Friday, October 12, 2012

brass tacks

Today we get down to brass tacks. Our conversation with California attorney and businessman Michael Shaw, the creative force behind Freedom Advocates and Liberty Garden.

Freedom Advocates

Liberty Garden

"A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good. So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts."

--James Madison, Federalist No. 10, Nov. 22, 1787

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

--Benjamin Franklin

From the loftiest point of its roof, during precisely three and a half hours of each forenoon, floats or droops, in breeze or calm, the banner of the republic; but with the thirteen stripes turned vertically, instead of horizontally, and thus indicating that a civil, and not a military, post of Uncle Sam's government is here established.

--Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlett Letter

Freedom Advocates

Exposing Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development

Created by Michael Shaw, a California businessman and an American freedom advocate

Freedom Advocates

Misprision of Treason Primer

Responding to your City's Association with ICLEI

Liberty Garden Preview

Misprision in Alameda County - Facing Down Agenda 21

Detax Canada


Thomas Jefferson wrote in the USA Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    It is obvious that Jefferson gained his inspiration from:

    Virginia Declaration of Rights (June 12, 1776) Drafted by: George Mason

    Article I: That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

It should be noted here that the primary unalienable (meaning: a value cannot be ascertained) right is 'life'. The secondary unalienable rights are 'property' and 'liberty'. 'Property' is absolutely necessary for the maintenance of life - the maintenance of one's body. One's primary property is one's labour - mental and/or physical. 'Liberty' is absolutely necessary to take one's produce to market - to travel to one's place of work where labour, the primary property, may be exchanged for the necessary property to maintain life - food, shelter and clothing.

The 'Pursuit of Happiness' (Hope for Happiness - as an attainable objective) is vital for one's mental and physical health.

Notice that Jefferson 'conveniently' left the property right out of the Declaration of Independence. Modern charters of rights use the term 'security of person'.

Since 'person' is a legal status (corporate slave status) attached to one's body, the statement is meaningless relative to rights.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, [yet, you will find that 'MAN, MEN - regardless of sex, are NEVER mentioned in any Government legislation, Acts statutes or laws, at any level of Government.]

    Article II: That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; ['persons' is not the plural of 'people', nor are 'persons' people] that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.

    Article III: That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation or community; of all the various modes and forms of government that is best, which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and that, whenever any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

{Read more at above link…}


From the 1893 Dictionary of Law:

Treason. Betrayal, treachery, breach of faith or allegiance.

Treason may exist only as between allies: it is a general appellation to denote not only offenses against the king and government, but also accumulation of guilt which arises whenever a superior reposes a confidence in a subject or inferior, between whom and himself there subsists a natural, a civil, or even a spiritual relation, and the inferior so abuses that confidence, so forgets the obligations of duty, subjugation, and allegiance, as to destroy the life of the superior.

When disloyalty attacks majesty itself it is called, by way of distinction, high treason, equivalent to the 'crimen loesoe majestatis' of the Romans.

High treason is the most heinous civil crime a man can commit. If indeterminate, this alone is sufficient to make a government degenerate into arbitrary power.

{Read more at above link…}

brass tacks

In colloquial English, brass tacks (often "get down to brass tacks") refers to the fundamental or essential elements of a topic. As in the pieces of brass inserted into the edges of the paper creating the binding of a document. The points which hold an idea together.

Phrases (UK)
“Get down to brass tacks”


Engage with the basic facts or realities.


The figurative expression 'getting down to brass tacks' isn't particularly old as phrases go. Its first appearance in print that I can find, from the USA in January 1863, was in the Texas newspaper The Tri-Weekly Telegraph:

    "When you come down to 'brass tacks' - if we may be allowed the expression - everybody is governed by selfishness."

All of the other known early citations either originate in, or refer to, Texas. It is reasonable to assume that the phrase was coined there, in or about the 1860s.

Brass tacks are, of course, real as well as figurative items and two of the most commonly repeated supposed derivations refer to actual tacks. Firstly, there's the use of brass-headed nails as fabric fixings in the furniture trade, chosen on account of their decorative appearance and imperviousness to rust. Such brass tacks were commonly used in Tudor furniture and long predate the use of the phrase, which would tend to argue against that usage as the origin - why wait hundreds of years and then coin the phrase from that source? The supporters of that idea say that, in order to re-upholster a chair, the upholsterer would need first to remove all the tacks and fabric coverings, thus getting down to the basic frame of the chair. While that is true, it hardly seems to match the meaning of the expression, as the tacks would be the first thing to be removed rather than the last.

The second explanation that relies on actual tacks comes from the haberdashery trade. Here the notion is that, in order to be more accurate than the rough-and-ready measuring of a yard of material by holding it out along an arm's length, cloth was measured between brass tacks which were set into a shop's counter. Such simple measuring devices were in use in the late 19th century, as is shown by this piece from Ernest Ingersoll's story The Metropolis of the Rocky Mountains, 1880:

    "I hurried over to Seabright’s. There was a little square counter, heaped with calicoes and other gear, except a small space clear for measuring, with the yards tacked off with brass tacks."

Various other explanations relate to the tacks in boots, those that were put on chairs as a prank, the rivets on boats etc, etc. None of these come equipped with any real evidence and are best left alone.

Of the supposed explanations that don't have literal allusions, we can rule out links with any form of 'brass tax'. There have been taxes on brass at various times, but no one can find any connection with this phrase. 'Getting down to brass tax' appears to be just a misspelling. The expression is also often said to be an example of Cockney rhyming slang, meaning 'facts'. In the strange world of Cockney argot, 'tacks' does indeed rhyme with 'facts' (facks), but that's as far as it goes. Rhyming slang coinages from the 19th century are limited to the UK and Australia. The apparent US origin of the phrase discounts the rhyming slang origin.

For my money, the 'fabric measuring' derivation is the strongest candidate but, given no smoking gun, we await further evidence.

misprision of treason

United States

In the United States, misprision of treason is a federal offense, committed where someone who has knowledge of the commission of any treason against the United States, conceals such knowledge and does not inform the President, a federal judge or State Governor or State judge (18 U.S.C. § 2382). It is punishable by a fine and up to seven years in federal prison. It is also a crime punishable under the criminal laws of many states.

See also

 Misprision of felony
 Compounding treason


physiognomy, the study of the systematic correspondence of psychological characteristics to facial features or body structure. Because most efforts to specify such relationships have been discredited, physiognomy sometimes connotes pseudoscience or charlatanry. Physiognomy was regarded by those who cultivated it both as a mode of discriminating character by the outward appearance and as a method of divination from form and feature.

Physiognomy is of great antiquity, and in ancient and medieval times it had an extensive literature. Inasmuch as genetic flaws are sometimes revealed by physical characteristics (e.g., the characteristic appearance of Down syndrome, with up-slanted eyes and broad, flat face), some elements of physiognomy evolved in physiology and biochemistry.

In its second aspect—i.e., divination from form and feature—it was related to astrology and other forms of divination, and this aspect of the subject bulked large in the fanciful literature of the Middle Ages. There is evidence in the earliest classical literature, including Homer and Hippocrates, that physiognomy formed part of the most ancient practical philosophy.

The earliest-known systematic treatise on physiognomy is attributed to Aristotle. In it he devoted six chapters to the consideration of the method of study, the general signs of character, the particular appearances characteristic of the dispositions, of strength and weakness, of genius and stupidity, and so on. Then he examined the characters derived from the different features, and from colour, hair, body, limbs, gait, and voice. While discussing noses, for example, he says that those with thick, bulbous ends belong to persons who are insensitive, swinish; sharp-tipped noses belong to the irascible, those easily provoked, like dogs; rounded, large, obtuse noses to the magnanimous, the lionlike; slender, hooked noses to the eaglelike; and so on.

Among the Latin classical authors Juvenal, Suetonius, and Pliny the Elder refer to the practice of physiognomy, and numerous allusions occur in the works of the Christian scholars, especially Clement of Alexandria and Origen. While the earlier classical physiognomy was chiefly descriptive, the later medieval studies particularly developed the predictive and astrological side, their treatises often digressing into prophetic folklore and magic.

Along with the medical science of the period, Arabian writers such as the alchemist ar-Rāzī and Averroës also contributed to the literature of physiognomy. The medicine of systematic correspondence that evolved in China after the period of the Warring States is still associated with traditional Chinese science and has some bearing on the doctrine of yin-yang.

Physiognomy also is treated (in some cases extensively) by such scholars as Avicenna, Albertus Magnus, John Duns Scotus, and Thomas Aquinas. The development of a more accurate anatomy in the 17th century seems to have dampened the scientific interest in physiognomy. In the 18th and 19th centuries physiognomy was proposed as a means of detecting criminal tendencies, but each system was examined and discarded as fallacious, and by the 20th century physiognomy—as it was known in earlier times—was largely regarded as a historical subject.

Dictionary of Education


A grouping of views which can be said to have the common thread of viewing the individual as beholden to the community. One example is in the view that an individual's moral beliefs will be largely a matter of cultural inheritance. One political version is that the individual is subordinate to the collective authority of the community. Another theoretical version holds to a system of social organization based on small self-governing communities.


Government by intimidation and the initiation of coercion and/or force… through the inducement of fear… and the organized, systematic promotion… of [often false] perceptions of scarcity

Niki Friedrich Raapana

From her Facebook page:

The entire Marxist theory for social change is based on the dialectical process of continual synthesizing of opposites. That's basic Marxism 101. So why is it so hard for people to grasp that in 1989, the conflicting ideologies known to the world as capitalism and communism were synthesized, along with the Vatican, to create a more "perfect" ideology called Communitarianism? The new ideology combines the very worst of each system… crony, corporate capitalism, genocidal Marxism, and the Inquisition... all rolled into ONE harmonious supra-national world order.


American Ideology: We Don't Practice What We Preach

By Paul Solman

{Pro-Communitarian stance ~Lark}


American Ideology? There Is No Such Thing

By Paul Solman

{Pro-Libertarian stance ~Lark}

When Attorneys Fight Judicial Corruption

Roger Weidner is a former attorney and public prosecutor who battled pervasive corruption in the Oregon court system for 12 years as he struggled to return the now-valued $100 million Kettleberg estate to its rightful beneficiary after it had been wrongly seized by an unscrupulous but well-connected attorney.  For his efforts, Weidner was repeatedly arrested, imprisoned, confined to an insane asylum, and finally disbarred.  His story, as told to H. Hammond, testifies to how the judiciary has usurped the law for its own purposes and replaced constitutional guarantees with a system in which judges rule by decree.  It exemplifies the failure of meaningful accountability within the judicial branch.

Roger Weidner I

USA Observer coverage of judicial corruption 

{Note: Mr. Weidner was a recent guest host on Officer Jack McLamb's program on RBN} 


Children of Men

Futuristic tale in which society is without hope since humankind lost its ability to procreate. The year is 2027, and women can no longer give birth. The youngest inhabitant of the planet has just died at the age of 18, and all hope for humanity has been lost. As civilization descends into chaos, a dying world finds one last chance for survival in the form of a woman who has become inexplicably pregnant. Now, as warring nationalistic sects clash and British leaders try to maintain their totalitarian stronghold on the country, a disillusioned bureaucrat (Clive Owen) is brought back into the fold of activism by his guerrilla ex-wife (Julianne Moore). Reluctantly, he takes on the daunting task of escorting Kee (Claire-Hope Ashitey), the refugee who represents humankind's last hope for survival, out of harm's way and into the care of a mysterious organization known as The Human Project. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Charlie Hunnam, and Michael Caine co-star in this adaptation of author P.D. James's gripping 1992 novel.

Zen Gardner
Phoenix Rising: Vision of a New America

Zen Gardner
Resisting Mind Control with Conscious Awareness


The Political System in the US Has Collapsed - Paul Craig Roberts

The Obama Timeline

The Obama Timeline has more than 35,000 online references, and parts I and II combined exceed 5,000 pages. Nowhere will you find a more complete history of Obama's activities, from his birth to the present. The Timeline is updated on a daily basis - if it's in the news and it is related to Obama, it is in the Timeline.

I scour the Internet, newspapers, magazines, and television reports every day, and then distill all the important stories to a few pages that you can read in just a few minutes. I do the research so that you do not have to. Just click on the current month in Part II of the Timeline and look for the text that is highlighted in yellow - that is the new text that was added at the end of the previous day.
Please tell your friends about the Timeline. Removing Obama from the White House cannot be accomplished unless the voters know about his radical past and his anti-American policies... and the Timeline is the best place to learn about both.

Newest articles and items of note

“[W]hen you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors; when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work, and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them against you. . . you may know that your society is doomed.”
--Ayn Rand

"The problems we face today are because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living."


Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings

By Marcus Borg


Uncovers the strange and unexplained parallels Jesus's sermons, Buddha's sayings, and the koans of Zen Buddhist masters.

Through his teachings, Jesus not only created the Christian heritage, he also transcended traditional Western thought to reveal many of the universal truths of Buddhism. As a result, the sayings of Jesus and Buddha are often nearly identical. In Jesus and Buddha, these sayings, as well as equivalences between Jesus and later masters of Zen Buddhism, are presented in parallel fashion on facing pages.

"It is easy to see the fault of others but hard to see one's own", Buddha remarked. "Why do you see the splinter in someone else's eye", Jesus asked, "and never notice the log in your own?"

At the heart of these amazing parallels lie two mysteries How could Jesus, living 500 years after Buddha in a land 3,000 miles from India, teach the same ideals? Some historians believe that Buddhist principles were known throughout the Roman Empire. Certain fringe theorists claim that Jesus was trained in Buddhism and some even insist that he visited India!

Since there's little evidence to support these claims, most scholars dismiss them, leading to the larger mystery, if Jesus was not subject to Buddhist influences, why do so many of his sayings parallel these teachings? Is it possible that the wisdom of Jesus led him not only to lay the foundation for the West's predominant religion but also to communicate many of the truths upon which Eastern beliefs are based?

Jesus and Buddha delves into the mysteries surrounding Christ and the Buddha, traces the life story and beliefs of both, and then presents their dual teachings in a beautifully formatted fashion.

{30 customer reviews}

Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings

Are there universal truths? If we compare the sayings of Jesus and Buddha the answer is a heartfelt yes.

Buddhism and Christianity would appear to have little in common. One is non-theistic for instance, the other, theistic. But the sayings of Jesus and the Buddha, whose teachings gave rise to the two religions are another matter. They have much in common in the realms of ethical behavior, discipleship, compassion, materialism and the inner life. The following are some examples.

Reprinted from Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings edited by Marcus Borg, published by Ulysses Press

Jesus: "Do to others as you would have them do to you." Luke 6:31
Buddha: "Consider others as yourself." Dhammapada 10:1

Jesus: "If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also." Luke 6:29
Buddha: "If anyone should give you a blow with his hand, with a stick, or with a knife, you should abandon any desires and utter no evil words." Majjhima Nikaya 21:6

Jesus: "Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me." Matthew 25:45
Buddha: "If you do not tend to one another, then who is there to tend you? Whoever would tend me, he should tend the sick." Vinaya, Mahavagga 8:26.3

Jesus: "Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take the sword will perish by the sword." Matthew 26:52
Buddha: "Abandoning the taking of life, the ascetic Gautama dwells refraining from taking life, without stick or sword." Digha Nikaya 1:1.8

Jesus: "Those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it." Mark 8:35
Buddha: "With the relinquishing of all thought and egotism, the enlightened one is liberated through not clinging." Majjhima Nikaya 72:15

Jesus: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you." Matthew 28:19-20
Buddha: "Teach the dharma which is lovely at the beginning, lovely in the middle, lovely at the end. Explain with the spirit and the letter in the fashion of Brahma. In this way you will be completely fulfilled and wholly pure." Vinaya Mahavagga 1:11.1


The Original Jesus:
The Buddhist Sources of Christianity

By Elmar R. Gruber and Holger Kersten


{8 customer reviews}


By King James I


King James' early obsession with witchcraft began after a perceived supernatural attempt on his life. Almost single handed, he rewrote English law and ordered all witches put to death. Ultimately his action would lead to the Salem Witch Trials long after his reign. This book written in his hand is a great insight into his paranoia.
Written in 1597 in old English, King James I, the author of the King James Bible, wrote Demonology. This work includes his beliefs in Satan and witches. A historical work and important read for scholars of religion, this title allows readers to study the beliefs and ideas and King James. Demonology is known as one of the most interesting and controversial writings in the history of Christianity.

King James I: Demonologist

By Mary Sharratt


Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion

By Jane Ellen Harrison

Second Edition


Celtic cross measuring angle of stars

Reality 101 Blog

Avro car in flight

Reality 101 Blog

EVOLUTION OF THE UFO - we don't need no steenking aliens

By Harry Mobley 


The Mormon Conspiracy


Barack Obama & Prince Hall Freemasonry



Vigilant Citizen

Sinister Sites – Temple Square Utah

Revisionist History
Romney’s Masonic Mormonism: Lesser of Two Evils?

An Expose'




August 17, 1996


Henry Makow

Iraq War - Was it Worth it?

The Iraq war cost $3 Trillion. 4,800 US soldiers were killed and 32,000 seriously wounded. Iraqi civilian casualties range around 600,000.

Was It Worth It?

"This war will be long seen as boon for the few, and a bane for the many."

(Baghdad correspondent)

In the build-up to the Iraq war, the United States used Iraq's alleged "weapons of mass destruction" to justify the decision to invade the country.

What were the real reasons for the war? What were the costs and benefits from the US point of view?


1. Control of Iraq's oil: Second only to Saudi Arabia, Iraq possesses more than 60% of the world's known oil reserves, amounting to 115 billion barrels. Thanks to the war, American oil companies returned to Iraq, 36 years after Saddam nationalized them. Remarkably, when the war started, oil was just at $26.00 a barrel. After the invasion, prices kept rising to new heights and reached a record of $145.75 in 2008.

2. Preservation of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency: In late 2000, Iraq converted to the Euro in exchange for oil. Had an increasing number of countries followed suit and shifted away from the dollar, the U.S. would have been dealt a huge blow inflicted by a plummeting dollar.

3. Elimination of a threat to Israel: The centrality of Israel in any U.S. Mideast strategy is a foregone conclusion. Iraq possessed Scud long-range ballistic missiles which directly threatened Israel. In 1991, Iraq attacked two Israeli cities with Scud missiles. It was the first time Tel Aviv had been hit in the history of the Israel-Arab conflict. Saddam also doled out thousands of dollars to families of Palestinians killed in fighting
 with Israel. Toppling him stemmed a source of support to Palestinians and eliminated the direct missile threat.

4. Weapons field-testing: In real-battle mode, the Pentagon could use a long list of high-tech and newly developed weapons, such as the highly destructive nano-wave weapons, e-bombs, sensor fuzed weapons, laser weapons and agent defeat bombs.
5. War profiteering: The U.S. targeted the privatization of the Iraqi infrastructure by granting lucrative (no-bid) contracts to the likes of Halliburton, Blackwater, Chevron, Shell, Lockheed, DynCorp, and KBR, all of whom were unwavering supporters of the Bush administration.


In 2011, the Congressional Research Service estimated that the U.S. will have spent almost $802bn on funding the war by the end of fiscal year 2011. The actual cost, however, may exceed 3 trillion dollars when replacement and maintenance costs for equipment and the care for wounded troops are factored in.
On the other hand, 4,487 U.S. troops were killed in addition to 32,223 wounded (one-fifth of whom have suffered serious brain or spinal injuries and one-third have developed serious mental health problems - chief among them, post-traumatic stress disorder - soon after end of deployment).

The war did also exact a toll on Iraqi civilians and government forces. UN reports state that Iraqi civilian casualties, commonly reported to have ranged between 50,000 and 100,000, have been significantly under-reported. Some informed estimates put Iraqi civilian casualties at over 600,000 (including 55,000 Iraqi insurgents), whereas about 5 million Iraqis were permanently or temporarily displaced. Besides, more than 10,000 policemen and soldiers were reported killed as of July 31, 2011.


During his rule, Saddam marginalized the Shi'a and stood as a bulwark rival against Tehran on behalf of neighbors like (Sunni) Saudi Arabia, which funded Iraq's eight-year war against Iran.

The power vacuum in Iraq has been largely filled by Tehran. The invasion had shuffled the cards of the Iraqi domestic power equation: Shi'a have risen to power in Baghdad, Kurds have achieved autonomy, and Sunnis have been pushed to the sidelines. This has played into Iran's hands, enabling it to increase its political and religious influence in a friendlier Iraq.

The post-war Iraq has eased the pressure on Iran. It has created breathing room for Tehran to pay more attention to the U.S. army presence in Afghanistan and to Saudi Arabia, the longtime U.S. ally.
The fall of a longtime foe and the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq have significantly strengthened Iran - hardly something the United States originally intended.


Several American or U.S.-based oil services companies such as ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, and Weatherford International have won huge drilling and well refurbishment contracts and subcontracts.

Some analysts estimate that nearly half of the expected $150 billion that international oil giants are expected to spend at Iraqi oil fields over the next few years will be awarded to American drilling subcontractors.
While other international companies have established a footprint for building facilities and processing pipelines, U.S. oil services companies are set to take over most of the drilling contracts in the six major Iraqi oil fields.


Looking at it from an American prism, the Iraq war turned out to be a bloody, prolonged and high-cost commitment in terms of lives and treasure.

The U.S. credibility has been tarnished by the groundless pre-war claims set forth by the Bush Administration. The removal of Saddam Hussein was eclipsed by the rise of a more belligerent Iran.

The U.S. dollar has maintained its supremacy but the trillions spent in Iraq will burden the U.S. economy for years to come. Israel was relieved from a historical threat only to be replaced by that of the Mullahs in Tehran. The war gained the U.S. unlimited access to Iraqi oil. But while American companies have emerged biggest winners, the U.S. taxpayers have borne the brunt of its gigantic cost.

This war will be long seen as boon for the few, and a bane for the many.

Arutz Sheva

ADL Pulls Out of Interfaith Dialogue Due to 'Outrageous Bias'

ADL has withdrawn from a national interfaith dialogue in response to “a serious breach of trust” by Christian leaders attending meeting.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has withdrawn from participating in a national Jewish-Christian interfaith dialogue, scheduled to take place October 22, in response to “a serious breach of trust” by mainline Protestant Church leaders attending the meeting.

A number of the Protestant leaders participating in the dialogue sent, what the ADL termed, “an outrageous and biased letter” to members of Congress on October 5, accusing Israel of human rights violations and calling for a re-evaluation of U.S. foreign aid to Israel. 

By failing to alert Jewish dialogue participants beforehand, the ADL said that mainline Protestant leaders, who signed on to the letter, had shown a "blatant lack of sensitivity" and "seriously damaged the foundation for mutual respect."

The letter was signed by the current head of the National Council of Churches, as well as leaders of the Presbyterian, Methodist and Lutheran churches, among others, and was issued without notifying any of the churches' longtime Jewish dialogue partners, including ADL.

"In light of the failure of any of the church leaders to reach out to us, we have decided not to attend this interfaith meeting," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  "The blatant lack of sensitivity by the Protestant dialogue partners we had been planning to meet with has seriously damaged the foundation for mutual respect, which is essential for meaningful interfaith dialogue."

The letter called for an investigation into possible violations by Israel of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act and the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, which would make Israel ineligible for U.S. military aid.
"As Christian leaders in the United States, it is our moral responsibility to question the continuation of unconditional U.S. financial assistance to the government of Israel," the letter said.  "Realizing a just and lasting peace will require this accountability, as continued U.S. military assistance to Israel -- offered without conditions or accountability -- will only serve to sustain the status quo and Israel's military occupation of the Palestinian territories.

"We request, therefore, that Congress hold Israel accountable to these standards by making the disbursement of U.S. military assistance to Israel contingent on the Israeli government's compliance with applicable U.S. laws and policies."

Foxman responded by saying, "It is outrageous that mere days after the Iranian president repeated his call for Israel's elimination, these American Protestant leaders would launch a biased attack against the Jewish state by calling on Congress to investigate Israel's use of foreign aid.”

“In its clear bias against Israel, it is striking that their letter fails to also call for an investigation of Palestinian use of U.S. foreign aid, thus once again placing the blame entirely on Israel,” he said.

"We hope that other Jewish organizations will understand the level of disrespect the American Jewish community is being shown here and join us in withdrawing from the interfaith gathering," Foxman added.

Arutz Sheva

Op-Ed: Can We Fight the Biased Anti-Israel Media?

Arutz Sheva

Op-Ed: Jews, Leave Eurauschwitz Now!

Never before has knowledge of the Holocaust been disseminated all over the West as it is today. Yet never before has the anti-Jewish venom and the Nazi style monsterization of Israelis spread like a virus as it is today.

Roi Tov

IDF Photographs its own Defeat

A particularly poor performance of the IAF

Your right to resell your own stuff is in peril

It could become illegal to resell your iPhone 4, car or family antiques

Who Exactly Are The Rothschilds? Amazing...

The Daily Bell

Government in America!

Thursday, October 11, 2012 – by Tibor Machan

The central achievement of the American Revolution was to demote government to a role of cop on the beat. The monarch stopped being the sovereign; the citizen became sovereign instead. Self-government became an aspiration for all people not just rulers.

The idea became prominent, at least for a while, that government's proper role is to secure the natural rights of the citizenry. There was nothing there about a nanny or a regulatory state. John Locke, who identified the most principled version of the classical liberal conception of government, argued that since in "the state of nature" – i.e., prior to civilized society – some people may pose a serious threat to others, a system of laws is needed so as to mark everyone's sphere of authority, a region within which one is in full charge and which others must respect instead of trespass upon.

One's life is the beginning of this sphere; one's liberty follows as does one's private property. What a government is needed for is to keep these safe, to secure the rights to life, liberty, property and whatever derives from these. That is the point of government, nothing else. It is a vital function since without it criminal conduct would very likely go unchecked. But like referees at a sports event, government isn't meant to get involved in the game, only to make sure it goes on peacefully, with everyone's sovereignty secured.
This view of government was, of course, radical to the core. Instead of the century's old top-down rule, by some king or tsar or gang, everyone is supposed to rule oneself and his or her dominion. All interactions among people would in time be voluntary and peaceful. And from this arrangement would emerge a productive, creative, free community and not a hive or colony as with bees or termites.

That is what is individualist about the American system, namely, that a country is to serve the objectives of a great variety of unique citizens and that one particular way of living was not to be imposed on all by a ruler. Government is to serve the citizenry, not the other way around. And contrary to some thinking on the topic, we are not all in it together as in North Korea and other collectivist political communities. Instead of being a sphere for just one kind of life dictated to by a ruler, America was to be a sphere for an immense variety of different lives coexisting peacefully, competing and cooperating, not marching to the same tune.

The details of the American idea course would, of course, be complicated and diverse but one idea was at the center of it all: None may violate the basic principles on which such a system rests, the basic rights of every individual. The only role for force was to be defensive and retaliatory. No one may initiate it with impunity, not even for noble goals a leader might wish to force upon the rest.

That is the American political alternative, the American political tradition, not the collectivist ideal pursued by some political thinkers and "leaders."


Posted by Libertarian Jerry on 10/11/12 09:32 AM

Excellent synopsis of what America was and what it became. Why was the collectivist genie allowed to escape from the bottle? Probably 2 reasons. 1. The endless drive for control and power by the Elites. 2. The basic dishonesty, jealousy and coveting of a voting majority of Americans. I would also add into the mix the drive for power by the Leftists, who over the last 90 years or so, have used Cultural Marxist methods to impose their worldview on the rest of us. Staying with the Elitist theme, the American Revolution was mainly about the American colonists trying to break away from the yoke of the Bank of England and its use of the state to collect taxes for its interest payments. Today the money men hide behind a creature called the Federal Reserve. It seems that in 225 plus years America has traded one money master for another.

  Posted by DarbyJie on 10/11/12 06:38 AM

But then came the Kantian school of philosophy, dead set on destroying such a ridiculous notion as men having unalienable rights. Why this morbid philosophy, which postulated a *second* hidden reality, a denial of man's ability to be sure of anything and man's "duty" to seek 'the greatest good for the greatest number' acquired such a death grip on our national psyche is hard to understand -- but it was (and still is) embraced with great devotion, while man's rights to freedom has become -- in philosophical circles-- a discredited, 'immoral' concept.

We have not returned yet to the simple goodness of our founders' philosophy of "natural rights", and thus still suffer the loss the absence of this world view creates in our lives and spirits. A true, unheralded tragedy for America. But yes, this was indeed a most unique country originally. When we are chided for our American 'Excepionalism' - well, we WERE exceptional, for a far too brief period of time~

Thanks to Dr. Machan for this excellent article.

  Posted by Hapa on 10/11/12 03:46 AM

well said... long live individual liberty...


NARUC is the national association representing the State Public Service Commissioners who regulate essential utility services in your State. NARUC members are responsible for assuring reliable utility service at fair, just, and reasonable rates.

Founded in 1889, the Association is an invaluable resource for its members and the regulatory community, providing a venue to set and influence public policy, share best practices, and foster innovative solutions to improve regulation.

Hon. David A. Wright,

President NARUC

Before Its News
Nanny-stater columnist for the Charleston City Paper says “communitarianism” overrides personal liberty on smoking bans

Detax Canada





Any guesses as to which flag
is the true flag of
the People of the united states of America?

A 1913 picture of a U.S. Customs House flying the flag of the Republic

John Hoefle On The Black Tower Show

Mr. Hoefle, economics editor of Executive Intelligence Review and affiliated with the Lyndon LaRouche organization, offers an important historical perspective on the house of cards which is the current US and world financial system

Mont Pelerin Society

The Conquest of Poverty

By Henry Hazlitt

(1972; 1996)

Remembering Henry Hazlitt      

Hazlitt Both Reported on and Contributed to the Field of Economics

Pro-Business Policies as Ideology

. . . when I was a young man, only the very old men still believed in the
free-market system. When I was in my middle ages I myself and nobody
else believed in it. And now I have the pleasure of having lived long
enough to see that the young people again believe in it. And that is a
very important change.


Ideologies perform essential political functions of informing the public,
mobilising supporters and energising leaders and other activists . . . An
effective ideology will mobilise political supporters to share the general
beliefs and goals of a party, interest group or politician. 




The Road from Mont Pèlerin

The Making of the
Neoliberal Thought Collective


Threats to Freedom Then and Now

The Mont Pelerin Society after 50 Years

Mont Pelerin Society

Inventory of the General Meeting Files (1947-1998)


Fifty Years of the Mont Pelerin Society

Second Annual Conference on the History of Recent Economics

Technical University of Lisbon

5-7 June 2008

Means and Ends in Post-War Liberalism

Prof. J. Daniel Hammond
Prof. Claire H. Hammond
Department of Economics

Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, NC 27109 USA

16 May 2008 draft

“To deny that the end justifies the means is indirectly to assert that the end in question is
not the ultimate end, that the ultimate end is itself the use of proper means”
--Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom

“When we say economism, we mean one of the forms of social rationalism …. We mean
the incorrigible mania of making the means the end, of thinking only of bread and never
of those other things of which the Gospel speaks”
--Wilhelm Röpke, A Humane Economy


The Mont Pelerin Society, the brainchild of F.A. Hayek, was an attempt to reclaim and
reenergize liberalism in light of the intellectual onslaughts of socialism, communism and
Nazism in the first part of the twentieth century. But in April 1947 as Hayek and his
fellow conferees departed the inaugural meeting of the Society for their homes in Europe
and America, they were united more in their sense of impending crisis from growing
worldwide nationalism and state control than in a shared understanding of the moral and
philosophical foundations of liberalism. The program of the Mont Pelerin meeting
included five sessions on economic issues such as monetary reform, trade unions, and
agricultural policy; two sessions on post-war Europe; and two on historiography and
politics. There was one session on liberalism and Christianity, and four on the purpose
and organization of the nascent Mont Pelerin Society. The latter five sessions proved to
be contentious. In retrospect this is not surprising, as these discussions went to the very
nature and purpose of a liberal association such as the Mont Pelerin Society and of a
liberal politics. The question of the nature and purpose of liberalism was not settled at the
first Mont Pelerin Society meeting and we suspect that it remains unsettled today.
After Hayek made opening remarks, a committee composed of himself, Walter
Eucken, H.D. Gideonse, Henry Hazlitt, Carl Iverson, and John Jewkes1 prepared a
document stating organizational aims for the permanent body. The document failed to
gain sufficient support for adoption and Lionel Robbins was asked to write a second
draft. Robbin’s version was adopted, and remained the Society’s only official statement
of aims for the organization. There has never been an official Mont Pelerin Society
statement of a liberal creed. The Mont Pelerin Society began as and remains an
organization committed to inquiry and discussion “among minds inspired by certain
ideals and broad conceptions held in common, to contribute to the preservation and
improvement of the free society” (Hartwell 1995) (p. 42).

What were the ideals and broad conceptions held in common? Our thesis is that
the original Mont Pelerin Society members held less in common on what they were in
favor of and why than on what they were opposed to. While there was agreement that
liberalism was important, there was not agreement on the foundations of a liberal order,
or on the fundamental reasons for its importance. In terms of means and ends, their lack
of consensus on these foundational issues meant that their focus shifted from discussions
of the ends which liberalism furthered to the means of furthering liberalism. Those
assembled at Mont Pelerin were united in opposition to communism and socialism. They
were united in favor of personal liberty and the prosperity that would result from
competitive capitalism. But they were not of one mind about the purpose that liberalism
served; the end to which a liberal order is directed. For that matter, they were not united
on the purpose of prosperity. To illustrate their failure to come to terms with the ultimate
goal of a liberal order we will examine the two versions of the statement of aims that
were considered at Mont Pelerin, along with contemporaneous writings of Hayek and
three other charter members of the Mont Pelerin Society. Our selection of the three --
Wilhelm Röpke, Frank H. Knight, and Milton Friedman -- is based on their views of the
roles of religion (ends) and of science (means) in the task of rebuilding liberalism. This
survey will reveal the boundaries of the “ideals and broad conceptions held in common”
at Mont Pelerin.

Hayek’s Vision and the Mont Pelerin Conference

In his History of the Mont Pelerin Society Max Hartwell suggests that the reason
the statement of aims drafted by the committee fell short of adoption may have been
either that it was too uncompromising and overly specific or that it was too long and
diffuse (Hartwell 1995) (p.40). The committee’s version, however, is not longer by much
than the Robbins’s second draft, and at first glance is not substantially different in

We begin with a look at Robbins’s statement of aims, the one that was adopted. It
opens by identifying “the crisis of our times.”

Central values of civilization are in danger. Over large stretches of the
earth’s surface the essential conditions of human dignity and freedom have
already disappeared. In others they are under constant menace from the
development of current tendencies of policy. The position of the
individual and the voluntary group are progressively undermined by
extensions of arbitrary power. Even the most precious possession of
Western Man, freedom of thought and expression, is threatened by the
spread of creeds which, claiming the privilege of tolerance when in the
position of a minority, seek only to establish a position of power in which
they can suppress and obliterate all views but their own” (Hartwell 1995).
(p. 41).

About time: 21 Hours

The Harder We Work The More We ... Lose, Waste, and Pollute

The British economist John Maynard Keynes wrote an essay in 1913 in which he predicted that by this time, we'd work an average of about 15 hours a week and we'd be 4 to 5 times richer.

That famously did not happen. Several factors, like monetary policy and resulting inflation just to name two, contribute to the fact that the exact opposite happened. We are working more, earning less, and the whole culture is greedier, more exhausted, more damaging to the environment - just spinning our wheels more than ever.

The harder we work the more we...lose. We are losing quality time, and quality of life. The hidden costs are undermining us from within.

What we are focused on here is looking at what can be gained from working less. The NEF, New Economic Foundation is an independent "Think and Do Tank" in the UK that inspires and demonstrates real economic well being. They put together a report spotlighted in this video that claims the ideal work week would be 21 hours.

Juliet Schor is a Professor of sociology at Boston College. She studies trends in working time and leisure, consumerism, the relationship between work and family, women's issues and economic justice. In this video we hear her explain: "Reduced working hours are a powerful lever for making transformational change. Improving working hours provides us with what we call in economics a triple dividend possibility: 1. Improving the employment picture, improving ecological outcomes, and improving quality of life."

She also makes the point that countries who are on a path of reduced working hours have lower ecological footprints.

Those who have a little more time can be better parents, better community members, can take care of their health, drive less, grow food, make more things instead of buy them, in short: consume less and have more.

--Bibi Farber

For more info on the NEF see

List of Obama Czars (Updated)

Latest Subtraction: Richard Holbrooke, as Af-Pak Czar.

We now have 35 Presidential Czars and Czarinas.

On my list, I do not include people who were appointed by the President but needed the Senate confirmation and/or are under Senate oversight. (Or I try to...)

Latest Subtraction (12/13/2010)
Richard Holbrooke, Af-Pak Czar (aka U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan) died from torn aorta.

Latest Addition (9/17/2010)
Elizabeth Warren, assistant to the President and special advisor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner regarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Latest Addition (7/21/2010)
David Blumenthal as Electronic Health Record Czar, aka National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

(Did you know that a huge chunk of health care "reform" was passed already when the Congress passed $800 billion stimulus back in February 2009? You would have known if you had read my post way back when. I would link it if only I could find that post...)

Latest addition (7/16/2010)
Health Food Czar Sam Kass, who continues to be the White House chef. Mr. Kass, who was Obama's personal chef back in Chicago (a mere Senator could afford a personal chef??), has been quietly appointed as "Senior Policy Adviser for Healthy Food Initiatives".

Other Czars and senior staff are paid $172,200, but there is no information about Mr. Kass's salary.

Latest addition (6/15/2010)
Oil Drilling Czar Michael Bromwich, in the wake of continuing disaster in the Gulf.

Latest addition (10/19/09)
Food Safety Czar Michael Taylor, ex-Monsanto executive and lobbyist
Manufacturing Czar Ron Bloom (double duty as Car Czar)

Latest subtraction (10/19/09)
Green Czar Van Jones resigned on September 5, 2009

Latest additions (8/31/09):
AIDS Czar Jefferey Crowley
Counterterrorism Czar (or Homeland Security Czar) John Brennan
Religion Czar Joshua DuBois (a 26-year old pastor who worked in Obama campaigns)
Trade Czar Ron Kirk
Safe School Czar Kevin Jennings (He is a founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).)

Latest addition (8/25/09):

Green Czar Van Jones has been added. He was a co-founder of Color of Change, an African American political advocacy group which is now actively campaigning for the boycott of advertisers to Glenn Beck's program on Fox News. Green Czar's formal title is "special advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality".

Latest addition (8/21/09):

Science Czar John P. Holdren has been added. He advises President Obama on climate change and other science matters. According to the Senate Commerce Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV, Dr. Holdren is so miraculous that he can walk on water. Dr. Holdren has other rather unique ideas and philosophies on wide-ranging subjects (wealth, health, life), which will warrant a separate post.

Update - correction (8/17/09):

Vivek Kundra, previously listed as Technology Czar, turns out to be Information Czar. Technology Czar is actually his buddy, Aneesh Chopra, who got the job despite the fact that he doesn't appear to have any technology training (BA from Johns Hopkins University, Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University).

Already appointed: 35
  1. AIDS Czar (Jefferey Crowley)
  2. Automotive Communities and Workers Czar (Ed Montgomery)
  3. Bailout Czar (Herb Allison)
  4. Car Czar (Ron Bloom)
  5. Climate Czar (Todd Stern
  6. Consumer Protection Czar (Elizabeth Warren)
  7. Counterterrorism Czar (or Homeland Security Czar John Brennan)
  8. Drug Czar (Gil Kerlikowske )
  9. Economic Czar (Lawrence Summers. Or is it Paul Volcker?)
  10. Education Czar (Arne Duncan)
  11. Electronic Health Records Czar (David Blumenthal)
  12. Energy Czar (Carol Browner)
  13. Food Safety Czar (Michael Taylor)
  14. Great Lakes Czar (Cameron Davis)
  15. Guantanamo Closure Czar (Daniel Fried)
  16. Healthcare Czar (Nancy-Ann DeParle)
  17. Health Food Czar (Sam Kass)
  18. Information Czar (Vivek Kundra)
  19. Iran/Middle East Czar (Dennis Ross)
  20. Manufacturing Czar (Ron Bloom)
  21. Middle East Czar (George Mitchell)
  22. Oil Drilling Czar (Michael Bromwich)
  23. Pay Czar (Kenneth Feinberg)
  24. Performance Czar (Jeffrey Zients. She had to withdraw because of some tax problem...)
  25. Regulatory Czar (Cas Sunstein)
  26. Religion Czar (Joshua DuBois)
  27. Safe School Czar (Kevin Jennings)
  28. Science Czar (John P. Holdren)
  29. Stimulus Accountability Czar (Earl Devaney)
  30. Technology Czar (Aneesh Chopra)
  31. Trade Czar (Ron Kirk)
  32. U.S. Border Czar (Alan Bersin)
  33. Urban & Housing Czar (Adolfo Carrion Jr.)
  34. Violence Against Women Czar (Lynn Rosenthal)
  35. WMD Czar (Gary Samore)
To be appointed:

Financial Regulation Czar (With the passage of so-called financial "regulation" bill, this is all but inevitable; or it may just mean the double duty for Chairman Bernanke.)
Cyberspace Czar
Copyright Czar (I have no idea if anyone got appointed. Here's petitioning for one.)
High-Value Detainee Interrogation Czar (See the post.)
Green Czar, to be re-filled after Van Jones resigned;
Af-Pak Czar to be re-filled, as Richard Holbrook died.

Speculative, for now:

Urban Demolition Czar (Dan Kildee)
Fat Czar (Richard Simmons) - I guess Sam Kass's appointment killed this one.
Art Czar (see the post, 3rd topic on the post)

 Global Corporate Fascism - Citizens are now customers

Occupy Corporatism

Swiss Study Shows 147 Technocratic “Super Entities” Rule the World

By Suzanne Posel

The Swiss Federal Institute (SFI) in Zurich released a study entitled “The Network of Global Corporate Control” that proves a small consortiums of corporations – mainly banks – run the world. A mere 147 corporations which form a “super entity” have control 40% of the world’s wealth; which is the real economy.
These mega-corporations are at the center of the global economy. The banks found to be most influential include:

• Barclays
• Goldman Sachs
• JPMorgan Chase & Co
• Vanguard Group
• Deutsche Bank
• Bank of New York Melon Corp
• Morgan Stanley
• Bank of America Corp
• Société Générale

However as the connections to the controlling groups are networked throughout the world, they become the catalyst for global financial collapse.

James Glattfelder, complex systems theorist at the SFI explains: “In effect, less than one per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network.”

 Using mathematic models normally applied to natural systems, the researchers analyzed the world’s economy. Their data was taken from Orbis 2007, a database which lists 37 million corporations and investors. The evidence showed that the world’s largest corporations are interconnected to all other companies and their professional decisions affect all markets across the globe.
George Sudihara, complex systems expert for SFI claims that this phenomenon is a common structure that could be found in nature. Comparing the manufactured reality of the financial markets to the ecosystems of the planet, Sudihara says that although the 147 corporations that rule the world through influence and interconnectedness are no more harmful than the natural cycles of our weather or animal kingdoms.

Yet because of the facts presented in the study, the financial crash of 2008 can be traced back to these tightly-knit networks. Future disasters can also be projected based on this analysis because of the “connectedness” of these influential entities which are only 147 corporations.

It is suggested the global capitalism could be a useful tool to make the markets more stable by simply acquiescing to control by the technocrats. The world’s transitional corporations (TNCs) guide the flow of all economies through influence and manipulation which created a structure of economic power. Most corporations are guided by the shareholders who use the companies to wield incredible power over the shift of economic consciousness. And the behavior of the system reflects the direction taken by those who fund the super entities.

Assumed by many that there was a complex architecture to the global economic power that caused financial systems to ebb and flow or crash and burn is not a scientific fact as evidenced in this study.

As the banking cartels force countries in the EuroZone into sovereign debt, there is a weakening of the many multi-national corporations around the world. Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase have financially gained while stocks are being unloaded in other markets.

This sovereign land-grab by the central banking cartels across Europe is mirrored in a recent Goldman Sachs report: “The more the Spanish administration indulges domestic political interests … the more explicit conditionality is likely to be demanded.” In other words the technocrats working for the Zionists are acquiring each country in the EuroZone.

The European Central Bankers agreed to give any nation in the Euro-Zone a bailout if they agreed to hand over the country to them under the guise of “new rules and conditions when applying for assistance.”

As America drifts downstream toward economic implosion, the Federal Reserve headed by Ben Bernanke has chosen a different approach. They unveiled QE3 last week as a pump and dump scheme to prop up the US dollar by printing cash that is backed by nothing, while purchasing the mortgage-backed securities from the same banks that created the scandal and acquiring land in a massive land-grab; the likes of which have never been seen in the US.

Simultaneously, the BRICs nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are buying gold to back their fiat currencies to avoid being caught up in the destruction of the technocrats as they march toward one world currency. BRICs have become the anti-thesis to the banking cartels of the Zionist regime.

As these nations pair with Middle Eastern countries like Iran to trade gold for petrol instead of the US dollar as the global reserve currency, the Obama administration has begun a propaganda campaign against China involving a manufactured cyber-threat.

In Iran, the terrorist factions that do the bidding of the Zionists to topple governments by inciting fake revolutions have been deployed to Iran to stir-up trouble and blame the failing Ra-il which is being strategically destroyed by sanctions placed on the nation by the US. The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) coerced the US Congress to pass HR 1905 which further tighten the economic noose around Iran for the benefit of the Zionist-controlled Israeli government.

In April of this year, the BRICs nations met to agree upon a strategy that would liberate the countries of the world from the grip of the technocrats. The BRICs countries are pushing for peace, but not through force and occupation of other countries to obtain this goal.

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia had this to say about the United Nations and their obvious attempts at global governance through usurpation of powers over countries. “One of the priorities of BRICs for the years to come should be the strengthening and key role of the UN’s Security Council in maintaining international peace and security. And also ensuring that the UN is not used as a cover for regime change and unilateral actions to resolve conflict situations.”

A joint BRICs bank was discussed with vigor. It would serve as an alternative to central banks that abuse their power at the expense of nations worldwide. They hope to replace the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The IMF and World Bank are alarmed by this move and highly disapprove of it.
This is not shocking, considering that the central banks play a game of printing fiat that has no precious metals backing the paper.

Over 180 countries have signed onto the BRICs agreement as evidenced in their declaration. While the global Elite still hold power over the G5 countries, the rest of the world is standing up, severing their ties and making plans for a new world without them.


Index of /files

Russian General: “The USSR Collapsed and the Same Fate Has Been Prepared for the USA”

The 'Holocaust' For Dummies

Internet Sources


JR Books Online

The Thinking Man's

A Michael Walsh



"I believe that there can be nothing of value which is not in the last resort based on reason. I refuse to believe that in statesmanship one should regard as right any views which are not anchored in reason."

- Adolf Hitler. Karlsruhe, 13th March 1936

A Michael Walsh Compilation of Adolf Hitler's Statements with editorial added.

{Heavily footnoted - see at above link...}

Who Killed JFK?

August 16, 2011 — Dean Henderson

(Excerpted from Chapter 9: The Texas Oil Mafia: Big Oil & Their Bankers…)

Texaco insider Clint Murchison had meat packing interests in Haiti which were looked after by CIA agent George de Mohrenschildt, a wealthy Russian oilman and, according to the FBI, a Nazi spy during WWII.  It was de Mohrenschildt who drove Lee Harvey Oswald from New Orleans to Dallas days before the November 22, 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Gaeton Fonzi, a special investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations, was on his way to interview de Mohrenschildt in Florida regarding his role in the JFK hit when the CIA agent was found with a shotgun blast through his head.  De Mohrenschildt’s diaries were later uncovered.  One entry read, “Bush, George H. W. (Poppy), 1412 W Ohio also Zapata Petroleum Midland”. [374]

Kennedy had done plenty to piss off the US military establishment.  In October 1963 he pulled 1,000 advisers out of Southeast Asia and issued NSAM 363 – a blueprint for a total Vietnam withdrawal.  He sent US Ambassador to Guinea William Atwood to Cuba to begin talks with Fidel Castro, after publicly blasting the CIA’s bungling of the Bay of Pigs operation.  Kennedy said he wanted to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds” and that he understood Castro‘s revolutionary struggle against dictator and Meyer Lansky crony Fulgencio Batista, who Kennedy called, “an incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the US”. [375]

Ted Shackley, Santos Trafficante and the CIA boys running Operation Mongoose – which aimed to assassinate Castro – were especially outraged at Kennedy.  Major General Edward Lansdale had commandeered Operation Mongoose and escalated it into a small war against Cuba.  In 1955 Lansdale helped Lucien Conein set up the South Vietnamese Opium Monopoly under President Nguyen Cao Ky.  The CIA continued to train anti-Castro rebels in south Florida and around Lake Ponchartrain outside New Orleans, even after JFK had the FBI raid the camps.

Kennedy fired CIA Director and Rockefeller cousin Allen Dulles, CIA Deputy Director Charles Cabell (whose brother was the mayor of Dallas) and CIA Deputy Director of Plans Richard Bissell.  Richard Helms was Bissell’s successor at the Company’s dirty tricks bureau, as the Plans section was known.  Helms was tight with James “Jesus” Angleton, who ran the CIA’s MK-ULTRA mind control program for years, utilizing techniques Dulles obtained in Switzerland from the House of Saud Muslim Brotherhood.
All the Watergate plumbers came from an Operation Mongoose offshoot known as Operation 40.  Plumber Howard Hunt was paymaster for Operation 40, which also included plumbers Bernard Barker and Enterprise liaison Rafael Quintero.  Plumber Frank Sturgis ran the Miami-based International Anti-Communist Brigade, which was funded by Santos Trafficante through his Teamsters Local 320 front.  The other Watergate burglars were Felipe Diego and Rolando Martinez. They were buddies with OSS China hand William Pawley, who had owned sugar refineries in Cuba as well as the country’s bus line. [376]
Hunt ran the Miami based Double-Chek, a CIA channel during the Bay of Pigs.  Sturgis physically attacked Vietnam War opponent Daniel Ellsberg on the steps of the Capitol and recruited agent provocateurs to disrupt peaceful protests at the 1972 Democratic Convention. [377]

As part of Operation 40 Frank Sturgis recruited Marita Lorenz to seduce Castro, then kill him.  Miss Lorenz says she rode to Dallas in a vehicle loaded with weapons with Frank Sturgis, Jerry Patrick Hemming, two Cuban exile brothers named Novis and a pilot named Pedro Diaz Lanz.  Lorenz says they arrived in Dallas the day before Kennedy was shot, where they met Howard Hunt at a local hotel.

Fletcher Prouty was an Air Force intelligence officer who had been part of Kennedy’s fact-finding mission which resulted in the NSAM 263 directive calling for a US pullout of Vietnam.  On November 10, 1963 Prouty’s boss Edward Lansdale reassigned him to a South Pole desk job.  Twelve days later Kennedy was assassinated.  Prouty swears that a photograph of Dealey Plaza on the day of the assassination shows Edward Lansdale walking away from the scene of the crime. [378]

Others have identified Howard Hunt as one of the tramps who lurked on the railroad tracks behind the grassy knoll from where the fatal shot was fired.

George Bush Sr. headed Houston-based Zapata Offshore Petroleum from 1956-1964.  According to authors William Cooper and David Icke, in 1961 Zapata got the CIA into the Columbian cocaine business.  Zapata’s offshore oil platforms were used to transship cocaine, while the Four Horsemen shipped chemicals to Columbia necessary in the production of coke. [379]

One CIA operation to invade Cuba was code-named Operation Zapata.  Two Navy ships used in the attempt were named Barbara and Houston.

An FBI memo from J. Edgar Hoover dated 11-23-63 discusses briefing “George Bush of CIA” on the Kennedy assassination, which had occurred one day earlier.  Bush was in Dallas on November 22nd.  One intelligence source stated, “I know he (Bush) was involved in the Caribbean.  I know he was involved in the suppression of things after the Kennedy assassination”. [380]

In a 1973 interview published in the Atlantic Monthly, Kennedy Vice-President and successor Lyndon Johnson – himself a Texas oilman – hinted at a conspiracy on that gloomy day in Dallas and talked of a “Murder Incorporated” being run by the CIA out of the Caribbean.  Johnson was referring to Permindex (Permanent Industrial Exhibitions) – an assassination bureau run by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) of Britain’s MI6.

According to a book published by Executive Intelligence Review called Dope Inc.: The Book That Drove Kissinger Crazy, Permindex was funded by the Canadian Bronfman family and the wealthy Polish Solidarist Radziwill family.  Permindex leader, MI6 SOE Colonel Sir William “Intrepid” Stephenson, had earlier deployed the Meyer Lansky syndicate and helped rehabilitate Lucky Luciano.  SOE Colonel Louis Mortimer Bloomfield was an OSS veteran and Bronfman liaison who chaired Permindex since its 1958 founding in Montreal and Geneva.  SOE and Permindex insider General Julius Klein ran guns to the murderous Haganah when the Zionists seized Israel from the Palestinians.  He “handles” Buffalo mob boss Max Fischer and Carl Lindner at United Brands – whose banana boats, according to DEA, regularly ship cocaine to the US. [381]

Other SOE members included David Sarnoff, whose RCA conglomerate at that time formed the core of the US National Security Agency; and Walter Sheridan, who provided intelligence to Resorts International and fugitive financier Robert Vesco.  The most familiar member of SOE was Colonel Clay Shaw- whose son of same name is a Florida Congressman serving on a House Narcotics Task force.

Shaw was an OSS veteran who later became Director of the New Orleans International Trade Mart – the US subsidiary of Permindex.  Shaw was indicted in 1969 for his role in the Kennedy assassination by New Orleans attorney Jim Garrison.  During the trial, 17 key prosecution witnesses died and Garrison became the target of a smear campaign.

Shaw served under Stephenson for twenty years starting in WWII, where he had been OSS liaison to Winston Churchill.  SOE operatives infiltrated the FBI and formed Division Five, a British intelligence Fifth Column which was headed by Bloomfield.  Both Bloomfield and Shaw were present at a series of meetings in Montego Bay, Jamaica in 1963.  The meetings were held at the Tyndall Compound, built by Sir William Stephenson to serve British intelligence interests in the Caribbean after WWII.

Stephenson had launched BRINCO, an energy exploration firm financed by the Oppenheimer family’s Rio Tinto.  He moved to Jamaica in 1949 and set up the British-American-Canadian Corporation with financing from UK merchant banking giant Hambros.  It was Stephenson who helped Allen Dulles stash the Hitler and Goebell trusts in Swiss bank accounts after WWII.  Now he presided over the Montego Bay meetings where, according to many Kennedy assassination researchers, the JFK hit was planned.

Those present at the meetings included Ferenc Nagy, a WWII cabinet minister in the pro-Hitler Horthy government of Hungary, who later became Hungarian Prime Minister; Georgio Mantello, a Romanian emigre who served as Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s Trade Minister; Paul Raigoradsky, a Russian Solidarity leader; and Jean de Menil, an old money European aristocrat and Russian president of Schlumberger, the giant oil industry service provider and frequent CIA arms conduit based in Houma, LA. [382]

All present at Tyndall were executives of Permindex, whose board members included Roy Cohn, former general counsel to Sen. Joe McCarthy; Montreal crime boss Joe Bonnano; Mussolini Agriculture Minister Count Guitierez de Spadafora of the Italian House of Savoy; Hapsburg and Wittelsbach family banker Hans Seligman of Basel; Carlo d’Amelio, Rome attorney for the Houses of Savoy and Pallavicini; King Farouk of Egypt’s uncle Munir Chourbagi; and Guiseppe Zigiotti, head of the Italian Fascist Association for Militia Arms.  Permindex was a front for Nazi International.

Colonel Louis Bloomfield was a partner at Philips, Vineberg, Bloomfield & Goodman – attorneys for the Canadian Bronfman family.  In 1968 the firm was forced to delete Bloomfield’s name from its letterhead when French President Charles de Gaulle publicly exposed Bloomfield for his role in the assassination attempt on de Gaulle.

De Gaulle named Credit Suisse of Geneva as financier of Bloomfield’s attempted putsch and traced its origin to NATO Headquarters in Brussels.  Permindex was forced to move out of Europe to fascist-friendly South Africa.  Simultaneously, de Gaulle kicked the Israeli Mossad out of France due to its cozy relations with Permindex.  Credit Suisse Canada has been identified by some researchers as SOE paymaster for the Permindex assassination of JFK, which was accomplished after Stephenson set up an operations command center in David Sarnoff’s RCA Building at New York’s Rockefeller Center.

Bloomfield worked under the cover of Israeli Continental Corporation and the Canadian subsidiary of Heineken Breweries.  He controlled the Ran Histadrut “charity”, which constitutes 33% of Israel’s GNP; and Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s second largest bank and a favorite Mossad conduit.  Bloomfield was director of the Israeli-Canadian Maritime League and served as Canadian Consul-General in Liberia.  There he worked with the only other foreign diplomat in Monrovia – Banque du Credit Internacionale’s (BCI) Tibor Rosenbaum – in establishing Liberia’s status as an off-shore banking center and in making Liberia’s flag available to international shippers who wished to disguise their true country of origin.  The Liberian flag has been well utilized by drugs and arms smugglers.

Bloomfield was also chairman of the Red Cross Ambulance Service, a post traditionally held by the top Knight in Queen Elizabeth II’s modern-day roundtable – Most Venerable Military & Hospitalier Order of St. John of Jerusalem.  Though known for its more “charitable” side – which includes selling donated blood for around $100/pint – the Red Cross is officially an intelligence arm of the British monarchy. [383]

According to Dope Inc., Tibor Rosenbaum’s BCI was a key bank in the Permindex assassination of Kennedy, transferring funds from Bank Hapoalim to New Orleans FBI Division Five Station Chief Guy Bannister.  Bannister’s agent Jerry Brooks Gaitlin doled out the cash to Hunt and his Cuban team of assassins.  Both Bannister and Gaitlin died under mysterious circumstances.

Howard Hunt’s Double Chek was a subsidiary of Centro Mondiale Commerciale, the Permindex Rome branch.  William Seymour, the Oswald double who played Cuban sympathizer for months before the Kennedy hit, met with Clay Shaw and David Ferrie to form a triangulation of fire plan.  The actual Oswald was on SOE Division Five payroll.

According to many researchers, the weapons for the Kennedy coup came through Schlumberger and the seven-shooter hit team consisted of an elite group put together by J. Edgar Hoover and Sir William Stephenson in 1943.  The team was formed through the American Council of Christian Churches (ACCC), which Bloomfield, Stephenson and Hoover founded as cover for US and British intelligence via ACCC Latin American missions.

ACCC is a network of aristocratic far-right religions. Its west coast director E. E. Bradley was indicted by New Orleans prosecutor Jim Garrison for his role in the JFK hit.  David Ferrie worked under ACCC cover.  An ACCC orphan school near Puebla, Mexico was used to train 25-30 of the world’s premier marksmen.  ACCC Minister Albert Osborne ran the school after he fled the US due to his support of Hitler during WWII.  These “students” carried out the Kennedy assassination.  Assassins from this same team may have deployed to kill both Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. [384]

Kennedy was scheduled to speak at the Dallas Trademart – a Permindex affiliate – the day he was gunned down.  After the Kennedy assassination Permindex morphed into Intertel, while BCI was replaced by Robert Vesco’s Bahamas-based Resorts International – whose lawyers included Paul Helliwell and Kennedy Justice Department hack Robert Peloquin, who served in Naval Intelligence and with NSA before joining Justice.

Resorts International has its headquarters on Paradise Island, which is owned by Huntington Hartford, scion of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company.  Intertel is officially a subsidiary of Resorts and its board included Howard Hunt buddy Edward Mullin of FBI Division Five and president of the Bronfman family-controlled Royal Bank of Canada, David Belisle of NSA and Sir Randolph Bacon – former head of Scotland Yard.  Intertel provides security for Caribbean and Las Vegas casinos and moved gambling and horse racing into Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The Warren Commission which “investigated” the Kennedy assassination was stacked with the very cronies Kennedy had denounced.  Allen Dulles, the CIA Director whom Kennedy had fired, loomed large over the proceedings, steering the inquiry away from any hint of CIA involvement.  FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was a right-wing fanatic who despised Kennedy.  President Gerald Ford, then a Michigan Senator, leaked information on the hearings to FBI Assistant Director Cartha De Loach. [385]  Senators Arlen Spector (D-PA) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) are prominent members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which oversees CIA activity.

But the most influential member of the Warren Commission was Chase Manhattan Bank chairman John McCloy, who later directed the World Bank.  McCloy was attorney for the Saudi-based ARAMCO and helped David Rockefeller spirit the Shah out of Iran.

Kennedy had angered the US military establishment but his death sentence was signed by the international bankers.

Kennedy had announced a crackdown on off-shore tax havens and proposed increases in tax rates on large oil and mining companies.  He supported eliminating tax loopholes which benefit the super-rich.  His economic policies were publicly attacked by Fortune magazine, the Wall Street Journal and both David and Nelson Rockefeller.  Kennedy’s own Treasury Secretary Douglas Dillon, who came from the Bechtel-controlled Dillon Read investment bank, voiced opposition to the JFK proposals. [386]

Kennedy’s fate was sealed in June 1963 when he authorized the issuance of more than $4 billion in United States Notes by his Treasury Department in an attempt to circumvent the high interest rate usury of the Eight Families Federal Reserve international banker crowd.  President Lincoln had made a similar move 100 years earlier and suffered the same consequences.

The wife of accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, who was conveniently gunned down by Jack Ruby before Ruby quickly died in prison, told author A. J. Weberman in 1994, “The answer to the Kennedy assassination is with the Federal Reserve Bank.  Don’t underestimate that.  It’s wrong to blame it on Angleton and the CIA per se only.  This is only one finger on the same hand.  The people who supply the money are above the CIA”. [387]

New Orleans Trade Mart Director and SOE operative Clay Shaw’s address book contained the names of many powerful people who may have “supplied the money”.  They included international oligarchs Maquesse Guiseppe Rey of Italy, Baron Rafaelo de Banfield of Italy, Princess Jaqueline Chimay of France, Lady Margaret D’Arcy of England, Lady Hulce of England and Sir Michael Duff of England. [388]

But perhaps the most interesting phone number in Shaw’s address book belonged to Sir Steven Runciman, an elite historian with insider knowledge of the Knights Templar and their Priory of Sion inner sanctum.  Warren Commission Chairman Earl Warren, John McCloy, Allen Dulles, J. Edgar Hoover and Gerald Ford were all 33rd Degree Illuminized Freemasons.

Visitors to the Dealey Plaza assassination site report seeing an obelisk dedicated to Freemasonry.  Dallas – headquarters for illumination merchant Exxon Mobil and much of corporate America – sits on the 33rd parallel.

The Hollow Men

A poem by T.S. Elliott

The Third Millennium BC (3100-2100 BC)

The Period of the First Great Civilizations. Where there great asteroid/comet impacts. Do the flood stories base on what really happened. What caused the drop of temperature and drying around the Mediterranean?
The sudden beginning, did something happen in 3114 BC? Why did the first great civilisations collapse suddenly and at the same time around 2200 BC?


The problem with intellectually insecure whites

By Kevin MacDonald

January 19, 2009

Real Jew News

Unmasking The Structures
Of Jewish Thought

By Brother Nathanael Kapner, Copyright 2012

Real Jew News

The New Jewish Hostile Elite

Interview of Nathanael Kapner with Kevin MacDonald PhD

Interview transcript

The Occidental Observer

Kevin MacDonald: Jews as a hostile elite–again

Kevin MacDonald: Peter Brimelow ends his recent article (”Redneckophobia”? Why Obama Is Attacking Arizona“) by noting : “Our political class may live in a fantasy world, but the motive for its immigration enthusiasm is all too real: a relentless hatred of the historic American nation.”The immediate object of his ire is one Klejda Gjermani, described by Brimelow as “an Albanian expatriate of Jewish descent” who stepped off the boat and pretty much immediately realized she suffered from redneckophobia.  She works for Commentary, so I am sure she feels quite at home there.

Writing in Takimag, Paul Gottfried (The Death of the WASP) also raises the issue of Jews as a hostile elite, claiming that although I am generally an “over-the-top critic of Jewish power” (specifics would be nice),  on this particular issue I have “hardly scratched the surface”:

    Even that over-the-top critic of Jewish power, Kevin MacDonald, has hardly scratched the surface in delineating the nastiness with which the children and grandchildren of Eastern European Jewish immigrants clawed their way to the top of the academic-media industry, on the backs of those they often despised. And all the while they appealed with brilliant success to a guilty WASP conscience.
I’ll really try to work on this problem, maybe check my Thesaurus for some good synonyms for “despised.” Memo to self: Must stop being polite.

It really wouldn’t matter much that Jews have become an elite except for this relentless hatred and loathing.   After all, all societies have elites. What is toxic is that such a substantial portion of our elite–especially that part of the elite that is ensconced in the media, the financial, and the academic world– hates (loathes, despises) the traditional people and culture they rule over.

We should never forget what happened when Jews were a hostile elite in the USSR. The loathing and contempt for the traditional people and culture of Russia was a major factor in the avid Jewish participation in the greatest crimes of the 20th century:

    A very traditional part of Jewish culture was to despise the Russians and their culture. (Even the Jewish literati despised all of traditional Russian culture, apart from Pushkin and a few literary icons.) Indeed, one wonders what would motivate the Jewish commissars to revenge apart from motives related to their Jewish identity. Traditional hostility toward non-Jews and their culture forms a central theme in the writings of Israel Shahak and many mainstream Jewish historians, including Slezkine, andI have presented summaries of this material elsewhere…. hatred toward the peoples and cultures of non-Jews and the image of enslaved ancestors as victims of anti-Semitism have been the Jewish norm throughout history—much commented on, from Tacitus to the present.  (review of Yuri Slezkine’s The Jewish Century)

In other words, this is a problem that is endemic to Diaspora Judaism. Hostility and loathing toward the people and culture they live among is a very long and tragic theme of Jewish history and a potent source of historical anti-Semitism.

And speaking of “redneckophobia,” the above passage continues:

    It is easy to imagine which sectors of American society would have been deemed overly backward and religious and therefore worthy of mass murder by the American counterparts of the Jewish elite in the Soviet Union—the ones who journeyed to Ellis Island instead of Moscow. The descendants of these overly backward and religious people now loom large among the “red state” voters who have been so important in recent national elections. Jewish animosity toward the Christian culture that is so deeply ingrained in much of America is legendary.

Gottfried notes that the Jews who deposed the WASP elite “appealed with brilliant success to a guilty WASP conscience.” Why the WASPs are so guilt-prone is an important question, but it’s ironic that Shelby Steele recently appealed to White guilt to explain why the West can’t muster the moral courage to condemn Israel’s enemies (WSJ, “Israel and the surrender of the West“). Leaving aside the monstrosity of what he says about Israel, this is the gist of the argument:

    One reason for [Israel being seen as the bad guy] is that the entire Western world has suffered from a deficit of moral authority for decades now. Today we in the West are reluctant to use our full military might in war lest we seem imperialistic; we hesitate to enforce our borders lest we seem racist; we are reluctant to ask for assimilation from new immigrants lest we seem xenophobic; and we are pained to give Western Civilization primacy in our educational curricula lest we seem supremacist. Today the West lives on the defensive, the very legitimacy of our modern societies requiring constant dissociation from the sins of the Western past—racism, economic exploitation, imperialism and so on.

    When the Israeli commandos boarded that last boat in the flotilla and, after being attacked with metal rods, killed nine of their attackers, they were acting in a world without the moral authority to give them the benefit of the doubt.

So the conclusion is that the Jews who deposed the WASP elite by appealing to their guilt proneness to the point that the new Jewish hostile elite has carte blanche to displace them by importing a new people (opposition would be “racist”) now find themselves with a West unable to defend the moral legitimacy of whatever Israel does. I suppose there is a certain justice in this, but the loss for the traditional people of America is incalculable. And given what happened in the USSR, White people should be very afraid of what the future may hold.

{130 responses…}

Jennifer Lake’s Blog

The Moscow Signal

The Moscow Signal was the name given by intelligence insiders to the low-power microwave beams claimed to have been broadcast into the US embassy for more than two decades, from 1953 until 1976. No members of the public were to hear of it until 1976, not even the staff of the US embassy in Moscow. Journalist Paul Brodeur, longtime writer for The New Yorker, recounted the events in his 1977 book The Zapping of America: “According to the first report of the affair, which appeared in the Los Angeles Times on February 7 [1976], Ambassador Walter J. Stoessel Jr had told some of the 125 members of his staff that the Russians were using microwave beams to listen in on conversations inside the embassy, and that such radiation could be harmful to their health…” [p95]

As it happens, the signal went undiscovered until 1962 when a security sweep for listening devices revealed the presence of an unusual pulsed series of microwaves. The Department of Defense had only recently terminated its Tri-Service Program, a microwave studies “health and safety” evaluation operated from 1957 to 1961, for reasons that Brodeur makes clear. What followed in the wake of the Moscow Signal discovery was a rapid withdrawal of related, defense-funded radio/radar research among independent non-military contractors. In 1966, the government classified its continuing effort as Project Pandora, a three year investigation that maintained complete official silence until the story of the Moscow Signal broke in the papers –most of Pandora’s experiments, it seems, have never been declassified.

   The focus of Brodeur’s whistleblowing in Zapping was the power density exposure, arbitrarily set and voluntarily adopted at the limit of ten-milliwatts per centimeter squared (10mW/cm2). The Russians, he states, set their upper limit 1,000 times lower, measured in microwatts. Even one milliwatt was a figure much too high for Russian workplace safety. During the mid-60s period of contentious debate among knowing Americans, a one-milliwatt (1mW/cm2) limit had been suggested by the deputy director of the Bureau of Radiological Health (Robert L. Elder) who then reversed himself to defend a five-milliwatt limit for industry. Not without irony, the Moscow Signal was said to be at four-milliwatts per square centimeter.

{Read more at the above link…}

“… good for Israel…”

Exposing, Challenging and Stopping AIPAC

Occupy AIPAC 2012 Workshop

Semitic Controversies

In Brief: The Trotsky Quote

Recently there has been an upsurge in the use of a particular quote that has been attributed to the leading jewish Bolshevik Leon Trotsky. (1) This quote is as follows:

‘We must turn Russia into a desert populated by white negroes upon whom we shall impose a tyranny such as the most terrible Eastern despots never dreamt of. The only difference is that this will be a left-wing tyranny, not a right-wing tyranny. It will be a red tyranny and not a white one.

We mean the word 'red' literally, because we shall shed such floods of blood as will make all the human losses suffered in the capitalist wars quake and pale by comparison. The biggest bankers across the ocean will work in the closest possible contact with us. If we win the revolution, we shall establish the power of Zionism upon the wreckage of the revolution's funeral, and we shall became a power before which the whole world will sink to its knees. We shall show what real power is. By means of terror and bloodbaths, we shall reduce the Russian intelligentsia to a state of complete stupefaction and idiocy and to an animal existence... At the moment, our young men in their leather jackets, who are the sons of watchmakers from Odessa, Orsha, Gomel and Vinnitsa, know how to hate everything Russian! What pleasure they take in physically destroying the Russian intelligentsia - officers, academics and writers!’ (2)

We should first remark that this quote is obviously very similar to what I have termed the Selenkov quotation; which I have previously discussed, that runs as follows:

 ‘We must create a climate of anti-nationalism and anti-racialism amongst Whites. We must reduce patriotism and pride of race to meaningless abstractions and make racialism a dirty word.’ (3)

In my discussion of the Selenkov quotation I pointed out that there was no reason to regard it as genuine as the wording makes no sense from an avowedly Marxist-Leninist perspective and to claim a Bolshevik leader would talk in a fashion more akin to the radical right than their own radical left language was nonsensical unless the quotation could be substantiated evidentially. We can see that this supposed Trotsky quotation suffers from the same basic problem in that it uses the language of the radical right rather than the radical left, which stems from the apparent inability of the originator(s) to use Marxist-Leninist phraseology and replacing this way of thinking and arguing with how their own ideology (in this case something to do with the Russian far right) interprets what Marxism-Leninism is really saying.

For example the Trotsky quotation makes the considerable mistake of claiming; in effect, that Trotsky was a Zionist when Marxism-Leninism and Zionism were (often violently) competing ideologies among the jews in Russia and the early Soviet Union; in which Trotsky played a not inconsiderable role, went so far as to provide a counter to the Zionist tendency by assigning jews their own oblast or autonomous region. Indeed Trotsky spent a considerable portion of his early career fighting and speaking against Zionism as a competing self-solution to the jewish question!

The Trotsky quotation also makes the mistake of asserting that Trotsky knew that the Bolshevik revolution would fail and that in its wake he would somehow create a new; and largely undefined, Zionist state, which by implication rule the Russian people as cattle. This is utterly undermined by Trotsky’s own behaviour after his removal from power and exile from the Soviet Union under Stalin’s auspices. After all if Trotsky had been planning something along these lines then he should have immediately repudiated some of his professed beliefs and then go on to join the flourishing Zionist movement rather than founding his own breakaway Bolshevik faction: the Fourth International. Indeed Trotsky spent the remainder of his life until his assassination writing and arguing for another Bolshevik revolution in what he perceived to be the spirit of Lenin rather than that of Stalin (i.e. the doctrine of ‘permanent revolution’ as opposed to ‘socialism in one country’). (4)

We should also note that the Trotsky quotation gives us a quite obvious clue to the fact that it is probably entirely made-up in so far as it asserts that its young acolytes should ‘know how to hate everything Russian’. This is not something that a Marxist-Leninist would say: given that although national identity is technically irrelevant in Marxism-Leninism it is however of importance to the infant revolution not to preach such doctrines as they would work directly against the feelings of the Russian people as maybe simply demonstrated by pointing out that in 1941: Stalin was able and had to call; after 24 years of Bolshevism, on nationalist and religious sentiment in order to get the recruits he needed for the Red Army.

Now if Trotsky was so absurdly silly as to argue that such sentiment was irrelevant at some undefined, but likely very early, point during the Soviet Union then he would not have succeeded in convincing those around him to fight as they did. After all the single most important component of Marxist-Leninist cadre is to ‘do anything to further the interests of the revolution’ and causing massive opposition is hardly furthering the interests of the revolution!

However to a Russian nationalist then it would be a point of ideology that both Bolsheviks and jews hated everything Russian; a-la the Protocols of Zion, (5) and sought to destroy it as a matter of priority with the implication that everything Russian is the be all and end all of importance.

We can confirm this probable authorship by pointing out that according to Stepin the quotation came from the first edition of ‘Russkoye Slovo’ (a copy of which I have been unable to locate) although a similar publication; ‘Novoye Russkoye Slovo’, was an American anti-Bolshevik Russian émigré periodical that began life in 1910. (6)

We can deduce from this that ‘Russkoye Slovo’ was either an émigré or indigenous Russian periodical with strong anti-revolutionary and anti-jewish tendencies; as to whether it was anti-Judaism or anti-Semitic we have no clue but the former is the more likely, that was probably in operation before 1910. However that presents us with a considerable problem in that Trotsky was not of any particular prominence in the revolutionary movement in Russia before 1917 and if we are to believe the quotation’s accuracy and the necessary deductions we have made about the originating publication then the publication itself was either very lucky or had considerable knowledge of how things would turn out. When we consider how secure the Tsarist regime seemed before the strain of war told on its population from 1916 to 1917 facilitating the February and October revolutions then we can only suggest that either the periodical had prophetical ability or the periodical did not exist.

Perhaps the best reason we can argue that the periodical did not exist is the more likely of the two situations is that with Trotsky being an obscure figure in the revolutionary movement and the Tsarist government seeming very secure: the periodical; which remember was likely published before 1910, would not have known that Trotsky was to become a major figure and that therefore any utterances he would have made would have been those of an obscure and rather marginal jewish revolutionary who had been effectively neutralised by the Tsarist secret police. So why on earth would the ‘Russkoye Slovo’ given such space to utterances from a marginal jewish revolutionary that are not even confirmable and would be surpassed by the claims and arguments of the readily available revolutionary émigré publications such as the ‘Iskra’.
So why give a revolutionary nobody such prominence in the first issue?

The answer is obvious:  because it did not exist in the first place and the quote was manufactured after Trotsky had risen to prominence by his opponents.

Interestingly; by way of an addendum, a 1937 American anti-Semitic publication; ‘Trotsky and the Jews behind the Russian Revolution’, allegedly cryptically authored by ‘a former Russian Commissar’ tries to do something similar when it asserts; contrary to the biographers of Trotsky and Lenin, that Lenin ‘fronted’ from Trotsky who was the éminence grise of the Bolshevik movement. (7) The author of this occasionally clever diatribe against the overrepresentation of jews in the Russian Socialist movement in general makes a similar mistake to the author of Trotsky quotation when he talks about his supposed ‘insider knowledge’ of Trotsky in that he never once makes anything like a statement that one would attribute to someone who had had strong Marxist beliefs; which to be a Commissar one would have to have been, and often speaks with a strongly Orthodox Christian tone (8) more common to the Russian radical right (9) than to a repentant ex-Marxist. (10) This informs that this kind of writing; i.e. ascribing things to Trotsky which were patently not anything to do with, were common among the radical right at this time and the reason they ascribed them for Trotksy was that he was the most prominent of the jewish Bolsheviki; although later Lenin’s jewish origins were discovered he was generally considered a Russian at the time, much as German anti-Communists and anti-Semites focused on the activities of Karl Radek in connection with the jewish-dominated nascent KPD. (11)


(1)     There are numerous biographies of Trotsky but perhaps the best of the pack are Isaac Deutscher, Ronald Segal and Robert Service’s offerings as each offers a different and somewhat credible perspective on him.
(2)     As cited in Vladimir Stepin, 1993, ‘The Nature of Zionism’, which has been made available in English translation at the following address:
(4)     The ideological differences between Trotsky and Stalin have been rather overplayed in the literature on Marxism-Leninism as it has been conclusively shown that Stalin did believe in the doctrine of permanent revolution, but rather was more realistic about it than Trotsky was in that he wanted to build up the ‘forces of revolution’ rather than simply expect the ‘proletariat’ to join the masses of the Red Army when the latter invaded as both Lenin and Trotsky did. On this point please see Ernst Topitsch, A. Taylor (Trans.), 1987, ‘Stalin’s War: A Radical New Theory of the Origins of the Second World War’, 1st Edition, St. Martin’s Press: New York, pp. 11-62 and John Mosier, 2010, ‘Deathride: Hitler vs. Stalin: The Eastern Front, 1941-1945’, 1st Edition, Simon & Schuster: New York, pp. 57-115.
(5)     To quote part of Protocol 15 with a similar message: ‘The principle guarantee of stability of rule is to confirm the aureole of power, and this aureole is attained only by such a majestic inflexibility of might as shall carry on its face the emblems of inviolability from mystical causes from the choice of God. Such was, until recent times, the Russian aristocracy, the one and only serious foe we had in the world, without counting the Papacy.’ (p. 193 in the 1934 ‘Defender’ expanded edition of the Marsden translation). This obviously also assigns a similar role to Russia as the ‘main bulwark’ and ‘intellectual centre’ of the world against Bolshevism and the jews in much the same way as the Trotsky quotation does.
(7)     Anon., 1997, [1937], ‘Trotsky and the Jews behind the Russian Revolution’, 1st Edition, CPA Book Publisher: Boring, pp. 8-9
(8)     Ibid, p. 13
(9)     See for example Michael Kellogg, 2005, ‘The Russian Roots of Nazism: White Emigres and the Making of National Socialism 1917-1945’, 1st Edition, Cambridge University Press: New York, pp. 30-46
(10)  For example compare to Freda Utley, 1940, ‘The Dream We Lost: Soviet Russia Then and Now’, 1st Edition, John Day: New York.
(11)  For example see Nigel Jones, 2004, ‘A Brief History of the Birth of the Nazis’, 2nd Edition, Robinson: London, p. 61

Posted 30th April 2011 by Karl Radl

Institute for Historical Review

The Jewish Role in the Bolshevik Revolution and Russia's Early Soviet Regime

Assessing the Grim Legacy of Soviet Communism

By Mark Weber

In the night of July 16-17, 1918, a squad of Bolshevik secret police murdered Russia's last emperor, Tsar Nicholas II, along with his wife, Tsaritsa Alexandra, their 14-year-old son, Tsarevich Alexis, and their four daughters. They were cut down in a hail of gunfire in a half-cellar room of the house in Ekaterinburg, a city in the Ural mountain region, where they were being held prisoner. The daughters were finished off with bayonets. To prevent a cult for the dead Tsar, the bodies were carted away to the countryside and hastily buried in a secret grave.

Bolshevik authorities at first reported that the Romanov emperor had been shot after the discovery of a plot to liberate him. For some time the deaths of the Empress and the children were kept secret. Soviet historians claimed for many years that local Bolsheviks had acted on their own in carrying out the killings, and that Lenin, founder of the Soviet state, had nothing to do with the crime.

In 1990, Moscow playwright and historian Edvard Radzinsky announced the result of his detailed investigation into the murders. He unearthed the reminiscences of Lenin's bodyguard, Alexei Akimov, who recounted how he personally delivered Lenin's execution order to the telegraph office. The telegram was also signed by Soviet government chief Yakov Sverdlov. Akimov had saved the original telegraph tape as a record of the secret order.1

Radzinsky's research confirmed what earlier evidence had already indicated. Leon Trotsky -- one of Lenin's closest colleagues -- had revealed years earlier that Lenin and Sverdlov had together made the decision to put the Tsar and his family to death. Recalling a conversation in 1918, Trotsky wrote:2

    My next visit to Moscow took place after the [temporary] fall of Ekaterinburg [to anti-Communist forces]. Speaking with Sverdlov, I asked in passing: "Oh yes, and where is the Tsar?"

    "Finished," he replied. "He has been shot."

    "And where is the family?"

    "The family along with him."

    "All of them?" I asked, apparently with a trace of surprise.

    "All of them," replied Sverdlov. "What about it?" He was waiting to see my reaction. I made no reply.
    "And who made the decision?" I asked.

    "We decided it here. Ilyich [Lenin] believed that we shouldn't leave the Whites a live banner to rally around, especially under the present difficult circumstances."

    I asked no further questions and considered the matter closed.

Recent research and investigation by Radzinsky and others also corroborates the account provided years earlier by Robert Wilton, correspondent of the London Times in Russia for 17 years. His account, The Last Days of the Romanovs - originally published in 1920, and reissued in 1993 by the Institute for Historical Review -- is based in large part on the findings of a detailed investigation carried out in 1919 by Nikolai Sokolov under the authority of "White" (anti-Communist) leader Alexander Kolchak. Wilton's book remains one of the most accurate and complete accounts of the murder of Russia's imperial family.3

A solid understanding of history has long been the best guide to comprehending the present and anticipating the future. Accordingly, people are most interested in historical questions during times of crisis, when the future seems most uncertain. With the collapse of Communist rule in the Soviet Union, 1989-1991, and as Russians struggle to build a new order on the ruins of the old, historical issues have become very topical. For example, many ask: How did the Bolsheviks, a small movement guided by the teachings of German-Jewish social philosopher Karl Marx, succeed in taking control of Russia and imposing a cruel and despotic regime on its people?

In recent years, Jews around the world have been voicing anxious concern over the specter of anti-Semitism in the lands of the former Soviet Union. In this new and uncertain era, we are told, suppressed feelings of hatred and rage against Jews are once again being expressed. According to one public opinion survey conducted in 1991, for example, most Russians wanted all Jews to leave the country.4 But precisely why is anti-Jewish sentiment so widespread among the peoples of the former Soviet Union? Why do so many Russians, Ukrainians, Lithuanians and others blame "the Jews" for so much misfortune?

A Taboo Subject

Although officially Jews have never made up more than five percent of the country's total population,5 they played a highly disproportionate and probably decisive role in the infant Bolshevik regime, effectively dominating the Soviet government during its early years. Soviet historians, along with most of their colleagues in the West, for decades preferred to ignore this subject. The facts, though, cannot be denied.

With the notable exception of Lenin (Vladimir Ulyanov), most of the leading Communists who took control of Russia in 1917-20 were Jews. Leon Trotsky (Lev Bronstein) headed the Red Army and, for a time, was chief of Soviet foreign affairs. Yakov Sverdlov (Solomon) was both the Bolshevik party's executive secretary and -- as chairman of the Central Executive Committee -- head of the Soviet government. Grigori Zinoviev (Radomyslsky) headed the Communist International (Comintern), the central agency for spreading revolution in foreign countries. Other prominent Jews included press commissar Karl Radek (Sobelsohn), foreign affairs commissar Maxim Litvinov (Wallach), Lev Kamenev (Rosenfeld) and Moisei Uritsky.6

Lenin himself was of mostly Russian and Kalmuck ancestry, but he was also one-quarter Jewish. His maternal grandfather, Israel (Alexander) Blank, was a Ukrainian Jew who was later baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church.7

A thorough-going internationalist, Lenin viewed ethnic or cultural loyalties with contempt. He had little regard for his own countrymen. "An intelligent Russian," he once remarked, "is almost always a Jew or someone with Jewish blood in his veins."8

Critical Meetings

In the Communist seizure of power in Russia, the Jewish role was probably critical.

Two weeks prior to the Bolshevik "October Revolution" of 1917, Lenin convened a top secret meeting in St. Petersburg (Petrograd) at which the key leaders of the Bolshevik party's Central Committee made the fateful decision to seize power in a violent takeover. Of the twelve persons who took part in this decisive gathering, there were four Russians (including Lenin), one Georgian (Stalin), one Pole (Dzerzhinsky), and six Jews.9

To direct the takeover, a seven-man "Political Bureau" was chosen. It consisted of two Russians (Lenin and Bubnov), one Georgian (Stalin), and four Jews (Trotsky, Sokolnikov, Zinoviev, and Kamenev).10 

Meanwhile, the Petersburg (Petrograd) Soviet -- whose chairman was Trotsky -- established an 18-member "Military Revolutionary Committee" to actually carry out the seizure of power. It included eight (or nine) Russians, one Ukrainian, one Pole, one Caucasian, and six Jews.11 Finally, to supervise the organization of the uprising, the Bolshevik Central Committee established a five-man "Revolutionary Military Center" as the Party's operations command. It consisted of one Russian (Bubnov), one Georgian (Stalin), one Pole (Dzerzhinsky), and two Jews (Sverdlov and Uritsky).12

Contemporary Voices of Warning

Well-informed observers, both inside and outside of Russia, took note at the time of the crucial Jewish role in Bolshevism. Winston Churchill, for one, warned in an article published in the February 8, 1920, issue of the London Illustrated Sunday Herald that Bolshevism is a "worldwide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality." The eminent British political leader and historian went on to write:13

    There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bolshevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution by these international and for the most part atheistical Jews. It is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others. With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews. Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from the Jewish leaders. Thus Tchitcherin, a pure Russian, is eclipsed by his nominal subordinate, Litvinoff, and the influence of Russians like Bukharin or Lunacharski cannot be compared with the power of Trotsky, or of Zinovieff, the Dictator of the Red Citadel (Petrograd), or of Krassin or Radek -- all Jews. In the Soviet institutions the predominance of Jews is even more astonishing. And the prominent, if not indeed the principal, part in the system of terrorism applied by the Extraordinary Commissions for Combatting Counter-Revolution [the Cheka] has been taken by Jews, and in some notable cases by Jewesses.

    Needless to say, the most intense passions of revenge have been excited in the breasts of the Russian people.

David R. Francis, United States ambassador in Russia, warned in a January 1918 dispatch to Washington: "The Bolshevik leaders here, most of whom are Jews and 90 percent of whom are returned exiles, care little for Russia or any other country but are internationalists and they are trying to start a worldwide social revolution."14

The Netherlands' ambassador in Russia, Oudendyke, made much the same point a few months later: "Unless Bolshevism is nipped in the bud immediately, it is bound to spread in one form or another over Europe and the whole world as it is organized and worked by Jews who have no nationality, and whose one object is to destroy for their own ends the existing order of things."15

"The Bolshevik Revolution," declared a leading American Jewish community paper in 1920, "was largely the product of Jewish thinking, Jewish discontent, Jewish effort to reconstruct."16

As an expression of its radically anti-nationalist character, the fledgling Soviet government issued a decree a few months after taking power that made anti-Semitism a crime in Russia. The new Communist regime thus became the first in the world to severely punish all expressions of anti-Jewish sentiment.17 Soviet officials apparently regarded such measures as indispensable. Based on careful observation during a lengthy stay in Russia, American-Jewish scholar Frank Golder reported in 1925 that "because so many of the Soviet leaders are Jews anti-Semitism is gaining [in Russia], particularly in the army [and] among the old and new intelligentsia who are being crowded for positions by the sons of Israel."18

Historians' Views

Summing up the situation at that time, Israeli historian Louis Rapoport writes:19

    Immediately after the [Bolshevik] Revolution, many Jews were euphoric over their high representation in the new government. Lenin's first Politburo was dominated by men of Jewish origins

    Under Lenin, Jews became involved in all aspects of the Revolution, including its dirtiest work. Despite the Communists' vows to eradicate anti-Semitism, it spread rapidly after the Revolution -- partly because of the prominence of so many Jews in the Soviet administration, as well as in the traumatic, inhuman Sovietization drives that followed. Historian Salo Baron has noted that an immensely disproportionate number of Jews joined the new Bolshevik secret police, the Cheka And many of those who fell afoul of the Cheka would be shot by Jewish investigators.

    The collective leadership that emerged in Lenin's dying days was headed by the Jew Zinoviev, a loquacious, mean-spirited, curly-haired Adonis whose vanity knew no bounds.

"Anyone who had the misfortune to fall into the hands of the Cheka," wrote Jewish historian Leonard Schapiro, "stood a very good chance of finding himself confronted with, and possibly shot by, a Jewish investigator."20 In Ukraine, "Jews made up nearly 80 percent of the rank-and-file Cheka agents," reports W. Bruce Lincoln, an American professor of Russian history.21 (Beginning as the Cheka, or Vecheka) the Soviet secret police was later known as the GPU, OGPU, NKVD, MVD and KGB.)

In light of all this, it should not be surprising that Yakov M. Yurovksy, the leader of the Bolshevik squad that carried out the murder of the Tsar and his family, was Jewish, as was Sverdlov, the Soviet chief who co-signed Lenin's execution order.22

Igor Shafarevich, a Russian mathematician of world stature, has sharply criticized the Jewish role in bringing down the Romanov monarchy and establishing Communist rule in his country. Shafarevich was a leading dissident during the final decades of Soviet rule. A prominent human rights activist, he was a founding member of the Committee on the Defense of Human Rights in the USSR.

In Russophobia, a book written ten years before the collapse of Communist rule, he noted that Jews were "amazingly" numerous among the personnel of the Bolshevik secret police. The characteristic Jewishness of the Bolshevik executioners, Shafarevich went on, is most conspicuous in the execution of Nicholas II:23
 This ritual action symbolized the end of centuries of Russian history, so that it can be compared only to the execution of Charles I in England or Louis XVI in France. It would seem that representatives of an insignificant ethnic minority should keep as far as possible from this painful action, which would reverberate in all history. Yet what names do we meet? The execution was personally overseen by Yakov Yurovsky who shot the Tsar; the president of the local Soviet was Beloborodov (Vaisbart); the person responsible for the general administration in Ekaterinburg was Shaya Goloshchekin. To round out the picture, on the wall of the room where the execution took place was a distich from a poem by Heine (written in German) about King Balthazar, who offended Jehovah and was killed for the offense.

In his 1920 book, British veteran journalist Robert Wilton offered a similarly harsh assessment:24
    The whole record of Bolshevism in Russia is indelibly impressed with the stamp of alien invasion. The murder of the Tsar, deliberately planned by the Jew Sverdlov (who came to Russia as a paid agent of Germany) and carried out by the Jews Goloshchekin, Syromolotov, Safarov, Voikov and Yurovsky, is the act not of the Russian people, but of this hostile invader.

In the struggle for power that followed Lenin's death in 1924, Stalin emerged victorious over his rivals, eventually succeeding in putting to death nearly every one of the most prominent early Bolsheviks leaders - including Trotsky, Zinoviev, Radek, and Kamenev. With the passage of time, and particularly after 1928, the Jewish role in the top leadership of the Soviet state and its Communist party diminished markedly.

Put To Death Without Trial

For a few months after taking power, Bolshevik leaders considered bringing "Nicholas Romanov" before a "Revolutionary Tribunal" that would publicize his "crimes against the people" before sentencing him to death. Historical precedent existed for this. Two European monarchs had lost their lives as a consequence of revolutionary upheaval: England's Charles I was beheaded in 1649, and France's Louis XVI was guillotined in 1793.

In these cases, the king was put to death after a lengthy public trial, during which he was allowed to present arguments in his defense. Nicholas II, though, was neither charged nor tried. He was secretly put to death - along with his family and staff -- in the dead of night, in an act that resembled more a gangster-style massacre than a formal execution.

Why did Lenin and Sverdlov abandon plans for a show trial of the former Tsar? In Wilton's view, Nicholas and his family were murdered because the Bolshevik rulers knew quite well that they lacked genuine popular support, and rightly feared that the Russian people would never approve killing the Tsar, regardless of pretexts and legalistic formalities.

For his part, Trotsky defended the massacre as a useful and even necessary measure. He wrote:25
    The decision [to kill the imperial family] was not only expedient but necessary. The severity of this punishment showed everyone that we would continue to fight on mercilessly, stopping at nothing. The execution of the Tsar's family was needed not only in order to frighten, horrify, and instill a sense of hopelessness in the enemy but also to shake up our own ranks, to show that there was no turning back, that ahead lay either total victory or total doom This Lenin sensed well.

Historical Context

In the years leading up to the 1917 revolution, Jews were disproportionately represented in all of Russia's subversive leftist parties.26 Jewish hatred of the Tsarist regime had a basis in objective conditions. Of the leading European powers of the day, imperial Russia was the most institutionally conservative and anti-Jewish. For example, Jews were normally not permitted to reside outside a large area in the west of the Empire known as the "Pale of Settlement."27

However understandable, and perhaps even defensible, Jewish hostility toward the imperial regime may have been, the remarkable Jewish role in the vastly more despotic Soviet regime is less easy to justify. In a recently published book about the Jews in Russia during the 20th century, Russian-born Jewish writer Sonya Margolina goes so far as to call the Jewish role in supporting the Bolshevik regime the "historic sin of the Jews."28 She points, for example, to the prominent role of Jews as commandants of Soviet Gulag concentration and labor camps, and the role of Jewish Communists in the systematic destruction of Russian churches. Moreover, she goes on, "The Jews of the entire world supported Soviet power, and remained silent in the face of any criticism from the opposition." In light of this record, Margolina offers a grim prediction:

    The exaggeratedly enthusiastic participation of the Jewish Bolsheviks in the subjugation and destruction of Russia is a sin that will be avenged Soviet power will be equated with Jewish power, and the furious hatred against the Bolsheviks will become hatred against Jews.

If the past is any indication, it is unlikely that many Russians will seek the revenge that Margolina prophecies. Anyway, to blame "the Jews" for the horrors of Communism seems no more justifiable than to blame "white people" for Negro slavery, or "the Germans" for the Second World War or "the Holocaust."

Words of Grim Portent

Nicholas and his family are only the best known of countless victims of a regime that openly proclaimed its ruthless purpose. A few weeks after the Ekaterinburg massacre, the newspaper of the fledgling Red Army declared:29

    Without mercy, without sparing, we will kill our enemies by the scores of hundreds, let them be thousands, let them drown themselves in their own blood. For the blood of Lenin and Uritskii let there be floods of blood of the bourgeoisie -- more blood, as much as possible.

Grigori Zinoviev, speaking at a meeting of Communists in September 1918, effectively pronounced a death sentence on ten million human beings: "We must carry along with us 90 million out of the 100 million of Soviet Russia's inhabitants. As for the rest, we have nothing to say to them. They must be annihilated."30

'The Twenty Million'

As it turned out, the Soviet toll in human lives and suffering proved to be much higher than Zinoviev's murderous rhetoric suggested. Rarely, if ever, has a regime taken the lives of so many of its own people.31
Citing newly-available Soviet KGB documents, historian Dmitri Volkogonov, head of a special Russian parliamentary commission, recently concluded that "from 1929 to 1952 21.5 million [Soviet] people were repressed. Of these a third were shot, the rest sentenced to imprisonment, where many also died."32
Olga Shatunovskaya, a member of the Soviet Commission of Party Control, and head of a special commission during the 1960s appointed by Premier Khrushchev, has similarly concluded: "From January 1, 1935 to June 22, 1941, 19,840,000 enemies of the people were arrested. Of these, seven million were shot in prison, and a majority of the others died in camp." These figures were also found in the papers of Politburo member Anastas Mikoyan.

Robert Conquest, the distinguished specialist of Soviet history, recently summed up the grim record of Soviet "repression" of its own people:34

    It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the post-1934 death toll was well over ten million. To this should be added the victims of the 1930-1933 famine, the kulak deportations, and other anti-peasant campaigns, amounting to another ten million plus. The total is thus in the range of what the Russians now refer to as 'The Twenty Million'."

A few other scholars have given significantly higher estimates.35

The Tsarist Era in Retrospect

With the dramatic collapse of Soviet rule, many Russians are taking a new and more respectful look at their country's pre-Communist history, including the era of the last Romanov emperor. While the Soviets -- along with many in the West -- have stereotypically portrayed this era as little more than an age of arbitrary despotism, cruel suppression and mass poverty, the reality is rather different. While it is true that the power of the Tsar was absolute, that only a small minority had any significant political voice, and that the mass of the empire's citizens were peasants, it is worth noting that Russians during the reign of Nicholas II had freedom of press, religion, assembly and association, protection of private property, and free labor unions. Sworn enemies of the regime, such as Lenin, were treated with remarkable leniency.36

During the decades prior to the outbreak of the First World War, the Russian economy was booming. In fact, between 1890 and 1913, it was the fastest growing in the world. New rail lines were opened at an annual rate double that of the Soviet years. Between 1900 and 1913, iron production increased by 58
percent, while coal production more than doubled.37 Exported Russian grain fed all of Europe. Finally, the last decades of Tsarist Russia witnessed a magnificent flowering of cultural life.

Everything changed with the First World War, a catastrophe not only for Russia, but for the entire West.

Monarchist Sentiment

In spite of (or perhaps because of) the relentless official campaign during the entire Soviet era to stamp out every uncritical memory of the Romanovs and imperial Russia, a virtual cult of popular veneration for Nicholas II has been sweeping Russia in recent years.

People have been eagerly paying the equivalent of several hours' wages to purchase portraits of Nicholas from street vendors in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other Russian cities. His portrait now hangs in countless Russian homes and apartments. In late 1990, all 200,000 copies of a first printing of a 30-page pamphlet on the Romanovs quickly sold out. Said one street vendor: "I personally sold four thousand copies in no time at all. It's like a nuclear explosion. People really want to know about their Tsar and his family." Grass roots pro-Tsarist and monarchist organizations have sprung up in many cities.

A public opinion poll conducted in 1990 found that three out of four Soviet citizens surveyed regard the killing of the Tsar and his family as a despicable crime.38 Many Russian Orthodox believers regard Nicholas as a martyr. The independent "Orthodox Church Abroad" canonized the imperial family in 1981, and the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church has been under popular pressure to take the same step, in spite of its long-standing reluctance to touch this official taboo. The Russian Orthodox Archbishop of Ekaterinburg announced plans in 1990 to build a grand church at the site of the killings. "The people loved Emperor Nicholas," he said. "His memory lives with the people, not as a saint but as someone executed without court verdict, unjustly, as a sufferer for his faith and for orthodoxy."39

On the 75th anniversary of the massacre (in July 1993), Russians recalled the life, death and legacy of their last Emperor. In Ekaterinburg, where a large white cross festooned with flowers now marks the spot where the family was killed, mourners wept as hymns were sung and prayers were said for the victims.40
Reflecting both popular sentiment and new social-political realities, the white, blue and red horizontal tricolor flag of Tsarist Russia was officially adopted in 1991, replacing the red Soviet banner. And in 1993, the imperial two-headed eagle was restored as the nation's official emblem, replacing the Soviet hammer and sickle. Cities that had been re-named to honor Communist figures -- such as Leningrad, Kuibyshev, Frunze, Kalinin, and Gorky -- have re-acquired their Tsarist-era names. Ekaterinburg, which had been named Sverdlovsk by the Soviets in 1924 in honor of the Soviet-Jewish chief, in September 1991 restored its pre-Communist name, which honors Empress Catherine I.

Symbolic Meaning

In view of the millions that would be put to death by the Soviet rulers in the years to follow, the murder of the Romanov family might not seem of extraordinary importance. And yet, the event has deep symbolic meaning. In the apt words of Harvard University historian Richard Pipes:41

    The manner in which the massacre was prepared and carried out, at first denied and then justified, has something uniquely odious about it, something that radically distinguishes it from previous acts of regicide and brands it as a prelude to twentieth-century mass murder.

Another historian, Ivor Benson, characterized the killing of the Romanov family as symbolic of the tragic fate of Russia and, indeed, of the entire West, in this century of unprecedented agony and conflict.

The murder of the Tsar and his family is all the more deplorable because, whatever his failings as a monarch, Nicholas II was, by all accounts, a personally decent, generous, humane and honorable man.

The Massacre's Place in History

The mass slaughter and chaos of the First World War, and the revolutionary upheavals that swept Europe in 1917-1918, brought an end not only to the ancient Romanov dynasty in Russia, but to an entire continental social order. Swept away as well was the Hohenzollern dynasty in Germany, with its stable constitutional monarchy, and the ancient Habsburg dynasty of Austria-Hungary with its multinational central European empire. Europe's leading states shared not only the same Christian and Western cultural foundations, but most of the continent's reigning monarchs were related by blood. England's King George was, through his mother, a first cousin of Tsar Nicholas, and, through his father, a first cousin of Empress Alexandra. Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm was a first cousin of the German-born Alexandra, and a distant cousin of Nicholas.

More than was the case with the monarchies of western Europe, Russia's Tsar personally symbolized his land and nation. Thus, the murder of the last emperor of a dynasty that had ruled Russia for three centuries not only symbolically presaged the Communist mass slaughter that would claim so many Russian lives in the decades that followed, but was symbolic of the Communist effort to kill the soul and spirit of Russia itself.

From The Journal of Historical Review, Jan.-Feb. 1994 (Vol. 14, No. 1), pages 4-22

About the Author

Mark Weber was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. He studied history at the University of Illinois (Chicago), the University of Munich, Portland State University and Indiana University (M.A., 1977).

{Heavily footnoted - see at above link...}

Chapter 3

(Revised Sept. 2010)

Russia under Lenin and Stalin 1921-1939

I The NEP Period.

 (1) The New Economic Policy (NEP).

This policy was implemented in March 1921, primarily because massive peasant revolts all over Russia threatened Bolshevik power. The peasants were revolting against war communism, the forcible requisitioning of their produce to feed the army and the cities. War communism was carried out with particular ruthlessness in Tambov province. Lenin had begun this practice in the spring of 1918 (see ch. 2).

At the same time, there was growing unrest in the towns as well as protest against undemocratic Bolshevik rule. In March 1921, the same "Red sailors" of the naval base on the island of Kronstadt (pron: Kronshtatt, island just outside Leningrad), who had fought for the Bolsheviks in November 1917, now revolted against them. The sailors demanded free and secret elections to the Soviets; freedom of speech and press; the peasants' right to work their own land as they wished; and the legalization of small scale private industry.

The Kronstadt revolt was brutally put down by Trotsky (then War Commissar) and Tukhachevsky, who led troops over the frozen sea to the island base. The government condemned the revolt as a "White Guardist Plot." This was propaganda, since no "White Guard" officers were involved. In reality, the Kronstadt revolt expressed general unrest and convinced Lenin that he had not only peasant revolts to deal with. Thus, the threat to Bolshevik power convinced him of the need to relax controls and rebuild the economy. Therefore, he persuaded his colleagues in the leadership to implement the New Economic Policy, NEP.

NEP was a mixture of socialism and capitalism. The state kept control of "the heights," i.e., of heavy industry, banking, and transport, but allowed a free internal market Therefore, it allowed some scope to private enterprise, i.e. private shops, restaurants, and small scale manufacture, as well as the leasing of some larger enterprises to private entrepreneurs. It also allowed the peasants to work their farms. However, they were to do so within the old communal system, and use only family labor. Forced deliveries were abolished and peasants paid graduated taxes instead. The state remained the owner of the land.

A new class of entrepreneurs appeared, called Nepmen. They were really middlemen, who made a very good living by finding and selling what was most needed. They also supplied state owned industry with parts and raw material. They could be seen everywhere in large cities spending their money in first class restaurants and shops.

The Soviet economy revived quickly. There was more food from the farmers; there were goods in the shops and outdoor markets. But was this communism or even socialism? Many party members did not think so; they considered NEP to be a betrayal of communist principles.

Lenin himself saw NEP not as a departure from socialism, but as a temporary expedient. He called it "state capitalism," and claimed it was "the ante-chamber of socialism." He had, in fact, tried briefly to implement a similar system in spring 1918, calling it the "New Course," but abandoned it after a short while (see ch. 2).

(Note. We should bear in mind that NEP, whose best known exponent and defender was Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin, 1888-1938, murdered by Stalin in 1938, inspired plans for economic reform in Poland and Hungary in the late 1950s and and early 1960s; in the USSR under Nikita S. Khruschev in the early 1960s, and under Mikhail S. Gorbachev in the late 1980s . It also inspired some of the reforms carried out in Red China by Deng Xsiao Ping in the 1980s and after).

(2) Education, the Arts. and Religion in the NEP Period.

The Soviet government launched a campaign to eradicate illiteracy and reorganized the school system. Education at all levels was free, but it taught communist ideology; it also combined book learning with physical work. The old high schools, called "gimnazia," were abolished and replaced by new secondary schools which combined general education with vocational training; both inculcated communist ideology. Finally, during the 1920s, most schools abolished textbooks and examinations. While this was partly due to new educational theory, it also stemmed from a lack of appropriate textbooks written in a communist framework.

There was censorship of all printed matter and writers were organized in a "Proletarian Cultural and Educational Organization" (Proletcult). Thus, as Chernyshevsky had preached in the late 19th century, culture and education had a didactic mission: they were to educate the people in the "right way" of thinking. Nevertheless, in comparison with the later Stalinist period, NEP was a time of relative cultural freedom. The arts flourished: literature, literary criticism, art, and theater, registered considerable achievements. Great emphasis was placed on the popularization of culture, specially in the key cities, where the theater and art exhibitions were accessible to the people. Likewise, state-owned publishing houses printed large editions of both classical and contemporary Russian literature.

At this time, most of the poets and writers supported the Soviet system, e.g. the poets Vladimir V. Mayakovskv (1893-1930), Sergei A.Yesenin (1895-1925), and Nicholas S. Gumilev (1886-1921), also writers such as Boris A. Pilnyak (1894-1942). However, while Yesenin's suicide apparently was brought on by debauchery, Mayakovsky's stemmed at least in part from disillusionment with Stalin's brand of communism. Pilnyak, who opposed organized terror, wrote a novel titled: Tale of the Unextinguished Moon.

The Murder of an Army Commander, in which he clearly hinted that the Red Army leader and Deputy Commissar for War in 1924-25, Mikhail V. Frunze (1885-1925), had been murdered while undergoing an operation.

True or not, such a rumor made the rounds in Moscow and the issueof Novy Mir in which it appeared was confiscated by the authorities. Pilnyak was arrested in late October 1937 and accused of being a Japanese spy. This seemed a plausible charge for he had visited Japan, but it was used to remove him as an inconvenient critic of the regime. He was shot in April 1938, one of many Soviet writers and poets who perished in Stalin's Great Terror of 1938-39.

Thus, though the government tolerated non-party artists and writers, there were certain limits. A less drastic example is that of Evgeny I. Zamyatin (1884-1937) whose novel We was a biting futuristic satire of the fully developed totalitarian state and could not be published in the Soviet Union. The novel described how a ruthless group of people established a state that controlled all aspects of human activity. It was published in England in 1924, and provided the inspiration for Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (1932), as well as for George Orwell's satire of the USSR: 1984 (1949). Zamyatin was allowed to emigrate and died in Paris in 1937. His novel was finally published in the USSR when Gorbachev launched his policy of "glasnost" (openness) in the late 1980s.

There was also a great flourishing of art, music, theater, and artists were allowed extensive experimentation. But the greatest achievements were in the area of film. In 1925, Sergei Eisenstein (1898-1948) produced The Battleship Potemkin,on the revolution of 1905 in Odessa. However, he soon encountered problems. His film about collectivization, The General Line, was suspended and the film about the Bolshevik revolution, October, was banned, because it showed Trotsky. Eisenstein went abroad, returning in 1932, only to be virtually banned. He was to be reinstated after making the patriotic film Alexander Nevsky (1938), which was produced according to party directives and fitted Stalin's new line of using Russian history to teach patriotism. (It showed Nevsky's victory over the Teutonic Knights at Lake Peipus in 1242). The film won a Stalin prize, but since it was anti-German (the Teutonic Knights were Germans), it was banned again during the period of German-Soviet friendship in 1939-41.

(Note. Eisenstein also won the Stalin prize in 1945 for Part I of Ivan the Terrible (1530-84). Here the young Tsar was shown as an idealist working for the good of the Russian people. In fact, Stalin told the actors how he saw the Tsar, and the film was generally seen as an allegory for Stalin. However, Part II, which showed the Tsar as the cruel despot that he became later, was condemned and not released in the USSR until 1958. Today, Eisenstein's films are recognized as cinema classics).

Since communism was atheistic, it is not surprising that religion came under attack. This was all the more so, since the Orthodox Church had been a pillar of Tsarism and supported the "Whites" (anti-communists) in the civil war. Thus, thousands of churches were destroyed, while priests and nuns were arrested and sent to labor camps. At the same time, strident propaganda campaigns condemned religion as a fraud and as "an opiate for the people" (Marx). The government briefly supported the establishment of a counter church, called the "Living Church," made up of renegade priests. However, in 1927, Metropolitan Sergei, officially recognized the Soviet regime and ordered the clergy and the faithful to accept it. This policy is sometimes justified by the argument that it allowed the church to survive - but we should note that it was infiltrated by government agents. Indeed, some NKVD - later KGB - officers even became priests for this purpose.

Finally, the church was under complete government control, which led to the creation of an "underground church" which did not recognize Sergei and his successors.

(3) The Nationalities.

Under Soviet rule, the non-Russian nationalities were allowed their own schools, but teaching had to conform to communist doctrine. In 1925, when Soviet control was considered secure, there was a very brief period of free cultural development.

This policy aimed at fusing national cultures with communism, but it actually produced a vigorous development of these cultures, especially in Soviet Ukraine. In Moscow, this raised fears of Ukrainian nationalism and separatism; therefore, extensive purges of literary organizations took place in Ukraine in 1927. These purges were replicated in Belorussia (now Belarus) and other non-Russian republics.

For a few years, Soviet Jews were allowed to use Yiddish in Jewish schools and to publish Yiddish and Hebrew newspapers. However, synagogues were closed down. In fact, while Yiddish and Hebrew were tolerated, or at least encouraged, the official policy was to use these languages as instruments to effect the total assimilation of the Jews. Thus, while the Soviet government officially condemned anti-semitism, it aimed at eradicating the Jewish faith. Furthermore, Jewish self-help organizations were abolished and pre-revolutionary Jewish political parties were banned, as were all parties except the communists.

Most of the Jews in the Soviet Union lived in towns. At one time, Soviet policy aimed at persuading as many as possible to take up farming in compact Jewish settlements, which were hardly conducive to assimilation. The most ambitious such project was launched in 1928; in 1934, it led to the creation of the Jewish Autonomous district of Birobiian, located 78 miles west of Khabarovsk, near China (Soviet Far East). This was a failure, for most Jews preferred city work and in any case collectivization meant the Jews could not farm their own land.We should note that Birobijan was used by Soviet propaganda as proof that the Jews had their own territorial unit in the USSR. This was to counter Zionism, which called for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

Soviet policy toward the Jews was a success. The official condemnation of anti-semitism and the policy of equal rights for all quickly led to the assimilation of the vast majority of Soviet Jews, while also attracting sympathy and support for Soviet communism and the USSR from Jews outside the Soviet Union. However, although Russian anti-semitism was muted, it remained strong, manifesting itself in anti-Jewish discrimination in higher education and employment. Jews had their race listed in their identity papers ("Yevrei"), but then all Soviet passports listed the owners' nationality.

The Moslem peoples of the Caucasus and Soviet Central Asia also benefitted briefly from early Soviet toleration for they were allowed to use the Arabic script. However, the Soviet government aimed at their total integration in the Soviet state and therefore cut them off from their brethren in neighboring states.

Furthermore, Arabic script was soon replaced first by Latin, then by Cyrillic.*. Moslem mosques were either destroyed, or allowed to fall into disrepair . However, from the 1970s onward, the government permitted the restoration of some key mosques as historic monuments.. This sparked a cultural and national revival among the Moslems shortly before the demise of the USSR (August 1991).

*(Note. The Cyrillic alphabet is named after St. Cyril, a Macedonian missionary of the 9th century, who, together with St. Methodius, was sent out of Constantinople to convert the Balkan peoples to the Greek Orthodox faith of Byzantium. They created a Slavic language written in a new alphabet based on Greek. From that time on, old Slavonic, or "Church Slavonic," has been used in the Russian and Balkan Orthodox Churches, whose missionaries travelled to Russia. When the ruler of Kiev Rus, Vladimir accepted Christianity from Constantinople in 988- A.D., he accepted Church Slavonic, with its Cyrillic alphabet, along with the faith. Therefore, all Russian as well as Serbian and Bulgarian writing uses the Cyrillic alphabet.).

In 1988, the millenium of Russian conversion to Christianity was celebrated in the USSR. Gorbachev allowed the return of hundreds of churches to the faithful. He also visited Pope John Paul II, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, in Rome in December 1989. However, although the Ukrainian Greek Catholic or Uniate Church was legalized in December 1990, there seems no end in sight for the bitter war over church property in western Ukraine between the Ukrainian Uniate Church (union with Rome 1569), the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, and the Russian Orthodox Church. Underlying and envenoming this conflict is the fact that the Uniate Church lies at the core of Ukrainian national identity in western Ukraine, and that the Orthodox Churc h was used by the Tsars as an instrument of Russification, just as it was by the communists. Orthodox resentment of the Uniate and Roman Catholic churches is so strong that Pope John Paul II coould not visit Russia. He did, however, a visit independent Ukraine, where he was given an enthusiastic reception in June 2001.

II. The Rise of Stalin.

Joseph Vissarionovich Dzugashvili -- his revolutionary name was Stalin, meaning "man of steel"l --, was born in 1879 in the village of Gori, near Tiflis, Georgia. His father was allegedly a cobbler, who is said to have been a drunkard who beat his wife and son. However, Stalin once hinted that his father was a priest, and there were also rumors of a noble father Whatever the case may be, Stalin's mother was a pious washerwoman who wanted Joseph to have an education. Since she was poor, she sent him to the Orthodox Seminary in Tiflis, to be educated as a priest.

Joseph soon became a rebel. At first, he dreamed of leading a revolution to free Georgia from Russian rule; in this he resembled Napoleon Bonaparte who first dreamed of freeing his native Corsica from French rule. Both the Corsican and the Georgian became absolute rulers -- although Napoleon was an enlightened one --, conquerors, and founders of empires. Napoleon lost his empire in 1814-15, but the Soviet empire was greatly expanded by Stalin. It became a world power, second in military might only to the United States, and survived until it was dissolved in late December 1991.

Stalin soon became interested in Marxism and joined the Bolshevik faction in the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party. He organized strikes and bank robberies. This was a common way of obtaining funds for revolutionary activities, though strongly condemned by most socialists. He was arrested and sent to Siberia five times, but escaped every time. These easy escapes made some of his political enemies suspect that he was then in the pay of the Tsarist Security Police, the Okhrana, but no evidence has been found so far to confirm this. (If there were any such documents, Stalin had plenty of opportunity to destroy them).

He met Lenin, when the latter was living near Krakow, in Austrian Poland. Lenin was impressed by the rough hewn revolutionary from the working class. In 1912, Stalin became a member of the Bolshevik Central Committee. In the following year, after he had spent some time doing research in Vienna (one of the two capitals of the multinational Austro-Hungarian empire the other being Budapest), Lenin helped him write Marxism and the National Question. This pamphlet set out Bolshevik views on the nationalities' problem in Russia, i.e. self-determination. We should note that this was also the view of the Mensheviks (moderate communists) and the Socialist Revolutionaries (S.Rs, Peasant Party).

When the revolution broke out in March 1917, Stalin was again in Siberian exile. He was released, returned to the capital (renamed (Petrograd in WW I, later Leningrad, and now against St. Petersburg) and became the editor of the Bolshevik paper, Pravda (Truth). However, though Lenin clearly respected his abilities, he did not play a leading role in the period March-November 1917, except for a brief period in July-August, when Lenin was hiding in Finland and the other major leaders were in prison (see ch. 2).

In fact, a diarist of the revolution, Nikolai N. Sukhanov (real name: Gimmer) who was first an S.R. then a Menshevik, also a member of the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet in 1917, remembered Stalin as "a grey blur." At this time, Trotskv was the no. 2 leader after Lenin. (Sukhanov, born in 1882, was killed in the Stalin purges of the 1930s).

Key Factors in Stalin's Rise to Power.

These can be summarized as follows:

(a) control and use of party bureaucracy to accumulate power;
(b) the ability to divide his opponents and/or rivals, and play them off against each other;
(c) skillful use of the cult of party unity, sacred to Bolsheviks.
(d) an unshakeable determination to wield absolute power and absolute ruthlessness in using it;
(e) the ability to wait patiently for the right moment to
act; and
(f) the ability to retreat when necessary, in order to advance later.
We know that one of Stalin's favorite books was Machiavelli's The Prince. He certainly knew how to apply the counsels given to leaders in that famous, little book.

While accumulating power, Stalin maintained a "centrist" position, throwing his support to those he needed, and then "dialectically" switching policies. That is, he would support a policy in order to defeat one set of leaders, and then adopt the policy of those he defeated to crush those whom he had supported, as was the case in the Debate on Industrialization. (See below).

Some scholars believe that in Bolshevik practice, policy issues were always secondary, i.e. they were manipulated for the purpose of gaining power. (1) While this was certainly true of Stalin and some of his rivals, and was partly true later, it is going too far to apply it to all Soviet leaders all the time. Thus, it is clear that, like Lenin and other Bolshevik leaders, Stalin's ultimate aim was collectivization of the land and industrialization. Of course, we cannot tell how Lenin, or Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev or Bukharin, would have ruled the USSR if they had won the struggle for power . However, it seems unlikely, from what we know about them, that any of these leaders could have equalled Stalin's monstrous tyranny which cost the lives of millions.

Stalin began his struggle for power with several handicaps. He was not an orator; he spoke slowly and with a heavy Georgian accent. He was not an intellectual, as were the top Bolshevik leaders. He wrote little. Therefore, his colleagues at first saw him as a slightly backward comrade who was a good administrator and could be entrusted with the paperwork. This was a great mistake on their part. He was also an avid reader, as evidenced by his library.

Stalin soon realized that he could use the party bureaucracy as the tool to gain power. By 1922, he held the following positions:

(1) member of the Politburo (top executive organ of the party, created in January 1919 [later renamed the Presidium];
(2) member of the Central Committee, where policy was debated and decisions made;
(3) member of the Organization Bureau (acronym: Orgburo), which supervised party organizations;
(4) head of the Party Secretariat, which set the agenda for Central Committee and Politburo meetings;
(5) Commissar (Minister) of the Workers and Peasants' Inspectorate (acronym: Rabkrin), which was to control the administrative apparatus and, ironically, to guard against bureaucratization (!);
(6) Commissar of Nationalities; and
(7) in 1922, General Secretary of the party, taking the post on Lenin's recommendation, after the latter had suffered his first stroke in May of that year.

Thus, on top of all the other posts, Stalin now held the highest position in the party.

The combination of these posts and memberships allowed Stalin to monitor grassroots party appointments all over the Soviet Union and thus build up an army of henchmen. This, in turn, meant that he was soon able to control the election of deputies to the Supreme Soviet, the top legislative body, and to the Partv Congress, so he could "pack" them.

Stalin also drew strength from the fact that in the last two years of Lenin's life (he died in January 1924), and shortly thereafter, Trotsky was seen as his obvious successor- and was feared by other leaders.. However, in the last year of his life, Lenin came to have doubts about both of them. In his "Testament" (really a letter to party leaders), Lenin wrote that Stalin should be removed from the post of General Secretary. Provoked by Stalin's rudeness to his wife, Nadezhda Krupskaia (1869-1939) - whom Stalin berated for not following doctors' orders to keep party matters from Lenin, after his stroke - he called Stalin "ruthless and rude." At the same time, he criticized Trotsky for being too arrogant. Finally, he warned of the danger of rivalry between the two which, he said, could split the party. When the "Testament" was delivered by Nadezhda to the top party leaders and read by them at a meeting held during the 13th Party Congress, Stalin offered to resign. His colleagues decided, however, not to publish it as Lenin had asked. In fact, they ignored it. They did so because they believed that such public criticism of Stalin would ensure Trotsky's election as General Secretary, and, with France's Napoleon I in mind, they feared that the "father" of the Red Army would become a military dictator and get rid of them.

(Note: Lenin's "Testament" was first published in the New York Times in 1932. It was obtained from Max Eastman, an American communist who had turned against Stalin. The Soviet government denied its validity for years, calling it a forgery, until Nikita S. Khruschev finally acknowledged it as genuine in his secret speech to the 20th Party Congress in February 1956. For the history of this document, see: Yuri Buranov, Lenin's Will. Falsified and Forbidden. From the Secret Archives of the Former Soviet Union, Amherst, N.Y., 1994. For Trotsky's involvement, see: Lars T. Lih et al., eds., Stalin's Letters to Molotov, 1925-1936, New Haven, Ct., and London, 1995, Appendix, The Eastman Affair, pp. 241-249).

Thus, Stalin had allies in the top leadership because they feared Trotsky. Indeed, already in 1921, he had formed an alliance with Kamenev and Zinoviev against Trotsky. This alliance was known as the "Troika," or threesome. They feared Trotsky would use the Red Army to become a red Napoleon and did not suspect Stalin of plans to make himself absolute ruler of the Soviet Union. In 1924, the year of Lenin's death, Stalin published the pamphlet: Socialism in One Country. This was seen later as an attack on Trotsky, who was known for his belief in the need to spread world revolution. However, according to a recent study, Trotsky did not oppose the concept of building Socialism in one country, at least not at the time. (2) Whatever the case may be, Stalin went against the former Bolshevik doctrine that world revolution was necessary for the Russian revolution to survive. He tried to squate the circle by stating that Socialism could be built in one country, but could not be completed until revolution broke out all over the world. This point of view was accepted by most party members because they saw the Soviet political-economic system as a socialist one.
By 1925, Kamenev and Zinoviev finally realized that Stalin was out to get absolute power, so they teamed up with Trotsky -- but it was too late. They were helpless in the face of the Stalin - packed Party Congress and Supreme Soviet, also his control of the radio and the press. They decided to admit they were in the wrong so as to stay in the party.

Stalin played his cards expertly. His tactic of playing his opponents off against one another can best seen in the Debate on Industrialization, which took place in 1924-27. As it turned out, this was the last open, public policy debate in the party until Gorbachev's party conference in 1988.

All party leaders agreed on the need to industrialize Soviet Russia (in 1924, it was renamed the Soviet Union, or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, acronym: USSR), so the debate was on how fast and bv what means to proceed. There were two opposing sides:

(a) The "Right," led by Bukharin and supported by Stalin, argued for the continued development of agriculture within the framework of NEP, that is, private, family farms within traditional communes (mirs). They argued that surplus production should be exported to obtain capital for investment in industry.
(b) The "Left," led by Trotsky and supported by the economist Yevgeny A. Preobrazhensky ( 1886-1937, liquidated in the purges), wanted to "bleed" the peasants by collectivizing the farms, and thus control production and prices. The difference between state prices for food produce paid to the collective farms and the higher prices at which they would be sold in state shops in the towns was to provide investment capital for industrialization. Trotsky also proposed a 10% annual growth rate in industrial production. Stalin supported the "Right, " so it won. He even said that Trotsky's proposed 10% industrial growth rate was "unrealistic." (3) Trotsky was banished to Alma Ata, Kazakhstan, in 1927. He was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1928. He continued to oppose Stalin from abroad until he was murdered by a Stalin agent in Mexico in 1940.

Although the "Right" had won the industrialization debate, 1927-28 witnessed the so-called "scissors crisis, " in which the prices of agricultural products were much lower than industrial products. Since the peasants could not buy what they needed, they produced less food, especially grain, so there was not enough for export and even shortages in the cities. This situation spurred an internal debate on The First Five Year Plan (FYP) in 1927-28. In December 1927, the 15th Party Congress confirmed t Central Committee Resolutions to reduce the influence of kulaks (rich peasants) in the villages. The resolution also spoke of collectivization, but said it should be carried out by persuasion, not by force. However, Stalin imposed very heavy taxes on the peasants, and had them collected by force.

The argument for collectivization sounded plausible: large, mechanized farms would produce more food. The problem was, however, that the Soviet Union was not an industrialized state, so there were very few tractors and other farm machinery. There were also very few experienced farm managers in the Party. Finally, it was a well-known fact that peasant farmers did not want to give up their land. However, these considerations carried no weight with Stalin. In his eyes, the private peasant farmers who tilled the land and raised the livestock, were opposing the demands of the party leadership; in fact. they refused to produce more food as long as they could not buy the goods they needed. Therefore, they were capable of influencing the state's economic policy, and even of becoming a political opposition. Finally, Stalin's letters to Molotov show he saw grain exports as the key to industrialization, for they were to pay for it. He believed these exports could not be assured without collectivization, even if it had to be carried out by force (3a). We should also bear in mind that in 1928 he had defeated all his key rivals for power, so they could not oppose his policies.


In April 1928, there was some opposition in the party to the first draft plan on collectivization. However, in May, the Supreme Economic Council proposed an industrial expansion of 130% over 5 years, i.e. 26% per year! (Trotsky had proposed 10% per year, which Stalin criticized as unrealistic). This plan was intimately connected with collectivization, which was to provide much of the capital investment for industrialization.
When collectivization began, there were protests and peasant riots in the North Caucasus. When Bukharin criticized the policy, Stalin answered that a "temporary peasant tribute was needed." Bukharin now teamed up with Kamenev and Zinoviev against Stalin. Bukharin came out openly against Stalin in January 1929. He sent a statement to the Central Committee that Stalin's policies were synonymous with a military-feudal exploitation of the peasantry, the disintegration of the Comintern, and the bureaucratization of the party, which turned out to be a correct diagnosis. Though Stalin pretended to forgive him, he never did and made up his mind to destroy him. However, since Bukharin was very popular in the party, Stalin bided his time.
In March 1929, two versions of the Five Year Plan were presented: a maximum and a minimum version. The 16th Party Congress, packed by Stalin, approved the maximum version. There were also attacks on Bukharin by Stalin's supporters, made on his orders. The plan called for the collectivization of only 13% of the total farm population by 1933. But in the summer of 1929, after Stalin had broken all internal party opposition, collectivization went forward at breakneck speed and was implemented by force. The peasants resisted fiercely, so Stalin decided on all-out collectivization.

OGPU ( Security Administration, later called NKVD) troops were sent in. They burned the villages and shot the people. The peasants then killed off their livestock and burned the grain. (4) Resistance was so strong that Stalin backtracked. In late March 1930, he made a speech saying the party was "dizzy with success," and blamed local party members for excesses. In this way he headed off a mass revolt, but after a few months the pace quickened again. (5) By July 1930, 23% of the farms were collectivized, and by late 1931, 52.7%.

Still, the issue was not yet settled. In 1932-33, Stalin's use of force against peasant resistance to collectivization led to a man-made famine in some regions s of the Soviet Union. It was worst in the Kuban and in Ukraine, which had the best soil in the USSR. Indeed, Ukraine was the traditional breadbasket of Russia..To break resistance in these regions, Stalin did not allow any food to be brought in, while he exported grain abroad. Also, every bit of grain was taken from the peasants, who were left to starve. People were shot for "stealing" grain. Aside from those who starved to death, some 4 million Ukrainians were deported to labor camps in Siberia or to other forced labor, e.g. the building of the White Sea Canal. Historians estimate that 4- 7 million Ukrainians died as a result of Stalin's policy.

In August 1942, Stalin told British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill, at a dinner in his "dacha" (country house) near Moscow, that collectivization had been imposed because agriculture had to be mechanized to avoid famine. The peasants, said Stalin, had in a few months "spoiled all the tractors" they were given, so they had to be collectivized. He claimed there was no alternative to collectivization, but admitted it had been "a terrible struggle," involving 10 million "kulaks." Still, he said, "many of them agreed to come in with us." Some of these were given land of their own to cultivate in the provinces of Tomsk or Irkutsk (Siberia). "But the great bulk were very unpopular and were wiped out by their labourers." (6)

In this outrageous lie, Stalin nevertheless admitted that millions of peasants were deported to Siberia. In fact, most ended up in labor camps or in huge industrial projects like Magnitogorsk. The bulk of those who resisted were killed, not by their "labourers" -- for most had none -- but by the military forces of the security police. It was only in 1987, under Gorbachev, that the Soviet press admitted Stalin's collectivization was a very costly "mistake." A year later, in 1988, the Soviet press began writing about the horrors of the man-made famine, especially in Ukraine. (7).although this has been denied after Vladimir Putin came to power in late December 1991. We should also note that many Bolsheviks were horrified by Stalin's methods at the time.It is certain that Stalin deliberately ordered the starvation of millions of peasants, particularly Ukrainians, and that this was done with the involvement of local Ukrainian party members.. At the same time, he liquidated those Ukrainian communists who wanted a real measure of autonomy for their people. Since peasants also starved in other parts of the Soviet Union, the question is whether Stalin specifically targeted the Ukrainians for physical and cultural extermination, which is the claim made by Ukrainians and by some Western historians.

Whatever the case may be, collectivization did not increase Soviet agricultural output, but reduced it catastrophically. First of all, the losses in livestock were not made up until the early 1950s, although without the war this might have occurred sooner. Furthermore, there were few agricultural machines to go around, so in 1932 "Motor Tractor Stations" (MTS) were established, each of which had to serve several collective farms. This meant in turn, that collective farms had to compete with each other in bribing the local MTS and some always came off short. Also, there was shortage of trained farm managers; so at first, they were party workers sent down to run the farm and coerce the peasants. Finally, and most importantly, the peasants were unwilling to work hard because they were paid very little and mostly in kind. So, in 1936, Stalin had to allow them to have small private plots on which they could raise vegetables, fruit, and even some livestock. He also had to allow them to sell this produce at their own prices, thus creating a limited type of free market.

(Note on the Problems of Soviet agriculture. Soviet agricultural production was inadequate for most of the Soviet period. It is true that production tripled over the years, but the urban population increased dramatically at the same time. Urban growth also took place in most Western countries, especially in the U.S., yet agricultural production increased even more. We know that key Soviet problems were very low productivity and enormous waste. Peasants worked as little as possible. Also, Russian experts admitted under Gorbachev that at least one-third, and in some cases half of the collective farm produce rotted for lack of timely transport and adequate storage. At the same time, at least 33% of butter, eggs, chickens, vegetables and fruit came from small private plots.

Khrushchev began importing grain from the United States in 1960. Here we should note that while both the USSR and the U.S. had about the same amount of arable land, i.e., 11% of the total area, the U.S. yields were, and are, very high, while Soviet yields were much lower. It is true that according to official Soviet statistics agricultural production in the 1970s was about four times as high as in the 1920s. However, in a good season, the USSR could barely feed itself while the United States usually produced too much. Indeed, the U.S. government paid farmers to leave some land untilled in order to prevent food prices from sinking too low, thus ruining them. For Gorbachev's and Yeltsin's attempts at reforming agriculture, see ch. 8).


The production targets set in the Five Year Plans of 1929-39 were totally unrealistic. So was the basic assumption that - apart from government profits made on the price difference between purchase price from the collective farms and the sale prices in the towns - most of the investment capital would come from increased production. However, this simply did not happen.

The standard of living in the cities was definitely higher in 1930 than it was in 1913. However, there was a 40% drop in workers' buying power between 1927/28 and 1930/31, while at the same time the cost of living went up by 150-200%. This was pulling the country up by its bootstraps. It meant that industrialization was achieved by exploiting the workers and peasants. After World War II and the imposition of communism on most of Eastern Europe, a joke originating in one of these countries stated: "What is the difference between capitalism and socialism?" The answer was: "Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man, while socialism is the exact opposite." A 1988 Hungarian joke asked: "What is socialism?" Answer: "It is the longest and rockiest road from capitalism back to capitalism."

No wonder that people had to be dragooned to work. Strict labor discipline was imposed, as were piece work wages along with constantly rising production targets. Leading workers were called "Stakhanovites" after the miner Aleksei G. Stakhanov (19061977). On August 30, 1935, he was given the most up-to-date machinery and an excellent crew, with the result that they extracted more coal in a single shift than any crew before them -- allegedly 102 tons of coal in one shift of 5 hours. and 45 min., or 14 times the standard output. After that, miners, equipped only with pick axes, were told to produce the same amount of coal. Therefore, Stakhanov's name was hated by the workers. [Curiously enough, while "Stakhanovites" were rewarded in all branches of industry, Stakhanov himself was forgotten until Leonid I. Brezhnev (1906-1982, Secretary General 1964-82) gave him the order of "Hero of Socialist Labor" on August 30, 1970, and designated the date as "International Miners' Day." Brezhnev wanted to stimulate increased productivity, but this did not happen].

During the first two Five Year Plans (FYPs) of 1929-39, huge hydroelectric dams were built as well as canals, mines, and factories. They were built in record time, using both free and prison labor. The latter formed an important part of all FYPs after 1934. Prisoners built the White Sea Canal, mostly by hand; they laid thousands of miles of railway track, manned the lumber industry, also the gold mines of Kolyma and the coal mines of Vorkuta. Millions of people died of cold, malnutrition and disease in the labor camps. They became known as the GULAG, the Russian acronym for State Administration of Camps.

In the "free" areas outsise the camps, industrial accidents were frequent because safety was not a factor. Workers were encouraged and often forced to work overtime. Managers, who were party members, drove the workers relentlessly because they risked prison, or deportation, or even death for "sabotage" if production targets were not met. Indeed, in 1928, there was a show trial of "wreckers" from the Skakhty industrial center in the Donbas region (called the Skakhty Trial). Although this marked the beginning of a wave of terror against the pre-revolutionary professional intelligentsia, it also set a precedent for trying managers who did not meet their production quotas.

Food was rationed, so the unemployed could not get ration cards, or any place to live. Housing was in very short supply, so workers often lived in barracks without their families. The people who lived in existing housing had to share apartments, one family to a room, and the housing shortage was never overcome, though much was built later under Khrushchev and Brezhnev.. On top of all that, there was police terror (see belows).

Stalin officially justified forced collectivization and industrialization by claiming that Russia was "threatened" by the Western Powers, i.e. Gt. Britain and France, so it had to "catch up" with them in industrial production. He could point to Western intervention in the civil war of 1918-21 as an example of active western hostility. The Western Powers were constantly depicted as scheming to invade the Soviet Union and overthrow the Soviet government. It is true that there was a general Western distrust of the Soviet Union, due largely to the subversive activities of the Comintern (Communist International). However, the USSR had excellent relations with Weimar Germany (1919-1933). There was, in fact, not only extensive Soviet-German trade, but also close military cooperation (see ch. 4). As for France and Britain, in 1919, they gave up all ideas of fighting the Soviets. Britain recognized the USSR in 1924. Although relations were severed due to discovery of Soviet espionage in 1927 (the Argos affair), they were soon restored.

The administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized the Soviet government in November 1933. Furthermore, Poland and France signed non-aggression pacts with the Soviets in 1932. Hitler came to power in Germany in March 1933, but though the USSR entered the League of Nations in September 1934 and signed an alliance with France in May 1935 - Stalin showed signs of willingness to sign a treaty of nonaggression with Hitler at the same time. (For Soviet foreign policy in the interwar period, see ch. 4).


Whatever the input of Stalin's fear of the western powers, the foundations of Soviet industrial power were laid in the 1930s - though production statistics were almost always inflated. This was partly due to the fact that managers had to show they had fulfilled or overfulfilled their quotas, and partly to the propaganda need to show the Soviet people and the world that the system was successful.

We can, however, accept the following figures for 1939 as more or less valid:

Coal production rose from about 40 milllion. to about 132 mln. tons.
Steel production rose from about 4.9 mln. to about 18 mln. tons.
Oil production rose from about 13.8 mln. to about 32.2 mln. tons.

These production figures are impressive. Furthermore, the development of heavy industry in the Ural Mountains region would provide the backbone of Soviet war industry in 1941-45. At the same time, however, the forced tempo of industrialization was incredibly wasteful and inefficient. Indeed, waste and inefficiency came to characterize both industrial and agricultural production in the Soviet Union, as well as in other so-called socialist countries. Also, the cost of collectivization and industrialization in terms of human lives was very high. It is true that the standard of living for city workers was generally higher in 1939 than before the revolution, but compared with Europe and the U.S., the Soviet urban standard was very low. The peasants, for their part, were subjected to a new form of serfdom, for they had to work a certain number of days for the collective farm in return for minimum quantities of food. They were not given internal passports for travel inside the USSR like other citizens, which meant they were tied to the soil. The general exception was military service, from which most soldiers never returned home. Also, gifted young men, who had proved reliable workers and had some local backing, could leave the village for careers in the party, industrial management, sports, the sciences and the arts.

The party and managerial elite, as well as officially sanctioned scientists, artists and writers, lived extremely well. The ones at the top had large apartments, country houses, chauffeur-driven limousines, special shops, where they could buy otherwise unobtainable goods, and access to well appointed hospitals and vacation resorts The middle and lower ranks also enjoyed many perks. But all were at risk of dismissal or worse if they displeased a powerful colleague, or Stalin. The life style of the elites was, however, discreet and never flaunted in public. Stalin himself wore a simple military tunic - until he gave himself the title of Marshal and a splendid uniform in honor of Soviet victories in 1943. He assumed the title of "Generalissimus" in 1945.

III. The Stalin Terror, 1934-1938.

In these four years, millions of people were arrested and killed, either by execution (sometimes by torture) in prison, or by overwork and malnutrition in the labor camps, or execution there. Hardly a family was left untouched, especially in the western and central USSR. Those who remember the terror are still traumatized by it today. (7a)

Why did Stalin launch the terror and carry it to such extremes? The most likely answer is that he saw any opposition, real or potential, as a deadly threat to himself and that this perception con-firmed his determination to hold absolute power. At the same time, like other Bolsheviks, including Lenin, Stalin believed that terror was a legitimate political weapon, as well as the most effective means of making people obey and work hard.. The difference was that while Lenin and other Bolshevik leaders opposed the use of terror against their own colleagues, Stalin had no such reservations.

It seems that the impulse for launching the great terror was criticism of Stalin's policies and methods within the party leadership in the years 1930-33, i.e. the period of forced collectivization.. At that time, the most significant opposition came from Martemyan N. Ryutin (1890-1937). Ryutin was expelled from the Party and arrested in September 1930, but the OGPU (Security Police) Collegium acquitted him of any criminal intent and he was only given a warning. However, in 1932, he and a group of minor party officials - some of whom were followers of Bukharin, who had opposed collectivization - wrote "An Appeal to All Members of the All Union Communist Party (Bolshevik)." This paper, known as Ryutin Platform, proposed an economic retreat, that is, a reduction of investment in heavy industry and the liberation of the peasants, allowing them to leave the collective and state farms. The authors condemned Stalin as "the evil genius of the Russian Revolution." They pointed to the lawlessness and terror existing both in the party and in the countryside, to the collapse of genuine planning, and said the press was reduced "in the hands of Stalin and his clique to a monstrous factory of lies." Finally, the appeal stated: "Stalin and his clique will not and cannot voluntarily give up their position, so they must be removed by force."

Stalin seems to have interpreted this as a call for his assassination, but the Politburo refused his proposal that Ryutin be shot. The party leaders still opposed the death penalty for one of their own. Ryutin and his supporters were, however, expelled from the party. He received a ten year sentence and later died in prison.

It is worth noting that the opponents of the death penalty for Ryutin were Sergei M. Kirov (real name: Kostrikov, 1886-1934), the head of the Leningrad party, as well as others, including Stalin's close supporter, the Georgian Grigorii K. Ordzonikidze (1886-1937), then Commissar of Heavy Industry. It was also clear at the 17th Party Congress, held in January-February 1934, that many deputies wanted a relaxation of the collectivization drive and that Kirov was a very popular figure. Stalin must have decided to get rid of his critics and potential rivals, but he needed a pretext.

Stalin's pretext for the purges in the party, which developed into the mass terror, was the assassination of Kirov on December 1, 1934. Kirov was widely regarded as Stalin's heir apparent and was popular in party circles. Some Western historians suspected for a long time that Stalin had him killed. Many years later, this view was confirmed by Anton Antonov-Ovseenko, whose father, was killed in the purges. Anton himself was trained as a historian and became a dissident, having spent many years in labor camps. In his book about Stalin's tyranny, he tells us that for a brief time in the late 1950s, he had access to some members of Khrushchev's Commission of Inquiry into the purges (1956-58/59). From them he learned that Kirov opposed Stalin's brutal methods of collectivization, and received many more votes than Stalin for re-election to the Central Committee (and thus election as Secretary General) at the 17th Party Conqress of 1934. In fact, only three votes seem to have been cast against Kirov, while some 270 were cast against Stalin.

However, Stalin's henchmen are said to have destroyed these except for three, also leaving three votes against Kirov. Finally, though Kirov refused to run against Stalin for the post of General Secretary, and told him so, Stalin apparently concluded that Kirov was a deadly threat to him.

[Note: This Congress abolished the title of Secretary General, and replaced it with that of the First Secretary, but the old title was restored under Brezhnev].

Most of the evidence concerning Kirov's assassination was destroyed after being read by Khruschev's Commission of Inquiry, but some of it has been confirmed recently by a surviving member of the commission. It seems that NKVD operatives, under Stalin's orders, used Leonid Nikolaev, a party member known for his disturbed mind, to kill Kirov in his own office building in Leningrad. Nikolaev himself admitted he did so with the active help of the NKVD, then headed by Genrikh G. Yagoda (1891-1938). Later Nikolaev, as well as all others involved, including Yagoda, were killed off in one way or another. In the meanwhile, Stalin raised a great hue and cry claiming the whole party was in danger, having been "penetrated" by spies and foreign agents. (8)

Thus, Kirov's murder was Stalin's pretext to start a series of purges in the party. There were mass arrests, which included not only the suspects, but also their families, supporters, friends and acquaintances. This was a method often used in some Asian countries, also in past clan wars in Stalin's native Georgia. The famous Soviet writer, Alexander I. Solzhenitsyn (b. 1918), estimated that some 40 million Soviet citizens lost their lives under Stalin's rule. After the opening of Russian archives in the early 1990s, estimates have been broken down into victins of the GULAG (forced labor camps), and executions, of which most, over 600,000, took place in the "Great Terror" of 1937-38. At present, the minimum estimate is around 15 an est. 27 mln killed in World War II . The total number of those killed during collectivization, in the purges of the 1930s and in later years, i.e. up to Stalin's death in March 1953, is disputed but ranges between 5 and 7 million, the vast majority of whom were Ukrainians. (9)

The visible part of the Stalin purges were the show trials of well known Bolshevik leaders, all of whom had opposed Stalin at various times in the past. Although all were accused of belonging to "Trotskyite" conspiracies, and some of spying for foreign powers, almost all were also accused of sharing the "Ryutin Platform." Andrei Ia.Vyshinsky (1883-1935) rose to prominence as the Prosecutor. These trials were:

(1) The Trial of the 16, August 1936, when Kamenev, Zinoviev, I. N. Smirnov, G. E. Yevdakimov and others, were accused of being part of a "Trotskiite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center," and of organizing a "terrorist plot" against Stalin and his supporters. The accused were forced to implicate Bukharin, Rykov, and Tomsky (the last committed suicide on being implicated). The accused had been promised their lives and safety for their families, if they "confessed," but they were shot the day after their conviction and their families were sent to the GULAG.

(2) The Trial of the Anti-Soviet Trotskiite Center, January 1937, in which Trotsky, who was in exile since 1929, was the arch villain. This time the accused were headed by Grigorii L. Pyatakov (1890-1937), who had consistently supported Trotsky in his disputes with Lenin and Stalin, and was Grigorii K. Ordzhonikidze's assistant in industrial planning. (Ordzonikidze was officially said to have died of a heart attack 1937; in February 1956, however, Khrushchev said he had committed suicide; in 1988, the Soviet press stated he died of a gunshot wound). The other accused included the prominent expert on foreign affairs and former leading member of the Trotskiite opposition, Karl Radek (realname: Sobelsohn 1885-1939), Grigorii Y Sokolnikov (1888-1939), a diplomat and member of the "Left Opposition" (Trotsky); Leonid P. Serebryakov (1890-1937), a leading member of Trotsky's former group, and thirteen others. They were forced to implicate Bukharin, Rykov, and even Marshal Mikhail N. Tukhachevsky. Some were executed and some died in labor camps.

(3) The Trial of the 21, or the "Case of the Anti-Soviet Bloc of Rightists and Trotskiites," March 1938, in which the key defendants were Bukharin, Aleksei I. Rykov (1881-1938), a leader of the "Right Opposition" against collectivization; Nikolai N. Krestinskii (1883-1938), who had been the Soviet ambassador in Berlin in 1922-30, and Genrikh G. Yagoda (1891-1938), the NKVD chief who had conducted the inquiry into the assassination of Kirov and organized the purges.

Again, most were executed, while others died in the camps.

Trotsky, who was in the West, publicly denied the charges and often proved that the so-called "agents" could not have been in places where they were supposed to be "conspiring." In those years, many foreign communists had doubts as to the justice of the trials. Some of the Polish communists in Poland even protested. Most of the Polish communist leaders had taken refuge in the USSR; they were duly arrested and executed, or died in the camps. Finally, the Comintern (read Stalin) dissolved the Polish Communist Party in 1938, on the charge that it had been infiltrated by the Polish police. (The Polish Communist Party was "rehabilitated" by the United Polish Workers' Party in 1956, when the charge was declared false and blamed on "provocateurs"). Likewise, other foreign communists then in the USSR were also executed while their dependents and lesser fry were sent to labor camps. In the period of the Nazi-Soviet Pact (August 23 1939 -June 22 1941), Stalin even delivered some German communists to the Nazis as a token of his good will.

At the time of the purge trials, many sympathizers of the Soviet Union were taken in by the "confessions of guilt" made publicly in court by the accused. We know, however, that these "confessions" were obtained by physical or mental torture (e.g. threats against the family), as well as promises that the accused would be allowed to live. Some of the accused made extraordinary statements in admitting their "guilt." Thus, Bukharin - the author of the Stalin constitution of 1936 - said:

We found ourselves in the accursed ranks of the counter-revolution, we became traitors to Socialist Fatherland . . . .

I refute the accusation of having plotted against the life of Vladimir Illyich [Lenin], but my revolutionary confederates, and I at their head, endeavored to murder Lenin's cause, which is being carried on with such tremendous success by Stalin . . . . I am kneeling before the country, before the Party, before the whole people. The monstrousness of my crimes is immeasurable, especially in the new stage of the struggle of the USSR . . .

What matters is not the personal feelings of a repentant enemy, but the flourishing progress of the USSR and its international importance. (10)

This was, however, far from a straightforward confession. In fact, Bukharin made it clear to those who could read between the lines, that his confession of "guilt" had been forced from him. Indeed, in his speech, he called confession "a method of the medieval inquisition" - which it was.

He said what he did say in order to save his wife and child. In his "Last Testament," a letter which he made his young wife, Anna Larina, memorize for a "future generation of party leaders," and which she recited to Khrushchev's Central Control Commission in 1961, he admitted his "helplessness" before the "hellish machine," and "organized slander" practiced by Stalin, and declared his complete innocence. He appealed to future party leaders to exonerate him. (11) His wife spent twenty years in the labor camps and exile. She was only then reunited with her son who had been taken from her at age 2. Gorbachev carried out Bukharin's wish and "rehabilitated" him fifty years after his death, in 1988, when his letter was finally published in the Soviet press.

Some of the other Bolsheviks were "rehabilitated" by Khrushchev in the period 1956-64, and as mentioned above, others were rehabilitated by Gorbachev. In 1987-88, the Party Control Commission rehabilitated several of the better known purge victims, including Kamenev, Zinoviev, Pytakov, and Radek. However, rehabilitations went very slowly, on a case-by-case basis.

We should note that the purge trials were only the tip of the iceberg. In all, some 90% of the delegates of the 17th Party Congress of 1934 were purged, and most of them were killed. Moreover, aside from the victims' families, friends, and dependents, the NKVD had regional quotas to fill, so charges were fabricated -- as were the charges against the old Bolshevisks -- to fill them. The NKVD investigators were themselves under the gun. If they did not produce the required number of confessions/convictions, they were arrested and sent to labor camps. The explanation Molotov gave years later of this mass murder of party members was that with the approach of war, anyone who had ever been dissatisfied or disappointed with the regime, was a potential enemy of the USSR and had to be eliminated. Kaganovich made the same point earlier, in the 1960s. (11a)

Of course, Stalin's enemy no. 1 was Trotsky. As mentioned earlier, he was murdered by a Stalinist agent in Mexico in 1940. The assassin, Ramon Mercader (alias: Jacques Mornard), washelped by certain NKVD operatives to worm his way into Trotsky's confidence. He asked Trotsky to read something he had written, and then killed him in his study by driving an ice pick through his brain. The assassin was tried and sentenced in Mexico to 20 years. After his release, he was allowed to live peacefully in communist Czechoslovakia as a pensioner of the state, but moved to Moscow in 1968. After Gorbachev came to power, Trotsky was mentioned again in Soviet texts. (12)

The Purge of the Soviet Military.

The Army. Navy, and Air Force Officer Corps was decimated.. On June 11, 1937, the Soviet press announced that the following had been charged with treason: Marshal Mikhai1 N.Tukhachevsky, who had led the Red Army into Poland in July 1920, had been Deputy Commissar of Military and Naval Affairs since 1931, and Marshal since 1935; Army Commander General Yona E. Yakir; Army Commander I. P. Uborevich; Corps Commanders Eidemann, Vitovt Putna. Feldman. and Primakov; Army Commander Kork and 1st Deputy Commissar of Defense Yan Gamarnik, (whose suicide had been announced on June 1st). 

They were executed.

Also accused of treason were Marshal Alexander I.Yegorov (1885-1937), Marshal Vasily K.Bluekher (sometimes spelled Blucher, 1889-1938), and many other high-ranking officers. They were condemned for "espionage" as German agents. It seems that Stalin made some use of fake documents fabricated by the Nazi Security Service - though they might have been "leaked" by Stalin himself. In any case, the Germans planted them on the Czechoslovak intelligence, after which they were transmitted to Stalin by President Edward Benes (1884-1948 - Czechoslovakia was an ally of the Soviet Union since May 1935). But Stalin did not produce these documents as "proof," and his real motive for these purges seems to have been the fear that a claimant to his power might be found in the leadership of the Soviet armed forces. Some of them, especially Tukhachevsky, enjoyed great prestige and popularity among the Russian people.

As a result of the military purges, four out of five Soviet marshals, some 90% of the generals, 80% of the colonels, and in all, 80% of officers above the rank of captain, were shot or put in labor camps. Some survived to be released and serve again in 1941, but onverall the purge greatly weakened the army. We may well wonder whether Stalin really feared an attack on the Soviet Union by a coalition of Germany, Poland, France and Britain ? (Hitler had come to power in January 1933 and was rabidly anti-communist, although German-Soviet trade relations continued). (13)

If Stalin really had such fears, why did he destroy the most experienced members of the Soviet officer corps? The causes seem to have been internal. There were reports of soldiers' and officers ' criticism of forced collectization for, after all, their families suffered. Indeed, it was the security troops which attacked resisting peasants because the army was considered unreliable.. (13a) Thus, it seems likely that Stalin feared the mounting criticism of his policy in both party and army circles, and viewed some popular army leaders as a serious threat to himself.. Furthermore, he seems to have nursed resentments against some of them and especially Tukhachevsky, who had blamed him for the 1920 defeat in Poland. Finally, he disagreed with the army leaders' views on what the army should be; he supported the idea of a people's army rather than a professional army. All these factors seem to have contributed to the military purge, but we do not know which were the most important.


In the Stalinist period, Western symptahizers defended the USSR as a true socialist state; they often condemned critics as "fascists" or "defenders of capitalism" and "Western imperialism." This trend continued not only in World War II but also during the Cold War era. Indeed, at that time, strong criticism of the Soviet system was seen by some people in the West as synonymous with defending the right-wing extremism of Senator Joseph McCarthy, who hounded Americans suspected of being Communists in 1949-54. In general, before official Soviet revelations came, under Gorbachev, of the depths of the Stalin terror, some Western sympathizers either denied it, or played it down. Others claimed that Stalin was not involved in everything, so all crimes could not be blamed on him. Others expressed the view that instead of talking about the terror, we should stress the "upward mobility" that resulted from it. (14)

Now, however, there is no longer any doubt about the dimensions of the terror and of Stalin's complicity in it. It is true that there was an enormous upward mobility for millions of Soviet citizens, primarily Russians, who took the places of the purged officials and others. There is also no doubt that these upwardly mobile people were grateful and loyal to Stalin for their promotions. But few would now defend the terror as justified by the need to modernize the USSR and provide upward mobility for its population. It is also clear that collectivization was a disaster, and that industrialization was extremely wasteful both in lives and products.

 Under Gorbachev, Soviet scholars no longer tried to minimize the Stalin terror, which uprooted whole communities and led to the death of millions of people. However, the small Russian Communist Party today, under its leader Zyuganov, has Stalin as its hero. They either deny or minimize his crimes, while praising him for making the USSR a great military power. They also stress the fact that under Stalin people had housing and jobs - an argument that carries much weight with the great numbers of people who suffer from the economic reforms begun by Gorbachev and carried on by Yeltsin. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia in 2000-08, then Premier, patronised a positive image of Stalin in history textbooks for schools.

How can we explain and understand Stalin? It has been suggested that Stalin was mad, or that he projected his own mistakes on to his victims, and that this explains the venomous hatred with which he persecuted them (e.g. the American biographer of Stalin, Robert C. Tucker (d. at age 99 in September 2010). Stalin may well have been clinically paranoid but, as noted earlier, his aim was absolute power and he was utterly ruthless in its pursuit.

We must also bear in mind the burden of Russian history. Russia had a tradition of terror, as exemplified by Ivan (IV) the Terrible (ruled 1547-1584), and by Peter the Great (ruled 1689-1725), both of them great empire builders. We know that Stalin saw himself as a latter day Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great. In fact, he even directed the refurbishing of their reputations in books and films, while clearly hinting that he was cast in their mold. Finally, the imperial Okhrana (Security Police) was powerful in the 19th century and penal labor camps also existed at that time. However, the people sent to these camps were either hardened criminals and/or political prisoners charged with conspiring to overthrow the government, For e.g. violent Russian opponents of Tsardom and some the Polish rebels against Russia in 1830-31 and 1863-64 were sent to labor camps, though most people convicted of political crimes were exiled to Siberian villages. There, they could live as best they could under police supervision, which was a far cry from the horrors of Stalinist labor camps and the generally appaling living conditions in "special settlements."

Aside from Russian history, Stalin also had Bolshevik practice to guide him. Lenin had sanctioned terror as a legitimate political weapon against enemies of Bolshevism, including Mensheviks, S.Rs and rebellious peasants (Penza, 1919). Shoud this be seen this only as a reaction to terror against Bolsheviks including Lenin himself - attempts to assassinate him? Lenin also established labor camps for political enemies. 

Furthermore, even in Lenin's time, "plots" were fabricated against the "Cadets" (Constitutional Democrats) and S.Rs, which led to the execution or forced labor of many innocent people. The Cheka (abbreviation of Vecheka, first name of the security police), was created as early as December 1917. The Cheka arrested and killed untold numbers of people. Rigged show trials of "wreckers" and "saboteurs" were staged in the 1920; and early 1930s. Zinoviev indulged in smearing his enemies, i.e. in political slander. Finally, Trotsky, who later attacked party "bureaucratization" and demanded party democracy, had earlier supported Lenin's ban on political "factions" within the party. He had also crushed the Kronstadt revolt and proclaimed it to be a "White Guardist Plot." Thus, Stalin had plenty of precedents for using terror, both in Russian and Bolshevik tradition - although before he attained absolute power, the leadership had opposed using terror against party members.

Even considering all these precedents, however, there had been no terror in Russian history on the scale carried out by Stalin, who even overshadowed Hitler in this domain -- talhough Ivan the Terrible might have killed as great a percentage of the population living at his time. Some idea of the scale of Stalin's terror can be obtained from reading the Soviet Penal Code, printed in Alexander Solzhenitsvn's book The Gulag Archipelago (Gulag is the Russian acronym for: Glavnoe Upravlenie Lageri = the State Administration of Labor Camps).

Most of Stalin's victims were convicted on the basis of art. 58 of the Soviet Criminal Code of 1926. This catch-all article had 14 sections:

Section 1 stated that any action directed toward the weakening of state power was considered "counter-revolutionary." This could be interpreted to mean a prisoner's refusal to work.

In 1934, new subsections la, lb, lc, and ld, were added dealing with "treason to the motherland". Thus, all and any actions directed against the military might of the USSR carried the penalty of ten years of prison (la) or death (lb), though the latter was most common. This meant that Soviet soldiers who were taken prisoner during the war, were given 10 year sentences for "betraying the motherland." Some Russians who emigrated abroad after the revolution or civil war, and had the misfortune of being swept up in the Red Army's advance into Eastern and Central Europe, were handed over by the allies and were also convicted on the basis of this article. So were Poles who had fought in the Polish underground army against the Germans in the territories annexed by the USSR in 1939 and then occupied by the Germans, e.g. the Vilnius region in Lithuania and the L'viv region in western Ukraine. Soviet law treated them as Soviet citizens who had committed treason against the USSR. (Those who resisted arrest or/and incoporation in the Red Army were sentence either to death sentence or many years in labor camps).

Furthermore, the section on "treason" was broadened by article 19 of the criminal code, which allowed "intent" to suffice for conviction. Indeed, the criminal code stated that it drew no distinction between intention and the crime itself, and that this showed the superiority of Soviet over "bourgeois" legislation. Of course, the NKVD, forced the accused to confess that he or she "intended" to betray the USSR, and confessions were often obtained under torture.

Section 2 of the criminal code stated that armed rebellion, seizure of power in the capital or in the provinces, especially with the intention of severing a part of the USSR by force, was treason. This was read to mean that all Polish resistance fighters against the Germans who were active in former eastern Poland, as well as Baltic, Ukrainian or Transcaucasian patriots, were guilty of treason and received automatic sentences of 10 or even 25 years of prison.

Section 3 stated that it was treason to assist a foreign state at war with the USSR. In practice, this meant that any citizen who tried to make a living in German-occupied territory could be convicted as a traitor, if this suited the local NKVD.

Section 4 dealt with aiding the "international bourgeoisie." This meant that any Russian living abroad without Soviet consent was guilty of treason. Thus, all such Russians found by the Red Army t the end of WW II in Eastern or Central Europe, or handed over by the Allies, were automatically sentenced under art. 58-4, even if they had left their country in the years 1918-21.

Section 5 dealt with inciting a foreign state to declare war on the USSR. One wonders what private Soviet citizens could be guilty of that? It is likely that this section was used, along with others, to convict Soviet officers and men taken prisoner by the Germans, who then joined the Russian army units which fought on their side, led by General Andrei V. Vlasov (1900-1946). Most of these men had the option of starving to death or fighting on the German side, though Vlasov -- who distinguished himself in fighting the Germans before being taken prisoner -- fought from conviction. At the end of the war, Vlasov and his men were forcibly rounded up by the western Allies, whose protection they had sought --. handed over to Stalin, who put them to death.

The same fate awaited the forces led by General Piotr N. Krasnov, leader of the Don Cossacks against the Bolsheviks in the Civil War. He emigrated to Germany and fought on the German side in World War II. He was captured by the Soviet army after the war and executed in 1947. Hundreds of Cossacks were handed over by the western powers to the Soviets; many committed suicide.

The western allies handed over many Russian civilians. A total of some 2 million Soviet citizens were forcibly "repatriated" at the end of the war. The vast majority were put in Soviet labor camps.

Section 6 dealt with espionage. According to Solzhenitsyn, this reflected Stalin's spy mania. Indeed, this section allowed conviction even on the basis of "suspicion of espionage," or of contacts leading to espionage.
Section 7 dealt with subversion of industry, transport, trade and money circulation. It was frequently used to accuse people of "wrecking," in order to punish managers and sometimes workers, who failed to fulfill production plans - no matter for what reason.

Section 8 covered terror, and could be invoked even if someone hit an official or resisted arrest. There was also a subsection for conviction via "intent."

Section 9 dealt with explosion or arson; this was linked with "diversion," which meant sabotage, and could be used as a pretext to obtain conviction.

Section 10 dealt with propaganda and agitation for the overthrow or weakening of Soviet power, or the preparation and/or circulation of literary material with the same intent. This section could even apply to private conversations reported by informers, or to private letters opened by the censors. (Solzhenitsyn was convicted for joking about Stalin in a letter to a friend).

Section 11 stated that any treasonous action was aggravated if undertaken in an organization or if the accused then joined an organization. As in sec. 10, even an exchange of letters between two persons could be construed as constituting an "organization."

Section 12 dealt with failure to denounce anyone suspected or known to have undertaken the actions described above. This clearly encouraged informing on one's friends, colleagues, and even family.
Section 13 dealt with membership in the Tsarist security police, i.e., the Okhrana. Presumably, it was little used after the mid-1920s. (Ironically, some Western historians suspected Stalin of having served the Okhrana, but if he did, no documentary evidence has survived).

Section 14 stipulated penalties for conscious failure to carry out defined duties, or intentionally careless execution of same. Obviously, anyone who failed in his duties, whatever the reason, could be convicted on this charge.

Stalin even passed legislation allowing the trial and punishment for political crimes of children as young as 12 years old. This was a very effective means of pressure on people with small children to "confess" to crimes they had not committed. The children of convicted persons, who were under 12 years old, were put in special communist orphanages and given new names, so they would not know who their parents were.

Many books have been written about NKVD methods of obtaining confessions, which were always used as the basic evidence for conviction. This was a medieval practice abandoned in the West by the early 19th century. NKVD methods at first included beatings and/or torture, but after 1938, the NKVD mostly used the "conveyor belt" method of interrogation, that is, shifts of interrogators for many hours at a time. This meant depriving the prisoners of sleep, as well as limiting or denying them food and water. Also, threats were made against family members -- who were arrested anyway .After 1938, convicted prisoners were usually sentenced to labor camps, though many were shot there later. In any case, of those who were not, few survived the rigors of camp work.

Accounts of life in Stalin's labor camps began to leak out when some of the Poles deported to the USSR in 1939-40, left for the Middle East with the army led by General Wladyslaw Anders in 1942. However, at that time the British government did not allow such accounts to be published. Therefore, the world learned about the camps from some books written by Polish survivors after the beginning of the Cold War, though even then they often met with disbelief. Thus, an early English language account of life in Stalin's labor camps A World Apart, written by a Polish author and former Gulag prisoner, Gustav Herling-Grudzinski (translation from the Polish, London and New York, 1951, reprinted 1996), did not make a great impression at the time.

A dent was made in this attitude by Nikita Khrushchev's public attacks on Stalinism in 1956 and 1961. The first famous Soviet novel depicting life in the labor camps was Alexander Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, published in the main Soviet cultural periodical Novy Mir (New World), in 1962, and in English translation the following year. However, there was too much resistance by party bureaucrats to allow the publication of other similar novels even in Khrushchev's time, and Leonid I. Brezhnev (1964-1982), restricted such publications. Thus, many other works, including memoirs such as Evgenia Ginzburg's Journey into the Whirlwind (1967) had to be smuggled out and published abroad. Indeed, Brezhnev fostered the rehabilitation of Stalin as a great Soviet statesman for industrializing the USSR, and as a great war leader.Some Western sovietologists followed this trend and even questioned whether great numbers of people were really killed under Stalin's rule, claiming this was improbable.

Solzhenitsyn, whose other novels circulated in "samizdat" (self-printing) was expelled from the Soviet Writers' Union in 1969, but was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970. Meanwhile, he collected hundreds of personal accounts of NKVD "interrogations" and of life in the labor camps, which he used to write Gulag Archipelago. 1918-1945. Since he could not publish this in the USSR, it was published in the West in 1974. For this, and also because he had become a leading dissident, he was forcibly deported in the same year. After a brief stay in Switzerland, where he was joined by his family, he settled in Vermont in the United States in 1974, but returned to Russia twenty years later in July 1994.

Shortly after Mikhail Gorbachev became Secretary General of the Party in March 1985, he took a leaf from Khrushchev's book and launched a full scale attack on Stalinism. Thus, publications on the Stalin terror began to appear in the USSR. This was so because, in Gorbachev's struggle for political and economic change, he was opposed by the old party bureaucracy, which could be identified with Stalinism. Thus, in 1987-89, the condemnation or defense of Stalin became the "litmus test" of being for or against Gorbachev.At the same time, the policy of "Glasnost" or open discussion, allowed new historical research to uncover the real face of Stalinism. As mentioned earlier, Dmitri Volkogonov's biography of Stalin appeared in Russian in 1988, and in English translation in 1994. It was the first full scale biography based on hitherto closed Russian archival materials, as were his biographies of Lenin and Trotsky. Under the presidency of Vladimir Putin, however (2000-2008), Stalin was presented in a positive light in history textbooks for schools as well as in government-controlled media.

IV. Education. The Sciences. Culture and the Church under Stalin (On the 1920s, see The NEP Period, section 2).

(a) The Soviet Russian Republic.

In the 1930s, the former experimental methods of education were abandoned in favor of rigorous discipline, tough grading, as well as the renewed use of school uniforms and medals. Even greater emphasis was now placed on teaching all subjects from the Marxist-Leninist point of view.

At the same time, the number of schools increased greatly and in 1930 compulsory education was made mandatory from the age of eight. This meant 4 years of school in the countryside, but 7 yrs. in the towns, especially those located in industrial regions. In 1934, the length of school education was increased; in general, 10 years of schooling became the prerequisite for higher studies. Finally, the need for technical training led to the establishment of Higher Technical Institutes. Political education made up between one-third and one-fifth of the curriculum in both universities and technical institutes.

Most sciences were subordinated to Marxism-Leninism, and this led to great distortions and stagnation. The most famous "scientific" theory of the time was the Lysenko theory, i.e., that characteristics acquired by one generation of plants were transferable to the next. The creator of this theory, Trofim D.Lysenko (1898-1976), was supported by Stalin and became President of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in 1938. He instituted a reign of terror, persecuting all scientists who disagreed with him. This led to stagnation in Soviet genetics.

Stalin also supported Ivan P. Pavlov (1849-1946), in his research into conditioned reflexes, because it coincided with Marxist teaching on the decisive influence of environment on behavior. (Compare the work and theories of B. F. Skinner in the United States).

In historiography (the writing of history), the earlier blanket condemnation of prerevolutionary Russia by Marxist historians was replaced, under Stalin's direction, by a Russian nationalist interpretation. One characteristic example of this trend was the condemnation of the Norse (or Viking) theory of the origins of Kievan Rus, the first Russian state which existed between the 10th and 13th centuries in the area of present-day central Ukraine. The old theory stated that it was founded by Norse invaders, who came down the river network to Kiev. In reaction to the Nazi theory of the superiority of Aryan, Germanic races over others, this theory was condemned as an insult to the Russian people.

Most of Russian history was now presented in nationalist terms. Under Stalin's direction, there was particular praise for Peter the Great (ruled 1682-1725), as the "modernizer" of Russia, for Stalin saw himself as his successor. Indeeed, the writer Alexander N. Tolstoy (1883-1945) revised his biography of Peter the Great several times to satisfy Stalin, and the last version served as the basis for a film, also approved by Stalin. Likewise, the great film director, Sergei M. Eisenstein (1898-1948), whose films on the Bolshevik revolution and collectivization had been suppressed, came back into favor with Alexander Nevsky (1938), showing the defeat of the German Knights of the Cross who sank through the ice of Lake Peipus.

In 1934, a new era began in Literature and the Arts, with the imposition of Socialist Realism. This dogma demanded that artists paint and sculpt "heroic workers," - e.g. the girl loves tractor style of paintings - and Bolshevik heroes, especially Lenin and Stalin. Indeed, their statues came to be mass produced, while in paintings Stalin was always shown right next to Lenin. Writers had to idealize workers in factories and peasants on collective farms. Above all, they had to portray Communists as "positive heroes" and anti-Communists as villains. It is not surprising that most of the literary production of the Stalin era can be classified as hack work. Exceptions to this rule are the works of Mikhail I. Sholokhov (1905-1978), who portrayed Cossack opposition to heroic Communist efforts to impose collectivization in Virgin Soil Upturned (vol. I, 1931, vol. 2, 1959). His greatest work, however, dealt with the Civil War; it was titled: Quiet Flows the Don (1934), and was followed by The Don Flows Home to the Sea.(1959). The author won prizes for these works. However, in the 1970s Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Roy Medvedev claimed that the first book had been plagiarized from the work of a "White" Cossack writer, Fyodor Kryvkov. Whatever the case might be, Quiet Flows the Don is fascinating reading, even in translation.

Two other writers managed to produce readable novels during the Stalin era. Boris A. Pilnyak (1894-1942) wrote The Volga Flows into the Caspian Sea (1930), which was set in the Five Year Plan. However, as mentioned earlier, he was liquidated in the purges. Fyodor V. Gladkov (1883-1958), wrote two novels: Cement, and Energy. The first focused on the reconstruction of a cement factory destroyed during the Civil War, and the second dealt with the construction of the great hydroelectric plant built near Zaporozhe on a dam in the Dnieper River in 1927-32. Both novels were popular with Soviet readers because they showed people as human beings and not as cardboard characters in the Communist mold.

Writers who did not want to follow party formulas generally made a living by translation. The poet Boris L. Pasternak (1890-1960) translated Shakespeare, Goethe, and other poets into Russian. (Later, his great novel, Dr. Zhivago, was published in the West in 1957 and he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1958. He declined it because the book was rejected for publication in the USSR. It was condemned as painting an unheroic picture of the Civil War and was finally published in the USSR in 1988).

The Orthodox Church again came under attack in the years 1929-33. A campaign was launched to spread atheism and, for a while, Sunday was abolished as a day of rest. Many of the remaining churches, monasteries, and convents were destroyed or used for other purposes, while the religious were sent to labor camps. The Kazan Cathedral in Leningrad was turned into a Museum of Atheism. As mentioned earlier, Patriarch Sergei reacted to these developments by proclaiming his support of the Soviet regime.

(b) The Nationalities.

Secret societies were formed in Soviet Ukraine, where resistance to collectivization was the strongest. The most important of these societies was "The Union for the Liberation of Ukraine." In 1930, the trial of 45 of its members spelled the end of the former policy of "Ukrainization," and thus of the Ukrainian cultural renaissance. In June 1933, the First Secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party, Nikolai A. Skrypnik (1872-1933), who encouraged ukrainization and wished to establish some degree of Ukrainian autonomy, was accused of leading a Ukrainian "counter-revolutionary organization. He committed suicide.

In 1937, Nikita Khrushchev. Vyacheslav Molotov. and Genrikh Yagoda were sent to Ukraine to liquidate "the enemies of the People," which meant just about anyone suspected of Ukrainian nationalism and/or potential political opposition to Stalin. This led to the execution of most members of the Ukrainian Communist Party and government in 1937-38. At the same time, many Ukrainian intellectuals, including professors, were deported or killed. The same process took place at this time in Belorussia.

There was also renewed persecution of the Jews. Apart from having their synagogues closed and their Rabbis arrested, they were discriminated against in education as well as in military, political, and educational careers. In the purges of the 1930s, however, many communist leaders and writers of Jewish origin were murdered for real or suspected opposition to Stalin, not because of their racial origin.

In the Caucasus there was a long struggle with the Moslem leaders of the Chechen-Ingush. In Georgia, where prominent party leaders opposed Stalin, there was a radical purge of the party.

The same type of repression occurred in Soviet Central Asia. In Kirghizia and Kazakhstan, the nomad people's resistance to collectivization was brutally crushed. Here, as elsewhere in non-Russian regions, Stalin pursued a policy of intensive Russian settlement. This took place mostly in the cities and ensured Russian control. In the whole region, parties were purged and native cultural development came to a virtual standstill. The same applied to the Tartar peoples.

Finally, the histories of non-Russian peoples were rewritten to emphasize - and exaggerate - their links with Russia. Thus, the great Ukrainian/Cossack leader of the 17th century, Bohdan Khmelnitsky, who led the revolt against Poland in 1648 and tried to establish a Ukrainian state (his own), was now praised as a great man for forging an "unbreakable bond" between the Russian and Ukrainian peoples. In reality, he had turned to Moscow for help against the Poles and Turks, but did not intend to subject the Ukraine to Russia. In 1954, the USSR celebrated the three hundredth anniversary of the Treaty of Pereiaslav "uniting" Ukraine with Russia. This union ended with the collapse of the USSR in August1991.

The combination of forced collectivization and national persecution made some of the Ukrainians, Belorussians, Cossacks, Crimean Tartars, Chechens, Ingush, and other peoples welcome the Germans when they invaded the USSR in late June 1941. Stalin took revenge by deporting many of them to Siberia. Khrushchev "rehabilitated" most of them, and the survivors returned home, but the Crimean Tartars are still struggling to regain their land, which now belongs to Ukraine but has a large Russian population.


VI. The Stalinist Model of the Party-State.

The Stalin era in the USSR produced a political, economic, social and cultural model of the Party- State which was to be imposed later on other peoples in postwar Eastern Europe and, with certain modifications, in Red China, North Korea, Vietnam, Ethiopia, the People's Republic of Yemen (PDRY), Cuba, and to some extent by the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.

The Stalinist model has been defined in many different ways, but for our purposes it can be summarized as follows:

A. Political Power.

1. The Communist Party held the monopoly of power. This was inherited from Lenin but consolidated under Stalin.

2. The Party established and expanded a bureaucracy which doubled that of the State. In fact, reliable party members formed a Nomenklatura, or closed list of names of approved comrades, who ran all the ministries, state enterprises and institutions, down to and including the state and collective farms.

B. Economic Policy.

1. Nationalization, that is, state ownership of all the means of production as well as all services: shops, restaurants, etc.

2. Forced collectivization of the land and forced industrialization. Later exceptions to the latter were countries which clearly lacked resources for heavy industry, e.g., Cuba. (Even though Castro himself decided to give it a try - and failed).

3. Central economic planning, which concentrated on specific areas, mainly heavy industry, while neglecting consumer goods and generally under- investing in collective agriculture.

C. Education and Religion.

1. Free school education for all and higher education for the children of party members as well as gifted children outside the party.. At the same time, however, all education was heavily politicized.

2. The state established communist organizations for children and teenagers, i.e. the Young Pioneers and the Komsomol. Membership was a prerequisite for admission to higher education and political careers. 90% of teachers and students at Moscow State University were party members.

3 . Religion was persecuted. However, churches subordinated to and controlled by the State were allowed to exist. ( These were Orthodox and Catholic churches, though the latter was severely restricted). Security personnel infiltrated the churches, even becoming Orthodox clergy.

The Orthodox Church again came under attack in the years 1929-33. A campaign was launched to spread atheism and, for a while, Sunday was abolished as a day of rest. Many of the remaining churches, monasteries, and convents were destroyed or used for other purposes, while the religious were sent to labor camps. The Kazan Cathedral in Leningrad was turned into a Museum of Atheism and the Church of the Savior in Moscow was torn down. (It was rebuilt after the collapse of the USSR in late 1999). As mentioned earlier, Patriarch Sergei reacted to these developments by proclaiming his support of the Soviet regime.

We should note that the attack on religion included all other religious faiths and all sects not recognized by the state, e.g. the independent Baptists and Pentecostals, as well as the Uniates (Eastern Catholics) in the Ukraine and the Roman Catholics in Belorussia. (Most of the latter were Polish peasants. Whole Polish villages were deported to Soviet Central Asia in the purge years 1936-37). There were also intensified attacks on the Jewish and Moslem faith. Hebrew and Arabic were both forbidden.

D. The Judicial System and Police.

 The judicial system was subordinated to the state. Furthermore, the judicial system was served by an all-powerful security police, backed by vast networks of informers in all institutions and places of work, as well as in apartment buildings, where janitors were police agents expected to report on the inhabitants.

E. Control of Labor and Professions.

The Party controlled all trade unions and all professional associations.

G. Social Welfare and Employment.

1. There was free medical care. It was, however, generally of medium to low quality except for the privileged elite. It was much better in key cities than in provincial towns.

2. There was low cost (subsidized) public housing. It was, however, always in short supply except for party members and they were served in a strictly hierarchical order. Very little new housing was built, so most people, even whole families, lived in rooms in pre-revolutionary apartments, sharing kitchens and bathrooms. This kind of housing was known as the "commoonalka."

3. There was full employment, but working conditions and worker housing were often very bad. Also, political dissidents were barred from working, then punished for not working and/or "hooliganism."
This Soviet model was imposed, with local variations, on all communist states.

{Heavily footnoted - see at above link...}