The Interview

I just spent five million hours being interviewed by Rod Dreher for his new book. He’s the first professional journalist of this caliber to interview me, and it’s a really unusual experience. You can see the professionalism at work, and it’s invigorating.

It’s only because of Rod Dreher that I go to church today. He didn’t inspire religious belief in me, obviously. I always had that. But I understood from his painstaking explanations why people might want to go to church and decided to try.

The book is going to be about the experiences of the Soviet people under totalitarianism, and why so many of us recognize totalitarian strategies at work in the US today. I feel stunned and almost painfully grateful that somebody in the US is interested in our experiences because ours is the kind of genocide and the kind of totalitarianism that is of no interest to anybody.

P.S. In case you feel like you already read this post, that’s because this is not my first interview with Rod.

17 thoughts on “The Interview”

    1. It’s supposed to come out in the fall. It’s really weird to read about oneself in the third person. REALLY weird, so I don’t know how I will feel about it.

      Rod always writes exactly what I say but it still feels very weird. I don’t know how people live with writers and see themselves turned into characters. My husband, for instance, doesn’t read my blog. He says it feels too weird.


  1. The book is going to be about the experiences of the Soviet people under totalitarianism, and why so many of us recognize totalitarian strategies at work in the US today.

    I thought you had previously insisted that there was no trend toward totalitarianism in Donald Trump. You contradict those of us who call him a fascist, for example. Yet I have watched at least two of Hitler’s speeches from the 1930’s and he was frighteningly similar to Trump. Our only hope, I think, thin as it is, is that the U. S. is far less culturally homogeneous than was Germany 85 or so years ago. Thus, he cannot hypnotize all of us.


    1. I’m not seeing it in Donald Trump. I’m seeing it in the camp that opposes Donald Trump.

      The mistake that people keep making is to believe that totalitarianism has to come from the state. Now that the state is weakened by global capital, they assume that there can be no totalitarianism. But that’s a mistake.

      I’m not terrified of people knowing my opinions at work because I fear that secret police would drag me to the dungeons and send me to a concentration camp. If I did fear that, I would be a crazy person. I’m afraid of being hounded, unpersonned, cancelled and ostracized by my colleagues and friends. Believe me, I would have no fear of standing up to an oppressive state. I grew up in the USSR. I stand up to the college administration constantly. What I am afraid of is being pushed out of productive life by my friends and colleagues. That’s what I don’t know how to stand up to. That’s what scares me.

      God, I wish I could fear Trump. Instead, I fear a dear friend whom I have known for 15 years and who accidentally came across some unwoke literature I’ve been reading. That’s what totalitarianism is. Fearing your friends, relatives, and family members.


      1. Don’t worry. I’m sure they will be as kind as the commenters from Captain Capitalism. Why did he link to a previous blog of yours?


  2. We have a very woke friend who likes to talk about borderline woke issues with me. I guess I am non-woke enough to make my viewpoints interesting (the last thing I told her was that if one believes that climate change is anthropogenic, then there cannot be any significant amount of “indiginous knowledge” about it, since anthropogenic climate change has not happen before), and woke enough that she feels safe discussing it with me. On a second thought, she admitted to reading a book called “Talking to the enemy”, or something like that, which allegedly teaches the woke people on how to talk productively with those who disagree with them. What if???… 🙂 🙂


  3. Have you heard about the reaction in Ukraine to Ukrainians returning from ‘coronovirus’ countries?

    “Ukraine: violent clashes as locals hurl stones at coronavirus evacuees’ bus. Residents of Novi Sanzhary clash with police”

    In Israel, people were calmly sent to a hospital with zero bad reactions.

    In other news, sadly, I was not surprised:

    СМИ: туристы из России и Украины питались в Эйлате в столовой для бедных


    1. Just talked about this with my mother. I’m against violence but with the protesters in what concerns their feelings.

      In Israel people have reason to trust that the government would look out for them. In Ukraine, you’d be crazy not to assume that there will be crazy corruption and people will start getting infected.


      1. These protesters are fighting for their lives. It becomes clearer when you think of it that way. The government that robs,scams and kills them just dumped a bunch of infected people on them. How are they supposed to react?


        1. // The government that robs,scams and kills them

          “kills them”? How?

          I thought it was true for Putin, not for Zelensky and Ukraine.


            1. // I’m talking about the endless war that nobody is trying to win or end.

              Here I thought you were describing our Middle East conflict rather than the situation in Ukraine.

              Do you think Ukraine could do more and somehow win or end the war? Isn’t it driven by Russian internal needs and desires?


              1. Ukraine’s problem is that there’s never a plan. There’s never action, only reaction. They are just sitting there, waiting for Russia to advance or go Away. Other than that, there’s no plan.


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