Voices from Russia

Monday, 16 June 2014

16 June 2014. What Some People Will Believe… or… Conspiracy Theories Run Amuck at Rutherford Institute

01 madman


A new twist on the “black helicopter/big central all-knowing computer” nuttiness is the idea that the government will implant chips in everything and they’ll control the world (and us) that way. Here’s a good example of such thinking. Read it? Good! It’s BS from stem to stern, from top to bottom! All totalitarian systems run into two main limits… time… and money. Firstly, people have to enforce such draconian fiats. That is, at some point, a real person has to be involved in the affair. Sure, the NSA collects a gazillion bits of info each day… but it can only analyse a fraction of it due to constraints imposed by a lack of analysts. Fifty years ago, people predicted that money would disappear, replaced by credit cards. Well, guess what? Good ol’ fashioned cash is still around… all the better to pay bribes to the friendly neighbourhood pols and bureaucrats!

If one looks at the old USSR, one sees that totalitarianism wasn’t as pervasive as Western propaganda had it. Firstly, many people agreed with socialism, so, the organs really didn’t need to watch them. What happened is that a ton of security bureaucrats wrote memos that no one read and they received orders that they couldn’t carry out, but they pretended to. You see much the same in the contemporary US Department of Homeland (In)Security. After Stalin’s death, the number of political prisoners went down, and stayed down. It was simply not an efficient way of handling dissent. The organs’ most effective weapon was their reputation… people remembered the Stalinist methods and that alone deterred many. Actually, what the organs did was to create an atmosphere of public mistrust… that was more harmful than any imprisonment (one can say that Russia is still getting over that).

In like manner, technological totalitarianism would run up against many of the same constraints. The system would only be as good as the people who ran it. It’d be only as pervasive as funding would allow. In short, the “sky is falling” conspiracy theorists are chock fulla shit. By the way, Paul Craig Roberts is solid on many other topics, and this POS article is by a guest writer, from a crank Washington stink-tank called the Rutherford Institute. After all, there are hackers, and geeks would figure out ways to crack the system. Before you knew it, there’d be workarounds! I have faith in mankind. The conspiracy theorists will always be with us… but we don’t have to attend to them. There be goofy shit out there, peddled by even goofier people. Have a care… and do bite the coin before accepting it.


Thursday, 9 January 2014

Ho, Hum… Tempest in a Teacup Department… “Russian Orthodox Church” Under Fire Over Stalin Calendar

Unknown Artist. Long Life to the Stalin Cat! contemporary


Editor’s Note:

One of the reasons that non-stories such as this have tread is that all Russia is on holiday until Monday. Every year, Russia “shuts down” from 1 January to the Monday closest to 10 January. It’s like France in August. Nothing happens… so, of course, 24/7 news agencies are frantic for SOMETHING to report. The guy responsible for this calendar got the shitcan back in July… ergo, it’s a dead story. As for Andrei Kuraev, he’s become a crankish figure, only taken seriously by the Western media apparat (he’s a new Yakunin… only half the brains, but twice the chutzpah). Kuraev lost out to Vsevolod Chaplin, Varsonofy Sudakov, and Mark Golovkov in the turf war that followed HH’s accession in 2009 (Kuraev doesn’t have the savoir-faire of a Kliment Kapalin, who managed to hang on to cred despite being out of favour with the Gundyaev Mafia). He and the Blunder were the biggest losers (remember, the Blunder’s only a “Patriarchal Vicar”… a vicar bishop with a bigger title, that’s all) in the reshuffle after Aleksei Ridiger’s death. They were bright stars in the early 2000s… much dimmed as of late (justifiably so)…

Oh, should I mention that this story (like the Pussy Riot non-event) has no cred in Russia? Don’t get your knicks in a knot over an obvious media non-event. When will they ever learn? Silly wabbits…

O Tempora! O Mores!



This week, the MP came under heavy criticism on the internet this week over a 2014 wall calendar published by a revered monastery’s printing-house featuring portraits of Soviet leader Iosif Stalin. The publisher flogs the black-and-white calendar, entitled Stalin, costing 200 Roubles (USD. CAD. AUD. Euros. UK Pounds), as “a great gift for veterans and history fans”. Historian Mikhail Babkin brought it to public attention on his blog on 7 January. One person wrote in one of nearly 200 comments under Babkin’s post, referring to the millions who died because of Stalin’s farm collectivisation and political repression, “Disgrace, shame, and insult to all those who perished”.

Stalin severely persecuted the Church, but it’s enjoyed revival since the collapse of the USSR in 1991. A Church official said that the head of the printing-house got the boot in July once authorities found out about the incident, but only after the delivery of the calendars. A Church spokesman, Vakhtang Kipshidze, told Reuters, “The Church was subject to the most severe repressions during Stalin’s rule when he ordered the deportation and execution of thousands of priests. Releasing such a publication in a Church establishment … is morally unacceptable”. However, reflecting the sympathy for Stalin still felt by many Russians who credit him with victory in World War Two, and giving their country superpower status, Kipshidze added, “Nonetheless, one should work on the assumption that both in the Church and in Russian society there are differing views on the role Stalin played in Russian history and everybody has the right to hold to their own views”.

Critics of the Kremlin accuse President Vladimir Putin of burnishing Stalin’s image and celebrating the USSR’s modernising achievements to prop up national pride. Since returning to the Kremlin in mid-2012, Putin also seeks to appeal to conservative voters to boost his authority; increasingly, he promotes the Church as a standard-bearer for national values. In turn, the Church faces growing criticism from critics who say that it fosters excessively-close ties to the Kremlin and seeks too powerful a role in secular life. Andrei Kuraev, a {disgraced: editor} cleric and religious activist, wrote on his blog, “This is business. The Church uses its resources to make money. This is where the trouble is, not in Stalin pictures”.

9 January 2014

Maria Tsvetkova

Gabriela Baczynska




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Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Stalin Memorial Unveiled in Siberia

01 Joseph Stalin Soviet Poster


On Wednesday, a KPRF official said that a bust of Soviet leader Iosif Stalin was unveiled in the northeast Siberian city of Yakutsk. The 2.5-metre (8.2-foot)-tall bronze bust was unveiled on the grounds of the Almazi Anabara private diamond company on the eve of nationwide celebrations to mark the capitulation of Nazi Germany in Europe in 1945. As of Wednesday afternoon, a company spokesman wasn’t available for comment. The company offered to host the bust after local authorities denied the communists permission to erect it on a square in the city.

Stalin, whose prison camps and security services took the lives of millions of Soviet citizens during his almost-30-year reign, remains a popular figure with many Russians. Critics accused President Vladimir Putin of attempting to bolster Stalin’s reputation. In recent years, school history books now describe Stalin as an “effective manager”, and the city of Volgograd temporarily reverts to its World War II-era name of Stalingrad for several days a year to mark celebrations linked to crucial events in the war.

A survey by state pollster VTsIOM last year indicated that 33 percent of Russians viewed Stalin positively, whilst 25 percent disapproved of him. The poll surveyed 1,600 respondents. Historians estimate the total number of victims of Stalin-era political repressions at anywhere between 3 million and 39 million. According to historians, tens of thousands, at the very minimum, of GULag inmates perished in the building of the “Road of Bones” that connects the port of Magadan to Yakutsk. Their bodies were laid under or around the road, which was constructed on permafrost.

8 May 2013




Friday, 19 October 2012

Levada Centre Reports that Stalin’s Unpopularity is Only a Third of What it Was Fifteen Years Ago


On Thursday, Lev Gudkov, the director of the Levada Centre, spoke at the conference “History of Stalinism” in St Petersburg, pointing up that the attitude towards the Stalin era in the Russian public consciousness has undergone major changes in the last 25 years. Gudkov presented a report based on the results of a poll conducted in August. The findings indicated that, in 1988, less than 1 percent of the respondents believed that people would remember Stalin as a major figure of the Soviet era in 20 to 30 years. Gudkov observed, “Today, he came in first place on the list of the most important figures of the time according to popular sentiment”. According to the present survey, 48 percent of respondents said that Stalin had a positive role in Russian history, whilst 22 percent thought that he played a negative role. Gudkov emphasised that as late as 1998, 60 percent of those polled had a negative attitude to Stalin.

18 October 2012

KPRF Official Website


Editor’s Note:

If you remember your Orwell, the ideology of Eurasia was “Neo-Bolshevism“. Well, Neo-Bolshevism exists in Russia, today. What is it? It’s the union of Socialist politics with Orthodox religion. The events of the Nasty ’90s drew the Church and Party together. United Russia is nothing but a vehicle for Vladimir Putin, after he leaves the scene, it’s essentially kaput. The only organised political element in Russia is the left… interestingly enough, the KPRF is the most “conservative” of the lot. Neo-Bolshevism shall be MUCH stronger than Bolshevism was… there’s going to be no pointless “war against religion”. The Church will act as the spiritual sheet-anchor of the Party and State… it’ll see to it that there’s no return to repressions. In any case, the Party has learned its lessons, too. However, there’s one thing that the Church and Party are agreed on and see eye-to-eye upon… the present régime of the oligarchs is obscene and demonic, and it must be uprooted before Russia can expand and grow its empire again. Tikhon Shevkunov and the Blunder are atypical… their fawning to the oligarchs isn’t common, thank God. Do note that some of the elements kissing up to the oligarchs are crank (the Blunder and his ilk), but that some are spiritually-sound, such as Shevkunov. This shall require some finesse in rooting out this evil… not all of the crapitalist suck-ups are heretics (although the Blunder is, in spades).

Stalin was no choir boy… but he wasn’t Satan incarnate either. He was a hard man in an iron age, who wasn’t averse to spilling blood. Before you criticise him, do note how easily the West resorted to such methods as area bombing of civilians, the use of nuclear weapons, and the operation of secret torture centres in complaisant countries. There’s a good deal of blame to lay on all comers…


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