Flow My Tears ..
( The Death of Stalin/Comrade Detective pipeline to Christina Stead's terminal novel I'm Dying Laughing :
'Sharks don't march down the current, and form in vigilante groups to tear up other sharks. I hope we don't find soft, gentle jellies of our ilk anywhere else in space, progressive ones who've got a few centuries ahead of us in blood-letting and soul-freezing. Even tigers, well, don't trust my zoology, i learned it in the yellow press, tigers get on their hind legs and claw in a man-to-man duel; but we fight in a mob, get all the fun and then, "I wasn't there, Mac." I'm not saying just men; women, too, hid behind the twitched curtain, then rush out when there's a mob of fifty hellcats. That's in Zola, do you remember? Do you think we'll change some day? Will we have a Winter Palace or a Potemkin Staircase? Or blackhat, whitehat till the last President? It's fixed, I guess - leave us to heaven. There's nothing else to do.'
**********Grace Ella Hammond
(Z. Vukovic said there were a couple political figures who - if elections had gone differently - could’ve saved Yugoslavia from the Nationalists within and Atlanticists without. and because I cannot think in Surreallic i cannot give you their names, only biographical details he tossed in : one was a Serbian Catholic and the other a Croat with a Serbian spouse)
Russia's Unrequited Love for the West (V. Golstein)
How many times western countries would hit Russia below the belt, yet, there is always, "Aх, Франция, нет в мире лучше края," "Oh, Germany and its culture," "Oh, Italy, heaven on earth," Oh, English Laws and English ladies," which Dostoevsky never tired of admiring.
Here are several examples of Russia's naive, puppy love for the USA (on the basis of Hans Rogger essay, "Amerikanism and the Economic Development of Russia.")
One US observer writes in 1930: "Ours is the only important Government which refuses to grant Russia political recognition, and yet is our country that Russia emulates and admires." Another comments in 1928: "The word for industrialization is Americanization, and the passion to Ford-ize the Soviet Union is even stronger than the passion to communize it."
The third commentator, who lived long time in both Russia and US, writers that "nowhere was America so earnestly and generally idolized.. America implied competence, responsibility, punctuality, accuracy, and diligence. America meant to work steadily and efficiently, with economy of materials and of energy, but also with daring inventiveness and readiness to depart from routine and bureaucratism. America signified youth and invincibility, the triumph of the machine and the possibility of freeing humanity from the burdens of poverty and toil."
Theodore Dreiser observed after visiting Russia in 1927: "they all want Russia to be like America -- its cities like Chicago and Detroit, its leaders and geniuses like Ford and Rockefeller, Edison and Gary. God! I pray not!"
In 1918, Lenin postulated: "Soviet power + the order of the Prussian railroads + American technique and the organization of trusts + American public education + += socialism." While Bukharin insisted, "We need Marxism plus Americanism." Not to be outdone, Stalin admired American efficiency and business like attitude (деловитость). While Trotsky who observed US and criticized its imperialism, nevertheless announced that "Americanized Bolshevism will triumph and smash imperialist Americanism."
Of course, already Zamiatin in his We, mocks this fixation on Fordism, Taylorism, and other "scientific" ways of exploiting the workers, as he allows his enthusiasts declare that Frederick Winslow Taylor was the greatest thinker of the XX century.
All this is profoundly sad and ironic. Russians -- late Soviet propaganda notwithstanding --seem to be able recognize the best in the western countries, they focus on the best that these countries have to offer and genuinely admire them.
Western gaze, however -- with the rare exceptions of great writers like Rilke or Valery -- focuses mostly on dirt and negativity. Marx and Engels --two most cherished XX century Russian figures -- had nothing but contempt for Russia, and penned opinions that make me very seriously doubt their intelligence or even erudition.
Of course, the pig that recognizes only dirt and the angel that notices angelic -- have their own rewards. Still, the asymmetry of these two gazes are unpleasant and disturbing.
ps/ Matt Heimbach - "the Keebler Elf of the Right" - is a Federale ..]