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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Neo-Soviet Fear (another word for cowardice): Is it Genetic?

The Economist says it just might be:

ONE of Russia's most popular television shows is “Wait For Me”, a true-life tear-jerker that finds and reunites separated couples and families. Sometimes the stories it tells are run-of-the-mill melodramas that could have happened anywhere. But often they are tragically Russian, combining huge distances, lavish and indiscriminate cruelty and impenetrable bureaucracy: siblings separated 70 years ago when their parents were executed; lovers who lost one another in prison camps.

“Wait For Me” takes its name from the most famous Russian poem from the Soviet Union's war with Germany. Konstantin Simonov, its author, was part of the first generation to grow up with the Soviet system's mock classroom trials, playground games of “search and requisition”, and the “cult of struggle” inherited from the civil war. His aristocratic family was wrecked by the revolution; but like many children of undesirables, he disguised his background, transmuting the values he inherited into devout Stalinism.

Simonov wrote admiringly of the redemptive power of slave labour and the White Sea Canal, one of the gigantic Stalinist infrastructure projects built on the skeletons of prisoners. But it was “Wait for Me” that brought him fame, a dacha, foreign travel and the affections of the actress (herself hiding a tainted biography) to whom the poem had presumptuously been addressed. He copied Stalin's pipe and moustache, and lent his voice to the dictator's post-war anti-Semitic purges. The torture and exile of relatives did not dislodge his faith; nor did Stalin's discombobulating death. Yet Simonov was also a brave war reporter, a generous friend and, eventually, conscience-stricken and remorseful.

His is the most prominent of the hundreds of lives described in “The Whisperers” by Orlando Figes, a professor of history at London University. The aim is to reconstruct “the inner world of ordinary Soviet citizens living under Stalin's tyranny”: to resuscitate, using letters, diaries and interviews (gathered partly by the heroic human-rights group Memorial) the human beings buried beneath the headline death tolls that dominate understanding of Stalinism, as they do the Holocaust. With his dissimulation and compensating zeal, his accommodations and rationalisations, his mix of motives (careerism, but also fear and genuine belief) and his proximity to the suffering he nevertheless condoned, Simonov provides exemplary answers to the questions that weave through the book. How did people survive Stalinism? And why did they go along with it?

This is an exhausting, even numbing encyclopedia of woe—characters miraculously survive one cataclysm only to perish in the next—made bearable by the compassion its subjects show one another and Mr Figes's own rigorously compassionate treatment of their compromises. For many readers, the section on the insane campaign against the kulaks (allegedly rich peasants) may be the most enlightening. It concentrates on the Golovin family from Obukhovo, a village renamed when the new serfdom of collectivisation arrived, the church bells taken away to be melted down as peasants ululate. Denounced by a drunk teenager, the Golovins are resettled a continent away in Augean conditions.

Also hitherto underchronicled is the grim struggle for housing in Stalin's newly overcrowded cities, where people married, stayed together and denounced each other for a few precious square metres of floor. Mr Figes relates the squalor and spying that prevailed in the communalki—communal apartments designed to erode families as well as to economise on space— in which millions of Russians once lived and a few still do.

After deaths from overwork and starvation, there is the plain mass murder of the 1937-38 terror: the sleepless nights spent waiting for the knock on the door; the bags kept by the bed in readiness for arrest. Again, the motives of the informers are mixed: grudges and envy, but also fear and blackmail. “Enemies of the people” confess because of torture or a desire to protect families (often killed or exiled anyway); but also, sometimes, out of a conviction that conniving in their own deaths will help the Party.

Then there is the carnage and heroism of the war and the wartime hopes of a better life, soon extinguished by yet more famine and repressions. Finally, Stalin dies—and, as the poet Anna Akhmatova put it, two Russias confronted each other: “the one that sent these people to the camps and the one that came back”.

There are incredible reunions in this book, achieved through impossible stamina and ingenuity. But there are also homecomings as terrible in their way as exile: parents who finally reclaim children from orphanages, but live out their relationships in stigma and silence, for ever hoarding food and quailing before policemen. Husbands and wives remarry, thinking their spouses are dead. Sometimes those left behind remain true believers; sometimes it is the returnees who still are. Some hide their pasts from families for decades, as the authorities obfuscate and lie to cover up the extent of their crimes.

It is perhaps a failing—though a fitting one—that people sometimes get lost in this book, disconcertingly reappearing after long gaps, just as they reappeared in reality after alienating absences. Some of Mr Figes's judgments are cursory. But this is a humbling monument to the evil and endurance of Russia's Soviet past and, implicitly, a guide to its present.

He writes of the “genetic fear” that percolates through generations, and the need to believe in bad rulers because the alternative, believing in nothing, could be worse. “Either they were guilty”, Simonov says of Stalin's victims, “or it was impossible to understand.” The terror, Mr Figes notes, “tore apart the moral ties that hold together a society.” It is still recovering.


Artfldgr said...

this is taken from the nine comentaries on communism... a very interesting read, but mixed, since it is also about falon gong. however, their texts on the nature of communism, its history, and other points, is dead on! so rather than throw the baby out with the bath water, i just avoid the left hand turn towards religion (which is NOT dotted throughout).

the insight into mode of thought would allow for a truer mental model of darwinian pressures. so that the analysis doesnt come out so simple minded as to think that there was only one solution (to be passive), when there are several, and their outcomes are demographic truth, not fantasy.

How the Party Nature Replaces and Eliminates Human Nature

The CCP is a Leninist authoritarian regime. Since the inception of the CCP, three basic lines have been established, i.e., the intellectual line, the political line, and the organization line. The intellectual line refers to the Communist Party’s philosophical foundation. The political line refers to setting up goals. The organization line refers to how the goals are achieved within the format of strict organization.

The first and foremost requirement of all CCP members and those ruled by the CCP is to obey commands unconditionally. This is what the organization line is all about.

In China, most people know about the double personalities of CCP members. In private settings, CCP members are ordinary human beings with feelings of happiness, anger, sorrow and joy. They possess ordinary human beings’ merits and shortcomings. They may be parents, husbands, wives, or friends. But placed above human nature and feelings is the Party nature, which, according to the requirements of the Communist Party, transcends humanity. Thus, humanity becomes relative and changeable, while Party nature becomes absolute, beyond any doubt or challenge.

During the Cultural Revolution, it was all too common that fathers and sons tortured each other, husbands and wives struggled with each other, mothers and daughters reported on each other, and students and teachers treated each other as enemies. Party nature motivated the conflicts and hatred in these cases. During the early period of the CCP rule, many high-ranking CCP officials were helpless as their family members were labeled as class enemies. This, again, was driven by Party nature.

The power of the Party nature over the individual results from the CCP’s prolonged course of indoctrination. This training starts in preschools and kindergartens, where party-sanctioned answers to questions are rewarded, answers that do not comply with common sense or a child’s human nature. Students receive political education when they attend primary school, middle school and all the way to college, and they learn to follow party-sanctioned standard answers, otherwise, they are not allowed to pass the exam and graduate.

A Party member must remain consistent with the Party line when speaking publicly, no matter how he feels privately. The organizational structure of the CCP is a gigantic pyramid, with the central power on top controlling the entire hierarchy. This unique structure is one of the most important features of the CCP regime, one that helps produce absolute conformity.

Today, the CCP has completely degenerated into a political entity struggling to maintain self-interest. It no longer pursues any of the lofty goals of communism. However, the organizational structure of communism remains, and its demand for unconditional conformity has not changed. This party, situating itself above humanity and human nature, removes any organizations or persons deemed detrimental or potentially detrimental to its own power, be it ordinary citizens or high-ranking CCP officials.


Ever-changing Principles

In the 2004 US Presidential Debate on TV, one presidential candidate said that, one could change tactics when one needed to, but one should never change his “beliefs” or “core values,” otherwise “he is just not credible.” [6] This statement really makes clear a general principle.

The Communist Party is a typical example. For instance, since its establishment 80 years ago, the CCP has held sixteen national representative conventions and modified the Party Constitution 16 times. Over the five decades since it came to power, the CCP has made five major modifications to the Chinese Constitution.

The ideal of the Communist Party is social equality leading to a communist society. Today, however, communist-controlled China has become a nation with the most serious economic inequalities in the world. Many CCP members have become filthy rich, while the country has 800 million living in poverty.

The guiding theories of the CCP started with Marxism-Leninism, to which was added Maoism, and then Deng’s thoughts and recently Jiang’s “Three Represents.” Marxism-Leninism and Maoism are not at all compatible with Deng’s theories and Jiang’s ideology—they are actually opposite to them. This hodgepodge of communist theories employed by the CCP is indeed a rarity in human history.

The Communist Party’s evolving principles have largely contradicted one another. From the idea of a global integration transcending the nation-state to today’s extreme nationalism, from eliminating all private ownership and all exploitative classes to today’s notion of promoting capitalists to join the party, yesterday’s principles have become reversed in today’s politics, with further change expected tomorrow. No matter how often the CCP changes its principles, the goal remains clear: gaining and maintaining power, and sustaining absolute control of the society.

In the history of the CCP, there have been more than a dozen movements that are “life and death” struggles. In reality, all of these struggles have coincided with the transfer of power following changes of basic Party principles.

Every change in principles has come from an inevitable crisis faced by the CCP, threatening its legitimacy and survival. Whether it be collaborating with the Kuomintang Party, a pro-US foreign policy, economic reform and market expansion, or promoting nationalism—each of these decisions occurred at a moment of crisis, and all had to do with gaining or solidifying power. Every cycle of a group suffering persecution followed by reversal of that persecution has been connected with changes in the basic principles of the CCP.

A western proverb states that truths are sustainable and lies mutable. There is wisdom in this saying.


these can be found on this page, though you can read the whole 9 books (a likening i guess to gramsci's 9 books), at the same location.

Artfldgr said...

all the communist countries share techniques. however the first and foremost is to hold power. same with feminism, which is gender marxism. they change based on their needs, as the ideology is not fixed, its just a pragmatic may pole to dance around, while someone ELSE calls the tune. you focus on the pole, they focus on the dance.

so its a power dialectic, socipathic, infinitely pragmatic, without morals, and the ONLY purpose it has is to maintain power for the elite in place who follow it. and if its not in place, then its purpose and machination are to get power, then maintain it.

Is it for the ideology of Communism that the CCP goes through an endless strife? The answer is “No.” One of the principles of the Communist Party is to get rid of private ownership, which the CCP tried to do when it came to power. The CCP believed that private ownership was the root cause of all evil. However, after the economic reform in the 1980s, private ownership was allowed again in China and protected by the Constitution. Piercing through the CCP’s lies, people will see clearly that in its 55 years of rule, the CCP merely stage-managed a drama of property redistribution. After several rounds of such distribution, the CCP simply converted the capital of others into its own private property.

as i said, its the biggest sociopathic con game whose biggest protection is the audacity of its scope!!!

Brainwash the Whole Country and Turn It into a “Mind Prison”

The most effective weapon the CCP uses to maintain its tyrannical rule is its system of control. In a well-organized fashion, the CCP imposes a mentality of obedience on every one of its citizens. Whether the Party contradicts itself or constantly changes policies doesn’t matter, so long as it can systematically organize a way to deprive people of their naturally endowed human rights. The government’s tentacles are omnipresent. Whether it is in rural or urban areas, citizens are governed by the so-called street or township committees. Until recently, getting married or divorced, and having a child all needed the approval of these committees. The Party’s ideology, way of thinking, organizations, social structure, propaganda mechanisms and administrative systems serve only its dictatorial purposes. The Party, through the systems of government, strives to control every individual’s thoughts and actions.

How brutally the CCP controls its people is not limited to the physical torture it inflicts. The Party also forces people to lose their ability to think independently, and makes them into fearful, self-protective cowards daring not to speak up. The goal of the CCP’s rule is to brainwash each of its citizens so that they think and talk like the CCP, and do what it promotes.

There is a saying that, “Party policy is like the moon, it changes every 15 days.” No matter how often the Party changes its policies, everyone in the nation needs to follow them closely. When you are used as a means of attacking others, you need to thank the Party for appreciating your strength; when you are hurt, you have to thank the CCP for “teaching you a lesson”; when you are wrongfully discriminated against and the CCP later gives you redress, you have to thank the CCP for being generous, open-minded and able to correct its mistakes. The CCP runs its tyranny through continuous cycles of suppression followed by redress.

After 55 years of tyranny, the CCP has imprisoned the nation’s mind and enclosed it within the range allowed by the CCP. For someone to think outside this boundary is considered a crime. After repeated struggles, stupidity is praised as wisdom; being a coward is the way to survive. In a modern society with the Internet as the mainstream of information exchange, the CCP even asks its people to exercise self-discipline and not read news from outside or log onto websites with keywords like “human rights” and “democracy.”

The CCP’s movement to brainwash its people is absurd, brutal, and despicable, yet ubiquitous. It has distorted the moral values and principles of Chinese society and completely rewritten the nation’s behavioral standards and lifestyle. The CCP continuously uses mental and physical torture to strengthen its absolute authority to rule China with the all-encompassing “CCP religion.”