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Happy Soviet Collapse Day!

Today is the 31st anniversary of the dissolution of the USSR, one of the most delightful events in history. Hopefully within the next 30 years Russia will be back to its 1263 borders 😀

27 comments to Happy Soviet Collapse Day!

  • Stonyground

    Having recently acquired a new Sky box, I can now watch YouTube videos on my real telly, true citizens television. There is a guy who does quite brilliant documentaries about cars. There is such a stark contrast between the successful cars and the ones that where cursed by the dead hand of socialism. The communist world did produce some reasonable products but the main attraction was always that they were cheap. The East German MZ motorcycle was a notable exception.

  • Mr Ed

    I mark the collapse from the resignation of the General Secretary of the CPSU, Gorbachev, on Christmas Day, after all, his position had held all the power. However, the OP is quite right that the Supreme Soviet was the notional sovereign body, and its dissolution was the final, formal acceptance of failure. Of course, the Left redoubled their efforts in the West, and have done very well in their own terms, but this collapse, deprecated by the London School of Economics as a setback was the ultimate demonstration of the futility and limits of socialism.

    Nothing will bring back from the dead the victims of socialism.

  • Schrödinger's Dog

    An event I never thought, even in my wildest dreams, that I would live to see. I remember the Cold War well, and always assumed at that time that either Soviet Union would outlive me, or that we would die together.

  • Martin

    The collapse of the USSR was a great event. In hindsight though I think it was also a godsend to the western left. It didn’t really discredit them. Even those who had stuck with the USSR to the bitter end, like Eric Hobsbawn and Angela Davis, got feted rather than pilloried. As for the rest of the left they no longer had to worry about the embarrassing cousins in the East that had contaminated the brand. The victory over communism also made a lot of the western right complacent. Even those who admitted the left were winning on the culture front said ‘well we beat the left on economics’. Well then we had mass bank bailouts, quantitative easing,modern monetary theory, net zero and so on, which ought to have punctured such complacency. The western left have behaved a lot smarter. They control almost all the culture, almost all the civil service, almost all civil society organisations, international agencies and bureaucracies, the education and medical systems. Actually existing capitalism is dominated by left leaning businessmen and managers. The left even largely dominate much of organised religion, the military and intelligence services. In the UK or America, the Tories or Republicans can win elections but the left still advance. This leftist hegemony isn’t ‘communism’ though, it’s ‘liberal democracy’, the ‘free world’ and the ‘rules based order’, ‘expert opinion’, and so on, so can define its foes as fascists, religious extremists, conspiracy theorists, agents of non-western powers and so on

  • Steven R

    I think after the Poles, Hungarians, and Czechs decided they’d had enough and voted to get rid of the Communists, the Germans simply said “we’re done” with being Moscow’s pawns, and the Baltic states started clamoring for independence that the old men in Moscow realized the wheels were coming off the whole Communism thing. But it was the Ceaușescus being lined up against a wall that drove home the message that the end was extremely nigh. Between that abject lesson and the uncertainty over where the Red Army’s loyalties lie, the Politburo types just decided to hang it up before a civil war they knew they couldn’t win started.

    It’s far easier to negotiate a nice retirement with an incoming regime than it is to end up on the end of a rope after a show trial.

  • Bruce

    All of that caper served very nicely to advance the activities and interests of our rice-propelled cousins in China.

    They are MUCH more entrenched in trade, sea-power and political and economic processes than even they probably could have imagined in 1991.

    What, and more importantly WHO, so to speak, they own is staggering.

  • the Germans simply said “we’re done” with being Moscow’s pawns

    Sadly a sizable chunk of Germany’s elite didn’t take long to decide they rather liked the idea after all provided the pay was better.

  • Paul Marks

    I agree with the first sentence – and, no matter how hard he tries, Mr Putin will never rebuild the Soviet Union. He can not rebuild it because its ideological base, Marxism, is gone – Marxism has far more supporters in the West than it does in the nations of the former Soviet Union, Mr Putin does not believe in it himself. Indeed the bandit (and he is essentially a bandit) Mr Putin is further away from the “shit eaters”, to use the old KGB nickname for people who actually believed in Marxism, than the people behind the Biden Administration (Mr Biden himself is no longer capable of having any beliefs – good or bad) or who dominate the education system and mainstream media of most Western countries – but then even Stalin, who was a Classical Marxist, despised the Frankfurt School Marxism that was, in his lifetime, only in its infancy in the West.

    As for the second sentence – as I have been saying for a long time now, nothing helps Mr Putin more than to say, even as a joke, that there is some sort of Western plot against Russia. The enemy of Russia, of the Russian people, is Mr Putin himself.

    The Communist Party rulers of China flatter themselves that they avoided the collapse that the Communist Party of the Soviet Union – and they would strongly endorse Perry’s second sentence, and they would not be joking. They would not be joking as they know that without Russia the People’s Republic of China would control the Eurasian landmass (including the Ukraine – which would come under PRC control without a shot being fired), and dominate the world.

    There is an ideological contradiction between the political system of China, a Marxist dictatorship, and its economy – its economy being about as far away from socialism as the United Kingdom is (the United Kingdom is a small country of limited natural resources – it became very important because it was much freer than other lands, and it no longer is).

    However, those people, such as myself, who put great stress on the ideological contradiction between the political system of the People’s Republic of China (the Marxist dictatorship), and its Corporatist style economy, have so far been proved wrong.

    The PRC dictatorship carries on – and whilst it is building up its military forces, so far it uses economic power to do what Mr Putin FAILS to do with military power.

    Yes there has been a massive level of American attacks on Russia, not just the destruction of two pipelines (just after the pipeline from Norway was finished) – but over 50 attacks all over Russia, but the truth is it is NOT the American attacks that have really harmed Russia, it is Mr Putin himself who has harmed Russia.

    As the campaign in the Ukraine has shown, Mr Putin is not a military commander – he is a bandit. Yes the British and American (almost 100 Billion Dollars of American support – and most of that has NOT gone in corruption back to certain interests in the United States itself) support has been important, but Mr Putin is not just a very good commander.

    The 2014 operation was limited in scope and carried out effectively – the 2022 operation is essentially unlimited in scope and has been been carried out in a way that can best be described as a “blood soaked farce” – perhaps the rumours are true and Mr Putin really was badly injured by the Covid injections he very unwisely took.

  • Paul Marks

    As for Putin defenders…

    No there is not “no abortion in Russia” – there is actually mass abortion in Russia (the Soviet Union was the first country on Earth, since Pagan times, to legalise killing babies, even Stalin had reservations about this and tried to stop it in 1935, but it was back in 1955). Homosexual acts are also legal in Russia (and I agree they should be legal) – so both the defenders and the attackers of Mr Putin are both living in a fantasy world when the talk (even on GB News) of how people are sent to prison for homosexual acts – that was Britain before 1967. Indeed conscripts in the Russian army face homosexual abuse – and there was even a forced homosexual prostitution scandal (even the American military is not that “Woke” – yes, in this, the Russian military is more “Woke” degenerate than the American military is).

    No there is not “no Covid lockdown in Russia” – there was a Covid lockdown in Russia (do not confuse Moscow with Minsk – it was the Dictator of Belarus who did not believe the Western, and Chinese, lies, the “clever” Mr Putin believed it all).

    No there is not “religious freedom in Russia” – churches must register with the state and are subject to state control (although it is less obvious than in People’s Republic of China – where the “Patriotic Catholic Church” and the “Patriotic” “Protestant” “churches” openly worship Dictator Xi whose image is on the High Altar of such “Patriotic” “churches” – even Mr Putin drew the line against an icon of himself in an Orthodox Church and ordered it removed, of course the fact that he could “order it to be removed” is telling, British Prime Ministers can not order things to be removed from Anglican Churches).

    And on and on.

    Those who look to Mr Putin as a saviour are sadly mistaken.

    Russia under the bandit Mr Putin is not a totalitarian system such as “Social Credit” China under Dictator Xi – but it is not good either.

  • Penseivat

    Everyone knows it was really David Hasselhof singing in front of the Berlin wall which brought down Communism. Give the man some credit. The Ceausescos were only assassinated because they preferred Perry Como.

  • Paul Marks

    I did not know that Mr and Mrs Ceausescu were Perry Como fans.

  • Beedle

    I did not know that Mr and Mrs Ceausescu were Perry Como fans.

    😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

  • Johnathan Pearce

    The collapse of the Soviet Union is indeed an event to celebrate.

  • Kirk

    Some term what happened a “preference cascade”.

    I’d term it something more along the lines of a “willing suspension of disbelief collapse”.

    Because, that’s precisely what happened: The population of the Soviet Union and other Eastern European totalitarian states “ceased to believe” in the promises they’d been told by all the Party “true believers”, and then the whole thing evaporated in a “POOF!” of reality ensuing.

    It would have happened a hell of a lot sooner if various parties in the West had given up their support of the various regimes sooner than they did.

    One has to wonder what would have happened, had the many and sundry “enablers” who sold the Soviets the “rope with which to hang them” had said “Nope; not gonna buy all that confiscated wheat from Ukraine you’re trying to sell us to pay for those nice, new factories…”

    Because, that’s the untold history that the authors of the Black Book ignore: Just how thoroughly various fellow-travelers and cynics enabled the whole thing, and how much they profited. Which they are doing down to this day; how many Western industrialists are making bank selling things to the Russians, and people like Saddam and the Ayatollahs in Iran?

    You don’t want to have to watch your sons and daughters die at war with the totalitarians? Quit enabling them by selling them the tools they use to accrue power. Putin would be nothing without the connivance of his enabling parties here in the West; he’s their end-product, like it or not. Same with Xi, or any of the other assholes. You don’t like what was going on in Qatar, with the abuse of Third-Country Nationals? Quit making those assholes rich by buying their oil and selling them things. The merchants dealing in all these things, from Ukrainian wheat sold during the Holodomor to oil today, as the reprehensible creatures that committed the crimes in the first damn place.

    It’s ironic, but had the various profiteering bastards that made the Soviet Union powerful in the 1920s and 1930s not done that, then Stalin wouldn’t have been in position to enable and further the rise of Hitler the way he did, which would have saved untold lives around the world in the process. The road to WWII didn’t start with the invasion of Poland in ’39; it began with the purchase of Ukrainian wheat that enabled the Soviets to build all those industrial plants.

    Ironically, nobody wants to admit this. Exactly as Hitler rose to power on the funds confiscated from German Jewry, the Soviet Union rose to power on the looted foodstuffs of the Ukrainian (and, others…) kulak. And, who, in turn, was responsible for that, other than the feckless profiteers who bought all of it, without care or comprehension?

    One wonders what the outcome of the 1930s might have been, had people eschewed buying from the Germans what was the product of their varied and sundry peculations and confiscations? The sheer criminality of both economies was only enabled by their international markets; the people who enabled all that are as responsible as Stalin and Hitler for what ensued.

  • Martin

    Because, that’s the untold history that the authors of the Black Book ignore: Just how thoroughly various fellow-travelers and cynics enabled the whole thing, and how much they profited. Which they are doing down to this day; how many Western industrialists are making bank selling things to the Russians, and people like Saddam and the Ayatollahs in Iran?

    You don’t want to have to watch your sons and daughters die at war with the totalitarians? Quit enabling them by selling them the tools they use to accrue power. Putin would be nothing without the connivance of his enabling parties here in the West; he’s their end-product, like it or not. Same with Xi, or any of the other assholes. You don’t like what was going on in Qatar, with the abuse of Third-Country Nationals? Quit making those assholes rich by buying their oil and selling them things. The merchants dealing in all these things, from Ukrainian wheat sold during the Holodomor to oil today, as the reprehensible creatures that committed the crimes in the first damn place.

    It is true that all the supposed ‘free trade’ with China over the past several decades has helped build up the CCP military-industrial complex, and without it, they’d unlikely have the capabilities to be a major threat to places like Taiwan. I guess the ‘free traders’ were right in one sense. The trade was mutually beneficial – China gets its military-industrial complex, westerners got to gorge on cheap goods and avoid the consequences of their own economic delusions for a teeny but longer. And it does allow the US military-industrial complex, to keep justifying its massive expenses though, as they have to keep a huge military to be able to compete with China.

    Ironically, nobody wants to admit this.

    I think it is uncomfortable subject matter for many on the left and right. I mean we rightly denounce the likes of Walter Duranty for his lying on behalf of the Soviet regime. But few denounce Henry Ford (or other capitalists) for building automobile plants in the USSR. Likewise all the multinationals who have made billions in China more recently.

  • Martin

    You don’t like what was going on in Qatar, with the abuse of Third-Country Nationals? Quit making those assholes rich by buying their oil and selling them things.

    I always thought from the time they awarded Qatar the World Cup that it was ridiculous on many levels. However, as we were made to witness the ludicrous virtue signalling from the likes of the German team (and others) about the Qataris being insufficiently pro-gay or pro-trans or whatever while the German Chancellor at almost the same time queues up to sign a massive gas deal with Qatar and the USA keeps its largest foreign military base there, the more I started to grudgingly respect the Qataris.

  • Kirk

    Some people look at what’s going on in the world, and see it as the clash of ideologies. I look at it, and what I see is the clash of organized crime cartels.

    End of the day, that is precisely what we’re observing: The equivalent of criminal groups conducting “bust-out” operations on what once were functional legitimate businesses, only on the scale of nations.

    It’s precisely what the Communists did in both the Soviet Union and China; that’s exactly what is going on, right now, across much of Europe and North America. They use ideology as camouflage, fooling the masses. There isn’t actually a whit of difference between the nomenklatura and the “connected”, other than the vacuous nonsense they all spout incessantly. In the final analysis, all they’re looking out for is number one. It was ever so; it will ever be so, until enough people recognize what is going on, and quit buying into the bullshit they have coming out of both ends.

    The whole thing is a criminal enterprise, writ large, and made legal only because insufficient people want to acknowledge the criminality of it all. Were we to go back and examine where all that “foreign exchange” came from, that paid for all the Soviet factories to be built, you’d find it came from the starving dead of Ukraine and looted kulak villages across much of the Soviet Union. The criminals like Armand Hammer who profited from “trade” with the Soviets in things like Orthodox icons and other such treasures should have been excoriated and written out of polite society as the bloody-handed profiteers they were, but when the tim came? They were held out as “great men”, and never once asked to account for what they did, or what they enabled.

    The Nazis would have never gotten as far as they did, absent the resources that Stalin gave them on speculation that they’d ruin Europe, making his conquest easy. That he had the resources to do that? Look to men like Hammer, or any of the other “capitalists” who sold the machinery of oppression to the Soviet theft state in the first place.

    Is it any wonder that Russia is what it is, today? A nation of gangsters and crooks, carrying on the fine traditions of looting and living off the efforts of others. The Soviet Union liked to claim that everyone else was the oppressor, the criminal. The reality was, they were the most overt and the worst ones of the lot.

    Most of the rest of the world, paying the price for the Soviet criminal state and its aftermath? We reap what we sowed, nothing less, nothing more. The men and women we profited from Stalin slaughtering and oppressing? Their sons and daughters are the ones forging the chains for the poor bastards who escaped the penitentiary of nations, wanting to drag them back into the crab bucket that was Soviet Imperial life. That’s what drives most of this; they can’t stand that anyone might escape the consequences of the Soviet criminal conspiracy.

  • There’s obviously much +1 between

    Some people look at what’s going on in the world, and see it as the clash of ideologies. I look at it, and what I see is the clash of organized crime cartels. (Kirk, December 28, 2022 at 11:51 pm)


    The overt hatred of Trump presents as ideological, but I have long believed that the need to protect the enormous tax-farming racket that infects the US government was more important at the top levels.

    (from a nine months old comment of mine that I chanced to dig out just now for a concurrent thread that mentioned Fauci).

    When we get to details, Niall pedant Kilmartin can fuss here and there.

    – Some tech was stolen; IIRC, the Christie tank design that became the T-34 was one, and of course the atomic spies are notorious, and were notoriously denied and/or defended by the usual vile suspects.

    – The modern role of the west in letting China escape from the state Mao left it in seems grosser in absolute terms and greedier in absolute profit terms than what the west did for Russia nigh-on a century ago. However when I think of westerners eating the ‘Russian Butter: for export’ (that had such kulaks as ever saw it shaking with rage – when they still had the energy to shake at all) then I note the innate cruelty of an act may derive from things not so correlated to the net financial profit of it, even allowing for inflation. Etc., etc., etc.

    Conquest, assessing western communists, notes that history affords examples of straightforward criminals gaining control of states – and notes western intellectuals’ willingness to see that in e.g. renaissance Italy, and unwillingness to see that in modern intellectuals like themselves.

  • Kirk


    If there is one thing I’ve developed over my years of observation and reading, it is the powerful belief that most “intellectuals” are entirely self-unaware and generally present as possessing a form of mental deficiency that the average person would describe as “autistic”.

    I base this on the fact that I could well have been one of them, and possess the majority of their typical deficits, tempered by an entirely atypical self-knowledge that I’ve always had right along with whatever “it” is.

    The one thing that stands out most about the “intellectual elite” is that they’re creatures of the idea, the mind: The world exists for them only as a construct that they create inside their own heads. When they encounter things that don’t match their made-up world, they almost always default to believing that their world-construct is what which is the reality, not the true reality itself that they’re ignoring. Their observational skills are utterly vacant; they cannot even bring themselves to see that which is real, that which is happening in response to their conceptual ideation. For them, the idea is paramount; contrary evidence is to be ignored. Until it can’t be.

    It’s rather odd, but you can make out the same syndrome with Hitler in his bunker that you’ll also find with much of the left-wing of political thought and philosophy. There’s precisely nothing there, in terms of pragmatism or observation; a sane Hitler would have recognized about the time of Stalingrad that things were no longer going his way, and then would have found himself an exit strategy. Just like Napoleon, BTW…

    In both cases, it required winkling the bastards out of their bunkers before they saw reason and recognized that things were not working out according to theory and worldview.

    Sane people of “normal intellect” do not require the utter destruction of their ideas and enacted worldviews before admitting they had it wrong; the intellectual of today generally cannot even conceive of error in their thinking until raw reality crashes in and rubs their noses in it.

    Where we’ve gone badly wrong as a society is that we do not recognize that these “intellectual giants” can be wrong, can make mistakes. We’re generally so dazzled by their supposed “intellectual prowess” that they are able to literally get away with murder until it becomes brutally apparent that they do not, in actuality, have a single damn clue about how things really work.

    See Sam Bankman-Fried for a current example. There are still idiots with college degrees out there telling me that it wasn’t him, it wasn’t his fault, that it was criminal conspiracy seeking to destroy crypto… As if it ever really existed. You ask some of these guys, fully credentialed dolts with degrees from prestigious institutions, to explain crypto to you? What you get in return is a cloud of vaporous cliche, which they are entirely unaware is utter nonsense. All you hear is buzzword bingo, and no actual understanding of how the economy works. It’s really bizarre to hear a lot of the same sort of fatuous reasoning spouted about crypto that I used to hear about Marxism and socialism; it’s all circular, and based on entirely erroneous understandings of how the world works. And, it comes from the same sort of “intellectual” minds, ones that are actual rather dwarfish when it comes to either pragmatism, self-knowledge, self-awareness, and common f*cking sense.

    It’s very interesting to sit around a table while one of these bright lights tries to explain their ideas to actual working-class type guys, who lack their “intellect”. Most of the blue-collar types cut right to the chase, doing the same with Marxism as they do with crypto, asking the awkward questions like “Hey, why would anyone come in to work, if they don’t get any more out of it than someone who doesn’t…?” and “What’s a bitcoin actually represent? Can I hold it in my hand? Is it real?”

    There’s a balancing point between the intellect and common sense. What we’ve done, over these last many generations, is mistakenly given too much power and prominence to the intellectual and the theoretical, paying no attention to the feedback from reality. I think a lot of what’s going on around us today is that “reality is ensuing”, and the intellectuals are going to be revealed as bankrupt.

    Bankman-Fried and his parents are perfect exemplars of why these autists need to be removed from the levers of power; they have no idea of what they are doing, or what the effects of those doings are, out in the real world where the rest of us live. Sure, doing away with fossil fuels serves as a “good idea” in the realm of the intellect, but the problem with that is that you still need to heat your homes and fertilize your fields. Which is difficult to do, with unicorn farts and good intentions…

  • Martin

    Kirk – I was showing my Mrs the SBF fiasco. She is (her own words) not well formally educated and admits to knowing very little about finance or politics. Even before I’d told her about the fraud FTX were pulling she said just looking at a picture of SBF and Caroline Ellison that she wouldn’t trust them with 50p let alone billions of dollars. They look and sound like dope smoking teenagers.

  • Zerren Yeoville

    While the collapse of the USSR was a welcome development, I believe a lot of today’s problems in that area stem from the fact that the collapse just didn’t go far enough.

    There were something like 100 different ethnic groups or nationalities within the borders of the Soviet Union, but only 15 new countries officially emerged from the wreckage – curiously, precisely the same entities that had full, top-tier ‘Union Republic’ status. None of the lower-status ‘Autonomous Republics’ or ‘Autonomous Regions’ have been generally recognized as countries, despite the fact that many of them aspire to this status.

    This has led to the situation we have today with the so-called ‘frozen conflicts’ where we have a clutch of breakaway territories that have been functioning for about thirty years as de-facto independent countries with little or no diplomatic recognition. Yet we still engage in the pretence that these territories must always have to remain part of the country they unwillingly found themselves in when the USSR collapsed.

    Crimea does not appear to have objected very strenuously to the annexation by Russia, while we see every day that the majority of the rest of Ukraine is viscerally hostile to the idea of being taken over by Russia (which is happy to foster separatism elsewhere but, hypocritically, reacted with characteristic brutality when Chechnya tried to secede from Russia itself).

    Transnistria does not want to be part of Moldova. Abkhazia does not want to be part of Georgia. And in what universe does it make any kind of sense for North Ossetia to be in Russia while South Ossetia is in Georgia but doesn’t want to be?

    The mainly Christian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh very much does not want to be part of mainly Muslim Azerbaijan (a religious mirror-image of the scenario in Kosovo, where the West was, by distinct contrast, fully supportive of mainly Muslim Kosovo’s desire to separate from mainly Christian Serbia, a double-standard which the Christians of Nagorno-Karabakh are fully entitled to call out).

    There are those who continually claim that sovereignty is outdated, but who never explain why existing countries invariably try – at great cost in money and sometimes in lives – to prevent regions which aspire to independence from seceding. Why bother, if sovereignty is outdated? Perhaps it’s time to re-think the rigid attachment to the ‘territorial integrity’ of countries whose present borders were inherited from the USSR at its dissolution, previous to which their precise delineation, or the status of a particular territory within the USSR, really didn’t matter very much. But Ukraine’s fight to preserve its independence from Russia is proof that now they do.

  • While the collapse of the USSR was a welcome development, I believe a lot of today’s problems in that area stem from the fact that the collapse just didn’t go far enough.

    Undeniable. Russia needs to return to its 1264 borders… Muscovy.

  • Kirk

    @ Martin,

    I’d have to agree with your wife, which from my perspective, implies she’s a veritable genius of practical wisdom.

    I used to work for a guy who said that if you couldn’t fit the Operations Order onto the cardboard wrapper for a ration box, written in crayon? Then it probably wouldn’t work. I think he was on to something.

    I don’t believe in the wisdom of experts, and I also don’t believe in the wisdom of crowds. What I do believe in is the wisdom derived from actual performance, and if you can’t demonstrate that your ideas work, when put into action? Then, those ideas are dumb. Period.

    Likewise, if it works? It works. There is no other test. Explaining the specifics of why it works is a waste of time, but maybe should be done in order to analyze how to do other workable things. On the other hand, maybe empirical evidence ought to be enough, ya know?

  • Kirk

    @ Yerren & Perry,

    I’d be suspicious of the construct that the Soviet Union didn’t fail hard enough or far enough. I don’t think that’s necessarily the issue; what is the issue, in my view, is that the Russians didn’t experience enough consequence that they were forced to admit they have the wrong worldview and need to change.

    It’s like an alcoholic; you don’t generally see one reform until they hit rock-bottom and make the decision themselves that they need to make changes. Short of them hitting that point, there’s really no point to trying to intervene or help.

    The point is that it’s not the depth of the fall; I’ve known alcoholics who experienced the loss of everything they loved, and still didn’t reform themselves. Some of those alkys never decided to fix themselves, at all; others found rock-bottom in other ways, from other angles.

    In Russia, the problem is that an effectively meaningful signal has never been sent; the populace of “Russky Mir” still hasn’t been hit with something convincing enough to make them believe that they need to change their ways.

    We (the US military) did that in Germany and Japan; we didn’t do it in Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan. Raw casualties did it in for the first two exemplars; both nations were convinced that they were effectively super-soldiers, and had a lot invested in the idea that they were culturally superior soldiers. Defeat and occupation was what it took to convince them otherwise, and that included a lot of deaths of the pre-war militaristic population. Such losses were not inflicted on the latter-day examples, and were definitely not inflicted on the Russians.

    So, in a sense, you guys might be right; they simply didn’t have failure inflicted hard enough on them. My take would be a little different, in that the precisely correct sort of ego-destroying failure wasn’t inflicted on the Russians, and that perhaps no such thing is possible. There are alkys that I’ve known whose powers of denial are such that they will never admit to reaching rock-bottom, and who will never reform until their livers utterly fail them.

    I suspect Russia may well be in that category.

  • Paul Marks

    The central problem is the lack of the discrediting of the Marxist Soviet Union – for example “Stalin” is still taught as a great man, he was actually a murderer and a COWARD (he did not even go on the bank robberies he organised – and gave many other indications of being a coward).

    As for anti Russian sentiments – well if people want to help Mr Putin (for it is helping Mr Putin) that is up to them. It is Mr Putin who spreads the lie that there is a Western plot against Russia (against the Russian people) – again if people want to help Mr Putin spread his lie, that is up to them.

    Lastly on the line that Progressive ideas would work in the West, that there was something wrong with Russian culture or with Russian people – and that it was this that made Progressive ideas fail….

    The line is just nonsense – utter and complete nonsense.

    There was a move to discredit the Soviet Union in Russian education and media – but then along came Mr Putin and reversed everything.

    There is no great difference between Russian and Ukrainian culture, or Russian and Ukrainian genetics – where the real difference is can be found in such things as history textbooks.

    Stalin did not have anything special against Ukrainians – he was a Marxist pushing Marxism, some other ethnicities actually had higher death tolls, as a proportion of the population, than Ukrainians did – but Ukrainians KNOW it, it is in their books and in their media.

    Imagine Germany still holding up Adolf Hitler as a great man in its history textbooks and media, or China still holding up Mao as a great man in its history textbooks and media (in fact the People’s Republic of China does this).

    That is task before Russians – not just to get rid of Mr Putin, but to get rid of the endless lies in the history textbooks and media. “Stalin” (who was NOT Russian) must be presented as the pig he actually was. All of the servants of the Soviet Union must be presented as the pigs they actually were – including KGB Colonel Putin.

    No one was conscripted into the KGB – you had to ask to join, and no decent man got promoted to the rank of Colonel in the KGB.

    It is like having a former active and willing member of the Nazi Party as Chancellor of Germany.

    Germany needed its Konrad Adenauer and Ludwig Erhard.

  • Kirk

    @ Paul,

    I suspect that any potential Russian version of Konrad Adenauer or Ludwig Erhard probably died in the camps, or in the basement of the Lubyanka.

    The Russian mindset today is a direct result of all the slaughter perpetrated by Lenin and Stalin, along with their essential criminality. Generations were spent staring at four lamps, and saying that there were five at the behest of their persecutors. This has marked the Russian soul, and perhaps irreparably. I note that while Solzhenitsyn “…was an outspoken critic of Communism…”, the man was a Russian chauvinist to his core. I don’t doubt he’d be on the front lines of the rah-rah-Russia types today, cheerleading for the rape and plunder of Ukraine.

    The culture is profoundly damaged, in Russia. Irrecoverably so, perhaps. We’ll just have to wait and see what the nekulturny bastards get up to, next.

  • Mr Ed

    No one was conscripted into the KGB –

    I believe that the military forces of the KGB, certainly the Frontier Troops, included conscripts, but only those who had scored highly through the Komsomol and in reports on their reliability. The ‘best’ recruits in the Soviet conscript grading system went into the KGB forces (reliability plus general physical and mental shape), and the least useful went into the Army’s infantry, in-between (in no particular order) were the Strategic Rocket Forces, the Air Forces, the MVD (Internal Troops), the Navy and the mechanised branches of the Army and the Airborne Forces.

    Chernenko was a (then-NKVD) Frontier Troop conscript.

    The general point, that a career in the KGB was a choice, is correct.