Do Not Awaken The Ghosts Of The Past! – Part III

Dear Readers:

Today we continue this piece by reporter Dmitry Steshin for the Komsomolka newspaper.  Steshin’s title literally translates as:

“Do not awaken, in your ancestors Perpetrators and Victims.  Otherwise we will have 1937 all over again.”

In his very title, Steshin reveals which side of this ideological debate he is on.  For, in reality, there are three sides to this debate:

  1. Reds
  2. Whites
  3. Conciliators

Let me briefly, in just a few phrases, describe the core ideology of each of these three sides; if I mispresent them, they are free to place a comment and correct me:

Reds believe that the Communists were right to overthrow the Tsar and build an egalitarian welfare state based on the needs of the working class and the working masses in general.  They believe that the Whites were retrogrades who attempted to restore a monarchy or at least impose a bourgeois-capitalist wage-slavery on the awakened masses.

White Knight slays Red Dragon: Propaganda poster from the Russian Civil War

Whites believe that the Communists were wrong to overthrow the Tsar [they tend to gloss over the fact that the Tsar was actually overthrown by bourgeois “democrats”, and that the Commies only stepped up to the plate a bit later, but whatever…], and that the White forces (Kolchak, Denikin, Vlasov, etc.) who resisted Communism were the good guys.  They believe that Communism is an evil philosophy which inevitably leads to a dictatorship of State Terror.  They point to the year 1937 as the culmination of this teleological process.  Speaking even more broadly and on a pan-European scale, “Whites” seek to overturn the rulings of the Nuremberg Tribunal which declared Nazi Germany as THE guilty party and instigator of World War II.  Whites believe that Stalin was just as bad as, if not worse than, Hitler; and that the Soviet Union (and its successor state, the Russian Federation) should be declared as the aggressor state in World War II.  Not seeing much of any difference between a racialist ideology such as Nazism and a class-based ideology such as Communism, Whites in the post-war period crafted a bogus political model which they dubbed Totalitarianism.  “Analyzing” superficial markers and drawing false analogies, they basically equated Nazism and Communism.  Their usual methodology is to use the metric of “Number of Innocent People Killed” to determine which side is more egregious.  By this metric, they say that Stalin was worse than Hitler, because he killed more innocent people.  For example, if you shot a Russian kulak simply because he is a kulak, then that is more or less the same thing as killing a Jewish shopkeeper simply just because he’s a Jew, Note that the comparison requires that the kulak be innocent of any actual crime.  If the kulak were to turn out to be an actual Japanese spy, then the comparison would be ruined.

Conciliators look to Putin to help build a new consensus.

Conciliators are those who attempt to build a new “Russian mentality” and a “Russian consensus”.  They want to put the old class war (Reds vs Whites) behind them and start afresh with modern Russia.  They are Russian patriots but not nationalists or racialists.  They accept that Russia is a capitalist country now, but they don’t necessarily want to be part of Europe or the Western world.  They want to equally recognize the achievements of the entire period of Russian history, including the Tsars, along with Soviet achievements.  They generally do not approve of demonizing the Soviet Union.  A typical spokesperson for the Conciliator point of view is Moto-Biker Alexander Zaldostanov, aka “The Surgeon”, chief of the “Night Wolves” biker gang.  Conciliators tend to be pro-Putin, although Putin has made it clear that, ideologically, he tilts towards the Whites.  Nevertheless, Putin is the President of all of the Russians, including those who didn’t vote for him; and including those who yearn nostalgically for the welfare state and for Soviet times.  Therefore, Putin and those around him have to be careful of what they say, for fear of, as Steshin puts it, “awakening the ghosts of the past”.

Biker “The Surgeon” is an ideological spokesperson for the Conciliators.

Conciliators are hampered in their quest for national harmony by an external enemy (=Westies) which meddles in the Russian internal debate; which aggressively supports the White side; and which continues to hammer on the class war; a side which insists that Russia be de-Communized in the same way that Germany was (supposedly) de-Nazified.  Remember:  These guys believe that Communism is worse than Nazism, so they also believe that Russia can never be a “real” country until it shucks off the entire 70 years of Communist history and repents for every single wronged kulak who was ever shot by out-of-control Stalinist goons.

In puerile Westie “thinking”, Everything is equal to Everything.

This ideological architecture frames every individual occurrence that flares up within Russian society.  If there were no “Denis and Yulia” to step forward and denounce the Stalin Terror, then there would be a “Shmenis and a Shmulia”.  The Whites will always find a new champion every couple of years or so.  Unfortunately for them, the Reds, awakening from their 25-year stupor, have started to counter-parry these incessant thrusts.

Now, having drawn this frame around the ongoing debate, it is time to get to the meat and potatoes of this particular example:

Was Stepan Karagodin, or was he not, a Japanese spy?

Recall that the “Cossack peasant and father of nine” Stepan Karagodin was arrested, charged with a specific set of crimes, and executed by an NKVD tribunal.  Stepan was not charged with the crime of “having an ugly face” or growing his beard too long.  He was charged with aiding enemies of the Soviet state, specifically the Japanese.

Soviets and Japanese clashed along Manchurian border.

Westie propaganda vehicles such as the Guardian, the BBC, and Radio Free Europe just laugh their heads off and declare that such charges are ridiculous, they were clearly trumped up.  But how would they know?  They don’t, they just assume.  And, as every American schoolchild knows, when you just “ASS-U-ME” something, without knowing for sure, then you risk making an ASS of yourself.

The conflict between Japan and the Soviet Union had been simmering for many years, and did not end with the Russo-Japanese War of 1905.   During the Russian Civil War, the Japanese intervened in Siberia, using Russian disarray in an attempt to seize disputed territory.  Even though the Soviets won, the Japanese were never fully driven out of Siberia:  They left behind a spy network.  The goal of these spies was to continue to plot for Japanese hegemony in disputed territories; the Japanese called their plan Ōtsu.

Starting in 1935 there were constant border clashes between the Soviet Union and Japan on the Manchurian border.  In essence there was an undeclared war already going on between Japan and the USSR.  The battles of Khalkin Gol  and Lake Khasan took the lives of over 60,000 soldiers (from both sides)

In addition to military superiority, the Japanese army enjoyed a massive international spy network towards the end of the 1930’s.  Cells had been uncovered all over Europe, even in France and Poland.  In the lead-up to World War II, Japan very aggressively sought dominance in the field of military intelligence.  A major target was the Soviet Far East.  The Japanese spy network in Siberia went under the name Tokumu Kikan, or “Organ of Special Services”.  These spy residents recruited from among the local population, including Russians who were unhappy with the Soviet government.

One thing we know for sure about Stepan Karagodin:  He was extremely unhappy with the Soviet government, as he had expressed numerous times in the past; and not just in words, but also in violent deeds of resistance.  But did Stepan actually step over the line and enlist in the service of an enemy state?  The true answer:  We don’t know for sure.  But there are certain clues pointing in that direction; what a Prosecutor might call “Circumstantial Evidence”.  Tomorrow we will go over these points of circumstantial evidence against Stepan and conclude this piece with Steshin’s final comments and warnings.

[to be continued]

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24 Responses to Do Not Awaken The Ghosts Of The Past! – Part III

  1. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    Being a ‘White’ is not easy. The ‘White’ ideology is a philosophical and rhetorical dead end. Accept the premise that communism was the greatest evil ever unleashed on earth, and how do you deny that Russia itself is evil and must be destroyed? You can’t, unless you have some emotional reason to reject that conclusion, and if you’re a foreigner you probably don’t.

    The ‘Whites’ try to present Russia and the Russians as the first victims of communism, and the whole Soviet period as an aberration that has nothing to do with the rest of Russian history. Well, that line has never worked for the Germans and it won’t work for Russia either. The alternative is to humbly accept that the Soviet period was a time of unequalled Russian devilry but plead that the world community should look past it and accept Russia as she is. It’s a weak, incoherent and frankly craven position, and it’s not surprising that nobody finds it very convincing.

    The modern day White guard eventually realises that his standpoint is untenable, unless he has truly heroic powers of doublethink. When that happens he may accept the liberasts’ creed, that Russia is diseased and unworthy, that ‘we owe the whole world and we will pay’. If he accepts the ‘Black Book’ version of the Soviet period but can’t bring himself to reject the idea of Russia, then his only escape is into nationalist extremism, and from there it’s only a short hop to outright Nazism – the cold-eyed gentleman in black match his mood far better than the defeated sad sacks of the Volunteer Army (you know that there’s a group of Russian Orthodox heretics who have Hitler as one of their saints?). If neither of these appeal, all he can do is become one of your conciliators.

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  2. Ryan Ward says:

    Being a ‘White’ is not easy. The ‘White’ ideology is a philosophical and rhetorical dead end. Accept the premise that communism was the greatest evil ever unleashed on earth, and how do you deny that Russia itself is evil and must be destroyed? You can’t, unless you have some emotional reason to reject that conclusion, and if you’re a foreigner you probably don’t.

    This doesn’t make any sense. It’s actually very easy to reject the communist era in toto without tarring Russia as a whole, if you have some other “version” of Russia to adhere to that can be plausibly portrayed as being as (or more) authentically “Russian” as the communist era. Putin’s “Whitism” (sorry, not sure how else to make the word “White” into an abstract noun for the ideology) is a good example of that. Of course, being a politician, Putin isn’t very explicit with his anti-communism, but it’s pretty obvious (to me, anyway). This doesn’t mean that he has to be “anti-Russian” or an extreme ethnic nationalist. It just means that he tends to reach further back into Russian history for his symbols. The communist period in Russian history only lasted about 70 years. It’s not that hard, if one is so inclined, to write it off as an aberration not reflecting Russia’s deeper traditions. I’m not saying that there’s some logical necessity for anyone to adopt that perspective, but there’s nothing difficult or contradictory about it.

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    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “This doesn’t make any sense. It’s actually very easy to reject the communist era in toto without tarring Russia as a whole, if you have some other “version” of Russia to adhere to that can be plausibly portrayed as being as (or more) authentically “Russian” as the communist era. “

      Hi, Ryan! Long time no see!

      About that:

      1) And in what point of time Russia was “purely” Russian?
      2) The USSR was the pinnacle of Russian civilization. This is fact. Anti-Sovietists betray their deep Russophobia by denying it.

      Like

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      It’s actually very easy to reject the communist era in toto without tarring Russia as a whole

      That requires you to pretend communism was something imposed on Russia by aliens (or Jews).

      This doesn’t mean that he has to be “anti-Russian” or an extreme ethnic nationalist

      Indeed, that’s why he’s a conciliator.

      The communist period in Russian history only lasted about 70 years

      A period of important social change, and the most important war in the country’s history – seventy years, in all, that are rather too important to write off.

      It’s not that hard, if one is so inclined, to write it off as an aberration not reflecting Russia’s deeper traditions

      Of course you can, but think about how your narrative will be perceived by others, who come to it without any pro-Russian prejudice to speak of. The neutral observer will quite reasonably ask why it is then that the communists could rule unchallenged for seventy years. Did the Russian people disappear to some other planet during this time?

      Certain German and Germanophile historians have tried to disavow the Nazi period in the same way. They have failed because “Nothing to do with us guv, honest!” is a weak, weak position to defend.

      The USSR was the pinnacle of Russian civilization

      The pinnacle is yet to come.

      Like

      • yalensis says:

        “That requires you to pretend communism was something imposed on Russia by aliens (or Jews).”

        Which is exactly what the Russian nationalists do, along with their comrades in the Nationalist Internationale (of European and American fascists parties, for example).
        For them it’s all about the crafty Jooooooz!

        Anyhow, excellent points made, Pavlo. There was something in the Communist system which deeply suited an entire chunk of the Russian mentality, for starters. Not everybody, of course, but in the final analysis the values and practice of Communism found a fertile ground in the successor state to the Russian Empire. I leave it to historians to speculate on the reasons why – the peasant Mir, customs of collectives in the countryside, benefits of a welfare state, whatever. Be that as it may, Communism found a very deep bench in Russia, as sports people say. And therefore cannot be written off as an aberration.

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  3. Ryan Ward says:

    In regard to the main issue, I agree that the tendency to automatically assume that everyone convicted in the late 30’s was innocent is simplistic and baseless. It’s a known historical fact, for example, that there were Polish spies in the Western regions, and it would be pretty far-fetched to assume that the NKVD was so incompetent that they arrested huge numbers of innocent people and didn’t manage to find a single real agent.

    However (for me, anyway), the factual guilt or innocence of individual people isn’t really the point. The point is that the judicial procedures used to guide arrests and charges were so hasty and so prejudicial that huge numbers of people were arrested or executed without much more evidence than mere suspicion. In most cases, we (from our somewhat distant perspective) can’t tell whether these people were guilty or not. What’s troubling is that, as the archives make clear, the NKVD didn’t know either.

    Like

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “What’s troubling is that, as the archives make clear, the NKVD didn’t know either.”

      This is simply not true. Or, truly, this is a simplification.

      Like

  4. yalensis says:

    Everybody:
    Thank you for your excellent comments, this is a very good discussion!
    As for NKVD “rules of evidence” and “metrics”, I don’t know if there is any scientific way to determine the ratio of “innocently accused” to “guiltily accused”, of what took place during those times.
    I know that many police forces do not have a good record in this regard.
    American justice, for example, is notorious for wrongly convicting innocent people, mostly on the basis of coerced confessions.
    With improved forensic science, such as DNA evidence, many wrongly convicted people have been exonerated in recent years.

    In such cases, one must take into account such factors as (1) poor documentation, (2) inadequate forensic evidence, (3) excessive use of confessions, etc.
    During the mid 1930’s the NKDV operated under a lot of pressure to clear up many cases very quickly, and probably relied too heavily on coerced confessions. Since there was not adequate time to do a really good and thorough job of police investigation.

    I am not a big fan of the Stalinist NKVD myself, since I have done quite a lot of reading about the political “show trials” and the purges of the Communist Party, etc. I personally believe that many innocent Communists and Old Bolsheviks were wrongly convicted of outlandishly false crimes such as spying for Hitler, etc.

    However, when it comes to “ordinary people”, not members of the elite, I suspect that the rules of evidence were more solid, and not so much pressure to convict for political reasons.
    No doubt there were also incompetent and lazy cops, as in any society.
    Taking all that into account, I suspect that the investigations against “ordinary people” such as Stepan Karagodin were mostly based on merit, and mostly complied with normal police procedures and rules of evidence.
    There were probably some miscarriages of justice, as well.
    Barring a Time Machine, it is not possible to really figure out which was which any more.

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  5. Ryan Ward says:

    Hi, Ryan! Long time no see!

    I’ve still been reading, just not commenting much lately. Pretty busy with school and planning for my wedding next month. Who needs free time or sleep, right? 😉

    1) And in what point of time Russia was “purely” Russian?

    I don’t think there’s any answer to that question. My point wasn’t that people who admire the Soviet period are “wrong”, in the sense that they’ve made a factual mistake about which era was more authentically “Russian”. My point is that there is no fact of the matter about questions like that, so (within reasonable limits) one answer is just as good as another. Different groups in the present construct separate narratives of the Russian past, generally with the goal of demonstrating that Russian history leads (or should lead) to a certain goal (This isn’t specific to Russia. I think it’s probably true of pretty much any country). Russian history can (if one is so ideologically inclined) also be parsed concurrently as well as consecutively. One can say that this or that aspect of Russian society is more “central” than another (The SRs, for example, did this by portraying the Russian countryside as more “truly Russian” than the cities). But given these different narratives, there’s no fact of the matter that you can point to and say, “This fact proves that narrative A is the right one.”

    Indeed, that’s why he’s a conciliator.

    (As a reminder, this comment was about Putin) I don’t really think he is. Putin has been repeatedly critical of the Soviet past, and has never had much positive to say about it except to approve of the Soviet Union, not so much as a communist state, but as a continuation of the Russian empire. Of course, Putin generally doesn’t draw attention to his opinions in this area, because he knows that that would pointlessly alienate groups of people who are otherwise inclined to (if a little tepidly) support him.

    Of course you can, but think about how your narrative will be perceived by others, who come to it without any pro-Russian prejudice to speak of. The neutral observer will quite reasonably ask why it is then that the communists could rule unchallenged for seventy years. Did the Russian people disappear to some other planet during this time?

    Certain German and Germanophile historians have tried to disavow the Nazi period in the same way. They have failed because “Nothing to do with us guv, honest!” is a weak, weak position to defend.

    Be that as it may, Communism found a very deep bench in Russia, as sports people say. And therefore cannot be written off as an aberration.

    I’ve put these comments together just because the points are similar (even though written by 2 different people). I think that there’s a reasonable bit of truth to both of these comments, and it makes me think that my choice of words, “aberration”, might have been a bit too strong. My point wasn’t that communism came right out of left field in Russian history. My point was the more limited one that there was no historical necessity leading in precisely that direction. So it’s possible, within a broadly patriotic narrative, to depict the communist period as a “wrong turn”, not inexplicable, but also not fated. Of course, in very simplistic nationalistic narratives, a nation has to be simply “good”, and therefore, if you’re going to reject a period of your country’s history, you have to blame it on Jews or Germans or purple Martians. But there’s also a more nuanced kind of patriotism that’s able to hold at the same time that one’s country can sometimes go in the wrong direction, and that there are good and valuable elements in one’s own traditions, so that it’s not necessary or desirable to accept some complete pre-fabricated foreign model to replace one’s own culture in toto.

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    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “1) And in what point of time Russia was “purely” Russian?
      I don’t think there’s any answer to that question. ”

      Yes, there are such answer – at no point in history was Russia (whatever her current name) 100% purely ethnic Russian and for said Russians. The “Whites” automatically dig up the national question with their presence.

      “The neutral observer will quite reasonably ask why it is then that the communists could rule unchallenged for seventy years. Did the Russian people disappear to some other planet during this time?”

      No. They didn’t disappear. They supported their new government – that’s why it could rule unchallenged for seventy years. But they also became something more – they become a part of the Soviet People. What, did all those Italo-Americans disappear the moment they ceased to be just Italian emigrants and become the citizens of the United States aka the Americans? Did they lost 100% their identity (answer – a little bit, but not completely). Are they a threat to the US security? No.

      “But there’s also a more nuanced kind of patriotism that’s able to hold at the same time that one’s country can sometimes go in the wrong direction, and that there are good and valuable elements in one’s own traditions, so that it’s not necessary or desirable to accept some complete pre-fabricated foreign model to replace one’s own culture in toto.”

      If you are insisting that in October 1917 Russia “took a wrong turn”, that “there was a better option” you should provide it. But you can’t. No one can. I repeat – as of now the Soviet Union was *the* pinnacle of Russian civilization.

      Like

      • Ryan Ward says:

        Yes, there are such answer – at no point in history was Russia (whatever her current name) 100% purely ethnic Russian and for said Russians. The “Whites” automatically dig up the national question with their presence.

        I wasn’t using the word “Russian” in the ethnic sense. I was using it in the national sense, to denote a historic political community. When I said “more Russian”, I mean more in line with whatever the essential elements of the Russian national tradition are, according to whatever narrative one is using.

        No. They didn’t disappear. They supported their new government – that’s why it could rule unchallenged for seventy years. But they also became something more – they become a part of the Soviet People.

        The Soviet authorities didn’t rule anything remotely like “unchallenged”. They took power only after a massive Civil War, faced massive discontent in many of the borderlands for decades thereafter, were opposed by Vlasov’s army in the Second World War, and struggled with a more or less vigorous (at different times) dissident movement in the post-Stalin era. It’s true that the Soviet authorities managed to overcome this opposition, but they had opposition in spades. Also, it’s noteworthy that Gorbachev had relatively strong popular support until he was outflanked by Yeltsin, and Yeltsin had strong support until he became semi-incapacitated by excessive drinking. There never was any sort of unified pro-Soviet, pro-communist consensus in Russia, and by the end of the Soviet period, people who were actually willing to do anything to help preserve the old order were few and far between.

        If you are insisting that in October 1917 Russia “took a wrong turn”, that “there was a better option” you should provide it. But you can’t. No one can. I repeat – as of now the Soviet Union was *the* pinnacle of Russian civilization.

        What is and isn’t a “pinnacle” of course depends on what criteria you’re using. If material standard of living is the criterion, the pinnacle so far was about two years ago. If you’re working with a more general measure of “social well-being” (including things like life expectancy, suicide rates, access to education, etc.), the pinnacle would probably be the post-2000 period in general. If you’re talking in terms of cultural production, a lot of people would probably point to the 19th century. If equality or international influence is the standard, the Soviet period will likely come out on top. Everything depends on what the criteria are.

        As for turns in history, there are many different ways history around 1917 could have gone, if circumstances, specific events, etc. had been just a little bit different. There could have been no revolution at all. The Kerensky government could have survived. The Whites could have won the Civil War. Bukharin or Trotsky could have won the factional struggles instead of Stalin, which would have resulted in a Soviet history that, while still communist, would have been significantly different from the actual one. Of course, there are historical reasons why none of these things happened, but only a small number of changes could have brought any of them about. Whether these are “better” options than what really happened again depends on what criteria are being used. Personally, I think any of these paths would have made for a happier 20th century history for Russia, with the exception of a White victory in the Civil War or a Trotsky victory in the factional struggles.
        As an aside, the point of doing thought experiments like that isn’t to pine after things that “could have happened”, which is pretty fruitless. It’s to “try on” different perspectives toward the past, with the aim of understanding the present and future in a different way.

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        • Lyttenburgh says:

          “I wasn’t using the word “Russian” in the ethnic sense. I was using it in the national sense, to denote a historic political community. When I said “more Russian”, I mean more in line with whatever the essential elements of the Russian national tradition are, according to whatever narrative one is using.”

          If used in some other, non-ethnic context, this pharase has no sense.

          “The Soviet authorities didn’t rule anything remotely like “unchallenged”. “

          It was you, Ryan, who first used this turn of phrase – “rule unchallenged for seventy years”. Every single government’s rule is challenged daily both within and from without with varying degree of success. Trying to pass Vlasov as particular “challenge” and not just a bunch of collaborationists and puppets totally dependant on the good graces of the Nazis is incorrect. Whatever serious and more or less viable alternatives there were for the Soviet power – they were eliminated.

          ” Also, it’s noteworthy that Gorbachev had relatively strong popular support until he was outflanked by Yeltsin, and Yeltsin had strong support until he became semi-incapacitated by excessive drinking”

          No, this has less to do with their personalities and more to do with how both of them fucked up the country, ruining people’s life. 1996 demonstrated that Yeltsin can’t win with “popular support” the elections so he has to rig them.

          “There never was any sort of unified pro-Soviet, pro-communist consensus in Russia”

          Yes, there were.

          “and by the end of the Soviet period, people who were actually willing to do anything to help preserve the old order were few and far between.”

          Should I remind you the outcome of the Union-wide referendum on preservance of the USSR?

          ” If material standard of living is the criterion, the pinnacle so far was about two years ago.”

          No, 2 years ago Russian Federation (alone) reached the pre-1991 collapse level of the living standards of the whole of the USSR. And why take 2014? If we go back further to the 1/2 of 2008 (remember – right before the Global Crisis) and compare to 1990 (hardly the pinnacle of the USSR) the comparison, due to huge income differenes in the modern Russia, is still not favorable (http://рождённые-в-ссср.рф/born/russia/view/10/). But, given that we are talking about countries with different economic regimes it’s like comparing apples to oranges (https://newsland.com/user/4297654227/content/ekonomisty-sravnili-uroven-zhizni-v-sssr-i-rossii/4227336). There was no unemployment and real pauperisation in the Soviet Union, for one.

          “If you’re working with a more general measure of “social well-being” (including things like life expectancy, suicide rates, access to education, etc.), the pinnacle would probably be the post-2000 period in general. “

          Nope again. We are only now, just barely by the hair of our teeth are overcoming the demographic crisis and experiencing the growth of the population with the reduction of excessive deaths. Even Adomanis (whom no one can accuse of being even pro-Russian) admitted that in Soviet times the situation was better.

          “If you’re talking in terms of cultural production, a lot of people would probably point to the 19th century.”

          Later 19 c. Also – really debatable. How can you really measure “cultural production”? It’s not something easily measurable or monolithic. What about the Soviet cinematography? Nowadays, we can only dream of making something like that.

          “As for turns in history, there are many different ways history around 1917 could have gone, if circumstances, specific events, etc. had been just a little bit different. “

          Despite best attempts of the Anti-Sovietists they can’t:

          – show how said turns could have happened
          – prove that said changes would be for the better.

          “Whether these are “better” options than what really happened again depends on what criteria are being used. Personally, I think any of these paths would have made for a happier 20th century history for Russia, with the exception of a White victory in the Civil War or a Trotsky victory in the factional struggles.”

          Naturally, as Russian and Russia’s citizen I don’t think so. And also – you can’t measure “happiness” or even apply one universal standard of it. Someone else’s happiness, for example, could be your misery – and the misery and destruction of your country.

          What I’m trying to do here is to dis-prove any mythologisation of Russia’s past, of the “Great White (Ethnic-Russian) Alternative” and crap like that. And also to remind such people whose legacy they are living in and whose descendants they are.

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    • yalensis says:

      Ryan! You’re getting married?!
      Congratulations!
      Please dish it out, we want to know all your wedding plans!

      Like

      • Ryan Ward says:

        Actually, for the moment, things are pretty simple. We’re just having the civil marriage. My fiancee is Vietnamese, so I’m going back to get married there. I’m going to spend some time with her family and go around her hometown a bit. It’s a little town in the provinces, but it’s really famous now because of a movie last year called “Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass” that was based there. I’ve seen the movie, so I’m excited about that. We’re both in school right now, so we’re going to wait until we finish to have a more formal wedding with family and everything. So planning the civil marriage hasn’t been much work. What’s been a lot of work is the administrative side of things. Getting all the paperwork together to get married is a bit laborious even for Vietnamese people. If you’re foreign, there are a lot of extra steps on top.

        Anyway, all the work is done, so now I can move on to the fun part 😉

        Like

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