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    Almost by necessity, all previous Kholmogorov translations have been those of his older texts, with a “lag” between the original and the translation varying between several days and several months. What you see now is a much rarer treat. Kholmogorov has just finished a long and engrossing article on Alexander Solzhenitsyn, clocking in at 16,000...
  • It took awhile to coalesce my thoughts and polish them, but here my rebuttal:

    https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/04/30/beware-the-perception/

    That said, I do hope you arrange to translate the work -

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  • @Bardon Kaldian
    These are different representations of reality. Tolstoy's characters are psychological- social-biological-historical. Dostoevsky's are primary spiritual or metaphysical. For him, man is basically a metaphysical animal. If you're not into this, you two won't click.

    The only writer who is similar to Dostoevsky in this respect is Melville (some add Emily Bronte, too).

    It wasn't for nothing that Kafka, one of true Dostoevsky's heirs, exclaimed: To hell with psychology.

    It is also how the story is constructed. Dostoevsky is designed to be addictive entertainment, powered by narrative like in mystery stories.

    As a footnote – it’s interesting to remember how he spoke his novels (written by his secretary).

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  • There are excerpts from the book in English on the web. The book – authored by a Nobel pr writer – is famously still not translated and is obscured by (((them))). It is simply a gathering of historical fact, not a novel. (actually S researched them when writing The Red Wheel, and considered them too worthy to be left aside.)

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  • A clear explanation for those mentally challenged that support Bibi’ battle cry again Iran: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-01/us-officials-israel-preparing-war-iran-seeking-us-support
    Comment section:
    “Iran is in Syria because Bibi’s puppets – US/UK/France/Saudis – armed head-chopping jihadis to overthrow Syria’s elected president. Once the jihadists are defeated, Iranians will return home at the request of Putin and Assad. Hezbollah will return to Lebanon – strengthened – which is what really upsets Bibi. But he is not going to take Israel to war against Iran – he would prefer to get US to do it for him.”
    – Yes. Do the Israel-frsters remember 9/11 and the “war on terra” against Al Qaeda? Here we are. Israel needs Al Qaeda to defeat Syria. The US/UK/Saudis joined their efforts with Israel in arming and training and providing various support for the jihadis (Al Qaeda-ISIS). Those maimed and killed American boys and girls were maimed and killed by the same “folks” that are today the best hope of Israel and the beneficiary of the zionized US/UK governments.
    The Jewish State wants Eretz Israel by any means, including the criminal wars of aggression and open genocide (on the US/UK/Saudi’s dime, of course).
    The jihadis and banderites have become the best friends of ziocons. Some company…

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  • Israel has been committing war crimes by attacking the sovereign state of Syria. But this is not enough for the “most moral” and “most victimized;” the Jewish state is making sure (via the neo-Bolshevik emissaries in the Fifth Column of Israel-firsters in the US) that the US dedicates dime & limb to “protecting” the supremacist warmonger, that is, to slaughtering more among the Jewish State’ neighbours: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-01/us-officials-israel-preparing-war-iran-seeking-us-support
    — They, the ziocons and zionists, are indeed happy when “seizing their neighbors’ infants and dashing them against the rocks.”
    What are the accumulated counts of the wars for Israel? – some 4 million dead human beings of all ages? — No, that’s not enough for the Moldovan, Polish, and Ukrainian thugs in Israel and their American brethren. Expect more squealing and more killing from the “holocaustians.” They hate Persia. They hate Syria. They hate Russia. The US is next for the unbounded hatred from the “chosen.”
    And where is the voice of the 52 major American Jewish Organizations? It seems that they approve the slaughter in the Middle East and the banderization of Ukraine.

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  • @Anatoly Karlin

    See page. 141, graph: literate–speaks for anyone with even rudimentary ideas about basic military organization
     
    We have discussed this at length. Literacy in late Imperial Russia was low relative to developed West/Central Europe, but comparable to Southern Europe, and higher than in the rest of the world. More to the point, it was going up rapidly, as older illiterate generations died away and replaced by a generation where primary enrollment was at 80% by the outbreak of WW1. The Bolsheviks did precisely nothing for increasing Russian literacy that would not have happened under the Russian Empire (if anything, they set it back by a few years by imposing a ruinous civil war on Russia).

    experiences what Combined Index of National Capability is
     
    1. It's the Composite Index of National Capability.

    2. Which is a rather useless measure, with China, the UK, and Russia all being equal around 1913. Which - as I understand - it not what you are trying to prove here.

    http://www.unz.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/cinc-history-1800-2007.png

    modern uneducated hipsters
     
    Just a reminder that Martyanov doesn't knowthe difference between manufacturing and industry.

    Just a reminder that Martyanov doesn’t knowthe difference between manufacturing and industry.

    Sure, if you think so–absolutely. I don’t know the difference and if it floats you boat so be it.

    It’s the Composite Index of National Capability.

    Absolutely, I misspoke, especially since Composite and Combined are synonyms, but that is the level of you “argumentation”. When someone has no substance nor anything meaningful to say that’s what it becomes. Yet, you are calling it:

    We have discussed this at length

    No, we didn’t “discuss” it at length. You presented some lame-ass contrived data, as you do here again with your “graphs”, without having a clue of the impact of the illiteracy on Russian Army. You have no qualification to “discuss” anything military history, let operations, related. Again, you continue to ignore Russian Imperial General Staff numbers and that is why there is never was or is any “discussion”. This is not a “discussion”. To discuss anything means people accept at least some basic truths as universal, you do not since the only thing you produce is a fraud and unsupported claims. Just to demonstrate to you how completely detached you are from reality–your graph from Correlates of War is, of course, another case of blind copying and pasting without even opening Biddle, for starters, as likbez, or taking stock of correlation between CINC and outcomes. Just to quote myself from my book:

    Any predictor is only as good as the data which is being used for its calculation…In essence, Barnett’s 14 points are a more adequate, expanded and updated index for the technological realities of the modern age, a continuation of the Material Preponderance Predictor which can be used effectively for overall power assessments. That is, until one gets into the realm of modern Western economics and the virtual world of monetarism and financialization. In the 1960s the term “post-industrial society and economy” was coined by Daniel Bell.

    The sheer stupidity of the graph you pulled from War Correlates is a shining example of mindless numbers’ game aka GIGO. Especially anything war-related. But that is your specialization here–to manipulate abstract numbers. Obviously, seeing empirical data in a professional manner–they don’t teach it in programs you “graduated” in whatever West Coast madras you attended. That is why you cannot recognize a significance and ramifications of what is going on now globally as your geopolitical “analyses” so vividly demonstrate. But, please, don’t listen to me–continue with your busy labor to the benefit of all kinds of fringe elements. May I suggest you going even deeper into “scholarship” of Kholmogorov or Solzhenitsyn? That will really ensure that you will get stuck where you belong–fringe.

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  • The sequestration of Solzhenitsyn documentary “Two Hundred Years Together” has made the West vulnerable to the machinations of neo-Bolsheviks (ziocons).
    See the triumphal union of ziocons and Banderites in Ukraine. https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/04/30/can-done-paul-craig-roberts/
    “From mid-February 2014, the demonstrations [in Kiev] descended into deadly violence, which was later found to have been the work of provocateurs associated with the ultra-nationalist and actual Ukrainian fascists serving as ‘self-defence’ units. When EU foreign ministers rushed to Kiev to mediate and avoid further bloodshed, US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt instead negotiated with the co-founder of the fascist party of independent Ukraine and commander of its militia, Andriy Parubiy, on the modalities of removing Yanukovych by force. …
    Andriy Parubiy was a co-founder of the Neo-Nazi Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU), otherwise known as Svoboda. And his deputy, Dmytro Yarosh, is the leader of a party called the Right Sector which flies the old flag of the Ukrainian Nazi collaborators at its rallies.
    The Svoboda party has tapped into Nazi symbolism including the “wolf’s angel“ rune, which resembles a swastika and was worn by members of the Waffen-SS, a panzer division that was declared a criminal organization at Nuremberg. A report from Tel-Aviv University describes the Svoboda party as “an extremist, right-wing, nationalist organization which emphasizes its identification with the ideology of German National Socialism.” https://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-hughes/the-neo-nazi-question-in_b_4938747.html
    “The hacked e-mails of NATO commander General Breedlove furthermore reveal that US advisers were directly involved in getting the coup government to respond with maximum force to the uprising in the eastern provinces…”
    — Where are the Holocaustians when they are sorely needed? How about making some “righteous” noises about the Jewish Nuland-Kagan and Pyatt and the whole Kagans clan?

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/02/neo-nazi-groups-recruit-britons-to-fight-in-ukraine

    https://larouchepac.com/20150227/obama-nuland-and-parubiy-push-eurasian-war

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  • @Andrei Martyanov
    And some anonymous critics of my sorry ass on a public discussion board of some fringe blogger explains dry statistics and facts of pre-revolutionary Russia exactly how? Since this discussion goes nowhere, just FYI. I don't expect some illiterate hack as Kholmogorov to learn anything, nor Karlin face the music but just in case. Here is Military-Statistical Digest of Russian Army from 1912. See page. 141, graph: literate--speaks for anyone with even rudimentary ideas about basic military organization, which is not expected from majority of "critics" here.

    http://istmat.info/files/uploads/33580/voen._stat._ezh._1912_-5.pdf

    Just to give you some idea after that, the number of truly literate, not as it was defined in Russian, in German Army at that time was 99.7%, in French 95.7%, Dutch--99%. So, to quote you:

    You’re cherry picking a bit in a sovok way.
     
    Absolutely, using verified hard cold data from Russia's own Imperial General Staff's Mobilization Department and Military-Statistical Sheets. But then again--it is a massive task to explain to all kinds of modern uneducated hipsters with no academic background or life, let alone military, experiences what Combined Index of National Capability is, or, for that matter what at least, simple as hell, Dyadic technological relation (advantage) of opposing forces is. I already posted data of war materiel production for WW I. You may start easily plugging in all data across the WW I military-technological board

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9hOL9_7NF0g/WuVQOGiiQCI/AAAAAAAABkk/ZvSzmhbK5nwdowQlBaF7jKtnjnSV2wtKACLcBGAs/s1600/DiadicTechAdvantage.jpg

    I am not even going into serious review of operational factors which suddenly begin to get all those funny coefficients of both deterministic and, especially, stochastic nature which begin to account for effectiveness of force in which education and intellect (and morale) play one of the most decisive factors in achieving objectives. So, is it "cherry picking" in a "Sovok way" of stating the fact of Russian Army being semi-literate? In reality only about quarter of it was truly literate. So, you don't have to reply to me about my "cherry picking", unlike most of my "critics" here I know how Tsushima syndrome lived through Soviet Navy, because for any Soviet naval officer Tsushima was both shame and pain. But never mind--humiliation of Russia and of her Baltic Squadron in one of the most lop-sided naval battles in history is "cherry picking" in a "Sovok way".

    See page. 141, graph: literate–speaks for anyone with even rudimentary ideas about basic military organization

    We have discussed this at length. Literacy in late Imperial Russia was low relative to developed West/Central Europe, but comparable to Southern Europe, and higher than in the rest of the world. More to the point, it was going up rapidly, as older illiterate generations died away and replaced by a generation where primary enrollment was at 80% by the outbreak of WW1. The Bolsheviks did precisely nothing for increasing Russian literacy that would not have happened under the Russian Empire (if anything, they set it back by a few years by imposing a ruinous civil war on Russia).

    experiences what Combined Index of National Capability is

    1. It’s the Composite Index of National Capability.

    2. Which is a rather useless measure, with China, the UK, and Russia all being equal around 1913. Which – as I understand – it not what you are trying to prove here.

    modern uneducated hipsters

    Just a reminder that Martyanov doesn’t knowthe difference between manufacturing and industry.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Just a reminder that Martyanov doesn’t knowthe difference between manufacturing and industry.
     
    Sure, if you think so--absolutely. I don't know the difference and if it floats you boat so be it.

    It’s the Composite Index of National Capability.
     
    Absolutely, I misspoke, especially since Composite and Combined are synonyms, but that is the level of you "argumentation". When someone has no substance nor anything meaningful to say that's what it becomes. Yet, you are calling it:

    We have discussed this at length
     
    No, we didn't "discuss" it at length. You presented some lame-ass contrived data, as you do here again with your "graphs", without having a clue of the impact of the illiteracy on Russian Army. You have no qualification to "discuss" anything military history, let operations, related. Again, you continue to ignore Russian Imperial General Staff numbers and that is why there is never was or is any "discussion". This is not a "discussion". To discuss anything means people accept at least some basic truths as universal, you do not since the only thing you produce is a fraud and unsupported claims. Just to demonstrate to you how completely detached you are from reality--your graph from Correlates of War is, of course, another case of blind copying and pasting without even opening Biddle, for starters, as likbez, or taking stock of correlation between CINC and outcomes. Just to quote myself from my book:

    Any predictor is only as good as the data which is being used for its calculation...In essence, Barnett’s 14 points are a more adequate, expanded and updated index for the technological realities of the modern age, a continuation of the Material Preponderance Predictor which can be used effectively for overall power assessments. That is, until one gets into the realm of modern Western economics and the virtual world of monetarism and financialization. In the 1960s the term “post-industrial society and economy” was coined by Daniel Bell.

     

    The sheer stupidity of the graph you pulled from War Correlates is a shining example of mindless numbers' game aka GIGO. Especially anything war-related. But that is your specialization here--to manipulate abstract numbers. Obviously, seeing empirical data in a professional manner--they don't teach it in programs you "graduated" in whatever West Coast madras you attended. That is why you cannot recognize a significance and ramifications of what is going on now globally as your geopolitical "analyses" so vividly demonstrate. But, please, don't listen to me--continue with your busy labor to the benefit of all kinds of fringe elements. May I suggest you going even deeper into "scholarship" of Kholmogorov or Solzhenitsyn? That will really ensure that you will get stuck where you belong--fringe.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Bardon Kaldian
    I think you both are right- partially. Greatest writers, in their best works, possess wisdom (or, in Dostoevsky's case, something prophetic- although not in ordinary sense (E.M.Forster had written about this).

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41gAKOhM0sL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

    WITH prophecy in the narrow sense of foretelling the future we have no concern, and we have not much concern with it as an appeal for righteousness. What will interest us today—what we must respond to, for interest now becomes an inappropriate word—is an accent in the novelist’s voice, an accent for which the flutes and saxophones of fantasy may have prepared us. His theme is the universe, or something universal, but he is not necessarily going to “say” anything about the universe; he proposes to sing, and the strangeness of song arising in the halls of fiction is bound to give us a shock.
     


    Prophecy—in our sense—is a tone of voice. It may imply any of the faiths that have haunted humanity—Christianity, Buddhism, dualism, Satanism, or the mere raising of human love and hatred to such a power that their normal receptacles no longer contain them: but what particular view of the universe is recommended—with that we are not directly concerned.
     

    Now what is the difference in these passages—a difference that throbs in every phrase? It is that the first writer is a preacher, and the second a prophet. George Eliot talks about God, but never alters her focus; God and the tables and chairs are all in the same plane, and in consequence we have not for a moment the feeling that the whole universe needs pity and love—they are only needed in Hetty’s cell. In Dostoevsky the characters and situations always stand for more than themselves; infinity attends them; though yet they remain individuals they expand to embrace it and summon it to embrace them; one can apply to them the saying of St. Catherine of Siena that God is in the soul and the soul is in God as the sea is in the fish and the fish is in the sea. Every sentence he writes implies this extension, and the implication is the dominant aspect of his work. He is a great novelist in the ordinary sense—that is to say his characters have relation to ordinary life and also live in their own surroundings, there are incidents which keep us excited, and so on; he has also the greatness of a prophet, to which our ordinary standards are inapplicable.
     


    Mitya is a round character, but he is capable of extension. He does not conceal anything (mysticism), he does not mean anything (symbolism), he is merely Dmitri Karamazov, but to be merely a person in Dostoevsky is to join up with all the other people far back. Consequently the tremendous current suddenly flows—for me in those closing words: “I’ve had a good dream, gentlemen.” Have I had that good dream too? No, Dostoevsky’s characters ask us to share something deeper than their experiences. They convey to us a sensation that is partly physical—the sensation of sinking into a translucent globe and seeing our experience floating far above us on its surface, tiny, remote, yet ours. We have not ceased to be people, we have given nothing up, but “the sea is in the fish and the fish is in the sea.
     
    Back to the topic.

    I don't think that great philosophers, even those realist enough (Aristotle, Hobbes, sometimes Kant,..) had much to offer re politics & society. True, their critique was frequently healthy (for instance, Aristotle's critique of realities of Plato's idealized Sparta), but even those considered to be experienced & empiricist, like Bertrand Russell, were limited by their strong personal inclinations & ideas.

    On a 48 Hours investigation, when investigators asked a person who personally knew a con artist sociopath who had murdered his fiancee – “Who was this guy?”- she responded: “I don’t know -he would make up these stories and tell her a lie – he was confident that he had been chosen by God to be her blessing and light – and then tried to – pretend in his mind only- that he actually was what he reasoned he was. Because he was a sociopath and lacked character to begin with -he was forced to develop technique of seduction – that he backed with Holy scriptures to “prove” it. And since most people are imbeciles to begin with – she believed him. And thus he got away not only with murder but with piling the bull shit high and deep.

    .

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  • I just wanted to say I don’t have time to read this right now but will. My only experience of the man was from a video made about Fatima, that I viewed about 30 years ago. He was quoted as referencing what happens when a nation “pushes away the warm hand of God”, and I must tell you his words made quite an impact on me, such that I always remembered him and was interested to know more. He spoke like a prophet, indeed.
    Thank you for writing about him.

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  • @Seraphim
    @What’s the point in singling out Alexander Parvus...

    A few details of his bio, carefully concealed, gleaned from Wikipedia (of course there are more scholarly writings* would show you the point and why his name is so strenuously avoided:

    "Alexander Lvovich Parvus born Israel Lazarevich Gelfand (1867-1924), was a writer, historian, Marxist Revolutionary and a Senior Member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany...
    Israel Lazarevich Gelfand was born to an ethnic Jewish family on September 8, 1867 in the shtetl of Berazino, Russian Empire, now part of Belarus...
    in the fall of 1888 Gelfand enrolled at the University of Basel, where he studied political economy...
    Alienated from the backwardness of agrarian Russia and the limited political horizons there, Gelfand moved to Germany, joined the Social Democratic Party and befriended German revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg...
    In 1900, he met Vladimir Lenin for the first time, in Munich, each admiring the other's theoretical works. Parvus encouraged Lenin to begin publishing his revolutionary paper Iskra...
    Parvus' attempts to become a German citizen proved fruitless...
    However, German counter-intelligence had penetrated part of the socialist revolutionary network and upon reading his writing in the socialist press during the Russo-Japanese War, found Parvus had predicted that Russia would lose the war, resulting in unrest and revolution. When this proved to be the case, Parvus' prestige among his socialist and other German comrades increased. Thus, German intelligence soon estimated he would be useful in efforts against the Russian Empire.
    During this time he developed the concept of using a foreign war to provoke an internal revolt within a country. It was at this time that Parvus revived, from Karl Marx, the concept-strategy of "permanent revolution". He communicated this philosophy to Trotsky who then further expanded and developed it. There were broad discussions on the questions of "permanent revolution" within the social democratic movement in the period leading up to 1917. The method was eventually adopted by Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks in Lenin's April Theses in 1917...
    [After the 1905 revolution] Parvus moved to Istanbul in Turkey, where he lived for five years. There he set up an arms trading company which profited handsomely during the Balkan War. He became the financial and political advisor of the Young Turks. In 1912 he was made editor of Turk Yurdu, their daily newspaper. He worked closely with the triumvirs known as the Three Pashas - Enver, Talat and Cemal - and Finance Minister Djavid Bey. His firm dealt with the deliveries of foodstuffs for the Turkish army and he was a business partner of the Krupp concern, of Vickers Limited, and of the famous arms dealer Basil Zaharov. Arms dealings with Vickers Limited at war time gave basis to the theory that Alexander Parvus was also a British intelligence asset...
    While in Turkey, Parvus became close with German ambassador Hans Freiherr von Wangenheim who was known to be partial to establishing revolutionary fifth columns among the allies. Consequently, Parvus offered his plan via Baron von Wangenheim to the German General Staff: the paralyzing of Russia via general strike, financed by the German government. Von Wangenheim sent Parvus to Berlin where the latter arrived on the 6 March 1915 and presented a 20-page plan titled A preparation of massive political strikes in Russia to the German government...
    Parvus' detailed plan recommended the division of Russia by sponsoring the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, encouraging ethnic separatists in various Russian regions, and supporting various writers whose criticism of Tsarism continued during wartime. Basing himself on his 1905 experiences, Parvus theorised that the division of Russia and its loss in the First World War was the best way to bring about a socialist revolution...
    Parvus placed his bets on Lenin, as the latter was not only a radical but willing to accept the sponsorship of the Tsar's wartime enemy, Germany. The two met in Bern in May 1915 and agreed to collaboration through their organizations, though Lenin remained very careful never to get associated with Parvus in public. There is no certain proof that they ever met face to face again, although there are indications that such a meeting may well have occurred on April 13, 1917 during Lenin's stop-over in Stockholm...
    German intelligence set up Parvus' financial network via offshore operations in Copenhagen, setting up relays for German money to get to Russia via fake financial transactions between front organizations. A large part of the transactions of these companies were genuine, but those served to bury the transfer of money to the Bolsheviks, a strategy made feasible by the weak and overburdened fiscal and customs offices in Scandinavia, which were inadequate for the booming black market in these countries during the war...
    After the October Revolution in Russia for obvious political reasons his role was denied and he himself vilified. This continued during Joseph Stalin's era and sometimes had anti-semitic overtones to it".

    * "Alexander Helphand-Parvus--Russian Revolutionary and German Patriot", by Heinz Schurer, in The Russian Review, Vol. 18, No. 4 (Oct., 1959), pp. 313-331

    Very informative, thank you. Have you by chance looked into a somewhat similar character vis-à-vis the Hapsburgs played by Thomas Masaryk? I have not been able to get this level of detail.

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  • @Jake
    Parvus marks how the Western powers and Turkey were all using revolutionaries to try to destroy Russia, long before WW1. Parvus worked for the Germans government, as well as for German Communists. He was the most important non-Turkish player among the Young Turks. He almost certainly also worked for British secret service. Parvus is a perfect example of the International Jew who hates seemingly every Gentile nation that arose out of Christendom. That Russia came to be the most despised, most by a huge degree, before the late 19th century is telling. International Jews were not involved in major activities to ruin the British Empire or the USA, nor the Ottoman Empire.

    What happened to Russia is what all Leftists want to happen to all white Gentile lands and their peoples. Knowing Parvus is very important to grasping how it came to be, and who were the ones promoting it.

    Nicholas II is a lesson, the best lesson, that the Left, like its father Satan, lies all the time and delights most in lying people into hating the people and institutions and ideas that can save them from Leftist horrors. Nicholas II is a type of martyr.

    @ hating the people and institutions and ideas that can save them from Leftist horrors. Nicholas II is a type of martyr.

    Well said.

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  • @Mikhail
    Yes.

    And some anonymous critics of my sorry ass on a public discussion board of some fringe blogger explains dry statistics and facts of pre-revolutionary Russia exactly how? Since this discussion goes nowhere, just FYI. I don’t expect some illiterate hack as Kholmogorov to learn anything, nor Karlin face the music but just in case. Here is Military-Statistical Digest of Russian Army from 1912. See page. 141, graph: literate–speaks for anyone with even rudimentary ideas about basic military organization, which is not expected from majority of “critics” here.

    http://istmat.info/files/uploads/33580/voen._stat._ezh._1912_-5.pdf

    Just to give you some idea after that, the number of truly literate, not as it was defined in Russian, in German Army at that time was 99.7%, in French 95.7%, Dutch–99%. So, to quote you:

    You’re cherry picking a bit in a sovok way.

    Absolutely, using verified hard cold data from Russia’s own Imperial General Staff’s Mobilization Department and Military-Statistical Sheets. But then again–it is a massive task to explain to all kinds of modern uneducated hipsters with no academic background or life, let alone military, experiences what Combined Index of National Capability is, or, for that matter what at least, simple as hell, Dyadic technological relation (advantage) of opposing forces is. I already posted data of war materiel production for WW I. You may start easily plugging in all data across the WW I military-technological board

    I am not even going into serious review of operational factors which suddenly begin to get all those funny coefficients of both deterministic and, especially, stochastic nature which begin to account for effectiveness of force in which education and intellect (and morale) play one of the most decisive factors in achieving objectives. So, is it “cherry picking” in a “Sovok way” of stating the fact of Russian Army being semi-literate? In reality only about quarter of it was truly literate. So, you don’t have to reply to me about my “cherry picking”, unlike most of my “critics” here I know how Tsushima syndrome lived through Soviet Navy, because for any Soviet naval officer Tsushima was both shame and pain. But never mind–humiliation of Russia and of her Baltic Squadron in one of the most lop-sided naval battles in history is “cherry picking” in a “Sovok way”.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    See page. 141, graph: literate–speaks for anyone with even rudimentary ideas about basic military organization
     
    We have discussed this at length. Literacy in late Imperial Russia was low relative to developed West/Central Europe, but comparable to Southern Europe, and higher than in the rest of the world. More to the point, it was going up rapidly, as older illiterate generations died away and replaced by a generation where primary enrollment was at 80% by the outbreak of WW1. The Bolsheviks did precisely nothing for increasing Russian literacy that would not have happened under the Russian Empire (if anything, they set it back by a few years by imposing a ruinous civil war on Russia).

    experiences what Combined Index of National Capability is
     
    1. It's the Composite Index of National Capability.

    2. Which is a rather useless measure, with China, the UK, and Russia all being equal around 1913. Which - as I understand - it not what you are trying to prove here.

    http://www.unz.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/cinc-history-1800-2007.png

    modern uneducated hipsters
     
    Just a reminder that Martyanov doesn't knowthe difference between manufacturing and industry.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov

    Your reply to this set of comments explains what your critics at these threads have said of you:
     
    Is this post addressed to me?

    Yes.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    And some anonymous critics of my sorry ass on a public discussion board of some fringe blogger explains dry statistics and facts of pre-revolutionary Russia exactly how? Since this discussion goes nowhere, just FYI. I don't expect some illiterate hack as Kholmogorov to learn anything, nor Karlin face the music but just in case. Here is Military-Statistical Digest of Russian Army from 1912. See page. 141, graph: literate--speaks for anyone with even rudimentary ideas about basic military organization, which is not expected from majority of "critics" here.

    http://istmat.info/files/uploads/33580/voen._stat._ezh._1912_-5.pdf

    Just to give you some idea after that, the number of truly literate, not as it was defined in Russian, in German Army at that time was 99.7%, in French 95.7%, Dutch--99%. So, to quote you:

    You’re cherry picking a bit in a sovok way.
     
    Absolutely, using verified hard cold data from Russia's own Imperial General Staff's Mobilization Department and Military-Statistical Sheets. But then again--it is a massive task to explain to all kinds of modern uneducated hipsters with no academic background or life, let alone military, experiences what Combined Index of National Capability is, or, for that matter what at least, simple as hell, Dyadic technological relation (advantage) of opposing forces is. I already posted data of war materiel production for WW I. You may start easily plugging in all data across the WW I military-technological board

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9hOL9_7NF0g/WuVQOGiiQCI/AAAAAAAABkk/ZvSzmhbK5nwdowQlBaF7jKtnjnSV2wtKACLcBGAs/s1600/DiadicTechAdvantage.jpg

    I am not even going into serious review of operational factors which suddenly begin to get all those funny coefficients of both deterministic and, especially, stochastic nature which begin to account for effectiveness of force in which education and intellect (and morale) play one of the most decisive factors in achieving objectives. So, is it "cherry picking" in a "Sovok way" of stating the fact of Russian Army being semi-literate? In reality only about quarter of it was truly literate. So, you don't have to reply to me about my "cherry picking", unlike most of my "critics" here I know how Tsushima syndrome lived through Soviet Navy, because for any Soviet naval officer Tsushima was both shame and pain. But never mind--humiliation of Russia and of her Baltic Squadron in one of the most lop-sided naval battles in history is "cherry picking" in a "Sovok way".
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Sergey Krieger
    Isn't it obvious?

    No, on account of my not being a mind reader, in conjunction with my surmising that what you’re suggesting is off the mark.

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  • More more more!

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  • @for-the-record
    this government was too nice with the peasant trash

    In what respect were the peasants "trash"?

    tsars government was too nice with the peasant trash

    In what respect were the peasants “trash”?

    In 1906-1907, the government spent 128 329 000 rubles for the help to peasants (from crop failure) in 12 provinces (the center of the country). During this time the population of provinces bought vodka for the sum of 130 505 000 rubles, i.e. for 2 176 000 more that sum which peasants received from the government as the help

    http://www.polit.ru/article/2010/12/10/consumlevel/#

    These “people” in majority were total scum .

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  • @melanf

    Would Russian pre-revolutionary doctors be considered Sovoks when in 1909 compiled a horrendous report on child mortality and anti-sanitary conditions of peasantry?
     
    Undoubtedly in the bulk of pre-revolutionary doctors were leftists obsessed with the cult of peasants. Peasants lived poorly because they rarely worked (250 weekends a year), the money spent on vodka, had ten children (because children could be used as slaves, and thus to get money for vodka for dad), and didn't want to change anything in their bestial way of life.

    The real blame of the Imperial government - that this government was too nice with the peasant trash (and was too tolerant with cultists worshiping peasant trash).

    this government was too nice with the peasant trash

    In what respect were the peasants “trash”?

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf


    tsars government was too nice with the peasant trash
     
    In what respect were the peasants “trash”?
     
    "In 1906-1907, the government spent 128 329 000 rubles for the help to peasants (from crop failure) in 12 provinces (the center of the country). During this time the population of provinces bought vodka for the sum of 130 505 000 rubles, i.e. for 2 176 000 more that sum which peasants received from the government as the help"

    www.polit.ru/article/2010/12/10/consumlevel/#

    These "people" in majority were total scum .

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Mikhail
    Your reply to this set of comments explains what your critics at these threads have said of you:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/prophet-solzhenitsyn/#comment-2306218

    Your reply to this set of comments explains what your critics at these threads have said of you:

    Is this post addressed to me?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    Yes.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov

    Unfairly disparaging pre-Soviet Russia
     
    So, Russian Imperial General Staff by presenting actual numbers disparages Russia then, right? So do Broghaus and Effron and so does Milyukov who, actually, despite his betrayal of Tsar was Russian nationalist and in His Russia and Its Crisis termed Russia's economy as "medieval". Would Russian pre-revolutionary doctors be considered Sovoks when in 1909 compiled a horrendous report on child mortality and anti-sanitary conditions of peasantry? How can one disregard the fact that Russian peasantry was using three-field system till the very end? It is really difficult to communicate that pointing out failures is not necessarily disparaging. In my academic years, Russia's wars and especially naval triumphs of XVIII and XIX centuries were taught with pride. Monuments to Kazarsky, memorials of Malakhov Kurgan or Tolstoy's 4th Bastion, not to mention masterpiece of Rubeau Panorama Defense of Sevastopol of Crimean War were maintained in Soviet times in immaculate conditions for people to visit them. What disparaging? But it is well known fact that Russian Army in Crimea in 1854-55 was using smooth-bore short range muskets instead of Anglo-French forces using rifled Shtutzers. Is pointing this fact out a disparaging or merely cold hard tactical fact? Stessel literally sold Port-Arthur to Japanese, he never was tried, despite heroism and skills of Russian soldiers and officers immortalized in the Soviet novel by Stepanov. I don't know. I guess, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov must also be a Sovok--he wrote so much about rather not admirable conditions, say of Van'ka Zhukov who wrote the letter To Grandfather's Village. Chekhov sure as hell knew the subject--he served as Uezdnyi doctor. So, I think one has to really start separate undeniable creative genius of Russian people but see also horrendous conditions which arrested Russia's development precisely by the eve of WW I, for which Russia paid in blood and suffering, which inevitably opened the floodgates of both Revolutions. Come to think about it, the greatest movie epic and a monumental masterpiece by Bondarchuk War and Peace was made in Soviet Union in 1965 and is still the most expensive movie (adjusted for inflation) ever produced. Why would those Sovoks produce a stunning epic on what is described as first real Russian literature nationalist novel. Questions, questions. May be one has to actually study this Sovok a little bit in depth to understand that it wasn't that much of a Sovok to start with and that even Soviet Union was a dramatically changing society and that this Russian "prophet" missed most of its important history, not to speak of lying about it all his life.

    Would Russian pre-revolutionary doctors be considered Sovoks when in 1909 compiled a horrendous report on child mortality and anti-sanitary conditions of peasantry?

    Undoubtedly in the bulk of pre-revolutionary doctors were leftists obsessed with the cult of peasants. Peasants lived poorly because they rarely worked (250 weekends a year), the money spent on vodka, had ten children (because children could be used as slaves, and thus to get money for vodka for dad), and didn’t want to change anything in their bestial way of life.

    The real blame of the Imperial government – that this government was too nice with the peasant trash (and was too tolerant with cultists worshiping peasant trash).

    Read More
    • Replies: @for-the-record
    this government was too nice with the peasant trash

    In what respect were the peasants "trash"?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Sergey Krieger
    I would disagree about bloody dictator part but would say he was a harsh man. But otherwise discussion below confirms your point. It also looks like people rarely change their views and persuasions even if presented with all evidence and explanations. This is just theoretical discussion , but it turns into practice once those start acting according to those views and persuasions, refuse to change those even under the weight of facts against their views and what is to be done then... I am most interested in how Putin will deal with what is to be done now.

    A true scientist knows that when the evidence contradicts the theory, you throw away the theory and try to come up with a better one. Most people are not trained as scientists, so in the same situation they simply pretend that the evidence does not exist and cling to their pet theories.
    I don’t know what Putin would do. Right now he has a harsh choice: go with the oligarchs and doom the country, or go with the country and doom the oligarchs. I wish him to have the courage for the second option (and chuck the deal he made in 2000: remember, he came from Yeltsin’s gang of thieves who did not give a hoot about Russia). But, being a scientist, I would wait for the evidence.

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  • @AnonFromTN
    That’s the favorite fairy tale of people who refuse to separate flies from cutlets for ideological reasons. They can’t acknowledge that Stalin’s leadership made a decisive contribution to the victory of the USSR over Nazi Germany. These people will never acknowledge that 2x2=4, so arguing with them is useless.
    They cannot get it into their self-disabled heads that the same person can be a skilled leader at tough times and a bloody dictator. The same applies to the US president Roosevelt: his government interned all Japanese (which was a crime against humanity by modern standards), encouraged the development of the A-bomb, which would have been used against Japanese civilians under him (another huge crime), if he did not die just in time, and lead the US to victory in WWII. In fact, Churchill also has quite a few skeletons in his closet (his love of hard liquor is the most innocent of these, as compared to genocide of people in British colonies). But despite their crimes all three should be credited with defeating the regimes of even greater criminals, Hitler and Japanese militarists. These people see the world in black and white, willfully ignoring that these two colors exist only in their distorted views, whereas the real world is in many shades of gray.

    I would disagree about bloody dictator part but would say he was a harsh man. But otherwise discussion below confirms your point. It also looks like people rarely change their views and persuasions even if presented with all evidence and explanations. This is just theoretical discussion , but it turns into practice once those start acting according to those views and persuasions, refuse to change those even under the weight of facts against their views and what is to be done then… I am most interested in how Putin will deal with what is to be done now.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    A true scientist knows that when the evidence contradicts the theory, you throw away the theory and try to come up with a better one. Most people are not trained as scientists, so in the same situation they simply pretend that the evidence does not exist and cling to their pet theories.
    I don’t know what Putin would do. Right now he has a harsh choice: go with the oligarchs and doom the country, or go with the country and doom the oligarchs. I wish him to have the courage for the second option (and chuck the deal he made in 2000: remember, he came from Yeltsin’s gang of thieves who did not give a hoot about Russia). But, being a scientist, I would wait for the evidence.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Mikhail
    Your point being?

    Isn’t it obvious?

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    • Replies: @Mikhail
    No, on account of my not being a mind reader, in conjunction with my surmising that what you're suggesting is off the mark.
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  • @Mikhail
    You're cherry picking a bit in a sovok way.

    https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=ta3jWr_2F82d5wLD-oLADA&q=rene+greger+russian+navy&oq=rene+greger+russian+navy&gs_l=psy-ab.12...838.13316.0.14146.24.24.0.0.0.0.150.1822.22j2.24.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.21.1600...0j0i131k1j0i10k1j0i22i10i30k1j0i22i30k1j0i13k1j0i13i30k1j0i8i13i30k1j33i160k1j33i21k1.0.SBEkpG_tLOg

    I've Milyukov's memoirs, which don't conclude that Russia owes a lot to some perceived benefit from the Communist revolution.

    Gogol, Chekhov and some other Russian literary greats were constructive critics, that shouldn't be confused with how Sovoks simplistically disparage pre-Soviet Russia as backwards, while spinning that everything great in Russia pretty much happened after the revolution, thanks to the likes of Lenin and Stalin.

    Yes, Bondarchuk's War and Peace is a classic, which I enjoy watching. Of course, Totlsty's take on that war is faulty as detailed by Dominic Lieven.

    Oh, yes, and the most beautiful part of the whole film is the scene of the procession of the Icon of the Mother of God of Smolensk before the battle of Borodino. You can’t forget the faces of the ‘illiterate’ peasants! I wonder how much of it was taught in the Soviet military academies!

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  • @annamaria
    Why the hysterics?
    Have you (or your relative) lived through the GULAG as a prisoner?
    Was it the "200 Hundred Years Together" that has enraged you so much against Solzhenitsyn?

    Yes, it was ’200 years’ that filled the cup of anti-Solzhenitsyn rage, which started with his Harvard Speech. The rage grew stronger and stronger from the moment when Solzhenitsyn dared to say that the ordeals of the Russians are not exclusively the feat of Stalin, who ‘betrayed the pure and noble revolution’ of the darlings of the ‘Left’ and anti-tsarist ‘liberals’ of the ‘West’, Lenin-Trotsky, but those hallowed figures were the very initiators of those ordeals. Actually Solzhenitsyn was less critical of Stalin than the Trotsko-infested ‘left’ and ‘liberals’ would want to believe.
    And yes, to answer your curly question, I had more than one relative who lived through the Communist prisons, and I had myself the dubious privilege to live in their shadow.
    But I really wonder what did you understand of my ‘hysterics’. Nothing could have suggested you that I am ‘enraged’ against Solzhenitsyn. On the contrary. Try to read more attentively what people write.

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    • Agree: utu
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  • @Sergey Krieger
    Sometimes I wish we had a time machine. Sending some folks back in time preferably to where they hail from would make things a lot easier. I somehow doubt Mikhail ancestors were blue bloods.

    Your point being?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
    Isn't it obvious?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Your reply to this set of comments explains what your critics at these threads have said of you:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/prophet-solzhenitsyn/#comment-2306218

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Your reply to this set of comments explains what your critics at these threads have said of you:
     
    Is this post addressed to me?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov

    Gogol, Chekhov and some other Russian literary greats were constructive critics, that shouldn’t be confused with how Sovoks simplistically disparage pre-Soviet Russia as backwards, while spinning that everything great in Russia pretty much happened after the revolution, thanks to the likes of Lenin and Stalin.
     
    Where have you've been born or educated? How old are you? Obviously you have a very weak grasp of the subject. Also, obviously, you never heard such name as Valentin Pikul. Just to give you a hint--20 million+ of his novels published starting from late 1960s.

    P.S. I have no idea what your link is.

    Sometimes I wish we had a time machine. Sending some folks back in time preferably to where they hail from would make things a lot easier. I somehow doubt Mikhail ancestors were blue bloods.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    Your point being?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @iffen
    You are not a reliable source.

    You are not a reliable source.

    I read it, I read it. I know I am not–stop reading me.

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  • @Mikhail
    You're cherry picking a bit in a sovok way.

    https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=ta3jWr_2F82d5wLD-oLADA&q=rene+greger+russian+navy&oq=rene+greger+russian+navy&gs_l=psy-ab.12...838.13316.0.14146.24.24.0.0.0.0.150.1822.22j2.24.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.21.1600...0j0i131k1j0i10k1j0i22i10i30k1j0i22i30k1j0i13k1j0i13i30k1j0i8i13i30k1j33i160k1j33i21k1.0.SBEkpG_tLOg

    I've Milyukov's memoirs, which don't conclude that Russia owes a lot to some perceived benefit from the Communist revolution.

    Gogol, Chekhov and some other Russian literary greats were constructive critics, that shouldn't be confused with how Sovoks simplistically disparage pre-Soviet Russia as backwards, while spinning that everything great in Russia pretty much happened after the revolution, thanks to the likes of Lenin and Stalin.

    Yes, Bondarchuk's War and Peace is a classic, which I enjoy watching. Of course, Totlsty's take on that war is faulty as detailed by Dominic Lieven.

    Gogol, Chekhov and some other Russian literary greats were constructive critics, that shouldn’t be confused with how Sovoks simplistically disparage pre-Soviet Russia as backwards, while spinning that everything great in Russia pretty much happened after the revolution, thanks to the likes of Lenin and Stalin.

    Where have you’ve been born or educated? How old are you? Obviously you have a very weak grasp of the subject. Also, obviously, you never heard such name as Valentin Pikul. Just to give you a hint–20 million+ of his novels published starting from late 1960s.

    P.S. I have no idea what your link is.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
    Sometimes I wish we had a time machine. Sending some folks back in time preferably to where they hail from would make things a lot easier. I somehow doubt Mikhail ancestors were blue bloods.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov

    Unfairly disparaging pre-Soviet Russia
     
    So, Russian Imperial General Staff by presenting actual numbers disparages Russia then, right? So do Broghaus and Effron and so does Milyukov who, actually, despite his betrayal of Tsar was Russian nationalist and in His Russia and Its Crisis termed Russia's economy as "medieval". Would Russian pre-revolutionary doctors be considered Sovoks when in 1909 compiled a horrendous report on child mortality and anti-sanitary conditions of peasantry? How can one disregard the fact that Russian peasantry was using three-field system till the very end? It is really difficult to communicate that pointing out failures is not necessarily disparaging. In my academic years, Russia's wars and especially naval triumphs of XVIII and XIX centuries were taught with pride. Monuments to Kazarsky, memorials of Malakhov Kurgan or Tolstoy's 4th Bastion, not to mention masterpiece of Rubeau Panorama Defense of Sevastopol of Crimean War were maintained in Soviet times in immaculate conditions for people to visit them. What disparaging? But it is well known fact that Russian Army in Crimea in 1854-55 was using smooth-bore short range muskets instead of Anglo-French forces using rifled Shtutzers. Is pointing this fact out a disparaging or merely cold hard tactical fact? Stessel literally sold Port-Arthur to Japanese, he never was tried, despite heroism and skills of Russian soldiers and officers immortalized in the Soviet novel by Stepanov. I don't know. I guess, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov must also be a Sovok--he wrote so much about rather not admirable conditions, say of Van'ka Zhukov who wrote the letter To Grandfather's Village. Chekhov sure as hell knew the subject--he served as Uezdnyi doctor. So, I think one has to really start separate undeniable creative genius of Russian people but see also horrendous conditions which arrested Russia's development precisely by the eve of WW I, for which Russia paid in blood and suffering, which inevitably opened the floodgates of both Revolutions. Come to think about it, the greatest movie epic and a monumental masterpiece by Bondarchuk War and Peace was made in Soviet Union in 1965 and is still the most expensive movie (adjusted for inflation) ever produced. Why would those Sovoks produce a stunning epic on what is described as first real Russian literature nationalist novel. Questions, questions. May be one has to actually study this Sovok a little bit in depth to understand that it wasn't that much of a Sovok to start with and that even Soviet Union was a dramatically changing society and that this Russian "prophet" missed most of its important history, not to speak of lying about it all his life.

    You are not a reliable source.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    You are not a reliable source.
     
    I read it, I read it. I know I am not--stop reading me.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov

    Unfairly disparaging pre-Soviet Russia
     
    So, Russian Imperial General Staff by presenting actual numbers disparages Russia then, right? So do Broghaus and Effron and so does Milyukov who, actually, despite his betrayal of Tsar was Russian nationalist and in His Russia and Its Crisis termed Russia's economy as "medieval". Would Russian pre-revolutionary doctors be considered Sovoks when in 1909 compiled a horrendous report on child mortality and anti-sanitary conditions of peasantry? How can one disregard the fact that Russian peasantry was using three-field system till the very end? It is really difficult to communicate that pointing out failures is not necessarily disparaging. In my academic years, Russia's wars and especially naval triumphs of XVIII and XIX centuries were taught with pride. Monuments to Kazarsky, memorials of Malakhov Kurgan or Tolstoy's 4th Bastion, not to mention masterpiece of Rubeau Panorama Defense of Sevastopol of Crimean War were maintained in Soviet times in immaculate conditions for people to visit them. What disparaging? But it is well known fact that Russian Army in Crimea in 1854-55 was using smooth-bore short range muskets instead of Anglo-French forces using rifled Shtutzers. Is pointing this fact out a disparaging or merely cold hard tactical fact? Stessel literally sold Port-Arthur to Japanese, he never was tried, despite heroism and skills of Russian soldiers and officers immortalized in the Soviet novel by Stepanov. I don't know. I guess, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov must also be a Sovok--he wrote so much about rather not admirable conditions, say of Van'ka Zhukov who wrote the letter To Grandfather's Village. Chekhov sure as hell knew the subject--he served as Uezdnyi doctor. So, I think one has to really start separate undeniable creative genius of Russian people but see also horrendous conditions which arrested Russia's development precisely by the eve of WW I, for which Russia paid in blood and suffering, which inevitably opened the floodgates of both Revolutions. Come to think about it, the greatest movie epic and a monumental masterpiece by Bondarchuk War and Peace was made in Soviet Union in 1965 and is still the most expensive movie (adjusted for inflation) ever produced. Why would those Sovoks produce a stunning epic on what is described as first real Russian literature nationalist novel. Questions, questions. May be one has to actually study this Sovok a little bit in depth to understand that it wasn't that much of a Sovok to start with and that even Soviet Union was a dramatically changing society and that this Russian "prophet" missed most of its important history, not to speak of lying about it all his life.

    You’re cherry picking a bit in a sovok way.

    https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=ta3jWr_2F82d5wLD-oLADA&q=rene+greger+russian+navy&oq=rene+greger+russian+navy&gs_l=psy-ab.12…838.13316.0.14146.24.24.0.0.0.0.150.1822.22j2.24.0….0…1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.21.1600…0j0i131k1j0i10k1j0i22i10i30k1j0i22i30k1j0i13k1j0i13i30k1j0i8i13i30k1j33i160k1j33i21k1.0.SBEkpG_tLOg

    I’ve Milyukov’s memoirs, which don’t conclude that Russia owes a lot to some perceived benefit from the Communist revolution.

    Gogol, Chekhov and some other Russian literary greats were constructive critics, that shouldn’t be confused with how Sovoks simplistically disparage pre-Soviet Russia as backwards, while spinning that everything great in Russia pretty much happened after the revolution, thanks to the likes of Lenin and Stalin.

    Yes, Bondarchuk’s War and Peace is a classic, which I enjoy watching. Of course, Totlsty’s take on that war is faulty as detailed by Dominic Lieven.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Gogol, Chekhov and some other Russian literary greats were constructive critics, that shouldn’t be confused with how Sovoks simplistically disparage pre-Soviet Russia as backwards, while spinning that everything great in Russia pretty much happened after the revolution, thanks to the likes of Lenin and Stalin.
     
    Where have you've been born or educated? How old are you? Obviously you have a very weak grasp of the subject. Also, obviously, you never heard such name as Valentin Pikul. Just to give you a hint--20 million+ of his novels published starting from late 1960s.

    P.S. I have no idea what your link is.
    , @Seraphim
    Oh, yes, and the most beautiful part of the whole film is the scene of the procession of the Icon of the Mother of God of Smolensk before the battle of Borodino. You can't forget the faces of the 'illiterate' peasants! I wonder how much of it was taught in the Soviet military academies!
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @annamaria
    Why the hysterics?
    Have you (or your relative) lived through the GULAG as a prisoner?
    Was it the "200 Hundred Years Together" that has enraged you so much against Solzhenitsyn?

    Was it the “200 Hundred Years Together” that has enraged you so much against Solzhenitsyn?

    I think you have misinterpreted his comment, unless I am mistaken it is strongly in support of Solzenhitsyn.

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    • Agree: utu
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anon
    Eh?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kahwah
     
    Only kidding, I understand you.

    moved production of their tea to Poland for the lower wages

     

    Okay. But what if the rotten Polskis nationalize the tea plantations? Where will the Queen be then?

    You got me – dang I forgot what those crazy Northerners do in those tribal areas. Tea-heretics I tell ya! Just water??!!! Blekh!

    Where will the Queen be then?

    Good point. Send in the SAS? Operation Tea & Crumpets…

    Gotta be careful about tea with the Brits, we Americans know you can start a war with them about that stuff!

    Peace.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov

    Unfairly disparaging pre-Soviet Russia
     
    So, Russian Imperial General Staff by presenting actual numbers disparages Russia then, right? So do Broghaus and Effron and so does Milyukov who, actually, despite his betrayal of Tsar was Russian nationalist and in His Russia and Its Crisis termed Russia's economy as "medieval". Would Russian pre-revolutionary doctors be considered Sovoks when in 1909 compiled a horrendous report on child mortality and anti-sanitary conditions of peasantry? How can one disregard the fact that Russian peasantry was using three-field system till the very end? It is really difficult to communicate that pointing out failures is not necessarily disparaging. In my academic years, Russia's wars and especially naval triumphs of XVIII and XIX centuries were taught with pride. Monuments to Kazarsky, memorials of Malakhov Kurgan or Tolstoy's 4th Bastion, not to mention masterpiece of Rubeau Panorama Defense of Sevastopol of Crimean War were maintained in Soviet times in immaculate conditions for people to visit them. What disparaging? But it is well known fact that Russian Army in Crimea in 1854-55 was using smooth-bore short range muskets instead of Anglo-French forces using rifled Shtutzers. Is pointing this fact out a disparaging or merely cold hard tactical fact? Stessel literally sold Port-Arthur to Japanese, he never was tried, despite heroism and skills of Russian soldiers and officers immortalized in the Soviet novel by Stepanov. I don't know. I guess, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov must also be a Sovok--he wrote so much about rather not admirable conditions, say of Van'ka Zhukov who wrote the letter To Grandfather's Village. Chekhov sure as hell knew the subject--he served as Uezdnyi doctor. So, I think one has to really start separate undeniable creative genius of Russian people but see also horrendous conditions which arrested Russia's development precisely by the eve of WW I, for which Russia paid in blood and suffering, which inevitably opened the floodgates of both Revolutions. Come to think about it, the greatest movie epic and a monumental masterpiece by Bondarchuk War and Peace was made in Soviet Union in 1965 and is still the most expensive movie (adjusted for inflation) ever produced. Why would those Sovoks produce a stunning epic on what is described as first real Russian literature nationalist novel. Questions, questions. May be one has to actually study this Sovok a little bit in depth to understand that it wasn't that much of a Sovok to start with and that even Soviet Union was a dramatically changing society and that this Russian "prophet" missed most of its important history, not to speak of lying about it all his life.

    Agree

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  • @Andrei Martyanov

    Lenin often was saying delay is like death.
     
    Lenin was going for the political power. Remember his: we must say that the most important question for Bolsheviks is the question of political power (c). Putin has it, in fact he also enjoys a massive popular support--so in this case he, I think, having secured Russia proper from the attack, has some time. How much? I don't know. Only he and Security Council know. Can Chemezov be new PM? I would hope so but will see, hopefully, soon.

    His last term unless further changes introduced. Father time. Putin is 65? Change of the guard. It is sensitive question. In the past successors not always saw things the way predissusor had. Ok. It is all speculations. I only can say that in terms of defence and related foreign policy Putin team is top notch. Let’s wait and see. He has 6 years. Considering support he has it must be more than enough. By the way, are you following Deripaska and other companies misadventures? There is article on zerohedge regarding Deripaska agreeing to cut his stake in Roslan from 70 to less than 50%. I am thinking what government is thinking and Putin personally.

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  • @Sergey Krieger
    Putin is definitely learning but time often is of great importance. Let's see how things will go. Doing right things but slowly might not be enough as well. Lenin often was saying delay is like death. Often acting rushly has bad consequences too. Russia has no room however for mistakes of 80-90s proportions and status quo is also deadly long term. There must be breakthrough leading to real long term uptrend including demographic one which depends a lot upon what Putin will be doing in the next 6 years.

    Lenin often was saying delay is like death.

    Lenin was going for the political power. Remember his: we must say that the most important question for Bolsheviks is the question of political power (c). Putin has it, in fact he also enjoys a massive popular support–so in this case he, I think, having secured Russia proper from the attack, has some time. How much? I don’t know. Only he and Security Council know. Can Chemezov be new PM? I would hope so but will see, hopefully, soon.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
    His last term unless further changes introduced. Father time. Putin is 65? Change of the guard. It is sensitive question. In the past successors not always saw things the way predissusor had. Ok. It is all speculations. I only can say that in terms of defence and related foreign policy Putin team is top notch. Let's wait and see. He has 6 years. Considering support he has it must be more than enough. By the way, are you following Deripaska and other companies misadventures? There is article on zerohedge regarding Deripaska agreeing to cut his stake in Roslan from 70 to less than 50%. I am thinking what government is thinking and Putin personally.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Mikhail
    I don't dispute that some Sovoks are anti-Russian.

    Unfairly disparaging pre-Soviet Russia, while being overly glorious about the USSR is a Sovok attribute.

    Unfairly disparaging pre-Soviet Russia

    So, Russian Imperial General Staff by presenting actual numbers disparages Russia then, right? So do Broghaus and Effron and so does Milyukov who, actually, despite his betrayal of Tsar was Russian nationalist and in His Russia and Its Crisis termed Russia’s economy as “medieval”. Would Russian pre-revolutionary doctors be considered Sovoks when in 1909 compiled a horrendous report on child mortality and anti-sanitary conditions of peasantry? How can one disregard the fact that Russian peasantry was using three-field system till the very end? It is really difficult to communicate that pointing out failures is not necessarily disparaging. In my academic years, Russia’s wars and especially naval triumphs of XVIII and XIX centuries were taught with pride. Monuments to Kazarsky, memorials of Malakhov Kurgan or Tolstoy’s 4th Bastion, not to mention masterpiece of Rubeau Panorama Defense of Sevastopol of Crimean War were maintained in Soviet times in immaculate conditions for people to visit them. What disparaging? But it is well known fact that Russian Army in Crimea in 1854-55 was using smooth-bore short range muskets instead of Anglo-French forces using rifled Shtutzers. Is pointing this fact out a disparaging or merely cold hard tactical fact? Stessel literally sold Port-Arthur to Japanese, he never was tried, despite heroism and skills of Russian soldiers and officers immortalized in the Soviet novel by Stepanov. I don’t know. I guess, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov must also be a Sovok–he wrote so much about rather not admirable conditions, say of Van’ka Zhukov who wrote the letter To Grandfather’s Village. Chekhov sure as hell knew the subject–he served as Uezdnyi doctor. So, I think one has to really start separate undeniable creative genius of Russian people but see also horrendous conditions which arrested Russia’s development precisely by the eve of WW I, for which Russia paid in blood and suffering, which inevitably opened the floodgates of both Revolutions. Come to think about it, the greatest movie epic and a monumental masterpiece by Bondarchuk War and Peace was made in Soviet Union in 1965 and is still the most expensive movie (adjusted for inflation) ever produced. Why would those Sovoks produce a stunning epic on what is described as first real Russian literature nationalist novel. Questions, questions. May be one has to actually study this Sovok a little bit in depth to understand that it wasn’t that much of a Sovok to start with and that even Soviet Union was a dramatically changing society and that this Russian “prophet” missed most of its important history, not to speak of lying about it all his life.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
    Agree
    , @Mikhail
    You're cherry picking a bit in a sovok way.

    https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=ta3jWr_2F82d5wLD-oLADA&q=rene+greger+russian+navy&oq=rene+greger+russian+navy&gs_l=psy-ab.12...838.13316.0.14146.24.24.0.0.0.0.150.1822.22j2.24.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.21.1600...0j0i131k1j0i10k1j0i22i10i30k1j0i22i30k1j0i13k1j0i13i30k1j0i8i13i30k1j33i160k1j33i21k1.0.SBEkpG_tLOg

    I've Milyukov's memoirs, which don't conclude that Russia owes a lot to some perceived benefit from the Communist revolution.

    Gogol, Chekhov and some other Russian literary greats were constructive critics, that shouldn't be confused with how Sovoks simplistically disparage pre-Soviet Russia as backwards, while spinning that everything great in Russia pretty much happened after the revolution, thanks to the likes of Lenin and Stalin.

    Yes, Bondarchuk's War and Peace is a classic, which I enjoy watching. Of course, Totlsty's take on that war is faulty as detailed by Dominic Lieven.
    , @iffen
    You are not a reliable source.
    , @melanf

    Would Russian pre-revolutionary doctors be considered Sovoks when in 1909 compiled a horrendous report on child mortality and anti-sanitary conditions of peasantry?
     
    Undoubtedly in the bulk of pre-revolutionary doctors were leftists obsessed with the cult of peasants. Peasants lived poorly because they rarely worked (250 weekends a year), the money spent on vodka, had ten children (because children could be used as slaves, and thus to get money for vodka for dad), and didn't want to change anything in their bestial way of life.

    The real blame of the Imperial government - that this government was too nice with the peasant trash (and was too tolerant with cultists worshiping peasant trash).

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov

    For me and others, Sovok is used to describe overly Soviet nostalgic folks, whose trait includes a generally negative image of pre-Soviet Russia, which in turn is used as a basis to warrant the Soviet legacy.
     
    Maybe Sovok works for you this way, but reality is--Sovok as a term was born in Soviet times inside what today is defined as Liberasnya and Kreakls of profoundly pro-Western orientation--most of this orientation being built around so called "sacral knowledge", much of it having to do with knowing Western consumer brands and emulating West's consumer patterns. Most people, as it is largely the case, in those circles were badly educated and uncultured, as it is the case, for example with their modern off-springs (see modern Russian "liberasnya") but they needed a signal, an indicator of their desired superiority and what is called "vnesistemnost'", thus they smeared a very complex society with a sweepingly general term Sovok. While Sovok has a lot to do with actual Soviet system and values it promoted, Sovok is a profoundly Russophobic meme which was direct reference to primarily non-urban Soviet population which was primarily first-second generation out of villages and who lacked a superficial refinement while espousing many values one way or another ascribed to Soviet "system". In fact, the whole layer of Soviet/Russian literature which goes under the moniker of "Pochevenichestvo", from Shukshin, to Balashov to, drum roll, some Solzhenitsyn's pieces, among many others is, in essence, the anthology of Sovok, from its inception to very modern times. In more appropriate, more educated and truly cultured framework--Sovok is a pejorative term for historic massive movement of Russian people from villages to urban centers and of their modernization (with partial Westernization) which went under Soviet rule.

    One of the demonstrations of Sovok which will make Solzhenitsyn turn, yet again, in his coffin (it happens every year) is coming on May 9. I am not talking about the parade, I am talking about what follows it--Immortal Regiment march. Moscow alone expects 1 million people, millions more will be marching all over Russia from Vladivostok to St. Petersburg. This gives all those Western "historians" and local Russian fringe elements the opportunity to provide their mental excrement in their media but also see real Russia--yes under red flags and with photos of those Sovoks, such as my grandfathers killed on the fronts of Great Patriotic War. Pay attention, if you will, to a pronounced huge number of youth in those columns--young people all over with portraits of their great grand fathers and mothers. Sovok-s, Sir. Historic memory is bitch, ain't it?

    I don’t dispute that some Sovoks are anti-Russian.

    Unfairly disparaging pre-Soviet Russia, while being overly glorious about the USSR is a Sovok attribute.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Unfairly disparaging pre-Soviet Russia
     
    So, Russian Imperial General Staff by presenting actual numbers disparages Russia then, right? So do Broghaus and Effron and so does Milyukov who, actually, despite his betrayal of Tsar was Russian nationalist and in His Russia and Its Crisis termed Russia's economy as "medieval". Would Russian pre-revolutionary doctors be considered Sovoks when in 1909 compiled a horrendous report on child mortality and anti-sanitary conditions of peasantry? How can one disregard the fact that Russian peasantry was using three-field system till the very end? It is really difficult to communicate that pointing out failures is not necessarily disparaging. In my academic years, Russia's wars and especially naval triumphs of XVIII and XIX centuries were taught with pride. Monuments to Kazarsky, memorials of Malakhov Kurgan or Tolstoy's 4th Bastion, not to mention masterpiece of Rubeau Panorama Defense of Sevastopol of Crimean War were maintained in Soviet times in immaculate conditions for people to visit them. What disparaging? But it is well known fact that Russian Army in Crimea in 1854-55 was using smooth-bore short range muskets instead of Anglo-French forces using rifled Shtutzers. Is pointing this fact out a disparaging or merely cold hard tactical fact? Stessel literally sold Port-Arthur to Japanese, he never was tried, despite heroism and skills of Russian soldiers and officers immortalized in the Soviet novel by Stepanov. I don't know. I guess, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov must also be a Sovok--he wrote so much about rather not admirable conditions, say of Van'ka Zhukov who wrote the letter To Grandfather's Village. Chekhov sure as hell knew the subject--he served as Uezdnyi doctor. So, I think one has to really start separate undeniable creative genius of Russian people but see also horrendous conditions which arrested Russia's development precisely by the eve of WW I, for which Russia paid in blood and suffering, which inevitably opened the floodgates of both Revolutions. Come to think about it, the greatest movie epic and a monumental masterpiece by Bondarchuk War and Peace was made in Soviet Union in 1965 and is still the most expensive movie (adjusted for inflation) ever produced. Why would those Sovoks produce a stunning epic on what is described as first real Russian literature nationalist novel. Questions, questions. May be one has to actually study this Sovok a little bit in depth to understand that it wasn't that much of a Sovok to start with and that even Soviet Union was a dramatically changing society and that this Russian "prophet" missed most of its important history, not to speak of lying about it all his life.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Talha
    Wait - you mean people drink Earl Grey without milk? What kind of monsters are they??!!

    Being originally from Pakistan, I can't see milk-less tea as anything but a heresy!!!

    moved production of their tea to Poland for the lower wages
     
    At least they didn't move it to Bangladesh...

    Peace.

    Eh?

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

    Only kidding, I understand you.

    moved production of their tea to Poland for the lower wages

    Okay. But what if the rotten Polskis nationalize the tea plantations? Where will the Queen be then?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    You got me - dang I forgot what those crazy Northerners do in those tribal areas. Tea-heretics I tell ya! Just water??!!! Blekh!

    Where will the Queen be then?
     
    Good point. Send in the SAS? Operation Tea & Crumpets...

    Gotta be careful about tea with the Brits, we Americans know you can start a war with them about that stuff!

    Peace.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov
    Recall how Putin emerged and from what in 1999. Not till 2007 and his Munich Speech did he understand on a personal level, being then already a deeply respected nationally leader, that the gig, so to speak, with the West was up. It was also around this time that he slowly started to drift towards majority of Russians view on their own history. Basically, Putin as a national leader happened since 2008 when he started in manual mode as Prime-minister to get deeper into real economy against the background of emerging new Cold War. Obviously, in 2013 he dropped most of illusions. So, he is definitely a learning man. How steep is the curve? I don't know. let's wait and see post-May 7 Executive Orders. So far, so good. Not super-pooper, but good--firm B (or 4). We all know what step (or sequence of steps) he need to make and what everyone expects him to make.

    Putin is definitely learning but time often is of great importance. Let’s see how things will go. Doing right things but slowly might not be enough as well. Lenin often was saying delay is like death. Often acting rushly has bad consequences too. Russia has no room however for mistakes of 80-90s proportions and status quo is also deadly long term. There must be breakthrough leading to real long term uptrend including demographic one which depends a lot upon what Putin will be doing in the next 6 years.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Lenin often was saying delay is like death.
     
    Lenin was going for the political power. Remember his: we must say that the most important question for Bolsheviks is the question of political power (c). Putin has it, in fact he also enjoys a massive popular support--so in this case he, I think, having secured Russia proper from the attack, has some time. How much? I don't know. Only he and Security Council know. Can Chemezov be new PM? I would hope so but will see, hopefully, soon.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov
    Recall how Putin emerged and from what in 1999. Not till 2007 and his Munich Speech did he understand on a personal level, being then already a deeply respected nationally leader, that the gig, so to speak, with the West was up. It was also around this time that he slowly started to drift towards majority of Russians view on their own history. Basically, Putin as a national leader happened since 2008 when he started in manual mode as Prime-minister to get deeper into real economy against the background of emerging new Cold War. Obviously, in 2013 he dropped most of illusions. So, he is definitely a learning man. How steep is the curve? I don't know. let's wait and see post-May 7 Executive Orders. So far, so good. Not super-pooper, but good--firm B (or 4). We all know what step (or sequence of steps) he need to make and what everyone expects him to make.

    I am not denigrating Putin. He clearly is intelligent and careful leader. He managed to save whatever left and brought it few notches up, but we all are expecting greater and better things from him. It’s been slow. Eventually there must be acceleration and breakout of those procrust shackles put upon Russia by internal and external partners. Fairness and justness must be restored as well. Looking forward.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @AnonFromTN
    That’s the favorite fairy tale of people who refuse to separate flies from cutlets for ideological reasons. They can’t acknowledge that Stalin’s leadership made a decisive contribution to the victory of the USSR over Nazi Germany. These people will never acknowledge that 2x2=4, so arguing with them is useless.
    They cannot get it into their self-disabled heads that the same person can be a skilled leader at tough times and a bloody dictator. The same applies to the US president Roosevelt: his government interned all Japanese (which was a crime against humanity by modern standards), encouraged the development of the A-bomb, which would have been used against Japanese civilians under him (another huge crime), if he did not die just in time, and lead the US to victory in WWII. In fact, Churchill also has quite a few skeletons in his closet (his love of hard liquor is the most innocent of these, as compared to genocide of people in British colonies). But despite their crimes all three should be credited with defeating the regimes of even greater criminals, Hitler and Japanese militarists. These people see the world in black and white, willfully ignoring that these two colors exist only in their distorted views, whereas the real world is in many shades of gray.

    Things appear as shades of gray when the context is dim. Stalin’s dictatorial power certainly gave Russia a vast human resources that could be spent. A populist government certainly may have capitulated. However the purges in the military leading up to that created his own necessity. He put out a fire , lit by his own cigar, with everyone else’s drink. Not the sort of guest I would invite a second time.

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  • @German_reader

    I had to find something to put a stop to the nonsense being parroted here by all kinds of Martyanovs and kibitzed by German cucks.
     
    I didn't write that I agree with everything Martyanov wrote (I'm mostly neutral on the matter tbh), but I find his perspective interesting and appreciate him commenting in this thread.
    Apart from that, your comment consists of just the usual insults against me once again. I find it rather funny though that a committed (one could also say obsessive) antisemite like yourself uses a Yiddish term like "kibitzed". You should beware of turning into a "cuck" yourself!

    The is no button GFY.

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    • LOL: German_reader
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Seraphim
    There is no attempt to 'elevate' Shalamov, but to oppose him to Solzhenitsyn, not for any literary merits, but precisely because supposedly his rendition of life in camps 'demonstrate' that Solzhenitsyn was a liar, traitor, KGB informer and what you have it.
    "Shalamov's short stories are the definitive chronicle of those camps" is the verdict of David Satter, notorious anti-Putin American 'journalist'.

    Why the hysterics?
    Have you (or your relative) lived through the GULAG as a prisoner?
    Was it the “200 Hundred Years Together” that has enraged you so much against Solzhenitsyn?

    Read More
    • Replies: @for-the-record
    Was it the “200 Hundred Years Together” that has enraged you so much against Solzhenitsyn?

    I think you have misinterpreted his comment, unless I am mistaken it is strongly in support of Solzenhitsyn.
    , @Seraphim
    Yes, it was '200 years' that filled the cup of anti-Solzhenitsyn rage, which started with his Harvard Speech. The rage grew stronger and stronger from the moment when Solzhenitsyn dared to say that the ordeals of the Russians are not exclusively the feat of Stalin, who 'betrayed the pure and noble revolution' of the darlings of the 'Left' and anti-tsarist 'liberals' of the 'West', Lenin-Trotsky, but those hallowed figures were the very initiators of those ordeals. Actually Solzhenitsyn was less critical of Stalin than the Trotsko-infested 'left' and 'liberals' would want to believe.
    And yes, to answer your curly question, I had more than one relative who lived through the Communist prisons, and I had myself the dubious privilege to live in their shadow.
    But I really wonder what did you understand of my 'hysterics'. Nothing could have suggested you that I am 'enraged' against Solzhenitsyn. On the contrary. Try to read more attentively what people write.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Sergey Krieger
    Putin generally is not on the same level and in same conditions to critisized Lenin or Stalin. Telling that Great Patriotic war was won without the person who was in charge of the country and under whose leadership Soviet Russia built industrial and military foundation that led to victory is a sign of huge prejudice and lack of clear logical thinking. So, people were just coming together and going out there to fight Germans? After original army was obliterated people somehow were coming themselves together, organizing themselves into divisions, armies, armies groups, industries all moved by themselves from Ukraine to Urals, reserves armies organized by themselves, plans for Moscow contra offensive and reserves from far east were just moving without top leadership and other things were being done by people? What about 1990-1993 events when people in peaceful condition could have squashed those internal enemies in a blink of an eye and yet they were paralyzed unable to act? How come?

    Recall how Putin emerged and from what in 1999. Not till 2007 and his Munich Speech did he understand on a personal level, being then already a deeply respected nationally leader, that the gig, so to speak, with the West was up. It was also around this time that he slowly started to drift towards majority of Russians view on their own history. Basically, Putin as a national leader happened since 2008 when he started in manual mode as Prime-minister to get deeper into real economy against the background of emerging new Cold War. Obviously, in 2013 he dropped most of illusions. So, he is definitely a learning man. How steep is the curve? I don’t know. let’s wait and see post-May 7 Executive Orders. So far, so good. Not super-pooper, but good–firm B (or 4). We all know what step (or sequence of steps) he need to make and what everyone expects him to make.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
    I am not denigrating Putin. He clearly is intelligent and careful leader. He managed to save whatever left and brought it few notches up, but we all are expecting greater and better things from him. It's been slow. Eventually there must be acceleration and breakout of those procrust shackles put upon Russia by internal and external partners. Fairness and justness must be restored as well. Looking forward.
    , @Sergey Krieger
    Putin is definitely learning but time often is of great importance. Let's see how things will go. Doing right things but slowly might not be enough as well. Lenin often was saying delay is like death. Often acting rushly has bad consequences too. Russia has no room however for mistakes of 80-90s proportions and status quo is also deadly long term. There must be breakthrough leading to real long term uptrend including demographic one which depends a lot upon what Putin will be doing in the next 6 years.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @AnonFromTN
    That’s the favorite fairy tale of people who refuse to separate flies from cutlets for ideological reasons. They can’t acknowledge that Stalin’s leadership made a decisive contribution to the victory of the USSR over Nazi Germany. These people will never acknowledge that 2x2=4, so arguing with them is useless.
    They cannot get it into their self-disabled heads that the same person can be a skilled leader at tough times and a bloody dictator. The same applies to the US president Roosevelt: his government interned all Japanese (which was a crime against humanity by modern standards), encouraged the development of the A-bomb, which would have been used against Japanese civilians under him (another huge crime), if he did not die just in time, and lead the US to victory in WWII. In fact, Churchill also has quite a few skeletons in his closet (his love of hard liquor is the most innocent of these, as compared to genocide of people in British colonies). But despite their crimes all three should be credited with defeating the regimes of even greater criminals, Hitler and Japanese militarists. These people see the world in black and white, willfully ignoring that these two colors exist only in their distorted views, whereas the real world is in many shades of gray.

    These people see the world in black and white,

    It is in many respects a defining feature of Western, especially American, so called “humanities” education which is almost entirely, with some exceptions, ideologically-driven by narratives. In “exceptional” nation it becomes simply grotesque in misrepresentation of not only Soviet/Russian, but global in general, history. It is a Manichean view of the world and in many respects it is defined by ignorance of warfare, the nature of military power, its application and consequences, and it is also defined by desperate desire to be, indeed, “exceptional”. Today, in 2018 we all, with the exception of ignorant hacks and fanatics, have an overwhelming, simply over the top, evidence of a complete corruption of the whole field of history, especially military one, and of academic integrity in US so called “experdom”. Obviously, there are some notable exceptions, they always exist, but the result, as this proverbial Clausewitzian “soundest criterion”, is for everyone to see. Yet, these very people still apply models, methods and approaches which are directly responsible for the unmitigated disaster and collapse in the progress which contemporary West has become. But then again, it is difficult to explain to ignorant that they are the part of the problem in the world where militant incompetence rules. Marahovsky wrote an excellent piece on that–dopamine “knowledge”:

    https://um.plus/2018/04/04/knowlegde/

    I translated some part of it:

    In the foundation of the operations of a mass of (internet) resources which feed themselves on a “smart information”—is the same principle of a “Dopamine Noose”, as it is in the foundation of the social networks. Average, non-intellectual consumer who gets hooked on them (social networks), nudges his smartphone in anticipation of views and likes (since Dopamin—is not a hormone of a pleasure but of anticipation of a pleasure). An intellectual consumer, however, is hooked on the anticipation of a Knowledge Which Gives an Advantage. This victim is subconsciously convinced that by consuming cheerful pop-narratives about latest discoveries and achievements of technology he (or she) is joining elite inhabitants of the planet, who are superior to other proverbial 95% of population. …In actuality, the industry of Actual Knowledge makes its own consumers much more vulnerable to manipulations than it is the case with the “grey majority”. The latter, at least, has a good idea of the range of own actual awareness. It also doesn’t have well-established psychological mechanism which allows this majority to believe in own ability to instantly figure out the issue of any complexity.

    Reminds of anything? ;-)

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @AnonFromTN
    The best literature is a lot more than entertainment. It leaves lasting impact on the soul. In my case, Shalamov achieves that, whereas Solzhenitsyn does not.

    Depends on the appetite. A lasting effect on my soul is a more lasting pschological joy. It could never complete with a swimsuit issue in drawing an immediate attention, and I am quite sure there are many who by action alone consider that the best literature.

    The best literature in my mind is during those dark ages when truth cannot be stated openly, and is skillfully hidden within the story. It can accuse, try , and convict a despot right under his very nose.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Sergey Krieger
    Putin generally is not on the same level and in same conditions to critisized Lenin or Stalin. Telling that Great Patriotic war was won without the person who was in charge of the country and under whose leadership Soviet Russia built industrial and military foundation that led to victory is a sign of huge prejudice and lack of clear logical thinking. So, people were just coming together and going out there to fight Germans? After original army was obliterated people somehow were coming themselves together, organizing themselves into divisions, armies, armies groups, industries all moved by themselves from Ukraine to Urals, reserves armies organized by themselves, plans for Moscow contra offensive and reserves from far east were just moving without top leadership and other things were being done by people? What about 1990-1993 events when people in peaceful condition could have squashed those internal enemies in a blink of an eye and yet they were paralyzed unable to act? How come?

    That’s the favorite fairy tale of people who refuse to separate flies from cutlets for ideological reasons. They can’t acknowledge that Stalin’s leadership made a decisive contribution to the victory of the USSR over Nazi Germany. These people will never acknowledge that 2×2=4, so arguing with them is useless.
    They cannot get it into their self-disabled heads that the same person can be a skilled leader at tough times and a bloody dictator. The same applies to the US president Roosevelt: his government interned all Japanese (which was a crime against humanity by modern standards), encouraged the development of the A-bomb, which would have been used against Japanese civilians under him (another huge crime), if he did not die just in time, and lead the US to victory in WWII. In fact, Churchill also has quite a few skeletons in his closet (his love of hard liquor is the most innocent of these, as compared to genocide of people in British colonies). But despite their crimes all three should be credited with defeating the regimes of even greater criminals, Hitler and Japanese militarists. These people see the world in black and white, willfully ignoring that these two colors exist only in their distorted views, whereas the real world is in many shades of gray.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    These people see the world in black and white,
     
    It is in many respects a defining feature of Western, especially American, so called "humanities" education which is almost entirely, with some exceptions, ideologically-driven by narratives. In "exceptional" nation it becomes simply grotesque in misrepresentation of not only Soviet/Russian, but global in general, history. It is a Manichean view of the world and in many respects it is defined by ignorance of warfare, the nature of military power, its application and consequences, and it is also defined by desperate desire to be, indeed, "exceptional". Today, in 2018 we all, with the exception of ignorant hacks and fanatics, have an overwhelming, simply over the top, evidence of a complete corruption of the whole field of history, especially military one, and of academic integrity in US so called "experdom". Obviously, there are some notable exceptions, they always exist, but the result, as this proverbial Clausewitzian "soundest criterion", is for everyone to see. Yet, these very people still apply models, methods and approaches which are directly responsible for the unmitigated disaster and collapse in the progress which contemporary West has become. But then again, it is difficult to explain to ignorant that they are the part of the problem in the world where militant incompetence rules. Marahovsky wrote an excellent piece on that--dopamine "knowledge":

    https://um.plus/2018/04/04/knowlegde/

    I translated some part of it:

    In the foundation of the operations of a mass of (internet) resources which feed themselves on a "smart information"—is the same principle of a "Dopamine Noose", as it is in the foundation of the social networks. Average, non-intellectual consumer who gets hooked on them (social networks), nudges his smartphone in anticipation of views and likes (since Dopamin—is not a hormone of a pleasure but of anticipation of a pleasure). An intellectual consumer, however, is hooked on the anticipation of a Knowledge Which Gives an Advantage. This victim is subconsciously convinced that by consuming cheerful pop-narratives about latest discoveries and achievements of technology he (or she) is joining elite inhabitants of the planet, who are superior to other proverbial 95% of population. …In actuality, the industry of Actual Knowledge makes its own consumers much more vulnerable to manipulations than it is the case with the "grey majority". The latter, at least, has a good idea of the range of own actual awareness. It also doesn't have well-established psychological mechanism which allows this majority to believe in own ability to instantly figure out the issue of any complexity.

    Reminds of anything? ;-)
    , @gwynedd1
    Things appear as shades of gray when the context is dim. Stalin's dictatorial power certainly gave Russia a vast human resources that could be spent. A populist government certainly may have capitulated. However the purges in the military leading up to that created his own necessity. He put out a fire , lit by his own cigar, with everyone else's drink. Not the sort of guest I would invite a second time.
    , @Sergey Krieger
    I would disagree about bloody dictator part but would say he was a harsh man. But otherwise discussion below confirms your point. It also looks like people rarely change their views and persuasions even if presented with all evidence and explanations. This is just theoretical discussion , but it turns into practice once those start acting according to those views and persuasions, refuse to change those even under the weight of facts against their views and what is to be done then... I am most interested in how Putin will deal with what is to be done now.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @utu
    I am glad you appreciated it. I had to find something to put a stop to the nonsense being parroted here by all kinds of Martyanovs and kibitzed by German cucks. The latter actually has shown more of his true colors in this thread than what he probably wanted. I emphasize the verb parroted because Martyanovs of this world do not really care this way or another. They either follow the fancy of their idiocy which prevents them to see how useful it is to their enemies or are the enemies themselves who are just carrying out the hit according to instruction.

    I had to find something to put a stop to the nonsense being parroted here by all kinds of Martyanovs and kibitzed by German cucks.

    I didn’t write that I agree with everything Martyanov wrote (I’m mostly neutral on the matter tbh), but I find his perspective interesting and appreciate him commenting in this thread.
    Apart from that, your comment consists of just the usual insults against me once again. I find it rather funny though that a committed (one could also say obsessive) antisemite like yourself uses a Yiddish term like “kibitzed”. You should beware of turning into a “cuck” yourself!

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    • Replies: @utu
    The is no button GFY.
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  • @Mikhail

    We may recall Khalhin-Gol, have you heard of it? As per purges–recall who was in charge of military at Far East and why was he persecuted.
     
    I made reference to it. Two of the leading Soviet commanders of that campaign against Japan, Yakov Smushkevich and Grigori Shtern, were later purged (murdered), just before the Nazi attack on the USSR. Georgi Zhukov was also there in a lead role. Smushkevich and Shtern were later rehabilitated, along with quite a few other victims of Stalin's purges, that very much included the Soviet officer corps.

    For me and others, Sovok is used to describe overly Soviet nostalgic folks, whose trait includes a generally negative image of pre-Soviet Russia, which in turn is used as a basis to warrant the Soviet legacy.

    For me and others, Sovok is used to describe overly Soviet nostalgic folks, whose trait includes a generally negative image of pre-Soviet Russia, which in turn is used as a basis to warrant the Soviet legacy.

    Maybe Sovok works for you this way, but reality is–Sovok as a term was born in Soviet times inside what today is defined as Liberasnya and Kreakls of profoundly pro-Western orientation–most of this orientation being built around so called “sacral knowledge”, much of it having to do with knowing Western consumer brands and emulating West’s consumer patterns. Most people, as it is largely the case, in those circles were badly educated and uncultured, as it is the case, for example with their modern off-springs (see modern Russian “liberasnya”) but they needed a signal, an indicator of their desired superiority and what is called “vnesistemnost’”, thus they smeared a very complex society with a sweepingly general term Sovok. While Sovok has a lot to do with actual Soviet system and values it promoted, Sovok is a profoundly Russophobic meme which was direct reference to primarily non-urban Soviet population which was primarily first-second generation out of villages and who lacked a superficial refinement while espousing many values one way or another ascribed to Soviet “system”. In fact, the whole layer of Soviet/Russian literature which goes under the moniker of “Pochevenichestvo”, from Shukshin, to Balashov to, drum roll, some Solzhenitsyn’s pieces, among many others is, in essence, the anthology of Sovok, from its inception to very modern times. In more appropriate, more educated and truly cultured framework–Sovok is a pejorative term for historic massive movement of Russian people from villages to urban centers and of their modernization (with partial Westernization) which went under Soviet rule.

    One of the demonstrations of Sovok which will make Solzhenitsyn turn, yet again, in his coffin (it happens every year) is coming on May 9. I am not talking about the parade, I am talking about what follows it–Immortal Regiment march. Moscow alone expects 1 million people, millions more will be marching all over Russia from Vladivostok to St. Petersburg. This gives all those Western “historians” and local Russian fringe elements the opportunity to provide their mental excrement in their media but also see real Russia–yes under red flags and with photos of those Sovoks, such as my grandfathers killed on the fronts of Great Patriotic War. Pay attention, if you will, to a pronounced huge number of youth in those columns–young people all over with portraits of their great grand fathers and mothers. Sovok-s, Sir. Historic memory is bitch, ain’t it?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    I don't dispute that some Sovoks are anti-Russian.

    Unfairly disparaging pre-Soviet Russia, while being overly glorious about the USSR is a Sovok attribute.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @AP
    Thank you for these posts, utu.

    I am glad you appreciated it. I had to find something to put a stop to the nonsense being parroted here by all kinds of Martyanovs and kibitzed by German cucks. The latter actually has shown more of his true colors in this thread than what he probably wanted. I emphasize the verb parroted because Martyanovs of this world do not really care this way or another. They either follow the fancy of their idiocy which prevents them to see how useful it is to their enemies or are the enemies themselves who are just carrying out the hit according to instruction.

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    • Replies: @German_reader

    I had to find something to put a stop to the nonsense being parroted here by all kinds of Martyanovs and kibitzed by German cucks.
     
    I didn't write that I agree with everything Martyanov wrote (I'm mostly neutral on the matter tbh), but I find his perspective interesting and appreciate him commenting in this thread.
    Apart from that, your comment consists of just the usual insults against me once again. I find it rather funny though that a committed (one could also say obsessive) antisemite like yourself uses a Yiddish term like "kibitzed". You should beware of turning into a "cuck" yourself!
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Mikhail
    Nicholas just wasn't cut for the position at the difficult point in time. That reality taints whatever sympathy I've for monarchism.

    I'm with Putin on Lenin. Stalin was a mass murdering bastard, who didn't win WW II. The peoples making up the USSR contributed greatly to the winning of that war.

    Putin generally is not on the same level and in same conditions to critisized Lenin or Stalin. Telling that Great Patriotic war was won without the person who was in charge of the country and under whose leadership Soviet Russia built industrial and military foundation that led to victory is a sign of huge prejudice and lack of clear logical thinking. So, people were just coming together and going out there to fight Germans? After original army was obliterated people somehow were coming themselves together, organizing themselves into divisions, armies, armies groups, industries all moved by themselves from Ukraine to Urals, reserves armies organized by themselves, plans for Moscow contra offensive and reserves from far east were just moving without top leadership and other things were being done by people? What about 1990-1993 events when people in peaceful condition could have squashed those internal enemies in a blink of an eye and yet they were paralyzed unable to act? How come?

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    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    That’s the favorite fairy tale of people who refuse to separate flies from cutlets for ideological reasons. They can’t acknowledge that Stalin’s leadership made a decisive contribution to the victory of the USSR over Nazi Germany. These people will never acknowledge that 2x2=4, so arguing with them is useless.
    They cannot get it into their self-disabled heads that the same person can be a skilled leader at tough times and a bloody dictator. The same applies to the US president Roosevelt: his government interned all Japanese (which was a crime against humanity by modern standards), encouraged the development of the A-bomb, which would have been used against Japanese civilians under him (another huge crime), if he did not die just in time, and lead the US to victory in WWII. In fact, Churchill also has quite a few skeletons in his closet (his love of hard liquor is the most innocent of these, as compared to genocide of people in British colonies). But despite their crimes all three should be credited with defeating the regimes of even greater criminals, Hitler and Japanese militarists. These people see the world in black and white, willfully ignoring that these two colors exist only in their distorted views, whereas the real world is in many shades of gray.
    , @Andrei Martyanov
    Recall how Putin emerged and from what in 1999. Not till 2007 and his Munich Speech did he understand on a personal level, being then already a deeply respected nationally leader, that the gig, so to speak, with the West was up. It was also around this time that he slowly started to drift towards majority of Russians view on their own history. Basically, Putin as a national leader happened since 2008 when he started in manual mode as Prime-minister to get deeper into real economy against the background of emerging new Cold War. Obviously, in 2013 he dropped most of illusions. So, he is definitely a learning man. How steep is the curve? I don't know. let's wait and see post-May 7 Executive Orders. So far, so good. Not super-pooper, but good--firm B (or 4). We all know what step (or sequence of steps) he need to make and what everyone expects him to make.
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  • @utu

    I’ve been seeing an attempt in the English speaking world to elevate Shalamov.
     
    It is so obvious and so simple. In Shalamov there was no god, no hope, he was more modern, he was not pointing fingers at perpetrators. It was just existential. People suffer and let me show how they behave when they do. That's all. For them Solzhenitsyn is dangerous because he tries to explain and he gives hope which might be his gravest offense. They will laugh at his 19 c. literary naivety and silly belief in god and idiotic belief in the greatness of Russia.

    It was unavoidable that his beliefs had to come to clash with the so-caled liberal modernity and the Jews who are the most effective midwives of this modernity, so then the accusation of anti-semitism were bound to come.

    Shalamov is so much safer. His work may lead to possible worship of non-transcendental suffering like Holocaust but in the case of Gulags it will never be elevated to this level because the victims were possibly deserving, after all they were punished by the most progressive state on Earth, which means the victims are non-deserving of apotheosis unlike them Jews.

    I would not be surprised if they discovered soon that Shalamov was also very much in favor of LBGT rights or even that he was closeted and persecuted homosexual himself. That would be perfect. Even Martyanov would love it with his fetish of long and hard Russian missiles.

    Just to give you the full Agree/Disagree/LOL/Troll quadfecta.

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  • @Andrei Martyanov

    Vintage Sovok.
     
    Do you need e-mail and address of US Army Colonel David Glantz? Since I narrated him to you almost verbatim from his 2015 edition (with Jonathan House) of When Titans Clashed. I am sure both of them, American officers with serious service and military-academic experience will be thrilled to learn that they are "vintage sovoks". But then again, it is difficult to argue with people who do not even understand what Sovok means. I'll give you a hint--it has a lot to do, among many, with Shukshin literature, as an example.

    On the other hand at around the same time, the Japanese were taken more seriously than the Finns on account of Russia’s 1905 experience with Japan. Concerning the Far-east, I suspect that Soviet forces father away from the Kremlin were better protected from the foolish purges.

     

    We may recall Khalhin-Gol, have you heard of it? As per purges--recall who was in charge of military at Far East and why was he persecuted.

    I’m glad to encounter Soviet reared Russians who acknowledge this reality, which explains why the tricolor and two headed eagle have been readopted by post-Soviet Russia.

     

    Do you mean me? Have you ever encountered Operational Research (not to be mistaken with Campaign Study)? Do those, including operational art and strategy go under "tricolor and two headed eagle"(c), or do they go under Swastika? Last time I checked, with the exception of contemporary Western "military art (of BS)" those issues are not exactly related to outward symbols as much as to a combination of factors of industrial. scientific, operational and strategic nature. A rather universal language for Nazis, Communists, Monarchists, Maoists--you name it--of numbers, very-very many of them. That is why military academies and academies of general staffs have been invented.

    American officers aren’t Sovoks for obvious reasons, but pretty much all of them past O-5 (and honestly, perhaps O-3) are worthless.

    Glantz of course is an excellent historian.

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  • Anon[198] • Disclaimer says:
    @lavoisier

    If I have to answer in under ten words, it would be “lack of “religion”, broadly understood”.
     
    I think this pretty much sums up the malaise that is destroying the West.

    But where is God to be found??

    I know. If you have to ask you are in trouble.

    And he said to them: Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and shall say to him: Friend, lend me three loaves, Because a friend of mine is come off his journey to me, and I have not what to set before him. And he from within should answer, and say: Trouble me not, the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. Yet if he shall continue knocking, I say to you, although he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend; yet, because of his importunity, he will rise, and give him as many as he needeth.

    And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

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  • @Andrei Martyanov

    Could you elaborate a bit on the contrast?
     
    Just to give you one insight, Shalamov, from who Solzh stole (It is documented and Shalamov warned about him willing to steal) half of GULAG Archipelago, pointed out that Solzhenitsyn describes cats in his camps--this is a lie. Cats and dogs didn't exist in and around camps since they were eaten long ago, especially that was true in late 1930s--worst times in GULAG. Solzhentsyn was never subjected to horrors he literally stole from Shalamov, who did go through an enormous ordeal in his life.

    It is documented and Shalamov warned about him willing to steal) half of GULAG Archipelago

    Source please.

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  • @utu
    While George Friedman often seems suspect to me I can agree with his article on Solzhenitsyn.

    https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/solzhenitsyn-and-struggle-russias-soul
    There are many people who write history. There are very few who make history through their writings. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who died this week at the age of 89, was one of them. In many ways, Solzhenitsyn laid the intellectual foundations for the fall of Soviet communism. That is well known. But Solzhenitsyn also laid the intellectual foundation for the Russia that is now emerging.

    [...]

    Liberals realized that Solzhenitsyn hated Soviet oppression, but that he also despised their obsession with individual rights, such as the right to unlimited free expression. Solzhenitsyn was nothing like anyone had thought, and he went from being the heroic intellectual to a tiresome crank in no time. Solzhenitsyn attacked the idea that the alternative to communism had to be secular, individualist humanism. He had a much different alternative in mind. Solzhenitsyn saw the basic problem that humanity faced as being rooted in the French Enlightenment and modern science. Both identify the world with nature, and nature with matter. If humans are part of nature, they themselves are material. If humans are material, then what is the realm of God and of spirit? And if there is no room for God and spirituality, then what keeps humans from sinking into bestiality? For Solzhenitsyn, Stalin was impossible without Lenin's praise of materialism, and Lenin was impossible without the Enlightenment. From Solzhenitsyn's point of view, Western capitalism and liberalism are in their own way as horrible as Stalinism. Adam Smith saw man as primarily pursuing economic ends. Economic man seeks to maximize his wealth. Solzhenitsyn tried to make the case that this is the most pointless life conceivable. He was not objecting to either property or wealth, but to the idea that the pursuit of wealth is the primary purpose of a human being, and that the purpose of society is to free humans to this end. Solzhenitsyn made the case — hardly unique to him — that the pursuit of wealth as an end in itself left humans empty shells.

    [...]

    For Americans, the right to express oneself transcends the content of the expression. That you speak matters more than what you say. To Solzhenitsyn, the same principle that turned humans into obsessive pursuers of wealth turned them into vapid purveyors of shallow ideas. Materialism led to individualism, and individualism led to a culture devoid of spirit. The freedom of the West, according to Solzhenitsyn, produced a horrifying culture of intellectual self-indulgence, licentiousness and spiritual poverty. In a contemporary context, the hedge fund coupled with The Daily Show constituted the bankruptcy of the West. To have been present when he once addressed a Harvard commencement! On the one side, Harvard Law and Business School graduates — the embodiment of economic man. On the other side, the School of Arts and Sciences, the embodiment of free expression. Both greeted their heroic resister, only to have him reveal himself to be religious, patriotic and totally contemptuous of the Vatican of self-esteem, Harvard. Solzhenitsyn had no real home in the United States

    [...]

    Solzhenitsyn could not teach Americans, whose intellectual genes were incompatible with his. But it is hard to think of anyone who spoke to the Russian soul as deeply as he did. He first ripped Russia apart with his indictment. He was later ignored by a Russia out of control under former President Boris Yeltsin. But today's Russia is very slowly moving in the direction that Solzhenitsyn wanted. And that could make Russia extraordinarily powerful. Imagine a Soviet Union not ruled by thugs and incompetents. Imagine Russia ruled by people resembling Solzhenitsyn's vision of a decent man. Solzhenitsyn was far more prophetic about the future of the Soviet Union than almost all of the Ph.D.s in Russian studies. Entertain the possibility that the rest of Solzhenitsyn's vision will come to pass. It is an idea that ought to cause the world to be very thoughtful.

     

    Thank you for these posts, utu.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    I am glad you appreciated it. I had to find something to put a stop to the nonsense being parroted here by all kinds of Martyanovs and kibitzed by German cucks. The latter actually has shown more of his true colors in this thread than what he probably wanted. I emphasize the verb parroted because Martyanovs of this world do not really care this way or another. They either follow the fancy of their idiocy which prevents them to see how useful it is to their enemies or are the enemies themselves who are just carrying out the hit according to instruction.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @German_reader

    If I want to read history books, or particularly the history of Jews in Russia (probably actually an interesting to read about), I would prefer to read a historian.

    I would imagine it is similar to the “Archipelago GULAG” book. I.e. well written, stylish, popular etc, – but with an artists’, rather than historians, appreciation for facts.
     

    Sure, I didn't claim the book has any merit (I literally have no idea).
    Your mention of Archipelago GULAG is also interesting...how factually accurate was that? I mean, Solzchenytsin spent some time in the camps, but quite a few Russian commenters here (admittedly probably without labor camp experience of their own) claim it's exaggerated nonsense.
    Would be interesting to see a discussion of that and how Russians view his work.

    He was in the camps for YEARS.
    The negative comments are hysterical.
    Not one person in this thread would make a pimple on
    Solzhenitsyn’s ass.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • While George Friedman often seems suspect to me I can agree with his article on Solzhenitsyn.

    https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/solzhenitsyn-and-struggle-russias-soul
    There are many people who write history. There are very few who make history through their writings. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who died this week at the age of 89, was one of them. In many ways, Solzhenitsyn laid the intellectual foundations for the fall of Soviet communism. That is well known. But Solzhenitsyn also laid the intellectual foundation for the Russia that is now emerging.

    [...]

    Liberals realized that Solzhenitsyn hated Soviet oppression, but that he also despised their obsession with individual rights, such as the right to unlimited free expression. Solzhenitsyn was nothing like anyone had thought, and he went from being the heroic intellectual to a tiresome crank in no time. Solzhenitsyn attacked the idea that the alternative to communism had to be secular, individualist humanism. He had a much different alternative in mind. Solzhenitsyn saw the basic problem that humanity faced as being rooted in the French Enlightenment and modern science. Both identify the world with nature, and nature with matter. If humans are part of nature, they themselves are material. If humans are material, then what is the realm of God and of spirit? And if there is no room for God and spirituality, then what keeps humans from sinking into bestiality? For Solzhenitsyn, Stalin was impossible without Lenin’s praise of materialism, and Lenin was impossible without the Enlightenment. From Solzhenitsyn’s point of view, Western capitalism and liberalism are in their own way as horrible as Stalinism. Adam Smith saw man as primarily pursuing economic ends. Economic man seeks to maximize his wealth. Solzhenitsyn tried to make the case that this is the most pointless life conceivable. He was not objecting to either property or wealth, but to the idea that the pursuit of wealth is the primary purpose of a human being, and that the purpose of society is to free humans to this end. Solzhenitsyn made the case — hardly unique to him — that the pursuit of wealth as an end in itself left humans empty shells.

    [...]

    For Americans, the right to express oneself transcends the content of the expression. That you speak matters more than what you say. To Solzhenitsyn, the same principle that turned humans into obsessive pursuers of wealth turned them into vapid purveyors of shallow ideas. Materialism led to individualism, and individualism led to a culture devoid of spirit. The freedom of the West, according to Solzhenitsyn, produced a horrifying culture of intellectual self-indulgence, licentiousness and spiritual poverty. In a contemporary context, the hedge fund coupled with The Daily Show constituted the bankruptcy of the West. To have been present when he once addressed a Harvard commencement! On the one side, Harvard Law and Business School graduates — the embodiment of economic man. On the other side, the School of Arts and Sciences, the embodiment of free expression. Both greeted their heroic resister, only to have him reveal himself to be religious, patriotic and totally contemptuous of the Vatican of self-esteem, Harvard. Solzhenitsyn had no real home in the United States

    [...]

    Solzhenitsyn could not teach Americans, whose intellectual genes were incompatible with his. But it is hard to think of anyone who spoke to the Russian soul as deeply as he did. He first ripped Russia apart with his indictment. He was later ignored by a Russia out of control under former President Boris Yeltsin. But today’s Russia is very slowly moving in the direction that Solzhenitsyn wanted. And that could make Russia extraordinarily powerful. Imagine a Soviet Union not ruled by thugs and incompetents. Imagine Russia ruled by people resembling Solzhenitsyn’s vision of a decent man. Solzhenitsyn was far more prophetic about the future of the Soviet Union than almost all of the Ph.D.s in Russian studies. Entertain the possibility that the rest of Solzhenitsyn’s vision will come to pass. It is an idea that ought to cause the world to be very thoughtful.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    Thank you for these posts, utu.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @utu
    I was wrong. It was already decided that Shalamov can't be coopted to the LBGT cause.

    http://www.calvertjournal.com/features/show/9722/being-lgbtq-freedom-fighters-russia-dissidents-sakharov-nemtsov
    Gennady Trifonov, an openly gay Soviet writer who was persecuted and jailed for four years for his homosexuality, published an article in November 1991, just a month before the dissolution of USSR, in which he reflected on the pre-perestroika situation for gay people in the Soviet Union. He pointes to the lack of support for the cause from both dissidents who prided themselves on championing human rights, and many foreign critics of the Soviet regime. He noted that in his classic of dissident literature The Gulag Archipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn ambiguously called clause 121 “a bit dirty” without offering a slither of sympathy for the gay people imprisoned in the camps. Another famed dissident writer, Varlam Shalamov, wrote about gay gulag prisoners with outright hate and disgust — which prompted Trifonov to quit his research into the author.
     

    which prompted Trifonov to quit his research into the author.

    Quite strong in this one, the poz is…

    Peace.

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  • @utu

    I’ve been seeing an attempt in the English speaking world to elevate Shalamov.
     
    It is so obvious and so simple. In Shalamov there was no god, no hope, he was more modern, he was not pointing fingers at perpetrators. It was just existential. People suffer and let me show how they behave when they do. That's all. For them Solzhenitsyn is dangerous because he tries to explain and he gives hope which might be his gravest offense. They will laugh at his 19 c. literary naivety and silly belief in god and idiotic belief in the greatness of Russia.

    It was unavoidable that his beliefs had to come to clash with the so-caled liberal modernity and the Jews who are the most effective midwives of this modernity, so then the accusation of anti-semitism were bound to come.

    Shalamov is so much safer. His work may lead to possible worship of non-transcendental suffering like Holocaust but in the case of Gulags it will never be elevated to this level because the victims were possibly deserving, after all they were punished by the most progressive state on Earth, which means the victims are non-deserving of apotheosis unlike them Jews.

    I would not be surprised if they discovered soon that Shalamov was also very much in favor of LBGT rights or even that he was closeted and persecuted homosexual himself. That would be perfect. Even Martyanov would love it with his fetish of long and hard Russian missiles.

    I was wrong. It was already decided that Shalamov can’t be coopted to the LBGT cause.

    http://www.calvertjournal.com/features/show/9722/being-lgbtq-freedom-fighters-russia-dissidents-sakharov-nemtsov
    Gennady Trifonov, an openly gay Soviet writer who was persecuted and jailed for four years for his homosexuality, published an article in November 1991, just a month before the dissolution of USSR, in which he reflected on the pre-perestroika situation for gay people in the Soviet Union. He pointes to the lack of support for the cause from both dissidents who prided themselves on championing human rights, and many foreign critics of the Soviet regime. He noted that in his classic of dissident literature The Gulag Archipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn ambiguously called clause 121 “a bit dirty” without offering a slither of sympathy for the gay people imprisoned in the camps. Another famed dissident writer, Varlam Shalamov, wrote about gay gulag prisoners with outright hate and disgust — which prompted Trifonov to quit his research into the author.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha

    which prompted Trifonov to quit his research into the author.
     
    Quite strong in this one, the poz is...

    Peace.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @AaronB
    Both may be fiction based on truth, but clearly moderns are more comfortable with the bleak nihilism of the Kolyna Tales. Over the past few years I've been seeing an attempt in the English speaking world to elevate Shalamov.

    It should not be surprising.

    I’ve been seeing an attempt in the English speaking world to elevate Shalamov.

    It is so obvious and so simple. In Shalamov there was no god, no hope, he was more modern, he was not pointing fingers at perpetrators. It was just existential. People suffer and let me show how they behave when they do. That’s all. For them Solzhenitsyn is dangerous because he tries to explain and he gives hope which might be his gravest offense. They will laugh at his 19 c. literary naivety and silly belief in god and idiotic belief in the greatness of Russia.

    It was unavoidable that his beliefs had to come to clash with the so-caled liberal modernity and the Jews who are the most effective midwives of this modernity, so then the accusation of anti-semitism were bound to come.

    Shalamov is so much safer. His work may lead to possible worship of non-transcendental suffering like Holocaust but in the case of Gulags it will never be elevated to this level because the victims were possibly deserving, after all they were punished by the most progressive state on Earth, which means the victims are non-deserving of apotheosis unlike them Jews.

    I would not be surprised if they discovered soon that Shalamov was also very much in favor of LBGT rights or even that he was closeted and persecuted homosexual himself. That would be perfect. Even Martyanov would love it with his fetish of long and hard Russian missiles.

    Read More
    • Agree: AaronB
    • Disagree: Anatoly Karlin
    • LOL: iffen
    • Troll: German_reader
    • Replies: @utu
    I was wrong. It was already decided that Shalamov can't be coopted to the LBGT cause.

    http://www.calvertjournal.com/features/show/9722/being-lgbtq-freedom-fighters-russia-dissidents-sakharov-nemtsov
    Gennady Trifonov, an openly gay Soviet writer who was persecuted and jailed for four years for his homosexuality, published an article in November 1991, just a month before the dissolution of USSR, in which he reflected on the pre-perestroika situation for gay people in the Soviet Union. He pointes to the lack of support for the cause from both dissidents who prided themselves on championing human rights, and many foreign critics of the Soviet regime. He noted that in his classic of dissident literature The Gulag Archipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn ambiguously called clause 121 “a bit dirty” without offering a slither of sympathy for the gay people imprisoned in the camps. Another famed dissident writer, Varlam Shalamov, wrote about gay gulag prisoners with outright hate and disgust — which prompted Trifonov to quit his research into the author.
     
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Just to give you the full Agree/Disagree/LOL/Troll quadfecta.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @AaronB
    Both may be fiction based on truth, but clearly moderns are more comfortable with the bleak nihilism of the Kolyna Tales. Over the past few years I've been seeing an attempt in the English speaking world to elevate Shalamov.

    It should not be surprising.

    There is no attempt to ‘elevate’ Shalamov, but to oppose him to Solzhenitsyn, not for any literary merits, but precisely because supposedly his rendition of life in camps ‘demonstrate’ that Solzhenitsyn was a liar, traitor, KGB informer and what you have it.
    “Shalamov’s short stories are the definitive chronicle of those camps” is the verdict of David Satter, notorious anti-Putin American ‘journalist’.

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    • Replies: @annamaria
    Why the hysterics?
    Have you (or your relative) lived through the GULAG as a prisoner?
    Was it the "200 Hundred Years Together" that has enraged you so much against Solzhenitsyn?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov

    Vintage Sovok.
     
    Do you need e-mail and address of US Army Colonel David Glantz? Since I narrated him to you almost verbatim from his 2015 edition (with Jonathan House) of When Titans Clashed. I am sure both of them, American officers with serious service and military-academic experience will be thrilled to learn that they are "vintage sovoks". But then again, it is difficult to argue with people who do not even understand what Sovok means. I'll give you a hint--it has a lot to do, among many, with Shukshin literature, as an example.

    On the other hand at around the same time, the Japanese were taken more seriously than the Finns on account of Russia’s 1905 experience with Japan. Concerning the Far-east, I suspect that Soviet forces father away from the Kremlin were better protected from the foolish purges.

     

    We may recall Khalhin-Gol, have you heard of it? As per purges--recall who was in charge of military at Far East and why was he persecuted.

    I’m glad to encounter Soviet reared Russians who acknowledge this reality, which explains why the tricolor and two headed eagle have been readopted by post-Soviet Russia.

     

    Do you mean me? Have you ever encountered Operational Research (not to be mistaken with Campaign Study)? Do those, including operational art and strategy go under "tricolor and two headed eagle"(c), or do they go under Swastika? Last time I checked, with the exception of contemporary Western "military art (of BS)" those issues are not exactly related to outward symbols as much as to a combination of factors of industrial. scientific, operational and strategic nature. A rather universal language for Nazis, Communists, Monarchists, Maoists--you name it--of numbers, very-very many of them. That is why military academies and academies of general staffs have been invented.

    We may recall Khalhin-Gol, have you heard of it? As per purges–recall who was in charge of military at Far East and why was he persecuted.

    I made reference to it. Two of the leading Soviet commanders of that campaign against Japan, Yakov Smushkevich and Grigori Shtern, were later purged (murdered), just before the Nazi attack on the USSR. Georgi Zhukov was also there in a lead role. Smushkevich and Shtern were later rehabilitated, along with quite a few other victims of Stalin’s purges, that very much included the Soviet officer corps.

    For me and others, Sovok is used to describe overly Soviet nostalgic folks, whose trait includes a generally negative image of pre-Soviet Russia, which in turn is used as a basis to warrant the Soviet legacy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    For me and others, Sovok is used to describe overly Soviet nostalgic folks, whose trait includes a generally negative image of pre-Soviet Russia, which in turn is used as a basis to warrant the Soviet legacy.
     
    Maybe Sovok works for you this way, but reality is--Sovok as a term was born in Soviet times inside what today is defined as Liberasnya and Kreakls of profoundly pro-Western orientation--most of this orientation being built around so called "sacral knowledge", much of it having to do with knowing Western consumer brands and emulating West's consumer patterns. Most people, as it is largely the case, in those circles were badly educated and uncultured, as it is the case, for example with their modern off-springs (see modern Russian "liberasnya") but they needed a signal, an indicator of their desired superiority and what is called "vnesistemnost'", thus they smeared a very complex society with a sweepingly general term Sovok. While Sovok has a lot to do with actual Soviet system and values it promoted, Sovok is a profoundly Russophobic meme which was direct reference to primarily non-urban Soviet population which was primarily first-second generation out of villages and who lacked a superficial refinement while espousing many values one way or another ascribed to Soviet "system". In fact, the whole layer of Soviet/Russian literature which goes under the moniker of "Pochevenichestvo", from Shukshin, to Balashov to, drum roll, some Solzhenitsyn's pieces, among many others is, in essence, the anthology of Sovok, from its inception to very modern times. In more appropriate, more educated and truly cultured framework--Sovok is a pejorative term for historic massive movement of Russian people from villages to urban centers and of their modernization (with partial Westernization) which went under Soviet rule.

    One of the demonstrations of Sovok which will make Solzhenitsyn turn, yet again, in his coffin (it happens every year) is coming on May 9. I am not talking about the parade, I am talking about what follows it--Immortal Regiment march. Moscow alone expects 1 million people, millions more will be marching all over Russia from Vladivostok to St. Petersburg. This gives all those Western "historians" and local Russian fringe elements the opportunity to provide their mental excrement in their media but also see real Russia--yes under red flags and with photos of those Sovoks, such as my grandfathers killed on the fronts of Great Patriotic War. Pay attention, if you will, to a pronounced huge number of youth in those columns--young people all over with portraits of their great grand fathers and mothers. Sovok-s, Sir. Historic memory is bitch, ain't it?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @AnonFromTN
    For what they did to Russia, Nicholas and his wife deserved to be hanged after a fair trial. His children and servants weren’t guilty of anything, so their murder was a crime. There is Russian joke that when a guy gets cutlets crawling with flies at a restaurant, he asks “can I please have cutlets separately and flies separately?” So, I suggest you keep cutlets separate from flies.

    Nicholas just wasn’t cut for the position at the difficult point in time. That reality taints whatever sympathy I’ve for monarchism.

    I’m with Putin on Lenin. Stalin was a mass murdering bastard, who didn’t win WW II. The peoples making up the USSR contributed greatly to the winning of that war.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
    Putin generally is not on the same level and in same conditions to critisized Lenin or Stalin. Telling that Great Patriotic war was won without the person who was in charge of the country and under whose leadership Soviet Russia built industrial and military foundation that led to victory is a sign of huge prejudice and lack of clear logical thinking. So, people were just coming together and going out there to fight Germans? After original army was obliterated people somehow were coming themselves together, organizing themselves into divisions, armies, armies groups, industries all moved by themselves from Ukraine to Urals, reserves armies organized by themselves, plans for Moscow contra offensive and reserves from far east were just moving without top leadership and other things were being done by people? What about 1990-1993 events when people in peaceful condition could have squashed those internal enemies in a blink of an eye and yet they were paralyzed unable to act? How come?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @AnonFromTN
    Did you notice that saints are not the only kind of people having rough time of it? This fate is shared by traitors, fools, thieves, murderers, rapists, etc.

    This fate is shared by traitors, fools, thieves, murderers, rapists, etc.

    Perhaps, although many get away with it, and are sometimes rewarded with power and money. But it is hardly surprising that such people should have a hard time of it.

    That saints tend to attract the same treatment is a sad commentartary on the human race.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Seraphim
    The Gulag Archipelago was "An Experiment in Literary Investigation ".
    Shalamov stories are a 'work of fiction'.

    “My writing is no more about camps that St-Exupéry's is about the sky or Melville's, about the sea. My stories are basically advice to an individual on how to act in a crowd... [To be] not just further to the left than the left, but also more real than reality itself. For blood to be true and nameless.”

    "The complete set of Kolyma Tales is based on two areas: personal experiences and fictional accounts of stories heard. He attempted to mix fact and fiction, which leads to the book being something of a historical novel. The style used is similar to Chekhov's, in which a story is told objectively and leaves the readers to make their own interpretations. Often brutal and shocking, the matter-of-fact style makes them appear more hard-hitting than using a sensationalist style. The stories are based around the life of the prisoners (political or professional) in the camp and their relations with the officials. We find accounts of prisoners who have become totally dispassionate, insane under the barbaric conditions, unemotionally murderous and suicidal" (Wikipedia - The Kolyma Tales).

    There are in no way more 'documentary' than The Gulag.

    Both may be fiction based on truth, but clearly moderns are more comfortable with the bleak nihilism of the Kolyna Tales. Over the past few years I’ve been seeing an attempt in the English speaking world to elevate Shalamov.

    It should not be surprising.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    There is no attempt to 'elevate' Shalamov, but to oppose him to Solzhenitsyn, not for any literary merits, but precisely because supposedly his rendition of life in camps 'demonstrate' that Solzhenitsyn was a liar, traitor, KGB informer and what you have it.
    "Shalamov's short stories are the definitive chronicle of those camps" is the verdict of David Satter, notorious anti-Putin American 'journalist'.
    , @utu

    I’ve been seeing an attempt in the English speaking world to elevate Shalamov.
     
    It is so obvious and so simple. In Shalamov there was no god, no hope, he was more modern, he was not pointing fingers at perpetrators. It was just existential. People suffer and let me show how they behave when they do. That's all. For them Solzhenitsyn is dangerous because he tries to explain and he gives hope which might be his gravest offense. They will laugh at his 19 c. literary naivety and silly belief in god and idiotic belief in the greatness of Russia.

    It was unavoidable that his beliefs had to come to clash with the so-caled liberal modernity and the Jews who are the most effective midwives of this modernity, so then the accusation of anti-semitism were bound to come.

    Shalamov is so much safer. His work may lead to possible worship of non-transcendental suffering like Holocaust but in the case of Gulags it will never be elevated to this level because the victims were possibly deserving, after all they were punished by the most progressive state on Earth, which means the victims are non-deserving of apotheosis unlike them Jews.

    I would not be surprised if they discovered soon that Shalamov was also very much in favor of LBGT rights or even that he was closeted and persecuted homosexual himself. That would be perfect. Even Martyanov would love it with his fetish of long and hard Russian missiles.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov

    Shalamovs work is important, but lacking a moral dimension
     
    You obviously didn't read Shalamov. You know all those his musings about the necessity of Destruction of Carthage and all that jazz. Obviously portraying Urki's and criminal world for what it was, especially their fake "attachments" to mother(s) or a fall of such people as former Opera singer, among many others. Or the last battle of Pugachov. Sure, no moral dimension whatsoever, wink-wink.

    I have read some, but perhaps not enough. Maybe I should read more.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @utu

    Shalamov, while a great writer, seems to have had no redeeming message – he showed the human condition in its rawest state, stripped of all higher elements, and outside of any redeeming context.
     
    Shalamov was destroyed by the system and Solzhenitsyn transcended it. Shalamov fate was tragic while Solzhenitsyn was triumphant. It is because of people like Solzhenitsyn we know about people like Shalamov. Without the triumph of Solzhenitsyn all the Shalamovs of the USSR would be turned into the dust as it was planned and Martyanovs of the world would be happily moving around oblivious to the dust on which they walked.

    Why Solzhenitsyn did triumph? Was it luck like in Szymborska's poem


    It could have happened.

    It had to happen.

    It happened earlier. Later.

    Nearer. Farther off.

    It happened, but not to you.

    You were saved because you were the first.

    You were saved because you were the last.

    Alone. With others.

    On the right. The left.

    Because it was raining. Because of the shade.

    Because the day was sunny.

    You were in luck — there was a forest.

    You were in luck — there were no trees.

    You were in luck — a rake, a hook, a beam, a brake,

    A jamb, a turn, a quarter-inch, an instant . . .

    So you’re here? Still dizzy from

    another dodge, close shave, reprieve?

    One hole in the net and you slipped through?

    I couldn’t be more shocked or

    speechless.

    Listen,

    how your heart pounds inside me.
     

    Or rather it was his indomitable spirit of almost inhuman proportions. That he could have become a prophet on biblical scale. As if there was a touch of God.

    His survival was not just about survival. Like the character in The First Circle who decides to enter deeper circles of hell and abandon the relative safety and comfort of sharashka.

    Not sure why I brought up this poem. I do not really like it as I do not like Szymborska.

    Shalamov was destroyed by the system and Solzhenitsyn transcended it. Shalamov fate was tragic while Solzhenitsyn was triumphant.

    This is true. And it is no slur on Shalamov. As you say, Solzhenitsyn has a touch of the uncanny.

    But it is easier to relate to Shalamov for all us moderns – we would be destroyed by the system. Solzhenitsyn scares us.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @AaronB
    Shalamov, while a great writer, seems to have had no redeeming message - he showed the human condition in its rawest state, stripped of all higher elements, and outside of any redeeming context.

    That's why so many moderns prefer him to Solzhenitsyn. It's a sign of the times. It could not be otherwise. John Gray cites him in this regard approvingly (I am generally a fan of Gray, but he has the limitations of all moderns).

    Shalamovs work is important, but lacking a moral dimension, its significance is limited. Bardon Karolian probably thinks he's the equal of Shakespeare.

    The Gulag Archipelago was “An Experiment in Literary Investigation “.
    Shalamov stories are a ‘work of fiction’.

    “My writing is no more about camps that St-Exupéry’s is about the sky or Melville’s, about the sea. My stories are basically advice to an individual on how to act in a crowd… [To be] not just further to the left than the left, but also more real than reality itself. For blood to be true and nameless.”

    “The complete set of Kolyma Tales is based on two areas: personal experiences and fictional accounts of stories heard. He attempted to mix fact and fiction, which leads to the book being something of a historical novel. The style used is similar to Chekhov’s, in which a story is told objectively and leaves the readers to make their own interpretations. Often brutal and shocking, the matter-of-fact style makes them appear more hard-hitting than using a sensationalist style. The stories are based around the life of the prisoners (political or professional) in the camp and their relations with the officials. We find accounts of prisoners who have become totally dispassionate, insane under the barbaric conditions, unemotionally murderous and suicidal” (Wikipedia – The Kolyma Tales).

    There are in no way more ‘documentary’ than The Gulag.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Both may be fiction based on truth, but clearly moderns are more comfortable with the bleak nihilism of the Kolyna Tales. Over the past few years I've been seeing an attempt in the English speaking world to elevate Shalamov.

    It should not be surprising.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @utu

    Shalamov, while a great writer, seems to have had no redeeming message – he showed the human condition in its rawest state, stripped of all higher elements, and outside of any redeeming context.
     
    Shalamov was destroyed by the system and Solzhenitsyn transcended it. Shalamov fate was tragic while Solzhenitsyn was triumphant. It is because of people like Solzhenitsyn we know about people like Shalamov. Without the triumph of Solzhenitsyn all the Shalamovs of the USSR would be turned into the dust as it was planned and Martyanovs of the world would be happily moving around oblivious to the dust on which they walked.

    Why Solzhenitsyn did triumph? Was it luck like in Szymborska's poem


    It could have happened.

    It had to happen.

    It happened earlier. Later.

    Nearer. Farther off.

    It happened, but not to you.

    You were saved because you were the first.

    You were saved because you were the last.

    Alone. With others.

    On the right. The left.

    Because it was raining. Because of the shade.

    Because the day was sunny.

    You were in luck — there was a forest.

    You were in luck — there were no trees.

    You were in luck — a rake, a hook, a beam, a brake,

    A jamb, a turn, a quarter-inch, an instant . . .

    So you’re here? Still dizzy from

    another dodge, close shave, reprieve?

    One hole in the net and you slipped through?

    I couldn’t be more shocked or

    speechless.

    Listen,

    how your heart pounds inside me.
     

    Or rather it was his indomitable spirit of almost inhuman proportions. That he could have become a prophet on biblical scale. As if there was a touch of God.

    His survival was not just about survival. Like the character in The First Circle who decides to enter deeper circles of hell and abandon the relative safety and comfort of sharashka.

    Not sure why I brought up this poem. I do not really like it as I do not like Szymborska.

    Well, over thousands of years of human history people believed even more ridiculous things. So, nothing new here.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @AaronB
    It's more even than just that..religions teach that a person of "light" tends to attract resentment and hatred, at least initially, because he makes people uncomfortable, but he is ultimately embraced by the community.

    I am sure Solzhenitsyn will eventually be embraced by Russians. But it is common for saints to have a rough time of it, at least initially.

    Did you notice that saints are not the only kind of people having rough time of it? This fate is shared by traitors, fools, thieves, murderers, rapists, etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB

    This fate is shared by traitors, fools, thieves, murderers, rapists, etc.
     
    Perhaps, although many get away with it, and are sometimes rewarded with power and money. But it is hardly surprising that such people should have a hard time of it.

    That saints tend to attract the same treatment is a sad commentartary on the human race.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @AaronB
    Shalamov, while a great writer, seems to have had no redeeming message - he showed the human condition in its rawest state, stripped of all higher elements, and outside of any redeeming context.

    That's why so many moderns prefer him to Solzhenitsyn. It's a sign of the times. It could not be otherwise. John Gray cites him in this regard approvingly (I am generally a fan of Gray, but he has the limitations of all moderns).

    Shalamovs work is important, but lacking a moral dimension, its significance is limited. Bardon Karolian probably thinks he's the equal of Shakespeare.

    Shalamov, while a great writer, seems to have had no redeeming message – he showed the human condition in its rawest state, stripped of all higher elements, and outside of any redeeming context.

    Shalamov was destroyed by the system and Solzhenitsyn transcended it. Shalamov fate was tragic while Solzhenitsyn was triumphant. It is because of people like Solzhenitsyn we know about people like Shalamov. Without the triumph of Solzhenitsyn all the Shalamovs of the USSR would be turned into the dust as it was planned and Martyanovs of the world would be happily moving around oblivious to the dust on which they walked.

    Why Solzhenitsyn did triumph? Was it luck like in Szymborska’s poem

    It could have happened.

    It had to happen.

    It happened earlier. Later.

    Nearer. Farther off.

    It happened, but not to you.

    You were saved because you were the first.

    You were saved because you were the last.

    Alone. With others.

    On the right. The left.

    Because it was raining. Because of the shade.

    Because the day was sunny.

    You were in luck — there was a forest.

    You were in luck — there were no trees.

    You were in luck — a rake, a hook, a beam, a brake,

    A jamb, a turn, a quarter-inch, an instant . . .

    So you’re here? Still dizzy from

    another dodge, close shave, reprieve?

    One hole in the net and you slipped through?

    I couldn’t be more shocked or

    speechless.

    Listen,

    how your heart pounds inside me.

    Or rather it was his indomitable spirit of almost inhuman proportions. That he could have become a prophet on biblical scale. As if there was a touch of God.

    His survival was not just about survival. Like the character in The First Circle who decides to enter deeper circles of hell and abandon the relative safety and comfort of sharashka.

    Not sure why I brought up this poem. I do not really like it as I do not like Szymborska.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Well, over thousands of years of human history people believed even more ridiculous things. So, nothing new here.
    , @AaronB

    Shalamov was destroyed by the system and Solzhenitsyn transcended it. Shalamov fate was tragic while Solzhenitsyn was triumphant.
     
    This is true. And it is no slur on Shalamov. As you say, Solzhenitsyn has a touch of the uncanny.

    But it is easier to relate to Shalamov for all us moderns - we would be destroyed by the system. Solzhenitsyn scares us.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @AaronB
    Shalamov, while a great writer, seems to have had no redeeming message - he showed the human condition in its rawest state, stripped of all higher elements, and outside of any redeeming context.

    That's why so many moderns prefer him to Solzhenitsyn. It's a sign of the times. It could not be otherwise. John Gray cites him in this regard approvingly (I am generally a fan of Gray, but he has the limitations of all moderns).

    Shalamovs work is important, but lacking a moral dimension, its significance is limited. Bardon Karolian probably thinks he's the equal of Shakespeare.

    Shalamovs work is important, but lacking a moral dimension

    You obviously didn’t read Shalamov. You know all those his musings about the necessity of Destruction of Carthage and all that jazz. Obviously portraying Urki’s and criminal world for what it was, especially their fake “attachments” to mother(s) or a fall of such people as former Opera singer, among many others. Or the last battle of Pugachov. Sure, no moral dimension whatsoever, wink-wink.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    I have read some, but perhaps not enough. Maybe I should read more.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Shalamov, while a great writer, seems to have had no redeeming message – he showed the human condition in its rawest state, stripped of all higher elements, and outside of any redeeming context.

    That’s why so many moderns prefer him to Solzhenitsyn. It’s a sign of the times. It could not be otherwise. John Gray cites him in this regard approvingly (I am generally a fan of Gray, but he has the limitations of all moderns).

    Shalamovs work is important, but lacking a moral dimension, its significance is limited. Bardon Karolian probably thinks he’s the equal of Shakespeare.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Shalamovs work is important, but lacking a moral dimension
     
    You obviously didn't read Shalamov. You know all those his musings about the necessity of Destruction of Carthage and all that jazz. Obviously portraying Urki's and criminal world for what it was, especially their fake "attachments" to mother(s) or a fall of such people as former Opera singer, among many others. Or the last battle of Pugachov. Sure, no moral dimension whatsoever, wink-wink.
    , @utu

    Shalamov, while a great writer, seems to have had no redeeming message – he showed the human condition in its rawest state, stripped of all higher elements, and outside of any redeeming context.
     
    Shalamov was destroyed by the system and Solzhenitsyn transcended it. Shalamov fate was tragic while Solzhenitsyn was triumphant. It is because of people like Solzhenitsyn we know about people like Shalamov. Without the triumph of Solzhenitsyn all the Shalamovs of the USSR would be turned into the dust as it was planned and Martyanovs of the world would be happily moving around oblivious to the dust on which they walked.

    Why Solzhenitsyn did triumph? Was it luck like in Szymborska's poem


    It could have happened.

    It had to happen.

    It happened earlier. Later.

    Nearer. Farther off.

    It happened, but not to you.

    You were saved because you were the first.

    You were saved because you were the last.

    Alone. With others.

    On the right. The left.

    Because it was raining. Because of the shade.

    Because the day was sunny.

    You were in luck — there was a forest.

    You were in luck — there were no trees.

    You were in luck — a rake, a hook, a beam, a brake,

    A jamb, a turn, a quarter-inch, an instant . . .

    So you’re here? Still dizzy from

    another dodge, close shave, reprieve?

    One hole in the net and you slipped through?

    I couldn’t be more shocked or

    speechless.

    Listen,

    how your heart pounds inside me.
     

    Or rather it was his indomitable spirit of almost inhuman proportions. That he could have become a prophet on biblical scale. As if there was a touch of God.

    His survival was not just about survival. Like the character in The First Circle who decides to enter deeper circles of hell and abandon the relative safety and comfort of sharashka.

    Not sure why I brought up this poem. I do not really like it as I do not like Szymborska.

    , @Seraphim
    The Gulag Archipelago was "An Experiment in Literary Investigation ".
    Shalamov stories are a 'work of fiction'.

    “My writing is no more about camps that St-Exupéry's is about the sky or Melville's, about the sea. My stories are basically advice to an individual on how to act in a crowd... [To be] not just further to the left than the left, but also more real than reality itself. For blood to be true and nameless.”

    "The complete set of Kolyma Tales is based on two areas: personal experiences and fictional accounts of stories heard. He attempted to mix fact and fiction, which leads to the book being something of a historical novel. The style used is similar to Chekhov's, in which a story is told objectively and leaves the readers to make their own interpretations. Often brutal and shocking, the matter-of-fact style makes them appear more hard-hitting than using a sensationalist style. The stories are based around the life of the prisoners (political or professional) in the camp and their relations with the officials. We find accounts of prisoners who have become totally dispassionate, insane under the barbaric conditions, unemotionally murderous and suicidal" (Wikipedia - The Kolyma Tales).

    There are in no way more 'documentary' than The Gulag.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @utu
    I have never had any doubt of the greatness of Solzhenitsyn.

    The most talented contemporaries of Solzhenitsyn, having been captivated by him as a writer, did not conceal their shock when they made the acquaintance of Solzhenitsyn the man. It seems the first to discern Solzhenitsyn’s magnanimity was the Russian poet and Nobel prize winner Anna Akhmatova. She said about him: “A bearer of light!… We had forgotten that such people exist… A surprising individual… A great man.”

    It also suited many Western intellectuals, who admired the October Revolution but felt that Stalin had betrayed it. In subsequent works, Solzhenitsyn made it clear that he opposed not only Stalin, but Lenin and the October Revolution. He even rejected the February Revolution. And he did not hesitate to write an open letter to the Soviet leadership setting forth his heterodox views. Thus, he earned the undying enmity not only of the Soviet regime, but also of the legions of Western intellectuals—many his erstwhile supporters—who were broadly sympathetic to the revolutionary cause and its secularizing aims. Once disgorged into Western exile, he faced incomprehension and derision for his failure to pay obeisance to secular materialism. His growing army of detractors, unable to allow the legitimacy of a worldview that contradicted their own, soon made him out to be an enemy of all freedom and progress. Solzhenitsyn remained utterly unfazed.

     

    It’s more even than just that..religions teach that a person of “light” tends to attract resentment and hatred, at least initially, because he makes people uncomfortable, but he is ultimately embraced by the community.

    I am sure Solzhenitsyn will eventually be embraced by Russians. But it is common for saints to have a rough time of it, at least initially.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Did you notice that saints are not the only kind of people having rough time of it? This fate is shared by traitors, fools, thieves, murderers, rapists, etc.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I have never had any doubt of the greatness of Solzhenitsyn.

    The most talented contemporaries of Solzhenitsyn, having been captivated by him as a writer, did not conceal their shock when they made the acquaintance of Solzhenitsyn the man. It seems the first to discern Solzhenitsyn’s magnanimity was the Russian poet and Nobel prize winner Anna Akhmatova. She said about him: “A bearer of light!… We had forgotten that such people exist… A surprising individual… A great man.”

    It also suited many Western intellectuals, who admired the October Revolution but felt that Stalin had betrayed it. In subsequent works, Solzhenitsyn made it clear that he opposed not only Stalin, but Lenin and the October Revolution. He even rejected the February Revolution. And he did not hesitate to write an open letter to the Soviet leadership setting forth his heterodox views. Thus, he earned the undying enmity not only of the Soviet regime, but also of the legions of Western intellectuals—many his erstwhile supporters—who were broadly sympathetic to the revolutionary cause and its secularizing aims. Once disgorged into Western exile, he faced incomprehension and derision for his failure to pay obeisance to secular materialism. His growing army of detractors, unable to allow the legitimacy of a worldview that contradicted their own, soon made him out to be an enemy of all freedom and progress. Solzhenitsyn remained utterly unfazed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    It's more even than just that..religions teach that a person of "light" tends to attract resentment and hatred, at least initially, because he makes people uncomfortable, but he is ultimately embraced by the community.

    I am sure Solzhenitsyn will eventually be embraced by Russians. But it is common for saints to have a rough time of it, at least initially.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Seraphim
    Shalamov was a Trotskyst and that's why he was so much pumped up by the Trotsko-infested 'West' lefties.

    Like all talented and honest people, Shalamov is bigger than any labels you stick on him. Solzhenitsyn isn’t.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Seraphim
    Now that the Commemoration of 100 years of the murder of Czar Nicholas and his family approaches and hundreds of thousands of pilgrims are expected in Yekaterinburg, you will see an increase in denunciations of the 'incompetence, weakness, bloodthirstiness' and what you have it and of justifications for his 'deserved' demise.

    For what they did to Russia, Nicholas and his wife deserved to be hanged after a fair trial. His children and servants weren’t guilty of anything, so their murder was a crime. There is Russian joke that when a guy gets cutlets crawling with flies at a restaurant, he asks “can I please have cutlets separately and flies separately?” So, I suggest you keep cutlets separate from flies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    Nicholas just wasn't cut for the position at the difficult point in time. That reality taints whatever sympathy I've for monarchism.

    I'm with Putin on Lenin. Stalin was a mass murdering bastard, who didn't win WW II. The peoples making up the USSR contributed greatly to the winning of that war.

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  • @German_reader

    He and Solzhenitsyn were opposites of political “spectrum”
     
    That's interesting, I had no idea such conflicts existed. Thanks to you and to "AnonfromTN", that was informative.

    Shalamov was a Trotskyst and that’s why he was so much pumped up by the Trotsko-infested ‘West’ lefties.

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    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Like all talented and honest people, Shalamov is bigger than any labels you stick on him. Solzhenitsyn isn’t.
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  • @Mikhail

    It has nothing to do with his WW I experience but everything to do with what he stated in his February 4, 1931 piece. Stalin: “We are 50 or 100 years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this distance in 10 years. Either we do it, or we shall go under”. He was buying time to the very end. Both purges (albeit they were overemphasized in the West) and institutional transformation of the Red Army played a huge role in him not to confront Germany.
     
    Vintage Sovok. Pre-Soviet Russia wasn't so comparatively backwards as many on the left are prone to exaggerate. I'm glad to encounter Soviet reared Russians who acknowledge this reality, which explains why the tricolor and two headed eagle have been readopted by post-Soviet Russia.

    Of course WW I and the Russian Civil War took a heavy toll on Russia. For accuracy sake, that aspect shouldn't be used to try to legitimize the before the revolution, there was nothing BS.

    Stalin's officer corps purges did hamper the Red Army's ability for a certain period. We saw how clumsy the Finnish campaign was carried out. Stalin apparently thought he could just send a large number of raw recruits to achieve victory. That kind of flippant thinking led to many more deaths than what was otherwise necessary to ensure Soviet strategic interests.

    On the other hand at around the same time, the Japanese were taken more seriously than the Finns on account of Russia's 1905 experience with Japan. Concerning the Far-east, I suspect that Soviet forces father away from the Kremlin were better protected from the foolish purges.

    Vintage Sovok.

    Do you need e-mail and address of US Army Colonel David Glantz? Since I narrated him to you almost verbatim from his 2015 edition (with Jonathan House) of When Titans Clashed. I am sure both of them, American officers with serious service and military-academic experience will be thrilled to learn that they are “vintage sovoks”. But then again, it is difficult to argue with people who do not even understand what Sovok means. I’ll give you a hint–it has a lot to do, among many, with Shukshin literature, as an example.

    On the other hand at around the same time, the Japanese were taken more seriously than the Finns on account of Russia’s 1905 experience with Japan. Concerning the Far-east, I suspect that Soviet forces father away from the Kremlin were better protected from the foolish purges.

    We may recall Khalhin-Gol, have you heard of it? As per purges–recall who was in charge of military at Far East and why was he persecuted.

    I’m glad to encounter Soviet reared Russians who acknowledge this reality, which explains why the tricolor and two headed eagle have been readopted by post-Soviet Russia.

    Do you mean me? Have you ever encountered Operational Research (not to be mistaken with Campaign Study)? Do those, including operational art and strategy go under “tricolor and two headed eagle”(c), or do they go under Swastika? Last time I checked, with the exception of contemporary Western “military art (of BS)” those issues are not exactly related to outward symbols as much as to a combination of factors of industrial. scientific, operational and strategic nature. A rather universal language for Nazis, Communists, Monarchists, Maoists–you name it–of numbers, very-very many of them. That is why military academies and academies of general staffs have been invented.

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    • Replies: @Mikhail

    We may recall Khalhin-Gol, have you heard of it? As per purges–recall who was in charge of military at Far East and why was he persecuted.
     
    I made reference to it. Two of the leading Soviet commanders of that campaign against Japan, Yakov Smushkevich and Grigori Shtern, were later purged (murdered), just before the Nazi attack on the USSR. Georgi Zhukov was also there in a lead role. Smushkevich and Shtern were later rehabilitated, along with quite a few other victims of Stalin's purges, that very much included the Soviet officer corps.

    For me and others, Sovok is used to describe overly Soviet nostalgic folks, whose trait includes a generally negative image of pre-Soviet Russia, which in turn is used as a basis to warrant the Soviet legacy.

    , @Thorfinnsson
    American officers aren't Sovoks for obvious reasons, but pretty much all of them past O-5 (and honestly, perhaps O-3) are worthless.

    Glantz of course is an excellent historian.
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  • @The Big Red Scary

    What’s there to appreciate about an incompetent loser like Nicholas II?
     
    After reading Dominic Lieven's biography of Nicholas II (which includes a fair amount of information about other important figures of the time, including Sergei Witte and Pyotr Stolypin), I came
    to better appreciate the difficulty of the situation in which Nicholas II found himself. It seems to me that the administration of the Russian Empire had become so complex that no monarch, however competent, could have been an effective autocrat. One way or another, major decision making power was going to have to be delegated. The ultimate question was how to do this without completely destroying Russian society. Even England, which was able to make the transition to a constitutional monarchy at an early and more opportune time, did not escape civil war. It's not at all clear to me that a "competent winner" of a tsar would have succeeded in making the transition.

    Now that the Commemoration of 100 years of the murder of Czar Nicholas and his family approaches and hundreds of thousands of pilgrims are expected in Yekaterinburg, you will see an increase in denunciations of the ‘incompetence, weakness, bloodthirstiness’ and what you have it and of justifications for his ‘deserved’ demise.

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    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    For what they did to Russia, Nicholas and his wife deserved to be hanged after a fair trial. His children and servants weren’t guilty of anything, so their murder was a crime. There is Russian joke that when a guy gets cutlets crawling with flies at a restaurant, he asks “can I please have cutlets separately and flies separately?” So, I suggest you keep cutlets separate from flies.
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  • @Bardon Kaldian
    I'll just state my opinion (after all, literary discussion is not what this thread is about).

    However, both Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky are so close to the top of world literature, that it makes no difference. I’d put Bulgakov and possibly Sholokhov (for “Quietly Flows the Don”) in the same league.
     
    Bulgakov & Sholokhov are good writers, but they're not even close. The only 20th C writer who belongs to the "supreme" category is Marcel Proust. I was glad to see that Forster and George Steiner were of the same opinion.

    Getting back to this article, Solzhenitsyn is nowhere near either of them. He is way below even the second-tier Russian writers (like Gogol), in my view even below the third tier (say, Turgenev, who was mocked by Dostoyevsky).
     

    These things are hard to compare. Solzhenitsyn is an impressive writer in the vein of 19th C tradition, in his two novels (The First Circle, Cancer Ward)- vivid characterization, love story, satire etc., despite occasional clumsiness. Of course, he is not a modernist (high or post-) & he's plainly inferior to great 20th C authors like Mann or Conrad. Just, his work remains highly readable & will be considered, I think, close to realist 20th C novelists like Martin Du Gard.

    TGA is a political pamphlet containing gems, but as a whole- I've read it long time ago- it is formless & artless. Most critics argue about authenticity of this or that detail. In the long run, this seems to be of secondary importance.

    Solzhenitsyn as a political writer (or "prophet") is not great; but, he's rather good as a classical novelist.

    The only thing I really liked is “One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich”, but even compared to that Shalamov’s description of camps is better. Maybe because Shalamov rings true, whereas I could never get rid of the feeling that Solzhenitsyn is false through and through.
     

    Shalamov's "Kolyma Tales" seem to me greater achievement in the field of "ccamp literature", but Solzhenitsyn has more to offer in his novels.

    Documentary value is not the issue here.

    Documentary value is not the issue here.

    It IS THE issue, since GULAG Archipelago, despite being largely work of fiction, with always small font clarification underneath main title which reads:”the experience in fictional study”, was used in the West as a historic document. I am not talking about Solzhenitsyn’s direct falsification of the history of WW II. Reference to Solzhenitsyn as some kind of “authority”, of which he never was, either on GULAG, Russian history,military history, nuclear weapons, for crying out loud, enough to remember Pipes’ 1977 delirious essay on nuclear war, is still prevalent in the West and is still a part of a huge ideological game already against modern day Russia. Neocon ideological Parnassus is very much still in love with Solzhenitsyn when it suites them.

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  • @Andrei Martyanov

    Stalin likely had Russia’s WW I experience in mind, when he showed a reluctance to not initially confront Germany – even though he was warned of an impending German attack.
     
    It has nothing to do with his WW I experience but everything to do with what he stated in his February 4, 1931 piece. Stalin: “We are 50 or 100 years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this distance in 10 years. Either we do it, or we shall go under". He was buying time to the very end. Both purges (albeit they were overemphasized in the West) and institutional transformation of the Red Army played a huge role in him not to confront Germany.

    We know about Lenin’s dealing with the Germans, including German support for the Reds. A matter related to the character in Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago, who is portrayed as seeking to subvert Russia’s WW I effort.
     
    Another largely urban legend popular in the West and debunked by none other than Sergo Beria in his memoirs, who unlike all Western "historians", did have access to the top of Soviet intelligence. Using втёмную (useful idiot) is also completely disregarded by most (not all) Russia "experts" in the West who are not experts and mostly are ideologues and propagandists. This is not to mention (oh, the irony) same very Solzhenitsyn from his Russian Question in the End of XX Century Facing, where, amidst his utter a-historical delirium, even he was forced to admit that Bolsheviks "in 1917 simply lifted political power from the ground, where it was laying not needed to anyone" (the quote close to original). Obviously admitting the fact , born out by overwhelming empirical and academic evidence, that Tsarist Russia was simply not-equipped, for all heroism and sometimes operational brilliance of its soldiers and officers, to face modern Germany (among others) lagging behind nt not in times, but order of magnitude in main war materiel production, as well as literacy or, rather, illiteracy of own army, is beyond the limits of Western "historiography". All that way before any "Reds" started to "sabotage" anything. Obviously a disastrous role of February conspirators such as Guchkov, Milukov, just to name a few, is always ignored. In the end, it seems, simplest dyadic relation of military potentials is beyond the mathematical grasp of all those "specialists" and "strategists". As one can easily hear from Solzhenitsyn's utter military nuclear delirium in his passionate "warning" to ever humanitarian West.

    It has nothing to do with his WW I experience but everything to do with what he stated in his February 4, 1931 piece. Stalin: “We are 50 or 100 years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this distance in 10 years. Either we do it, or we shall go under”. He was buying time to the very end. Both purges (albeit they were overemphasized in the West) and institutional transformation of the Red Army played a huge role in him not to confront Germany.

    Vintage Sovok. Pre-Soviet Russia wasn’t so comparatively backwards as many on the left are prone to exaggerate. I’m glad to encounter Soviet reared Russians who acknowledge this reality, which explains why the tricolor and two headed eagle have been readopted by post-Soviet Russia.

    Of course WW I and the Russian Civil War took a heavy toll on Russia. For accuracy sake, that aspect shouldn’t be used to try to legitimize the before the revolution, there was nothing BS.

    Stalin’s officer corps purges did hamper the Red Army’s ability for a certain period. We saw how clumsy the Finnish campaign was carried out. Stalin apparently thought he could just send a large number of raw recruits to achieve victory. That kind of flippant thinking led to many more deaths than what was otherwise necessary to ensure Soviet strategic interests.

    On the other hand at around the same time, the Japanese were taken more seriously than the Finns on account of Russia’s 1905 experience with Japan. Concerning the Far-east, I suspect that Soviet forces father away from the Kremlin were better protected from the foolish purges.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Vintage Sovok.
     
    Do you need e-mail and address of US Army Colonel David Glantz? Since I narrated him to you almost verbatim from his 2015 edition (with Jonathan House) of When Titans Clashed. I am sure both of them, American officers with serious service and military-academic experience will be thrilled to learn that they are "vintage sovoks". But then again, it is difficult to argue with people who do not even understand what Sovok means. I'll give you a hint--it has a lot to do, among many, with Shukshin literature, as an example.

    On the other hand at around the same time, the Japanese were taken more seriously than the Finns on account of Russia’s 1905 experience with Japan. Concerning the Far-east, I suspect that Soviet forces father away from the Kremlin were better protected from the foolish purges.

     

    We may recall Khalhin-Gol, have you heard of it? As per purges--recall who was in charge of military at Far East and why was he persecuted.

    I’m glad to encounter Soviet reared Russians who acknowledge this reality, which explains why the tricolor and two headed eagle have been readopted by post-Soviet Russia.

     

    Do you mean me? Have you ever encountered Operational Research (not to be mistaken with Campaign Study)? Do those, including operational art and strategy go under "tricolor and two headed eagle"(c), or do they go under Swastika? Last time I checked, with the exception of contemporary Western "military art (of BS)" those issues are not exactly related to outward symbols as much as to a combination of factors of industrial. scientific, operational and strategic nature. A rather universal language for Nazis, Communists, Monarchists, Maoists--you name it--of numbers, very-very many of them. That is why military academies and academies of general staffs have been invented.
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  • @German_reader

    He and Solzhenitsyn were opposites of political “spectrum”
     
    That's interesting, I had no idea such conflicts existed. Thanks to you and to "AnonfromTN", that was informative.

    That’s interesting, I had no idea such conflicts existed.

    There was, of course, the element of professional envy between them. Shalamov is simply much better writer, not to mention his massive real GULAG experience, which even Solzhenitsyn privately admitted. Shalamov, no doubt, was annoyed by all Solzh’s publicity while himself being basically overshadowed by a literary thief in the field which constitutes one of the most important moral and ethical issues in modern Russian history.

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  • @AnonFromTN
    Proust bores me to death. I have to confess, though, I don’t know enough French to read the original. If I had to name writers of the highest caliber in the twentieth century, I’d name Joyce and Faulkner. Again, that may be because I read the originals, in English I have no trouble reading anything, from La Morte d’Arhtur to modern stuff. However, I liked Thomas Mann, even though I don’t read German.

    Shalamov is not just documentary, his stories are exquisitely written. Another thing that irks me in Solzhenitsyn is that he attempts to be like Tolstoy (especially noticeable in “August 2014”; I was put off by that and did not read the other books in that series), reminding me of the French story about a frog that tried to become as large as a bull.

    Solzhenitsyn is that he attempts to be like Tolstoy (especially noticeable in “August 2014”; I was put off by that

    His last wife was quite explicit in one of her interviews that he thought himself as a heir to Dostoevsky. I almost choked, of course, upon hearing this. Tell me about megalomania after that. But grandiose statements and gestures were always a part of his MO.

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  • @iffen
    iffen amended it only slightly to “the white lie will set you free”.

    iffen has observed that the truth will set you free from many friends.

    IJ 14:6

    “I am the way and the fib and the life; no one comes to the Dinner, but through me.”

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  • @German_reader
    Well yes, Thomas Weber is a cretinous establishment propagandist (his book about Hitler is also supposedly very bad). But Max Hastings does propaganda as well imo.

    Russia was undergoing a modern military expansion. No WW I in 1914 and 1915, would’ve likely put Russia in a stronger position.
     
    Yes, but that's kind of a banal observation...I still don't really get your point. Yes, if the war had come a few years later, Russia would have been better prepared. But Russia's elites were deluded enough to stumble into war in 1914, so all those "what ifs?" don't really matter.

    Glad to know you aren’t beholden to someone on account of their having the historian designation.

    Like I said concerning Russia’s fate, Hastings isn’t the only one making the observation about the 1914 start of WW I, relative to if the war happened later, or if Russia didn’t attack into Germany as early as it did at the start of the war in 1914.

    There’s the view of not saying “if” when it comes to history. Yet, many are tempted to do so notwithstanding.

    The study of history is important – noting my reference to what Stalin might’ve very well learned from Russia’s WW I and 1905 Japanese war experiences.

    The USSR developed a strong force in the Far-east (where Zhukov was stationed), which led to its late 1930s victory over Japan. There’s the well premised opinion that Stalin was cautious to not go to war with Germany at an earlier stage on account of what happened to Russia in WW I.

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  • @Talha
    There is an instructive anecdote about Imam Fakhruddin Razi (ra) one of our greatest theologians (up there with Imams Baqillani [ra] and Ghazali [ra])...

    Once Imam Fakhruddin Razi (ra) was passing through a town and was surrounded by an entourage of eager students. An old woman came out and asked what was going on when she saw the crowd. One student replied, “Don’t you know who that is? That’s the famous ar-Razi, he has worked out 70 proofs for the existence of God!”

    “If he didn’t have 70 doubts, he wouldn’t need 70 proofs,” she replied.

    When word of this exchange got back to him, he addressed his students, “I urge you to have the faith of old women!”

    Peace.

    Excellent!

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  • @utu

    he has compassion for others, and sees himself as at one with them
     
    Good point. Long time ago I read about some Zen practitioner who realized that just doing Zen is not enough. It is not the same for Japanese and say Americans. They bring completely different attitude and goals to the practice. When interviewed after the Zen retreat from Americans you could hear "I, I, I, me, me ,me" like for example I became aware of my needs" while from Japanese it was more about awareness of other people about being mindful of others.

    This may indicate that spiritual awakening will do no good. Once people are lost they are lost forever. And the process begins early in life and then it is only reinforced even if you try to go on some spiritual path because it will all about your own ass.

    Very, very true. I have practically stopped reading western books on eastern religions, because they tend to extract the religion from its total matrix, and analyze it on its own, producing an extremely false picture.

    A zen practice that develops compassion in a Japanese context, may develop ego in a western context.

    Context is all, totality is all – the analytical approach fails us here.

    You cannot import these religions into the west as standalones – we can learn from them, and we can seek to understand them in their contexts, but if you truly want to practice zen you must engage with wider Japanese culture – learn the language, go live there, have Japanese friends. Immerse yourself. It’s a total, communal thing.

    This also speaks to the primacy of communal life – it is literally impossible to be a genuine Buddhist if you are engaged in social life in America, read the newspapers, etc Too many psychic pulls against it. Impossible.

    This is why I say community is crucial , and larger cultural support is crucial.

    You may have a point, sadly, that once a culture is gone, it is lost, it cannot be reconstructed analytically on an individual basis, for yourself – at best we can provide conditions for a new culture to grow organically. One such condition is a renewal of community – this will fertilize then soil for a spiritual awakening. It cannot be done alone.

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  • @Dmitry
    Think about the kid at school who made up all kinds of stories and entertaining exaggerations. This is the kind of character which may become a novelist or story teller when they are older.

    Again, it's the opposite of the personality you would look for in accuracy or to be a documenter. As an entertainer, yes.

    The best literature is a lot more than entertainment. It leaves lasting impact on the soul. In my case, Shalamov achieves that, whereas Solzhenitsyn does not.

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    • Replies: @gwynedd1
    Depends on the appetite. A lasting effect on my soul is a more lasting pschological joy. It could never complete with a swimsuit issue in drawing an immediate attention, and I am quite sure there are many who by action alone consider that the best literature.

    The best literature in my mind is during those dark ages when truth cannot be stated openly, and is skillfully hidden within the story. It can accuse, try , and convict a despot right under his very nose.
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  • @Bardon Kaldian
    I'll just state my opinion (after all, literary discussion is not what this thread is about).

    However, both Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky are so close to the top of world literature, that it makes no difference. I’d put Bulgakov and possibly Sholokhov (for “Quietly Flows the Don”) in the same league.
     
    Bulgakov & Sholokhov are good writers, but they're not even close. The only 20th C writer who belongs to the "supreme" category is Marcel Proust. I was glad to see that Forster and George Steiner were of the same opinion.

    Getting back to this article, Solzhenitsyn is nowhere near either of them. He is way below even the second-tier Russian writers (like Gogol), in my view even below the third tier (say, Turgenev, who was mocked by Dostoyevsky).
     

    These things are hard to compare. Solzhenitsyn is an impressive writer in the vein of 19th C tradition, in his two novels (The First Circle, Cancer Ward)- vivid characterization, love story, satire etc., despite occasional clumsiness. Of course, he is not a modernist (high or post-) & he's plainly inferior to great 20th C authors like Mann or Conrad. Just, his work remains highly readable & will be considered, I think, close to realist 20th C novelists like Martin Du Gard.

    TGA is a political pamphlet containing gems, but as a whole- I've read it long time ago- it is formless & artless. Most critics argue about authenticity of this or that detail. In the long run, this seems to be of secondary importance.

    Solzhenitsyn as a political writer (or "prophet") is not great; but, he's rather good as a classical novelist.

    The only thing I really liked is “One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich”, but even compared to that Shalamov’s description of camps is better. Maybe because Shalamov rings true, whereas I could never get rid of the feeling that Solzhenitsyn is false through and through.
     

    Shalamov's "Kolyma Tales" seem to me greater achievement in the field of "ccamp literature", but Solzhenitsyn has more to offer in his novels.

    Documentary value is not the issue here.

    Proust bores me to death. I have to confess, though, I don’t know enough French to read the original. If I had to name writers of the highest caliber in the twentieth century, I’d name Joyce and Faulkner. Again, that may be because I read the originals, in English I have no trouble reading anything, from La Morte d’Arhtur to modern stuff. However, I liked Thomas Mann, even though I don’t read German.

    Shalamov is not just documentary, his stories are exquisitely written. Another thing that irks me in Solzhenitsyn is that he attempts to be like Tolstoy (especially noticeable in “August 2014”; I was put off by that and did not read the other books in that series), reminding me of the French story about a frog that tried to become as large as a bull.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Solzhenitsyn is that he attempts to be like Tolstoy (especially noticeable in “August 2014”; I was put off by that
     
    His last wife was quite explicit in one of her interviews that he thought himself as a heir to Dostoevsky. I almost choked, of course, upon hearing this. Tell me about megalomania after that. But grandiose statements and gestures were always a part of his MO.
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  • @Andrei Martyanov

    It seems to me that he was politically quite different from Solzhenitsyn (if I understand correctly he was originally arrested for left-wing oppositionism
     
    Yes, he left this note in his diaries: "No bitch from "progressive humanity" should be allowed near my archive. I forbid writer Solzhenitsyn and all those having thoughts similar to his have acquaintance with my archive." He and Solzhenitsyn were opposites of political "spectrum", if one may say so, albeit to consider Solzhenitsyn as a "realist" in any aspect of politics, other than self-serving opportunist, is impossible for anyone even with rudimentary knowledge of Russia's history and literature. Shalamov also highly readable, if not terrifying, in his almost detached documentary style which puts Kolyma Stories in the league of its own in all so called GULAG (lagernaya literatura).

    does this relate to present-day political fault lines among Russians in some way?
     
    Not really and that's what makes Karlin's "posts" so detached from Russia's realities: political, economic, cultural, not to speak of geopolitical and military. Such as this propagation of a second-rate "thinker" Kholmogorov, who is nothing more than media-manipulator. As per Solzhenitsyn--local ideological so called "anti-Sovetchiks" (many of them--genuine Russophobes) will continue to ignore an embarrassing ignoring of Solzhenitsyn's death and funeral (barely attended in accordance to reports of several major Russian TV networks in 2008) by overwhelming majority of Russians. So much for "prophet" and self-proclaimed "consciousness of Russia". But Solzh got unlucky, archives were open and real historians emerged exactly the time he got back to Russia after missing on the whole two generations of Russians who do not really care about his fantasies. If not for Putin he would have been completely excluded from Russia's public schools literature curriculum, maybe with the exception of Matrenin Dvor.

    He and Solzhenitsyn were opposites of political “spectrum”

    That’s interesting, I had no idea such conflicts existed. Thanks to you and to “AnonfromTN”, that was informative.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    That’s interesting, I had no idea such conflicts existed.
     
    There was, of course, the element of professional envy between them. Shalamov is simply much better writer, not to mention his massive real GULAG experience, which even Solzhenitsyn privately admitted. Shalamov, no doubt, was annoyed by all Solzh's publicity while himself being basically overshadowed by a literary thief in the field which constitutes one of the most important moral and ethical issues in modern Russian history.
    , @Seraphim
    Shalamov was a Trotskyst and that's why he was so much pumped up by the Trotsko-infested 'West' lefties.
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  • @Anon

    Not really. You might remember from my comments that I have said that I have considered “faking it” because of the estrangement.
     
    Christ said "the truth will set you free" and iffen amended it only slightly to "the white lie will set you free".

    iffen amended it only slightly to “the white lie will set you free”.

    iffen has observed that the truth will set you free from many friends.

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    • LOL: Talha
    • Replies: @Anon
    IJ 14:6

    "I am the way and the fib and the life; no one comes to the Dinner, but through me."
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  • @AaronB
    Agreed. If you are asking, you have already surrendered to the primacy of logic, and you are lost.

    There is an instructive anecdote about Imam Fakhruddin Razi (ra) one of our greatest theologians (up there with Imams Baqillani [ra] and Ghazali [ra])…

    Once Imam Fakhruddin Razi (ra) was passing through a town and was surrounded by an entourage of eager students. An old woman came out and asked what was going on when she saw the crowd. One student replied, “Don’t you know who that is? That’s the famous ar-Razi, he has worked out 70 proofs for the existence of God!”

    “If he didn’t have 70 doubts, he wouldn’t need 70 proofs,” she replied.

    When word of this exchange got back to him, he addressed his students, “I urge you to have the faith of old women!”

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @AaronB
    Excellent!
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  • @AaronB
    I see another possible source of misunderstanding -

    It is true that realizing atman means you are impervious to pain of any kind. This does not, however, imply social disintetest, nor that others pain is immaterial to you. The one who has realized atman does not see himself as an individual, but as one with the world. Even if he felt indifferent to sofail conditions, he has compassion for others, and sees himself as at one with them. Which amounts to social interest, just of a different kind than westerners are used to.

    He will certainly want society to cultivate compassion and religion, though he may be indifferent to slavery, hierarchy, classes, poverty, and the like.

    But materialists cannot understand this kind of social concern.

    he has compassion for others, and sees himself as at one with them

    Good point. Long time ago I read about some Zen practitioner who realized that just doing Zen is not enough. It is not the same for Japanese and say Americans. They bring completely different attitude and goals to the practice. When interviewed after the Zen retreat from Americans you could hear “I, I, I, me, me ,me” like for example I became aware of my needs” while from Japanese it was more about awareness of other people about being mindful of others.

    This may indicate that spiritual awakening will do no good. Once people are lost they are lost forever. And the process begins early in life and then it is only reinforced even if you try to go on some spiritual path because it will all about your own ass.

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    • Replies: @AaronB
    Very, very true. I have practically stopped reading western books on eastern religions, because they tend to extract the religion from its total matrix, and analyze it on its own, producing an extremely false picture.

    A zen practice that develops compassion in a Japanese context, may develop ego in a western context.

    Context is all, totality is all - the analytical approach fails us here.

    You cannot import these religions into the west as standalones - we can learn from them, and we can seek to understand them in their contexts, but if you truly want to practice zen you must engage with wider Japanese culture - learn the language, go live there, have Japanese friends. Immerse yourself. It's a total, communal thing.

    This also speaks to the primacy of communal life - it is literally impossible to be a genuine Buddhist if you are engaged in social life in America, read the newspapers, etc Too many psychic pulls against it. Impossible.

    This is why I say community is crucial , and larger cultural support is crucial.

    You may have a point, sadly, that once a culture is gone, it is lost, it cannot be reconstructed analytically on an individual basis, for yourself - at best we can provide conditions for a new culture to grow organically. One such condition is a renewal of community - this will fertilize then soil for a spiritual awakening. It cannot be done alone.
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  • @lavoisier

    If I have to answer in under ten words, it would be “lack of “religion”, broadly understood”.
     
    I think this pretty much sums up the malaise that is destroying the West.

    But where is God to be found??

    I know. If you have to ask you are in trouble.

    Agreed. If you are asking, you have already surrendered to the primacy of logic, and you are lost.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    There is an instructive anecdote about Imam Fakhruddin Razi (ra) one of our greatest theologians (up there with Imams Baqillani [ra] and Ghazali [ra])...

    Once Imam Fakhruddin Razi (ra) was passing through a town and was surrounded by an entourage of eager students. An old woman came out and asked what was going on when she saw the crowd. One student replied, “Don’t you know who that is? That’s the famous ar-Razi, he has worked out 70 proofs for the existence of God!”

    “If he didn’t have 70 doubts, he wouldn’t need 70 proofs,” she replied.

    When word of this exchange got back to him, he addressed his students, “I urge you to have the faith of old women!”

    Peace.
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  • @AaronB
    If I have to answer in under ten words, it would be "lack of "religion", broadly understood".

    Everything else I've been writing about for months is just details.

    If I have to answer in under ten words, it would be “lack of “religion”, broadly understood”.

    I think this pretty much sums up the malaise that is destroying the West.

    But where is God to be found??

    I know. If you have to ask you are in trouble.

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    • Replies: @AaronB
    Agreed. If you are asking, you have already surrendered to the primacy of logic, and you are lost.
    , @Anon

    And he said to them: Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and shall say to him: Friend, lend me three loaves, Because a friend of mine is come off his journey to me, and I have not what to set before him. And he from within should answer, and say: Trouble me not, the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. Yet if he shall continue knocking, I say to you, although he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend; yet, because of his importunity, he will rise, and give him as many as he needeth.

    And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
     
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  • @German_reader
    Well yes, but as AK has pointed out, the two sections cited in that video clip don't really belong together.
    From today's perspective it looks pretty alarmist though, with the differences and tensions between different communist states (most notably the Soviet Union and China) downplayed and the fiction of a global communist threat resurrected, as if it still was 1950. That wasn't an accurate perception of reality even at the time of the speech.

    What Karlin didn’t point out, of course, that what Solzh was doing is called treason of own people and he was doing it for personal gain. But then again, Solzhentsyn always loved traitors, even proverbial fictional Ivan Denisovich was none other than deserter. Most here, of course, never read Alexandr Zinoviev, who, unlike Solzhenitsyn, was a scientist with the global name, who coined the phrase “We aimed at communism but hit Russia”. But this concept is beyond the grasp of self-confident hipsters and public forums’ “intellectuals”. I, of course, omit here Solzh’s peculiar “understanding” of nuclearism and nuclear parity with his “ratios” taken out of his most ridiculous fantasies.

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