They were too much alike. They were contenders. Strategic Contenders. Not contending with each other. Their ideas were similar, and they questioned the “authorities”: where ever or whom ever, they may be. Their enemies were the same: mediocrity — the banal, the unquestioning conformity. For they were exceptional.
Brilliant. Sui generis.
That is the problem. They couldn’t have been friends. Even though both were combating the elite Intellectual Mob Totalitarians.
And the herd majority.
They had seen it with their own eyes: the systems that demanded conformity: Nazi Germany and Soviet Union.
And there were those who fully embraced that conformity and propagated it, without thinking, because it is to their short-term advantage to travel with the herd.
Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus.
— Margaret Thatcher
They both had fled to America as emigrants. They found those in the elite establishment in their new country would not like or ignored of much of what they had to say — at least, in the beginning… Continue reading They Couldn’t Have Been Friends
You can’t find where his corporeal body is buried. And it certainly isn’t buried in Russia. He, personally, never stepped a foot in the Rus’ lands.
History is Baroque!
— Will and Ariel Durant
But what about his Zeitgeist?
Yesterday and Today?
“If we curse the past, if we blank it out of our memory as my father did, nothing will get better.
Our history is both cursed and magnificent. Just like the history of any state or people.
It is fitting Russia, the tragedies;
these contradictory strands of history are woven so tightly together.
— Boris Yeltzin
Zeitgeist (Zeit –Time, geist –Ghost)
It’s a tale of Black Gold.
Ah, but what kind of Black Gold are we talking about?
The Black Gold of the Earth: that Good Earth: Land and Power of Mother Russia.
The Black Gold of the Earth: that Good Earth: Oil and Gold of Mother Russia.
On the Wealth of Nations.
Who owns the Rents — Economic and/or Political?
Continue reading The Ghost of Khan
“The XXI century will be a сentury either of total all-embracing crisis or of moral and spiritual healing that will reinvigorate humankind. It is my conviction that all of us – all reasonable political leaders, all spiritual and ideological movements, all faiths – must help in this transition to a triumph of humanism and justice, in making the XXI century a century of a new human renaissance.”
He won’t go away. Still, he tries to help. He has no political power. And he will fade away.
Those who fail to learn from history, will repeat it.
Slow ideas take longer to work, than fast ideas.
Counterfactuals are hard to do, but we know these atheistic Communists Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung were responsible for well over a hundred million deaths in the 20th century. Current history is also difficult: how many deaths can we lay at the feet of Putin.
So how many lives did this atheistic Communist SAVE? — Probably millions. We will never know. And he now is virtually ignored by his own countries, and the international community gives him accolades, but more likely they need a famous speaker for their get together.
“For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeteers, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conquerors rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.”
– Gen. George C. Patton
Mikhail Gorbachev was key in the relatively peaceful break up of the Soviet Union. He, had been in effect, the Tzar of Russia.
He had the Idealistic Idea that the world, and the Soviet Union, could be a better place.
Continue reading Old Soldiers Never Die
“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
Leo Tolstoy — Anna Karenina
It has been declared as the greatest novel of all time.
Tolstoy’s epic novel, Anna Karenina, set in czarist Russia is considered as a pinnacle in realist fiction.
It also can be seen as an interesting portrait of the pitfalls and joys of the Temperaments in the lively and deadly game of romance, or simply put: LOVE …
*********************************************************************************************************************** Continue reading Complicated Relations
‘The Putin regime, like all such regimes, is a pyramid. And what the protests are doing is dismantling the bottom rungs of this pyramid…..I have thought of leaving, and I have even made plans to leave. The truth is, I don’t want to. I love my home, my friends, my job, my life. And if Putin doesn’t like me, he can leave.’
There is a contention here. Who is going to win in the end?
Well, it depends on the time frame.
Continue reading The Contenders
“On the back of the slip was written ‘Read 5.25.34’ and the signature of my father. The file — indeed the whole ‘case’ — gave me a heavy sinking feeling. I kept leafing through the documents trying to understand. Shouldn’t there have been some kind of logic to these stories? Did the Chekists’ machinery really so senselessly gobble up people? Perhaps my life would have taken a different turn if been able to see my father’s file earlier. If I could have been convinced without a doubt of what ordinary, banal horror our industry, our powerful Soviet reality was steeped in.”
“My father never spoke about any of this with me. He blanked this piece of his life out of his memory as if it had never existed. It is forbidden to speak of this subject in our family.”
“I was only three years old at the time of my father’s arrest, but I remember to this day all the horror and fear. One night people came into our barracks room. I remember my mother shouting and crying. I woke up and also began to cry. I was crying not because my father was going away (I was still too young to “understand” what was happening to him). I was crying because I saw my mother and saw how frightened she was. Her fear and her tears were transferred to me. My father was taken away, and my mother threw herself at me, hugging me until I calmed down and fell asleep.” Continue reading A Child's Memory