Bolsheweak


Lenin

Today is the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution. Regardless of your political predilections, there’s no arguing about the significance of this event for Russian and world history alike. The striking disparity between its importance and the status of the anniversary in Russia is obvious: just an exhibition here, a procession there – and that’s it. An explanation of this quietness by the-authorities-want-to-suppress-the-celebration-of-muh-revolyutsiya is too lazy to debunk. If the memory and ideas of bolsheviks had any real popular support, no ‘cosmonauts’ (i.e. police in riot gear) would stop the masses from expressing their love for free commie stuff. Once there was a revolution… but there’s none now.

Yet, there are foreigners buying ‘Soviet’ badges, mugs and T-shirts along with matryoshkas and ushankas, and taking photos with a Lenin cosplayer for money.

Lenin is more alive than all the living! Lenin is a mushroom brand!

You can find the Russian version of this post here.

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Nyet Future: 2017 as Seen in 1960


‘Diafilm’ (filmstrip) from 1960. Sorry, Yuri! Continue reading “Nyet Future: 2017 as Seen in 1960”

The Art of Ad: Russia’s ‘Imperial’ Bank Ads


"Imperial' Bank

In the world where art turned into advertising, ads became art

Captain Obviov

I remember I used to watch the ‘Imperial’ bank (1990-1999) ads on Russian TV in the 90s. The bank is now as dead as Julius Caesar (RIP) but the ads remain. Here are the ones with English subtitles. Actually there’s more of them. Enjoy! Continue reading “The Art of Ad: Russia’s ‘Imperial’ Bank Ads”

The Retrospective Foresight Saga (The Eternal Return of Russia Analysis)


Russia & the West.

Pt. VII: The Retrospective Foresight Saga (The Eternal Return of Russia Analysis)

Bhavacakra
Bhavacakra

A simple study of names and dates will prove that between the policy of Ivan III and that of modern Russia there exists not similarity, but sameness. […] At length Peter the Great coupled the political craft of the Mongol slave with the proud aspiration of the Mongol master to whom Genghis Khan had, by will, bequeathed his conquest of the earth.

Karl Marx, Revelations on the Diplomatic History of the Eighteenth Century (1857).

❅❅❅

When I first went to Russia it was in 1991, I caught the last couple of months of the Soviet Union before it came crumbling down, and I was in Moscow during the coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, or the coup attempts, I should say, when there was this great optimism right after, that Russia would soon join the international community and would be sharing in Western prosperity, and so on and so forth. And it became quickly evident, in fact, it was evident already before then that the Soviet Union didn’t entirely crumble and leave a ruin on which to build a new shining capitalist democratic society but it still had many structures in place and many behaviors that continued. Nevertheless, I think it could have fundamentally changed, it was fundamentally changing in some ways in the 1990s, that is, I don’t believe Russia’s faded to remain a corrupt authoritarian country.

Gregory Feifer on Putin’s Russia (2015).

Ouroboros by Theodoros Pelecanos, in the alchemical Byzantine Greek alchemical manuscript Synosius (1478)
Ouroboros by Theodoros Pelecanos, in the alchemical Byzantine Greek alchemical manuscript Synosius (1478)

Of course, confrontation can’t last forever. When Russia emerges from its current course in the coming years or decades, it will be nearly as shell-shocked as after the Soviet collapse in 1991. The people will be confronted with the same massive task of reforming not merely the economy and government but also some of their cherished attitudes and thoughts. For now, however, they will no doubt dismiss the suspicion that will naturally fall on Russian Olympic medals in Rio, failing to see just what the Russian revelations have exposed about their country’s real place in the world.

Gregory Feifer, Russian Envy (2016).

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The concept of Russia’s eternal sameness appears in a plethora of Western Russia narratives. By this ‘sameness’ I mean the continuity of Russia’s identical essence during all (or at least several) historical periods and forms of Russian statehood.

Continue reading “The Retrospective Foresight Saga (The Eternal Return of Russia Analysis)”

Monument to Nikolay Karamzin


Monument to Nikolay Karamzin
Monument to Nikolay Karamzin
Monument to Russian historian Nikolay Mikhailovich Karamzin (1766-1826), author of “History of the Russian State”, in Simbirsk.
Continue reading “Monument to Nikolay Karamzin”