We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Merrick Garland and the Babski Bunty

‘Babski Bunty’ translates as ‘Women’s Rebellions’ – but don’t expect to find too many accounts of them in radical feminist writings. The history of an actual rebellion movement against men with guns (and considerable will to use them), by women inspired by a traditional female motive and using a female-adapted method, is not what the politically correct want US children taught – not least because the men those women resisted served the original PC movement. (The phrase ‘Political Correctness’ first arose in 1930s western intellectuals’ whitewashing of communist atrocities.)

In 1929, a complex mixture of rage, fear and folly launched the communist party on its collectivisation of Russian agriculture. They’d long planned to do it. Now they would do it quickly and completely – so they thought. The urban intellectuals who planned it knew almost nothing of how Russia’s men farmed their land – but they knew absolutely nothing of the women’s role. So they planned to take control of the grain from the fields, putting the farmers’ claim firmly second in line after the state’s – but as for the trivial additional issue of the dairy products from the cow (or there might be a couple) in the byre by the house, it never even occurred to them that there was anyone to be put second. The grain would feed the state, with the farmers getting what was left over. The dairy products would earn export capital (insofar as dairy was not ‘rationalised’ out of existence in farms whose function was ‘obviously’ arable).

In traditional Ukrainian and Russian arable agriculture, the fields were the men’s business (women helped at harvest). Any supplementing animals living by the house were their wives’ business – wives who particularly relied on the milk, butter and cheese to nourish ther growing children. As the party activists were launched on their hasty campaign with its even increasing collectivisation targets, what had been invisible to planners in Moscow swiftly became horrifyingly visible to mothers on the farm. What enraged the men, as they saw their whole way of life replaced with one they found vastly inferior, was to their wives an immediate and direct threat not merely to their role but also to their offspring. Thus it was that the astonished and largely uncomprehending activists found themselves facing especially uncooperative peasant women.

Thousands of women were shot, or sent to the gulag from which very very few emerged alive 25 years later, but as what the activists came to call “women’s rebellions” spread from their Ukrainian origins into the Don, the Kuban and Russia proper, the scale left the communist authorities somewhat at a loss. All resistance was labelled ‘terrorism’, of course, but a few of the more perceptive activists came to understand the tactics the women were using. Women jeered and jostled the village’s activists while others undid the collectivisation structure by breaking into stores, retrieving farm tools that had been seized, etc. The men’s role was to stand back, coming to the women’s defence if and only if the activists violently attacked them but otherwise not getting overtly involved.

This tactic aimed at avoiding intervention of armed forces, and it was successful.

(It was often successful, not always.) An activist’s male pride was frequently reluctant to beg that a sizable secret police or army formation be swiftly dispatched to save him – from a crowd of loud-mouthed women. It could be hard to make these (genuinely!) mostly peaceful protests sound urgent enough to an official at the end of a phone line. The in-parallel ‘terrorist’ offences against ‘the property of the socialist state’ (i.e. people reclaiming their property that the activists had ‘collectivised’ the week before) were harder to reverse than the initial unwarned seizure had been (especially if a crowd of women was crowding round the activists who were searching for it). Thus, a non-trivial proportion of many a collectivised farm’s economy was in effect privatised again.

Thanks to a lot of brave resistance from both sexes (the women’s rebellions being a significant part), Stalin found it necessary to publish his ‘Dizzy with Success’ Pravda article at the end of March 1930, explaining (in the usual utterly-deceitful soviet style) that some activists had been ‘too eager’ and the collectivisation drive was being paused. Some activists tried hard to prevent the peasants learning of it while others wrote enraged letters to Stalin, correctly pointing out that they’d done what he’d told them to, and foolishly not realising that the methods communists eagerly applied to peasants could also be applied to communists themselves. (Some of these letters got published – 40 years later.) Women’s rebellions played an even larger role in forcing bitterly-resisting activists to let the peasants act on Stalin’s temporarily-gentler public line.

That was then, this is now. In the US, woke teacher activists are more eager to repeat this history than to teach it. Merrick Garland (Biden’s attorney general) also seems more interested in imitating it than in learning from it. Indeed, I’m not at all sure either the teacher-activists or Merrick even know it.

So now, as then, there is a need for tactics to resist the onrushing politically-correct programme. Today’s US differs a lot from communist Russia of nearly a century ago (thank God!). But I offer US citizens this distant analogy for whatever ideas it might inspire in its unduped women and in men willing to defend them.

There is a darker analogy. Stalin threw his ‘Dizzy with Success’ activists under the bus because he had belatedly realised that a much more carefully prepared attack was needed. In 1932-34, by killing enough Ukrainians to meet the UN definition of genocide (and lots of Russians and others), the communists succeeded in imposing the collective farm system. The crop shrank markedly, but Stalin saw this as an acceptable price to pay for the state’s having control of it. The quantity and quality of education is not as tangible as the size of a grain harvest – but even if it were, I don’t think the wokesters shrinking it would care. Last time, this tactic brought only a pause, not victory. A pause would be better than nothing, but Churchill warned people rejoicing over Dunkirk that wars are not won just by making your enemies pause in their advance.

15 comments to Merrick Garland and the Babski Bunty

  • Paul Marks

    “Stalin’s” Marxism was economic – based on the Labour Theory of Value (which Dr Marx got from the errors of David Ricardo) and ending private property in the means of production – including in farming. His economics was wrong – because he got it from Karl Marx, who was wrong, who got it from David Ricardo, who was wrong.

    It should be noted that a strong strain in liberalism – the strain of the “Radicals”, people such as James and J.S. Mill also got their economics from David Ricardo – hence the hostility to private landowners and private factory owners that one finds in John Stuart Mill (this, Ricardian misunderstanding of economics, is one of the reasons it is a great mistake for libertarians to follow J.S. Mill).

    The Marxists, like the Fabian socialists (and the Bloomsbury Group) in Britain, had wanted to destroy traditional CULTURE (SOCIETY) as well – but “Stalin” had some doubts about that, and half drew back.

    All this is should be remembered – because the “New Left” did not reject the Soviet Union because it was too extreme, the New Left (i.e. the Frankfurt School of Marxism left) rejected the Soviet Union because it was, in their eyes, too MODERATE. The Soviet Union did not, at least after Stalin pulled back a bit in the culture, did not seek to totally exterminate Russian culture – and the New Left wanted to exterminate all traditional culture and society.

    Totally destroying the culture (society itself) is the aim of the New Left – and there are no depths to which they will not sink. Sexually mutilating children? Yes – wonderful! Destroying the family and the role of the sexes that go back to as long as there have been human beings? Of course! The New Left attack against natural law and human nature is – total.

    “Stalin” in spite of his being responsible for the murder of millions of human beings still wanted a functional society – he wanted a socialist economy (which does not work – to put the matter mildly), but he wanted society to exist.

    The New Left wish to utterly destroy society – and the New Left control almost every institution of the Western world, government and private.

    Society is not dying a natural death – society is being murdered, and it is being murdered by the very “educated” people who should be its guardians.

  • Paul Marks

    The modern left covering up the resistance of women, women trying to defend their families and family enterprises.

    No shock there – that is exactly what one would expect the left to do. Remember the left now do not even accept that biological women even exist.

    The madness of Plato is now total.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    I’m jealous of Niall’s writing skills.

  • the last toryboy

    Somewhat related, I hope it’s a joke though.

    https://slate.com/human-interest/2021/10/kids-social-justice-vigilantes-parenting-advice-care-feeding.html

    You never know these days however.

  • bobby b

    When that Slate kid crosses over to become a true serial killer, neither his parents nor Slate will ever accept that they made him what he is.

  • John Lewis

    The second “letter” in that slate article is also a corker. A young black girl apparently tells her father that the only family she knows where the parents don’t hit each other is white. The father complains that his biggest problem is dealing with the racist bias his children have already absorbed.

    Bad kiddies. Believing the evidence of their own lived existence.

    (I’m taking a wild guess that when the father refers to racist bias he doesn’t mean CRT).

  • the last toryboy

    Honestly I’m not sure if those articles written to Slate were jokes, but it’s hard to distinguish parody from reality these days. I could well believe that American schoolchildren are being groomed into being Stasi informants these days, unfortunately.

    If it is true, then I cannot understand how anybody can find that anything other than horrifying. Surely someone will have a ‘Hans, are we the baddies?’ moment. And in the US of all places, the land of the free.

  • […] Here’s something for those moms to think about. The ‘Babski Bunty’ […]

  • Paul Marks

    English speaking cultures are especially vulnerable to Frankfurt School attack – because, at least in modern times, the English speaking world does not take cultural IDEAS seriously and thinks that freedom just appears without anyone believing in it and working to bring it about – the David Hume and F.A. Hayek mistake.

    I suspect that Frankfurt School efforts to totally control education (and so on) in order to destroy the family (and all other cultural institutions) would get more “push back” in other parts of the world (including in the Frankfurt School’s native Germany) than they do in the English speaking world – where ideas (principles) are not really treated seriously by “the right”. Although all of the Western world is under attack.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    English speaking cultures are especially vulnerable to Frankfurt School attack – because, at least in modern times, the English speaking world does not take cultural IDEAS seriously and thinks that freedom just appears without anyone believing in it and working to bring it about – the David Hume and F.A. Hayek mistake.

    I suspect that Frankfurt School efforts to totally control education (and so on) in order to destroy the family (and all other cultural institutions) would get more “push back” in other parts of the world (including in the Frankfurt School’s native Germany) than they do in the English speaking world – where ideas (principles) are not really treated seriously by “the right”. Although all of the Western world is under attack.

    100% agree.

    SQOTD imo.

    Very important point.

  • Rob

    Is Slate a satirical magazine?

    The UK is especially vulnerable because we share a language with a country whose academia, politics and media went completely insane, and social media was the sewage pipe which connected us to it, 24/7.

  • Paul Marks

    Rob – if you think these ideas are an import from the United States, you are mistaken. They were dominant in intellectual circles in Britain as far back as the 1960s – and in the British Home Office (in charge of the police and so on). Back when, in the United States, J. Edgar Hoover was still Director of the FBI – and, whatever his other faults, he was not “Woke”.

    Indeed the NON Marxist socialist roots of all this are strong in Britain – the Bloomsbury Set, the Apostles Club at Cambridge – J.M. Keynes and co), the Fabians long before the First World War, H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw (both totalitarian fanatics – treated as cultural icons in Britain) and all the rest of them. We did not need to import Collectivist attacks on culture from the United States.

    Indeed P.E. Moore (the old tutor of T.S. Eliot, who came to see him in Britain in the 1930s) came to the conclusion that the reason that things seemed more peaceful in Britain is because there was no-real-resistance-to-the-left here, with so called “Conservatives” accepting all the doctrines of the left after a few years. Because the British “right” (like the establishment Republicans of the American north east) did not take ideas seriously.

    Even today – you will find more resistance to the left in Missouri (the State of T.S. Elliot – before he tried to reinvent himself as an Englishman), and many other States of the United States, than you will find in Britain – and that is not difficult, because there is basically no resistance to the left here.

  • Paul Marks

    “Is Slate a satirical magazine” – sadly no.

    Its endless lies are pushed by most schools and universities – its evil is entirely normal.

    For example, Slate will tell you that a “laissez faire” policy was followed in Ireland in the late 1840s, the time of terrible loss of life. In reality the policy that was actually followed was of CRUSHING TAXATION – under the slogan “Irish Property Must Pay For Irish Poverty” – with areas that were not dependent on the potato being forced to pay for areas that were, and so the Irish economy being dragged down everywhere in Ireland.

    But this is NOT just “Slate” – pick up any history text book and it will tell you the lie that “laissez faire” policies were followed in Ireland in the late 1840s and this was responsible for the mass death.

    This is Economist magazine style “laissez faire” – a chant of “trade liberalisation” masking a “Build Back Better” (the Economist magazine actually used this international Collectivist establishment slogan this week, with full approval, about the TRILLIONS of Dollars the Biden regime wishes to spend, mostly NOT on “infrastructure”) agenda of vast government.

    If this, what was done in Ireland in the late 1840s, was “laissez faire” then J.B. Say, Bastiat and the other French Liberal School economists were unicorns. It was the opposite of laissez faire – but you will not find a single history textbook that says so.

    The lack of understanding of ideas is not confined to Cultural ideas – it is also a matter of economic ideas.

    After all if it is accepted (and it is) by the British “right” that the problem in Ireland was “laissez faire” then they will believe anything.

    And they do believe anything – for example show me resistance to the money-from-nothing and Credit Bubble finance system in Britain.

    In the United States resistance to fiat money and Credit Bubble finance is weak (yes I admit that) – but here it DOES NOT EXIST.

    If people allow their money and finance to be corrupted – then everything else will follow it into corruption.

    People such as Walter “concede everything that is safe to concede” Bagehot (third editor of the Economist magazine) were not heroes – they were the opposite.

  • Snorri Godhi

    English speaking cultures are especially vulnerable to Frankfurt School attack

    This is a claim that i have been making since the Cartoon Jihad of 2006. (Initially on the Brussels Journal.)

    More precisely, my claim has been that English-speaking cultures *have been* more damaged. I made no predictions, especially about the future 🙂

    because, at least in modern times, the English speaking world does not take cultural IDEAS seriously and thinks that freedom just appears without anyone believing in it and working to bring it about – the David Hume and F.A. Hayek mistake.

    There are 2 distinct claims that Paul makes here: that the English-speaking people
    (a) do not take ‘cultural ideas’ seriously, and
    (b) that they believe that freedom just appears without active intervention.

    Both claims are debatable, especially the second. But i do not intend to debate them here, because i have an alternative explanation, which i might have conceived as early as 2006:
    Most English-speaking people have a narrative (no matter to what extent it is truthful, though there is some truth in it) that what distinguishes them is a culture of freedom.
    That makes Frankfurt Marxism especially suited to the Anglosphere: for the Establishment, there is little point in undermining traditional culture in nations where the narrative is that the traditional culture is one of egalitarianism and/or collectivism. (Again, no matter to what extent this narrative is truthful).

    –More recently, i have come to suspect that there is another factor: the US leads the rest of the Western world in consumption of seed oils and refined sugars, especially HFCS. What if these foods make people prone to delusional insanity? (NB: I am not joking.)

    American progressives, tending to avoid meat, eggs, potatoes, and butter, are especially likely to gorge on seed oils, refined sugars, and other dodgy foods such as flour and soy products.

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