries to make their fortune?

Petersburg was a magnet for Scandinavians, Germans and others. Look at how many Germans settled there over the centuries.

Next time you try a rebuttal, try adding some SUBSTANCE, instead of incohetent gibberish about 'monkeys.'

The Russian aristocracy did look up to the French high culture, but they were much wealthier.

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 25 2021 16:27 utc | 111

Peter @28, Putin's decision to confront the US did not come momentarily, as he is a very cautious man. I think invasion of Libya was the turning point for him.

Posted by: kemerd | Sep 25 2021 16:31 utc | 112

I'm getting tired of your bullshit VK.

Go back and read my paraphrasing of Alexander Zinoviev, one of 11 peasant children, whose mother kept a picture of Stalin on the wall. Because most of those children finished university and became sombody in life, instead of toiling on a scrap of dirt.

Best to simply ignore you, like many here already do.

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 25 2021 16:38 utc | 113

@ Posted by: Gordog | Sep 25 2021 16:27 utc | 108

Extravagant palaces and installations may actually be a sign of economic backwardness and/or even decline, because they indicate lack or insufficiency of circulation of products.

Early Rome was full of extravagant funerals, with carriages, golden artifacts etc. etc. Then, suddenly, they stopped. That didn't happen because early Rome declined, but on the contrary, because it flourished: the gold and other precious elements started to be used in commerce, therefore they ceased to be useless and thus disposed in funerals with their original owners.

The most extravagant golden mosaics and façade decorations in Byzantine Rome are actually a sign of its decline, because it indicates a collapse of commerce, therefore it started to accumulate gold, which, now useless, started to be used for decoration.

Rich aristocracies didn't translate automatically to rich kingdoms. The French aristocracy was much richer than the British aristocracy, but there's no doubt the UK was much richer and much more powerful than France by the 18th-19th Centuries. It is just a matter of where real power is: in the UK's case, power was much more decentralized than in France.

Either way, we don't have to go that deep on the Russian Empire, as we have other documental sources that prove beyond doubt that although, yes, Russia was an imperialist power, it was the most backwards one by far.

Posted by: vk | Sep 25 2021 16:45 utc | 114

And one more thing, Cirsium.

That speech you quoted from Putin is all well and good. That kind of sentiment is appropriate in that setting of a memorial.

But here is a much more important fact. Putin has personally taken a role in rehabilitating Stalin in the school curriculum.

This has not escaped the attention of the western media. Lots on google.

Like I said already, Putin has come down hard on the Bolsheviks, but he will never allow Stalin to be denigrated, and rightly so.

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 25 2021 16:58 utc | 115

Russia was backward only in the sense of its vast, landless serf population.

It's aristocracy that owned all the land was very rich. What country was able to build megaprojects like the trans-Siberian railway in the 19'th century?

Britain and France were trading countries, that relied on their colonies. Both were a nation of shopkeepers. Neither one attracted immigrants like Russia did. Petersburg was the richest city in Europe. That is clear just from its architecture, and not just the palaces. But the sheer size and scale.

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 25 2021 17:08 utc | 116

There were 14 different political parties on the ballot - when it comes down to who would move over to United Russia or who would move over to the Commies - is a no brainer. So here is another 15 to 20% of votes for United Russia, if things got hot and heavy. My 2 rubles worth and I saw the ballots.

Posted by: GMC | Sep 25 2021 17:28 utc | 117

By the way, the attacks on Stalin as the main villain, the lumping together of everything that he did in the pre-war period, during, after the war – this is also part of the same attack on our past, on the results of World War II, “Lavrov said. …

And that's what counts today, beyond any good or evil.

Posted by: Paco | Sep 25 2021 17:31 utc | 118

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Sep 25 2021 5:24 utc | 80

Yeltsin was full of naivete? Is this for real? The scumbag who ordered the bombing of the parliament, who successfully conspired and broke up the USSR after the people voted in great majorities for its preservation and who oversaw the utter degradation and ruination of Russia was "naive"? Sure, he must have been a patriot too.

This slavish adoration of Putin has diluted your judgement in regards to his patron in the 90s. If you are genuinely interested to evaluate Yeltsin, do pay attention to the massive support he received by Russia's most degenerate oligarchs, treasonous liberals and its most dedicated enemies. Sadistic, neocolonist scum who basked and gloried at the torment of the Russians - indeed, all eastern Europeans, but especially Russians - backed Yeltsin to the hilt.

Do you remember the cover of the TIME magazine in 1996? "Yanks to the rescue" with a caricturesque Yeltsin holding a US flag. And they gloated about with a Jeffrey Goldblum film "Electing Boris". And you have the brass neck to accuse me of having it wrong and too personal?

Feel free to research the utter economic, demographic and social collapse of Russia in the 90s, the horror and degradation inflicted upon the hapless citizenry - reduced by millions who ended on an early grave - and then talk to me about impersonal attitudes and political naivete. If anything, the latter term could possibly be ascribed to Gorbachev and he was also an absolute failure as a statesman, no excuses accepted. But Yeltsin's destructive record is a a wonder to behold.

Posted by: Constantine | Sep 25 2021 18:51 utc | 119

Since it has been brought up, the Soviet Union was dismantled because Stalinism was an ideological, scientific, and historic dead end. Perhaps Stalinism was something that was expedient during the period bracketing WWII, and perhaps it was something that most of the Russian people wanted at the time, but it had no developmental future; it was a "dead" ideology that could never be refined or updated. As Peter AU1 observed, "The soviet union collapsed because although its leadership knew the system and policy had to change, they did not know how to go about it or what they should."

The greatest students of Stalin's ideas were incapable of extending those ideas into contemporary conditions because there was nothing there to extend. Furthermore, the actual extension to contemporary conditions of the ideas of Marx through Lenin was done by Trotsky, and studying the ideas of Trotsky would get you killed in Stalin's time so it was impossible in the USSR. The one thing that could have saved the Soviet Union but the Stalinists had developed a tradition of shunning and vilifying it and built an ideological Iron Curtain to keep it away.

Yet when we look at China today, and over the last several decades as well, we see Trotsky's Permanent Revolution unfolding in realtime. It doesn't matter if China's planners realize it or not. Real science converges to the same conclusions when developed independently. Alien physicists in a whole `nother galaxy and who have never heard of Niels Bohr or Max Planck would eventually develop exactly the same ideas of quantum mechanics because that is how the universe works and that is how science works. We're seeing the Permanent Revolution unfolding in Venezuela, Bolivia, and even Iran, though it is in fits and starts with frequent wrong turns. Had more people studied Trotsky's works then they would not be going though this process blind and could be avoiding many of the wrong turns that they have to backtrack on to get their society moving forward again.

What we don't see today in China is any trace of Stalinism. That ideology died along with the man whose name it is labeled with, and just mindlessly stumbled along as a crudely animated corpse for a few decades after any meat had rotted off it.

My advice to readers concerning Trotsky is the same as for Marx and Lenin: Read what Trotsky wrote, not what other people write about him. As with both Marx and Lenin, Trotsky was a skilled writer and clearly documented his refinements of Marxist analysis. You gain less than nothing by reading other people's opinions about what these men had to say. This is to say that if you waste time and effort reading what other people say Marx, Lenin, and Trotsky stood for then you will know less about their ideas than if you had not bothered in the first place. Put in another more general way, if I want to know what Poster A here has to say, should I read what Poster B says they stand for or read what Poster A actually posts?

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 25 2021 19:01 utc | 120

it's the same reason western media focuses on "derpa wee-gurrs diddly banned winnie the pooh derp" nonsense to smear china instead of something concrete like "shitty pay/working conditions for most workers". because they're 100% fine with that stuff. same with putin's capitalist leanings; they don't mind the raging party next door but they call the cops because they weren't invited.

it's also odd how the berlin wall fell before a lot of these idiot NYT/WaPo/HuffPo writers were even born yet they constantly conflate "svoiet" with "communist" and act like we're still doing "duck and cover" drills in schools (side note: gotta love the irony that after all those years of 'OMG PINKO NUKES!' the biggest threat ends up being other students). this is what happens when the generation that grew up watching "red dawn" and chuck norris movies decides to breed. ew.

Posted by: the pair | Sep 25 2021 19:02 utc | 121

@Posted by: Johny Conspiranoid | Sep 25 2021 8:52 utc | 86

"US support would never go to a party with its nations interests at heart because the US wants to act against that nations interests by looting the nation." Exactly, many, many countries that the US has destroyed or subverted were social democracies, such as Guatemala and Iran in the 1950s, a Brazil that was becoming more truly democratic in the 1960s - the real variable is that they won't accept US domination and exploitation.

@Posted by: Gordog | Sep 25 2021 9:49 utc | 88

"But resistance was deep and broad. Imagine how many useless parasites would have to be eliminated in today's US?" I generally agree with your sentiments, but Stalin did kill quite a few loyal communists as well. Overall, he was the best thing for Russia (without the forced industrialization it would now be German lebensraum, like the US version in North America) but he was far from perfect.

@Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 25 2021 10:39 utc | 92

I have never said that Putin is a neoliberal, I have stated that Russia is a neoliberal economy. I very much understand the internal and external constraints that Putin has to deal with. That still does not change the fact that Russia is a heavily neoliberal country, very different to a China that represents a very different economic, political and social model to the US one. Russia's crime with respect to the US was not to cry "Uncle", China has that crime and as also representing a viable and successful model for society.

@Posted by: BM | Sep 25 2021 9:55 utc | 89

Agreed about the raw criminality that has become much worse over the past 4 decades. I think that it has also started to greatly undermine the quality of the US elite as they have focused on theft, extortion, price fixing and rentier activities, including the primitive accumulation of state functions and the social sphere generally - forgetting how to actually build and maintain a successful economy and society. The engineers who used to run the great corporations have been replaced by self-enriching MBA's and financiers, thoughtful foreign policy analysts with careerist crap etc. The utter incompetence of US foreign policy is a natural result, and I can only see it getting worse. As is also the sheer inability to develop usable and relevant weapon systems at anywhere near a reasonable cost.

Posted by: Roger | Sep 25 2021 20:43 utc | 122

@Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 25 2021 10:39 utc | 92

I explicitly stated that Putin himself may not be neoliberal, but that Russia IS heavily neoliberal. I very much understand the internal and external constraints that Putin operates under, my comments were about Russia not Putin.

@Posted by: Constantine | Sep 25 2021 18:51 utc | 119

Thankyou, Yeltsin may have been a drunken sot but he certainly was not naive when he grabbed power through dissolving the USSR against the wishes of the people and then destroying democracy with a military attack on the parliament building. He was happy to be a good servant of the oligarchs, both in Russia and the US.

@Posted by: vk | Sep 25 2021 16:45 utc | 114

I totally agree, Russia was a poor agricultural society with a small economic surplus shared by a tiny aristocracy. It was starting to industrialize prior to WW1, hence the German alarm, but Tsar Nicholas would not make the societal changes (e.g. a bourgeois state) required as they would interfere with his absolutists tendencies. An excellent book about the dynamics that caused WW1 and the thirty-year crisis, by a Marxist scholar:

Alexander Anievas, "Capital, the State, and War: Class Conflict and Geopolitics in the Thirty Years' Crisis, 1914-1945"

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZYNA2D8/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i1

Posted by: Roger | Sep 25 2021 20:57 utc | 123

@Posted by: Gordog | Sep 25 2021 17:08 utc | 116

Russian industrialization under the Tsars was heavily financed by French (predominantly) and British capital, facilitated by the Entente Cordiale against Germany. After the revolution, the Bolsheviks repudiated the debts - destroying the wealth of a lot of rich Frenchmen and corporations.

"However, when we analyze the sources of financing railroad construction, we find that borrowing abroad and internal borrowing were the overwhelming sources of financing railroad construction rather than straight budget financing"

https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/2116256.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3A0c6c0c238685269d193f913d315556aa

Posted by: Roger | Sep 25 2021 21:08 utc | 124

BTW, I am sure that in 1998, while still working in public administration in St Petersburg, Vladimir Putin wrote and defended a PhD dissertation. I think his topic was on state use of natural resources. If anyone can clarify that this was so, and understands the original Russian enough to be able to "read between the lines", that thesis could tell us something of what and how Putin thought, and might go some way of explaining the policies Putin followed in his first 8 years as President.

English-language sites about Putin's thesis usually bang on about how he plagiarised other people's work. A chief source of the disinfo is the daughter of the fellow (surnamed Litvinenko, no relation to the spy who once worked for Berezovsky) who supervised Putin while he prepared his thesis. These sites say nothing about what the thesis was.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 25 2021 21:10 utc | 125

@Posted by: Jen | Sep 25 2021 21:10 utc | 124

I don't read Russian, but this is a very interesting piece written by an academic on Putin's thesis and the relevance to Russian policies.

Harley Balzer, "The Putin Thesis and Russian Energy Policy, Post-Soviet Affairs 21(3)

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/250171761_The_Putin_Thesis_and_Russian_Energy_Policy

Posted by: Roger | Sep 25 2021 21:33 utc | 126

@Oriental Voice (81) "Your 700,000 figure, did you get it from the likes of WaPo, NYT, et al???? And Gulags, oh yeah, so you were there in person and knows exactly what these places are and how many died there."

I got those numbers from Gordog's post #12. I certainly don't vouch for their accuracy and suspect that the number may be too low. But the accuracy of the number is not the point. The point is that many thousands of people died for political reasons, and that leaves out the huge number of deaths from famine in Ukraine, which was in part politically manufactured.

Posted by: Rob | Sep 25 2021 21:35 utc | 127

Roger @ 123:

That Britain at least financed railway construction and other industrial development in the Russian empire, I have no dispute with. The Russian elites at the time did not have the knowledge or experience to undertake such development or understand the risks involved in building track in physically harsh environments. Plus Russian aristocrats themselves were not great financial managers even of their own lands and were frequently in debt, especially after a bad harvest, as reading Chekhov and Tolstoy reveals. Peasants themselves were not motivated to learn or use better farming methods on lands they did not own themselves, for employers who rarely visited their properties except during summer holidays.

That the British were prepared to invest in railway building in Siberia shows they saw a lot of economic potential in the region. After the part of the Trans-Siberian railway was built, it became possible to transport refrigerated Siberian butter by rail to Riga and ship it to Europe in a matter of a couple of weeks.

But British financing of railway infrastructure construction and development was commonplace in the 1800s and early 1900s. The British financed such construction even in the US after the US Civil War, when Americans might have been aware that London had been secretly backing the Confederate side. The US was hardly a poor society in the 1860s despite the destruction caused by war.

Some British did settle in Russia during the late 19th century. The Soviet actor/director Boris Barnet was the grandson of a British entrepreneur who settled in Russia in that period. Donetsk in eastern Ukraine was originally Yuzovka, after John Hughes, a Welsh businessman who helped establish a mining industry in that part of the Russian empire. So Gordog is correct in one small way.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 25 2021 21:37 utc | 128

This would be the exact same NYT that feverishly promoted the lying Machiavellian fraud Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Operation Cyclone II perhaps but you can bet the NYT will peddle its usual drivel and chant the mantra of the 'permanent state'. You will never find real analysis like this in the rag called the NYT.

Strategic Culture reports from Matthew Ehret.

Signs of the re-activation of this old script with a modern twist are already visible on numerous levels, not the least of those signs being witnessed in the strange decision to demolish the CIA torture annex in Kabul in response to the August 26 attack by the mysterious ISIS-K on the Kabul airport which killed 170 civilians and 13 U.S. soldiers. Why was it the case that U.S. and British intelligence agencies issued warnings of an attack at that location and time long before it occurred and yet did less than nothing, other than shooting civilians and bombing three households after it happened?

Why would the U.S. military deem it wise to destroy a CIA base which has been a strategic central point of command of all clandestine activities in the region for the past two decades in response to this completely foreseeable event?

Recently a Lebanese analyst, commenting on the observations of the leader of Hezbollah wrote that “the U.S. have been using helicopters to save ISIS terrorists from complete annihilation in Iraq and transporting them to Afghanistan to keep them as insurgents in Central Asia against Russia, China and Iran”.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 25 2021 21:38 utc | 129

@Gordog (88) "The ordinary folks loved him, and had norhing to fear. See my earlier comment about Alexander Zinoviev and his mother, a peasant woman who kept a picture of Stalin on the wall."

What a heartwarming anecdote. Your entire post fits in the genre of "if you want to make an omelet, you have to break some eggs." Did so many of the bourgeoisie have to die for Stalin's omelet? Many of them were guilty of nothing more than possibly having "unclean" thoughts.

Posted by: Rob | Sep 25 2021 21:44 utc | 130

@ Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 25 2021 19:01 utc | 120

Stalinism didn't exist (outside the colloquial meaning of the followers of Stalin). Trotsky was kinda deified by the Western leftists afterwards, but, at the time he was writing, none of his critiques were impressive. Everybody knew about the "apparatus". Everybody knew about bureaucratization. It was only later that all of those vices of the USSR were amalgamated into the single term "Stalinism", but it gives the wrong perception that Stalin invented all of this, when in reality he didn't.

There's no such a thing called "Stalinist system". It is a purely political term.

--//--

@ Posted by: Roger | Sep 25 2021 20:57 utc | 122

There was some industrializing pulses in Russia during the late Tsarist era, but they were very small, very localized and too late.

Ironically, all the Russian industry was implanted by the will of the Tsar and by his will only. This made the takeover of the industry by the Bolsheviks all the easier after his Empire collapsed, because industry already was completely centralized and without a significant bourgeoisie: there were no Russian industrialists.

--//--

@ Posted by: Roger | Sep 25 2021 21:08 utc | 123

That's why the Donbass is the most industrialized region of the USSR space, even nowadays. Since industry had to be imported from France and the UK, it had to be delivered to Russia by sea, which here means the Black Sea. Furthermore, it needed to be installed in an area rich in coal, to feed said industry. The Donbass satisfied both conditions.

Posted by: vk | Sep 25 2021 21:52 utc | 131

@Peter AU1 (78) "In Russia, Stalin was a man for his time."

The same can be said of almost any tyrant.

Look, I accept that Stalin had some major accomplishment, but there is no escaping the fact that he was paranoid and sociopathic. You guys (his defenders) should accept that and not take shelter behind alibis that everyone knows are false.

Posted by: Rob | Sep 25 2021 21:53 utc | 132

Jen, I have run onto mentions of two thesis. His thesis while studying law was "The Most Favored Nation Trading Principle in International Law" Putin's summary in the original would be good to find.
There is also this
https://www.theatlantic.com/daily-dish/archive/2008/08/putins-thesis-raw-text/212739/
MINERAL AND RAW MATERIALS RESOURCES AND THE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY FOR THE RUSSIAN ECONOMY
Candidate of Economic Sciences (PhD)
V. V. Putin.

Possibly that is just one section of the thesis. What is interesting is that although so much propaganda has been written around it, like the link Rodger put up, yet not one actually links to the original.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 25 2021 22:11 utc | 133

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 25 2021 19:01 utc | 120

I typicaly appreciate your comments, Mr Gruff, but I must respectfully disagree with the comparison between modern policies by the CPC and Trotsky's views on similar issues. The "Permanent Revolution" as implemented by China (and I have no problem with your use of the term here) is significantly different by Trotsky's approach. Whereas the PRC refrains from initiaing any eternal campaigns for the expansion of its socialist doctrine, Trotsky and many Bolsheviks opted for a more aggressive policy even though the conditions were by any metric unfavorable for such a approach.

Indeed, a standard accusation against Stalin and his allies (including thosewho would be liquidated in the 30s) was that he didn't express the approrpiate revolutionary fervor and proceeded to normalize relations with the reactionary capitalist powers. This view, of course, ignores actual conditions on the international stage.

Further, the economic policy of China today was inspired by the early version of "Socialism in one country", which was an expansion of NEP. It must be stated that this option had been treated as insufficiently socialist by Trotsky who had suggested more radical economic policies, many of which were ironically adopted by Stalin post-1928. By then, of course, the confrontation between the two had been finalized and there was little room for mending their relations.

I won't even waste much space to argue against Trotsky's utterly ludicrous approach on the negotiations with the Germans froRusso-German truce to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. "No peace nor war" can only be described as diplomatic trolling - indeed, that was how the flabbergasted Germans perceived it - but when it was confronted with the military might of imperial Germany it led to a humiliating capitulation. Admittedly, there was even greater responsibility by those who demanded a revolutionary war that would magically sweep the German armies and transform the Russian Revolution into an international one. Still, Trotsky, had he been grounded on reality then, would have supported Lenin's rational suggestion for negotiations and acceptance of the defeat before things became infinitely worse, which unfortunately is exactly what happened.

As I have argued elsewhere, IMHO, Trotsky's finest moment on many levels was his tireless effort to organize the Red Army during the Civil War cooperating with people who he totaly despised before. It is a testament to this successful collaboration that Polivanov, the most efficient and renowned War Minister of imperial Russia in WWII, joined Trotsky in building the Soviet armed forces in wartime conditions.

Posted by: Constantine | Sep 25 2021 22:25 utc | 134

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 25 2021 22:11 utc | 132

Here you have a link with the introduction and the thesis for sale, for 500 rubley.

https://www.dissercat.com/content/strategicheskoe-planirovanie-vosproizvodstva-mineralno-syrevoi-bazy-regiona-v-usloviyakh-for

Posted by: Paco | Sep 25 2021 22:34 utc | 135

Thanks Paco. It looks as though that was written in 1997 by Putin while in St Petersburg, and then there is his university thesis written around 1975 in St Petersburg.
The university thesis is titled "The Most Favored Nation Trading Principle in International Law"

I would guess it is the 1997 piece that the majority of anti Putin propaganda is based on.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 25 2021 22:48 utc | 136

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 25 2021 22:48 utc | 135

That's the one about minerals, 1997, that was a quick search, with the thesis name you can make a search further with a Russian engine and go to libraries that require membership. The point is at first sight it does not look that hard to find if it is really important.

https://search.rsl.ru/ru/record/01000168916

Posted by: Paco | Sep 25 2021 22:55 utc | 137

Paco
It is the later one that I am interested in though I probably won't go to the trouble of getting the full PDF. I got rid of yandex browser not long back because I could not stop some processes running in the background but the yandex translate page works well once I have found something. It seems to have the best machine translation of Russian to English.

Jen if the use the link Paco provided in yandex translate there is a reasonable amount of information on Putin's 1997 dissertation there.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 25 2021 23:11 utc | 138

@Gordog #116

Britain and France were trading countries, that relied on their colonies. Both were a nation of shopkeepers. Neither one attracted immigrants like Russia did. Petersburg was the richest city in Europe. That is clear just from its architecture, and not just the palaces. But the sheer size and scale.

The russian empire also had colonies. It was also part of the european nation alliance that subjugated china. Also, some data on your claim that the Tsarist empire was the richest would be welcome here. From a quick googling I did, during the 19th century, Britain was the richest. Also, one has to specify what we mean by "rich". Russian empire resembled present day india, which is backwards in general, with vast numbers of people living 4 centuries back and a tiny minority of wealthy elites. By total sums, India is one of the richest nations on earth. By 2017 data, it comes 5th. But it is ludicrous to use this as a serious metric.

Posted by: galerkin | Sep 25 2021 23:15 utc | 139

Gruff makes ridiculous statements that Stalinism was a 'dead end,' being the all- knowing and all-seeing eye-in-the-sky that Gruff appears to be.

He also states that the USSR fell apart because of Stalinism...forty years after the man's death.

Never mind potatohead Kruschov, who did everything possible to wreck all that Stalin had accomplished.

Never mind the dimwit Brezhnev, who made things even worse. And of course Gorby, who has to be the dumbest and most incapable man that ever walked the planet.

Why Gruff even claims that Stalinism was a 'dead-end' scientifically, being the scientific giant Gruff is.

Never mind the first man in space, the invention of the Tokamak fusion reactor, and so much more. The widely traveled Gruff has of course visted the Kurchatov Institute, TSAGI and so many more of the unique and still world-leading scientific institutions, on a scale that literally dwarfs anything in the US.

And oh yeah, Lev Davidovich Bronstein is the man! 😹

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 25 2021 23:18 utc | 140

While the NYT might be the US fishwrapper of 'quality' there are serious journalists taking peek at real US malign behaviour.

It is more that a US/Russia failure - it is a US betrayal of world peace and on a global scale.

What better source than Dilyana Gaytandzhieva who is well respected for her capacity to report all manner of USA evil.

These TOW weapon systems were delivered by Raytheon Company to the US Marine Corps under a $1.4 billion contract (2012-2019). Part of them were later shipped to Syria.

While the US State Department has listed Hayat Tahrir al-Sham leader Abu Mohammad al-Julani as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” and announced a $10 million reward for information leading to his capture, the Jolani terrorist group has been well equipped with US-made missiles in Syria. A number of confidential leaks over the last years have already exposed the leading role of the US in arming militants in Syria.

I guess the NYT failed to mention this aspect of the 'story'.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 25 2021 23:51 utc | 141

Galerkin, most lists of the richest empires you will find on google, put Britain first, and Russia second.

However, keep in mind this is the anglosphere, which is well known for puffery. Just last year, the Economist rag rated UK second only to the US in global power!

Look, go and visit London...and then go visit Petersburg, or Moscow. If London was so rich, it sure left precious few signs of it.

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 26 2021 0:00 utc | 142

The NYT will likely do a report on this lady soon and blame the Russians for the excited facial expression.

Do NOT have a mouthful of coffee or wine when opening this link. You have been warned!

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 26 2021 0:11 utc | 143

Rob, how exactly do you know that 'many' of those executed during the Stalin purges were guilty of nothing more than 'unclean' thoughts?

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 26 2021 0:53 utc | 144

Regarding the 700,000: The Soviets contended that Yezhov, head of the NKVD, and Frinovsky, his principal deputy, organized the killings themselves in an attempt to purge Stalin loyalists. Stalin brought in Beria from Georgia August 22, 1938 to replace Frinovskii. On November 15, 1938 the purges were stopped. On November 22, 1938 Beria replaced Yezhov; after which some 100,000 prisoners were released. (Reported in Shearer & Khaustov’s “ Stalin and the Lyubanka” and in Getty & Naumov's "The Road to Terror”)

The Russian Government released the interrogations of Yezhov and Frinovsky in 2010-2011, keeping them secret over 70 years. Yezhov describes in detail how they implicated large numbers of innocent people. Frinovsky describes how they beat and coerced false confessions out of innocent people. [In general, you need to set Text Encoding to Cyrillic (Windows) to view the Russian correctly.]

Interrogations of Yezhov:
— in Russian: https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/research/ezhovpokazaniia.html .
— in English: https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/research/ezhovinterrogs.html .

More interrogations of Yezhov, which may be duplicative with the interrogations above. [Because I read Russian slowly, I haven’t taken time to compare them.]
— in Russian: https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/research/ezhov042639ru.html (April 26, 1939)
— in Russian: https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/research/ezhov080439ru.html (August 4, 1939)

Yezhov’s last statement, taken from various publications. I could not find a Russian version on-line.
— English only: https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/research/ezhovlastwords.html .

Statement of Frinovky of April 11, 1939:
— in Russian: https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/research/frinovskyru.html .
— in English: https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/research/frinovskyeng.html .

At Yezhov’s trial, he repudiated his interrogations. Frinovsky was then brought in to testify, who confirmed them. Both were convicted.

Posted by: Seward | Sep 26 2021 2:01 utc | 145


@ William Gruff 120
"My advice to readers concerning Trotsky is the same as for Marx and Lenin: Read what Trotsky wrote, not what other people write about him."
Yes. Now one better: see what T,M,L,X,W,Z actually did over what they said. Acts speak louder than words.

Stalin was Red alright, blood red. The world's reddest sociopath in authoritarian position till date.

Posted by: Antonym | Sep 26 2021 3:29 utc | 146

Thanks to Roger and Peter AU 1 for your replies to my comment @ 124 and to Pack also for the extra info. I was indeed thinking of Putin's PhD dissertation that he wrote in 1997.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 26 2021 3:40 utc | 147

Seward, thanks for that historical information!

From your studies of these documents, does it sound like Yezhov got out of hand? Ie, was he casting a wide net, and perhaps ensnaring some innocent people?

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 26 2021 4:08 utc | 148

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 25 2021 22:48 utc | 135

&Jen

Here you have it, my bed time was long due so at first I did not do a thorough search, but my point was that at first sight it did not look that hard to find, and this morning with my morning coffee I found it.

You do not have to install Yandex browser to do searches, just go to the yandex site or choose yandex as your search engine if you are using fireFox.

Link to Da Thesis ;)

Posted by: Paco | Sep 26 2021 6:41 utc | 149

Much appreciated Paco. Have bookmarked it.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 26 2021 6:57 utc | 150

Thanks for the link @ 148, Paco.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 26 2021 11:05 utc | 151

RE: Posted by: snake | Sep 25 2021 13:30 utc | 101

“ There is no standard because the PIGOs want it that way, confusion, division of idea and purpose is the defense system of the PIGO. “

Understandably you appear confused.

Interactions are lateral and hence tools of utility in evaluating/monitoring interactions are similarly lateral i.e. non-standard through time/trajectories, sometimes represented as science.

The inter-relations which you seek to represent as “PIGO” are also lateral with the hope/purpose of limiting inter-relations within a linear paradigm of “expectations/wants”, represented as conformance with “rules based orders”, and hence are not fit for purpose – “expectations/wants” of some facilitating outcomes of transcendence with the complicity of some.

The “PIGO” understand that confusion, division of ideas and purposes facilitate opportunities of lateral perception and hence cannot be relied upon as a “defence system” for “PIGO”, but believe that a mixture of belief and resort to emotionalism is a better “defence system” for “PIGO” on misguided notions that the “benefits” of their attempts at “perception management” accrue solely to them, often on the basis of projections of their experiences with the “folks back home” where 1 party is perceived as 2.

Hence I suggest your sentence quoted above would be more representative if it was rendered as:

“There is no standard DESPITE the “PIGO” wanting it.”.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Sep 26 2021 11:22 utc | 152

RE: Posted by b on September 24, 2021 at 18:04 UTC | Permalink

 “The election underscored the grim reality that Russia’s pro-Western and pro-democratic opposition, a focus of American and other Western countries’ policy toward Russia for years now, has no visible strategy to regain relevance. “

Framing conditions perceptions including through the usage of relevance instead of utility.

The utility, to a increasing sum of some, of “pro-Western and pro-democratic opposition, a focus of American and other Western countries' policy for years now” pre-dated the demise of the Soviet Union.

Some understood since at least 1968 that “The Soviet Union” was neither sustainable nor reformable but transcendable, that “The United States of America” had been at war with “The Soviet Union” since 1922, and that this war would mutate into many forms during the trajectory of the demise/transcendence of “The Soviet Union”.

Some also understood that others who lived in halls of mirrors mostly saw themselves, and that created opportunities/processes which could be encouraged by implementing wise long-term strategies.

“ But that would have required factual reporting from Russia and a non-ideological analysis of Russia's political and economical system. Neither of which is available at the upper levels of the U.S. of A. “

That is/was not sufficient in itself and that continues to be the case.

This is not perceived as a disadvantage by some who understand that “The United States of America” is neither sustainable nor reformable, whilst some others are immersed in Mr. Rove's
we-are-an-empire-dance chasing their tales/tails in hope to “regain relevance” which never was, and “utilities” which were/are self-defeating, and consequent resort to self-indulgent crying in the misguided belief that “It's my party.”

Posted by: MagdaTam | Sep 26 2021 12:17 utc | 153

@Gordog (144) "Rob, how exactly do you know that 'many' of those executed during the Stalin purges were guilty of nothing more than 'unclean' thoughts?"

You must be playing dumb, because I know that you are not dumb. Are you quibbling about the word "many?" OK, I confess that I do not know the exact percentage of those executed in the purges who fell into the category of possibly harboring unclean thoughts. But the bigger question is why should anyone have died for that reason?

I remember the story of Dimitri Shostakovich (one of my favorite composers) sitting at night outside the front door of his apartment waiting to be arrested by Stalin's goons. The reason--his opera "Lady Macbeth of Minsk" had received a very negative review in the newspaper shortly after Stalin had attended a performance. The review attacked the opera for not being truly socialist in nature (i.e. it contained unclean thoughts). Many people, including Shostakovich, thought that the review may have been written by Stalin himself. This is the sort of realistic fear that many Soviet citizens lived with on a daily basis. Shostakovich was taken in and told to mend his ways, which turned out to be a good thing, as his next composition was the immortal Symphony #5. Ironically, he eventually became the head of the musicians guild (or some such group) and composed strongly patriotic music that pleased the authorities. At the same time, he wrote his "personal" music that he kept hidden in a special drawer. It was only after Stalin's death that this music saw the light of day.

Posted by: Rob | Sep 26 2021 16:21 utc | 154

Look, I don't call people rude names, and I expect to be treated with likewise civility. If you are unable to act respectfully in a conversation, then DO NOT ENGAGE WITH ME.

Shostakovich wasn't executed, so your comparison is DUMB!

Stalin's guidance included the domain of art and culture, so they would not become degenerate, as they have in the west, starting with modern 'art,' which was a CIA project. And now we have Kardi B and her song WAP.

Not to mention an actual piece of human shit on a marble pedestal displayed at MOMA.

President Xi is likewise cracking down on inappropriate aesthetics, and there is now extensive guidance that culture should embody real aesthetics, and should be uplifting, not downgrading.

You weren't there in 1930s Russia, so you don't know what actually happened, nor whether innocent folks were swept up in the net. Yezhov was extremely zealous in killing people, so it is likely that some did not deserve that fate.

But the purges stopped in 1938, after Yezhov was sacked and executed, suggesting that Stalin was not aware of the abuses.

But again, like I said, the ordinary people LOVED Stalin, because he transformed their lives, and the lowest of society's low for the first time in human history, as Zinoviev noted, could have access to upward mobility, and reach society's highest levels.

That never happened ANYWHERE! Look at the US today. How many millions of black young folks have ZERO opportunity to make something of themselves?

The anti-Stalin propaganda focuses only on the bad things, blowing them out of all proportion and with a hysteria that suggests mental derangement.

Yet the man's monumental achievement of bettering the lives of ordinary folks is simply wiped from their fake 'history.'

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 26 2021 17:48 utc | 155

Excellent article and the overwhelming response with a lot of truth in them, on both sides of the “Stalin – Divide”.
MoA is becoming a rich (“secret source”, ‘streng geheim’) resource for all serious scholars of history, so this article has become a trove of information.
But seriously - I am curious what have Putin and Solshenitsyn talked about when they met. From my very superficial information, they have met and Putin had great admiration for Solzenitsyn. Does anyone know? This makes me think that Putin may have learned a lot from the author of “Ivan Denisovitch” about the veracity of Gulags.

Posted by: bystander 04 | Sep 26 2021 20:03 utc | 156

Posted by: George W Oprisko | Sep 25 2021 12:42 utc | 97

Actually, the Russians had role models they could have followed in converting their system into a market system, considering the time in which they needed to do this. Japan, Korea, and China. The Russians needed to look east. However they were focused on their western periphery. The Russians, who did not start the cold war, wanted a "normal" relationship with their western neighbors.

Re: Japan and Korea (presumably South) as role models, how did their respective systems differ from those in Western countries? (and even the systems of the 'Western countries' aren't really monolithic either)
I've seen many people claim that Japan is capitalist, and overwork has been a problem.

Posted by: joey_n | Sep 26 2021 22:16 utc | 157

I agree, cirium, that Putin's opinion about the USSR, Stalin, and the communists is some more nuanced than b in his article, and even more the Stalin praisers in the comments suggest. Putin has stressed at several occasions that he considers much of the USSR and CPSU programs concerning social programs, education etc quite positive. He criticizes the internationalist and proselytizing aspect and compares it (whether one agrees or not) to the destructive american exceptionalism. But he is not an anticommunist (like e.g. Shirinovsky).

As to Stalin, I disapprove the apologetics. Stalin has merits, certainly. But belittling the murder of 900.000 (not 700.000, the execution lists were correct and are in the archives) members of the CPSU during the Chistka, that was a tremendous bloodletting, and well 99% of the executed were not guilty of any crime. Much worse, they were part of the post revolution elite and administrative structures. Army commanders like Tuchaschevsky were not traitors, but innovative military leaders replaced by dumb stooges like Vorsoshilov and overburdened cavalry generals like Budyonny (whom Stalin, gracefully and prudently, demoted to minister of horse breeding after his catastrophic failures). Stalin is fully responsible for the catastrophic initial phase of the great patriotic war.

As already pointed out by Constantine, Stalin just copied the industrialization program of Preobrashensky, part of the Trotsky faction. It constituted of fast and rigid development of heavy industries, extraction, and military industries, based on a heavy contribution of the agrarian sector, possible by forced collectivization. Bukharin et alii favored a more balanced model, including development of private sector, consumer industries, and SOEs.

Mind that all the papers of the industrialization debate of the 1920s got translated in Chinese and amply discussed there, especially after 1976. The difference between China and the USSR is that dissenters in the CP were not executed en masse, not even in the cultural revolution. All dissenters of Stalin got murdered, Kirov in an assassination Stalin never admitted to, Bukhain in the show trials.

The purges were a deferred death knell to the CPSU, causing obedience and stagnation. They were the starting point of the downfall of the international workers movement, and the loss of communist soft power.

Posted by: aquadraht | Sep 26 2021 23:04 utc | 158

Re Gordog #148: It’s really above my pay grade; but for what little it’s worth, the Soviet Politburo seem to have taken the Tukhachevsky conspiracy seriously (see below) as an existential threat to Soviet existence, where conspirators admitted they would open the front against Germany in event of war, and award Germany the Ukraine and Japan Primorski Krai in exchange for German and Japanese support (see below). A month later the Soviets began a purge of everyone connected to the conspirators Yezhov admitted in his interrogation of Apr. 26, 1939, seemingly without coercion, that he was involved in the conspiracy, used the purge to cover his tracks and overthrow Stalin, and planned to assassinate Stalin and the Soviet leadership at the Nov. 7, 1938 Revolution Day parade.

In 2018 the Russian Government published the transcript of the Tukhachevsky trial, 172 typewritten pages, after sequestering it 80 years.
— Here’s a link the cover page. You can click on the URL within it to pull up the PDF file, which takes a while to upload. http://istmat.info/node/59108 .
— Here’s a link to the PDF file of the transcript itself, which might upload quicker. http://istmat.info/files/uploads/59108/rgaspi_17.171.392_process_tuhachevskogo.pdf .
In it, the defendants confess to most of the accusations, blame others, name names and argue with one another and the judges. It is so long and diverse, that it seems unlikely to have been scripted.

An English translation of the transcript has been published as an appendix to Glover Furr’s most recent tome, “Trotsky and the Military Conspiracy.” As with Furr’s other books, it’s a farrago of academic quarreling, rather than a straight-forward presentation of facts. (The one exception is his book about the Katyn massacre, treated as a whodunit.) Buried within Furr, however are nine accounts related to the Tukhachevsky conspiracy from outside the Soviet Union, which could not have been fabricated (including ones from a Himmler speech, a Goebbels diary entry, and a diary entry of Joseph Davies, the American ambassador to the Soviet Union).

The most damning account in Furr, however, IMHO, is a handwritten Japanese telegram of Apr. 12, 1937, from Arao, aide to the Japanese military attache in Poland (photographed by the NKVD from a Japanese diplomatic pouch passing through the Soviet Union, and translated by a Japanese linguist for the NKVD, who had previously read a series of document written by Aroa, so knew his handwriting). The telegram states that the Japanese Military Attache in Poland had successfully established contact with a secret emissary of Marshal of the Red Army Tukhachevsky. The telegram was dismissed under Khrushchev as a Japanese provocation (without evidence), then not published until after the fall of the Soviet Union. The date of the telegram, shortly before the arrest of Tukhachevsky and his colleagues, suggests it was likely a smoking gun, perhaps the smoking gun, leading to his arrest.

Posted by: Seward | Sep 26 2021 23:37 utc | 159

RE: Posted by: Gordog | Sep 25 2021 23:18 utc | 140

“who has to be the dumbest and most incapable man that ever walked the planet.”

Within the framework of utility, as a function of his dumbness Mr. Gorbachev was most capable in roles of useful foolery – part of the reason that Mr. Andropov aided his “ascension” by convincing others in the Politburo that Mr. Gorbachev had no “blat except with other useful fools” and hence did not pose threats to any faction in the Politburo – whilst understanding that Mr. Gorbachev would likely prove an accelerant in the demise of “The Soviet Union”.

After Mr. Andropov's death when the threats posed by Mr. Gorbachev and his "blat" network became apparent to some factions, they attempted a coup/kidnapping of short duration, thereby proving the validity of Mr. Andropov's view that Mr. Gorbachev would likely prove an accelerant in the demise of "The Soviet Union".

Posted by: MagdaTam | Sep 27 2021 0:05 utc | 160

@Constantine 134
I agree to your assessment of Trotsky. He was in fact marginalized in the CPSU during the later 1920s, and his ideas of a total militarization of the society were as off reality as permanent revolution. In fact he met opposition by "rightists" like Bukharin as well as of "leftists" like Zinovyev and the "centrist" Stalin. Interestsingly, Stalin adopted the trotskyite industrialization programme of Preobrashensky later.

As to the internationalist approach, I beg to differ. China also adopted that until the end of the Mao era, while the USSR dropped it bit earlier.

Posted by: aquadraht | Sep 27 2021 0:26 utc | 161

@159 Seward
The Stalin apologetics are appalling. It is established to which extent the trials of 1936 following were based on torture, faked documents, and coerced confessions. To use them without restraint and shame as "proof" is ludicruos.

The "judicial" murder of Tuchatchevsky was a late revenge of Stalin who had botched the campaign against the Polish aggression of 2021 by failing on the southern flank of the Red Army. Stalin and Budyonny never forgave him for.

Posted by: aquadraht | Sep 27 2021 0:37 utc | 162

@ Posted by: aquadraht | Sep 26 2021 23:04 utc | 158

It is impossible to prove this hypothesis.

In my opinion, this hypothesis is false, mainly for these reasons:

1) 700,000 (or 900,000, for that matter) is not a large number by 19th-early 20th Century standards. The liberals murdered much more and it didn't make any difference in the rise and flourishing of capitalism;

2) The writings of the likes of Trotsky, Bukharin, Preobrazhensky etc. are only impressive nowadays with the benefit of hindsight. In fact, they didn't impress many of the rank-and-file of the VKP(B) at all. They were all telling obvious things for the contemporary. The problem with them was not their opinions, but the fact that they didn't propose practicable solutions. That was the problem: when it came to propose alternatives to Socialism in One Country, they couldn't deliver it - it was either a suicidal world war proposed by Trotsky or a return to colonial capitalism by Bukharin. Those alternatives were, for obvious reasons, not acceptable to the Soviet people;

3) It would be counter-intuitive to tell Stalin sabotaged the USSR by killing the proverbial goose of the golden eggs; if the survival of all of those officers and intellectuals really would made the difference, he would've swallowed his pride and let them live (which he did in other scenarios);

4) To claim the survival of the intellectual class is the decisive factor for the survival of the socialist system goes against Marxist theory itself. It is just another form of idealism (History as the history of ideas and not of class struggle). Everything was discussed collectively in the Politburo, and this habit continued in the post-Stalin era, as we now know because the secret protocols are available in the Russian archives.

Posted by: vk | Sep 27 2021 0:44 utc | 163

RE: Posted by: Seward | Sep 26 2021 23:37 utc | 159

RE : Re Gordog #148:

Publication of documents produced in “The Soviet Union” was not primarily a function of Mr. Mitrokhin's progress in matters of photocopying and subsequent publications by Mr. Andrew.

Others understood and continue to understand the benefits of glasnost as illustrated by:

https://www.rt.com/shows/worlds-apart-oksana-boyko/535830-intelligence-information-dumb-naryshkin/

“It’s really above my pay grade “

Some read the “short course” and some read other documents published in the public domain.

For documents published in the public domain, what is read is not primarily a function of pay grade and/or contingent access, but often of choice, which if challenged often facilitate the “chooser” resorting to coercive practices as default reflex.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Sep 27 2021 0:44 utc | 164

@ joey_n

Overwork is a huge problem in all the East Asian countries, which lead to high suicide rate and low birthrate. Thankfully, the China's CCP is stepping in to fix it for China, at least.

Posted by: Smith | Sep 27 2021 1:23 utc | 165

Seward, thanks for your Tukachevsky info!

This is the nail in the coffin of those who denigrate the Stalin 'apologists.'

Even the loaded term 'apologist' is designed to condemn a priori those who seek historical truth.

The simple fact is that the anti-Stalin indoctrination is difficult to overcome, even for otherwise intelligent individuals.

I know it was for me, until I started traveling regularly to Russia and started hearing from Russians how highly they held him. It didn't add up.

Either the western indoctrination was wrong, or the majority of Russians completely misunderstood their own leader.

This is evident in this discussion. Not one single comment has spoken to my citing of prominent intellectual Alexander Zinoviev, who, despite his dissident credentials, admitted that the people loved Stalin because he lifted up the peasant class.

Every commenter, without exception, has focused, on the 700,000 killed [yes, that is the archival number, and does include all who were executed, including of course common criminals].

This speaks to the completely unbalanced position of such commenters. Every man is a combination of good and bad. I say furthermore that Stalin did what was necessary at that era in history.

There is such a thing as justifiable homicide. A wife that shoots her husband after years of abuse. Not every wife suffers abuse, just as not every country suffers monarchical tyranny as the Russians did.

Posted by: Gordog | Sep 27 2021 1:39 utc | 166

RE: Posted by: Gordog | Sep 27 2021 1:39 utc | 166

“The simple fact is that the anti-Stalin indoctrination is difficult to overcome, even for otherwise intelligent individuals.

I know it was for me, until I started traveling regularly to Russia and started hearing from Russians how highly they held him. It didn't add up.

Either the western indoctrination was wrong, or the majority of Russians completely misunderstood their own leader. “

If you heard from a majority of Russians that would suggest that you heard from a number in excess of 50 million people, which was likely unlikely to achieve due to sore feet by travelling regularly to the Soviet Union, the CIS and the Russian Federation, even if you continued to be bound by binary framing in attempts to simplify the activity.

“ I say furthermore that Stalin did what was necessary at that era in history.”

You can say that you are a crocodile but that does not make you a crocodile.

You can even frame history into eras in the hope of minimising perceptions of interactive processes through time by accepting Mr. Rove's advice/hope that "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you should concentrate on."

Mr. Stalin did not act/choose alone, whilst notions of the great man of history continues to enjoy a vibrant half-life, as you observe and illustrate by “The simple fact is that the anti-Stalin indoctrination is difficult to overcome” as a function of “simplicity”.

“There is such a thing as justifiable homicide.”

In respect of their relatives some of the populations of The Soviet Union, the CIS, and The Russian Federation did not and continue not to agree, which was one of the reasons that some practitioners perceived from at least 1968 onwards that “The Soviet Union” was neither sustainable nor reformable, but transcendable.

This ongoing process of transcendence had/has benefit of the activities of others in various forms including, but not restricted to, the useful foolery of “believers” like Mr. Gorbachev.

Thank you for your contributions.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Sep 27 2021 9:27 utc | 167

RE: Posted by: Gordog | Sep 27 2021 1:39 utc | 166

“This is evident in this discussion. Not one single comment has spoken to my citing of prominent intellectual Alexander Zinoviev, who, despite his dissident credentials, admitted that the people loved Stalin because he lifted up the peasant class. “

Apologies, perhaps my comment quoted below should read “from a number in excess of 50,000,001?

“If you heard from a majority of Russians that would suggest that you heard from a number in excess of 50 million people, which was likely unlikely to achieve due to sore feet by travelling regularly to the Soviet Union, the CIS and the Russian Federation, even if you continued to be bound by binary framing in attempts to simplify the activity. “

However that does not address your apparent belief that validity is determined quantitatively not qualitatively, a notion that opponents attempted to encourage by their “we the people hold these truths to be self-evident” stand-up routines, including that Mr. Stalin was so Clark Kentish “he lifted up the peasant class”.

Thank you for your further confirmation in solidarity with Mr. Gogol that dogs can write letters in facilitation of doggeral,, whilst apparently disregarding Mr. Bulgakov's caution in respect of the difficulties of teaching old dogs new tricks.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Sep 27 2021 13:11 utc | 168

RE: Posted by: aquadraht | Sep 26 2021 23:04 utc | 158

“They were the starting point of the downfall of the international workers movement, and the loss of communist soft power.”

In illuminating trajectories of lateral processes facilitating outcomes, framing from “beginning to end” tends to be the most prevalent weakness.

Hence during the lateral process of restructuring the KGB throughout the 1970 and the 1980's, catalysed in part by the increasing perception of some from 1968 onwards that “The Soviet Union” was neither sustainable nor reformable, but transcendable, - including accomodating “dissidents” in research and publication of the complete works of Marx and Engels under the banner of Progress Publishers - instead of assigning a specific start date for the phenomena quoted above, interactive processes, including but not restricted to, the activities of Narodnaya Volya, the Okhrana and The Russian Social Democratic Party within the time frame between 1881 and 1903 conference adjourned in Amsterdam and re-convened in London, were chosen as an initial working hypothesis.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Sep 27 2021 14:39 utc | 169

On my only trip to Russia in 2014, a group tour to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the Golden Ring in between, when Russians discovered I could speak Russian fairly well (long-ago 12-month full-time Army training. plus an undergraduate major), in all three places ordinary Russians came up to talk to me about Stalin -- in which I had no particular interest. [Once grandfather and grand-daughter at the "Genuine American Hot-Dog kiosk across the bridge from the Church of the Savior in Moscow -- the hot dogs were pretty good.] They all said more more less the same thing, almost like a mantra: "Stalin was undoubtedly a bad man, but he beat the Germans and freed the Church." Evidently the outlook in 2014. Dmitri Orlov in one of his columns said that Russians regard Stalin, the former seminarian, as a clandestine believer. -- His visit to Mother (now St.) Matryona, the blind nun/prophetess, with the Germans at the gates of Moscow, is well known; commemorated with an icon in a St. Petersburg church. She told him Russia would prevail, but at terrible cost. Also that he had the front sprinted with holy water from low-flying aircraft, revealed in 2016, the 75th anniversary, by one of the pilots.

Posted by: Seward | Sep 27 2021 14:40 utc | 170

@232
He didn't say it was eh "greatest Catastrophe"
https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2014/07/30/deadly-quotation-part-1/
https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2014/08/01/deadly-quotation-part-2/

He has said many disparaging things about the communist period: for example quotation at the end of this
https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2020/01/08/twenty-years-later-how-did-putin-do/

Posted by: Patrick Armstrong | Sep 29 2021 15:12 utc | 171

RE: Posted by: vk | Sep 27 2021 0:44 utc | 163

“ It would be counter-intuitive to tell Stalin sabotaged the USSR by killing the proverbial goose of the golden eggs; if the survival of all of those officers and intellectuals really would made the difference, he would've swallowed his pride and let them live (which he did in other scenarios)”

“Intution” is an approximate synonym of “assumption” and/or“belief”, where as “counter-intution” is an approximate synonym of “knowledge” and/or “scientific enquiry”, the reliance upon “approximation” being rendered necessary in the absence of omniscience.

An example of “intution” by some is that ends/purposes justify the means, where as recognition that means condition ends/purposes has become a knowledge perceived by an increasing sum of some through scientific enquiry which is prdeicated on the acceptance of doubt.

“ The writings of the likes of Trotsky, Bukharin, Preobrazhensky etc. are only impressive nowadays with the benefit of hindsight. In fact, they didn't impress many of the rank-and-file of the VKP(B) at all. They were all telling obvious things for the contemporary.  “

The contemporary is a approximate delination/synonym of context.

During the period from 1926 to 1932 the implementers/directors (de facto not de jure) of “Soviet Industrialisation/Agriculture” were largely a mixture of foreigners and “former people” whose expertise had been honed during “Imperial Russia” and subsequent, rendered necessary since neither the authors you cite, nor the rank and file of the VKP(B) had the necessary expertise or experience.

This was attempted to be transcended by the the writers you cite, and the rank and file of the VKP(B) through implementation of parallel processes of “red expert creation” and “repression of foreigners and “former people”.

These means conditioned the ends/(purposes) creating the “Industrial/Agricultural nomenklatura” whom in large part sought to obfuscate their ineptitude corroborated by the levels of productivity achieved, by “importing knowledge” from the “Capitalist world” primarily through books and machinery – not people, and the production of misrepresentations through political blat in conjuction with GOSPLAN and others.

In varying degrees this situation continued from 1928 until 1993 – the productivity of the “Soviet potato” state system from seed to consumption being the worst in the world during the 1980's as established through ongoing studies by MGU and others – whilst many of the narod started to “grow their own” and/or created parallel blat networks.

Another systemic illumination of productivity rates could be attained through the portal of the questions;

How did Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo find the time and opportunities to kill at least 56 people, and how was this represented ?

To experienced practitioners not engaged in misrepresentations, the writers you cite were not and continue not to be deemed “impressive”, whilst the impressions of the rank and file of the VKP(B) were always negotiable.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Sep 29 2021 16:05 utc | 172

Alternatively, the US could decide to refrain from interfering in the elections of other sovereign states.

Posted by: Andrew Mcguiness | Sep 29 2021 18:27 utc | 173

@ Posted by: MagdaTam | Sep 29 2021 16:05 utc | 172

The reading and comprehension capacity in this blog is awful.

Read again what I wrote. I wrote that the people who claim Stalin purged the other members of the VKP(B) and the Red Army was purely for petty political purposes are being counter-intuitive, not Stalin himself.

There was no transcendence in the USSR during the 1920s-1930s. Every Bolshevik - from day 1 of the Revolution - ever knew large scale mechanized collective agriculture was the definitive solution. Every Bolshevik knew industrialization with the highest of the technologies was the definitive solution. Every Bolshevik knew the capitalist imperialist powers were an existential threat that would have to be taken care of eventually. The only disagreement was how to get there - that this disagreement turned out to be bloody is another subject entirely.

Posted by: vk | Sep 29 2021 19:17 utc | 174

RE: Posted by: vk | Sep 29 2021 19:17 utc | 174

“The reading and comprehension capacity in this blog is awful. “

….whilst not everyone shares the same purpose and perception,

as you illustrate relatively consistently and why your “contribution” was used as a coat hanger to broadcast through this portal to a wider audience - the register chosen being informed by those who live in halls of mirrors generally see themselves.

You do not understand the coat hanger which was that contexts facilitate means, whilst means condition/facilitate outcomes.

Hence:

“To experienced practitioners not engaged in misrepresentations, the writers you cite were not and continue not to be deemed “impressive”, whilst the impressions of the rank and file of the VKP(B) were always negotiable. “

given the levels of immersion in dogma of many including yourself, which facilitated and continues to facilitate the ongoing lateral process of the transcendence of “The Soviet Union” and “The United States of America” by “The Russian Federation”.

Thank you for your induced splutterings.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Sep 30 2021 8:04 utc | 175

RE: Posted by: Patrick Armstrong | Sep 29 2021 15:12 utc | 171

“He didn't say it was eh "greatest Catastrophe" “

The opponents have long been engaged in the construction of halls of mirrors, including the pre-mastication of data, in the hope that the audience mostly sees itself, predicated on the misguided belief that the “benefits” of their efforts accrue solely and/or primarily to themselves.

Others immersed in “If only the Papa Czar knew”'s efforts are also predicated on the misguided belief that the “benefits” of the opponents accrue solely and/or primarily to the opponents, and seek to “correct” this by engaging in practices outlined in Mr. Rove's we-are-an-empire routine.

Words are catalysts of connotations and interpretations, the lateral spectra (an oxymoron) of connotations and interpretations are functions of the facilities of those deriving connotations and interpretations,

In lateral process such derivations are functions to some degree of the pedagogic and perceptual tools of the social relations within which they are practiced.

Communication is not limited to reliance on words, whilst purpose can be a catalyst to communicate and the mode/register of how to communicate.

For example if the purpose is to facilitate design, evaluate, implement, and modulate strategies of

“How to drown a drowning man with the minimum of blowback ?” predicated on practices informed by from each according to her/his abilities, to each according to her/his needs,

the immersion of some in beliefs including but not limited to “If only the Papa Czar knew”, or “Is she really going out with him?” or “He said/she said” has utility in minimising blowback through their “opportunity costs”, since tourists in war zones tend not to enjoy continued well-being, or well, being, thereby continuing the opponents' designs that others should continue to be food sources and human shields of the opponents.

Facility conditions productivity, and “translation” is a cloak of “interpretation”.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Sep 30 2021 9:16 utc | 176

RE: Posted by: MagdaTam | Sep 30 2021 8:04 utc | 175

and

RE: Posted by: MagdaTam | Sep 30 2021 9:16 utc | 176

Among the utilities :

https://journal-neo.org/2021/09/29/farm-to-fork-how-the-eu-and-the-davos-cabal-plan-to-control-agriculture/

Posted by: MagdaTam | Sep 30 2021 10:56 utc | 177

trenchant

Posted by: yuri | Sep 30 2021 11:25 utc | 178

as both berdayaev and gadamer note only Persians and Jews produced a historical consciousness or as Dilthey, Schleimacher, Simmel, etc describe it, an aesthetic consciousness...this regards the frequent misinterpretation of Russian history---without a comprehension your own society you cannot comprehend others---amerikans the most peculiar...indded all sociologists write that culture determines perceptions and expectations---many observe the impoverishment of the English language and the more conservative amerikan language---Berdayaev, von Humboldt Heidigger, Gadamer and Wittgenstein--"the limits of your language are the limits of your world"...indeed 2nd generation cognitivists---Lakoff, Borodisky, etc have discredited Chomsky's fatuous universalist theory---his most important book as expected, 'cartesian linguistics'...Nobody pay less attention to philosophy than amerikans however in they practical lives they are natural cartesians--Descartes a shallow empiricist like Hume, Locke, Mill, etc--ontologically a dualist
Johan Gattung describes the amerikan subconscious manichean dualist, barbaric,,,Lakeoff writes amerikans only think in binary terms...this regards the incapacity to comprehend Freud: "I did not understand Freud because I was crippled by Cartesian ontological assumptions". JP Sartre

Posted by: yuri | Sep 30 2021 11:54 utc | 179

berdayaev and gadamer note only Persians and Jews produced a historical consciousness

If the really said that, they're completely wrong.

By far, the largest producers of History in older times were Greece, Rome and China. The Greek and Romans in particular were very keen of History, as they didn't believe (in Rome's case, I'm talking about the Classical Period) in the afterlife, so the only means they had to eternity was through History.

Posted by: vk | Sep 30 2021 13:12 utc | 180

RE: Posted by: vk | Sep 30 2021 13:12 utc | 180

" they're completely wrong. "

Since change is constant and consequently omniscience is never possible, absolutes cannot exist outwith beliefs which are predicated on absolutes including, but not limited to, : "We the people hold these truths to be self-evident......"

Ergo no one can be "completely wrong" whilst all are wrong in some measure, the perception of which is a function of the facilities of the "interpreter", which also applies to:

"Posted by: yuri | Sep 30 2021 11:54 utc | 179" as she/he is likely aware.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Sep 30 2021 14:18 utc | 181

RE: Posted by: yuri | Sep 30 2021 11:54 utc | 179.

“Lakeoff writes amerikans only think in binary terms.

and

RE: RE: Posted by: vk | Sep 30 2021 13:12 utc | 180

“Ergo no one can be "completely wrong" whilst all are wrong in some measure, the perception of which is a function of the facilities of the "interpreter", which also applies to:”

Posted by: MagdaTam | September 30, 2021 at 14:18 utc 181

yuri and Lakeoff, facilitated by the choice of “all” instead of some and/or many, which could be unsucessfully attempted to be accomodated by unconflating the “Amerikans” and the coercive social relations not restricted to a geopolitical construct self-designated as "The United States of America", with Canada lying to the North, and Mexico to the South excepting Alaska and Hawaii, since change was/is a lateral constant whilst its trajectories and velocities are not, (an oxymoron/Gordian knot as a function of facility), in part illuminated by “space/time” of n, subject to Mr. Heisenberg's observations on uncertainty, of which vk appears to be unaware.

Well that's the quarter almost ended/almost spent in the space/time which has already changed - interpret/speculate if so minded.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Sep 30 2021 14:52 utc | 182

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