Igor Bubelov About Blog Photos

My Disillusionment in Russia

January 12, 2022

Russia is a big puzzle for many foreigners. I’ve met a lot of people who did not like it, but there were also many folks who admired it. I can relate to both camps, but both love and hate towards Russia are often fueled by the completely bogus assumptions. There are plenty of myths about Russia, and its autocratic rulers love to spread propaganda and misinformation.

Emma Goldman fell victim of such a propaganda campaign to the extent that she decided to move to Russia because she was under the impression that Bolshevik party was attempting to build a marxist utopia. She is a smart woman, and it didn’t take her too long to realize that Russia didn’t become any better after the revolution, its new rulers turned out to be even more cruel, dishonest and vicious than their predecessors.

Overall, it’s an outstanding book. Here are a few quotes I find particularly interesting:

Two years of earnest study, investigation, and research convinced me that the great benefits brought to the Russian people by Bolshevism exist only on paper, painted in glowing colours to the masses of Europe and America by efficient Bolshevik propaganda

Another circumstance which perplexed me was that the markets were stacked with meat, fish, soap, potatoes, even shoes, every time that the rations were given out. How did these things get to the markets? Everyone spoke about it, but no one seemed to know

He preferred silence. Secondly, there was no medium of expression in Russia itself. To protest to the Government was useless. Its concern was to maintain itself in power. It could not stop at such “trifles” as human rights or human lives. Then he added: “We have always pointed out the effects of Marxism in action. Why be surprised now?”

It never occurred to them that the purpose of a revolution is merely to cause a transfer of possessions⁠—to put the rich into the hovels and the poor into the palaces. It was not true that the workers have gotten into the palaces. They were only made to believe that that is the function of a revolution. In reality, the masses remained where they had been before. But now they were not alone there: they were in the company of the classes they meant to destroy

A small political party trying to control a population of 150,000,000 which bitterly hated the Communists, could not hope to maintain itself without such an institution as the Cheka. The latter was characteristic of the basic principles of Bolshevik conception: the country must be forced to be saved by the Communist Party

The new economic policy turned Moscow into a vast marketplace. Trade became the new religion. Shops and stores sprang up overnight, mysteriously stacked with delicacies Russia had not seen for years. Large quantities of butter, cheese, and meat were displayed for sale; pastry, rare fruit, and sweets of every variety were to be purchased

The means employed become, through individual habit and social practice, part and parcel of the final purpose; they influence it, modify it, and presently the aims and means become identical