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Showing posts with label Vladimir Golstein. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vladimir Golstein. Show all posts

Blok To the Rescue: A Page from the History of World Revolution


Blok To the Rescue: A Page from the History of World Revolution

By Prof. Vladimir Golstein

As we watch and experience protests, riots and looting, I can’t help but think of various revolutionary riots, some of which crushed, some resulting in a drastic change, some petering out.

There is a fascinating, brilliant, and paradoxical essay on the subject, written in 1918 by Alexander Blok: Catiline. With the subtitle: A Page from the History of World Revolution. The essay muses on the Roman rebel, Catiline, who led a failed coup in 63 BC. This essay is worth revisiting.

So this Catiline was an aristocrat, notorious for his crimes and scandals. Propagandists of his day, tried to present him as a mixture of Weinstein and Epstein. The biggest of these propagandists Cicero, Christian Amanpour or Rachel Maddow of his day, who spent endless amount of time exposing “Catiline’s conspiracy.” And of course, pseudo pundits pitched in, like this hypocritical historian, Sallust. Who probably worked in some Roman Think Tank, called Mediterranean Security Council.

Forced to study Cicero in schools, the later generations, continued to malign Catiline, all the way to Voltaire. Virtue signaling and cheap showing off is the vice that even the greatest can’t escape. Until Cateline’s story reached Ibsen and then Blok.

What's happened? Both Ibsen and Blok understood that Rome of Catiline’s day, was the epitome of the stifling, materialistic, delusional empire bound to collapse. Referring to Rome as "triumphantly decomposing,” Blok claims that the heart of Rome stopped when Christ was born. The Rome continued like a zombie, until it fully collapsed not only under the external pressure, but more importantly, under its own weight and moral bankruptcy.

So for Blok, the only interesting way to interpret Catiline was to see him as a symptom. Catiline was obviously pursuing his own goals and vendettas, yet his rebellion served a lighting rod, attracting many people marginalized and crushed by the decaying Roman Empire. The revolt was a reminder that something was rotten and was bound to be shaken up. As Blok puts it: "Roman culture was indicted forever in a different non-hypocritical court, the court of Jesus Christ."

So yes, the old order, the Washington consensus of the last seventy years, is being shaken up. Scandals, military adventurism, the abuse of its Praetorian guards, lies, spinning, failure to take care of the weakest and helpless members of the society.

Many decaying regimes exhibit similar features. But Rome was clearly the father of them all. Blok, therefore writes in his diary: "Catiline. What a close, FAMILIAR, sad world!" He keeps on returning to the theme: referring to Rome’s "old, provincial, vulgar, positivist morality."

Besides indictment of Rome, what is fascinating about Blok’s analysis is his creative reading of Catiline. He sees him as "created by social inequality, suckled in its suffocating atmosphere.” Yet, despite Catiline’s personal failings, he –and his movement- got transformed, caught in the revolutionary upheaval. That’s how Blok describes Catiline gang’s march through Rome: “This is the same Catiline, the recent pet of the lionesses of Roman society and the demi-monde, the criminal ringleader of a debauched band. He walks with the same "now lazy, now hurried" gait, but his fury and rage have communicated a musical rhythm to his walk, as if this were no longer the same mercenary and debauched Catiline; in the tread of this man are revolt, uprising, and the furies of the people's anger.” What a great line: “In the tread of this man are revolt, uprising, and the furies of the people's anger.”

Blok was clearly fascinated by this revolutionary march through Rome. He knew that the uprising was to be crushed. That it would take another few centuries for Pax Romana to find its way into the dustbin of history. Yet, he could not help but hear the sound of liberation in this hurried march through Roman squares: "Do you hear that uneven, hurried step of the condemned man, the step of the revolutionary, the step in which the storm of fury sounds, resolving itself in staccato musical sounds?"

And no amount of Cicero eloquence can cover the fact, that there is a "non-hypocritical court" of history, or God, or whatever one wants to call it, that has already pronounced its verdict. In fact, Ciceros of today can go on, expressing their anger at racism, or Trump, or looting, or any other subject one is allowed to criticize by the Praetorian guards of the mass media. The system based on making rich richer and poor –poorer is wrong. The system based on the endless fear-mongering is wrong. The system that can’t see beyond bread and circus is sick to the core. The system that serves shareholders of military corporations and not the sick and the needy has only one way to go. If the system still divides the world into Rome and Barbarians, into aristocrats and sans-quilots, into exceptional Atlantists and its resources, it cannot last. I trust Blok on that.

Bourbons, when they were restored in France, also tried to present French revolution as nothing but murderous fury, and tried to turn the clock back, but obviously, history has its own logic. Ancient Regime was done for; it simply took it another fifty years to realize it.

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Prof. Vladimir Golstein: How Dems & Soros Using COVID-19 Crisis to Disrupt Trump's 2020 Bid


Rich Democratic donors, including George Soros, have thrown their weight behind super PACs' effort to lambast Donald Trump's handling of the COVID-19 outbreak. Vladimir Golstein, associate professor at Rhode Island's Brown University, foresees that the Dems will try to "milk" the crisis until November in order to undermine Trump's re-election bid.

More articles by Prof. Vladimir Golstein 

On Monday, CNN reported that Priorities USA Action, the largest Democratic Party super PAC, is launching a $6 million ad campaign slamming President Donald Trump for his response to the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, another Dem super PAC, PACRONYM, announced a similar campaign on 17 March, vowing to spend $5 million on it, according to The Washington Post.

For its part, The Washington Free Beacon notes that it is just a small portion of funds allocated by wealthy liberal donors, including George Soros, to "weaken" Trump. The media outlet highlights that this year Soros has already funneled $5 million to Priorities USA Action through his Democracy PAC which was created in July 2019 to serve as a hub for his 2020 race spending. For comparison's sake PACRONYM reportedly received just $250,000 from the Hungarian-born billionaire last year.

In February, the Democrats decided to shift from their impeachment failure to a new campaign targeting Trump's potential economic setbacks, according to Politico. At the time, the media outlet explained that while the Democratic camp had begun "to aggressively go after Trump’s track record on the economy" it couldn't decide "exactly how to message it". The coronavirus-driven recession has come in handy for them, according to Vladimir Golstein, associate professor at Brown University in Rhode Island.

Sputnik: What's your take on the Dems' recent anti-Trump effort? Is it politically correct to capitalise on the American people's fears amid the pandemic? Does the end justify the means in this case?

Vladimir Golstein: Democrats are doing the best they can to utilise this crisis in order to “soften” their target: President Trump. While the future of Trump is not certain, the current crisis has already had its first serious political victim: Senator Sanders, whose fall in the primaries was as spectacular as his rise just before the crisis began to unfold. Due to the restrictions on public gatherings, due to the general panic, and consistent drumbeat from Democratic leadership that, first, former Vice President Biden is a figure of stability and unity, and that, second, Senator Sanders is both too radical and too weak to beat Trump, Sanders began to lose dramatically.

Encouraged by their success with Sanders, the Democratic leadership clearly used fear-mongering to present the current medical crisis as the result of Trump’s profound inadequacies. Had all these events unfolded in the fall, Trump would have sunk as quickly as did Sanders, paving the way for Biden straight into White House.
The timing, however, proved somewhat premature. Consequently, Democrats intend to milk the crisis all the way to November. Thus, their persistent demands that the whole country comes to a standstill. All this presented as the desire to safe lives by quarantining the whole population, but the motives behind the scare-tactics are obvious.
Conversely, Trump originally erred on the other side, trying to diminish the dangers of the infection. Needless to say, Democrats immediately denounced Trump’s political motives, while keeping silent about their own. Now the issue has been expanded from the medical dimension into economics. The situation appears rather dire, millions apply for unemployment, the market sinks, and general gloom prevails. Trump’s attempts to get the economy back on track are greeted with condemnations and accusations of cruelty. Yet, it is clear, what is driving the Democrat Party's righteous anger.

An interesting situation emerges: while the educated and liberal class that does its job via computers, want the current quarantine to continue, since its loss of income is insignificant, Trump’s traditional supporters: both rich owners of various enterprises, and their blue-collar workers, want to get back to work. So as usual, economics will decide everything.

Sputnik: Is it ethical, in your view, to spend millions on anti-Trump political ads amid the coronavirus outbreak, instead of, for example, supporting those in need?

Vladimir Golstein: As they say, “all fair in love and war", and there is no doubt that Democrats view Trump as their enemy. It is naïve to expect political parties to abstain from politicking. Where Democrats seem to have miscalculated, however, is in the power and decisiveness of Trump. As the president of the most powerful and wealthy country in the world, he has endless means at his disposal. I am sure that he’ll do everything he can to get the economy back on track, and to solve the medical crisis before the summer ends. In my estimation, Democrats will come to regret their decision to sink Sanders – the only candidate who could have unseated Trump in November.

Sputnik: What do you think about the US liberal MSM coverage of Donald Trump's handling of the crisis?

Vladimir Golstein: I try to avoid mass media in the United States, since it is so politicised that it is not worth the effort to read through endless barbs and accusations. However, just a brief look at the articles carried by liberal publications, such as the Huffington Post, for example, conveys just one message: Trump is not qualified, Trump is not ready, Trump is dangerous, Trump is wrong.



Needless to say, all these innuendos are given under the pretext of covering the COVID-19 news, and therefore accompanied by the pictures of hospital doctors, suffering patients, and so on. This is a typical title: "I'm An ER Doctor In NYC. Trump's Coronavirus Plan Isn't Just Dangerous, It's Deadly".
There is no doubt that Trump’s handling of the crisis, and on a more serious level, his handling of the public investment in hospitals and medicine, has been inadequate. But the same can be said about his critics, the Democratic leadership, that did the best they could to neutralise Bernie Sanders, even though he was one of the few candidates who consistently arguing for the overhaul of the medical system. So the criticism of Democrats, who constantly vote to give billions to military and nothing for medicine, seems to be highly disingenuous and opportunistic.  
The virus is a serious issue in itself, and even more serious in what it tells us about the bankruptcy of neoliberalism, and the collapse of the post-Cold War world order. We need some professionals writing about the former, and some thoughtful economists to write about the latter when dust settles. What we don't need is the highly partisan mass media, which uses any opportunity to report on the coronavirus to blame Trump for his failures, greed, and corruption.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
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Trump's "Racist" Tweets Expose Democrat Hypocrisy - Prof. Vladimir Golstein


I was wondering what is it that bothers me about the universal denunciations and indignation provoked by Trump's xenophobic tweets.

And then I realized that it is the same old German formula being replayed in front of our own eyes. "When they came for Communists, I didn't say anything because I wasn't communist."

For the last several years, the pro-Democratic press was engaged in the most unhinged anti Russian racist campaign imaginable. Russians were everywhere, and always in the worst possible context. Nasty Olympians, nasty trolls, nasty Putin, nasty this and that. Trump meets with Putin ... alone... oh... horror. 


That very Trump, replying to the charge that Russians are killers and saying that we are not perfect either, provoked the utter outrage. How dares he to compare. Oh, treason, oh, ignorance!

Anyone with a Russian name became the subject of suspicion. Naive Russian enthusiast of second Amendment, named Maria Butina, is arrested for spying for flirting with some right-winger.

I know for a fact, that American citizens with Russian names are profiled and interrogated at airports. I know for a fact, that when I called NPR and said as the professor and a specialist in the area, I want to comment on the show, their handler, having learned my first name had a gall to ask me, are you Russian, and then put me for 40 min hold till the end of the show.

Articles about backward Russian economy, culture, religion, about tyranny, corruption, gay-phobia, intolerance, became a daily staple. Any electric malfunction in US -- Russians. Any country or person described as evil -- sure enough there would be Russian connections. Were any other group or nation treated this way in mass media?

Yet, the most noble, the most sensitive, the most caring Democrats and liberals said nothing. In fact, they wanted more. And more. And more. More commissions, more investigations, more expose. And now they are outraged. Oh, horror.

Well, let me be as blunt as possible. If you let it slide, if you allow at least one group to be denigrated and mocked and dog-whistled, they will come for you. And don't say, that you've not been warned by history. And don't shove your "noble indignation" down my throat. It is a paper money not backed by anything, and I am not accepting this currency.

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Does money smell... if you are an artist?

By Vladimir Golstein


So I am still thinking about this Chernobyl special, which somehow managed to touch a nerve. A lot of people, far from politics, were very moved by the way it was shot, with coloring reminiscent of Tarkovsky's Stalker. Grim Soviet reality that somehow looks cool and artsy when shot through specially tinted lenses. Tarkovsky, apparently, wanted this look, and had to ostracize a lot of people when he decided to re-shoot Stalker, because the original tape was defected by his standards.

In any case, the director, Craig Mazin, must be a talented dude. Yet, the film was obviously more that an artistic project. There must be some CIA/MI5 money involved. Like they do in all other stupid projects of theirs, especially when they feel that it is time to counterbalance Russians. So let's pour money into White Helmets, and all sorts of propaganda films. But why stop there. If the plight of the free world is at stake, let's give money to Armstrong, and Pollack, and Faulkner, and Elton John, and all other important western artists who should promote western values.


And the artists do take money and keep on doing their art! Should we condemn them? All these modernists who were on the CIA take? But if we don't condemn them --these greats of the XX century --why do we condemn the Soviet artists, who took money from their government: Shostakovich, and Eisenstein, and Sholokhov and so on?

"Brave" Solzhenitsyn had a nerve to condemn Eisenstein in his "One day," decrying the "pseudo" genius, who condones violence on the cue from the tyrant. Implying -- following Pushkin - that a genius -- can't serve evil. But didn't he see the irony? Didn't he imagine himself a genius, while being on the take from the west, serving the American imperialism and getting western money in the forms of prizes, and contracts and all other accouterments? So if you take western money, you are OK, if you take Soviet money, you are a sell-out? A new doctrine and strange!

How are we to judge? Should we use this criteria (where the money are coming from) or should we just convince out selves, that we are following art?

I think the source of money is important, yet, it does not really matter to me, where they are coming from: east or west, communists or capitalists, Arabs or Zionsists, and so on. What should matter is who is an underdog!

If Craig Mazin, or White Helmets take money from the bullying and controlling regime, which is ready to kill for the sake of its hegemony, they are serving the devil. If the money are coming from an underdog, fighting for its independence or existence, that's a different story. There is a moral responsibility, but it is unrelated to a story, while directly related to who is using the story. If the Jews in Polish Ghetto hired me to tell their story and paid me with gold that they've collected, it is one thing. If the Nazis hellbent on destroying them, are paying me with the gold, this gold sucks. And so is the story!

Source: https://www.facebook.com/vladimir.golstein/posts/10214266894962058
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Domestic enemies want to suck Trump into his Vietnam: Iranian war


By Prof. Vladimir Golstein

Call me a cynic, but here is my cynical thought of a day.

So about forty years ago, the Democrats and their intellectual leader, Brzezinski, wanted to get rid of the hated regime. What do they do? They are utilizing the maniacs from Saudi Arabia, like Bin Laden, and their CIA enablers, to suck Brezhnev into the war in Afghanistan.

When Russians crossed the border, triumphant Brzezinski informed Carter that he'd created a perfect trap: Russian Vietnam, that would put an end to the Soviet Empire. 

Related: Trump Crosses Neocons, Says No War With Iran

Who hates Trump with the passion that equals Brzezinski's hatred of Russia? Democrats.

So they are egging or silently condoning the maniacs abroad (Saudis, Israelis) and the maniacs at home (Bolton, Pompeo) -- to suck Trump into his Vietnam: Iranian war. That would surely be the end of his presidency.

Related: “There Is Nothing Normal About John Bolton”: Tucker Carlson Tears Into Warmongering Neocons (Video)

It appears that Trump --probably encouraged by Tucker Carlson (too bad Brezhnev and his regime never had such smart conservatives on their side) has avoided this trap.

But the bottom line, the cynical and intelligent Democrats, would go to bed with a devil, just to get into WH. And damn the consequences.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/vladimir.golstein/posts/10214200051571015

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My Musings on Georgia's Anti-Russian antics by Prof. Vladimir Golstein


My Musings on Georgia's Anti-Russian antics by Prof. Vladimir Golstein

We know that politicians play their games and use their strategies, smokescreens, and spinning to get what they want. If Russophobia pays, why not use it? That's what they do in Poland, and Ukraine, and United Kingdom, and Baltic States. If it works for local consumption only, fine.

Russian government probably uses it too -- what's the best way to unite the nation than to show that it is under siege. So I am not surprised that Russian press milks the images of angry Georgians for their own purposes. 

But both sides, while pursuing their myopic political goals are playing with the national feelings of Russians, something that I find unacceptable.

With the sloppy way perestroika was accomplished, Russians felt utterly humiliated. Just few facts for those who have neither memory, nor understanding.

1991, and then again in 1998 --The collapse of the ruble, which twice wiped out all people's savings. People with say, comfortable 10 thousand rubles on their accounts (which was a price of a good car) ended up with $20 bill for that. Then New Chechen war and its losses.

1998. 80% of Russian farms went bankrupt. 70 thousand factories closed. Epidemic of unemployment. 72 mil Russians (half of the country) fell below the poverty line.

In 2006 Russian government estimated that that there were 715 thousand homeless kids, while UNISEF raised this number to 3 mil. Suicide rate doubled, violent crime rate increased fourfold, and consumption of alcohol doubled in comparison with the Soviet period.

1999. NATO bombs the hell out of Serbia, and all Russians can do is to watch it in helpless anger, Eltsin's excursion into Pristina notwithstanding.

Add to that a total change in ethnic make up of Russian cities, where all of the sudden all the markets belong to Azeris, plenty of other businesses are run by Chechens and Georgians, and so on. Yet, Russians just stoically put up with that, like a chained bear, continue to swallow the baiting, that comes both from these ethnic minorities inside the country, and outside it.

People who die at sixty with zero money to their name have to hear that they are occupants, that they are slaves, pigs, soviet deplorables, and all other crap that the westernized liberals along with assorted nationalists from Ukraine, Georgia or Estonia, keep on throwing at them.

Related: CIA instructs its puppet regime in Georgia to makes provocations against Russia

What should be truly surprising is that there are so few ethnic and other sorts riots. Any other powerful group, would be rioting non stop. Luckily, the economics has improved since then, and plenty of Russians can feel justifiable proud of what their country has accomplished. Yet, the sense of national insult, national humiliation has remained. At least among the people who've survived these awful years.

So if Georgians or any other fool wants to play with fire, let them. But I don't recommend it. Pushkin had warned the authorities of a Russian revolt: senseless and merciless, long time ago.
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[Video] Iran: U.S. presence in Syria is act of aggression featuring Prof. Vladimir Golstein

Iran's representative to the United Nations slams the United States for its illegal military presence in Syria, describing it as an act of aggression.




Gholam-Ali Khoshrou who was speaking at the Security Council’s special session on Syria said Iran is on the ground in that country on an invitation by Damascus. He added that Tehran is playing a constructive role in bringing peace and prosperity to Syria and supports all efforts toward a political solution. During the meeting held on Russia’s request, US ambassador Nikky Haley accused Russia and Iran of failing to protect civilians in Idlib province. She also threatened the use of force if the Syrian army uses chemical weapons. In reaction, the Russian ambassador accused the extremist groups of planning to launch a false flag chemical attack in Idlib.

Source: https://youtu.be/G2yv-7bqct0
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