Some of the misguided leaders of the Soviet Union may actually have thought they were embroiled in a contest for world domination with a diametrically opposed philosophy they erroneously refereed to as “capitalism.” This silly idea was also espoused by many “fellow travelers” such as the American, French and Italian communist and socialist parties.

 In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. There is not today, nor has there ever been, any kind of “philosophy” that could masquerade as the underlying logic or raison d’ etre, of Capitalism.

Communism, Dialectic Materialism and the other shop-worn catch–words of this now thoroughly debunked, defunct and pathetic system, in the bright light of today seems awkward and  sophomoric- weak echo’s from a distant and dim past. In its early days, and as put forward in the writings of Marx, Lenin, Engles and Trotsky, Communism had indeed, some similarities with what might pass for a philosophy, or even a religion as many have pointed out.  After all, to be a “good communist” one had to be selfless, egalitarian and willing to sacrifice everything for the “cause” or, in the case of religion, the belief. The idea of “to all according to their need from all according to their ability” or some such claptrap was patently absurd and proved, in the end, hugely unworkable. 

The largely Christian West developed under market driven economies rather than one centrally controlled by government.  There is no mystery or philosophy responsible for the incredible success of the European and American economies. Goods and services are created and directed to those markets that have a need and pay the most. This system is better described as one advanced by natural and logical forces rather than any cohesive and managed plan.  Capitalism is simply supply and demand conducted under and within a system of common law, based for the most part on the Christian God’s ten commandants.  

In the Soviet state, a man was not allowed, by their absurd laws, to make a chair and sell it. A kid was not allowed to wash his neighbors car ( if, indeed, a neighbor even had a car) Private enterprise, of any kind, was prohibited and the penalties, for even minor transgressions, severe. An author was not allowed to profit from publishing his book. All publishing was a function of the state and there were, in fact, no private presses. All forms of profit making activity was outlawed and remained so for 70 odd years. Imagine, while the free world economies prospered and grew, the Soviet system stagnated while the monolithic state crushed every vestige of individual incentive.  

Western governments, for fifty years, dealt with communist countries by maintaining a powerful military force and a policy of containment under NATO & SEATO. This was never considered in the west as a contest of Capitalism vs. Communism. It was simply a way to survive the threat of a militaristic dictatorship that was spinning out of control.  

The Soviet empire was this xenophobic military colossus that demanded unquestioning obedience by its huge masses of imprisoned slaves. It is only due to the individual competence of the many dedicated Russian professionals that the Soviet system was able to work at all. The decisions of the aged, barbaric and hugely ignorant soviet leadership were almost all, terribly wrong. It is truly a wonder that anything worked at all, so egregiously erroneous were the edicts issued by the Soviet Masters. Billions of pounds of produce, grown by armies of slave laborers, rotted in rail yards waiting vainly for trains and rails hat hadn’t even been built. Electrical power stations were built that sat idle for lack of any way to supply oil or coal to power the generators or distribution lines to carry the power.

Engineers studied for years, earning advanced degrees, only to be ordered to work as common laborers. Those lucky enough to find work in their chosen professions were paid a miserable pittance of what they would have earned in any western economy. Huge and luxurious hotels were built and ordinary Soviet citizens of the “workers paradise” were prohibited from even entering the lobbies. Vast blocks of grey concrete towers served as “homes” for the slaves. These drab and boring towers of misery had no parking- After all, the slaves were never met to have cars, so why waste the space?  At times, two or three families shared a single 2 room flat- communal kitchens were the norm. 

Meanwhile, the party bosses, the fat cats, stuffed themselves with caviar and luxuries, denying themselves nothing while seeing every day the horrendous misery of their fellow Russians. How they could live with themselves is a mute testament to the triumph of self-

service and greed over human compassion. Many Russian artists and writers made films and illustrations subjecting the regime to ridicule. One was the famous Russian artist Ilya Glazunov, whose portrayal of the bloated leadership as sub- human hogs swilling at the public trough, pointedly expresses the artists utter contempt for the murderous power hungry soviet leaders.  

Lenin himself was a rather dull, self-important, insufferable bureaucrat who never physically labored a single day in his miserable life. He was filled with hatred of the so called “Boyar’s” or Russian upper class and was a man born without great imagination and  no practical knowledge of everyday life. In a pamphlet entitled What Is to Be Done? (1902) Lenin argued that “only a disciplined party of professional revolutionaries could bring socialism to Russia” In 1903, at a meeting of the Russian Social Democratic Labor party held in London, the party split into two factions, the Bolsheviks, headed by Lenin, and the Mensheviks who, while advocating the over-throw of the Czarist government, were in favor of a more moderate replacement.. Updated footnote, Lenin in 1903 sounds a lot like obama in 2009. What have the stupid American voters done to themselves)

Lenin continued to be the chief exponent of Bolshevik thought in the long struggles for supremacy against Plekhanov, Kautsky, and other less radical Marxists. With the outbreak of revolution in 1905, Lenin returned to Russia. His view that the Bolsheviks should take part in the second Duma prevailed in 1907, but he left Russia later that year and subsequently spent his time engaged in complex theoretical disputes which had little basis or relationship to the realities of human life.  

Lenin was in Switzerland during the early years of World War I. In his limited and naive view the war was an imperialist struggle since “imperialism,” whatever the hell that means, was, in his words, “the final stage of capitalism,” it was a “historical necessity that the war would offer opportunities for a revolution of the proletariat.”  This begs the question of what and who in hell are the Proletariat?  Lenin never saw the Proletariat as anything but faceless “masses.” He had no concept of individualism or the value of human life. He was a cold, empty and heartless person, one without depth- a shallow character like his absurd statues, a bas relief, with no dimension. In his ranting and screaming diatribes, he resembled Hitler, spitting and frothing his cruel invectives at people he never knew-consigning thousands to terrible deaths in the name of hideous and hellish social concepts. 

Lenin urged the proletariat to oppose the war by an international civil war against the “capitalist class.”  Here he showed his base ignorance and lack of perspective. Whatever didn’t fit into his muted and short-sighted world-view was dumped into one of his convenient catchall phrases. The “Capitalist class,” indeed!  There never was and never has been a class that one could label as “The capitalist Class.”  The myriad individuals who built businesses in Germany and Europe and indeed everywhere, were just that, individuals. They didn’t know each other and pretty much kept to their work building up their companies. They created jobs and had little interest in and little knowledge of “imperialism” if, indeed, they even knew what the word meant, which I rather doubt.  Over time, excesses were of course committed. The early days of western industrial age are full of stories of ruthless bosses working thousands into an early grave in horrible and dangerous sweatshops. The emergence of labor unions, a more enlightened middle class and the development of labor law cured most of these social ills so that today, labor unions are mostly passé and disappearing.  

After the outbreak of the Russian Revolution of February 1917, the German government allowed Lenin to cross Germany en route from Switzerland to Sweden in a sealed railway car. By aiding his return to Russia, the Germans hoped (correctly) to disrupt the Russian war effort. 

Lenin concluded that Russia was now ripe for a socialist revolution, arguing that the moderate provisional government represented the “bourgeoisie.” Again, the use of a term what has no meaning except as a convenient label for any one who worked hard and tried to make something of his life. Whereas, the soviets represented, in his words, a “revolutionary democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry.”  Now, if that isn’t an absurd mouthful of pure bullshit I don’t know what is!  

Let’s take this stupidity apart and see what the hell the idiot was saying. A “revolutionary,” meaning something new?  And then a what, a “democratic dictatorship?” This absurd reasoning creates a direct verbal short circuit. If a group is democratic, meaning ruled by a voting majority, then this body cannot, at the same time, be a “dictatorship” which means the opposite.  Lenin was here purely full of shit! He suggests that his favorite group, the “Proletariat” were being persecuted by this “ democratic dictatorship”  along with another group,  the “peasantry.” One wonders how people could even sit still and listen to these ravings from what is obviously an illogical and demented ranting madman. Anyone interested in the subject is invited to get a copy of the famous and hysterically funny Russian movie "Dogheart", an ironic "poke in the eye" of communalism in all its hideous manifestations.

In July, 1917, after an abortive mass uprising in Petrograd, Lenin was forced to flee to Finland- sad he wasn’t killed there, the world would have been so much better off. Although the Bolsheviks were represented only by a minority in the first all-Russian Soviet congress (June, 1917), they soon gained decisive power. In Nov, 1917 (October according to the old style calendar), the Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, who had returned to Petrograd, overthrew Kerensky's weak and disorganized regime establishing a Soviet government. And then, what? Quite determinedly, the idiots set about establishing the  most abusive and absolute  dictatorship the world had even seen. The system, under Lenin, persecuted everyone; his beloved Proletariat along with anyone else who got in his way or in the way of all his equally power hungry and demented followers, all were simply murdered or locked up in the hundreds of Gulags spread around the country. 

In the 30’s the farmers in the Ukraine and elsewhere who had owned and farmed their land for centuries were forced to dig their own mass graves and then party punks shot them in the back of their heads, blowing their blood, tissue bone and brains into the air,  while drinking vodka eating  black bread, re-loading. In this way they shot thousands of men women and children- “enemy’s of the state.”  Curiously, Lenin and the other party big wigs never actually saw any of this. Lenin ordered the murder of Nicholas II and his entire family in exactly this same way. These murderers by proxy had not the guts to actually get the blood of their victims on their Lilly white un- calloused, baby- soft hands.

The mass slaughter went on and on for 70 years. People were imprisoned for merely telling jokes about Stalin. The state emasculated its men, providing cheap vodka, taking away their children, forcing the women into the factories and trying to destroy the family unit-  all the while, creating the largest prison-state ever seen. In the end, more than 20 million human beings were murdered for this most baseless and fatuous of history’s stupid ideas.

In Russia, there was never any workers revolution- there was only the elimination of one harsh and ruthless ruling clique by another even more harsh and even more ruthless. The poor Proletariat never had a chance. The “Workers Paradise was created solely to serve the communist elite. What a colossal waste! How could the educated Russian people put up with those overfed, brutal and ugly hogs chowing down at the public trough for all those years?

 Everyone, by the 50’s, with even a scintilla of intelligence, knew perfectly well that the system was a farce and the country a shambles. Even those in high positions understood that it wasn’t working and wasn’t going to work. But, the Pigs at the top had the guns, they had the KGB, they had the prisons and they had the hired killers. The system, by that time, was immense and pervasive- repression had been perfected to an unheard of degree. A single utterance of disloyalty or a questioning any decree by the Pigs was cause for death or imprisonment.  People kept quiet because they were afraid- it is as simple as that- government by fear.

 All western constitutions recognize the dangers and risks of excessive power being vested in the hands of any single person. After finally ridding themselves of the beastly weight of the syphilitic and increasingly congenitally defective monarchies, the emerging western democracies established a balance of power between the various governmental components such that no one person or part could dominate, thus guaranteeing that none of them could be taken over by ruthless tyrants, kings, dictators or other megalomaniacal wackos. No single individual anywhere has the right to make decisions for everyone- not now, not then, not ever! In the west the rights of the individual are recognized as the cornerstone of the jurist prudence system. The right of the collective majority cannot be used to diminish the rights of the individual. In the United States these rights are enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, in France this is called the “Rights of Man,” In the UK, an early version was called the Magna Charta. By contrast, under the Soviet system, the individual had no rights whatsoever. In fact, no one had any rights except high party officials and whatever any of them had, including their lives, could be taken away in an instant if the “supreme leader” was so disposed.

 Today, we live in a world where such retro-thought has thankfully, all but disappeared. Castro, the senile geriatric, is one of the last pure dictators- others, such as Egypt’s Mubarak, Rhodesia’s Mugabee and the backward, bearded clerics in the Islamic theocracies, represent the last of this dwindling minority of criminal governments. 

 Russia today is on the mend. She is slowly waking up and ridding herself of the last vestiges of 70 years of hedonistic feasting at the expense of the people by a gross, greedy and overbearing party elite. Moscow is a vibrant and tough metropolis coming to grips with the myriad needs of a modern civilization increasingly interacting with western business and social individuals and interests. Foreign banks are springing up everywhere.

Société Nationale, one of the largest French banks has ten branches in Moscow, Citi Bank is there. People in Moscow can join the world in the greatest economic growth machine ever- debt financing. Today, almost anyone with a job in Russia can get credit to purchase a car, soon banks will extend home mortgages, credit card use is growing, however, this is still mostly relegated to hotels and the better restaurants frequented by the thousands of foreigner’s living in the city.

 Russia is rapidly making up for her disastrous 70 year experiment in trying to use a political system to force change in human nature.  To be sure there remains much to be done. The Soviet system was terribly destructive to the environment as well as everything else- the system was as hard on Mother Nature as it was on its slaves- destroying both with gay abandon on idiotic whims. Rivers and lakes are being cleaned up- roads are being repaired, the electric system is being upgraded.

 Perhaps, one of the biggest drawbacks to participation in international civil and social life and one that Russia is slowly beginning to deal with is the Cyrillic alphabet with its P’s for R’s and backward E’s for whatever. No western person speaking German, French, English or Italian can possibly even find a bathroom, let alone rent a car and hope to find an address.  Menus and street signs are incomprehensible-but, slowly, even this is changing. The mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luchkov and his staff are placing signage in the Roman alphabet in the Metro (subway) and many street intersections. There are few restaurants and hotels where the staff is not multilingual. There are no Russian words that cannot be spelled using the Roman alphabet, so nothing of value would be lost by the country ridding itself of this archaic impediment to economic growth. Learning a foreign language for Russian children would be 100% easier of they learned their native language written with Roman letters. My prediction, in 50 years, the Cyrillic alphabet will be history.

 What do I see as the biggest obstacles for Russia to overcome? Obviously, the first and most pressing, is the need to settle the situation on her southern borders. The emerging Islamic republics are a threat to the entire western world not only Russia. Chechnya is a manifestation of the emergence of Islamic insanity worldwide. Russia needs to join the civilized world to destroy this spreading barbaric dark sickness -a full commitment to the US effort in Afghanistan and Iraq would be a good beginning. ( Don't hold your breath)

 Russia secondly, has to create an atmosphere of respect for government. The rascals and criminals in the Duma and all levels of state and civil government have to be arrested and otherwise disposed of. A simple test of ethics, morality and decency has to be set up that anyone running for office has to pass to be on any ballot or appointed to any civil office. Such a standard would insist on transparency and honesty. Those with inexplicable foreign bank accounts have to be eliminated, any with contacts in the criminal underworld would be unable to pass this examination. After a few years, the citizens would begin to gain faith in their elected officials. The point of this is that the country has to collect fair taxes from all who prosper and work in the country. As it is, all feel that as their leaders cheat so should they.

 The third area that needs to be overhauled is the Russian court system. The judges have to be free of political influence completely. Russia has, on the books a body of law that appears adequate to protect the interests of its citizens. Currently, however this is being subverted by the heavy influence of the “organs of government.” The result is that Russian courts today are merely rubber stamps for whomever is in power This is  much as things were under the worst days of the Soviets. Russia will never reach its potential until this situation is corrected. 

With a fair rate of taxes actually being collected the government could pay the police a living wage and increase pensions to a livable level. As it is today, the police routinely shake down motorists and passers-by. Pensioners are desperately trying to survive with ever increasing costs of living on a miserable pittance after 40 years of work. This is intolerable and has to be changed. Those least able to fend for themselves in this robust new Russian economy have to be cared for by those best able to do so. This is a social obligation of the first order and thankfully, the Russian government seems to be aware of how critical this need is. Russia could train 50% of its police and militia as tax collectors and have them establish offices and contacts throughout the Russian business community. These personnel would be encouraged to work with the employers and business men toward the common good. Once the Russian people see the results in improved civil government all will be willing to participate.  

A forth area that needs fixing yesterday is the criminal element. Russia is rife with “bandits” who operate with seeming impunity, robbing, extorting and murdering at an alarming rate. The militia is unwilling or powerless to stop this gathering crime wave and often are being well paid to cooperate with the criminals. One lady caught two bandits stealing her brand new car in broad daylight and was told to “back off or she would be killed on the spot.”

The requirements for Visas for businessmen and tourists who are known to the Russian authorities from previous visits need to be eliminated. Those who pose no possible threat should be encouraged to visit as often as possible with no artificial and counter productive paperwork barriers. This will take a tremendous burden from the visa offices and let them focus on screening out the real risks. While on this subject, all western countries with increasingly interlocking and interdependent economies have to do the same. We all have to be encouraged to eliminate as many barriers as possible while still protecting ourselves from Islamic terrorists. Of course, to do this, the politically correct western government weenies have to face the fact that 100% of terrorism is Islamic and define the enemy in realistic terms.

Communism is dead and in fact, was born dead- it never had a life - it never provided an uplifting inspiration to humanity. Lenin and the rest of them never thought past the revolution- grab power and then what? They never had an idea of what to after consolidating power. Probably, this is because their violent methodology left them all awash in the bloody remains of their victims- up to their armpits in gore and rotting flesh, creating a stink that, like Lady Mcbeth, they could never wash off. Having illegally seized the reins of power, murdering and imprisoning all who spoke against them, they could not ever join the civilized world. They made themselves pariahs and outcasts. The free world looked on them as dark vicious killers from hell who had imprisoned and made slaves of their own people.

 All of them, this gang of murderers, were constantly judging others by their own criminal standards and spent their time looking over their shoulder, wondering which of their fellow travelers would be the one to stick a knife in their backs. Seeing the civilized world as being forever against them the Soviet criminals withdrew further into themselves. This “bunker mentality” developed into the “iron curtain” behind which the plotters of revolution spent decades trying fruitlessly to spread their particular brand of hell.  They never matured, never went beyond the revolution. There was no workers paradise and never could there be. In this way Communism was born and, in this way, after 70 years of terror and economic disaster, it died…  having achieved nothing, sputtering out in 1991 with not a bang but, instead, a very audible whimper. 

 Robert Firth

Moscow 2005