Anniversary of the USSR

I’m working around the clock to meet a deadline on a project that is suffering because of my incapacity to keep my psychological issues at bay. As a result, I missed the 100-year anniversary of the creation of the USSR.

I can’t miss this opportunity to repeat that there was absolutely nothing good about the USSR. For a person with even the tiniest amount of dignity and even the smallest capacity for thinking, it was terrible. There was no physical coercion to speak of in the USSR I remember. No GULAG, no torture, no danger of losing your life for political reasons at all. What was terrible is that your whole life course was charted out for you and no significant departure from the plan somebody else made for you was possible. There was no chance for you to take responsibility for your own life. No chance to show initiative. No chance to make your own decisions. No chance and no need to think for yourself.

Many people loved it and still miss it. The lure of being cocooned by the power of a totalitarian state that protects you from life is always strong. The damage done by living so cocooned is so bad that it’s transmitted generationally to people born long after the USSR fell apart.

16 thoughts on “Anniversary of the USSR

  1. “there was absolutely nothing good about the USSR”
    But Clarissa, how can you be so cruel-hearted? Soyuz was so wonderful: one didn’t have to think about anything, was told what to do, where to go, what career to embark upon… One didn’t even have to look for accommodation: they found it for you! Of course, one was not allowed to complain: after all, beggars can’t be choosers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The apartheid did these things for black people. Much of it was an attempt to reinstitute slavery.

      I wonder if the Russians were trying to restore serfdom.


      1. “if the Russians were trying to restore serfdom”

        Of course they were. They might not have consciously thought of that as a goal, but that was what they knew… so. absent overwhelming effort over a long period of time, any system they create will tend to replicate that.


      2. “Much of it was an attempt to reinstitute slavery”

        What form did slavery take in SA (before apartheid)? Was it practiced by European settlers and/or native Sub-Saharan groups? Both?


        1. The Dutch East India company used transported slaves from Asia for farm work to resupply their ships during the 17th and 18th century.

          Slavery was abolished when British shipping replaced the Dutch in the 19th century, but mining created a huge new demand for labor. This led to increasing job competition between black and white workers.

          The apartheid government “solved” the problem by making black people all citizens of various tribal “homelands” so that they could only be “guest workers” in SA.


  2. Interestingly enough, I suspect that even Russian nationalists would agree with you that the USSR’s creation was a disaster. Russia right now would be much more populous and richer if it wasn’t for decades of Communist rule. Even within its current borders, Russia would have almost 300 million people rather than “only” 150 million people if it wasn’t for the extreme demographic devastation of the 20th century, which was overwhelmingly due to Nazism and Communism. Had Russia kept additional territories in this scenario, its total population would have been even higher. 400 million, 500 million, or even higher than that with enough luck and also enough immigration (since a developed Russia would have also been a more attractive immigration hub, most likely).

    Very sad what is happening with Ukraine right now. 😦 I lost all sympathy for Russia after Russia invaded all of Ukraine last February. I hope that Ukraine will win this war and get back all of its lost territories, or at least as many of its lost territories as possible, without sparking a nuclear war in the process. Russia deserves a good butt-kicking and also to learn a lesson that invading other countries is NOT acceptable!


    1. “even Russian nationalists ”

      There’s hardly any such thing…. putain managed to kill most of them. Nationalists care about things like borders and taking care of everyone in the nation-state (to some degree) and again… you don’t find that much among russian ‘nationalist’s.
      What you have are russian imperialists who want ever expanding borders (while totally neglecting those inside the borders).
      for a look at a typical example in English check this out… none of the traditional nationalist concerns and lots of concern about russia being a major super power able to crush enemies and intimidate others….. (and yes, his Feb 24 predicitons are typical of what all the imperialists thought at the time….).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Most people have no idea that the only real opposition to Putin came from the Russian nationalists. The only real, violent uprisings against Putin were organized by them. Their leaders were all killed by Putin. Four days ago was the first anniversary of the death of the last one of them, Yegor Prosvirnin. He “fell out of the window.”

        The main demands of the Russian nationalists were always to close the borders, end mass immigration of unskilled labor, stop giving payouts to Chechnya and Dagestan, and return the word русский back into official usage. Their leaders are all dead and don’t have to see Russian soldiers being gang-raped by Chechens in Donetsk.

        I’m reading Emmanuel Carrere’s book Limonov, and I’ll write about the birth and the death of Russian nationalism once I finish the book. Limonov was one of the founders of the post-Soviet Russian nationalism. He was also Ukrainian but what are you going to do.


        1. Russian nationalists also want to “regather the Russian lands”, which means Ukraine (with or without Galicia and Volhynia), Belarus, and northern Kazakhstan. (The fact that the people in these lands don’t want to be regathered by Russia doesn’t matter to Russian nationalists. “They’ll get used to it”, or so their logic goes!) Russian nationalist blogger Anatoly Karlin was delighted when Putin announced that he was invading Ukraine only to be subsequently disappointed by Russia’s poor military performance in that war, with him recently calling Putin’s regime a “swinish kleptocracy”. I lost a lot of respect for Anatoly Karlin due to his support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He’s still interesting to read, but his support for the war is just repulsive.

          I don’t know if Prosvirnin’s death was accidental or due to KGB/Putin’s antics. Karlin believes that it was accidental, but I really don’t know for sure and in Putin’s Russia, nothing can be ruled out.

          Karlin was delighted by Putin’s mainstreaming of Russian nationalism in the run-up to this year’s Ukraine invasion:

          But of course even Karlin is rational in seeing that Russia lags far behind the West and China in regards to things such as technological development and elite science production:


      2. Nationalism and imperialism can easily overlap. It’s not just for Russia. The Nazis were German nationalists and imperialists, for instance. Maybe Mussolini’s Italy were Italian nationalists. They were definitely imperialists. Imperial Japan during WWII was both nationalistic and imperialistic. Et cetera.

        Countries such as Poland are nationalistic and largely seek to mind their own business. Countries such as Russia are both nationalistic and imperialistic.

        And Yes, Anatoly Karlin thought that Ukraine was a fake Sovok state and that thus no one other than Neo-Nazis would actually be willing to fight for it, thus making the February 2022 invasion a cakewalk for Russia. How wrong he was! Though so was US intelligence! US intelligence significantly overestimated the Afghan government and significantly underestimated the Ukrainian government. Seems like EU membership is a considerably more attractive vision for Ukrainians than the Afghan government’s vision was for Afghan soldiers. Which is a shame because Afghan women are suffering terribly under Taliban rule right now. They should be given asylum wherever they can improve their lives and wherever they can successfully culturally fit in. (I don’t have a problem with Afghan refugees moving to the US just so long as they’re culturally compatible. If they support murdering people over Muhammad cartoons, then I would strongly prefer that they be resettled somewhere else in the Muslim world instead. But the more progressive Afghans should be welcome here.)


            1. “Cliff first mentioned him here”

              I just was using him as an example of a russian imperialist in case you weren’t familiar… I’m not into going over all of his increadibly weak-assed takes though.
              TBH I’ve actually looked for any kind of reasoned defense of the russian position on the war (or anything else pro-russian) and have yet to find anything that meets the criteria of being sane and/or worthy of adults…. it’s mostly deranged, infantile pouting and playground bully rhetoric.


              1. Russian nationalists argue that Russia has a right to conquer Ukraine because Russia would benefit from acquiring Ukraine’s human capital and because Ukraine allegedly lacks a right to exist because it’s too similar to Russia. By that logic, the US would benefit from conquering Canada, Australia, and New Zealand for their human capital and those countries lack a right to exist either because they’re too similar to the US. All Anglosphere settler colonies.


  3. “Many people loved it and still miss it. The lure of being cocooned …”

    And this is why I hate weighted blankets.

    Where I’ve lived part of my life, you needed netting and air circulation, and anything heavy would at a minimum smother you.

    At worst, it’d slow you down when dealing with intruders, bad weather, or fires.

    But the USSR was a smouldering garbage fire that nobody was allowed to put out, wasn’t it?


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