Tag: Soviet Union

In a long overdue meeting, Vladimir Putin sets off from his office to confront the ghosts of Russian history. First on the list is none other than Vladimir Lenin, the Bolshevik leader behind the October Revolution. Few meetings have been put off longer by the Oligarch-in-Chief. But, as a one-time communist, Putin remains haunted by Marx’s axiom that the past weighs lies like a nightmare upon the present. (More…)

Communism is now on everybody’s lips. Some talk of it with the exaggerated enthusiasm of a new convert, others fear and condemn it as a social menace. But I venture to say that neither its admirers — the great majority of them — nor those who denounce it have a very clear idea of what Bolshevik Communism really is. (More…)

Over the past nine months, we have seen evidence of rising popular discontent in Spain. Last February, in Madrid, there were university student riots, in protest over Falange control of the student body and government restrictions on free speech. (More…)

My boyhood neighbor, Loren Jones, was a man with an interesting story about Stalinist Russia.  He arrived there in 1937 as the first television engineer in the country, sent by his employer, the Radio Corporation of America. (More…)

War has become the absence of politics by other means. As democratic institutions lose their legitimacy, widespread uncertainty is being mirrored by the performance of civilisational showdown. Baudrillard’s arguments in The Gulf War Did Not Take Place have resonance because of how the War on Terror has radically expanded the spectacle of combat.  (More…)

On March 29, presidential elections were held in Uzbekistan. As expected, the current president, Islam Karimov, was reelected. The 77-year old  has been in power for over a quarter of a century, and just began his fourth consecutive term, despite the fact that Uzbek constitution limits presidents to two. (More…)

During the summer of 2001, then-Director of the CIA George Tenet warned the Senate Intelligence Committee of a possible major terrorist attack in the United States. He did not specify its time, location, or method. The rest is history. (More…)

In most European cities, the propaganda of public monuments is much more tasteful. However in the last several years, Freedom Square, often a starting point for Budapest’s 2.7 million annual visitors, has become an increasingly complex public riddle with each chunk of cultural neurosis dropped by government decree for every tour-bus rider, pub-crawler, and clueless backpacker to ponder. (More…)

The reactions were predictable. Putin perfunctorily denied it was an invasion, while the media wondered whether it was even right to even call it a war. That Russian forces were already occupying a third of Ukraine was still insufficient evidence. Nearly 15 years from the day when he first too took the reins of the presidency, the ex-KGB agent was living out the wildest of Cold War fantasies (More…)

In 1945, The Saturday Evening Post proudly proclaimed that “The G.I. Is Civilizing the Jap” by showing the “savage” and “dirty” natives how to fix cars without breaking them, and how to go to the bathroom. A 1951 follow-up subsequently reported that the Japanese they visited six year prior, with their nightsoil gardens and Shintoism, now had gas stoves and Christianity! (More…)

Last year, many commentators in the West were aghast at the Russian stance on the Syrian civil war. It was in early 2013 when Russia and China presented a united opposition at the UN Security Council to intervention in Syria. It was also flabbergasted at the Russian opposition, in the summer of 2013, to Obama’s proposed ‘punitive measures’ (read: indiscriminate bombing.) (More…)

One of the difficulties of critically discussing the Soviet-Afghan war is conceptually imagining Soviet imperialism. Many leftists are hesitant to condemn the nature of Soviet militarism in countries like Afghanistan. While there are understandable reasons for this, it misses the crucial point. (More…)