YouTube has tried to remove an interview in which Russian President Vladimir Putin was not ecstatic about the legacy of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin.
Putin was also quite critical of Marxism, and that sealed it.
Here’s what happened: Andrei Kolesnikov of Russian Kommersant newspaper asked Putin at a news conference about the debate that has been raging on for quite some time in the country: what to do with the remains of Vladimir Lenin? It has been preserved by a special team of scientists and kept in a mausoleum at Moscow’s Red Square.
There have been many suggesting that it would be proper to end the semi-religious madness and bury the late Soviet state founder’s remains, with all respect, anywhere else. And, while they’re at it, perhaps, get rid of the entire mausoleum structure, too. It sticks out like a sore thumb in front of the mighty Kremlin and obstructs the view of the original architecture like heck.
Kolesnikov’s question was quite lengthy. The journalist described an earlier public statement by Putin in which the president accused Lenin of destroying a thousand-year-old empire (why does the expression a thousand-year-empire shock? Why does it remind us of Adolf Hitler’s Tausendjähriges Reich?).
The journalist went on to say that when Putin had made THAT statement, his face revealed rage, fury, even.
He got to his question, eventually: logically, something ought to happen now. Would it include taking Lenin’s remains out of the mausoleum?
After the 50-second long question, Putin started by saying he originally wasn’t thinking of talking on the subject, but since he had been asked about it on the previous occasion the Kommersant journalist mentioned, he had to answer.
So, Putin said, Lenin was not a statesman. Lenin was a revolutionary.
Which is what upset YouTube so much it tried to have the Russian state TV show, Rossiya 1, removed.
“When I spoke of a thousand-year-state,” Putin added, “it was a centralised and united state.”
Lenin, the president continued, pushed through not a federation but, rather, a con-federation.
To explain: there’s a major difference between a federation and a confederation.
The former is a union of partially self-governing parts (states, republics, provinces, you name it), and the division of power is firmly listed in such a country’s constitution.
The latter is a union of sovereign groups or states. They may agree (and then again, not necessarily) on assigning some common powers to a central government, and, that’s the most important part, each of them retains the right to secede.
This last part is quite tragic: a few Soviet republics had second thoughts during the history of their union, and in all cases, a number of executions later, their fervent wish to return to independence would vanish.
Gerrymandering like crazy
Besides, Putin continued, Lenin had the borders of the future Soviet republics designed in a way that did not match the areas of where the individual nations have been used to live. That would create points of discord right then and there.
Even within the Russian Federation, the president said, there are thousands such points of contention.
Quite shockingly, Putin went on to say that Lenin’s successor, Iosif Stalin, wouldn’t agree with his leader’s idea, he even wrote and published an article that objected to it, but, eventually, Stalin would toe Lenin’s line.
Putin then would wade into real-time politics: he had a conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart, he said, and he looked into how some Russian regions would become part of that country. The explanation, he said, was remarkable: it happened to maintain a certain percentage of the proletariat in comparison to the rest of the population.
“Ukraine used to be an agricultural country,” Putin said, “with petit-bourgeoisie elements (a.k.a. kulaks in Russian, the word means a fist, but it would become synonymous with richer farmers). Those kulaks,” Putin added, “would lose their property, and all of it borders on the unusual, and all that is the fallout of Lenin’s country-building ways.”
The expression that it borders on the unusual is somewhat unusual in itself: the movement that would strip the kulaks of their properties would cost an untold number of millions of lives, and it would also spell ruin to Russian and Ukrainian agricultures.
Still, that’s how Putin put it.
“We’re now trying to figure it all out,” Putin said, “and here’s what we find: they linked the country’s future to that of their own party.”
That, he explained, would have logical consequences: “As soon as the party began crumbling, the country began to crumble, too,” Putin said.
“That’s what I had in mind then,” Putin said, “and that’s what I have in mind now.”
Former KGB spy speaking
And then Putin dropped a bit of a bomb: “As you know, I used to work in intelligence which, at the time, would be a much politicised body, the KGB. And I had my own notions about our leaders. But today, with the experience I have got now, I’ve grown to understand that in addition to ideological ideas, there exist geo-political views, too. And those were never considered.”
To say that a political party equals the state and to enshrine in a constitution, that was a major mistake, Putin said.
But, he said, so far as the question of Lenin’s remains goes, this is not the point and the country would be better off just ignoring it. At least so long as there still many people around who link their lives to it, their fates, certain successes. Who are proud of the past in the Soviet Union.
In any case, Putin concluded, there’s no need to be arguing about the past, it’s about time to start actively developing the future.
Putin also expressed his disagreement with the so-called Great Reset, a major development pushed by the World Economic Forum. It follows the same faulty line as Lenin’s ways did, he said.
History of censorship
The American high technology giants, owners of the social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and many more, have got a record of censorship comparable to that of modern socialism (communism, fascism, Nazism, social democracy, your pick). That’s what those so-called progressive movements have picked up from what they call reactionary forces, such as the Inquisition and similar achievements of human thought.
They have been censoring views that they didn’t like all over the place. Even the U.S. President, Donald J. Trump, didn’t escape their wrath. Fearing his possible return in a few years hence, they still keep trying to keep him away from the masses.
These social media giants have been marching to drums of political groups that have had the gall to announce their Marxist roots.
And now, the head of a formerly Marxist superpower, and himself a former Marxist, suggests that the ideology has been wrong all along.
That, to them, is unacceptable.
Except, this time, they have the pretty powerful All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (Всероссийская государственная телевизионная и радиовещательная компания) to contend with. These guys know how to deal with semi-illiterate twerps down California way. Only very few know better than the VGTR how to plug up somebody’s yap.
Donald J. Trump respected the rules of democracy when dealing with the media.
The rules of what? the Russians would reply to such a suggestion.
YouTube has stepped on a very dangerous path. Dangerous to itself, this time. They better look out before trying similar tricks with the Russians ever again. They may end up disappearing altogether, and, as the Russians like to say, try to catch the wind in the field (Ищи ветра в пoле).