Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
In 1998, I visited Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
This city of about 750,000 sits on the wide, deep Yenisey river, five time zones east of Moscow. It was November and already bitterly cold. This Siberian locale reminded me vaguely of Pittsburgh.
Most significant was the fact that Krasnoyarsk had been open to the West for only two years. I met with six young yet mature Russians, ages 31-42. All had college degrees. All but one of them spoke English.
Three of the six had never met face-to-face with an American. None admitted to seeing any American in their city.
They were cordial but curious. From the outset, I received a multitude of questions. The most glaring was “why did America interfere with our revolution?”
When I relayed this finding to a U.S. Russia Relations class, held at the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce last fall, the instructor, former Ambassador Cary Cavenaugh interrupted, temporarily halting my presentation.
“That was in 1917.,” he bluntly professed. “Nobody cares about that anymore!”
Perhaps not today. In 1998, however, they wanted a definitive answer. The young man who had posed the question then produced a photo of a cablegram from J.P. Morgan to William Boyce Thompson, head of the Red Cross Mission in Moscow, shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution.
Under the pretense of humanitarianism, the Mission’s key personnel were Wall Street financiers following their own agenda. Their objective was simple: “To acquire commercial concessions from Vladimir Lenin’s new communist government. This group included Allen Wardel, D. Heywood Hardy, J.W. Andrews and Raymond Robins. Thompson had preceded Robins.
These financiers had bankrolled factions of the revolutionary movement in an effort to gain influence with whichever group came out on top. The young man was referencing Russia’s “two revolutions.” The first revolution, later referred to as the “February Revolution,” under the leadership of Aleksandr Kerensky was relatively moderate with popular policies and reforms. It included the majority of Russians. The Bolsheviks were the smallest minority.
Lenin and Trotsky were not even in Russia at that time. Lenin was in Switzerland and didn’t arrive in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) until April. Trotsky was in New York writing propaganda and giving speeches.
The second revolution, called the “October Revolution,” was the one through which the Bolsheviks came to power. In reality, it was no revolution at all. It was a coup d’etat. The Bolsheviks simply took advantage of the confusion and took the majority by surprise. In all, barely 60,000 committed Bolsheviks took control of a country of 150 million!
Both Lenin and Trotsky were Russian Jews. Both were considered by many marginal “intelligentsia.” The man who took over control of the newly formed Soviet Union in 1922 following Lenin’s stroke, Joseph Stalin, was neither.
Stalin was a Georgian who became an atheist after initially considering priesthood. After becoming General Secretary of the party, he systematically eliminated all political opposition, including Trotsky.
Interestingly enough, a Russian friend who now resides in Kentucky described Rep. Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez as a “female version of Joseph Stalin.”
“A.O.C., like Stalin is not seen as an intellectual,” he compared. “She’s a great community organizer, essentially a rabble-rouser! She’s driven and she impresses me as someone who could be quite vindictive. Most disconcerting, she really believes in communism. She is a total ideologue.”
In other words, potentially dangerous!
Despite failure after failure, world communism manages to hang on! It was responsible for approximately 100 million deaths in the last century. It was fear of communism that allowed Adolph Hitler to take power in Nazi Germany in 1933.
The problem most apparent with communism is that many fail to recognize it in the early stages. When they finally do, it’s often too late! America is moving toward the danger zone. For the sake of clarity, let’s look at the basic components of Marxism/Critical Race Theory:
- State actions and policies reflect the economic interests of those who own the means of production (the capitalist class)
- Class interests shape the national interest
- Domestic politics and international relations are driven by economic conflict and class conflict
- Cultural commodification and spectacle are a means of social control and distraction
- Contradictions in the capitalist system give rise to financial crises, imperialism, and war
- International economic institutions that support free trade and financial liberalization further the interests of a global capitalist class
- “Peripheral” states are locked into relations of dependence with “core” states.
Confused? Let’s put it another way: “A protected place for the privileged few and communism for everyone else.”
Make no mistake! The Soviet Union had a special class of people occupying the top rung! Ditto for the CCP!
Stalin was effective in eliminating all members of the opposition during his 39-year “reign of terror,” as some later described. Opponents ranged from high-ranking military officers to fellow communist, Sergei Kirov, who sought to give Marxism a “human face.” Stalin disagreed with Trotsky, in that he was unwilling to assume, as Trotsky did, that man would eventually accept communism. Stalin was driven, uncompromising and ruthless. Many Russian intellects today believe that Stalin might never have seen Moscow and a position in government had it not been for American benefactors.
My answer to my Krasnoyarsk friend’s question was a banal, “J.P. Morgan is a private corporation. This was not instigated by the American government.”
This was technically the correct response. Yet, it is easy to see why Russians, from Putin down, see America as a country run by a “score or more of globalist corporations.” Their primary tool of control is a behemoth administrative state that increases its control with each passing year. The only missing piece is a face.
Most disquieting of all is that face may be Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
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