Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

February 1, 2016

The social conservatism of the Putinite left

Filed under: conservatism,Russia — louisproyect @ 7:30 pm

A few days ago there was an article by one Kit Knightly on something called Off Guardian that defended Vladimir Putin from Owen Jones’s takedown in the Guardian. The Off Guardian website is dedicated to showing how rotten the Guardian is with a slant similar to John Wight’s piece on CounterPunch titled “The Demonization of Vladimir Putin”. The Off Guardian, CounterPunch, DissidentVoice, Salon, the Nation, Infowars, Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, Moon of Alabama, Global Research, World Socialist Website, Information Clearing House, Socialist Unity, Stephen F. Cohen, Voltairenet, Robert Parry, and a host of other personalities and websites basically function as sounding boards for RT.com. Are they getting paid for their services? I would assume not since there is no question as to the ideological zeal that binds these seemingly disparate voices together. For them, Vladimir Putin is a figure to be revered for standing up for “the Russian nation” in a way that when espoused by Donald Trump in a stump speech for “America” would fill them with disgust. Stars and stripes? Feh! St. George’s Cross? Yeah!

In defending Putin, Knightly had a job roughly equivalent to O.J. Simpson’s lawyer in the famous trial that is soon to be dramatized on cable TV but he did not shy from the task. He could not let Jones off the hook for daring to begin an article calling Putin a “rightwing authoritarian leader who attacks civil liberties, stigmatises lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, indulges in chauvinistic nationalism, is in bed with rapacious oligarchs, and who is admired by the European and American hard right.”

To rebut this, Knightly explained that the controversial law banning the “promotion of non-traditional sexual practices to children” did not really target gays. You can even find a gay American attorney named Brian M. Heiss who backs him up on this. I have no idea about what makes Heiss tick but in the 129 page booklet that he wrote and that was cited by Knightly, there’s not a single word about the biggest problem in Russia—namely the entrapment of gay men by gangs of skinheads as documented in the film “Hunted in Russia”

The thing that amused me most about Off Guardian was its premise that the Guardian was a voice of the US State Department. What a strange idea in light of the outpouring of pro-Kremlin tripe that appears regularly under the byline of Seumas Milne, Jonathan Steele, and Neil Clark—not to speak of frequent appearances on “Comments are Free” from Tariq Ali, John Pilger and others of that ilk. One imagines that people like Knightly won’t be happy until the Guardian reads like RT.com.

To bait the bear, I started writing some comments under Knightly’s article that got him irritated especially my positive reference to Pussy Riot:

Yeah, all these people including Pussy Riot with their “weird” behavior, especially being disrespectful to the Russian Orthodoxy. So outside the norms of polite society.

It never fails to amaze me how you “anti-imperialists” attach yourself to Putin’s conservative mores the same way that fraternity boys in Division One Football Schools like Notre Dame kept posters of Ronald Reagan on their wall in the 1980s.

To which he replied:

I don’t think disliking the idea of nailing your testicles to the ground, or disapproving of orgy-like protests in a church make you “conservative”. And I don’t especially want to live in a world where that is the case.

All of a sudden I had an epiphany. People like Kit Knightly, John Wight and Mike Whitney are social conservatives. When Knightly defends the Russian Orthodox Church from “orgy-like protests”, I feel like I am listening to Glenn Back complaining about Lady Ga-Ga. Where do these people come from? Since the people who put out Off Guardian don’t disclose much personal information, I can only gather that Knightly is a pretty straight-laced fellow even if he adopts “transgressive” positions on Putin. But maybe they aren’t so transgressive when you consider the admiration that Donald Trump professes for Putin. Isn’t it possible that the attachment that some leftists have for Putin is a kind of displaced authoritarianism that expresses itself for a foreign leader cum father figure who embodies traditional values such as the nuclear family, religion and patriotism? Sort of a synthesis of “Father Knows Best” and William Z. Foster. So what if it is Russia that becomes your guiding star of traditional values. Perhaps there is a confusion between the two red states, Kansas and Stalin’s Russia for which Putin has beaucoup nostalgia. Just don’t get the judo master started on Lenin or else he might give you a zetz in the mouth.

The ties between Christian fundamentalists in the USA and Russia is something worth taking note of. If you think that Putin is despised in the bible belt, you haven’t been paying close attention. A rightwing fundamentalist group called the World Congress of Families has been around since 1997. It was apparently very involved with advising the Russians on their anti-LBGT laws just as it has been with similar laws in Africa. In 2014, Mother Jones reported on a conference they held in Russia. The participants should give you an idea of the elective affinities at work:

AMERICANS:

  • Jack Hanick: The former Fox News producer spoke at the third Sanctity of Motherhood conference this past November. He also spoke at a WCF regional event hosted by Malofeev’s Safe Internet League and at a traditional values roundtable hosted this past June by Malofeev’s St. Basil charity. Brian Brown and the Duma’s Elena Mizulina were also in attendance, and gay marriage was a primary discussion topic.
  • Brian Brown: The president of the National Organization for Marriage, Brown also spoke at the June roundtable hosted by Malofeev’s St. Basil charity. Earlier that day, he spoke with Elena Mizulina’s Duma committee on family policy about adoption by gay couples.
  • Larry Jacobs: As WCF managing director, Jacobs works with Allan Carlson at the Howard Center, which runs the WCF. He is also a partner at Komov’s Integrity Consulting, and spoke at annual conferences hosted by Yakunina’s Sanctity of Motherhood group in 2010 and 2013.
  • Allan Carlson: A prolific historian and family scholar, Carlson is the president of the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society. He helped hatch the idea for the WCF in 1995 with Professor Anatoly Antonov. He is Jacobs’ colleague.

RUSSIANS:

  • Vladimir Yakunin: Married to Natalia Yakunina, he helps fund her Sanctity of Motherhood program through several of his charities, including the Center for National Glory and the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called.
  • Natalia Yakunina: Married to Vladimir Yakunin and heads the Sanctity of Motherhood program.
  • Konstantin Malofeev: This billionaire businessman and telecommunications mogul helps fund the St. Basil the Great Charitable Foundation, the largest Orthodox Charity in Russia, through Marshall Capital, the investment firm he founded. He’s also a trustee at the Safe Internet League. Through St. Basil, Malofeev also hosted a traditional values roundtable in June (attended by Jack Hanick, Brian Brown, and the Duma’s Elena Mizulina) where gay marriage was a primary discussion topic.
  • Elena Mizulina: A member of the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, she also heads its committee on family policy. Mizulina sponsored both anti-gay laws—the propaganda and adoption bans—that passed in the summer of 2013. According to WCF’s Larry Jacobs, he and Mizulina have met at least three times in Russia. Two days after the propaganda law passed the Duma, Brian Brown met with Mizulina and her committee to discuss legislation about adoption by gay couples.
  • Archpriest Dmitri Smirnov: A top Orthodox official, Archpriest Dmitri was appointed to head the Patriarch’s commission on the family this past March. He describes the group as a family policy-development shop for the administration that often advises Mizulina’s Duma committee. Alexey Komov is the executive secretary of this commission.
  • Alexey Komov: The WCF’s official Russia representative, Komov heads FamilyPolicy.ru, a WCF Russian partner. He works with several other Orthodox groups, including Smirnov’s Patriarch’s commission (where he is executive secretary), Malofeev’s Safe Internet League (where he is on the board), and Malofeev’s St. Basil foundation (where he runs a charity). Komov is also the founding partner of Integrity Consulting, a management consulting firm.
  • Anatoly Antonov: A renowned demographer, Antonov is a professor in the sociology department at Moscow State University. He helped hatch the idea for the WCF in Moscow with Allan Carlson in 1995. Komov is working toward a PhD in the department, and Antonov is his dissertation adviser.

These kinds of people give me the heebie-jeebies. Maybe that’s because I was a bohemian before I became a radical. I am attracted to deviants. I was a fan of male prostitute and petty thief (and distinguished playwright) Jean Genet long before I read Karl Marx. When I read Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” in 1961, that was the kind of person I wanted to get to know—someone who was capable of writing lines like this:

who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing
obscene odes on the windows of the skull,

who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their
money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall,

who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredo
with a belt of marijuana for New York,

who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise
Alley, death, or purgatoried their torsos night after night

with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, alcohol and
cock and endless balls,

I first noticed this social conservatism in 2012 when Pussy Riot was arrested for performing punk rock in a Russian Orthodox Cathedral. Mike Whitney, who runs a landscaping business in Washington State (I hope he pays his Mexican workers a living wage), wrote an asinine article in CounterPunch defending their arrest since they were “useful fools” in a scheme to sling mud at Putin.

As I explained to Knightly, there was nothing “orgy-like” about the performance. Maybe he was confused about an orgy performance piece the women were involved with in a Russian museum some time earlier. My attitude on things like that is go right ahead, kids. I am absolutely for frightening the horses on any and all occasions especially in Russia and the USA.

If Kit Knightly was around in 1961 (he probably had not been born yet), he would have backed the S.F. District Attorney’s attempt to punish Lawrence Ferlinghetti for publishing Ginsberg’s classic. Well, to be fair he might have been opposed to that but certainly would give the Russian courts carte blanche to keep trouble-makers like the gonad-nailer in line.

In fact, the performance artist who offended Knightly so grievously may be committed to a mental hospital because of his public action as CBS reported:

The partner of Russian dissident best known for his politically charged performance art — including nailing his scrotum to Red Square — says he has been transferred to a psychiatric hospital.

Pyotr Pavlensky’s partner, Oksana Shalygina, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the artist was transferred the previous day from jail to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation, lasting up to 21 days.

You judge for yourself whether he is psychotic or not. Of course, since I am quoting a Guardian article, you can assume that Kit Knightly would write it off as State Department propaganda. For such people, everything is black-and-white according to an anti-imperialist theory that reduces the world to a chessboard. I’ll stick with Lenin’s citation of Mephistopheles’s words in Goethe’s Faust: “Theory, my friend, is grey, but green is the eternal tree of life.

Pavlensky says it was during the Pussy Riot trial that he first began to understand the need for a more radical approach to art. “Their trial affected me more than many things in my own life. I started looking at other people and wondering why they were not doing anything. And that is when I had the important realisation that you should not wait for things from other people. You need to do things yourself.”

The idea for his most recent performance came when he was briefly held in a cell after the Carcass stunt. A fellow prisoner regaled him with stories of the Gulag, where prisoners had sometimes nailed their scrotums to trees in an act of protest at the inhumane conditions and miserable existence. “I didn’t think much of it at first but then, when I began thinking that the whole country is becoming a prison system, that Russia is turning into a big prison and a police state, it seemed perfect.”

Some suggested that the act may not have been as gruesome as it seemed, with a piercing having been made prior to the event and the nail simply pushed through, but as we walk along the freezing platform for him to board the Moscow train, Pavlensky insists that he actually drove the nail through that afternoon. “I have the medical report to prove it,” he says. “I was careful not to rupture a vein but it was very bloody and sore. They wanted to give me antibiotics and other medications, but I refused.”

In the end, Pavlensky was not arrested at his questioning the following day in Moscow, but the charges against him still stand, and he remains under investigation. In late January, officers arrived at the cable channel TV Rain and demanded to be given a recording of an interview Pavlensky had given them, saying they needed to examine it as part of a “psychological-linguistic expert analysis” that was being carried out as part of the case against him.

Despite the real threat of a jail term, Pavlensky does not plan to stop, and says his unusually painful brand of art comes from an imperative impulse towards radicalism: “It was a very important step for me – to understand what happens when a person becomes an artist, when a person becomes stronger than their indifference and overcomes their inertia. I don’t think an artist can exist without this and just be isolated and contemplative. An artist has no right not to take a stand.”

9 Comments »

  1. The conservatism of this bunch came out in full color (for me at least) in their reaction to the millions of Iranians who took to the streets in Iran in 2009, including three million people in Tehran alone, in reaction to the egregiously fraudulent “elections” of that year. At that time, this same group of “leftists” sided with the mullahs’ theocracy, and kept repeating the Iranian regime’s propaganda that all those millions of people were stooges of the CIA!! In trying to delegitimize the very legitimate demands of the Iranian people for more rights, these “leftists” showed not just conservatism of their will but the down-right reactionary nature of their politics.

    Further, their unit of analysis is the State-to-State relations, which is also the hallmark of conservative thinking, and has nothing to do with the left’s traditional class-based internationalist analysis and the left’s tradition of solidarity with those under the boots of tyrants. It is a shame that publications like Counterpunch have been hijacked by such thinking. I really did expect better analysis from Counterpunch at least. Alas …

    Comment by Reza — February 2, 2016 @ 12:32 am

  2. Not to psychoanalyze, Louis, but you apparently have had your brush with conservatism. Before you got in to jazz and beatnik culture, you were lost politically. When you landed in the SWP, it represented another type of conservative swing. Anyway, it’s all to say that you have bona fides to pick this shit out, wrt to these Putin-defenders

    At the end of the day, I’m glad you side with bohemia and the obscene. You seemed like you tried to stay arms-length from counter-culture, even after getting out of the SWP, evidence your beautiful piece about Marcia Resnick and your friend Laura. Your biography, in the few comic bits I’ve read, shows that you couldn’t avoid counter-culture if you tried. Glad to see you embrace it rather than be in denial about it, like maybe you had at times.

    Comment by aaron — February 2, 2016 @ 4:31 am

  3. What are your thoughts on this?

    Comment by Poppa Zao — February 2, 2016 @ 8:07 am

  4. ‘I was a fan of male prostitute and petty thief (and distinguished playwright) Jean Genet’

    Genet happens to be one of my favorite writers, Louis, along with Henry Miller, Bukowski, Hubet Selby Jr, and Nelson Algren. You ever tried the work of Iceberg Slim?

    In fact I’m currently working on a book titled ‘Round and Round’ set in the same milieu.

    Difference is Louis, unlike you I’ve lived that life. I left school at 15 and come from the street, while you are a product of college and higher education. Unlike you I know what poverty and alienation feels like. For me it doesn’t just exist in the pages of a book.

    You are an increasingly isolated and desperate voice on the margins. Your writing on movies and culture are worthy and very good, but when it comes to politics, geopolitics and class very poor and confused.

    Russia isn’t a socialist paradise. Who knew?

    Your attachment to US unipolarity and hegemony is truly baffling to me. It exposes the fundamental paucity of materialism and concrete analysis which underpins Trotskyism.

    Comment by John Wight — February 2, 2016 @ 10:07 am

  5. I guess the Fiji ruling class needs to beef up its arsenal to use against citizens angry over how Fiji mineral water is being exploited by Bard College trustee and shit-ass billionaire Stewart Resnick.

    Comment by louisproyect — February 2, 2016 @ 12:50 pm

  6. John, being a high school dropout does not sanctify you. Nor would being a luminary like Seymour Hersh sanctify you. This is about politics, not class origins or “authenticity”. You are a Putinite cut from the same cloth as Stephen F. Cohen, arguably one of the most lauded scholars in the USA. It has a lot to do with an inability to understand the world in class terms. When the unit of analysis is the nation-state, it is a slippery slope into viewing the world as a chess game. I can understand why you have been seduced by the Putinite mystique. Just about everybody loves him, from Jobbik to Golden Dawn on the right to the CounterPunch regulars on the left.

    Sometimes I feel like Kevin McCarthy in the final scenes of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. But if you were really so convinced that you are speaking in the name of revolutionary socialism, you wouldn’t keep cropping up here. But then again, writing propaganda for Obama and Bernie Sanders might indicate that you are marching to the tune of Sidney and Beatrice Webb rather than Marx and Engels.

    Finally, although I have zero interest in replying to your latest in CounterPunch with its customary and sanctimonious “war is hell” defense of Putin, let me advise you that I identify with Russian Marxism not the liberal enemies of Putin such as Nicholas Kristof. I understand that you are far more comfortable getting your information from the West Point anti-terrorism think-tank but it is not that difficult to track down alternative sources starting with Thomas Campbell’s blog particularly the latest article on why Putin criticizes Lenin: https://therussianreader.wordpress.com/2016/01/31/why-putin-criticizes-lenin/.

    My personal favorite is Kiril Medvedev, about whom I discussed here: https://louisproyect.org/2013/03/21/kirill-medvedevs-its-no-good/.

    I also recommend his article in the July-August 2013 New Left Review titled “Beyond the Poetics of Privatization”, which unfortunately is behind a paywall. But this preface by a NLR editor might whet your appetite:

    “Among the generation of Russian writers who have come of age since the fall of the USSR, the poet Kirill Medvedev seems at once representative of his cohort and a case apart. He was born in Moscow in 1975 to a Soviet intelligentsia family—his father a journalist who gained renown during perestroika; his mother an editor at a major publishing house—whose fortunes nosedived in the 1990s: his father’s gambling debts meant they moved constantly to avoid mafia enforcers, and Medvedev was at one point taken hostage. His personal experience of the Yeltsin era was bleak: ‘around me,’ he has written, ‘on the one hand there reigned an unhealthy, entrepreneurial chaos; on the other, poverty, hunger, cynicism, disintegration and agony’. After studies at Moscow State University in the early 1990s, then the Gorky Literary Institute from 1996–2000, Medvedev published two poetry collections—Everything’s Bad and Incursion (both 2002)—in which he developed a conversational, free-verse idiom markedly influenced by Charles Bukowski, whose work he has translated into Russian. But in 2003, Medvedev broke with the literary world, assailing the ‘sickening aesthetic atmosphere’ of the Putin era—‘a putrid swamp, half-Soviet, half-bourgeois’—and the willing co-optation of so many writers and editors by big money. In 2004, he refused all copyright on his work; since then his output has mainly appeared online or in small self-produced editions. In a series of penetrating essays on the politics and culture of Putinism, and on the Russian liberal intelligentsia’s capitulations before it, he has taken a cool distance from literary circles. Medvedev’s socialist politics also mark him out from many of his generation; in 2007, he set up the Free Marxist Press, publishing translations of Deutscher, Mandel, Pasolini and others. In his own work, he has sought to blend the emancipatory charge of 1917 with the imaginative breadth of other Marxist traditions. At the same time, Medvedev has been a participant-observer in the wave of social contestation that has gathered in Russia since the mid-2000s, in which a range of movements—for housing rights, pensions, education, ecological protection; against corruption and electoral fraud—tentatively coalesced; though since mid-2012 they have been experiencing severe repression. Combining poetry with protest actions and music—through his folk group, named Arkady Kots after the Russian translator of the Internationale—Medvedev is one of the leading exemplars of the new ‘civic poetry’ that emerged in Russia during the 2000s, and whose longer lineage, from the creative ferment of the 1920s to the hyper-individualism of the 1990s, he discusses in the essay translated here.”

    You can have Stephen F. Cohen, Mike Whitney, Donald Trump and Golden Dawn. I’ll stick with Kiril.

    Comment by louisproyect — February 2, 2016 @ 1:24 pm

  7. To “come from the street” as Wight terms it can mean many things. Among other things, it can indicate a fraudulent version of counterculture that seeks a kind of individualistic salvation among the lumpenproletariat, viewing them not as outliers in the class system but rather as exemplars of an inverted bourgeois morality that has become a cause in its own right–switching to another bourgeois frame of reference, Mr. Christian with sculpted abs and a three-day beard posing in a pair of ridiculously expensive jeans and emanating a neurotic claim to superiority.

    The propaganda of the 1% is full of appeals to this cockeyed version of pastoral–to walk down the newly gentrified streets of an area like Washington DC’s Logan Circle is to be continually nauseated by the posing of moneyed ragamuffins in costume, ceaselessly portraying their own–as they see it–irresistibly high-impact bohemian selfhood while they compulsively seek its reflection in shopwindows and the eyes of passers-by.

    Disgusting.

    Nothing is less authentic than a certain kind of radically antisocial “street cred.” I think this can be so even if the poseur in question really did “come from the street.”

    Of course, the ultra-individualism that goes along with this no doubt makes some people doubly susceptible to Putin’s Mussolini-like exhibitions of shirtlessness and his continual boasting of his prowess in the martial arts and other areas. How this squares with the attack on Russia’s own bohemia is an interesting question, but that sort of doubt never stopped any fascist who was truly intent on getting over, even if he was a thorough-paced bohemian like Hitler or Goebbels. Hitler certainly “came from the street.”

    As I am not well acquainted with Mr. Wight, I’m not directing this so much at him personally. I have no idea what he is like personally and have not read his work in any depth (if indeed it has any depth). I hate the thing I’m pointing to here whether Wight himself exemplifies it or merely reminds me of it.

    I say that as someone who personally shook hands with Genet and William Burroughs in Chicago’s Lincoln Park in 1968 and who was deeply stirred by Ginsberg’s poetry and his charismatic presence during that period.

    I

    Comment by Pete Glosser — February 2, 2016 @ 8:46 pm

  8. Being the world’s most twisted real esate agent I naturally am the world’s leading expert on contested real estate. I can therefore offer some very good advice to people living in the failed states and possibly soon to be failed states in the contested area. Normally I should get paid a large sum of money for this advice. Yet since those who need the advice are very unilikely to read it here I will give it out for free.
    If you are planning on paying thousands or tens of thousands of Euros to seek asylum in Europe you are wasting your time. Even if you get here life will not be good. You will be waiting for years. Then once the area that you can from is no longer a raging civil war you will be sent home.
    How can I say this? Because the Germans did not even let most of those displaced by the Yugoslavian civil wars stay in Germany. If they did not let other Europeans stay what do you think the chances are that they are going to let you stay.
    But there is no need to sink in to complete dispare yet. No you can sink in to complete dispare 15 or 25 years down the road when the effects of global warming leave everyone in complete dispare. In the mean time I offer a reasonable resettlement alternative. If you are currently living in Afghanistan and wish to leave the pathetic situation that you are now in do not spend 10 or 15 thousand Euros or Dollars to try to go to Europe.
    Your plan should be to go to India, or Pakistan or Malasyia with that money and learn the language there and start your own business there.
    If you are an Iranian you should do the same thing with your sights set on Azerbijan, one of the Stans or central Asia, or Malaysia. If you are an non Kurd Iraqi or Syrian you should set your sights on Tunisia or Morrocco or Algeria. If you are a Kurd you should set your sights on Moldovia, Armenia, or Georgia, maybe Romania or Bulgaria. If you are a Somali, Eretrian, Ethiopian, or Yemeni, you should set your sites on Tanzania, or Angola, or maybe Tunisia.
    With ten or fifteen thousand Euros you can reach these countries present and then present a business plan and a bribe to local officials to be given a chance to help the local economy. As an added bonus you can promise if need be you will join a local militia to fight against any attempt by Islamic radicals to gain a foothold in your new country. Anyone who would prefer the odds of success in going to Europe is demonstrating their insanity, or perhaps their completer lack of knowledge due to the misinformation of smugglers.
    Now is your chace to thank me by saying why did’nt I think of that.

    Comment by Curt Kastens — February 3, 2016 @ 12:31 pm

  9. I wonder what Reza, and Hedia, and Omid, and Soriya, and Ali, think of my suggestion. As I see it intellegent Iranians (or Afghans,Iraqis, Syrians, Palestinians and on and on) do not have a lot of good choices. It seems to me that they can stay put their head down and try to get by as best they can without making any waves that could cause them to be singled out for special treatment by the ruling authorities They could try to covertly build a violent or non violent socialist movement from inside the country. They could pretend that they are Muslims and try to reform Islamic understanding so that it better promotes economic justice and treats women more fairly. They can try to achieve those same goals overtly be entering the rigged political system. They could try to immigrate to Europe, or North America. Or they could try to immmigrate to a developing country that is at least peaceful, and secular.
    Yes all of those choices suck. But the last one sucks the least. Oh, sure, if you can get to Canada you have reached the promised land. But, what are the chances of reaching those distant shores? On the otherhand if you can reach India or Turkmenistan with a skill and with 10 or 12 thousand Euros in your pocket you will have opportunities that local people can only dream about. If you can arrive as a small group each with that amount your opportunities would multiply. In Canada Germany or France such a sum would not take you very far at all.
    I think one of the obvious fears of moving to a corrupt but relatively peaceful secular developing country is that authorities will not welcome you in to thier country. These authorities could be stupid but it should be pointed out to them that the USA and Europe have benifited for decades by robbing developing countries many of their talanted and educated ciitzens. Is it not time for secular developing countries to have an opportunity to benefit from such a policy?
    Of course there are risks that things will not work out moving to a corrupt but relatively peacful and secular developing countries but when I think when those risks are weighed against the risks of other options those risks do not seem so unreasonable to me. Socialists need to survive to spread socialism. In some countries the risks of surviving and spreading socialism are just to high. To withdraw and set up somewhere else with better conditions seems like a prudish thing to do. Am I right or am I wrong?

    Comment by Curt Kastens — February 4, 2016 @ 12:34 pm


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