Devised a perfect formula for debates on whether contemporary Russia is a continuation of the USSR, Stalinism is true Marxism, Trump is a conservative, Star Wars is science fiction, etc.
Essentially, all positions of the matter are reducible to four options, presented in the following sentence:
“A is/is not a continuation (an example) of B, and that’s awesome/terrible.”
Citing one of examples above:
A) Stalinism is true Marxism, and that’s awesome.
B) Stalinism is not true Marxism, and that’s awesome.
C) Stalinism is true Marxism, and that’s terrible.
D) Stalinism is not true Marxism, and that’s terrible.
I have yet to see a debate whether an argument couldn’t be condensed into one of those four positions.
- Soviet nationalists/Prokhanov
- Unz.com columnists: Israel Shamir, Martyanov
- This blog’s erstwhile commenter Lazy Glossophiliac
- Most Russian neo-Stalinists, Eurasianists
- The Saker (with caveats)
- The Spencerian Alt Right (esp. Nina Kouprianova)
- Mainstream Russian nationalists inc. Fluctuarius, Kholmogorov, Sputnik & Pogrom
- Solzhenitsyn, Igor Shafarevich
- Probably the commenter Felix Keverich
- Western Trotskyists, eurocommies: “Lenin was gonna build fully automated luxury gay space communism but then that Great Russian chauvinist Stalinist ruined it all!”
- Neocons: “Stalinism was an inevitable reversion to Russia’s millennial yearning for an iron fist.”
- Aggrieved minorities whose nice NKVD gigs were rudely interrupted in the late 1930s: “Fellow Russians, you must repent for Russian nationalist Stalin’s murder of my granddaddy Moisei!”
I think the only groups that sort of get on with each other are A and B, who agree that Stalinism is awesome.