8/29/2015, 9:47 pm
Just wanted to showcase a new book cover I made for Cliff Kincaid.
The Sword of Revolution and the Communist Apocalypse
This book has a lot of valid, factual information. At the same time, I remain skeptical about the theory that the breakup of the USSR was only a show so that the communists could take over the world by other means. Not that there aren't powerful forces bending the civilized world towards what they call "progress" (and what I call collectivist barbarism), but those are different people and different movements with different goals. I generally don't believe in conspiracies that require the presence of an undying, eternal, all-knowing, and superhuman brain - or in this case, community organizer.
I follow the developments in Russia very closely and one thing today's Russians couldn't care less about is Communism. To be sure, the Communist Party still has a strong presence there, but that's mostly because Putin is feeding the communists in order to appease the nuts and the old-timers. That is also part of Putin's strategy to shape and maintain his own opposition (hence the only viable candidates for Russian presidency today are a zombie communist, Zuyganov, and a psychotic nationalist, Zhirinovsky). In short, the idea is to position Putin as the lesser of the two evils: "If not Putin then who, those two crazies? Thank you very much, we'll take Putin." Thus, Vlad remains a preferred choice in the eyes of the Russians and the world.
In everything else Russia has already switched to a capitalistic economic model back in the 1990s - with commercial banks, stock exchanges, etc. Granted, it's a crony capitalist system with plenty of government control and corruption, but it has little to do with communism. The new generation of Russians knows very little about Marx and Lenin.
The government-sponsored rebirth of the cult of Stalin is not as much about communism as it is about the politically expedient cult of a strong authoritarian leader running a totalitarian collectivist society with nationalist, nostalgic underpinnings. Stalin is promoted, not as an ideological tyrant and mass murderer, but as a fighter against corruption and a strict ruler who made the entire world afraid of Russia.
The anti-Western and anti-American sentiment in Russia is now stronger than ever, due to the efforts of the Kremlin-run media. But the ideology behind it is no longer Marxist. Of all historical analogies, the closest it comes to is the Third Reich - hardly a Communist Internationale.
Marxism has now been replaced with a weird mix of cynical nihilism, nationalism, and collectivist "spirituality" supported by the Orthodox Church, which itself has become as spiritual as a cash vending machine in a casino. Jesus in Russia has become the equivalent of a "velvet Elvis."
And as for the "fake" split between the USSR and China, I lived through it and remember all the official anti-Chinese propaganda for inside consumption. As Soviet schoolchildren, we were taught to hate and despise the Chinese. We had a saying, "as dumb as a hundred Chinamen," and we believed in it. But there also was fear, and we were taught survival skills in case of a nuclear attack: using gas masks and living in underground bunkers.
The Soviet morale at the time of the Sino-Soviet split could be summed up with this joke we used to tell in high school: "The optimists study English, the pessimists study Chinese, and the realists study the Kalashnikov rifle." So no, with all due respect, I'm not buying the theory that the Sino-Soviet split was a fake either.
In everything else, the book is a worthy source of useful information and I'm looking forward to working with Cliff on future projects.