By J.R. Nyquist
In discussions with former KGB and GRU officers you will run across two apparently contradictory statements. Sometimes you will hear them say that the former USSR is still run by Communists, suggesting that the rulers there believe in Communism. On the other hand, they will tell you to forget about the Communist label; that the rulers of the USSR never really believed in Communist ideology, which was a deception used to manipulate large numbers of unintelligent people.
Former KGB Lt. Col. Victor Kalashnikov recently wrote several paragraphs on this subject, and it is worth presenting. Kalashnikov’s key point is that Communism is strategy, not ideology. Useful idiots believe in Communist dogma, while Communist strategists do not. Here is what Kalashnikov had to say on the subject:
Ideology as such has not ever been the real driving force guiding Russia’s rulers, from the Bolsheviks until the present. Ideological explanations are irrelevant. Consider the deeds of the Bolsheviks rather than the explanations or justifications given by them. Don’t forget that criminals may be very eloquent and even well educated, and are capable of offering convincing-sounding rhetoric. The real problem is located elsewhere. A lot of people, those ‘useful’ ones, will take that rhetoric … seriously, giving it attention and respect, and even protection. Yet if we rely on ‘Occam’s razor,’ we may remove the superficial misunderstandings caused by taking rhetoric seriously.
The Bolsheviks were basically nothing but professional gangsters and terrorists, killers and robbers, and that is unquestionably more relevant than all the ideological explanations provided by them. They were part of a broader terrorist spectrum which spread across Russia since the late 19th century and grabbed power and national wealth UNDER COVER of Marxist and Leftist-sounding slogans. They did so to mislead the Russians themselves and the foreign public – the latter often longing for ‘real’ socialism or communism.The slogans of the gangsters have varied substantially over time, according to the changing needs up until our day. Compare the types of Marxism preached and practiced under various general secretaries, even during different parts of their respective tenures. Marxism-Leninism was used in the USSR rather as a DECEPTION TOOL; whereas, in reality, the regime was a gangster-run state with all the unmistakable features of organized criminal activity.
I can only confirm what Viktor Suvorov once told me about the GRU as applying to the KGB: namely, that if any faithful communists happened to penetrate the intelligence staff by chance, they would be filtered out. ‘You may not entrust serious matters to the people believing in all that rubbish,’ Suvorov said. Take ‘proletarian solidarity’ for example. When and how did it work? Or take ‘pauperization of the imperialist states,’ or ‘inter-imperialist wars,’ etc. What really remained untouched among all the ‘Marxists’ in state power [was] the ever present and aggressive anti-Americanism. Why? – Because the United States is reasonably regarded as an INHERENT OPPONENT of ‘Leftist’ rule and policies. All of this also implies more power for the secret police to suppress dissent and opposition, along with the crucial role of BUREAUCRACY and all its perquisites like nepotism, corruption, etc. That’s where the COMMON DENOMINATOR with Russia is to be found. Such regimes are incompatible with normal countries and doomed to seek conflict rather than cooperation.
Anti-Americanism would probably be the most distinct and unifying feature among them – so that you may take it as the only workable and articulated ideology of substance that they espouse. And, of course, Moscow supplies all anti-American forces worldwide with arms, training, secret police and subversion know-how, plus diplomatic and political cover. Clearly, the KGB and GRU have laid down firm foundations for such international alliances on institutional, material, financial and personal levels. The General Staff of the Russian armed forces has definitely integrated those Leftist regimes of Latin American into its strategic planning, including subversion, terrorism and various forms of soft power, targeting the United States and its allies. As already noted, the ‘Marxist’ or so-named ‘liberation’ ideology rather plays an operational role for the purposes of propaganda and deception.
The West seems to live with a self-made, or partly imposed from the outside, fairy tale about Russia. I’m really getting tired of continually explaining this wherever I can. Probably, the Western culture and the overall state of mind are in need, for the sake of inner balance and comfort, of an alternative to a decadent Western society. This alternative is somehow thought to be Russia, which still belongs to the European realm with all its great writers and composers of the 19thcentury. This artificial idea about a Russia that never really existed, and by no means is Putin’s ‘Russian Federation’ anyway, is eagerly supported in Moscow. In fact, the present-day Russia is engulfed by CULTURAL REGRESS which is increasingly apparent if you look straight at arts, literature, architecture, media or public life. However paradoxically, this regress may become an effective survival strategy for Russia. Remember that a mollusk can outlive every other thing on earth because of its simple adaptive abilities. That makes Putin’s Russia even more dangerous, and requires a truly fresh look at an ominous phenomenon.
Here we discover, in Kalashnikov’s analysis, the keys to the whole puzzle. Not all Communists believe in the sense of religious belief. Their Communism boils down to a set of strategies. In practice, they are gangsters and terrorists. Their strategy was (and is) to destroy the United States in order to lay the entire world open to plunder. As Lenin once said, “Communism is nothing more than the scientific management of human affairs.” Of all sciences, strategy involves the mass manipulation and management of people. For a criminal, this manipulation signifies mass murder and mass robbery.
It is beyond doubt, of course, that the Cold War did not end in 1991. Inside the former Soviet Union we can discern criminal totalitarian structures at work behind the scenes. These structures appear to control the large Russian corporations, media and, at minimum, maintain a veto power over government agencies in former Warsaw Pact countries and former Soviet republics. If these structures are not Communist in a strict sense, they are Communist in the sense that their actual ideology is anti-Americanism (as stated by Kalashnikov).
In terms of global strategy, these structures aim at the elimination of American power. Furthermore, these structures no longer require Marxist-Leninist ideology to function (though they do require anti-Americanism). At the same time they successfully make use of those Marxist true-believers in the West who still dream of socialist revolution.
When we look at Russian support to Venezuelan arms production, or to Russian support for Nicaragua’s new military preparation, it appears that global communist revolution is still supported as part of this anti-American strategy. Kalashnikov would say that this is “part of the deception.” Effectively, it doesn’t matter whether the FSB/KGB and the Russian General Staff believe in Marxism-Leninism or not. Their behavior is objectively the same as Marxist-Leninist behavior – only without the attending ideological clichés.
What does Putin actually believe? Since Marxism itself is a deception aimed at a specific audience, Putin must sound like a Marxist when speaking to Marxists, but must sound like a non-Marxist when interfacing with Western leaders. In the year 2000 Vladimir Putin was asked by Larry King about the cross he wears around his neck. Putin was evasive and refused to acknowledge a belief in God. When King pressed him for an answer, he said, “I believe in the power of man.” He had to give this answer because true-believing Communists in dozens of countries were listening, and he could not let them down.
When Putin first visited Cuba a journalist asked if he was still a Communist. Putin said, “Call me a pot, but heat me not.” The thing that is most difficult to understand and to relate to readers is that Marxism is two things with regard to two sets of people. Marxism is a lie – a deception strategy – for the strategists. At the same time, it is a religion to the true believers.
When a Communist revolution succeeds, the regime organizes everything around the concept of maximizing strategic power. Society itself is transformed into a tool of strategy. The true-believer always finds that the final end is not Communist revolution but strategic dominance to the point of universal tyranny. This produces the actual phenomenon of so-called “Communist states.” And this is, in fact, what Communism actually signifies in practice.