Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 22, 2021

Putin's Musings On 'Wokeness'

While I mused about 'wokeness' yesterday a smarter and more important man than me discussed it in a wider context. Russia's president Vladimir Putin spoke at the yearly Valdai Discussion Club meeting where he drew parallels between the Bolshevik revolution and what is currently happening in the 'west':

The advocates of so-called ‘social progress’ believe they are introducing humanity to some kind of a new and better consciousness. Godspeed, hoist the flags as we say, go right ahead. The only thing that I want to say now is that their prescriptions are not new at all. It may come as a surprise to some people, but Russia has been there already. After the 1917 revolution, the Bolsheviks, relying on the dogmas of Marx and Engels, also said that they would change existing ways and customs and not just political and economic ones, but the very notion of human morality and the foundations of a healthy society. The destruction of age-old values, religion and relations between people, up to and including the total rejection of family (we had that, too), encouragement to inform on loved ones – all this was proclaimed progress and, by the way, was widely supported around the world back then and was quite fashionable, same as today. By the way, the Bolsheviks were absolutely intolerant of opinions other than theirs.

This, I believe, should call to mind some of what we are witnessing now. Looking at what is happening in a number of Western countries, we are amazed to see the domestic practices, which we, fortunately, have left, I hope, in the distant past. The fight for equality and against discrimination has turned into aggressive dogmatism bordering on absurdity, when the works of the great authors of the past – such as Shakespeare – are no longer taught at schools or universities, because their ideas are believed to be backward. The classics are declared backward and ignorant of the importance of gender or race. In Hollywood memos are distributed about proper storytelling and how many characters of what colour or gender should be in a movie. This is even worse than the agitprop department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Countering acts of racism is a necessary and noble cause, but the new ‘cancel culture’ has turned it into ‘reverse discrimination’ that is, reverse racism. The obsessive emphasis on race is further dividing people, when the real fighters for civil rights dreamed precisely about erasing differences and refusing to divide people by skin colour. I specifically asked my colleagues to find the following quote from Martin Luther King: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by their character.” This is the true value. However, things are turning out differently there. By the way, the absolute majority of Russian people do not think that the colour of a person's skin or their gender is an important matter. Each of us is a human being. This is what matters.

In a number of Western countries, the debate over men’s and women’s rights has turned into a perfect phantasmagoria. Look, beware of going where the Bolsheviks once planned to go – not only communalising chickens, but also communalising women. One more step and you will be there.

Zealots of these new approaches even go so far as to want to abolish these concepts altogether. Anyone who dares mention that men and women actually exist, which is a biological fact, risk being ostracised. “Parent number one” and “parent number two,” “'birthing parent” instead of “mother,” and “human milk” replacing “breastmilk” because it might upset the people who are unsure about their own gender. I repeat, this is nothing new; in the 1920s, the so-called Soviet Kulturtraegers also invented some newspeak believing they were creating a new consciousness and changing values that way. And, as I have already said, they made such a mess it still makes one shudder at times.

Not to mention some truly monstrous things when children are taught from an early age that a boy can easily become a girl and vice versa. That is, the teachers actually impose on them a choice we all supposedly have. They do so while shutting the parents out of the process and forcing the child to make decisions that can upend their entire life. They do not even bother to consult with child psychologists – is a child at this age even capable of making a decision of this kind? Calling a spade a spade, this verges on a crime against humanity, and it is being done in the name and under the banner of progress.

Well, if someone likes this, let them do it. I have already mentioned that, in shaping our approaches, we will be guided by a healthy conservatism. ...

Putin's speech was much longer and touched on many other issue. I recommend to read it in full.

Posted by b on October 22, 2021 at 15:20 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Thanks for the posting b. I kept trying to think of what to add to the last Woke thread but you and others had me beat.

Can we call this a civilization war yet?

Woke is continued obfuscation of social organizational reality.

Woke is a result of patriarchy as it exists in the Western form of social organization no one talks about directly just like none but me talk about the global private finance part of the Western form of social organization.

The West has a barbaric culture at the core because of the top/bottom compete/share dynamics brought on by having a cult of humans control the culture from behind curtains of lies, religion and obfuscation

What Russia and China are doing are showing examples of Build Back Better..../snark

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 22 2021 15:38 utc | 1

Putin is making very similar arguments that our conservatives do. I think, like our conservatives, he's wrong. Worse, he shows his reactionary bonafides by contrasting "woke" ideology with the Bolsheviks, which may be necessary for him politically and propagandistically as the KPRF breathes down his neck, as if the Bolshevik revolution wasn't one of the finest moments in human history altogether.

The immediate legacy of the Bolshevik revolution was the most progressive state to have ever existed, legalizing homosexuality and abortion and enacting women's suffrage, up until Stalin's thermidor; but the progressive aspects of the revolution carried on in the People's Republics which took a far more liberal attitude toward homosexuality and gender non-conformity than any society in prior history (besides stateless, indigenous, societies which were hit or miss on tolerance of deviation). Communist Cuba is one of the only countries where the state will pay for medical gender transition, although the latent conservatism of the Catholic church there has prevented gay marriage from being legalized. Che's errors in jailing homosexuals have been publicly apologized for. Castro's daughter is a leading advocate for LGBT rights. In East Germany, sex in general was liberalized, and the material fact of women's economic independence (everyone, man or woman, would be provided housing and a job by the state) was even reflected in higher numbers of self-reported orgasms among women in East Germany vs West Germany (women could pick any man they wanted, so long as the man was willing to oblige, as women were not economically dependent on a male head of household).

It seems that the legacy of the Bolsheviks and People's Republics would be something worth fighting for, and demonstrates that the goals of working people and those who deviate from conservative cultural mores are not out of line. In fact, deviation from conservative morals has always been most common among the proletariat, and least common among the petty-bourgeoisie. Wilhelm Reich builds a mass psychological theory around this and other facts, which explain the rise of fascism in Germany despite the masses "clamoring for socialism" before 1933.

Posted by: fnord | Oct 22 2021 15:38 utc | 2

Regardless of the content of Putin's views, the ability to string sentences together in such cogent thought is so alien to the performance of "American" politicians who present as either game show hosts, or contestants on Survivor.

On the other hand, while Putin is admirable he is hardly a democrat. Really no one is anymore as the challenge to herd seven billion cats turns elites more and more toward totalitarianism. Putin is comfortable in that skin.

Posted by: gottlieb | Oct 22 2021 15:54 utc | 3

thanks b.. i am going to have to read the full transcript before i comment... i would like to comment on @ fnords post, but have to wait til later...

i am curious to know how our poster vk sees all this...

Posted by: james | Oct 22 2021 15:54 utc | 4

I understand where Putin is going, but his speech is full of mythology about the Bolsheviks.

Note: Putin is clearly talking about the 1917-1929 period, not the Stalinist period (Russians today still have the bad habit of feeding the myth Stalin "corrected" or even eradicated the Bolshevik doctrine, when the reality was the polar opposite: he applied the Bolshevik program to the letter, up to his death).

1) the Bolsheviks were a political party. It's one thing to be a political party and demand democratic centralism, it's another thing when you're just a loose movement that tries to force your worldview over the masses through random and erratic bullying and NGO/Greenpeace-like activism;

2) nowadays we treat Leninism as the most pure, dogmatic form of Marxism, but that's hindsight and anachronism. When the Bolsheviks took power and even before, Lenin's Marxism was considered to be an extremely exotic, Russified (Asiatic), peasant, even bizarre, variant of Marxism, by those who considered themselves to be the legitimate heirs to Marx's thinking - the German Social-Democrats. It certainly couldn't have crossed Marx's mind in the 19th Century a guy like Lenin would be his successor, even though the claim the SPD is the torchbearer of Marxism was always pure mythology;

3) in the context of the Bolsheviks, the idea of re-founding everything - including cultural values - made complete sense, because the Tsarist world simply evaporated with the impacts of WWI. When the Bolsheviks took power, they took it by W.O., there was nothing left to build upon;

4) during the early revolutionary years, everything was discussed and ventilated. To this day, the ideas of women's rights codified by the Soviet is unparalleled even by the most progressive Nordic country. But those extremely revolutionary ideas never got out of the paper. As we know, family - in the cultural sense - was never really abolished in the USSR. We should be very careful when analyzing documents from the 1920s, because most of it never became reality. The idea that the Bolsheviks wanted to "communalize" women, normalize orgies etc. etc. is pure myth - Lenin himself disapproved those ideas as far too distant to the realities of the time. The accusation of some group or culture of promoting orgies and abolishing the family is a common Christian propaganda throughout the centuries which they inherited from the Romans (who themselves accused the Christians of promoting orgies and mass human sacrifices when they were still pagan), and should not be taken seriously;

5) there was intense competition and freedom of artistic manifestation during the 1920s, specially in literature. The USSR was the most advanced nation in the arts during the 1920s. It was only after Stalin that the State took arts under its economic planning. Putin is, therefore, committing an anachronism;

6) context is everything. The Bolsheviks were a political party with a long-term plan. They followed that plan. Whatever happened in the cultural front may or may not have been simply collateral effect of the main goal, which was the economy (industrialization). We should separate what was part of the plan from what was simply a side effect of the implementation of the plan. Many culture/art historians - specially beginners - have difficulty in articulating the interaction between the two. The present-day woke left is completely different from the Bolsheviks for many reasons, the main one being that the Woke don't have a plan: they just do their bullying to try to preserve the supremacy of the American Empire at all costs;

7) it is a simply attestation of the facts that the Woke Left not only is not a descendant of the Bolsheviks, but is also anti-Bolshevik, in the sense they're anti-Marxist and anti-communist. They're clearly a symptom of the logical development of Liberalism. It is normal for Western peoples (and the present-day Russians are a Western people in the ideological and cultural sense) to rationalize that decay and decline can only happen to Communists, but the fact is it does happen to everyone. The Bolsheviks didn't patent the symptoms of decline, we should separate the theory from the contradictions of society. I think the matter is that capitalism has been dominant for so long that non-revolutionary people simply cannot imagine that it is just another period in human history, but that's the objective reality;

8) the West in general - and the USA in particular - is as close (if not closer) to being a neofascist (alt-right; far-right) dystopia as it is from being a woke dystopia; the argument that the only existential threat for the West only comes from the left side of the political spectrum simply goes against empirical evidence;

9) the economic achievements of the USSR put the economic achievements of the Russian Federation to shame, so I think Putin should be a little bit more humble before shitting on people that are orders of magnitude greater than him (100 years from now, nobody will remember who Putin was). Even the military toys Russia has nowadays it only has because of the Bolsheviks, so a little bit of gratitude would also be very welcome (being a conservative, Putin should know about being a gentleman - but I think conservatives don't treat communists as human beings).

Posted by: vk | Oct 22 2021 16:00 utc | 5

this is why there are so many countries - luckily - who resist being assimilated into the west. they usually dislike the crass capitalism and homogeneity but what they truly loathe is the stinking dogpile of western "culture". whether it's a devout muslim who doesn't want his daughter wearing see-through yoga pants to school or a russian family who want to avoid their child's school assigning the kid new "pronouns" and firing teachers who "dead name" or refuse to call a single person "them", it's not an attractive lifestyle.

while i hate to say anything that sounds even slightly similar to jordan peterson's ramblings, one factor that spared russia, china and other "non-blob" cultures is lack of exposure to "post-modernism" and the opaque wall of academic newspeak that arrived with it (see: judith butler, "critical race theory", etc.). a "philosophy" that says everything is subjective is especially dodgy when mixed with a populace that already lives in a fantasy world. add in an unhealthy obsession with one's sexuality and the sexuality of others and you're left with a powder keg of stupid pronouns and middle-aged men "identifying" as toddlers.

Posted by: the pair | Oct 22 2021 16:09 utc | 6

Putin said it better than I could and my hat is off to the man.

Look at the demented fool that was installed in the White House by the woke globalists who are busy destroying what was left of the US. And after all, who needs the Constitution and Bill of Rights and Shakespeare and classics and science, after all, it is all racist! We need transvestite admirals and teachers instructing our youth, drag queen shows at libraries, sex change operations for 12 year olds, rapes in the girl's bathroom committed by boys in drag. Oh, did you say the word "gun"! How dangerous, you are kicked out of school! Your domestic terrorist parents threatened the school board? Call the FBI!!

If you think most people in the Red States haven't had enough of this bullshit, you don't live here.

Posted by: Perimetr | Oct 22 2021 16:37 utc | 7

@ psycho

Careful, friend. You take what you want to hear from Putin without reading all the way through.

"We will continue to be guided by a healthy conservatism."

When you use words like "patriarchy" as a pejorative, for all intents and purposes, you are playing right into their hands of a scrambling, a deconstruction, of the efforts to maintain this healthy conservatism. And while I will sometimes defend the exemplar of deconstruction, Jacques Derrida, I know that movements get hijacked, they get twisted, and then employed in the "care" of those with big ideas about how to organize man.

Face the facts: for millenia, man has been the physical, woman has been the emotional. Man has run the show, woman has run the family. And on, and on, and on.

Look at the ascending powers in the world today: Russia and China. Do you see any strong women in the cabinets surrounding their Presidents?

They are all about Patriarchy. A Patriarchy that has weathered a great storm and knows that it must speak softly and yet carry a big stick.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Oct 22 2021 17:03 utc | 8

I’m going to paraphrase this, since this quote was said during the 50’s and could not find the person who said it. “In the future the Soviet Union will become like the United States and the United States will become like the Soviet Union.” Sound very on the mark for me.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Oct 22 2021 17:06 utc | 9

@ NemesisCalling | Oct 22 2021 17:03 utc | 8 who didn't like my cast of patriarchy

I see patriarchy as another monotheistic religion like your Catholic one. You and your ilk think they know the way and I call BS

Humanity knows a little bit about less than 5% of the Cosmos we live in but the monotheists can and will tell you how things should be.....fie! The exceptionalist humans need to have their ass handed to them by Gaia and learn a shit load of humility.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 22 2021 17:15 utc | 10

I have enjoyed this discussion and it has given me a lot to think about.
My sister who worked for Biden years ago came to do a road trip with me recently, for me there was always a concern that we would get in a massive political argument as I am a radical. I no longer associate with a party so liberal and conservative don’t seem to have the same meaning. So, my sister has had an awakening thanks to her daughter and some re-education.
So as we are driving along she asked me what I thought about all this woke stuff! My only comment was I do not want to know at any meeting social gatherings ,or any gathering who you or anyone else is sleeping with. Mr and MRS and Miss are no longer used why should I start a meeting letting everyone know I am doing it with a guy. Or what i have under my clothing It is no one business.
I went on to explain that I had joined extinction rebellion and watched it totally destroy itself in the US over this issue, and the fact that it had to focus on people of color native rights before ever doing anything on the environment. when we would point out that there were great groups dealing with these issues that we should let them do that and we should do our environmental work, we were shut down. This has happened to all the environmental groups now. Now I see woke as corporate interference and American stupidity for falling for it. We are foolish people who never realize we are being played. You know when the CIA is advertising on Twitter with a woke message this whole BS is being pushed by the oligarchs and the so called left is dumber then dirt

Posted by: Susan | Oct 22 2021 17:19 utc | 11

Interesting stuff! It may seem that Putin's speechwriters watched Chapelle's stand-up.

What is remarkable to me is the power of tribalism and power of words in the cultures of the planet. What does Vlad mean regarding "conservatism"? Who is a "progressive"? I am very leery of anyone in power flinging around such labels as similar to Dave Chapelle, they are to me very powerful and are used intentionally to divide and conquer.

Posted by: Michael | Oct 22 2021 17:21 utc | 12

If Putin were American he would be a Republican, the alignment between his views and "moderate" Republicanism is quite close; he is a nationalist, respectful of the oligarchs up to a point, has a small government, balanced budgets, loves the military, loves the church, practices "soft" bigotry against gays etc., loves free markets, traditional monetary policies, hates wokeness. Even the resource based Russian economy more closely resembles the US South.

His only problem is that he won't let US elites subjugate his nation and extract super-profits as they take over all the most important industries and install their comprador quislings.

Very good summary vk, yes wokeness is a natural extension of liberalism and "progressives"; nothing to do with Marxism. Communism is the standard go to epithet for anything deemed bad by the US right, in the same way that the US liberals use Autocrat/Authoritarian. I agree with Wolin on the US, inverted totalitarianism - an elite project with a politically numbed population.

Posted by: Roger | Oct 22 2021 17:22 utc | 13

Oriental Voice @ 126 last thread

Ambassadors' main job is supposedly to cultivate goodwill between the nations sent to and one's own country. This is like recruiting a cat-call madman to induce a fight with China, not to build relationship. Grossly comical and silly.

<= Article II (the executive department consist of but two elected people)
Section 2 (paragraph 2).. "and the President shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors..

Please quote the reference that says the main job of an Ambassador is to cultivate goodwill between the nations..? Those few Ambassadors i have talked with <=suggest their job involves coordinating the private economic interest from the domestic nation basically businesses trying to do business under domestic country rules inside of the invaded foreign political space. One called the position of the Ambassador " General over the monopoly powers doing business inside the foreign space.."

rjb1.5 @ 130

Jared @ 132 <= last thread Agree, virus was engineered, released by private party actors, and used to bail-out the owners, state and local governments and others .. this is the true meaning of the public private partnership attempting to maintain its physical and digital dominance over the public.. <= but your comments failed to explain the governments are passive, they have no life, cannot act, and are in fact nothing more that organizational structures. What matters is control the functions that operate within these nation state structures are one sided.. a few outside vultures control the world by and thru these 256 nation state structures.

Thanks b.. it is a privilege to be allowed to read Putin's words. On nearly every point Putin and I generally agree..

Putin's point that upheaval has produced a crisis that touches on every part of the human security: Individual, Values and the State and his point that the crisis must not allow opportunities to be missed..are well received..

but I do not agree sovereign states will effectively respond to the challenges of the times and be able to meet the demands of the citizens. The states are no longer in charge of their political systems, others higher up, more wealthy than the states themselves, are in charge of the nation states. It is often not in the interest of the higher ups (the Oligarch and their monopoly endowed corporations) to cooperate with anyone or to allow anyone governed by the oligarch controlled nation state to corporate with any outsider.

Social condition is no longer produced from the history of the culture of the nation state in which people are en-prisoned. Instead, social condition has become an invention of digital platform narrative controlled discourse. Digital platforms were invented by and are operated by wealth extracting outsiders. The nation state has become a weapon used by the Oligarch and their monopoly powered corporations to impose Oligarch-will on those the nation state governs.

Each class of mind control content involves a set of elements..Putin addresses those elements.

<=inversion.<=protected space\ interest< infringe <=propaganda <= distribute to target audience.
What is interesting is the claim that Russia has already experienced the change that modern society is being forced to adopt, and Russia has proven those directions do not work.

Posted by: snake | Oct 22 2021 17:23 utc | 14

@ psycho

I just wanted you to keep in mind that Russia's resurgence is no doubt thanks to two things: Putin and Orthodox Christianity.

While I agree that the Catholic Church has been infiltrated by wicked forces, it doesn't mean that I will ever abandon it. But we must move past the idea that patriarchy is intrinsically bad. Rather, it is only bad because those that would tell you it is fail to mention one key aspect of these conservative means of natural organization: we cherish and value women in all of their womanness. They are all equal to men in our eyes in that their soul encounters the logos just as human man does. But it is only in the fact that we are "thrown" into life without much choice as to how we are born do we need to seek out how best to live. And we are to live best by understanding this "thrownness" as a blessing that is first of all limiting.

Remember, conservatism is by definition a limiting force. There are boundaries that have been interrogated and investigated and pondered on for millenia. We have old thinkers in the church and philosophy that the globalists are trying to erase from memory. But conservatism has an intrinsic custodial nature where we value the thought upon which our paradigm has been maintained over the millenia.

So what do these weasels hate most of all? These globalists that wish to rewrite man's nature? They hate limits.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Oct 22 2021 17:30 utc | 15

IMO, Putin missed an opportunity to tie the Cancel Culture to the attempts to rewrite WW2 and other eras of history along with the pulling down and desecration of monuments that began during Obama's reign. Yes, the transcript's not yet complete, and in a very long answer related to Ukraine, Putin does touch on it within that context. I also think his remarks must be added to what he previously said about Liberalism's demise during his interview with the Financial Times two or so years ago.

As for the slander that Putin doesn't know what actually occurred during the Bolshevik takeover, we can see it's practicing its own version of wokeness. As I recall, Hollywood made several parodies of genderless Communism that were quite mythical; but we should all know that myths are always founded on something factual.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2021 17:33 utc | 16

Is this Putin’s last ditch attempt to tie the Liberal “left” to the KPRF, seeing that there is now a resurgence of socialism in Russia and a yearning for the old Soviet Union amongst the general population?

I’m sorry but this is pure propaganda, because I think Putin knows the history of USSR better than anyone else. How on earth can you even tie Western Liberalism (who are not even the Left) to the Bolsheviks is beyond me. If anything, Western liberals have been explicitly anti-Marxist with their identity politics that are antithetical to class analysis.

Again I’m sorry but this won’t work, because the material conditions of neoliberal Russia have now developed to the point where there is no other way but the imminent failure of neoliberalism. There is only two paths forward: Socialism or Barbarism (aka Fascism).

Posted by: prism | Oct 22 2021 17:33 utc | 17

@Posted by: Susan | Oct 22 2021 17:19 utc | 11

So true, in Canada the NDP (soft-left) and the Green Party (environmental "big tent") have both completely lost the plot as they continuously trip over such stuff. The Greens just ousted their black/female/jewish zionist leader that halved their electoral vote (and came fourth in her own riding), so we will see what comes of that. I was also in, and again far too much time spent on stuff not core to the mission.

It is substantially driven by corporate/foundation interference, just look at the background of the German Green leader (WEF coaching and the Foundation/NGO-complex) as well as the now ex-leader of the Greens (Foundation/NGO-complex). Such a background needs to be considered as disqualifying for leadership of environmental and progressive movements.

A lot of these movements remind me of the Progressive Movement of the early twentieth century in the US that ended up as a very middle-class based movement that sought to make a "nicer" capitalism while not challenging the fundamental tenets of the system that produced the problems. The impact was extremely mild, and many of the legal reforms were worked around by corporations and their state/legal system functionaries. Significant change only came during the 1930s depression that directly threatened the legitimacy of capitalism, and that was quite short-lived (e.g. the proper legal support for unions lasting from only 1935 to 1947).

A funny point, Gail Bradbrook, one of the founders of Extinction Rebellion "In 2016, she went on a psychedelic retreat to Costa Rica, "where she took ayahuasca, iboga and kambo, in search of some clarity in her work.”(from wikipedia entry). This is so progressive middle class! I spent some time at a progressive college in the UK and it was full of such "finding/fixing oneself and being one with the world" and "understanding indigenous worldviews" for a 15,000 British Pound fee, rather than forcing through any relationship change.

Posted by: Roger | Oct 22 2021 17:45 utc | 18

"Real change" not "relationship change". And the ex-leader fo the Greens, I meant the ex-leader of the Canadian Greens.

Posted by: Roger | Oct 22 2021 17:48 utc | 19

The 'wokesters' will rage about the phrase "call a spade a spade" as being racist.

Posted by: par4 | Oct 22 2021 18:02 utc | 20

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2021 17:33 utc | 16

Even if your argument were valid (it is not: his line of argument indeed is pure mythology), it wouldn't change the irony of the fact that accusing the Woke of being Bolshevik (or vice-versa, which would, on top of that, be an anachronism) is as hysterical as the Woke calling the modern-day conservatives Nazis.

On top of that irony, there's another irony: by making Lenin responsible for events that happened almost a hundred years after his death is a recognition of his historical greatness, not of his irrelevance. Analogously, the fact that the American elites still look under their beds for Marx is a recognition of his greatness.

But my constructive critique of Putin remains the same: the Russian Federation is a country that was already born into very fragile and precarious situation. If a revolution happens in it, it will be a color revolution, not a real revolution, therefore it would indeed be very bad. He is, therefore, doing what he needs to do to make the Russian Federation a stagnant (conservative) paradise, because the alternative would be balkanization and destruction in the hands of the USA. In this conjecture, everything goes: exaltation of the Orthodox Church, conservative propaganda, etc. etc.

Posted by: vk | Oct 22 2021 18:04 utc | 21

I guess there is a reason that Russians fail to pass the message through; when you have no self respect how can others respect you? Putin is spitting on his own people, then equating the USSR with the neoliberal globalist empire (i.e. a fascist regime with a liberal mask) and literally pushing Anglo-American propaganda.

The verbal manure about the Bolsheviks is downright shocking to listen not just because there are no grounds for criticism (there are plenty in fact), but because there were numerous achievements worthy of immense praise. Putin is gloating about the progressive, anti-racist attitude of modern Russians, while pissing on those who created this very attitude. Conveniently, he ignores that the wondrous pre-revolutionary period included abundant chauvinism, pogroms and open denigration of non-Russian nationalities (by far, my favorite case is the treatment of the Finns by the last Tsar).

A good example is the contrast of the Kirgiz in WWI with the Buryats of WWII. The former revolted in 1916, when the moribund Russian empire tried to recruit them in numbers to make up for the losses in the front. The rebellion (essentially an anti-colonial in nature) was bloodily supressed, although it was certainly not a genocide as it has been promoted recently. The Buryats, on the other hand, had grievous losses as a nationality, among the highest in percentage when compared with other ethnic groups, including the Russians. The reason is that they fought not for a colonial empire, but for "the common homeland", as Putin so aften puts it. Well, the reason for this difference in attitudes is the policy of those very Bolsheviks Putin denigrates.

I guess that is why Lukashenko stands more resolute and based. While he has abandoned the more regressive policies of the Soviet era, he maintained the positive aspects and kept Belarus out of the horrors that struck Russia (and most of the former eastern bloc ofr that matter). And totally unlike Putin, he doesn't mock the Soviet achievements. That's what self-respect is.

Putin on the other hand, literally denigrates Russia's past and praises Boris Yeltsin, a walking cancer that ruined and degraded Russia on a supernatural scale. And while he recognizes the achievements of China, he completely ignores that the rulers of this emerging superpower were literally guided and backed by the very Russian socialists that VVP is trying to humiliate.

The irony is exactly the point I made above: Putin is making an effort to prove that the Anglo-Americans are doing exactly what the hated USSR did: promote their ideals. He missed, apparently, the fact that these ideals are trashed whenever convenient (Bosonaro's Brazil, Saudi Arabia & Co) and pushed when they can be used as a battering ram against targeted countries. Which, coincidentally, almost always includes leftist governments that were inspired to a great extent by the Soviets.

Posted by: Constantine | Oct 22 2021 18:04 utc | 22

@ by Roger
Thanks Roger, this is really funny about the X-R leader and so true of western do gooders, the do good is usually self help with loads of money. The people who really do good work do it. Carter is actually a great example of this although a weak president he has gone on to work on housing in his quiet way, so different then mr I am sailing off on a yacht with by rich friends then throwing a birthday party for myself with my oligarch besties!

Posted by: Susan | Oct 22 2021 18:11 utc | 23

I'm a long-time member of the LGBTQ+ community. Let me start by saying that while I greatly admire President Putin, he's off base here confusing biology with gender. First, biology as determined by genetics is not the same as gender and gender relationships, which are culturally determined. This distinction has been ignored for centuries by conservatives (like Putin, sad to say), and most patriarchal Western religions, giving rise to hate mongering, repression, and violence which continues to this day, driven mostly by "leaders" as most of the population could care less, as b points out.

In contrast, many indigenous cultures not so afflicted by patriarchy accept non-conforming individuals as a normal part of their society and treat them with respect.

Putin's statement that "children are taught from an early age that a boy can easily become a girl and vice versa" is nonsense. Nothing of the kind is taught in primary schools in my quite progressive part of the country. Quite the opposite is true, any child demonstrating non-conformance with gender stereotypes comes under intense pressure from practically everyone around them to conform.

The pressure used to be the same for adults like myself, but in Oregon we've mostly gotten rid of "healthy" conservative politicians and their intrusive and repressive laws. That said, there are still many "red" counties where it is not safe to be openly LGBTQ+. Anyway, the really good news is that while the battle for recognition and equal rights is far from over, young people get it, and as the old "healthy" conservatives die off things will continue to change for the better.

Nothing about defying conservative stereotypes is ever easy, witness the struggles of people of color, women, and gays. Beyond resistance to their rigid views, what really bothers patriarchal conservatives is a supposed threat posed by the tiny LGBTQ+ community to their diminishing capacity to reproduce.

Problems with human reproduction in form of low sperm counts, PFAs in breast milk, lead, (just to name a few) have arisen from chemical pollution (better living through chemistry?) in the water, the air, and in the soil, a situation brought to us in large part by "healthy" conservatives colluding with neo-liberals in driving forward neo-capitalism that is literally devouring the planet. Sad to say, Russia is as much complicit in this situation as any other country.

My last comment on "woke" culture, is that this is some nonsense invented by the main sewer media as just another divisive tool designed to distract folks from the very real problems we face. Nothing new here, move along please.

Posted by: Trisha | Oct 22 2021 18:14 utc | 24

Reading Putin’s speech it is clear that he knows what comes next for the US.

People always say “why doesn’t Putin act more forcefully?” He doesn’t need to. They’re self destructing and he just needs to bide his time.

As Magda Tam stated before “how do you drown a drowning man with a minimum of blowback?”

Posted by: Down South | Oct 22 2021 18:22 utc | 25

Posted by: fnord | Oct 22 2021 15:38 utc | 2

It seems that you have created your own version of history regarding the socialist movements and society in general. It is an absolutely verified fact that almost all successful socialist revolutionaries respected the fundamentally socially conservative classesof the workers and the farmers. Russia is no exception and there was a reason why the Bolsheviks began to balance or abandon the more radical aspirations of certain members. And no, this process started early on and it wasn't one more chicanery by Comrade Stalin.

But the best example is that the most successful and popular socialist before and during the 1905 revolution was a priest. Socialist activists were not remotely as prominent in organizing the Russian labour as Fr Grigori Gapon.

Your assertion that the working class is the most liberal in social mores is so wrong that it defies reality. The problem is that this utterly baseless approach which conflates workers and farmers with middle class liberals has been adopted by theLeft in the EU and in north America, which explains why it has morphed into a gender-fluid political parody. The contrast with the leftists elsewhere (you know, people who have actually achieved something for their communities) is staggering and it is absolutely no coincidence that these issues are used to attack said socialists. Nicaragua is the most prominent example.

It's not that I support ultra-conservative attitudes; very far from it. After all, the latter played an important role in the creation of an inferiority complex in the eastern bloc under the liberal offensive in the 80s. But the "woke", nihilistic mantra is a reactionary tool at the hands of the neoliberal priesthood that applies it as a weapon against any actual leftists without exception.

Posted by: Constantine | Oct 22 2021 18:23 utc | 26

"Why Putin's 'Conservatism of Optimists' Approach Resonating With Traditionalists in US and EU". Some might learn a few things from this article.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2021 18:54 utc | 27

Posted by: Susan | Oct 22 2021 17:19 utc | 11

Oh how trenchant! Thank you, Susan!

I had remarked to my wife just last evening, in regards to the blow-up around Dave Chappelle's recent show (have not seen it, but I like him), that it's wokeness run amuck, that's its all about The Powers That Be hypercharging it for the the age-old strategy of divide and conquer. All these "woke" people are missing that there can be NO real acceptance as long as the society is operating as an imperial sledgehammer killing folks, mostly of "color," all around the globe. Such foreign actions are imbedded in the soul of the nation: asking a murderous society to threat minorities better, and expecting this reality to unfold, is insanity.

There's a lot underfoot. Read this (contains an angle on why all this wokeness might be happening- creating groups of those "in" and those "not in"), especially the last part of it where Giorgio Agamben comments:

Posted by: Seer | Oct 22 2021 19:00 utc | 28

@Constantine | Oct 22 2021 18:23 utc | 26

To add some bits to your commentary on fnord:

There is a strong reactionary undercurrent in all classes, including the so called "proletariat". The lower classes are less prone to obfuscate this with byzantine rationalizations than the higher classes.

The pseudo-concept "Conservatism" is the rationalization of choice for the upper-middle classes to apply to their particular reactionary tendencies.

Wilhelm Reich had some interesting ideas expressed in the earlier editions of "Character Analysis", but he should certainly not be read uncritically. Whereas he attempts to analyse the inner psychoemotional dynamics of the reactionary mindset, he still falls victim to many such tendencies himself. He was e.g. a wife slapper and child beater himself. He was clearly confused about the distinction between intimacy, affection and sexuality. He also initially bought into Sigmund Fraud's cult.

Oh, did I mention yet that Reich called the Bolsheviks the "red fascists" (as opposed to the brown or black fascists.)

Posted by: Lurk | Oct 22 2021 19:04 utc | 29

The communist movements in Russia, China, Cuba, etc. came from those seeking to unite and liberate the 99% from the control of entrenched plutocratic establishment systems.

Today's woke movement emanating from the US seems to come top-down from the plutocratic establishment as yet another way to divide-and-weaken the 99%, to distract and keep them busy with all kinds of red herring divisions, while the 1% gets even more obscenely powerful and rich.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Oct 22 2021 19:10 utc | 30

Read the whole thing before criticizing Putin:

As for me, like the overwhelming majority of people of my generation, I faced the problems of that period, but I also remember its positive features that should not be forgotten. Being from a family of workers, yours truly graduated from Leningrad State University. This is something, right? At that time, education played the role of a real social lift. On the whole, the egalitarian approach was very widespread and we encountered its negative impact, such as income levelling and a related attitude to work, but a lot of people still used the preferences of social lifts I mentioned. Maybe, it was simply the legacy of past generations or even cultivated in the Soviet Union to some extent. This is also important.

I watched it live and by the third hour I was exhausted by only watching, never mind this guy answering to any question and at the end of the event even choosing them since the host was kind of tired too.

The parallels are understood and the Soviets in spite of their enormous historical significance are not free of mistakes, life is not black and white and for sure Putin is aware that he managed to pull Russia from the abyss thanks to the Soviet inheritance, otherwise we would have a plethora of balkan style mini states all ruined and fighting among themselves.

I only wish that beyond right or left, liberal or conservative we in the west would have bright, efficient and hard working politicians like Putin

Posted by: Paco | Oct 22 2021 19:16 utc | 31

Posted by: Paco | Oct 22 2021 19:16 utc | 31

There are plenty of issues deserving criticism in the USSR and the entire eastern bloc, no doubt about that and there is no need for servile eulogies. There are also numerous achievements by Vladimir Putin worthy of praise and anyone who has some respect for the people of the Russian Federation must acknowledge.

However, in a similar fashion Putin himself is not immune from criticism. His acknowledgement of Soviet successes is just minimalist in comparison with the nonstop dissing of the era. Further, this denigrating approach almost always based on fallacies and complexes, as can be expected by an individual who calls himself a Russian patriot and then praises Boris Yeltsin.

The point here is that Putin adopts the arguments of actual Russophobes, WWII revisionists and anti-socialists who hate his own policies just to score points with I don't know who. It would be contemptible if it worked as a tactic, but it becomes downright retarded and offensive when he goes spitting nonstop on the Soviet era and still gets the extremely negative coverage along with Russia.

The top mental gymnastic are those required in order to treat the Soviet contribution with respect while treating the USSR as an absolute abnormality and monstrosity. That would be the first country organized on the principle of non-discrimination and opposition to colonialism, the first government that would not treat bankers and industrialists as godlike beings. No wonder that Stalin's reputation has rebounded in Russia as most simply cannot follow this sort of mental hyper-flexibility.

Posted by: Constantine | Oct 22 2021 19:35 utc | 32

Posted by: Trisha | Oct 22 2021 18:14 utc | 24

LGBT is far bigger thing in western countries than in non-western countries. Actually the whole identity politics is bigger in western countries than in non-western countries. You should ask yourself why.

Posted by: Passer by | Oct 22 2021 20:29 utc | 33

In my part of the world we have a saying about these "self chosen identities".

When i say i believe that i'm an extraterrestrial from the planet Mars and not a human, or that i'm Napoleon reborn, does this make me an extraterrestrial from Mars or Napoleon and people/state should call me that way? No. It makes me mentally ill.

Posted by: Passer by | Oct 22 2021 20:38 utc | 34

I find that it's perfectly reasonable to criticize methods while praising the results that they've achieved. Or, to criticize inflexible thinking while praising the core idea espoused. It's surprising to read that several people came away with the impression that Putin was somehow disrespecting the USSR.

Posted by: Skiffer | Oct 22 2021 20:46 utc | 35

Vk @5 and 21:

"The Bolsheviks were a long-term party with a long-term plan...They followed that plan...whatever happened at the cultural front may or may not have be simply a collateral affect of the main goal..."

I would argue, in the broadest sense, that Marxism itself, in all of its forms, was possibly the last great institutional example in Western history of credal elites, which attempted to practice what it preached and intended not to preach everything.

In this sense Marxism, from a sociological perspective, was a conservative movement culturally, as tends to be true of all doctrinal movements.

It may well be the case that the development of Marxism may turn out to be the historical end of the road in western culture--with all future elites (in the West) likely to be anti-credal.

Posted by: Gulag | Oct 22 2021 20:48 utc | 36

Posted by: Constantine | Oct 22 2021 18:23 utc | 26

Whe West replaced the poor-wealthy paradigm with conservative-liberal paradigm to save its moneyed elites. As elites are usually more liberal than the masses, and thus they magically become more "progressive".

Posted by: Passer by | Oct 22 2021 20:51 utc | 37

Posted by: vk | Oct 22 2021 16:00 utc | 5

Bravo. Your post is an excellent example of why history must always be the standpoint of critique. Putin's thoughts, while infinitely more articulate and reflective than any bon mots dribbling from the mouths of senile 'leadership' in the west, are still the sly and tendentious oversimplifications that are the mark of the career politician. b ought to repost your comment as the main article as he has done before with an inferior and less articulate commenter.

Posted by: Patroklos | Oct 22 2021 20:58 utc | 38

Posted by: gottlieb | Oct 22 2021 15:54 utc | 3:

On the other hand, while Putin is admirable he is hardly a democrat.

Are you insinuating that someone "admirable" must necessarily also be "a democrat"? Bwahahahaha! What makes you think a democrat is an admirable? My view is that democrats are the most naive dumbasses of today's world. I don't mean democrats of the American Democratic Party; I mean democrats who believes democratic means of governance is superior governance.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Oct 22 2021 21:05 utc | 39

@ Posted by: Gulag | Oct 22 2021 20:48 utc | 36

Depends on what you mean by "Marxism":

1) Marx the philosopher is eternal. His theory is scientifically true and will be as valid two thousand years from now as it was during his lifetime. He's the greatest philosopher of all time, and his name is in the pantheon of Humanity's great thinkers, both Eastern and Western; however, the term "Marxism" is not always used to refer to Marx's opus in the West;

2) Marxism in History is the last of the so-called "classical" thinkers. Long story short, Marx is the last of the movement that started with French Enlightenment. In this sense, you could argue it's the last of Western Civilization at its apex in the "humanities" area (the STEM area and medicine continued to progress).


@ Posted by: Skiffer | Oct 22 2021 20:46 utc | 35

It's okay to criticize and manifest one's opinion on some history. But every opinion and analysis must start with the truth. Without the truth, all analysis and opinions are imaginary - we would be no different than crazy people in mental hospitals.

Things that Putin states on the Bolshevik era pre-Stalin are objective lies. They can be demonstrated through evidence. They result in an absurd conclusion/moral lesson: that the USA is under the risk of falling to a Bolshevik Revolution. That is a false dichotomy, as there's absolutely zero chance the Woke movement will ever take power in the USA, while the Bolsheviks were true world history actors, a real threat to capitalism.

In doing this absurd comparison, Putin commits the same logical fallacy as Adorno in the 1950s, when, in order to demean the so-called communist "utopia", he contrasted it with the extinction of Humanity, i.e. he compared an imaginary danger with a very real danger (MAD was already achieved when he published it).

Posted by: vk | Oct 22 2021 21:09 utc | 40

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Oct 22 2021 17:03 utc | 8

Your caveats are well-made and caution against Putin's clever manipulation. It is the mark of the tyrant to claim to speak from a position of neutral and transhistorical wisdom. But the paternalism and tut-tutting mark him out as a (not so) benevolent apologist for a potentially reactionary conservatism. One can't cure wokeism by counter-wokeism; only by abandoning identity altogether and understanding the real situation of human relationships (i.e., class) do we emancipate ourselves.

Posted by: Patroklos | Oct 22 2021 21:10 utc | 41

Posted by: snake | Oct 22 2021 17:23 utc | 14:

This is kind of off topic here, but you asked, I feel compelled to answer. No, I did not read any documents saying the main job of an Ambassador is to cultivate goodwill between the nations..? Maybe there are such documents, maybe not. I don't really give a damn whether this is coded in official protocols, but I have heard many, many ambassadors profusely insist that their job are to cultivate goodwill between the nation they represent and the nation they are being sent to. I mean, many many many. I believe if you dig into your memory you would remember hearing such silly manifestations too. I personally thinks this makes sense. If ambassadors are not there to promote friendly relationships, what are they there for???

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Oct 22 2021 21:19 utc | 42

As someone who distinguishes gender from biological sex, surely you've noticed that trans ideology reverses the relation between the two that second wave feminism established. Whereas sex used to be fixed but only a point of departure for gender variability (different forms of femininity or masculinity), trans ideology tries to make gender identification fixed and absolute, but sex mutable. The result is a retrograde promotion of gender stereotypes as the basis of "identity" (whatever that is), which contrasts utterly with second wave feminism's righteous critique of those stereotypes. Then there is the trans campaign against sex-segregated spaces that have been accommodations crucial to women's participation in public life. If you're not on team TERF, you're not paying attention.

Posted by: Went | Oct 22 2021 21:20 utc | 43

Posted by: vk | Oct 22 2021 21:09 utc | 40

2) Marxism in History is the last of the so-called "classical" thinkers. Long story short, Marx is the last of the movement that started with French Enlightenment. In this sense, you could argue it's the last of Western Civilization at its apex in the "humanities" area (the STEM area and medicine continued to progress).

Yep. I would add only that "Marx the Philosopher" is primarily the young Marx (1843-8).

Posted by: Patroklos | Oct 22 2021 21:25 utc | 44

Posted by: vk | Oct 22 2021 21:09 utc | 40

In what work did Adorno make that assertion?

Posted by: Patroklos | Oct 22 2021 21:28 utc | 45

Jose Garcia | Oct 22 2021 17:06 utc | 9
This is convergence theory- that the two systems would converge into one. Who originated it I am unsure but the CIA's intellectuals favoured it.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 22 2021 21:49 utc | 46

Interesting how the American Heritage Dictionary defines gender. First, it's a grammatical indicator in many languages; second, it's a classification of sex. Ah, then we should look at how sex is defined: "1. a. The property or quality by which organisms are classified according to their reproductive functions. b. Either of two divisions designated male and female, of this classification. 2. Males or females collectively. 3. The condition or character of being male or female; the physiological, functional, and psychological differences that distinguish the male and the female."

So, gender is tied directly to reproductive functions. As such, unless one has all reproductive organs, glands and other aspects related to its initial reproductive functions removed completely and then 100% replaced by its gender opposite--an impossibility IMO--then one could then be considered to be cross-gendered. Do consider that within males, all cells have xx chromosomes, while within females they are xy--and that is true for all gendered species. Yes, there are the very rare exceptions when a hermaphrodite has xxy or xyy or some other combination. As far as I'm aware, no human's ever been born completely genderless. Psychologically, men and women have attempted to become the other, and medical treatments can remove/replace some gender-related parts but not all as explained above. As I've written before, masculinization and feminization are natural processes that occur in the womb, not after birth, and are related to physical traits, not psychological. On yesterday's thread, I alluded to the fact that this issue was addressed in popular culture in 1966 by the band The Who via their song "I'm a Boy," and I also tried to put forth the idea that Wokeness was also addressed by The Who in Tommy because of its clear totalitarian nature.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2021 21:51 utc | 47

i read most of what putin said... i admire the man and think he is leagues beyond the next closest western politician... that said, i can't appreciate exactly what he says... there is the translation, but more importantly the fact that i don't live within russia and can't appreciate the relevance of what he says... then there is the fact that i remain largely illiterate of russian history.. so when someone says something about the Bolsheviks, i can't know if what they say is true or not! that is what happens over the course of time too.. revisionist history happens...

@ roger and susan... thanks for engaging in that back and forth dialogue... i enjoyed your conversation and related to all of it..

@ constantine.. you articulate yourself very well... i like what you have to say mostly.. i take it you are russian, or have more of a keen interest in all of this conjecture about what putin said and etc. then i am capable of sustaining.. it seems to me russia is a conservative type place and nation.. perhaps this is due the influence of the orthodox church, or perhaps just because it is an accurate reflection of the psyche of the russian people.. i don't know.. i don't conjure up bad images with this word conservative.... so, i am not sure what to make of all of what you or putin says... mostly this is because i don't know what it means to be living in russia, or to be the leader of russia, or even a citizen of russia! i can tell you though that being a citizen of canada at the moment, i see a lot of crazy thinking meant to make people go crazy.... if you get a chance, watch that video that @ imo and jen recommended in the previous thread.. i would be curious of your thoughts on it.. here is a link to it again.. Cancel Culture and Wokeness . i thought what he said was bang on. one only has to listen to the first 23 minutes to get the gist of it..

Posted by: james | Oct 22 2021 21:58 utc | 48

Exactly. I've always be amazed that people who've spent decades saying women aren't defined by roles, likes, hobbies, feelings but merely by physiology, are now claiming that what you feel actually defines your physical sex, like if your physical reality is just an illusion. Trans logic is basically typical archaic and reactionary gender reasoning. And "progressives" and self-claimed Left buy it.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Oct 22 2021 21:58 utc | 49

Trisha is one of the most sane voices about matters of gender. I appreciate her commentary whenever gender issues are discussed here.

Constantine provides a great counterpoint to Putin who is really just talking his book by poking fun at the mess made by elite manipulations in the West.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 22 2021 22:24 utc | 50


To suggest rusophobia in Putin makes your refined and eloquent post suspect.

When you read this, when you see it, you understand that attempts can indeed be made to distort these facts. But you can at least read these documents. I can understand the current Polish leadership’s attitude to the 1939 events, but when you tell them: Just take a look at what happened slightly before that, when Poland joined Germany in the division of Czechoslovakia. You lit the fuse, you pulled the cork, the genie came out, and you cannot put it back into the bottle.”
I also read the archival documents which we received after the Red Army entered Europe: we have German and also Polish and French documents, we have them. They directly discussed the division of Czechoslovakia and the time for the invasion. And then to blame it on the Soviet Union? This simply does not correspond to reality and facts.

Concerning the holier than thou Marxists around, you're beginning to behave like a religious sect -irony of ironies since you're supposed to be materialists- with the greatest prophet of all time and all that science.

Posted by: Paco | Oct 22 2021 23:04 utc | 51

Indeed, watching the Marxists squirm and dissemble is a

Posted by: nook | Oct 22 2021 23:12 utc | 52

@ Posted by: Patroklos | Oct 22 2021 21:28 utc | 45

Would have to search in the book again, but I took it apud Mészáros, "The Power of Ideology".

Posted by: vk | Oct 22 2021 23:28 utc | 53

In response to vk@40,

It's okay to criticize and manifest one's opinion on some history. But every opinion and analysis must start with the truth. Without the truth, all analysis and opinions are imaginary - we would be no different than crazy people in mental hospitals.

The "truth" of history is seldom known or shared even by the people living in the middle of it, much less so historians or future analysts. The only people who can confidently claim to know the truth about historical events are ideologues. I believe we both agree that Putin is not an ideologue but a moderate, so it would be uncharacteristic of him to heed your advice. He would, presumably, favor keeping the finger on the pulse of Russian public perception and general consensus regarding their own recent history, which I expect is what he has done here.

Things that Putin states on the Bolshevik era pre-Stalin are objective lies. They can be demonstrated through evidence.

Pre-Stalin isn't a tangible component in Putin's monologue, but something you've ascribed to it. He mentions two dates in a specific context, but his monologue encompasses the entirety of the Soviet experience. Other than that, I'm at a loss as to what sort of evidence you hope to bring against statements such as:

- Bolsheviks wanted to change existing customs, existing principles of human morality and the existing social structure
- Bolsheviks were intolerant of views that contradicted that goal
- Bolsheviks sought to suppress the most obvious source of conservatism, namely religious authority and tightly knit family units

If these statements are lies, then the bolsheviks weren't actually interested in social reform (but did it anyways?), weren't particularly goal oriented (presumably, they faced no opposition at home nor abroad) and lacked the most basic competency and perception of what was needed to modernize a pre-industrial society and fully exploit its human resource.

- Encouragement to inform based on ideological differences
- The Central Committee exerted creative control over mass-media, to a lesser degree than Hollywood does today.
- (Implied) The works of authors banned from being taught at schools or universities, because their ideas are believed to be backward

This fits in with my personal experience. My father, working in the field of culture and entertainment, had a work-related permit for travel abroad, which was revoked due to him bringing home forbidden literature and a neighbor informing the authorities. There was no further penalty involved, from what I can recall. The books were obviously confiscated and dad had to go to several interviews with some committee. My parents also half-joked, I assume, that the apartment was bugged from then on -- but that itself unpleasantly played into natural human paranoia. The travel restrictions were initially intended to be permanent, which is a bit much, but after almost 10 years and towards the end of the 80's, what with the liberalization, they were eventually lifted.

The only way that I can rationalize this series of events, is to imagine the books in question as being written on the skins of newborn babes by prehistoric Necromancers and used to summon shoggoths from the void, plaguing the dreams of our neighbors with horrible visions and potentially spelling doom for all of humanity, if not for the experts on the super-natural under government employ. Since they were actually very mundane pieces of literature, remembering this period in my life is comical and surreal, if not for the parallels I observe in the current development of Western society.

They result in an absurd conclusion/moral lesson: that the USA is under the risk of falling to a Bolshevik Revolution.

That's not the conclusion I made when I read the monologue, and I don't believe its the conclusion Putin intends for his listeners. I would expect that they, being composed primarily of Soviet citizens, like I, will instead think back to the various perplexing anachronisms of living under a dogma that permeates all aspects of life. The intended audience is intelligent enough to differentiate between Soviet communism in terms of goals and achievements in reforming society or raising the standards of living and education, and Soviet communism in terms of being spoon-fed what to think, say, do, which information was permissible and how the state reacted to, and primed the public to react to, non-conformity.

On that note, it's both disrespectful and inadvisable to argue against lived experience, since it calls honesty into question and puts an end to civil debate. Admittedly, there is no shortage of tall-tales or self-proclaimed experts who are more accurately described as political hacks.

That is a false dichotomy, as there's absolutely zero chance the Woke movement will ever take power in the USA, while the Bolsheviks were true world history actors, a real threat to capitalism.

No, I think this is the false dichotomy. Why do they need to "take power" or pose a threat to capitalism to create an ideologically repressed society with obvious Soviet parallels? Can't their views simply be exploited by the capitalist elite to solidify their control over the US? Can't they erode the fabric of society from the grass-roots up, abetted by the inaction and waning influence of the ruling classes? What of the global influence of infectious ideas in the era of mass-communication, and the potential threat of culture clashes and shocks domestically? These and many other potential scenarios are perfectly harmonious with Putin's statements on the matter, parallels with Soviet authoritarianism notwithstanding.

I don't mean to be rude, but I believe you're so heavily invested in your ideology that it's preventing you from examining things from a more nuanced perspective.

Posted by: Skiffer | Oct 22 2021 23:30 utc | 54

@ Posted by: Skiffer | Oct 22 2021 23:30 utc | 54

The "truth" of history is seldom known or shared even by the people living in the middle of it, much less so historians or future analysts. The only people who can confidently claim to know the truth about historical events are ideologues.

That argument could be used against Putin, too. He said as if he was sure about what the Bolsheviks did. It could also be applied to you, as you wrote a monologue as if you're certain about the essence of Bolshevik society.

History is not STEM, but it is still a science. Most things we do not know, but that doesn't mean we know absolutely nothing. There are certainties in History - it's just that they're fewer than in other fields.

Posted by: vk | Oct 22 2021 23:56 utc | 55

Karl of 1 @47 Hello, you have the chromosome's the wrong way round, XX is female XY is not.

Posted by: boon | Oct 22 2021 23:58 utc | 56

skiffer @54

You state "The truth of history is seldom known or shared even by the people living in the middle of it, much less so historians or future analysts."

I would be interested in your sense of where this quest for certainty comes from? Is it only ideology or is there something more involved--maybe some kind of fundamental power drive in all of us no matter what our ideological perspective?

Just wondering how you see it?

Posted by: Gulag | Oct 23 2021 0:09 utc | 57

In response to vk@55,

As I said in the paragraph you quoted from, he's more than likely appealing to the Russian consensus rather than whatever one would deem objective historical truth, and he can be fairly certain about its accuracy provided the sociology is solid. As for me, I wouldn't dream of trying to monopolize the essence of Bolshevik society, but I do have lived experience of RSFSR, memories of which resonate fairly well with what Putin has said -- maybe he too is speaking from lived experience, rather than out of political convenience or whatever other motives me and others have ascribed to him?

Posted by: Skiffer | Oct 23 2021 0:21 utc | 58

"You see, we need to build a social welfare state. Truth be said, Europe, especially the Nordic countries, have been advocating a social welfare state for a long time."

Funny how the American Right skips over this mention of this in the Daily Wire.

Posted by: Haydar Khan | Oct 23 2021 0:25 utc | 59

"I would like to ask you which Russian thinkers, scholars, anthropologists and writers do you regard as your closest soul-mates, helping you to define for yourself the values that will later become those of all Russians?

Vladimir Putin: You know, I would prefer not to say that this is Ivan Ilyin alone. I read Ilyin, I read him to this day. I have his book lying on my shelf, and I pick it up and read it from time to time. I have mentioned Berdiayev, there are other Russian thinkers. All of them are people who were thinking about Russia and its future. I am fascinated by the train of their thought, but, of course, I make allowances for the time when they were working, writing and formulating their ideas. The well-known idea about the passionarity of nations is a very interesting idea. It could be challenged – arguments around it continue to this day. But if there are debates over the ideas they formulated, these are obviously not idle ideas to say the least."


From Wikipedia:

"In exile, Ivan Ilyin argued that Russia should not be judged by the Communist danger it represented at that time but looked forward to a future in which it would liberate itself with the help of Christian Fascism."

"A number of Ilyin's works (including those written after the German defeat in 1945) advocated fascism. Ilyin saw Hitler as a defender of civilization from Bolshevism and approved the way Hitler had, in his view, derived his antisemitism from the ideology of the Russian Whites."

"Although Ilyin was related by marriage to several prominent Jewish families he was accused of antisemitism by Roman Gul, a fellow émigré writer. According to a letter by Gul to Ilyin the former expressed extreme umbrage at Ilyin's suspicions that all those who disagreed with him were Jews."

Posted by: daffyDuct | Oct 23 2021 0:35 utc | 60

"Today's woke movement emanating from the US seems to come top-down from the plutocratic establishment as yet another way to divide-and-weaken the 99%, to distract and keep them busy with all kinds of red herring divisions, while the 1% gets even more obscenely powerful and rich. Posted by: Canadian Cents | Oct 22 2021 19:10 utc | 30"

It's a form of "tittytainment" (see Zbigniew Brzezinski "20/80") - as society declines, provide distraction.

Posted by: daffyDuct | Oct 23 2021 0:46 utc | 61

Heartfelt thanks, b.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 23 2021 0:49 utc | 62

In response to Gulag@57,

Can't honestly say I've given it much thought, if I understand your question correctly that is. Perhaps it's in the nature of living beings to seek accuracy in the senses as a mechanism for adaptation, survival, together with an evolutionary component, imprinting habitual knowledge onto inheritable memory for future generations to make use of. This would also, I believe, fit just as well with a religious interpretation of the origins of life, as characteristics striving for unity with a divine creator.

At the same time, I expect this drive is commonly being suppressed, both consciously and unconsciously. The latter, we may observe resulting from trauma and stress, to maintain basic function. The former, I suppose, must occur during a crisis of faith -- the rejection of facts in order to maintain a comfortable illusion. Or, in the more mundane case, rejection of or disinterest in truths that are deemed irrelevant and void of usefulness.

Perhaps I'm being too cynical, but I tend to associate ideology more with the suppression of inconvenient truth than any quest for certainty. Certainty, warranted or not, is pre-baked into the various expressions of belief on how the world is or should be, while any quest for certainty presumably needs to begin with an open mind and the willingness to re-examine the validity of one's preconceptions. Apologies if I misunderstood the question, but it's a more esoteric field of discussion than I'm used to.

Posted by: Skiffer | Oct 23 2021 0:59 utc | 63

@ Posted by: Skiffer | Oct 23 2021 0:21 utc | 58

Sure, he's making a political - not a scientific - speech. But, even by political standards, he sets a very dangerous precedent, because he's essentially calling for the American elites to crush the Wokists because they represent some kind of risk of an American version of the Bolshevik Revolution - a risk that doesn't exist.

Aside from the fact that the Wokists are simply intellectually and organizationally inferior to the Bolsheviks and that, contrary to the Bolsheviks, they don't have any comprehensive long-term economic plan (which is what sustains cultural hegemony), we have to take another very important factor in mind: the Bolsheviks saved Russia from extinction, while the Wokists are simply trying to destroy an empire that so far is in no existential risk at all.

If it wasn't for the Bolsheviks picking the pieces together, Russia certainly wouldn't exist. For starters, the Tsar already was performing badly on the battlefield, losing precious territory in the far east to Japan in 1905. Then, his army started to get mauled by the Germans in 1914-1917, having already lost many territories in the West. The bourgeois government of February-October 1917 continue this trend of defeats, serving as essentially a parliamentary continuation of the Tsarist Empire (already in shambles). Trotsky described the February Government as a last, desperate attempt by the Tsar to save his empire by giving ground to the most radical components of the local bourgeoisie. No wonder it didn't last much long.

After the Tsarist Empire finally collapse, the land system evaporated: peasants started to take land from the kulaks by force, in an anarchic movement that was only given some cohesion (i.e. by keeping Russia existing) because the Bolsheviks, taken vacant power in Moscow and St. Petersburg, issued a decree legalizing land reform right after the Revolution and then promulgated more legislation giving all power to the (local) soviets. This maneuver alone saved Russia from disintegration from within. It then proceeded to keep the armed forces and the main State institutions together, even if in a Soviet (socialist) logic. The army (Red Army) then defeated the proxy forces of the imperialist powers (UK, France, Czechoslovakia and the USA) in the "Civil War", keeping territorial cohesion of Russia. Yes, the Western provinces (Finland, Poland etc.) had to be let go because they already were very unstable in the tsarist era, but Russia (USSR) kept the rest. Japan occupied Siberia through a puppet republic that was defeated by the Red Army. The Chinese then had to give up any hope of advancing past Outer Mongolia, which only did not become a Soviet Republic because the Bolsheviks didn't see much value in it as a full-fledged territory. Brest-Litovsk gave the USSR time to breath and recover, and some month later Germany collapsed (November 1918). Transcaucasia was kept only because of Bolshevik perseverance (it had a strong bourgeoisie and wanted independence a la Finland) - that "identity politics" guaranteed the Russian people the oil fields of the Caucasus.

By the end of the Civil War, the Bolsheviks were the indisputable lords of Russia. There was no doubt - be it in the city, be it in the countryside - that the Bolsheviks didn't represent the legitimate Russia and, therefore, everything Russian. Russian nationalism already was a thing from the beginning of the October Revolution, it didn't come out of nothing because of Stalin's magic. Even the peasants, not being communists, were Bolsheviks. They fought with no doubts in their hearts they were on Russia's side when they served the Red Army against the White Army; there is no evidence the reincorporated Tsarist officers ever thought of toppling the Bolsheviks, even with Trotsky commanding them (Trotsky only became "the intellectual" after he was ousted in 1926; during Lenin's era, he was famous for being an excellent administrator and bureaucrat). If it wasn't for the Bolsheviks, Russia would probably only exist as just another European micro-nation, extending not much beyond the old borders of Novgorod; Germany would certainly be able to keep the southern territories up to the Caucasus, Japan would command Siberia through its puppet republic and eventually would have gobbled up the rest of the east, Transcaucasia would be independent and the Polish Empire - having the backing of the British - would certainly have some more territory up to somewhere in White Russia (Belarus), Romania would evidently preserve forever the frontiers of Romania Mare (i.e. up to Bessarabia) and maybe even gain Western Ukraine ("Transnistria") from Germany/Poland; being cut off of Asia, the remaining Central Asian provinces would probably either be absorbed by some imperialist power (i.e. the UK, through its possession of Afghanistan) or follow the path of independence. Whatever would be left of Russia, it would quickly vanish in the WWII, as it would be essentially a backward agrarian nation without the means to defend itself from Germany, a la Romania.

In comparison with the desperate situation the Bolshevik found themselves into, where Russia ceased to exist for a moment, everything they grew up destroyed, see the situation the Wokists live into. Yes, the American Empire is declining, but its declining very slowly. The Americans have more than enough time and resources to reform themselves relatively peacefully (as not external enemy threatens it). The situation is not ideal, but is far from near-extinction, as was Russia in 1914-1917. There's no threat of territorial disintegration in the USA right now. And what the wokists are proposing in this situation? Secession between the blue and red states, independence for the entire West Coast, indefinite printing of USDs, use of force against Russia and China (both of which are nuclear powers). The wokists, out of a relatively tranquil conjecture, only want destruction, while the Bolsheviks did the polar opposite - they saved Russia from extinction through balkanization.

Posted by: vk | Oct 23 2021 1:49 utc | 64

Posted by: Paco | Oct 22 2021 23:04 utc | 51

Well, I must apologize for daring to criticize your idol, a veritable demigod upon earth. How could I, a poor mortal, imply anything remotely negative about this superior specimen of the homo sapiens?

As it happens, I explicitly expressed my bewilderment in this and other threads for Putin's adoption of assertions that stem from visceral Russophobes and you suggest that my views are suspect because I somehow accused VVP of Russophobia. There are some comprehension issues to be solved here. However, it is fairly obvious that Putin places on the same level the USSR which was fairly consistent in supporting almost exclusively socialist movements and governments with the western neoliberals who claim to promote around the world popular democracy based on the values of classical liberalism. This latter assertion, of course, is utter horsecrap as evidenced by the unabashed support that the Anglo-American empire and its vassals offer to dictators, fascists, semi-theocratic regimes, jihadists or downright lunatics like the Khmer Rouge after they were trashed by the Vietnamese.

In short, this is Putin denigrating the first government that opposed the oligarchy-dominated social and global status quo and organized a modern state that terminated racial and ethnic discrimination - an attitude he has himself praised about modern Russia - while puting it on the same footing with the colonialist empires that took the mantle of fascism after WWII..

My criticism isn't based on any sort of adoration of Marx, but it is beyond the pale the VVP treats said intellectual or his colleague Friedrich Engels with contempt while glorifying reactionaries - and that is a charitable term - like Ilyin. Which is once again odd, since Putin's anti-racist statements and social-democratic policies would condemn him in the eyes of these reactionaries. I mean, even Patriarch Kiril appears as a borderline communist when compared to those ultra-conservative darlings that could not countenance any reforms whatsoever 100 years ago.

Which lead one to wonder what the hell is Putin talking about when he condemns any revolutions as a principle, denouncing all and sundry as radicals uprooting revered social norms. Did he research the state of Russian society before the Revolution, which I must point out, owed so much to the monumental mismanagement by the powers that be? Does he comprehend that he denounces the Chinese Revolution, aided by those very Reds he denigrated, who treated the Chinese people as human beings and not as coolies or subhuman rats that created the "Yellow Peril"?

On that note, does he realize that he is spitting on the Nicaraguan Sandinistas who led a revolution because there could simply be no change at all under the comrador dictator Somoza? You know, the very Sandinistas who, like other Latin American leftists, are among the few that recongnized Crimea as a part of Russia? Feel free to point to me Paco all those Russophile "conservatives" that did the same. As such, I can think of the Sadinistas themselves, as the Nicaraguans are more socially conservative than modern Russians.

And try to understand that Putin's attitude about WWII is precisely what makes his very own views on the Revolution so absurd. You cannot treat the Reds as freaks, lunatics and traitors and then expect others to respect the Soviet contribution in WWII as positive. You can't trash Polish or Ukrainian nationalists for their anti-Semitic and general racist beliefs and crimes, but offer excuses for their Russian counterparts. His views on the subject are not just ignorant or replete with double standards, but harmful for the country as well.

Posted by: Constantine | Oct 23 2021 1:56 utc | 65

Posted by: james | Oct 22 2021 21:58 utc | 48

James, it's not just the Russians, but most people around the world who could be treated as conservatives by modern liberals and the regressive segment of the left (i.e. most of the European and North American left). Meaning, they stand for pretty much standard things that people would accept in developed countries, say in the 80s or 90s.

The term "conservative" can be misleding too. Some are religious fundamendalists and hardline reactionaries whoi reject any sort of social progress. Others, however, are just people whowon't put up with identity politics, anarch-Trotskist nihilism and anti-patriotism etc. Try to conceive how western rockers feel when they were called Satanists or "cultural Marxists" in the 80s by the then conservatives, only to be treated as male chauvinists and champions of "toxic masculinity" by the woke cretins today.

Just for the record, Russians in general are more socially liberal than other nearby peoples, such as the Poles or those that support socialist governments elsewhere. Nicaragua, led by the Sandinistas for years, has been more socially conservative by far, when compared with Russia. The latter has indeed become more conservative than previously because of the use of pseudo-liberal values as a battering ram by the west.

It must be pointed that the intense conservatism of the eastern bloc was partially its undoing inthe 80s in the cultural front, precisely because the people developed severe inferiority complexes vis-a-vis the west on this level. One must remember that the western cultural offensive was replete with liberal tropes and not with "traditionalist values". Unless, of course, someone is willing to argue that Ozzy Osbourne and Motley Crue were trying to promote said values in the USSR...

Posted by: Constantine | Oct 23 2021 2:16 utc | 66

@54 skiffer

That is a great response. And very hard to refute.

It always strikes me that vk has such a bone to pick with Putin. It is as if he is desperately angry at the man who responded to Russia's disastrous neoliberal unwinding post-Soviet collapse with prudent and moderate state-regulated capitalism. And the fact that his overseeing of a Christian-resurgence in his country has given those in the west second thoughts about their states' ongoing (neo-) liberal project which unbinds their own oligarchs toward crippling ends.

If I didn't know any better, it is as if vk, as a scientist, is only able to consided the success of Putin's Russia as a statistical anomaly. At several points, vk has hinted that Putin is neoliberal himself through and through, and that, having resided over an incredible about-face by his country in the face of destitution, Putin was merely fattening up his own people to be slaughtered again during the next neoliberal reaping.

Vk hates Putin because Putin (and Xi for that matter) love their people more than any ideology and have come to understand an essential truth of government and leadership: when it comes to empire, don't bite off more than you can chew. And having big ideas beyond your country's own borders constitute the greatest harm a leader can bring upon their own people.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Oct 23 2021 2:29 utc | 67

@ vk 64

"The wokists only want destruction..."

This is a bald-face lie.

The wokists want a supremely powerful Federal Gov't to gut the rights of the states.

Other than this huge obfuscation, you are correct that the wokists are a rather dim bunch who think that the Federal Gov't can monetarily print their way out of any kerfluffle.

The Bolsheviks had Uncle Sambo to prop them up during hard times. Who will prop up Uncle Sambo?

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Oct 23 2021 2:43 utc | 68

Notice that those who actually lived the Soviet experience understand the truth in Putin's opinions. Those who only know it from a distance through ideology just don't get it.

Posted by: Norb | Oct 23 2021 2:54 utc | 69

'And having big ideas beyond your country's own borders constitute the greatest harm a leader can bring upon their own people.'

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Oct 23 2021 2:29 utc | 67

If this statement is about imperialism, it definitely describes the great majority of US Presidents and British Prime Ministers.

Still, it is important to specify what are these "big ideas". For example, championing a meaningful rule of international law is a nice idea that requires by definition to be promoted beyond one's border. This is why there was cooperation between Russia and Syria, Venezuela etc.

It is also why I find Putin's statements so goofy. For all its very serious issues, The USSR inspired many of the governments or movements that now cooperate with Russia and no, it wasn't simply to adopt the Soviet model. It would actually be a form of soft power without the modern Russians having to engage in nonstop subversive propaganda campaigns in various countries. And yet VVP treats the assumption of national sovereignty through a necessary revolutionary process as something horrible that Russia somehow had gone through.

Worse, Putin conflates these developments which were organic and socially/patriotically minded with Color Revolutions, sponsored by the globalist Anglo-American empire. For example, the process that created a viable Libyan state that had the highest position among African countries in the HumanDevelopment Index was somehow similar to the criminal westerprise of the Eurocretins and the Anglo-American regme that destroyed the country. Is this absurd view not deserving of criticism?

Posted by: Constantine | Oct 23 2021 3:05 utc | 70

@69 Norb

Thank you. It's a core observation.

This reminds us of the old folk wisdom that says that those who know, do, while those who don't know, teach.


I observe that Woke is based on fear, while Cancel is based even more aggressively, on terror.

Woke is adopted by the weak of mind, and Cancel is accommodated by societies with a moral vacuum.

Those societies with a moral center, and a moral compass deriving from that strength, are rejecting Woke and Cancel, utterly - utterly. It's brilliant that the President of a foreign nation articulates the falsity of these chimerical fads.

As we have speculated before, any salvation that may descend upon the United States will not exclusively arise from its people but will also be gifted by other nations, as a "demonstration effect" that over time will be too compelling to ignore.

It will be recognizing the success of other nations that saves the US from total oblivion. Serendipitously, the deeper the shithole that the US culture digs for itself, the sooner this comes to pass.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 23 2021 3:10 utc | 71

I agree with fnord @2 and others that these remarks were motivated by Russian domestic politics and the 'threat' of the KPRF, I can't believe anyone as intelligent as VVP believes this stuff, conservative or not. Communists have been making fun of smears like these since the year dot (which for us Commies is 1848):

But you Communists would introduce community of women, screams the bourgeoisie in chorus.

The bourgeois sees his wife as a mere instrument of production. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited in common, and, naturally, can come to no other conclusion than that the lot of being common to all will likewise fall to the women.

He has not even a suspicion that the real point aimed at is to do away with the status of women as mere instruments of production.

For the rest, nothing is more ridiculous than the virtuous indignation of our bourgeois at the community of women which, they pretend, is to be openly and officially established by the Communists. The Communists have no need to introduce community of women; it has existed almost from time immemorial.

Our bourgeois, not content with having wives and daughters of their proletarians at their disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other’s wives.

Bourgeois marriage is, in reality, a system of wives in common and thus, at the most, what the Communists might possibly be reproached with is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalised community of women. For the rest, it is self-evident that the abolition of the present system of production must bring with it the abolition of the community of women springing from that system, i.e., of prostitution both public and private.

The Communist Manifesto, 1848

Posted by: S.P. Korolev | Oct 23 2021 3:13 utc | 72

@ Posted by: Norb | Oct 23 2021 2:54 utc | 69

Correction: those who actually lived the Soviet experience who are in the internet and speak and write in English. Probably the Russian middle class, the ones (relatively few) who benefited from the fall of the USSR.

Most middle class Russians who mention the fall of the USSR as positive say that it was so because they were able to travel abroad and have access to the consumer goods and culture of the West. That is, the only good thing of the Russian Federation is the fact that you may get out of it (literally or just culturally).

It is undeniable the Russian Federation is just a shadow of the USSR. One would have to be a rabid conservative to twist the numbers to conclude otherwise.


@ Posted by: NemesisCalling | Oct 23 2021 2:29 utc | 67

The West (Russia included) may well see a Christian revival (which already happened in the USA, during the Cold War, thanks in part to the CIA) - that doesn't guarantee stability Putin so much wants. The existence or absence of Christianity is completely irrelevant to the flux of History. But either way, Putin didn't make such connection: his thesis is that Russia should embrace evolution instead of revolution.

My counter-argument is that all of those factors he mentioned don't even guarantee evolution, let alone avoid revolution. Even if evolution is assured, bloodshed still happens - during feudalism, people were at war all the time, despite the uncontested hegemony of Christianity. Stability through bloodshed is possible, indeed it is the rule, including during the height of the Christian era (i.e. the Dark Ages).

What guarantees stability is the economy. And the economic performance of the Russian Federation (including the "concrete" aspects, such as population growth etc.) is simply not up to the task for the goals even Putin set. If the Russian Federation had the numbers comparable (adjusted to population size) to China's, I would not be criticizing him. With his neoliberal policies, his tolerance with the oligarchs, and his poor economic performance, his "optimist conservatism" rings hollow at best, sounds hypocritical on average, and delusional at worst.

One last observation: Russia's present system is not stable. Indeed, we have a joke in History: the more an emperor tells everybody his empire is stable, the more unstable it is. Putin would not be so obsessed with stability if the Russian Federation wasn't so fragile. A fragile Russia is a danger not only to itself, but to China - that would be the true tragedy of the 21st Century.

Posted by: vk | Oct 23 2021 3:14 utc | 73

Prisim @ 17
resurgence of socialism in Russia and a yearning for the old Soviet Union amongst the general population?
. How on earth can you even tie Western Liberalism (who are not even the Left) to the Bolsheviks is beyond me.
<=I think the following make trite the work of tying Western propaganda based liberalism to October 1917 Bolshevick usupration of Czarist power.. I believe its not even taxing to the brain. consider..

Until years after the Bolshevik revolution written language was an ineffective means of mass communication, in Russia. Only 25% of Czarist Russians were literate. Pictures communicated political, educational and church messages to the masses. Between 1918 and October 1919, several hundrend Bolshevik organiztions produced over 3,000 revolutionary posters for distribution in print form. In the four years following the October 1917 revolution, Revolutionary Bolsheviks accounted for nearly 10 million pieces of propaganda. Posters were everwhere, —in factories, on walls, in public spaces and places. see. Victoria E. Bonnell, Iconography of Power: Soviet Political Posters under Lenin and Stalin. (University of California Press, 1997).

A quote from
'One could not escape from mass propaganda. No play was produced, no film was shot, which did not in one form or another convey a propaganda message in favor of communism and Bolshevism.' <=and the same in true in liberal Western literature today..

In this link one can understand how the Animal Farm (Cartoons) & the Russian Revolution are related..Disney comes to mind..
but consider Wikipedia on Jewish Bolshevism..

Fnord @ 2 Putin is making very similar arguments that our conservatives do.
<=I don't see in Putin's statements to be arguments, I see real concern that the direction the people incarcerated inside of the nation state dungons are being misdirected and are having their prior histories erased and replaced by something very evil, something mankind will regret for ever.. Moralism is found in the cultures and histories that precede today by centuries. Putin was saying don't destroy who you were, in order to remake youself, into a person fully-conformed to todays mass media propaganda.

VK @ 40
Things that Putin states on the Bolshevik era pre-Stalin are objective lies. They can be demonstrated through evidence. They result in an absurd conclusion/moral lesson: that the USA is under the risk of falling to a Bolshevik Revolution. That is a false dichotomy, as there's absolutely zero chance the Woke movement will ever take power in the USA, while the Bolsheviks were true world history actors, a real threat to capitalism.

<=objective lies.. ? the Woke movement is a propaganda which is part of the general movement to replace political power in America with corporate power and evil personally owned monopoly power. IMO, the movement is well on its way in exactly the same way that the Bolshevik took power from the Czar. one day, there will be a revolution, the next day another, Chaos exist everywhere, suddenly the Boshshevik are the occupants of the positions of power that used to be occupied by elected politicians.

re: oriental Voice @ 42. If ambassadors are not there to promote friendly relationships, what are they there for???
<= Thanks for the reply, I think i answered that in post 14 above..
"Those few Ambassadors i have talked with <=suggest their job involves coordinating the private economic interest from the domestic nation basically businesses trying to do business under domestic country rules inside of the invaded foreign political space. One called the position of the Ambassador " General over the monopoly powers doing business inside the foreign space.."

Posted by: snake | Oct 23 2021 4:35 utc | 74

One gender issue in present day Russia is that in families the men are sup-post to be the financial providers, never the women. After discovering this on Youtube I check with a few Russian acquaintances and they confirmed this.
No big deal, no fake woke drama, just some historical artifact i guess.

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 23 2021 4:36 utc | 75

Thanks to Skiffer @ 54, and I would add to b's final encouragement that we read the entire speech, that we should read as well the interactions with the audience, which are not yet online in their entirety.

In one of those interactions (forgive me if this has already been addressed - it's late so I haven't read through every comment here) Putin describes that he feels Russia is able to help other nations because of its 'historical experience'. I was struck by this as it isn't couched in such terms as one might imagine, there's no ideology involved.

He does see ideology as a straight jacket, and that conforms with my own understanding of Orthodox Christianity as well. It, or any faith for that matter, is based on an experience - that's why it is often said "Come and see" rather than the attempt made to sway a person with words. It's why icons are so important in Orthodoxy as well. And it's why in China and Russia their old people are respected and treasured - for their experience. Here in the US that is not the case; I speak as one of the old. We shouldn't drive cars and we shouldn't be politicians; but we do have the benefit of experience. We lived through other interesting times. We have tales to tell. And I haven't seen a leader like Putin in a long, long time.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 23 2021 5:37 utc | 76

@ Grieved | Oct 23 2021 3:10 utc | 71 who wrote

As we have speculated before, any salvation that may descend upon the United States will not exclusively arise from its people but will also be gifted by other nations, as a "demonstration effect" that over time will be too compelling to ignore.

It will be recognizing the success of other nations that saves the US from total oblivion. Serendipitously, the deeper the shithole that the US culture digs for itself, the sooner this comes to pass.

If the increased blather at MoA by the Marx religionists is any indication of the depth of the shithole of Western culture then maximum zombieness is approaching....but all going according to Marx's plan, rest assured..../snark

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 23 2021 5:55 utc | 77

Putin has literally Neo Nazis running Russian peripheries but he is concerned about so called "reverse racism", embarrassing cretin.

Posted by: Jojo | Oct 23 2021 6:00 utc | 78

[Sorry for the many typos.]

Posted by: m | Oct 23 2021 6:09 utc | 79

Posted by: Constantine | Oct 23 2021 3:05 utc | 70

Nicaragua, you touched a close to my heart point, and I really cannot understand what do you mean by VVP spitting on Nicaragua.

A quick search in the site gives me these posts, initially I was searching for the press release about the recent visit of the Nicaraguan FM to Moscow, but look what I found just for the month of October, most of the links are in Russian and Spanish and I assume you’ll probably understand Spanish better than Russian so I copy some of the headlines in Spanish plus the links, and the headlines in Russian where there is no translation, you can use a web translator if they are of any interest to you.

Sobre la suscripción del Acuerdo de Cooperación entre Kronstadt (Rusia) y León (Nicaragua)

Participación de la Embajada de Rusia en Nicaragua en el II Foro Latinoamericano de Cooperación Espacial Rusia-Latinoamérica

Embajada de Rusia participa en la presentación del libro del candidato centroamericano a cosmonauta

Ayuda humanitaria rusa llega a Nicaragua

La vacuna rusa “Sputnik Light” llegó a Nicaragua

О подписании Меморандума о взаимопонимании между ГК «Росатом» и Центральноамериканским парламентом

Об участии Посольства России в Никарагуа в российско-никарагуанском конгрессе по развитию фармацевтики

Posted by: Paco | Oct 23 2021 7:30 utc | 80

The comparison to the Bolsheviks goes awry in that they at least had a productive developmental program grounded in a fundamentally correct understanding of political economy. The industrial development it heralded was unparalleled. It came at a cost, but so did capitalist development - and we also have to face the possibility that for peripheral countries capitalist development is in fact not a possibility at all, expressed in notions like the middle income trap.

And of course all the most radically "progressive" ideas about values and family etc. doing the rounds in early revolution were rather quickly abandoned in the 20s and 30s, anyway. The crucible of socialist construction ultimately doesn't allow for avant garde hipster nonsense which flourishes during revolutionary ferment.

In contrast, the whole woke civil religion movement has no productive insight or program at its core to cary its other radical notions. US self-proclaimed marxists bandy about entirely hare-brained notions like "prostitution as labour", UBI, and abolishing monopoly of force (police) if they have anything non-identarian to say at all. As I see it it is more a re-skinning of existing neoliberal social organisation, a dash of anarchist radicalism to keep the educated yet ignorant young people on board

Posted by: Merovech | Oct 23 2021 8:56 utc | 81

In response to vk@64,73

Sure, he's making a political - not a scientific - speech. But, even by political standards, he sets a very dangerous precedent, because he's essentially calling for the American elites to crush the Wokists because they represent some kind of risk of an American version of the Bolshevik Revolution - a risk that doesn't exist.

This is a very difficult train of thought for me to understand. Which American political forces do you believe he's calling on to crush the Wokists? Why, if the Wokists don't have influence on or represent any sort of threat to the American establishment, is it a dangerous precedent to call for their suppression? Could you describe the dangerous scenario(s) that you're envisioning to come out of a worst-case interpretation of Putin's words?

I would sincerely be interested to have access to what it is you think you see behind the curtain, because my own interpretation is very dull. All I see is a moderate, appealing to common sense, illustrating his views with historical parallels. I don't believe he's tailoring his words for the benefit of any particular elites, least of all the American ruling class, which in my view are the real progenitors of the Woke movement. At the very least, they are too caught up in lip-servicing Wokist dogma to pay attention to any dissent on the matter. Naturally, as one would expect from a moderate appealing to common sense, the words have broad public mass-appeal across a variety of different political inclinations, provided they have a centrist component, and seem to have ruffled the feathers of those that don't.

There's no dire prediction of a Woke revolution that I can make out, but several well illustrated examples of the infringement on personal freedoms and traditional institutions that can be expected from submitting to aggressive dogmatism.

Correction: those who actually lived the Soviet experience who are in the internet and speak and write in English. Probably the Russian middle class, the ones (relatively few) who benefited from the fall of the USSR.

Most middle class Russians who mention the fall of the USSR as positive say that it was so because they were able to travel abroad and have access to the consumer goods and culture of the West. That is, the only good thing of the Russian Federation is the fact that you may get out of it (literally or just culturally).

This is insulting on so many levels.

How many English-speaking Russians do you think there are on the internet? Obviously, most of us live in mud-huts and throw rocks at one another for communication, but "supposedly" we're the 8'th largest Internet population, with a level of English proficiency comparable to France or Mexico.

Do you actually believe that the Russian middle class were the ones to benefit from the fall of USSR? And why, because they could finally pack up and leave the country and buy "Western goods?" Is this your idea of "finding the truth" before speaking? Because to me, it sounds like tactless chauvinism.

Finally, I never claimed that the fall of USSR was a positive. Like the majority of Russians back in the 90's and, I believe, still to this day, I consider it a tragedy. That doesn't mean it was a perfect society, that its obvious authoritarian tendencies were some capitalist propaganda -- by the 50's and 60's it had grown into a very compassionate social order that many remember fondly, but the same people will just as readily recount the various contradictions and taboos that they took for granted most of their life, the hoops they had to jump through to accomplish some mundane task, or close shaves with authorities over nothing-burgers.

There's nothing controversial about that, unless you have some agenda. The liberal opposition in Russia exclusively talks about the negative side of the coin, which is why they're uniformly considered political hacks. The communists, generally, admit to overreach and stupidity of certain policies, but primarily focus on the positives -- that extra bit of flexibility in thinking is, in my opinion, what nets them the public support that they have.

Anyways, thanks for calling my country a shithole. I don't get nearly enough of that from Western liberals and East European fascists, it's nice to see hardcore leftists pitching in their support.

Posted by: Skiffer | Oct 23 2021 13:36 utc | 82

@ Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 23 2021 5:55 utc | 77

This is not "Marx's plan", but how History works. The USA was, from the very beginning, the most Anti-Marxist country on Earth. To blame Marx for all of its problems is ridiculous.

Irony here is that, when Christianity rose, the Roman Empire blamed it for its problems, accusing it of being what we would call today "cultural degeneration".

The virtuous or today were the degenerates of yesterday - that's why we don't use culture, religion or art as a metric of societal development.


@ Posted by: Merovech | Oct 23 2021 8:56 utc | 81

Putin, when talking about women's rights during the early Bolshevik era, is clearly referring to Vera Kollontai, who basically wrote everything about the subject basically alone. Her work is exhaustive and is, to this day, the foundation (alongside Engels' famous work "Origins...") of Marxist Feminism.

Her work is not "hipster", and is very progressive even by today's standards. It essentially envisioned a universal system of creches and canteens in order to free up feminine labor power from unproductive house chores and put them to work in industry and elsewhere. The extinction of the institution of family was necessary because private property was abolished (therefore no inheritance), not because the Bolsheviks wanted to organize orgies. Family was abolished as a specific juridical institution, not as the abstraction of human biological reproduction. Divorce was immediately legalized, but the peasantry blocked it, and it remained mainly an urban phenomenon.

(Arranged) Marriage is an essential institution for the peasant lifestyle, because demographic density is low (the estates are large) and both man and women spend the whole day cultivating their land, therefore with little time to socialize. That's why it was kept well into the Bolshevik era.

Kollontai - and everybody else - knew from the very beginning their plan for women's rights was utopian at the time. They didn't even have the funds to keep the orphanages (the Civil War left a lot of orphans, and the socialist system forbid adoption of children because they were inevitably used as slave labor by the peasants), let alone creches; they didn't have enough food to feed even the urban proletariat, let alone build a complete system of public canteens. But the thing is that the Bolsheviks didn't use the bourgeois concept of Rule of Law - in the socialist system, the law is merely a guide for organization and mobilization, not necessarily as an obligatory order that people must obey at all costs. Also, the Bolsheviks in this era adopted the concept of "aiming for the stars to reach the Moon", i.e. they knew much of what they said and codified was not feasible at the time (the 1920s), but they did so anyway because either they thought it would inspire the future generations, or it would serve as a prescription for the long term, or a mix of both. That's why there are a lot of "dead letters" in the earlier Soviet Constitutions.

The evidence that much of this women's rights, culture reforms that popped up in the 1920s were either utopian or not urgent can be found in Lenin's works: he barely touched the subject in his lifetime. Of the bigwig Bolsheviks, only Trotsky, sometimes, talked about literature - but only because he was responsible for the Youth sector for some time and because he probably liked the subject personally. Even in literature, the debate happened almost entirely to the writers themselves, the Party only intervening when it got ugly (and even then only by the lower level members of the Party and Lunacharsky, because it was his job).

The area of culture and arts was a "free for all" field during the 1920s and even the beginning of the 1930s. It was only during the Stalinist era that it became planned (therefore when censorship really begun) - which is ironic, because then the anachronism of "cancel culture" should be applied to Stalin and not to Lenin.


@ Posted by: snake | Oct 23 2021 4:35 utc | 74

So, you think the Bolsheviks should fund propaganda against themselves? Sounds like "cuckery" to me, which is a Wokist thing...

What's your opinion about Christian propaganda, then?

It is impossible to assert the effectiveness of propaganda. Even is we could, the Bolsheviks only had any kind of insertion in the cities, but the vast majority of the Russian population was peasant - where propaganda had no effect.

What earned the Bolsheviks hegemony in Russia was military power, land reform and removal of Russia from WWI (which saved many peasant lives). The peasants fought for the Red Army against the White Army to defend their recently earned piece of land, not because they saw some random poster on a wall.

And what makes you think chaos always result in a new hegemony from the Left? As far as I'm concerned, the far-right is much stronger in the USA, having taken over a major party (the Republican Party) and elected a POTUS (Donald Trump - who has chances of coming back in 2024). Chaos in Germany resulted in the rise of the Nazis, which were right-wing. The American left have what? Bernie Sanders (who cannot even take over the Democratic Party) and some three or four Senators/Congressmen. I would say the USA is much closer to becoming a Fascist Dictatorship than a Proletarian Dictatorship - and the fact that the American commentariat in this blog is much more worried with the Woke than with the Alt-Right may be a symptom of this.

Posted by: vk | Oct 23 2021 14:02 utc | 83

psychohistorian should re-name himself into pseudohistorian

Posted by: v | Oct 23 2021 14:44 utc | 84

Putin is very persistent in reducing "the Bolsheviks" to a monolith, retroactively Stalinizing them. It serves the purpose of trashing alternatives to state-organized kleptocracy and one of the world's worst national wealth distributions. Attacking wokeness allows him to play the moral panic card to further obscure his regime's commitments. It says quite a lot that the only viable oppositional force in Russia right now appears to be a gradually reorganizing communist party. B, you really need to keep your analytic priorities straight and not get sucked into these distractions.

Posted by: dadooronron | Oct 23 2021 16:00 utc | 85

all right, everyone seems to agree that "wokeness" is part of a divide and conquer strategy. ask these "woke" assholes about Israel, which is a great litmus test. Ask about ICE and the US prison system. etc. I think it's Nicky Reid at counterpunch today who offers a good rule: if you aren't anti-imperialist, you aren't socialist. Adults more concerned about kids' sex lives and gender this and that than the food kids eat and sleep they don' get, these adults are very screwed up.

as for Putin, if you want to know where his "missing millions" have gone, the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church might be a good place to start looking.

(put me in charge of the crucifixions cuz NAILED IT.)

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Oct 23 2021 16:10 utc | 86

people should really consider how traumatized the American family is when wondering why these kids come to institutions of capitalist competition and indoctrination, demanding "safe spaces". For heaven's sake, if you can't spell this miserable English language by age 7, your life is over. capitalist efficiency in action right there, culling the herd. run up a life time of debt for this "education."

adults manipulate needy children. the remedy is a just society. you know, one where checking the wrong box on the gender identity ethnicity fluidity quiz won't cost a person her/his/its/their job, food and housing. one where education is free.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Oct 23 2021 16:43 utc | 87

psychohistorian @ 10, while my mind is fresh (it being morning here) I want to address your answer to NemisisCalling:

"...I see patriarchy as another monotheistic religion like your Catholic one. You and your ilk think they know the way and I call BS

Humanity knows a little bit about less than 5% of the Cosmos we live in but the monotheists can and will tell you how things should be.....fie! The exceptionalist humans need to have their ass handed to them by Gaia and learn ... humility."

I am unclear why you think that a belief in one God condemns one to an unreality similar to wokeism, which is what this post is about. To my mind it does rather the opposite, leading instead to the realities expressed in your second paragraph. Here is Pascal on the subject:

"...We naturally believe that we are more capable of reaching the center of things [genetics and the like] than of embracing their circumference, and the visible extent of the world is visibly greater than we. But since we in our turn are greater than small things, we think we are more capable of mastering them, and yet it takes no less capacity to reach nothingness than the whole. In either case it takes an infinite capacity, and it seems to me that anyone who had understood the ultimate principles of things might also succeed in knowing infinity. One depends on the other, and one leads to the other. These extremes touch and join by going in opposite directions, and they meet in God, and God alone..."

My bold and square parenthesis.

Pascal is Catholic and has his own parameters, but he does not disagree with your second paragraph - even though he writes in the time of Cardinal Richlieu. Moreover, he points to a less than humble trend of modern 'scientific research' that has brought upon us many goods but also many evils such as the current pandemic. I don't agree with Dr. Malone that the vaccine whose origins he took part in devising ought to be administered to the elderly and unhealthy - if it is dangerous for one group, it is dangerous for all. But since it has been given indiscriminately, we owe our families our best advice to overcome its deficiencies, while we cope with the overall consequences, the unknown, as it comes.For believers in one God, we do this humbly, and prayerfully, knowing there is so much we do not know.

As Pascal says in his famous wager, it can't hurt. Oh, and Putin said something like that as well, first do no harm.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 23 2021 16:47 utc | 88

Posted by: Paco | Oct 23 2021 7:30 utc | 80

Brother, do me a favor and read my posts more carefully. English is not my native language and I often make typos out of haste, but I do believe that my points are fairly comprehensible.

Putin made the argument that revolutions are never good and that peaceful solutions are much more preferable. Totally agreed. But in the real world and throughout the actual human history there has been unrelenting social conflict in defense of vested interests. One doesn't have to be a fan of Marx to realize that class struggle is a pernicious conception, but a veritable reality all too aften.

In this case, Putin, by denigrating all revolutionaries as inconsiderate, callous radicals, effectively trashes all those who engaged in revolutionary activities for the improvement of their communities as responsible for any ensuing conflicts. So, taking this into account, feel free to inform me:

What where the options of the Chinese socialists who wanted to terminate the unending degradation of their country?

How amenable was the Cuban dictator Batista, a total Yankee puppet, to policies that would end the neocolonial subjection of Cuba to Washington?

And in the case of the Sandinistas, what were their "peaceful" options in dealing with another hideous stooge of the empire, the dictator Somoza? The history of the country, indeed of Sandino himself, is very revealing about the feasibility of a peaceful liberation of Nicaragua from the bondage inflicted by numerous US intervention, direct and indirect.

And it's not just an ignorant comment on Putin's part, but one that betrays the masochistic attitude that doesn't allow the Russians to make use of a positive, deserved soft power. Let me remind you that before the rise of the CPC, the father of the Chinese Republic, Sun Yat-Sen, a non-Marxist socialist, looked to the Bolsheviks for inspiration and support. The Kuomintang, originally a leftist party, was explicitly modeled on that of the Bolsheviks who backed him all along. It was this very party under Chiang Kai-Shek, whp turned it (far-)rightwards, that attacked the ChiComs first and not the other way around. Yet, Putin is trashing the rvolutionary process while he actually addresses communist Chinese allies.

Again, in the case of the Sadninistas, Ortega himself, not enslaved by political fetters has stated that he has been guided by Jesus and Lenin. Apparently, he is able to gleen the positives and leave out th negatives, such as Lenin's obsessive militant atheism. Other Nicaraguans have expressed same views. Putin, however, seems incapable of doing the same, while he can spout borderline far-right propaganda against the Reds (he came close to use the term Kulturbolshewismus in this speech).

Most nations/governments claim very often laurels they don't deserve. The Russians, starting with Putin, are apologizing for those they won and for the good they have actually done.

Posted by: Constantine | Oct 23 2021 17:12 utc | 89

@ Constantine | Oct 23 2021 2:16 utc | 66

thanks constantine... i get that! i had to read it a few times, but i agree with you, as much as i am capable of understanding all that.. it seems to me you take issue with putin over some of his comments, and again, i can't properly comment as i am outside the frame to be able to say anything with any authority, for all the reasons i stated earlier.. maybe he is playing politics by saying what he does.. it is completely possible! and it seems you do believe this woke movement is being used as a battering ram to knock down the walls into russia too.. whatever your thoughts on all of this, i truly admire putin for all he has done for russia to bring it back from the brink of disaster which is what the west was hoping.. maybe there are a lot of things i don't see clearly, but this much seems obvious to me.. thanks for your ongoing commentary at moa..

Posted by: james | Oct 23 2021 17:21 utc | 90

Posted by: juliania | Oct 23 2021 5:37 utc | 76

Russia's support for other nations has been driven by ideology and the most positive case is that of the USSR.

Russian support for Bulgaria was based partly on Pan-Slavism and partly on imperial domination of the Balkans. Support for the Greeks during their revolution against the Ottomans had much to do with the earlier British intervention in the conflict. Alexander I did not take a leading role (as the Greeks expected out of solidarity for fellow Orthodox Christians), be cause the Greek revolt threatened themaintenance of the political/national status quo that the reactionary Vienna Congress defended. Metternich successfully convinced the Tsar of that.

I won't even talk about Russian military participation in the suppression of independence movements such as that of the Hungarians in 1848.

It is in the Soviet era that the Russians, driven by socialist solidarity, literally spearheaded the anti-colonial movemnt worldwide. There plenty of cases, but the most iconic is that of Ho Chi Minh, the father of modern Vietnam, a great patriot and revolutionary of the 20th cent. He quite explicitly stated in 1967 that he joined the Third International and later the communist cause out of patriotism. That it was Lenin, the first modern statesman that resolutely denounced ethnic supremacism and racism, and specifically his views on the struggle of the colonized nations that inspired him in an explosive way.

Posted by: Constantine | Oct 23 2021 17:26 utc | 91

'whatever your thoughts on all of this, i truly admire putin for all he has done for russia to bring it back from the brink of disaster which is what the west was hoping.. maybe there are a lot of things i don't see clearly, but this much seems obvious to me.. thanks for your ongoing commentary at moa..'

Posted by: james | Oct 23 2021 17:21 utc | 90

That is why Putin's attitude is so baffling. He is perfectly aware of the dire situation of the country and the depths it sank from its eminence in the Soviet era. And yet, he continues to praise the very traitor whose disastrous policies he reversed to a significant extent and trashes the Soviet era, expecting some improved relations with implacable racist Russophobic westerners. Nations that were treated decently for the first time in modern era express respect the Soviets while Putin is denigrating them. One can come up with some explanations for this masochistic attitude, but not with any reasonable excuses.

Posted by: Constantine | Oct 23 2021 17:39 utc | 92

Skiffer @ 82,some of the above comments seem to skip over what happened after the fall of the USSR, which in general concerned an interim deterioration fostered in main part by the arrival of "the Chicago Boys". The non-revolutionary follow on after that period took time and effort.

That is the kind of change Putin, and indeed many in the West, would prefer to happen in all countries experiencing such difficulties, even in the one which birthed them. He is not just advocating stability; he is saying he hopes it can be achieved without all the damage that revolutions produce. Russia is an example of that process. That is the reason for his calm (though firm) observations concerning wokeness - the hope that its manifestation will not lead to chaos that takes a long time to resolve.

Putin's description of Russia's historical experience as "herd immunity to extremism" is the tell, and an accurate one. A warning, and an encouragement.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 23 2021 18:28 utc | 93

@ Posted by: Constantine | Oct 23 2021 17:12 utc | 89

Putin made the argument that revolutions are never good and that peaceful solutions are much more preferable. Totally agreed.

But that's exactly Marx's theory of revolutions. He explained why revolutions are so rare in History, and why, even being devastating, they still happen.

For a revolution to ignite, many factors are needed:

1) all the progressive (in the sense of technological and economic progress; development of the productive forces) options of the existing system are depleted, i.e. the system loses capacity for reform;

2) said system must be in deep economic crisis;

3) the exploited classes must be in such a desperate situation to the point losing/risking their lives in a revolution is the best option on the table for them;

4) said exploited classes must unite, developing class consciousness (i.e. they must be ready to found the new system, have a positive solution, an alternative system);

5) the dominant classes must be exceptionally weak, due to prolonged and sharp decline of the system, preferably to the point where it is divided among itself (loss of class consciousness at the top);

6) when the revolution or counter-revolutionary war happens, the new system must be militarily strong enough (and be lucky enough) to defeat the remnants of the old order in battle.

So, as you can see, these factors almost never align at the same time, in the same place. And, even if the do, the chances of failure are enormous. That's why Marx stated revolutions are indeed extremely rare, but at the same time they must happen, because it is the highest level of entropy of any class-based society.

Posted by: vk | Oct 23 2021 18:42 utc | 94

@Posted by: vk | Oct 23 2021 18:42 utc | 94

Except for the 4th point, currently still not happening by the effect of absolute brainwashing of the masses for the past two years by the coordinated action of governments and media in the shamefull psyop of terror we have been witnessing, a knot is increasingly unleashing itself as the serious side effects of the vaccines are known, reach public domain, and so are currently discussed by the few honest officials at European and British parliaments, the rest are fulfilled or about to fullfill in the coming months as Europeans and Americans are lead to the mother of all crisis by their corrupt governments...

One is to think that ways they ended Caucescu and Mussolini will be deemed this time way too soft...

Posted by: Black bread | Oct 23 2021 19:12 utc | 95

@Posted by: Constantine | Oct 23 2021 17:12 utc | 89

Putin, in fact, the only thing he recognized he is thankfull to the USSR for, is the fact the Soviet system allowed him a child from a working class familiy, to rise the social ladder to where he is currently placed.

For such an ascension, quite poor recognization and thankfullness...

Not even when talking about the fact the WWII was won by the Homo Sovieticus, he recognized which qualities of that human being allowed him/her to overcome such suffering and loses, and reach such victory. It must have been the empowering character of the system, with all its faults, which lead them to fight like lions, overcome cold, hunger. and genocidal intentions of a whole killing machine reunited by a whole European alliance.

For sure, currently depressed and disempowered through two years of fear, oppression and dictatorial measures European citizens will not endure even a month throughout the coming suffering, which still will happen without war...Imagine that with a full war added...
Of course, the European population are suffering, conveniently hided and presented as a saving intent, the same whole of Europe killing machine effort the Soviet faced, this time against them, and they are being caught in low guard, without time to react and defend themselves...

That the current elite at the helms of the Russian Federation is allowing thus to happen without helping the European population and without unveiling what is happening here, is not but a sign that the current dictatorial effort being unleashed in Europe favours the Russian elite with regard making for them easier for them to imposse something similar on the Russian people, as the lighthouse of freedom in the West goes to black at light velocity..

We are assisting to a whole regressive revolution at the hands of the elites of the reaction in the world to pre-revolutionary times, something Putin, as admirer of Stolypin, always dreamt about...

One would say that for the first time in history the masses are alone, without the support of any nation or power, in front of the oligarchical elites..
Will we have what is needed to not allow them sending us to the darkness of the Middle Ages and the tiems of slavery, cold, hunger ans misery?
Will the people of all conditions and occupations, including the armies, unite against this genocidal regressive effort?

I hope so since a life on your knees is never worth living. Muslims in this regard have things quite clearer, but they are not lead in their religion by such who predicate people´s opression and submission to their own demise as we are...

Posted by: Black bread | Oct 23 2021 19:46 utc | 96

@ Constantine | Oct 23 2021 17:39 utc | 92... i am baffled too... i am not sure the angle he is working here... has anyone challenged him on this in the open questions he is so willing to take from the russian public? maybe they will... it all bears watching, or maybe it is worse as @ 96 black bread suggests...

@ Black bread | Oct 23 2021 19:46 utc | 96... thanks for your comments here.. you paint a dire picture... you might be right too... i hope not..

Posted by: james | Oct 23 2021 20:37 utc | 97

Also, continuing with my point on Putin´s neglecting atittude with regard the current state of affairs in Europe, at human rights level, and at unison with recent visit of Israeli PM, Naftali Bennet, to Russia, and since Putin declares the close ties both countries have kept throughout decades, one wonders why in the Earth Putin considers the Jews have the rught to have a country because of prosecution and crude extermination efforts suffered througgh WWII by the nazi war machine, and, yet, he does not considers the same right for the European unvaccinated population, suffering apartheid conditions worth the Warsaw Gueto in their own countries.

Why he does not rise this right to the UNSC?

It may be because of many Israelis are of Russian ethnicity, and the rest of Europeans are not...

I guess that in case we could have the possibility to address him, he would recommend terpenie,too and thus go preparing to face 40 years of dictatorship, as others, facing the same threat, were told once....

Posted by: Black bread | Oct 23 2021 21:06 utc | 98

Black bread @ 96, 98

What a beautiful, impassioned, and eloquent inquiry. I'll reread it tomorrow. Thanks.

Posted by: john | Oct 23 2021 22:58 utc | 99

The main thing about this thread is that

1. Many comments clearly show they didn’t read the speech
2. The speech spoke about a particular time in the 1920s when the Bolshevik wanted to recreate society, the family, the role of the mother and father, this is a well documented period in soviet and Russian history.
3. The speech is not a critique of communism - yet here we have the defenders of communism out in force.
4. Valdai. Is where think tanks politicians journalists come together to discuss interesting topics
Putin speech should be seen in that light - it certainly generates a lot of comments on here.

Posted by: James2 | Oct 23 2021 23:04 utc | 100

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