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Egor Kholmogorov: 12 Myths of the Bolshevik Revolution
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ryzhenko-zontik

Pavel Ryzhenko (2008): Umbrella.

The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov, as promised.

In his latest article, published at Vzglyad, Kholmogorov demolishes twelve myths about the Bolshevik revolution, using a recent article by the Russian novelist Zakhar Prilepin as a foil. Why Prilepin? Who is he, anyway? You won’t find many mentions of him in the Western media, like you would of Vladimir Sorokin, Lyudmila Ulitskaya, or Dzerzhinsky admirer turned maniac Russophobe Svetlana Alexievich – writers that take a “handshakeworthy” anti-Russian stance. However, Zakhar Prilepin enjoys far more popular acclaim within Russia itself than any of those third rate entities – the only modern Russian literary authors comparable to him in eminence are Boris Akunin (historical mystery), Viktor Pelevin (satire), and Sergey Lukyanenko (sci-fi).

Part of the reason is Prilepin’s background. He has nothing to do with the Moscow intellentsia; he is the quintessential Russian redneck. Worked as a laborer, a security guard, and with the OMON riot police. Chechnya vet. Went into journalism in the 2000s, but found his true calling in artistic literature: Writing socially critical novels, typically about life in the Russian podunks (he himself hails from the rustbelt city of Nizhny Novgorod). Worst of all, he is a vatnik, a Communist (a National Bolshevik, to be precise), and a Donbass supporter. Most definitely not handshakeworthy – especially since he doesn’t exactly keep his politics on a backburner. Prilepin is also Chief Editor of Svobodnaya Pressa, an intelligent online journal and media success story that enjoys 15 million monthly visits (they even once translated one of my articles). He also pals around with DNR bigwigs and has even gathered a batallion for the War in the Donbass, though its more PR spectable than anything else.

As one of Russia’s leading “patriotic”/vatnik intellectuals, and one of the most authoritatative spokespersons for what Russian Neo-Stalinists actually think, a point by point critique of Prilepin’s apologia for the Bolshevik Revolution has value beyond just another recitation of Bolshevik crimes and hypocrisy (of which there is no shortage of anyway). Moreover, even if you substantively or wholly disagree with Egor Kholmogorov’s critique, I hope that this translation will at least help you get a better picture of the actual state of the debate about the Soviet legacy amongst normal Russians, beyond the banal (not to mention 90% wrong) Western representation of it as a binary struggle between a Stalinophile Kremlin and pro-Western liberals.

Translated by: Anatoly Karlin (intro to #5) and Fluctuarius Argenteus (#6-12).

Original: https://vz.ru/columns/2017/11/8/894324.html

***

Twelve Myths of the Bolshevik Revolution: A Conservative Refutation

The defense of Lenin and the Bolshevik regime in Zakhar Prilepin’s recent article is so representative of the genre that one can barely leave it uncommeted.

The Great October Revolution lies in ruins on its centenary. The essence of its defeat lies in that even the modest apologists for Bolshevism hardly ever cite their actual programs, slogans, and values. Nobody knows says that the Revolution opened the path to socialism and Communism all over the world, nobody expresses joy over the collapse of the bourgeoisie and the Tsar’s henchmen, and their replacement by a workers’ state. Nobody says that the light of atheism shone through the darkness of clerical obscurantism, nobody insists that the Bolseviks gave the land to the peasants, the factories to the workers, and peace to the people.

The justification of the October Revolution, of Bolshevism, and of Soviet power – in short, the entirety of Red apologetics – now occurs from within patriotic, nationalist, conspirological, populist, and even Christian Orthodox frameworks, all of which were mostly or entirely antithetical to the Communist value system itself. In practice, this consists of sophistic manipulations of Hegel’s “Cunning of Reason.” That is, the Bolsheviks wanted one thing, but something entirely different happened in reality, and it is actually this unconscious benefit which constitutes the real blessing of the revolution.

This form of apologetics was invented as early as the 1920s by the National Bolsheviks, from Ustryalov – who viewed Lenin as a patriot and a great stateman, and the Whites as agents of foreign powers in the form of the Entente – to Klyuev – who saw the Bolsheviks as liberators of the more authentic, pre-Petrine, “Kerzhen” Russia. But the value of all these apologetics was most poignantly demonstrated by the execution (Ustryalov, Klyuev) or imprisonment (Karsavin, Savitsky, Shulgin) of everyone who glorified Bolshevism through prisms other than Marxism-Leninism. Sure, the Bolsheviks were not averse to using smenovekhovstvo – the White emigres pushing for conciliation with the Soviet regime – for their own purposes, but they most assuredly did not subscribe to their vision of their historical mission as patriots, regatherers of the Russian lands, and custodians of the Russian state.

Why do people still bother with Red apologetics today?

Partly, on account of inflexibility. Russia in the 1990s was infested by ghouls, screeching that they had freed us from Lenin, the Communists, and the revolutionary heritage – which quietly freeing us of the contents of our pockets. And since this looting occured under the banner of anticommunism, it is no surprise that pro-Soviet discourse grew popular, since it, at least, did not brook this mass looting.

For all intents and purposes, Red apologetics was an apologetics for a social state; for public property, that had been created by the common labor of the Soviet people; for the Army, cosmonautics, the military-industrial complex, the Navy, the research centers, and so forth. And this was logical.

To my shame, there was a period, when I myself, despite never having imbibed the Leninist spirit, partook of similar activities. The most popular aspect of these apologetics was the Stalinist one – yes, the Revolution may have been horrific, but then came along Stalin and set everything right again…

But this train has passed. Russian society now faces new challenges, in which the political canonization of Bolshevism, Leninism, and Stalinism are not the friends, but the enemies, of our future.

And yet the Red people are still stuck in their polemics about Gaidar and Chubais. For instance, take the issue of creeping separatism in Tatarstan. It is impossible to solve it from a neo-Soviet position, because it was Lenin who created the Tatar ASSR and accomodated the Sultan-Galievs. The Ukraine, which demolished all its Lenin monuments, was his beloved child. In reality, regardless of which question we consider, appeals to the Soviet experience are block brakes on our future progress. It is either a false alternative to the liberal solution, or it is the liberal solution. Therefore, it is of no surprise that we are hearing increasingly Bolshevik overtones in the rhetoric of our liberal cliques, for example, in the matter of anti-clericalism. The Zyuganov era of traditionalist-friendly Communism is coming to its inevitable end, and is becoming displaced by a new era of Communist liberalism, which is hostile to the Russian traditional values that are held in equal contempt by both liberals and conventional Communists. [1]

It is precisely this form of apologetics that was advanced by Zakhar Prilepin in his recent article 12 Points about the Revolution and the Civil War. His defense of Lenin and the Bolshevik order is so representative that the urge to deconstruct it is irresistable, so that is what we shall do, point by consecutive point.

1. The Bolsheviks did not overthrow the Tsar – they overthrew the liberal-Westernist Provisional Government.

The Bolsheviks were the most categorical supporters of overthrowing the autocracy amongst all the Russian opposition parties. They excluded the possibility of keeping the monarchy even in a purely constitutional form; they were the most consistent republicans.

The Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party considers its immediate political task to be the overview of Tsarist autocracy and its replacement by a democratic republic,” read the program of the RSDRP accepted at its 2nd Congress, the very one where Lenin’s supporters constituted the majority, and henceforth came to be known as the Bolsheviks.

The Bolsheviks didn’t play a major role in the overthrow of the monarchy only because the party was still very weak as of February 1917.

But they more than compensated for this through their murder of the royal family, which, besides the innate abhorrence of the murder of the children and the servants, constituted the true overthrow of the Russian monarchy. As many historians and legal theorists have pointed out, the abdictation of Nicholas II in March 1917 was legally null and reversible, whereas death was final.

2. Prilepin, arguing that the Civil War between Whites and Reds was started by the Februarists (Kornilov, Alekseyev, Savinkov), poses this rhetorical question: “Do those who oppose Lenin and the Bolsheviks really believe that Russia would have been better off in the 20th century if it was governed by liberals, revolutionaries with a penchant for terrorism, and generals who broke their vows”?

Unfortunately, the majority of our readers are still not sufficiently familiar with the history of the anti-Bolshevik resistance, and might therefore be inclined to agree with this assertion. But that doesn’t make it correct.

The leaders, the real icons of the White movement – generals Drozdovsky, Markov, Kappel, Yudenich, Kutepov – were convinced monarchists. The only consistent republican amongst the leadership was Denikin. The position of Admiral Kolchak remains unclear.

The rest in one way or another expressed support for monarchy. Moreover, despite the dissatisfaction of Entente emissaries, the White movements continuously moved rightwards throughout the years of the Civil War towards a more definite monarchism, culminating in a Zemsky Sobor in Vladivostok in 1922.

General Kornilov: “I was never against the monarchy… I am a Cossack. A true Cossack cannot be anything but a monarchist.

General Alekseyev: “In the course of time Russia has to move towards a restoration of monarchy.

General Wrangel: “The Tsar must appear only when the Bolsheviks are vanquished.

Even the republican Denikin admitted that half of his Army consisted of monarchists.

But to honestly answer the question of whether it would have been better for Russia to be ruled by liberals, retired Social Revolutionary pyromaniacs, and turncoat generals in the 20th century, it is merely sufficient to pose the following questions:

“Would Savinkov, the terrorist Social Revolutionary, have implemented general collectivization, dekulakization, and the expulsion of people whose lands and property had been seized, into areas of permafrost, where they died of hunger?”

“Would Kornilov, the general who betrayed the monarchy, has created a system of concentration camps covering the entire country, where people would have been sent for telling a joke about himself, or for stealing a sheaf of wheat from one of Savinkov’s collective farms?”

“Would Kerensky, that undoubted leftist scoundrel, have issued orders blocking relief to the famine-stricken oblasts of Malorossiya, the Kuban, and the Volga, and instead barred their denizens from leaving the disaster zones?”

“Would Denikin, the republican, have signed off on lists of hundreds of names to be executed and approved the requests of local secret police HQs to raise the shooting quotas?”

“Would Milyukov, unrivalled in his liberal vulgarity, have closed churches, shot monks, priests, bishops, and hole fools, tear off crosses from children’s necks and open up holy relics for “examination”?”

An honest answer to these questions demonstrates how even a regime of incredibly odious Februarists was still far preferable to Bolshevik tyranny. Even the most authoritarian right-wing regimes are incomparable to leftist totalitarians in the scale of their repressions and destruction. Pinochet is not Pol Pot.

Furthermore, we can see why even the Februarists were preferable to Communist power by the example of the 1990s. In those years, the new Februarists encountered fierce political, ideological, and sometimes violent resistance from the national-patriotic forces. In the end, before a single decade passed, and Russian February ended, voluntarily surrending power to Putin, who began the process of state rebuilding. Why would the 1920s have been any different?

3. “Supporters of the idea that the Revolution was financed by German and British money should try to explain, first, whether they actually obtained the advantages they sought; and second, identify the goals that both pursued by intervening against Soviet Russia, if the Bolsheviks were indeed their agents.

Nobody ever suspected the Bolsheviks of acting in the interests of the Entente. It is the Februarists, overthrown by the Bolsheviks, who were probably English agents, whereas Lenin and his colleagues are, not without justification, seen as German agents.

There were no even minimally significant clashes between the Bolsheviks and the German Army, which occupied a large portion of Russia under the Brest Peace. Lenin and his government was absolutely loyal to Germany up to the last day of the Hohenzollern monarchy, with tremendous benefits to the German war effort – a large part of the Army was freed from the Eastern Front and hurled west instead, helped along by food supplies from the Ukraine.

You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Lenin was most scrupulous about keeping his side of the German contract, up to and including pressuring even his own party to ratify the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. It is sufficient to recall that on March 1, 1918 the Bolsheviks matter of factly surrendered Kiev, liberated from the Petlyurites on February 8 as a result of a workers’ uprising.

The enduring nature of the Bolshevik-German alliance is testified to by its quick resurrection under Germany’s new republican rulers, despite them having suppressed all attempts to seize power by Moscow-backed Cominternists.

4. “When discussing the exile of part of the aristocracy from Russia, and its replacement by “cooks and bandits,” as some of us say, it is worth recalling, that Lenin, too, was a noble, as were many of the most prominent Bolshevik figures and leaders of the party” [there follows a discussion of the noble descent of Lenin, Ordzhonikidze, Mayakovsky, and even the Chekist, Gleb Bokii].

There is nothing new about some members of the aristocracy defecting to anti-aristocratic movements. One can cite many other historical examples, from Pericles in Ancient Athens to Philippe I, Duke of Orléans.

The list of names mentioned by Prilepin himself show that the numbers of noblemen amongst the leaders of the Bolsheviks was negligibly small (especially when your exclude Polish nobles such as Dzerzhinsky, who hated everything Russian and were considered revolutionaries a priori in the Russian Empire).

Moreover, the degree of Lenin’s noble stock shouldn’t be exaggerated; his father, Ilya Ulyanov, was the son of a petty bourgeois, and only acquired the rank permitting him to pass on his noble status seven years after Vladimir’s birth.

Relations between the Bolsheviks and the nobility was determined not by individual relationships, but by the political philosophy of Bolshevism, the essence of which was class war – and the nobility, just like the priesthood, the bourgeioisie, and well-to-do peasants peasants were seen as class enemies, destined for destruction.

5. “75,000 former Tsarist officers served in the Red Army (62,000 of whom were of noble origin), whereas the Whites only attracted 35,000 of the 150,000 officer corps of the Russian Empire.

Prilepin’s numbers are an arbitrary fiction concocted by the Soviet researcher Alexander Kavtaradze in the book Military Specialists in the Service of the Soviet Republic 1917-1920. His speculations were refuted in Sergey Volkov’s ground-breaking research manuscript The Tragedy of the Russian Officers.

Kavtaradze arbitrarily sums up completely different categories, such as:

1. The 8,000 officers who voluntarily signed up with the Bolsheviks to participate in the “curtain forces” shielding Russia from German forces in the spring of 1918. These were men who wanted to continue fighting the German enemy, but were betrayed by the Bolsheviks, and subsequently, a signifcant number of them left the Red Army, or even joined up with the Whites.

2. The 48,000 former officers conscripted into the Red Army from 1918-2020, often coercively.

3. The 14,000 imprisoned White officers, who entered the Red Army to save their own life. These former officers constituted around a quarter to a third of the command of the Red Army, but their percentage steadily declined, since the Bolsheviks didn’t trust the Tsarist military experts.

It also a manipulation to put the numbers of the officers corps of the Russian Empire at 150,000. That was the number of officers in the active Army, whereas the numbers given as serving the Bolsheviks included all officers, regardless of where they were in 1918 – in the rear, in hospital, etc. According to Volkov’s calculations, the size of the Russian officer corps was 276,000 at the end of 1917. Consequently, less than a quarter of all Russian officers ended up serving the Reds.

For comparison, there were 170,000 officers who took part in the White movement, of whom 55,000 died in the Civil War, and a similar number of whom ended up in the emigration.

So you still want to talk about how the cooks and bandits deceived and defeated the wonderful, blue-blooded Russian nobles, who didn’t at all renege on their oaths to the Emperor?” asks Prilepin.

The quality of the officers who went to the Bolsheviks should be discussed separately.

The Russian Army command could be separated into two main groups by 1917.

The first group were the cadre officers of the Imperial Army, like Roschin in The Road to Calvary by Alexey Tolstoy. This category was seriously depleted by the war, especially in its early stages, which predetermined the discipline crisis in the Imperial Army.

The second group constituted officers produced by the exingencies of wartime, such as the poet Nikolay Gumilev and Alexander Blok, Telegin from the aforementioned Road to Calvary, the notorious ensign Nikolay Krylenko, etc. These people were, essentially, ordinary intellectuals in epaulettes, neither from military families nor possessing serious military training.

General Gurko spoke with distain about the “clerks and bathhouse attendants” turned officers. A significant part of them, ensigns, didn’t differ much from ordinary soldiers, and from the civilians, whose ranks they had recently withdrawn from. The vast majority of Red officers came from this group, while cadre officers constituted no more than 6% of the command.

Wikipedia currently lists 385 Tsarist generals who served in the Red Army. For comparison, there were close to 4,000 generals in the Imperial Russian Army in 1916, and even more by the end of 1917. No more than 10% of the generals went on to serve in the Red Army.

There were practically no top-level commanders from the First World War; for the most part they were either staff generals (Mikhnevich, Manikovsky, Zayonchkovsky), or dashing colonels, who got their high ranks in the war. Even more telling is that the Bolsheviks did not entrust these generals with indepenent command, instead using them more as as specialist consultants, and surrounding them with commissars. One rare exception was major-general Vladimir Olderogge, who finished off Kolchak’s army in Siberia in 1919.

However, the ultimate fate of most of the Tsarist generals and officers who went to serve the Bolsheviks is even more germane.

They were destroyed in 1931 in the Vesna case, fabricated by the OGPU. A total of 3,000 people were arrested, and many of them – including the aforementioned Olderogge – were shot. In 1937-38, those who had hitherto received only prison sentences were also shot: The great military theorist Svechin, generals Sytin, Verkhovsky, Morozov…

Consequently, we come to the following conclusion: Either the Soviets inducted enemies into the Red Army, who served it insincerely; or the Bolsheviks deliberately destroyed the officers and generals who believed them and chose to serve them out of their love for the Motherland.

6. “The Civil War was unleashed by the Whites…

The first event of the Civil War in Russia was the Bolshevik coup in Petrograd and Moscow that included such acts as the shelling of the Kremlin – that is, an usurpation of power.

Apparently, the author assumes that all citizens of the former Russian Empire had to accept the usurpation simply because some Congress of the Soviets in the capital proclaimed the transfer of power to something called the Sovnarkom.
If every usurper has the right to unconditional submission, then Major Prilepin is out of place in the Donetsk People’s Republic military. By his own logic, they are typical mutineers who failed to accept the self-proclaimed régime in Kiev and “unleashed” a war by refusing to submit to Maidan usurpers.

Fourteen (14!) foreign countries intervened in the Civil War – and, in this situation, blaming its victims on Bolshevism alone is utter hogwash.

Painting the Bolsheviks as Russia’s defenders against intervention is an old propaganda stunt.

The Entente intervention sought to contain the consequences of their largest ally’s withdrawal from the Great War, then in full swing, and the signing of a separate peace treaty by its usurper government.

Neither Britain nor France nor the US sought to annex a part of Russian territory or overthrow the Bolsheviks by military force (however successful those attempts could have been), and lent a very scanty aid to the anti-Bolshevik resistance while being very assertive in demanding gold in exchange for said aid.

In Spring 1919, the Entente decided to completely cease all military intervention in the Russian Civil War. None of the different “interventions” ever posed any credible threat to the Bolshevik régime.

7. “The first pieces of legislation adopted by the Bolsheviks after their rise to power had nothing repressive in their nature. The Bolsheviks came as unprecedented idealists, liberators of the people, and democrats in the best sense of the word”.

On October 27th (November 9th New Style), the Soviets promulgated the Decree of the Press, its fourth decree up to that date.

It justified and introduced criteria for a repressive crackdown on all “bourgeois” press outlets by the Sovnarkom. They were three in total: calling for “a n open resistance or disobedience to the Government of Workers and Peasants” (i.e., when a legitimate government refuses to defer to usurpers); attempts at “fomenting dissent via grossly obvious perversions of fact” (i.e., any information the Bolsheviks deemed unfavorable to their cause); and calling for “acts of patently criminal or felonious nature” (i.e., given that no Penal Code existed at the moment, acts of any nature the Sovnarkom didn’t like).

Over November and December, the preaching of violence in Soviet acts intensified: confiscation of private printing presses and reserves of paper (November 17th, this and the following dates New Style); state monopoly on public notices (November 20th); demands for arrest and trial “by the revolutionary court of the people” for anyone deemed “harmful to the people’s cause” (November 18th); explicit ban on direct and intermediary negotiations with the “leaders of the counterrevolutionary insurrection” (December 8th); arrest warrant for the leadership of Constitutional Democrats branded as the “party of the enemies of the people” (December 11th).
So much for “democrats in the best sense of the word”.

8. “Faced with an impeding collapse of the Empire collapsing and separatist movements at its fringes, the Bolsheviks immediately shifted their tactics and rapidly reassembled the Empire, only permanently losing Finland and Poland, whose being a part of Russia is even now seen as irrelevant and superfluous anyway. The Bolsheviks have done nothing to merit the title of “wreckers of the Empire” – even if they called their offensive campaigns “internationalist”, their result was a traditional Russian territorial expansion.

The Bolshevik Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples of Russia, eulogized by Prilepin, explicitly allows for a “right of nations within Russia to free self-determination, including seceding and creating an independent state.

It turns out that Bolsheviks were typical hypocrites – when different nations actually tried to use the rights they were entitled to, they immediately “shifted their tactics” and turned to “territorial expansion”. Seems very familiar in the light of how the Bolsheviks treated all other human rights.

And, of course, the Bolsheviks did not expand to any territory in the end.

By the time the Civil War ended in the Russian Far East, they had lost the Baltics, Western Ukraine, and Western Belarus, ceded to Poland by the Riga peace treaty, as well as Bessarabia, annexed by Romania. Stalin took all of this back in 1939, no thanks to Bolshevism but thanks to World War II and a deal with Hitler (and none of this, save several districts transferred from Estonia and Latvia, was added to the territory of Soviet Russia proper).

The territory that got misplaced on the road to Communism included even the Uriankhai Krai (now the Tuva Republic), only reintegrated in 1944. Permanent losses included regions of Western Armenia ceded by 1921 Moscow and Kars treaties to “our friend Kemal”: Kars, many times washed by the blood of Russian soldiers, and Mount Ararat.

After recognising Finland’s independence, Lenin, in a gesture of largesse, gave up Vyborg, conquered by Peter the Great from the Swedes.
In 1940, Vyborg returned to Russia only thanks to Marshal Mannerheim. His obstinate resistance to Soviet forces caused Stalin to abandon plans for a puppet Democratic Republic of Finland led by Otto Kuusinen. Instead of signing a treaty with the puppet state, voluntarily ceding a good half of Karelia and drawing the border south of Vyborg, the Soviet Union was forced to sign a full-fledged peace treaty with harsh conditions.

The Soviets did exactly zilch in terms of expanding Russian territory until the very capture of Lvov during Stalin’s “liberation campaign” against Poland. However, Lvov would have become a part of the Russian Empire anyway had the Tsar not been deposed. Under Stalin, Lvov became a poisoned gift that contaminated the Ukraine with the most radical strain of nationalism.

9. “Point one: there’s no Tsar. Point two: there are only White generals who are mostly okay with divvying up the country. And there are Bolsheviks who are against this divvying up.

Eulogizing about Leninist national and territorial policy is a particularly arduous affair for Prilepin. He resorts to parroting the Liberal thesis of “all empires are bound to collapse” and appealing to a treaty between Britain and France regarding the “partition of zones of influence in Russia”.

Let’s start with an outright hoax. The Whites were fighting for a united and indivisible Russia. This was the chief slogan and the main goal of the White movement. Gens. Kolchak, Denikin, and Wrangel alike were adamantly against recognizing any separatist statelets that had sprung up in the territory of the Russian Empire.

As has been said, treating a British-French agreement signed on December 23rd 1917 and establishing zones of responsibility of Entente powers in the South of Russia, with the Great War still ongoing, as a “partition of Russia between Britain and France”, is entirely baseless.

The author may fulminate against the idea of Bolshevism as the culprit that had planted the bomb under Russian territorial unity as much as he wishes to. But nothing can be done to disprove the fact that the Bolsheviks established a “Kyrgyz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic” in 1925, rechristened the Kazakh Republic in 1925, its capital until that year having been Orenburg. Such was the revenge of the Bolsheviks against the Orenburg Cossack Host for their resistance. That Russian city having been transferred away from Kazakhstan and back to Russia is nothing short of a miracle. Many other parts of Southern Siberia were much less lucky.

The Soviets, everywhere they could reach, created republics with a right to autonomy and secession, created “titular ethnicities” [2], granted them development funds, constructed their histories and gave them Latin-based writing systems (something reattempted by Nursultan Nazarbayev with much fanfare). [3] Terry Martin’s study The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939 is a terrific analysis of this process.

Mykhailo Hrushevsky, the founding father of Ukrainian separatism, came to enact in his capacity as President of the Ukrainian Soviet Academy of Sciences more than he ever could dream of as President of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, – turning millions of Little Russian peasants into “Ukrainians”.

Ukrainization was a central policy of the Soviets in 1920s – 1930s and never ceased completely in later eras. Indeed, Stalin did dampen those processes somewhat (even though he upgraded Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Karelia-Finland from autonomies to full-fledged Soviet republics, the latter fortunately abolished by Khrushchev), but they never stopped for the entirety of the Soviet régime.

Finally, the artificial borders chartered by Communists exploded in 1991 thanks to Liberals.

Who is to blame for falling to the ground – the one who laboriously sawed the chair’s legs or the one who carelessly parked his rear end on its seat?

10. “They say Patriarch Tikhon anathematized the Bolsheviks, and that’s why one cannot support them. But neither did he bless or endorse the White movement.

The Patriarch did not anathematize the Bolsheviks, only those who enacted cruel persecutions against the Church and Orthodox Christians, those who murdered priests, robbed churches, stripped decorations from icons, desecrated holy vessels, and so on.

However, he did censure Bolsheviks proper in his epistle dated October 13th (26th) 1918, and his words are a dreadful argument against Prilepin himself:

Our great Motherland is conquered, diminished, and dismembered, and, as a tribute imposed upon her, you secretly send to Germany the gold that doesn’t belong to you.

No one feels safe anymore. Everyone lives in constant fear of searches, robbery, eviction, arrest, and execution. Innocents are taken by the hundred, tortured in prisons for months, often put to death with no trial or jury, even an expedited trial that you introduced.

The executions affect not only those guilty before you in some way but even those who are patently blameless but taken as “hostages”. Those unfortunates are murdered as a revenge for crimes enacted by people who not only don’t have opinions similar to theirs but also support you or have convictions comparable to yours.

First, under the name of “bourgeoisie”, you robbed well-to-do people; then, under the name of “kulaks”, you turned to robbing richer and more diligent peasants, thus multiplying poverty, even though you must realize that, by ruining a great multitude of individual citizens, you destroy public wealth and lead the entire country to destitution.

In this context, it seems that the point of whether the Patriarch, taken hostage by the Bolsheviks and subject to constant mortal danger, supported the Whites or not is moot.

11. “The Bolsheviks nationalized the industries, harming the interests of large-scale capitalists by siding with those of the laborers. The class most interested in the Civil War were, metaphorically speaking, the Russian Forbes 500…

The identity of the laborers that the Bolsheviks sided with is rather unclear. Were they factory workers doomed to several years of devastation, famine, and non-functional plants? Or peasants, anguishing from the terror of Prodrazvyorstka and Kombeds [4] and later rising up in the Tambov rebellion [5] (and many others), suffocated with chemical weapons?

When the “exploiters” were in charge, Russian economy grew by 8% a year; it took the Soviets more than a decade to reach its 1913 levels.

Regarding the “Russian Forbes 500”: with the exception of Russia’s richest man Nikolay Vtorov, murdered in 1918 in Moscow under suspicious circumstances, the others emigrated and saw the twilight of their years in Paris or Monaco. In the 1920s, Mikhail Tereshchenko’s 127-meter yacht, the Iolanthe, was the world’s largest yacht afloat.

Meanwhile, the living standards of the proletariat liberated from the yoke of capitalists and Tsarist social legislation was graphically described by poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, the chief panegyrist of Bolshevism: “Workers sitting in the dark, munching on damp bread.”

This was all peanuts compared to what came next: a system of forced labor, the main know-how of Stalinist industrialisation. Having no means of concentrating enough capital to fulfil his 5-year plan, Comrade Stalin found an elegant solution – dumping the costs of the other industrial factor, labor itself, to near zero.

For the first time in history, the world saw a modern industrialisation based on slave labor. The Bolsheviks were successful in annihilating private capital. The state remained the sole capitalist. And it was the state, not individual businessmen, who conducted negotiations with workers, with the barrel of an NKVD pistol as its ultima ratio.

While their comrades in both Europe and America successfully campaigned for better wages and welfare and formed the system of the social state, Russian workers spent decades in slave-like conditions and deemed themselves lucky if they weren’t converted from slaves of the 5-year plan to bondsmen of the Gulag.

12. “The main victor of the Civil War was the Russian people. The Russian Revolution of November 7th 1917 is an achievement, a victory, and a tragedy of the Russian nation. It is fully responsible for it, and has every right to be proud of this momentous achievement that changed the course of world history.

I won’t contest that the Russian people emerged victorious from the Civil War. If many, all too many Russians hadn’t thrown their lot with Bolshevism, either actively or by submission, no Latvian riflemen or Chinese volunteers could have led Lenin and his gang to victory.

The Russians, however, won a victory over themselves and their kin who dared to side with honor, God’s truth, and a tormented Fatherland, the united and indivisible Russia. This victory led all who kowtowed before Bolshevism to decades of poverty, terror, slavery, and Kafkaesque everyday life. Their only daily consolation was the hope of suffering for the greater good, a Grand Project.

No one reminded those people that only recently Tsarist Russia had completed one of the most astounding projects in the history of mankind, the transcontinental Trans-Siberian railway. It was achieved with no waste or exhaustion, no payment of tens of thousand of human lives for an infrastructural breakthrough.

Every human community, including the Russians, has a basic set of values and goals. Spiritual: spreading its worldview and faith, bolstering its national character and original creativity in national culture. Material: increasing the welfare of the nation and expanding their numbers. (Geo)political: increasing its national habitat and the security of its borders.

The Russians failed to achieve any of those goals over the 20th century as a direct consequence of the Bolshevik coup.

The Russian Orthodox Church endured a most savage persecution that put it on the brink of extinction. The originality of Russian culture was forcibly erased, having just reached its fin de siècle apex. Russians were subjected to decades of horrific poverty, terror, and famine, falling into a demographic abyss of enormous proportions.

The Bolshevik period ended with a rapid contraction of Russian borders, a reduction of Russian habitat, and our people turned, even within Russia itself, into second-grade citizens.

If this passes as a victory, then our goal is not to triumph over ourselves in this fashion once again.

Translator’s Notes

[1] This entire paragraph does not appear in the Vzglyad text, but did appear in Kholmogorov’s original draft. I considered it too good not to translate and publish anyway. – AK

[2] A semi-official term for ethnic groups whose name coincided with the name of an autonomy of a full-fledged republic in both the USSR and modern Russia (even though they weren’t/aren’t necessarily the most populous ethnicity), e.g. Kazakhs in Kazakhstan, Ukrainians in the Ukraine, Bashkirs in Bashkortostan, etc. Most of the time, the “titular” ethnicity was/is given the largest leeway possible by the central Soviet/Russian government.

[3] Reference to a recent decree of the Kazakh President proclaiming the shift the Kazakh alphabet from Cyrillic- to Latin-based , to be completed by 2025.

[4] The Prodrazvyorstka was a Soviet policy of forceful grain confiscation, formally reimbursed with a nominal fee much lower than the market price, leading to mass pauperization of peasants and famine. Kombeds (Poor Peasants’ Committees) were organs of Soviet power in rural settlements, mostly charged with enacting said policy.

[5] A 1920-21 peasant insurrection in the Volga region caused by mass grain requisitions and other forms of Soviet-sanctioned abuse, leaving more than 200,000 civilians dead. Often claimed as the first documented use of chemical weapons in internal conflict.

 
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  1. Brusilov served in the Red Army.

    The Whites discredited themselves by colluding in foreign intervention.

    If they had the support of the entire officer corps + British, French, Americans, Czechs and Japanese, they must have been exceptionally incompetent to lose.

    It’s more likely that the Red Army attracted plenty of men like Tukhachevsky – young, competent and energetic officers, and lots of senior NCOs (who really make an army function).

    Read More
    • Agree: Andrei Martyanov
    • Replies: @Sean
    Trotsky had the families of Czarist officers as hostages for the officers' loyality,and they knew it, that is why they fought for the Bolsheviks.

    The Czar allowed his expansionist (and profiteering) advisers to get the regieme into a war against Japan and lost it caused a revolution (1905). Then ignoring Stolypin's warning that overthrow of all existing conditions was on the cards with any further revolution, the Czar allowed himself to be inveigled by France into fighting the Germans.
    , @reiner Tor

    The Whites discredited themselves by colluding in foreign intervention.
     
    As opposed to the Bolsheviks, who colluded with the Germans, the only large scale invasion of Russia at the time. Whereas the Entente powers only sent a few small detachments to a few cities, and never planned to annex any part of Russia.
    , @Mikhail
    The Bolshes received a good amount of German support, in addition to having colluded with Poland against the Whites:

    http://www.eurasiareview.com/08042016-fuzzy-history-how-poland-saved-the-world-from-russia-analysis/

    The much trumped image of foreign intervention against the Reds and in favor of the Whites is exaggerated propaganda.

    There were other dynamics involved, which included WW I still being fought for a portion of the Russian Civil War, in conjunction with foreign powers seeking to keep ck on each other, while protecting their respective nationals and biz interests.
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  2. jtgw says:

    Very interesting topic! In my time I’ve gotten to know a few old-style White emigres, the kind who prayed for the return of the Tsar and who opposed the reunification of the emigre New York-based Church Abroad with the Moscow Patriarchate. Their biggest beef was their perception that Russians today, no matter how much they otherwise claimed to love Russian culture and Orthodoxy, had never repented of Communism. It certainly seems to me a challenge to defend much of the Soviet legacy if Orthodoxy plays a large role in your nationalist outlook – maybe not so difficult if your nationalism is secular.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    It certainly seems to me a challenge to defend much of the Soviet legacy if Orthodoxy plays a large role in your nationalist outlook – maybe not so difficult if your nationalism is secular.
     
    Bullshit, the Soviets were a hundred times more lenient towards Christian Orthodoxy than the Romanov Empire was.

    (This isn't to say the Soviets were the good guys, merely that the post-Peter-I regime was even more horrific and anti-Christian.)
    , @Mikhail
    Actually, most of the ROCOR seem comfortable enough with the coming together of their church and the ROC-MP.

    That relationship is very much decentralized, with some differences of opinion expressed between the two. For example, the ROCOR has elements who speak favorably of Andrei Vlasov, unlike what has been communicated by some in the ROC-MP.
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  3. My first comment without having read the article: I did read a full book (in Hungarian translation) by Prilepin.

    Plot: There was some organization trying to foment a revolution. The protagonist leads the revolutionaries in a very big city (but smaller than Moscow or St. Petersburg), where they manage to imprison (or kill? I can’t remember) the governor of the oblast, and turn on the TV where it turns out revolutionaries have occupied several ministries. However, at this point, surrealism ends: the army is ordered in, after a few hours the army is ordered in and the President announces martial law on TV (which was obviously recaptured by loyalists).

    In Hungary it was advertised as a sympathetic description of radical youths, which might help understand Hungarian radicals. (At the time Jobbik was not that far removed from the 2006 riots in Hungary where the rioters managed to get hold of the building of the state television.) I bought it because I found it interesting to read about Russian right-wing radicals from a book by a Russian radical. (Though those “radicals” in the book were at least as much left as right, and for example they didn’t hate Jews and seemed opposed to Jew-hatred.) In any event, I didn’t feel I wasted my time, though perhaps Prilepin is not a Dostoevsky or a Bulgakov.

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  4. Sean says:
    @jimmyriddle
    Brusilov served in the Red Army.

    The Whites discredited themselves by colluding in foreign intervention.

    If they had the support of the entire officer corps + British, French, Americans, Czechs and Japanese, they must have been exceptionally incompetent to lose.

    It's more likely that the Red Army attracted plenty of men like Tukhachevsky - young, competent and energetic officers, and lots of senior NCOs (who really make an army function).

    Trotsky had the families of Czarist officers as hostages for the officers’ loyality,and they knew it, that is why they fought for the Bolsheviks.

    The Czar allowed his expansionist (and profiteering) advisers to get the regieme into a war against Japan and lost it caused a revolution (1905). Then ignoring Stolypin’s warning that overthrow of all existing conditions was on the cards with any further revolution, the Czar allowed himself to be inveigled by France into fighting the Germans.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
    That's a pretty old tactic. It was widely used in the Wars of the Roses in England.

    I doubt it accounted for the great mass of Lieutenants, Captains and Majors who served in the Red Army. The logistics seem infeasible.
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  5. @jimmyriddle
    Brusilov served in the Red Army.

    The Whites discredited themselves by colluding in foreign intervention.

    If they had the support of the entire officer corps + British, French, Americans, Czechs and Japanese, they must have been exceptionally incompetent to lose.

    It's more likely that the Red Army attracted plenty of men like Tukhachevsky - young, competent and energetic officers, and lots of senior NCOs (who really make an army function).

    The Whites discredited themselves by colluding in foreign intervention.

    As opposed to the Bolsheviks, who colluded with the Germans, the only large scale invasion of Russia at the time. Whereas the Entente powers only sent a few small detachments to a few cities, and never planned to annex any part of Russia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
    The optics still favoured the Bolsheviks.

    At no point were foreign troops supporting or installing Bolsheviks (unless you regard the Lettish Red Riflemen as foreign), whereas they openly did that with Skoropadski and the various White generals.
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  6. Just added a paragraph that does not appear in the Vzgluad article, but did appear in Kholmogorov’s draft version on Facebook (with his permission).

    … The Zyuganov era of traditionalist-friendly Communism is coming to its inevitable end, and is becoming displaced by a new era of Communist liberalism, which is hostile to the Russian traditional values that are held in equal contempt by both liberals and conventional Communists.

    I think this is a very deep, very true, and very consequential observation. He is I think talking about SJWism – which I think is definitely spreading amongst yuppie Muscovite elites, even if it has yet to “break out” into the general population.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jtgw
    To what extent is the liberal trend inevitable regardless of ideology? For example, I could point out that your own nationalism is combined with a fairly hardline secularism; I believe you recently praised the Czechs for being the most atheistic nation in Europe or something. If even nationalists need to become more secular to appeal to the younger generation, I predict a lot of other liberalizing trends, too. Indeed, you see this already in many European nationalist movements, e.g. acceptance of homosexuality and even making this issue a key component of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric (cf. Pim Fortuyn already in 2001-2).
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  7. neutral says:

    One thing that is not a myth is that Bolsheviks had the jews in charge, no different to how Hollywood is run today. How Stalin managed to outmaneuver the jews for power is something that perplexes me though.

    Read More
    • Replies: @pogohere
    STALIN’S WILLING EXECUTIONERS

    JEWS AS A HOSTILE ELITE IN THE USSR

    The Jewish Century


    Yuri Slezkine

    Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004 $29.95 (cloth) x + 438 pages

    Reviewed by Kevin MacDonald

    A persistent theme among critics of Jews—particularly those on the pre-World War II right—has been that the Bolshevik revolution was a Jewish revolution and that the Soviet Union was dominated by Jews. This theme appears in a wide range of writings, from Henry Ford’s International Jew, to published statements by a long list of British, French, and American political figures in the 1920s (Winston Churchill, Woodrow Wilson, and David Lloyd George), and, in its most extreme form, by Adolf Hitler, who wrote:

    "Now begins the last great revolution. By wresting political power for himself, the Jew casts off the few remaining shreds of disguise he still wears. The democratic plebeian Jew turns into the blood Jew and the tyrant of peoples. In a few years he will try to exterminate the national pillars of intelligence and, by robbing the peoples of their natural spiritual leadership, will make them ripe for the slavish lot of a permanent subjugation. The most terrible example of this is Russia."
     
    This long tradition stands in sharp contradiction to the official view, promulgated by Jewish organizations and almost all contemporary historians, that Jews played no special role in Bolshevism and indeed were specifically victimized by it. Yuri Slezkine’s book provides a much needed resolution to these opposing perspectives. It is an intellectual tour de force, alternately muddled and brilliant, courageous and apologetic.

    http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/slezkinerev.pdf

    Beware: This review of Slezkine's The Jewish Century requires the ability to think critically.

    Also, there is a virus warning when attempting to open the link above. I have consistently ignored the warning with no ill effect.
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  8. @reiner Tor

    The Whites discredited themselves by colluding in foreign intervention.
     
    As opposed to the Bolsheviks, who colluded with the Germans, the only large scale invasion of Russia at the time. Whereas the Entente powers only sent a few small detachments to a few cities, and never planned to annex any part of Russia.

    The optics still favoured the Bolsheviks.

    At no point were foreign troops supporting or installing Bolsheviks (unless you regard the Lettish Red Riflemen as foreign), whereas they openly did that with Skoropadski and the various White generals.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    The Germans did more than just arrange for Lenin's transportation to Petrograd. Likewise, some Western leftists lent a helping hand in one way or the other.

    Skoropadsky's situation with the Whites and the Germans was complex as noted below:

    http://www.eurasiareview.com/22052011-pavlo-skoropadsky-and-the-course-of-russian-ukrainian-relations-analysis/
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  9. @Sean
    Trotsky had the families of Czarist officers as hostages for the officers' loyality,and they knew it, that is why they fought for the Bolsheviks.

    The Czar allowed his expansionist (and profiteering) advisers to get the regieme into a war against Japan and lost it caused a revolution (1905). Then ignoring Stolypin's warning that overthrow of all existing conditions was on the cards with any further revolution, the Czar allowed himself to be inveigled by France into fighting the Germans.

    That’s a pretty old tactic. It was widely used in the Wars of the Roses in England.

    I doubt it accounted for the great mass of Lieutenants, Captains and Majors who served in the Red Army. The logistics seem infeasible.

    Read More
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  10. notanon says:

    interesting read

    If they had the support of the entire officer corps + British, French, Americans, Czechs and Japanese, they must have been exceptionally incompetent to lose.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interior_lines

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  11. “The first event of the Civil War in Russia was the Bolshevik coup in Petrograd and Moscow that included such acts as the shelling of the Kremlin – that is, an usurpation of power.”

    Following this logic Civil war was started the moment Tsar was overthrown.
    In any case Bolsheviks were not the one who started it neither by overthrowing Tsar, they merely joined already existing conflict which at the time did not reach violent stage, nor by initiating hostilities later until they were drawn into Civil war by Kornilovshina and subsequent events.

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  12. “That is, the Bolsheviks wanted one thing, but something entirely different happened in reality, and it is actually this unconscious benefit which constitutes the real blessing of the revolution.”

    As saying goes :”No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy”. Whatever Bolsheviks intended originally clearly had only theoretical background. There was never any practical experiment of such scale especially in conditions under which Bolsheviks found themselves almost right away when they had to defend themselves from violent attacks from all sides. Nevertheless Lenin already one year after revolution stated that state capitalism would be a good progress for Russia considering actual state of affairs and Russia social economic development of the time.
    The process of finding real solution, adjusting theoretical models to reality and later dealing with deep division within party itself, what Bolsheviks achieved by 1941 was nothing short of the miracle not surpassed even by Chinese miracle.

    I wonder if Kholmogorov has any plans at all to be tested by contact with the enemy? It is someone sitting comfortably in his armchair critisizing people who actually tried and achieved results which did save Russia considering later historical developments and managed to finally resolve issues which afflicted Tsarist Russia and ultimately led to its demise.

    “The justification of the October Revolution, of Bolshevism, and of Soviet power – in short, the entirety of Red apologetics – now occurs from within patriotic, nationalist, conspirological, populist, and even Christian Orthodox frameworks, all of which were mostly or entirely antithetical to the Communist value system itself. In practice, this consists of sophistic manipulations of Hegel’s “Cunning of Reason.” ”

    History or God or whatever works in mysterious ways. It is quite possible there is some role even for Kholmogorov and Anatolii in there.

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  13. ““Would Kornilov, the general who betrayed the monarchy, has created a system of concentration camps covering the entire country, where people would have been sent for telling a joke about himself, or for stealing a sheaf of wheat from one of Savinkov’s collective farms?””

    LoL, is that hyperbola ? Considering numbers those who spent some time in there those numbers are not enough to fulfill Kholmogorov vision. Places Kholmogorov calls concentration camps were jails and camps for those serving their time to do something useful while doing so. One who does not work must not eat.
    I have no doubt any country is covered by similar “concentration” camps. Just have a look at USA.

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  14. @jtgw
    Very interesting topic! In my time I've gotten to know a few old-style White emigres, the kind who prayed for the return of the Tsar and who opposed the reunification of the emigre New York-based Church Abroad with the Moscow Patriarchate. Their biggest beef was their perception that Russians today, no matter how much they otherwise claimed to love Russian culture and Orthodoxy, had never repented of Communism. It certainly seems to me a challenge to defend much of the Soviet legacy if Orthodoxy plays a large role in your nationalist outlook - maybe not so difficult if your nationalism is secular.

    It certainly seems to me a challenge to defend much of the Soviet legacy if Orthodoxy plays a large role in your nationalist outlook – maybe not so difficult if your nationalism is secular.

    Bullshit, the Soviets were a hundred times more lenient towards Christian Orthodoxy than the Romanov Empire was.

    (This isn’t to say the Soviets were the good guys, merely that the post-Peter-I regime was even more horrific and anti-Christian.)

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    • Replies: @jtgw
    I don't know what to say other than the truth is the literal opposite of what you say it is. However bad Peter I was for the Church, the Soviets were a hundred times worse.

    Soviet and Bolshevik apologists seem to do this a lot.

    https://i.redd.it/autna8ga8vwz.png

    , @melanf

    Bullshit, the Soviets were a hundred times more lenient towards Christian Orthodoxy than the Romanov Empire was.
    (This isn’t to say the Soviets were the good guys, merely that the post-Peter-I regime was even more horrific and anti-Christian.)
     
    Who could write such incredible nonsense?
    How do you explain the fact that on the direct orders of Peter was deployed missionary activity of the Orthodox Church (the fact that the Finno-Ugric peoples of the Upper Volga now Christians, not Muslims - to a large extent the result activities of "anti-Christian" Peter)
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  15. jtgw says:
    @anonymous coward

    It certainly seems to me a challenge to defend much of the Soviet legacy if Orthodoxy plays a large role in your nationalist outlook – maybe not so difficult if your nationalism is secular.
     
    Bullshit, the Soviets were a hundred times more lenient towards Christian Orthodoxy than the Romanov Empire was.

    (This isn't to say the Soviets were the good guys, merely that the post-Peter-I regime was even more horrific and anti-Christian.)

    I don’t know what to say other than the truth is the literal opposite of what you say it is. However bad Peter I was for the Church, the Soviets were a hundred times worse.

    Soviet and Bolshevik apologists seem to do this a lot.

    Read More
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  16. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Bullshit, the Soviets were a hundred times more lenient towards Christian Orthodoxy than the Romanov Empire was.

    Anatoly, can I nominate this as a hot take?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    Unsurpassable imbecility!
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  17. jtgw says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Just added a paragraph that does not appear in the Vzgluad article, but did appear in Kholmogorov's draft version on Facebook (with his permission).

    ... The Zyuganov era of traditionalist-friendly Communism is coming to its inevitable end, and is becoming displaced by a new era of Communist liberalism, which is hostile to the Russian traditional values that are held in equal contempt by both liberals and conventional Communists.
     
    I think this is a very deep, very true, and very consequential observation. He is I think talking about SJWism - which I think is definitely spreading amongst yuppie Muscovite elites, even if it has yet to "break out" into the general population.

    To what extent is the liberal trend inevitable regardless of ideology? For example, I could point out that your own nationalism is combined with a fairly hardline secularism; I believe you recently praised the Czechs for being the most atheistic nation in Europe or something. If even nationalists need to become more secular to appeal to the younger generation, I predict a lot of other liberalizing trends, too. Indeed, you see this already in many European nationalist movements, e.g. acceptance of homosexuality and even making this issue a key component of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric (cf. Pim Fortuyn already in 2001-2).

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    • Replies: @German_reader

    Indeed, you see this already in many European nationalist movements
     
    There's no necessary connection between secularism and liberalism imo, it's more complicated. In Western Europe the churches are among the biggest promoters of mass immigration and "antiracism", they're pro-Islamic, and at least in the case of many Protestant denominations also increasingly pro-homosexual and pro-genderism. They're also against the sort of "transhumanism" AK is interested in (e.g. Germany's chief Protestant faithcuck Bedford-Strohm would like research in radical life extension banned, because it's against God's plan or whatever).
    So militant secularism among nationalists in Europe is to some degree a reaction to the religious establishment's support for nation-destroying policies.
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  18. @jtgw
    To what extent is the liberal trend inevitable regardless of ideology? For example, I could point out that your own nationalism is combined with a fairly hardline secularism; I believe you recently praised the Czechs for being the most atheistic nation in Europe or something. If even nationalists need to become more secular to appeal to the younger generation, I predict a lot of other liberalizing trends, too. Indeed, you see this already in many European nationalist movements, e.g. acceptance of homosexuality and even making this issue a key component of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric (cf. Pim Fortuyn already in 2001-2).

    Indeed, you see this already in many European nationalist movements

    There’s no necessary connection between secularism and liberalism imo, it’s more complicated. In Western Europe the churches are among the biggest promoters of mass immigration and “antiracism”, they’re pro-Islamic, and at least in the case of many Protestant denominations also increasingly pro-homosexual and pro-genderism. They’re also against the sort of “transhumanism” AK is interested in (e.g. Germany’s chief Protestant faithcuck Bedford-Strohm would like research in radical life extension banned, because it’s against God’s plan or whatever).
    So militant secularism among nationalists in Europe is to some degree a reaction to the religious establishment’s support for nation-destroying policies.

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    • Replies: @jtgw
    I understand your point, but I could add that we're talking about the established churches and I could easily see a nationalist reaction taking a sectarian bent, e.g. setting up separate traditionalist churches that also opposed immigration.

    Your point about transhumanism kind of proves my point. AK may be a reactionary in some areas but is super "progressive" in other ways. By "progressive" I mean seeking to move beyond or overturn current social structures and norms, and radical life extension certainly fits the bill. I would say a huge part of traditional culture is based on the assumption of a short life of 70-80 years and the need to provide for the next generation (and also to honor previous generations). Once a "generation" is radically expanded beyond its traditional limits, I foresee a big impact on traditional norms. I really can't see any traditionalist or conservative religious leader advocating or supporting radical life extension. Do you have any examples?

    No, I don't think it's a reaction against the leftism of the established churches. I think both established church leftism and the selective progressivism of the alt-right have the same source: the inexorable social evolution of the very societies the traditionalists and nationalists are trying to protect.
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  19. jtgw says:
    @German_reader

    Indeed, you see this already in many European nationalist movements
     
    There's no necessary connection between secularism and liberalism imo, it's more complicated. In Western Europe the churches are among the biggest promoters of mass immigration and "antiracism", they're pro-Islamic, and at least in the case of many Protestant denominations also increasingly pro-homosexual and pro-genderism. They're also against the sort of "transhumanism" AK is interested in (e.g. Germany's chief Protestant faithcuck Bedford-Strohm would like research in radical life extension banned, because it's against God's plan or whatever).
    So militant secularism among nationalists in Europe is to some degree a reaction to the religious establishment's support for nation-destroying policies.

    I understand your point, but I could add that we’re talking about the established churches and I could easily see a nationalist reaction taking a sectarian bent, e.g. setting up separate traditionalist churches that also opposed immigration.

    Your point about transhumanism kind of proves my point. AK may be a reactionary in some areas but is super “progressive” in other ways. By “progressive” I mean seeking to move beyond or overturn current social structures and norms, and radical life extension certainly fits the bill. I would say a huge part of traditional culture is based on the assumption of a short life of 70-80 years and the need to provide for the next generation (and also to honor previous generations). Once a “generation” is radically expanded beyond its traditional limits, I foresee a big impact on traditional norms. I really can’t see any traditionalist or conservative religious leader advocating or supporting radical life extension. Do you have any examples?

    No, I don’t think it’s a reaction against the leftism of the established churches. I think both established church leftism and the selective progressivism of the alt-right have the same source: the inexorable social evolution of the very societies the traditionalists and nationalists are trying to protect.

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    • Replies: @German_reader

    I really can’t see any traditionalist or conservative religious leader advocating or supporting radical life extension. Do you have any examples?
     
    No, probably not; since coping with our mortality (and that of those close to us) and the shortness of our frequently miserable life is a large part of the appeal of religion, it would be bad for their business model, so to speak.
    Yes, you're probably right on the whole, and personally I have little time for reactionaries of the "Everything went to hell in 1789, let's go back to throne and altar!" kind. That's a fantasy and will never win mass support (just as drastically restricting the rights of women, and probably also those of homosexuals, won't). For me the really big issue is stopping non-European mass immigration to Europe, that's the non-negotiable part of my political identity. Everything else is secondary.
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    AK may be a reactionary in some areas but is super “progressive” in other ways.
     
    Who cares whether I am reactionary, progressive, or some schizo combination of the two? :)

    The ultimate values are adaptiveness, competitiveness - societies and nations that beg to differ, tend to vanish.

    "Poz" is probably maladaptive; if someone can demonstrate to me otherwise, I'll be off to the nearest homo parade. Religion is adaptive if it is married to nationalism, esp. immigration restrictions, fertility promotion; if it starts to embrace Poz (the leftism German_reader complains about) or sinks into anti-scientific obscurantism (American evangelism, and, unfortunately, increasingly ROC) then it becomes maladaptive. Transhumanism - at least, elements of it, such as radical IQ augmentation - will be ultra-competitive, if realized.

    I think both established church leftism and the selective progressivism of the alt-right have the same source: the inexorable social evolution of the very societies the traditionalists and nationalists are trying to protect.
     
    I should note that (1) my views are hardly representative of the Alt Right, who in my opinion are best described as Americans with 1950s social/political mores (I am speaking of typical Alt Right vatniks/rednecks, not its intellectuals, with their strange preoccupations with Evola and continental philosophy); (2) I do not identify with the Alt Right, despite a large degree of sympathy and agreement with them.
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  20. @jtgw
    I understand your point, but I could add that we're talking about the established churches and I could easily see a nationalist reaction taking a sectarian bent, e.g. setting up separate traditionalist churches that also opposed immigration.

    Your point about transhumanism kind of proves my point. AK may be a reactionary in some areas but is super "progressive" in other ways. By "progressive" I mean seeking to move beyond or overturn current social structures and norms, and radical life extension certainly fits the bill. I would say a huge part of traditional culture is based on the assumption of a short life of 70-80 years and the need to provide for the next generation (and also to honor previous generations). Once a "generation" is radically expanded beyond its traditional limits, I foresee a big impact on traditional norms. I really can't see any traditionalist or conservative religious leader advocating or supporting radical life extension. Do you have any examples?

    No, I don't think it's a reaction against the leftism of the established churches. I think both established church leftism and the selective progressivism of the alt-right have the same source: the inexorable social evolution of the very societies the traditionalists and nationalists are trying to protect.

    I really can’t see any traditionalist or conservative religious leader advocating or supporting radical life extension. Do you have any examples?

    No, probably not; since coping with our mortality (and that of those close to us) and the shortness of our frequently miserable life is a large part of the appeal of religion, it would be bad for their business model, so to speak.
    Yes, you’re probably right on the whole, and personally I have little time for reactionaries of the “Everything went to hell in 1789, let’s go back to throne and altar!” kind. That’s a fantasy and will never win mass support (just as drastically restricting the rights of women, and probably also those of homosexuals, won’t). For me the really big issue is stopping non-European mass immigration to Europe, that’s the non-negotiable part of my political identity. Everything else is secondary.

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  21. Seraphim says:
    @Anon
    Bullshit, the Soviets were a hundred times more lenient towards Christian Orthodoxy than the Romanov Empire was.

    Anatoly, can I nominate this as a hot take?

    Unsurpassable imbecility!

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  22. @jtgw
    I understand your point, but I could add that we're talking about the established churches and I could easily see a nationalist reaction taking a sectarian bent, e.g. setting up separate traditionalist churches that also opposed immigration.

    Your point about transhumanism kind of proves my point. AK may be a reactionary in some areas but is super "progressive" in other ways. By "progressive" I mean seeking to move beyond or overturn current social structures and norms, and radical life extension certainly fits the bill. I would say a huge part of traditional culture is based on the assumption of a short life of 70-80 years and the need to provide for the next generation (and also to honor previous generations). Once a "generation" is radically expanded beyond its traditional limits, I foresee a big impact on traditional norms. I really can't see any traditionalist or conservative religious leader advocating or supporting radical life extension. Do you have any examples?

    No, I don't think it's a reaction against the leftism of the established churches. I think both established church leftism and the selective progressivism of the alt-right have the same source: the inexorable social evolution of the very societies the traditionalists and nationalists are trying to protect.

    AK may be a reactionary in some areas but is super “progressive” in other ways.

    Who cares whether I am reactionary, progressive, or some schizo combination of the two? :)

    The ultimate values are adaptiveness, competitiveness – societies and nations that beg to differ, tend to vanish.

    “Poz” is probably maladaptive; if someone can demonstrate to me otherwise, I’ll be off to the nearest homo parade. Religion is adaptive if it is married to nationalism, esp. immigration restrictions, fertility promotion; if it starts to embrace Poz (the leftism German_reader complains about) or sinks into anti-scientific obscurantism (American evangelism, and, unfortunately, increasingly ROC) then it becomes maladaptive. Transhumanism – at least, elements of it, such as radical IQ augmentation – will be ultra-competitive, if realized.

    I think both established church leftism and the selective progressivism of the alt-right have the same source: the inexorable social evolution of the very societies the traditionalists and nationalists are trying to protect.

    I should note that (1) my views are hardly representative of the Alt Right, who in my opinion are best described as Americans with 1950s social/political mores (I am speaking of typical Alt Right vatniks/rednecks, not its intellectuals, with their strange preoccupations with Evola and continental philosophy); (2) I do not identify with the Alt Right, despite a large degree of sympathy and agreement with them.

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  23. melanf says:
    @anonymous coward

    It certainly seems to me a challenge to defend much of the Soviet legacy if Orthodoxy plays a large role in your nationalist outlook – maybe not so difficult if your nationalism is secular.
     
    Bullshit, the Soviets were a hundred times more lenient towards Christian Orthodoxy than the Romanov Empire was.

    (This isn't to say the Soviets were the good guys, merely that the post-Peter-I regime was even more horrific and anti-Christian.)

    Bullshit, the Soviets were a hundred times more lenient towards Christian Orthodoxy than the Romanov Empire was.
    (This isn’t to say the Soviets were the good guys, merely that the post-Peter-I regime was even more horrific and anti-Christian.)

    Who could write such incredible nonsense?
    How do you explain the fact that on the direct orders of Peter was deployed missionary activity of the Orthodox Church (the fact that the Finno-Ugric peoples of the Upper Volga now Christians, not Muslims – to a large extent the result activities of “anti-Christian” Peter)

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  24. Mikhail says: • Website
    @jimmyriddle
    Brusilov served in the Red Army.

    The Whites discredited themselves by colluding in foreign intervention.

    If they had the support of the entire officer corps + British, French, Americans, Czechs and Japanese, they must have been exceptionally incompetent to lose.

    It's more likely that the Red Army attracted plenty of men like Tukhachevsky - young, competent and energetic officers, and lots of senior NCOs (who really make an army function).

    The Bolshes received a good amount of German support, in addition to having colluded with Poland against the Whites:

    http://www.eurasiareview.com/08042016-fuzzy-history-how-poland-saved-the-world-from-russia-analysis/

    The much trumped image of foreign intervention against the Reds and in favor of the Whites is exaggerated propaganda.

    There were other dynamics involved, which included WW I still being fought for a portion of the Russian Civil War, in conjunction with foreign powers seeking to keep ck on each other, while protecting their respective nationals and biz interests.

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  25. Mikhail says: • Website
    @jimmyriddle
    The optics still favoured the Bolsheviks.

    At no point were foreign troops supporting or installing Bolsheviks (unless you regard the Lettish Red Riflemen as foreign), whereas they openly did that with Skoropadski and the various White generals.

    The Germans did more than just arrange for Lenin’s transportation to Petrograd. Likewise, some Western leftists lent a helping hand in one way or the other.

    Skoropadsky’s situation with the Whites and the Germans was complex as noted below:

    http://www.eurasiareview.com/22052011-pavlo-skoropadsky-and-the-course-of-russian-ukrainian-relations-analysis/

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    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
    An interesting article, but there is a difference between things we know now, and things that were publicly known at the time.

    At the time, Skoropadsky and the White commanders were widely seen as agents of foreign powers (because they sometimes visibly arrived on the coat-tails of foreign armies).

    The arrangement between Lenin and the German general staff was secret.
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  26. Mikhail says: • Website
    @jtgw
    Very interesting topic! In my time I've gotten to know a few old-style White emigres, the kind who prayed for the return of the Tsar and who opposed the reunification of the emigre New York-based Church Abroad with the Moscow Patriarchate. Their biggest beef was their perception that Russians today, no matter how much they otherwise claimed to love Russian culture and Orthodoxy, had never repented of Communism. It certainly seems to me a challenge to defend much of the Soviet legacy if Orthodoxy plays a large role in your nationalist outlook - maybe not so difficult if your nationalism is secular.

    Actually, most of the ROCOR seem comfortable enough with the coming together of their church and the ROC-MP.

    That relationship is very much decentralized, with some differences of opinion expressed between the two. For example, the ROCOR has elements who speak favorably of Andrei Vlasov, unlike what has been communicated by some in the ROC-MP.

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  27. @Mikhail
    The Germans did more than just arrange for Lenin's transportation to Petrograd. Likewise, some Western leftists lent a helping hand in one way or the other.

    Skoropadsky's situation with the Whites and the Germans was complex as noted below:

    http://www.eurasiareview.com/22052011-pavlo-skoropadsky-and-the-course-of-russian-ukrainian-relations-analysis/

    An interesting article, but there is a difference between things we know now, and things that were publicly known at the time.

    At the time, Skoropadsky and the White commanders were widely seen as agents of foreign powers (because they sometimes visibly arrived on the coat-tails of foreign armies).

    The arrangement between Lenin and the German general staff was secret.

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  28. Mikhail says: • Website

    As was the other significant German aid to the Bolshes.

    Take issue with the image of the Whites mostly relying on foreign armies as fact.

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  29. pogohere says: • Website
    @neutral
    One thing that is not a myth is that Bolsheviks had the jews in charge, no different to how Hollywood is run today. How Stalin managed to outmaneuver the jews for power is something that perplexes me though.

    STALIN’S WILLING EXECUTIONERS

    JEWS AS A HOSTILE ELITE IN THE USSR

    The Jewish Century

    Yuri Slezkine

    Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004 $29.95 (cloth) x + 438 pages

    Reviewed by Kevin MacDonald

    A persistent theme among critics of Jews—particularly those on the pre-World War II right—has been that the Bolshevik revolution was a Jewish revolution and that the Soviet Union was dominated by Jews. This theme appears in a wide range of writings, from Henry Ford’s International Jew, to published statements by a long list of British, French, and American political figures in the 1920s (Winston Churchill, Woodrow Wilson, and David Lloyd George), and, in its most extreme form, by Adolf Hitler, who wrote:

    “Now begins the last great revolution. By wresting political power for himself, the Jew casts off the few remaining shreds of disguise he still wears. The democratic plebeian Jew turns into the blood Jew and the tyrant of peoples. In a few years he will try to exterminate the national pillars of intelligence and, by robbing the peoples of their natural spiritual leadership, will make them ripe for the slavish lot of a permanent subjugation. The most terrible example of this is Russia.”

    This long tradition stands in sharp contradiction to the official view, promulgated by Jewish organizations and almost all contemporary historians, that Jews played no special role in Bolshevism and indeed were specifically victimized by it. Yuri Slezkine’s book provides a much needed resolution to these opposing perspectives. It is an intellectual tour de force, alternately muddled and brilliant, courageous and apologetic.

    http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/slezkinerev.pdf

    Beware: This review of Slezkine’s The Jewish Century requires the ability to think critically.

    Also, there is a virus warning when attempting to open the link above. I have consistently ignored the warning with no ill effect.

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