What is Russia?

Everything in the US political media is anti-Russian propaganda.  We are daily bombarded with innuendo of ‘Russian hacking & interference in US politics,’ with most people unaware of any historical facts concerning this country.

Any timeline of modern Russia begins with the overthrow of tsarism in 1917.  Throughout the Middle Ages and into capitalism, Russia remained a feudal relic.  Its spaces vast & impenetrable, while its industry meager and confined to a few industrial centers. The most important was St. Petersburg, primarily due to its port on the Baltic Sea.

By 1871, Western Europe had solidified its nation-state system, which pressured the long-existing balance of power, eventually causing its violent break-up in “The Great War.”  Austria-Hungary was partitioned & Balkanized after WWI. The same fate would have met Russia, if not for the Bolshevik party led by Lenin– and finally Trotsky.

The Russian tsar Nicholas II (above), had thrown his backward army into the trenches in 1914, and by 1916 they had collapsed. Germany was compelled to devote most of its resources to the Western front versus England, France (and later the US).  Only this (and Russia’s vast spaces) kept St. Petersburg & Moscow from being taken by German forces.

The overthrow of the tsar (February, 1917) and the conquest of power by the Bolsheviks in October, led by the most-advanced elements of the working class, established a worker’s government in St. Petersburg. What ensued was a global reorientation by the capitalist powers, ending ‘The Great War’ (with many still-unresolved issues) in order to devote all its resources towards overthrowing the worker’s government that had been newly-established in Russia.

By 1922, the Red army had repelled imperialist forces from around the world, and established the first worker’s state in human history, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).  It’s leader, VI Lenin (above) had survived an assassination attempt, but eventually became incapacitated by a series of strokes, and died in January 1924.  This led to a factional struggle for supremacy within the Bolshevik party, eventually pitting powerful bourgeois/fascist elements led by Joseph Stalin, against Leon Trotsky (below).

Trotsky had great support among the people for his leadership during the revolution. Lenin ordered Trotsky to organize & command the Red Army during the civil war, and without him, the revolution would have surely perished. That is the value of leadership.

Great genius is always attacked, and everyone has vulnerabilities.  Trotsky’s ‘liability’ was his brutal honesty, which won him the eternal respect & friendship of Lenin, but few others. Most feared & hated him politically, and Stalin (below) was adept at laying traps, creating intrigue, and back-room politicking; where Trotsky was always advancing the Russian revolution onto the international stage.

This led to parliamentary (conservative) maneuvering, which ousted & exiled Trotsky by the end of the decade. He was exiled to outer Siberia, then the Turkish island of Prinkipo, Norway, and finally Mexico. He continued his revolutionary leadership there, establishing the 4th International (today: WSWS.org).  He was viciously assassinated by an agent of Stalin in August, 1940, while working in his study.

An accurate synopsis of the USSR (above) is that it greatly advanced Russia through its socialized property relations, catapulting it to super-power status by the end of WWII. The Stalinist bureaucracy attached itself to the state (which owned everything), and gorged itself until it collapsed from within. The Soviet people were suppressed by a totalitarian police-state (KGB), but their standard-of-living was much higher than it has been since capitalist restoration [1].

This leads bourgeois historians to generally omit, distort, or gloss-over the Soviet era (1917-1991) from any discussion of Russia.  The US ideology towards the Soviet Union (during its existence) was hysterical red-baiting. Any solidarity with the Soviet people or appreciation for their beautiful land made you a “communist.”  Hollywood actors, musicians and other artists were blacklisted after WWII for these offenses. The FBI, led by J Edgar Hoover, investigated whomever he pleased with no accountability for democratic rights.  Most of the rest just got in line.

US ‘anti-USSR’ propaganda began to soften by the mid-1980’s, with perestroika (capitalist reform).  The failed USSR invasion of Afghanistan (1979-89) betrayed their military weaknesses.  The CIA & US special forces trained radical Islam ‘warriors’ to wage a terror war against the invading Soviet forces, and were largely successful.  This US-created Frankenstein mujahideen became the progenitor of Al Qaeda/ISIS.  The Chernobyl nuclear meltdown in the Ukraine (above), revealed severe limitations in the Soviet Union’s ability to provide basic necessities to its people.

In 1989, the Berlin Wall was opened (above), which re-integrated East Germany back into the west.  Finally the Soviet Union was liquidated in December, 1991.  Bourgeois analysts, intellectuals and historians were completely shocked at these events, while unanimously proclaiming the “end of history,” whatever that was supposed to mean?

Their point was: capitalism ‘won,’ and socialism had failed. As far as their analysis of how & why, Trotsky still explains it better than every bourgeois historian/propagandist, in his classic book cited above.

The break-up of the Soviet Union downsized Russia’s territory by approximately one quarter. This comparison map below illustrates the regions that have been ‘liberated.’  Note that these are important geo-strategic areas, along with new countries in central Asia that have HUGE untapped oil & natural gas reserves.

In bourgeois ‘thinking’ there are no permanent allies, only permanent interests.  That’s what’s always in play with the anti-Russian hysteria– deep state interests. The deep state is the hidden US apparatus that controls all the economic, military, political & media levers-of-power.  It is currently in a raging conflict over how much to escalate their ‘war on Russia.’  This war has never stopped, and as the global influence of the United States continues to decline– both economically & politically (Trump), then the more it resorts to militarism as a solution.

Right now, the power to annihilate humanity is in the hands of some very unstable & angry people.  These fascist forces can not be reasoned with, they must be met with organized political resistance.  Those are the hard facts that liberals always avoid.  Liberals prefer to be ostriches, continuing along with the heads in the sand, as if things will (somehow!) work themselves out.  They can’t be bothered with careful consideration & sacrifice, as they’ve done enough of that already. That is their collective psyche, and that is why Marxism orients itself towards the working class & students.

So why do American’s know so little about Russia?  First, there’s a language barrier. Even their Cyrillic alphabet is foreign, so Americans get little news that’s direct from Russia. Can you read any of this popular Russian newspaper shown above?  Everything we see on Russia is through the US-government propaganda lens.

Russia has a long history, much longer than the US.  Their contributions to literature, music, dance, science and political theory remain landmarks of human culture & civilization. To not embrace it is philistine.

To not appreciate the natural wonders of Russia, is to simply turn off one’s humanity. I will end this post with a small sample of it’s magnificent beauty, and ask why we have to be at war with this?