Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Origins of Wednesday lix: Protocols of Ryan

It has been the greatest
transformation in the
history of the world.

Preobrazhensky at the
Seventeenth Party Con-
gress, Moscow, 1934

Rykov - who had fought against Preobrazhensky when Preobrazhensky was on the left while he was on the right but thought he was at the center - felt the same way. His opposition to Comrade Stalin filled him with 'an enormous sense of guilt before the Party,' a guilt he would 'try to expiate, come what may.'

Stalin had become, as Bukharin put it, "the personal embodiment of the mind and will of the Party." The mind and will of the Bolshevik Party had been formed around Lenin. Lenin's death and the NEP retreat had produced great disappointment, dissension, and doubt. The revolution from above had restored faith and unity by performing the miracle of rebirth. The man who had presided over that revolution was a new Lenin - a reincarnation of what Koltsov had called 'not a duality, but a synthesis,' a human being who embodied the fulfillment of the prophecy.

Exchange the name, "Reagan," for the name, 
"Lenin," and "Republican" for "Bolshevik," 
so that a Speaker of the American House of 
Representatives bears not merely a vivid
resemblance to the century's most desper-
ate apologists for "the greatest transfor-
mation in the history of the world," but 
the undegraded echo of that rapture. There
are grown men whose warp in the magnetic
field of the strongman is so repugnant to
contemplate that it is an affront simply
to mention it. It throws off one's focus
on the paperwork of single-Party pillage,
to the source of the greater stench: the
inherent decadence of ideology, or the
anxiety to flog it to life for oneself.

Yuri Slezkine
The House of Government
  A Saga of the Russian
  13: The Ideological Substance
Princeton University Press, 2017©

Marijn van Asten

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