Ah, Interpretation!- On The State And Revolution Part 2– by Amanda S. Green

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Ah, Interpretation!- On The State And Revolution Part 2– by Amanda S. Green

Or how Lenin proves he’s no better than those he condemns.

In the previous post, I noted how Lenin opened  The State and Revolution with a condemnation of those “socialists” who didn’t follow his own particular brand of socialism. In good lawyer fashion, he accused the Mensheviks and others of watering down the doctrines of Marx and Engels. In the second chapter of  The State and Revolution he continues that attack. This time, he wraps his arguments in historical “facts” along with more sleight of hand as he presents his own interpretation of those “facts” as well as socialism’s foundation texts.

As always, everything revolves around the oppressed working class and Lenin’s basic tenet that capitalism, imperialism and all the other isms can only be replaced by a true socialist state through violent revolution. However, in order to prove his approach is the one Marx and Engels supported, he had to find a way to debunk Marx’s statement in the Poverty of Philosophy about the process leading to the disappearance of the state:

The working class in the course of its development will replace the old bourgeois society with an association which will exclude classes and their antagonism; there will no longer be political power properly so-called since political power is the official expression of the antagonism of classes in bourgeois society. (TSAR, pg 22)

This statement seems to imply a withering away of the state. More than that, a withering away without revolution or violence. Oops. Lenin certainly couldn’t let that go unchallenged. So he turned to the Communist Manifesto, written not long after Poverty of Philosophy:

We have seen above that the first step in the workers’ revolution is the transformation (literally ‘elevation’) of the proletariat into the ruling class, the conquest of democracy. The proletariat uses its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all the instruments of production in the hands of the state, i.e. of the proletariat organized as the ruling class; and to increase the total of productive forces as rapidly as possible.

(TSAR, pg 22-23)

Leaving aside the fact the Poverty of Philosophy was never meant to be the political treatise the Communist Manifesto was, let’s be honest. The two passages aren’t at odds. The latter simply expands on the former. Lenin, however, being a master at manipulating facts and emotions to fit his needs and wants, used the “difference” to do more than point out the differences between his Bolsheviks and the other so-called socialists in 1917 Russia. He used it to paint those others as enemies of the working class, no better than their bourgeois “masters”. Unfortunately for Russia, he did his job all too well.

According to Lenin, the above quote establishes “the most remarkable and most important ideas of Marxism on the question of the state, namely the idea of the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’.” (TSAR, pg 23) How ironic is it, looking back on Russia over the last 100 years, to see how his “dictatorship of the proletariat” never grew beyond that – a dictatorship. Russia once more became as interested in colonial expansion as the England and United States Lenin envisioned and condemned. Oh, Russia used different tactics, but no one can deny the way it moved into Eastern Europe after World War II. That expansion was not motivated by some desire to help those countries behind the Iron Curtain. Far from it. That expansion was for land, people, resources and money. Such a wonderful example of the “proletariat dictatorship” and there is no evidence that dictatorship is withering away to a true people’s state.

One of the key passages in this chapter, in my opinion, is this:

The notion that the proletariat needs a state is repeated by all opportunists, social-chauvinists and Kautskyites, who affirm this to be Marx’s doctrine while ‘forgetting’ to add, firstly, that the proletariat (according to Marx) needs a state on the wane, i.e. a state so organized that it immediately begins to wither. And, secondly, the ‘state’ needed by the laboring people is to be ‘the proletariat organized as the ruling class’. (TSAR, pg 23)

“Needs a state on the wane.” That’s true for any revolution to have a chance of succeeding. If the state is strong (healthy), most citizens aren’t going to want to overthrow it. Why would they? A healthy state has a healthy economy, a strong infrastructure and hasn’t (under most circumstances) turned to oppressive tactics that foment discontent.

Russia in the early years of the Twentieth Century was anything but healthy or “strong” and the decline begun before Nicholas II became the tsar continued and was worsened due to a number of factors, including World War I. After the Romanovs were overthrown and the provisional government formed, Lenin took advantage of the fact the “change” the revolutionaries fought for not only didn’t come but that it looked like many of those professing to be socialists simply slipped into the role of oppressors.

The state is a special organization of force; it is an organization of violence for the suppression of some class. What class must the proletariat suppress? Naturally, only the exploiting class, i.e. the bourgeoisie. The labouring people need a state only to suppress the resistance of the exploiters, and only the proletariat is in a position to direct this suppression, to carry it out; for the proletariat is the only class that is consistently revolutionary, the only class that can unite all the laboring and exploited people in the struggle against the bourgeoisie, in its complete overthrow. (TSAR, pg 23)

So the state is the oppressing force and necessary for the proletariat to rule. Except it’s not just rule. The proletariat is to “suppress” the bourgeoisie. Yet, even as it suppresses one class, the proletariat is supposedly the only class able to unite all the other classes.

I don’t know about you but I’m a suspicious sort of person. If I see a group of people proclaiming to be the liberators, the heroes of freedom and equality, suppressing anyone, I have a problem. What is to prevent the “dictatorship of the proletariat” from deciding I need to be suppressed? It is now the “state”, remember.

Lenin doesn’t answer that question, at least not yet. Instead, he returns to his attack on the social democrats, the Mensheviks and others. In today’s terms, he’d call them squishy socialists who only want to adopt the feel-good aspects of the philosophy. They didn’t preach revolution. They saw the state withering away into a true socialist society as a natural progression, something akin to an evolutionary process. Oh, sometimes you had to rise up and push the oppressors out of office, but you didn’t make the streets run red with blood. This, according to Lenin, was “petty-bourgeois socialism.”

Does that make what happened after the Bolsheviks took control “superior-bourgeois socialism”?

Here is where things start sounding familiar, almost reminiscent of the 2016 election cycle and some of the rhetoric that came from not only the Sanders camp but HRC’s as well:

The proletariat needs state power, the centralized organization of force, the organization of violence both to crush the resistance of the exploiters and to lead the enormous mass of the population – the peasantry, the petty bourgeoisie, the semi-proletarians – in the work of ‘establishing’ a socialist economy. (TSAR pg 25)

Again, Lenin reinforces the idea of not only the need of revolution but of a proletariat rule, not of the people but of an oppressor. Oh, he pretties it up to mask what he’s saying but that’s the gist of it all. The bourgeoisie must be oppressed and so must everyone else until they have been sufficiently indoctrinated that they no longer fight. The oppression, he promises, will lead to a “socialist economy”.

Riiight.

With regard to the state, Lenin is of a singular mind, or so he’d have his followers believe/ “all previous revolutions perfected the state machine, whereas it must be broken, smashed.” (TSAR, pg 25) Given this has been the belief of many revolutionaries throughout history. However, history does have 20-20 vision and we can look back and see how often the “crushing” of a state either left it vulnerable to invasion from outside enemies or how the crushing led to even worse conditions from within.

Irony, thy name is Lenin when we come to this:

The centralized state power characteristic of bourgeois society arose in the epoch of the fall of absolutism. Two institutions are most typical of this state machine: the bureaucracy and the standing army. (TSAR, pg 27)

Anyone who has done even the most minimal study of any socialist or communist government knows there is a centralized power. That power is absolute and failure to follow Party doctrine can lead to not just punishment but death. Bureaucracy is rife and the standing army there to quickly quash the first sign of rebellion. We’ve seen that in China, in the Soviet Union/Russia, in the actions of the USSR in putting down rebellions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. But we are supposed to sit back and wait for the dictatorship of the proletariat to mature enough that it can finally wither away. The only problem with that it won’t. In the time it would take, the proletariat dictatorship will have become the oppressors of the future.

I think you get the picture. For the proletariat to fulfill its place in history, it must lead the revolution. Even though the state will be unnecessary in the socialist existence, the proletariat needs it to not only oppress but destroy the ruling class. It needs it to maintain control and prevent uprisings until a socialist economy can be established. Once that happens the dictatorship of the proletariat will no longer be necessary and the ‘state” will finally begin to wither away. Until then, everyone must trust and follow the proletariat because only it is able to lead and unite.

Now, can you imagine what would happen if a Wall Street lawyer was to get up and say this today? Most of us would laugh him off the stage. However, we didn’t laugh Bernie off the stage. A number of young voters fell into step with him, praising his “unique message”. Why? Because he took the tact of the Mensheviks and others Lenin condemned. He didn’t come out and preach that they need to make the streets run red. Even so, he – and Hillary in her own way – promoted this proletariat dictatorship where wealth would be redistributed, the “state” would care for you and we’d all be happy little socialist ants.

To limit Marxism to the doctrine of the class struggle means to chop up Marxism, distort and reduce it to something acceptable to the bourgeoisie. Only those persons are Marxists who extend the recognition of class struggle as far as the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is what constitutes the most profound difference between the Marxist and the ordinary petty (as well as grand) bourgeois. This is the touchstone on which a real understanding and recognition of Marxism is to be tested. (TSAR, pp 31-32)

Read the first sentence and remember it. Remember it the next time you listen to Bernie or any of his ilk talking issues in Washington. Remember it when you listen to DNC talking heads or the media. The modern socialists, even if they don’t believe in the extreme version of the philosophy Lenin did, have learned a lesson from him. It’s not the one he meant to teach but, in some ways, it is more dangerous. They have learned how to drape their policies in a way they are “acceptable” to most people. That is what makes them so dangerous.

Think about it. How many people do you know who support universal healthcare in some form or fashion? It’s almost a knee-jerk reaction in some people because they believe no one should suffer because they can’t afford to see a doctor or go to the hospital. We’ve been taught, in our churches, at our dinner tables and in our schools to be charitable. Those leaning into the socialism spectrum play on that when they talk about universal healthcare or free college education, etc. What they never discuss is how those will be paid for because, once the veil is ripped away, there is a cost.

We have to start asking if these policies that sound so good are worth the price.

[T]he essence of Marx’s doctrine of the state has been assimilated only by those who have grasped that the dictatorship of a single class is necessary not only for every class society in general and not only for a proletariat which has overthrown its bourgeoisie, but also for the entire historical period dividing capitalism from ‘society without classes’, from communism. The forms of bourgeois states are extraordinarily varied, but their essence is the same: all these states somehow or other in the final analysis simply have to be a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. The transition from capitalism to communism, of course, cannot help but produce a vast abundance and variety of political forms, but the essence will inevitably be the same: the dictatorship of the proletariat. (TSAR, pg 32)

Something else to consider as you read Lenin, he wants to do away with capitalism. He wants to not only overthrow but destroy the bourgeois. He advocates for the “dictatorship of the proletariat”. What he hasn’t told us yet is how long it will take to reach the nirvana of the true socialist state. Nor does he tell us how a socialist economy will work. If you take the carrot of not only success but potential fame and fortune (and all the other reasons people work hard), what will be a worker’s incentive to do more than the minimum required of him?

In its own way, Atlas Shrugged is as slanted and impossible as is Lenin’s socialist/communist haven. However, Rand was right about one thing. There comes a point when those who value themselves and their work will no longer be happy turning their work over to a “state” or those the state appoints without compensation or recognition. As much as humans want to be generous and merciful, we are human. We have faults and pride and greed are just two of them. For the state to wither away slowly as we evolve into a people who will willingly follow the adage “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs”, how many more revolutions will have occurred and how many more “dictatorships of the proletariat” will have morphed into the new state?

[For raising the tone of this blog — ATH is culture! — and helping me with the exposing of the roots of the current mess — in her case with more facts! — if you decide to  send the woman a drink–  And her Amazon author page is here -SAH]

218 responses to “Ah, Interpretation!- On The State And Revolution Part 2– by Amanda S. Green

  1. They have learned how to drape their policies in a way they are ‘acceptable’ to most people.

    I am not sure that it is “ways that are acceptable” so much as ways for which alternatives are unacceptable. You buy their solution or you are selling the problem.Calling folks fascist, racist and phobic is not a strategy intended to persuade, it is a strategy designed to silence.

    • Basically, two ways of saying the same thing. It becomes “acceptable” because you want to prove you aren’t what they say you are. Shrug.

    • And the strategy of silencing opposition works very well…..right up until suddenly it doesn’t, and you are caught flat footed by a large number of poeple who have decided that social ostracism or no, they have had Enough Of Your Shit.

      This is the Left’s biggest problem at the moment. They had used the silencing strategy for so long and so broadly that they forgot it wasn’t a remotely PERSUASIVE argument. No a whole bunch of people they thoght they had convinced to Think Rightly have gone and voted in Donald Trump. And, moreover, they have had the gall, when called ‘fascists’ for doing so, to reply ‘When we see a bunch of Brownshirt wannbees marching in the streets and attacking people, we know who the fascists are’.

      The Left is in deep kimchee.

      • ‘When we see a bunch of Brownshirt wannbees marching in the streets and attacking people, we know who the fascists are’.</


        Maybe they’re simply out collecting for the Red Cross?

      • When the people who disagreed with Obama! based on character, principle, and policy were being told “it’s only because you’re racist”, and those who disagreed with Hilary! based on character, principle, and policy were being “It’s only because you’re sexist”, they started calling it horsebiscuits and cowpies (to use the descriptive but less crude euphemisms I was taught as a youngster). Which is how we got Trump.

        So, of course, since it worked so well, the Leftists decided to intensify their efforts, and went to elevating molehills to Mountains and Making *Stuff up when they couldn’t find anything. Anyone who has been paying a lick of attention and has a memory that lasts longer that two weeks can detect the delicate aroma of their culinary efforts.

        This is also why the gassing about how the Democrats are expecting to win control of Congress in the next election smells suspiciously like flatulence.

      • Yeah, the taupeshirts made the argument for a lot of people (I refuse to dignify them as either brownshirt or blackshirt. Either Ernst Romm or Heinrich Himmler’s boys would have gone through them like a hot knife through butter)

  2. Random thought: TSAR also makes a good acronym for “The Soviets Are Revolting”.

  3. “Those leaning into the socialism spectrum play on that when they talk about universal healthcare or free college education, etc. What they never discuss is how those will be paid for because, once the veil is ripped away, there is a cost…. what will be a worker’s incentive to do more than the minimum required of him?… There comes a point when those who value themselves and their work will no longer be happy turning their work over to a “state” or those the state appoints without compensation or recognition.”

    Forgive my editing, but I wanted to tie these points together, because I think your second point really gets to the heart of what “the cost” is. When you talk about “the cost” of universal health care or college education, the response is usually along the lines of “you can’t put a price on human life” or that good old cliche, “if you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” But the cost of these things isn’t really in money.

    The cost of universal health care is in the fact that fewer and fewer people want to become doctors for the level of compensation the state wants to pay, in the months-long wait time for basic surgeries, in the decline in equipment until the city of Pittsburg has more MRI machines than the entire country of Canada, in the “end of life pathways” that amount to euthanasia, voluntary or otherwise. The cost is in the fact that the patient is no longer a valued customer but a drain on the resources of the state. Similar though not as drastic costs apply to the “free” college education: trying to decide who gets to go and how long they get to stay at someone else’s expense, not to mention all the wasted effort by people who could be in the labor market.

    • Cue Maggie Thatcher, “The problem with socialism is that eventually they run out of other people’s money.”

    • > “you can’t put a price on human life”

      A few weeks ago bought some more 9mm ammunition from Wal-Mart. The after-tax price came to 23 cents per round for Russian-made FMJ.

      This is America, where I can walk into a single store and buy steak, shoes, computers, and ammunition at three o’clock in the morning…

      20-ct boxes of 12ga were $3.60 on sale. I can’t even buy the shot to reload spent shells for that. I stocked up.

  4. Everywhere they’ve tried immanentizing socialism, it has failed and created a huge mess. You can’t point to a single successful implementation anywhere. As a social theory, it should be dead, dead, dead. But it isn’t.

    I look at it as being akin to the classic cons. Nobody, at this late date, should be falling for the Nigerian Prince or the Spanish Prisoner, but they do. Socialism is that same ever-green, ever-renewing sort of thing, and the societies which fall prey to its allures are the same as those credulous saps who fall for the classic cons.

  5. Socialism attracts maladjusted middle class people who use working class to advance their own interests, mostly overpaid cushy jobs where not much is expected. Socialists are deeply cynical people, use rhetoric of helping the poor, but they are out to line their own pockets in reality.

    Socialists now aren’t even using poor people as props anymore – Canadian PM Trudeau when he won last election, his campaign and now admin was all about helping middle classes. Sanders, Clinton, Macron and others are focused on the middle classes and working poor or underclasses are totally off the radar.

    I am Canadian and it is astonishing how much money The State extracts from people but very little of that money trickles down to downtrodden we are supposed to be helping or providing services.

    • I am Canadian and it is astonishing how much money The State extracts from people but very little of that money trickles down to downtrodden we are supposed to be helping or providing services.
      You sir are obviously not cynical enough then. I have been seeing the issues for over thirty years now. I always cringe when a highly socialist politician gets into power be it municipal, provincial, or federal. Currently Canada is fooked.

    • .”Sanders, Clinton, Macron and others are focused on the middle classes and working poor or underclasses are totally off the radar.”

      An idea just occurred to me about that. It seems to me that instead of ignoring the poor and working class folks, Sanders and Clinton and the like are acknowledging them by informing them that they aren’t *marginalized*. If they don’t fit into the special bubbles of the “protected” classes or experience “oppression” simply by existing, then they’re not special and therefore need to be concerned about people other than themselves*. Intersectionalism has become the new proletariat.

      *An example off the top of my head – in that NYT Op-Ed “Can My Children Be Friends with White People”, one of the points the “writer” made about how untrustworthy whites were was that they were concerned with their own job welfare instead of focusing completely on the welfare of PoCs.

      • You know what you call people forced to focus on the welfare of someone other than themselves? Slaves.

      • The reason why the minorities are still so screwed up has much to do with the mindset that is exemplified by this so-called “woke” personage: If you’re waiting for whitey to “focus completely on the welfare of PoC”, guess what, baby? You ain’t off the plantation; instead, you’re fitting yourself out for a new set of shackles, because the only creatures you focus “completely on the welfare” of are domesticated animals, and nobody keeps those as anything other than pets if they’re not going to exploit the hell out of them. So, the minorities that want their welfare “focused on”? They’d better step up their game as pets, ‘cos the other option is “farm animal”. Classically, that implies either they’re eatin’ animals, or workin’ animals…

        Given the option of pet, food animal, or working animal, I’d take a fourth option: Mind your own Goddamn business, and I’ll take care of myself. If you want me to take care of you, instead, then you better show up at my doorstep wearing a collar, with a good attitude, and provide me with something I need, the way my dogs do. But, that’s no way for a human to live, so I’d really rather you didn’t.

        • Pets.. easy life, but restricted… and bits cut off/out.
          Food… well, not so easy, more restricted, bits cut.. and that ending.
          Work… not so easy, restricted, bits cut.. eventually same ending likely.
          Free.. oh, hey! Alright, maybe not so easy. Worth it anyway.

          And that freedom thing? Involves the hardest work of all: thinking. Sure, someone else can do it for you. They have a name: Owner.

        • the only creatures you focus ‘completely on the welfare’ of are domesticated animals

          No, folks also are prone to focus completely on the welfare of their minor children. Up until they reach the point of being well past the age when they have to be kicked out of the nest to care for themselves. Attempting to remain whiny adolescents is not a good long-term strategy.

          • Minorities, by their definition, ain’t my kids or blood kin. That leaves only the other options I mention for the simple fact that you can’t force me into that parental sort of arrangement. Well, you might be able to, but that then implies that I get to make all sorts of decisions for you, and I might just opt for euthanasia. After all, if you can’t survive on your own, I must look to your welfare once I’m gone, and that means I should ensure you get a humane death, so that you won’t suffer or be a nuisance to others. That is, after all, the responsibility of any good owner, is it not…?

            Yeah; try and force me into that relationship–I guarantee you will not like it.

            • Adult/minor relationships are not strictly limited to blood kin, as any adoptive parent would attest.

              You are overlooking all the myriad ways in which the State is eliminating parental authority.

              I merely stated their strategy; I did not assert it was a good strategy. One of the defining characteristics of children is their general inability to formulate good strategies.

              • You can’t make me adopt you; that’s a voluntary choice, on my part. Should you force that on me, well… Good luck, with that; I’ll likely opt for that humane euthanasia thing.

                The dysfunctional of the world need to understand something: By deliberately choosing dysfunction, as opposed to becoming actual adults with full self-agency, they’re creating a situation in which other people are going to be making decisions for them. And, those decisions ain’t likely to be ones they like, because instead of living lives of careless luxury sipping Hennessy, smoking good weed, and laying around the house someone else is paying for, they’re more likely to eventually wind up living in bunk-bedded dormitories, wearing coveralls, and doing rote manual labor in some productive occupation like picking up trash or lawn care.

                You want to be a domestic animal, behaving as such? Don’t be really surprised when you’re taken at your word, and turned into one. For reals…

                • TANSTAAFL, baby.

                • > By deliberately choosing dysfunction

                  But it’s not presented that way. It’s being a good person, and ecological, and supportive of the community, and The Way People Are Supposed To Be. It has been hammered into them all their lives, from their first daycare to college.

                  Outside that little circle of Right Thinking, it’s all Nazis and snake handlers.

                  A lot of those people are socialist pod people because they literally don’t know any better.

                  Remember a TV show called “The Rifleman”? That’s now held up as an example of child abuse.

                  • Ever see what happens when someone converts from a lifelong belief system to something else…? Like, when an adult who was fully and unquestioningly indoctrinated into a religion like Mormonism as a child, never thinks about the tenets or precepts of it all, and then suddenly… Does? The worst thing you can do, in all too many cases, is rely on indoctrination like that to make your case with the young. They start thinking for themselves, then they automatically start rejecting everything that came to them in that manner. The worst Jack Mormons I know all started out as compliant children of religiously observant families, the ones that forced them into that mold rather than letting them grow into it all naturally.

                    There’s no fanatic like the converted, whether you’re talking a former smoker or a guy who’s found religion/atheism suddenly.

                    All those indoctrinated types, with the unquestioned positions? Watch what happens when they have the inherent contradictions thrown up in their faces, and what happens once they realize they’ve been lied to all their lives.

                    The whole thing is bound to blow up in the faces of the Left, once enough of these “socially woke” white kids really wake up and realize the implications for their position in society after the revolution comes. Right now, it all sounds good, ‘cos justice and all that, but… Let the new facts of life make themselves brutally apparent, and explicitly clear…?

                    Pendulums swing. Push too hard one way, and you’d best be out of the way for the backswing, or you’re gonna have a very educational time of it. Survival may or may not be part of that education. Likely, not.

                    • For example: see the alt-righters who were good little gentry liberals until they dealt with something that shattered the idea that the problem was “white supremacy” rather than “human nature.”

                • The Hell they can’t make you adopt! What do you imagine the portion of your taxes diverted to the Welfare Apparatus constitutes? So okay, it ain’t adoption it is merely Child Support, but they’ve made you do it all the same.

                  • And, when enough of us are tired of paying the bills for all that…?

                    Guess what follows next, for the welfare parasites? Society-wide deworming agents aren’t quite as pleasant as those used to rid the body of tapeworms, but they are available, and they will be used. Best not to be in the parasite class, when patience wears thing…

                    • And, when enough of us are tired of paying the bills for all that…?

                      I refer you to my earlier remarks about “not a good long-term strategy” and a “general inability to formulate good strategies.”

                      I am describing, not prescribing, the thinking of the kind of folk he believe that attacking what they believe to be gun-toting Nazis with bicycle locks. Because they never have experienced the true consequences of their behaviours they imagine they never will.

                    • I’m not sure that’s true, RES; you’ll notice that we haven’t had anything like that where there are robust self-defense laws…. and the blue governments realize they can’t afford to protect the bike-lockers.

                    • Oh, I’m not meaning to argue with you, RES… Just pointing out what we’ll get when things are carried out past the point of tolerance. Which all too many people miss entirely, or hand-wave away.

        • “The reason why the minorities are still so screwed up has much to do with the mindset that is exemplified by this so-called “woke” personage”

          I was about to point out that many minorities aren’t screwed up at all, based on the success stories of the Asian and Hispanic communities, but then I remembered that when you’re “woke”, success = not oppressed = clearly part of the oppressing class. See also: the Uncle Tom label.

          Interesting how “woke” sounds suspiciously like what Lenin would be calling himself if he were alive today.

          • It’s also rather funny how the “successful minorities” refuse both to see themselves as minorities, or be termed such.

            The folks who call themselves “minorities” generally don’t grasp what that word means, or that they’re actually in the minority, or what that really signifies. To most of them, it’s just a word that they use to refer to their special status of privilege that they’ve either appropriated or been given. The demographic reality it describes means nothing to them, and when they suddenly have their faces rubbed in that reality, the shock is palpable. The Left has done them a huge disservice, in forcing the government, media, and entertainment to put more “minority members” forward in public view than there really are. Were every entertainment, sports team, and government office to be forced to actually represent the national percentages of ethnicity honestly, and only allow every specific agency, sports team, and entertainment to show the actual numbers of minority members that are present in the general population… Oh, Lord… The wailing and gnashing of teeth that would ensue.

            But, you’d also see one hell of a different attitude start to show up. The average “minority member” never really thinks about what that word actually means; they see the urban areas around them as being “majority minority”, and all the things on television and the movies showing there being more minorities represented there than there actually are… Well, what follows is a false sense of their place in the nation, and of their power. Which inevitably leads to trouble, for all concerned.

            I had a fun time, once, watching one of my subordinate NCOs that happened to be black explaining all of that to a couple of young “woke” urban youth we had had recently assigned to us. He used M&Ms, a bus seat, and by the time he was done with those two young men, the looks of raw fear/shock on their faces? It would have been funny, if not for the implications. With both of them, they’d never, ever thought much about what the word “minority” actually meant, or how many other people there were that were “like them”. The realization forced on them was educational, though. I think. Maybe. Who really knows? All I know is that they weren’t as much trouble to work with, afterwards…

            • I had a fun time, once, watching one of my subordinate NCOs that happened to be black explaining all of that to a couple of young “woke” urban youth we had had recently assigned to us. He used M&Ms, a bus seat, and by the time he was done with those two young men, the looks of raw fear/shock on their faces? It would have been funny, if not for the implications. With both of them, they’d never, ever thought much about what the word “minority” actually meant, or how many other people there were that were “like them”. The realization forced on them was educational, though. I think. Maybe. Who really knows? All I know is that they weren’t as much trouble to work with, afterwards…

              Kirk, that sounds like a tale that needs tellin’, you realize that, right? Story, please?

      • Intersectionalism has become the new proletariat.

        Just figured this could use the emphasis. Wish I’d said it.

    • Of course they concentrate on wooing the middle class.. It’s hard to extract taxes from those poor props, and they know better than to try extracting ’em from “the rich”.

  6. If I see a group of people proclaiming to be the liberators, the heroes of freedom and equality, suppressing anyone, I have a problem.
    That’s because you’re not sufficiently “woke”. Duh. *eyeroll*

    • “Woke” is a(n unfunny) joke.
      Guess why there’ll soon be legal pot to smoke.

      • Ah, because pot cures a tension headache faster than Aspirin, Tylenol or Motrin, without the stomach upset, liver or kidney problems. Contra-indicated for those under 25 due to stunting brain development. Over 25 should only use in moderation, similar to strictures on alcohol usage.

        • I will concede that there are medicinal reasons for use of cannabinoids. Recreational use, however, might be problematic — though might be less problematic than trying to forcefully prevent such.

        • Know what else cures a tension headache…? Removal of the source of tension. In some cases, a carefully-placed 9mm bullet will work wonders for that…

          • Oh, go whole hog! Use a .45.

            • Nah… I’d have to buy one, then.

            • Whole hog is a .50

              • Honestly, too much backsplatter. Don’t ask me how I know…

                Going after an elephant, a rhino, or a bear? Yeah; maybe then a .50 anything isn’t too much in the way of a “behind the ear” gun.

                For people-size headache tension relief? I’m gonna opt for something a bit smaller. Valery Blokhin was fond of the Walther Model 2, in .25 ACP, and if anyone would know, that would be the guy.

                • Going whole hog to me means getting a bronze, steel-lined, black powder cannon with a 2 inch bore to fire concrete filled soda cans capped with lead.

                • Some years ago had a chance to fire a S&W500 a few times. Fellow who owned it admitted it was mainly a fun loud toy for him. But it made perfect sense for, say, someone in Alaska doing something out where there might need to forcibly dissuade a polar bear.

                  • First time I went to Alaska to work fires, I sent my S&W Mod. 27 .357 Magnum ahead to meet me in Anchorage (trying to sneak it through Canada on the Huey helicopter I was field mechanic for was – contra-indicated). At the time, the .454 Casull was The Most Powerful Handgun In The World. When I got to the fire camp, I’d say 70% of the people there had the Casull, the rest .44 Magnum. The most common reaction I got upon meeting folk there was a nod toward my belt and a derisive, “Whaddaya gonna do with that thing if a bear comes after you, throw it at him?”

                    I imagine there are a *lot* of .500 S&W Magnums in the field there now.

                    My second summer in AK, I sported a 12-ga. shotgun which had been customized by the commander of my Oregon state militia unit commander who was a professional gunsmith. He also built me a .300 Win. Mag elk gun on a Mauser action I purchased at a gun show for a *very* reasonable price. Good fella.

                • Guncrafter Industries makes a 1911 in .50 GCI. Custom round. Has pretty much the same ballistics as the .45, but is more sarisfying to those of a certain mindset.

                • That should be Vasily Blokhin. Valery is a more recent Russian artist.

  7. ” there will no longer be political power properly so-called since political power is the official expression of the antagonism of classes in bourgeois society”

    I see. Political power only exists in a bourgeois society.

    of the proletariat organized as the ruling class;

    So a classless proletarian society nevertheless has an organized ruling class. Which has no official expression of antagonism, and thus no political power properly so-called. Riiight. Tell it to the bourgeoisie (grand or petty) who have to be destroyed because they stand in the way of the Revolution. And the peasantry who aren’t educated enough grasp the distinction between the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and the dictatorship of the proletariat. And the foreign and domestic enemies who don’t trust Lenin and are watching what he is doing more than listening to what he says.

    Of course he’s going to keep the bureaucracy and the standing army; how else is he going to prove that he’s different from from any common bourgeois dictator? Sometime those are going to wither away. Marx Said So.

  8. It needs it to maintain control and prevent uprisings until a socialist economy can be established.
    While Lenin’s point has its problems, I’ll say that he’s not necessarily wrong on the necessity of gov’t. One of the major problems with the current foreign policy paradigm in the West is the idea that you can just plop down voting somewhere and you instantly have a free republic. In reality, a gov’t is necessary there to (en)force cultural changes in the society, until the people believe and practice those virtues/principles necessary for a free republic to exist.
    This is the problem with all of our “nation building” in the past several decades. We institute free and fair elections, and they promptly vote themselves dictators or socialism (but I repeat myself). There is some gain to be made by transferring inter-clan warfare from the battlefield to the legislative house. But it will never really produce a free republic – until and unless those virtues/principles are inculcated in the people.

    Maybe Lenin understood people better than modern politicians?

    • Or maybe modern politicians understand him and his methods better than the people do.

      • I don’t grasp this one.

        • Lenin’s tract is full of doubletalk. The bourgeoisie and their dictatorships were bad, the proletarians and their dictatorships were good, He has a clear idea on the means of change; violent revolution, but was vague on exactly how the new proletarian dictatorship would be different than the old bourgeois state, except that it would wither away because Marx said so.
          It’s a model that has appealed to revolutionaries and other politicians: Grand, sweeping but vague promises of hope and change, to follow from changes in who is at the top, but with little change in the ordinary machinery of government. People keep falling for it.

          • The unspoken bits of Lenin: “We are going to replace their bastards with our bastards; you lot? You’re still gonna be working for someone else, and someone else is gonna get the dacha…”.

          • Ah, well, my point was limited to the idea that you can’t simply put in place a democracy and call it good. Lenin espousing an interim gov’t shows a better understanding of people than the current crop of “nation-builders”. Which is a shocking statement – that Lenin had any understanding of human nature.

  9. [Carefully composed snarky comment on Lenin eaten by WordPreferee which rigorously enforces its time-outs. ]
    I ought to have learned by now.

  10. “…what will be a worker’s incentive to do more than the minimum required of him?”

    To me this has always been the number one, and most ignored failing of Socialism. If someone only has to pay according to their means, but only ever gets according to their needs (wants be damned, and make no mistake, with Socialism they will be). What would be the point in increasing one’s means if you aren’t allowed to keep the extra.

    • Socialism relies on the idea that everyone in a society be equally virtuous, while simultaneously eroding the things in society that encourage people to actually be virtuous.

      I’ve thought long and hard how on God’s green earth you could make real socialism work with real people, and every time I do it, I wind up having to create people that aren’t… People, anymore. They have to become something other than human, in order for the whole thing to work, or all our petty little desires and self-interests sabotage the whole thing. You need a world full of nothing but Stakhanovites, and what we’ve actually got is a world filled with a mixture ranging from Martin Shkreli to Mother Teresa.

      It. Ain’t. Gonna. Work.

      You want a microcosm of why socialism and communism won’t work with real people…? Yeah. Here’s what you do: Take a communal bathroom in a dorm or a barracks, and let things return to a state of nature, and document what happens. I guarantee you that you’re going to recapitulate Venezuela on a small scale, and the whole thing is going to become an unsanitary disaster area that people go out of their way to avoid, going to other, better-run facilities that are probably supervised by a shrieking harridan or an utter micro-controlling madman. But, which are clean and sanitary…

      Tragedy of the commons, folks. That’s what it is, and why every socialist country in the world is an environmental shithole. Look at Venezuela, and where it’s heading–It’s gonna be an international Superfund site, before the whole thing’s over.

      • Don’t know whether Lenin realized that virtue is not an innate human attribute, or whether he didn’t care. I suspect the latter.

        Kirk’s right, for socialism to work, people would either have to be ants, or angels.

        • I’m pretty sure no Marxist believes in actual virtue. While at the same time assuming the “proletariat” are angels with no vices. Only the other classes have vices. Treating classes as if they were scientific states of matter instead of masses of individual people is one of the fatal flaws of all forms of Marxism.

        • I tend to assume that people who wind up in a position like Lenin’s not only know but rely on the fact that things will not work the way they tell everybody else.

        • Sounds like T.H.White’s ants: “Everything not mandatory is forbidden.”

      • Enter the “New Soviet Man” who could make this work…
        Supposedly, by removing the repression of Bourgeois morality and Capitalist internalized oppression, the Proletariat would magically rise up sinless and selfless… yeah, not working yet. Time to send more wreckers and Trotskyites to the Gulag.

        • But of course! They live a revolutionary society! All outside forces to make them evil have been removed, so it must be their own fault!

      • Or “It is Everyone’s job, so Everyone expects Someone to do it, however Someone didn’t so Nobody does it.” Paraphrased, because I am pretty sure I didn’t get the quote 100% correct.

        • Close enough… And, what I’ve posted on many a latrine wall, in a forlorn attempt to inculcate virtues that should have come with mother’s milk…

      • ” I wind up having to create people that aren’t… People, anymore. They have to become something other than human, in order for the whole thing to work, or all our petty little desires and self-interests sabotage the whole thing.”

        Kipling nailed that one:
        https://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/kipling/imperial_rescript.html

        They passed one resolution: — “Your sub-committee believe
        You can lighten the curse of Adam when you’ve lifted the curse of Eve.
        But till we are built like angels — with hammer and chisel and pen,
        We will work for ourself and a woman, for ever and ever, amen.”

    • Cue F. A. Hayek, “The Road to Serfdom.”

  11. See: Fabian Socialism. By 1920, when H.G.Wells wrote his Outline of History, the Fabian Society (coat of arms: a wolf in sheep’s clothing) had already established the idea of repackaging communism as merely what basic humanity demanded. Don’t think of it as seizing people’s stuff, think of it as gentle nudge toward charity. That whole streets flowing red with blood thing was turning out to be a hard sell to non-lunatics, especially when it’s not super clear that you would not be the one doing the bleeding out. omelette/egg; individual is nothing/collective is everything stuff.

    I mention Wells because his History set the early standard for cultural Marxism: just retell history so that it is a natural and *inevitable* march forward, denigrate or minimize awkward stuff like the key role of religious beliefs, and, if necessary, lie. It will be necessary whenever history contradicts the Marxist line.

    Many real historians were appalled, but that didn’t matter – all the cool kids pretended to love it (doubting here that any read it – giant multi-volume tome. I haven’t read it.) That book became the basis for much of modern history writing, especially textbooks.

  12. Christopher M. Chupik

    On a very distantly related note, I noticed a comment on a tweet:

    “If we don’t go extinct, I think our brief period of capitalist economics will be viewed as a period of ignorance akin to the dark ages.”

    Socialism is less than 200 years old, but capitalism is a flash in the pan. 😀

    • Socialism etc. counts on the elimination of greed. Riiiight.
      Free Market economics harnesses greed. Maybe cynical & ugly..
      But. The. Damn. Thing. Works.

      Huh…
      Socialism: F-35.
      Free Market: A-10.

      • I didn’t take a lot of economics classes, but it seems to me that most economic/political theories boil down to “You have a Thing that I want. How do I get it?”

        There’s the mugging option: “I have a gun. Give me Thing, or I will shoot you”
        There’s the charity option: “I want Thing, and have no way to acquire it beyond an expenditure of your goodwill. Please deign to give me Thing.”
        There’s the feudal option: “All Things belong to the monarch. If you won’t give me Thing, I’ll petition the monarch for Thing.”
        And the capitalist/free market option: “I want your Thing. I’ll give you my OtherThing in exchange.”

        Socialism always struck me as cross between mugging and feudalism, under the guise of “Thing belongs to all of us, and if you don’t give me Thing, I’ll have the authorities shoot you.”

        • Economic Cargo Cult- if everyone plays along with the rituals, then the Thing will magically appear.

        • One of the problems (IMO) is that economics has been over-intellectualized. Most of “economics” is really just a way of quantifying “human nature”. Which is dangerous when done too blithely.

          Or, without grasping actual human nature (Marx).

        • And of course the feudal (state) option is a variation of the mugging option. Instead of stealing Thing directly, which entails such inconvenient details as the possibility of getting killed or injured by your victim if he should decide to resist your blandishments, you convince agents of the state to steal it for you.

      • > A-10

        GAU-8. The gun so awesome that, instead of putting wheels on it, they bolted on some wings and jet engines…And the “wings” are really just planks to mount more stuff to. A fully-equipped A-10 looks like a flying junkyard.

        The weapons system nobody wants… except the grunts on the battlefield. But if their opinions were worth anything, they’d have real jobs in the Pentagon instead of schlepping around somewhere with people shooting at them.

        • From what I’ve read, the US Army would love to have the A-10, but the USAF Brass would have kittens at the thought of letting fixed-wing aircraft be under control of their hated adversaries fellow servicemen.

          Back in the USENET days, I heard of an air-to-air kill by an A-10 (Gulf War I, I think). Apparently the “Warthog Stomp” doesn’t leave much for the opponent to bail out of, assuming there’s much of the opposing pilot left.

        • They literally designed the airframe around the gun. The firing barrel (at 9 o’clock when looking from the front) is exactly on the center line of the airframe. The rest of the gun is to the right and the nose wheel is set off to the left. And yes that means turning while on the ground is weird since left and right turns are of different radius.

    • Again with this “capitalist” thing: Capitalism is exactly as old as the fantasy of Marxism, because that’s exactly who created that particular straw man in order to argue against it: Compare Marx’s ravings to the real world, and see how much matches up to the reality. He was arguing against his own sense of entitlement and persecution, not the reality of human economic intercourse. His world of dog-eat-dog exploitation exists only in his mind, and that of very short-sighted MBA graduates. You can’t run a thriving company by abusing your employees, not after the opening stages of industrialization, and not really before then, either.

      Capitalism is as real as Marxism; both are the flawed conceptions of a diseased mind, a mind that never did an honest day’s work in its life. Marx was a classic social leech, contributing nothing tangible or useful, building nothing lasting, and doing nothing but parasitic damage to his host organism.

      Instead of speaking of “Capitalism”, which is to acknowledge Marx was correct in his characterization of it, we should instead be speaking of “traditional economics”, or at least using terms that do not carry the intentional emotional freight he built into his arguments.

      I can’t emphasize this enough–“Capitalism” isn’t real. It is the delusional emotional projection of a jackass madman, who created the most destructive set of ideas the world has ever seen. We need to quit allowing his emotionally overwrought children of the mind to frame this issue, and use other terms.

      • Hence my turning to the term ‘free market’.

      • As Herself has observed, even the opening states of industrialism (as horrifying Dickens and his lies portrayed them) have to be considered by comparison to the agricultural economy they were replacing.
        Farm life doesn’t seem quite so bucolic and pastoral when you can count on working before sunrise to after sundown even in the wind, rain and mud, and being kicked, stepped on, bitten or pecked by the livestock.

        • “and his *likes*”; Not to accuse him of being any more a liar than any other author of fiction. Dickens did grow up in a poorhouse, which was hardly an auspicious start in life.

      • You can’t run a thriving company by abusing your employees
        Well…. One of the problems with us discussing Marxism in America, imo, is we don’t come at it from the point of view of a formerly feudal or totalitarian society. It is possible to run a “thriving” company by abusing your employees – if they don’t have (or don’t feel like they have) any other options.

        Now, the definition of “thriving” we use might try to exclude those companies, but by all our measures, there are plenty of “thriving” Chinese companies. And, if there’s a better example of “exploiting the proletariat” I haven’t found it.

        Which is where the wise see how much better our society of liberty and pursuit of happiness is. Because in a FREE society, your statement is absolutely, necessarily TRUE.

        No matter what, Marxism in all its flavors is a failed philosophy. But many of its assumptions have to be viewed from the pov of the societies in which it was written, to really get to the proper framing of the answer.

        • “It is possible to run a “thriving” company by abusing your employees – if they don’t have (or don’t feel like they have) any other options.”

          Thing is, if your employees don’t have any other options, you’re not in a free-market economy in the first place. You’re basically running a feudal state, with slaves.

          Now, yeah, the early days of industrialization were rife with those abuses, but the thing is, those abuses didn’t have any real staying power. Eventually, the workers formed unions (which were promptly corrupted, but that’s another story…), and the abusive exploiters had to either reform or go out of business when someone like Henry Ford came along offering more money.

          Labor is only exploitable so long as labor doesn’t have any options. Given options…? You’re not gonna get to play robber baron for long. It will catch up with you, just as we are observing with regards to Hollywood and Silicon Valley.

          • “It is possible to run a “thriving” company by abusing your employees – if they don’t have (or don’t feel like they have) any other options.”

            As a tangent, I just read The Radium Girls, and there’s a third option: if the employees don’t realize they’re being abused. The radiation poisoning took years to show up, and more years before it was recognized as an actual thing.

            • The history of radiation is fascinating in a morbid sort of way. Reading about everything that was done, including by the scientists involved in building the first atomic bomb, it’s clear that they just had no clue how dangerous it was.

              • Some of them did, but a lot of people had problems understanding that something they couldn’t see, hear, or feel could be dangerous. Others simply weren’t made aware of the problems.

                In one of Feynman’s books he talked about being sent from Los Alamos to Oak Ridge, where they had an unexplained radiation problem in the isotope storage area. The forklift drivers were scrupulously maintaininng separation of pallets, as they had been instructed. But nobody had told them that also applied to pallets on the other side of the wall in an entirely different room…

                • Ooh … may have heard of that one from another source, a book on the Manhattan Project. It stated that a scientist was dispatched to Oakridge because they were cued in to the properties of what they were handling, and had enough of a pile that it was in danger of going critical.

                  • Yep, it was Feynman. He was a very junior newbie, and could be spared for scutwork while the Big Brains were doing Real Work. He also had a knack for being able to communicate with non-experts, so he wound up doing a bunch of different things instead of just sitting at a desk all day.

              • The Radium Girls’ court cases, and the evidence of the danger to their bodies, were apparently a major reason why most of the scientists survived the Manhattan Project. The evidence was recently in mind and the building designers could look at the protocols, realize that wasn’t nearly enough, and have the political will to get things fixed (when it would otherwise be deemed too expensive).

            • And not just radiation. I recently got tangented into match making in Wiki-bloody-pedia, and came across ‘phossy jaw’, the acute degeneration of dentition due to exposure to fumes of white phosphorous in the production of matches. The workers’ jaws, in severe cases, would glow in the dark, at least until they had to be removed to (hopefully) preserve the life of the victim.

              • That was the first diagnosis many of those ladies were given, once the doctors stopped assuming syphilis or diphtheria. In fact, many of the early attempts to figure out what happened looked for phosphorus in the radium paint, because it couldn’t possibly be the radium. Radium was healthful!

                (Side note: in one of the Oz books, Ozma is given a radium crown as a present. The interpretation of that gesture would be very different today than it was in the book.)

                • Ozma’s incarnation in the “Wearing the Cape” series explains that Ozian radium is very different stuff than our radium…

      • That reminds me. I have to pick up the “Wealth of Nations” again and continued reading it. Got sidelined last year with it.

        • I found it very weird to read. Paragraphs upon paragraphs could be replaced with a couple of equations or diagrams. Apparently that wasn’t done back then.
          The use of “corn” to mean “any grain” was very confusing until I finally figured it out.

          • I ran into the same problem with European history books that kept referring to “corn” long before they rediscovered the Americas.

            • Which is why the term afterwards was usually “Indian corn” if it was from America.

              • As part our church’s Sunday School literature, there were tabloid sized color posters of various bible scenes and such. The one where Jesus and the disciples were walking through the wheat field and the disciples broke off the heads of wheat and nibbled on them was portrayed as walking through a field of maize. That’s because the KJV translates the grain as “corn.”

          • Yeah the whole corn thing was difficult for me awhile back with some older stories until I learned that all hard grains were “corn”. See also ‘Johnny Barleycorn’ and ‘corns’ on feet.

          • I once read a kids adventure/mystery book and did not then know that ‘torch’ translated as ‘flashlight’ and wondered why the kids carrying around flaming sticks or such didn’t attract attention in a modern setting.

          • P. J. O’Rourke did an intro to THE WEALTH OF NATIONS, in which he pointed out that Descartes had only recently developed the graphical representaion of numbers (relatively speaking). Applying that to economic figures would have been a pretty radical idea. He described that section of the book as Smith trying to do a graphical analysis without graphs.

      • I’ve once explained it like this. Socialism is a description of what could be; Capitalism* is an explanation of what people do.

        *I use the term fully understanding all the history and baggage behind it.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        I try to call it “the free market” whenever possible, but sometimes I lapse.

        • I wasn’t meaning that as an attack on you, Chris… Although, it probably came across as one. Apologies.

          It just drives me nuts to see a lot of well-meaning people fall into that trap, and adopt the opposition’s framing and definitions of the issue. I reject all that Marxist clap-trap entirely, because to use his terminology is to cede him the ground to fight upon.

          Cut off the Marxist definition of “Capitalist”, and you go a long way towards breaking their arguments entirely. Accept their terms? You start out with a losing proposition.

      • what they call capitalism is free trade. No more, no less. And free trade is the natural condition of mankind.

    • “brief”, like 5 kiloyears that we know about.

      I need to defer to Inigo Montoya on that one

  13. Amanda, if you plan to continue these awesome analyses after you finish with TSaR, would you consider Caught in the Revolution by Helen Rappaport? It focuses on the 1917 revolutionary events as seen through the eyes of foreigners living in Petrograd at the time and is fairly even-handed overall. I think it would be an interesting comparison to see how Lenin portrayed his revolution vs. what was being recorded by those actually on the ground level.

    • It might be interesting to look at the Western reporting of the Soviet system, such as Walter Duranty’s proaganda journalism in the NY Times, assuming there’s a book on the topic.

      Or it might be interesting to examine some of the roots of Libertarianism, such as Rose Wilder Lane’s The Discovery of Freedom: Man’s Struggle Against Authority.

  14. Paul L. Quandt

    First: Sarah, great post.
    Next: Some of the best comments I have read on any site, bar none.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

  15. Not quite off topic and very good news: I know a few of you have been praying for us, thank you. My husband will be a permanent employee at the food processing facility he’s been temping at on Monday.

    Go to Waffle House. Order hash browns. You are eating my husband’s labor!

  16. c4c

  17. Harry Russell

    Capitalism doing it’s thing? ;p

    Congratulations.

  18. Oh, Russia used different tactics, but no one can deny the way it moved into Eastern Europe after World War II. That expansion was not motivated by some desire to help those countries behind the Iron Curtain. Far from it. That expansion was for land, people, resources and money. Such a wonderful example of the “proletariat dictatorship” and there is no evidence that dictatorship is withering away to a true people’s state.
    ——————————-

    One quick note on this, because I think it’s something that’s important to be aware of –

    Russia is paranoid about foreign invasions. It probably has something to do with the fact that over the centuries they’ve had some very ruinous invasions from the east (the Mongols) and the west (Napoleon, Hitler). As a result, the Russians have developed the very understandable attitude that building up a network of client states along Russia’s border is a good idea. Client states don’t typically invade. And client states provide a good place to fight and head off ruinous wars so that those ruinous wars never reach Russian soil (they might devastate the client state, but it’s better than allowing that devastation to reach Russia).

    Just something to be aware of, and to keep an eye out for. I’m not saying that it’s justified, particularly with the limits that Moscow placed on the countries behind the Iron Curtain. But it is something to be aware of.

    • “Russia is paranoid about foreign invasions. It probably has something to do with the fact that over the centuries they’ve had some very ruinous invasions from the east (the Mongols) and the west (Napoleon, Hitler). ”

      It also has to do with the fact that the ethnic Russians today are the descendants of such an invasion by Swedish Vikings…. and have resisted assimilation ever since. Think about what England would have been like if the Normans had never assimilated, but maintained themselves as a separate group of rulers over serfs.

    • Economically they were treated more like colonies, and bled to support Russia.

      • Which also extended to how the Russians treated the Central Asian region. There’s a lot of parallels between how the Tsars and the Soviets treated the area, and how the “colonial” powers treated their overseas possessions.
        Parallels that are usually ignored, because A. Who can find Tajikistan on a map?, B. We’re accustomed to thinking of colonies as something you have overseas, and C. certain people didn’t want to think that the Soviets were just as exploitative of subject peoples as “capitalist” countries were.

  19. End Trumpophobia now!

    CNN is a Trump-hate-aholic and it’s Time for an Intervention
    By Sarah Hoyt
    For years now I’ve been getting a strange vibe off CNN. I mean, besides the fact that they’re crazy liberals, of course, and seem to think they’re middle of the road. But this year, it finally solidified. Particularly after reading about their speculation relating to Melania’s SOTU attire. I mean… it can only be one thing.

    CNN, as a collective entity has been hitting the bottle hard. It might be reaching the point of no return.

    You know how it goes, right? There’s someone in the family, usually the loud and strange uncle, that just gives you that weird vibe, but you can never be absolutely sure they have a problem. It’s entirely possible they’re just assholes, right?

    Sure, he gets combative at weddings, and pesters the bride for a kiss; he rants about politics or sex at the most inappropriate moments; and towards the end of a party nothing will do but for him to put on a snazzy hat – or something that can pass as a snazzy hat – and run to the nearest crossroads to direct traffic. But the thing is, what part of this is a serious problem, and what part of it is just being odd, not very well socialized, and frankly sure he knows a lot more about things than he does?

    You don’t know, so you endure it and you go along.

    Kind of like for years we’ve gone along with CNN …

    • CNN and the rest of the MSM are so hasty these days. You hear little from them except about all their Russian.

    • The first comment at the Patterico post Sarah links sounds like it would be right at home over here.

      “These are Heinlein’s Crazy Years, just few decades late.”

      B.A. DuBois (80f588) — 1/31/2018 @ 10:26 am

    • > the more daring among us bought remote controls that turn off public televisions

      Search “TV-B-Gone.”

      I quit going to various restaurants after they mounted a bunch of TVs and turned them up to “earthquake.” I told the owners or managers why, but they acted like they couldn’t understand what I was talking about. They probably couldn’t hear me over the noise.

      see also, “Why do I need to bring my own flashlight in order to read your menu?”

      There’s a Chinese restaurant I eat at occasionally. It’s run by ethnic Chinese who barely speak English, and who are woefully ignorant of The Way Things Are Done. Their food barely rates a 3 on a 1-to-5 scale, but the place is quiet and brightly lit. And if you look at their customers, you’ll see they’ve attracted the local crazies; you’ll usually see half a dozen paper books and at least that many tablets out as diners multitask…

      • see also, “Why do I need to bring my own flashlight in order to read your menu?”

        Heard an old preacher talk about going to one of those places. He said “We ate by faith, not by sight.”

  20. ok, this makes my head hurt.

  21. “I don’t know about you but I’m a suspicious sort of person. If I see a group of people proclaiming to be the liberators, the heroes of freedom and equality, suppressing anyone, I have a problem. What is to prevent the “dictatorship of the proletariat” from deciding I need to be suppressed? It is now the “state”, remember.”
    * * *
    Just wanted to bump this, because it’s the key to deciphering every good-sounding speech and tract ever presented as “what’ll save you,” including religious or political ideologies.

  22. Pingback: The Economic Basis for the Withering Away of the StateOn The State And Revolution Part 4– by Amanda S. Green | According To Hoyt