Monday, June 30, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Three Laws of Soviet Reality Again Operational Under Putin, Magarshak Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 30 – Three unwritten laws which governed the lives of Soviet people have resumed operation in Vladimir Putin’s Russia and increasingly set the terms for the interaction between his country’s population and the state, and they are “just as universal and all-embracing,” a Russian blogger suggests,” as the laws of Newton.

            These three laws, Yury Magarshak, a Russian who now lives in New York, says are as follows:

·         “The first law of Soviet nature is if it seems to you that the Head of the Country or his oracles (the foreign minister, ideologues, and the lead articles of ‘Pravda’) are speaking the truth, this means that you are either insufficiently informed or are under hypnosis.

·         “The second law of Soviet nature is if it seems to you that you understand what is actually taking place, look at the situation more attentively.  After that, convince yourself that everything is absolutely not as you imagined.

·         And “the third law of Soviet nature is if the Leaders of the Soviet State say something which appears humane and human, this means that they either have already committed or intend to commit something especially horrifying” (

Magarshak says that he became convinced of the “universality of [these] three laws of Soviet nature “whenever he had any dealings with the Authorities, read a newspaper, or turned on ‘central television.’”

            Things began to change at the end of the 1980s, and that trend continued in the 1990s, he says. Even the leaders of the country began to speak like human beings.  “It seemed to some that the Soviet System in Russia had receded into the past.” But such conclusions have proved to be wrong.  Once again, “the Laws of Soviet Nature are again being fulfilled in Russia.”

            At first this process was “step by step,” but after the Sochi Olympiad, it picked up speed and became all-embracing.  Government television re-introduced “the Five Minute Hate (exactly as Orwell described)” about Ukraine and the West -- and “twice a day, a whole hour of hatred” as well.

            Whenever Moscow television began to talk about the West, it became “gloomy, sarcastic and angry,” but when it spoke about domestic affairs, the “voice of the zombie broadcaster took on a sickeningly sweet tone, exactly like Soviet television, Magarshak says.

            Russian viewers were encouraged to be joyful about new territorial acquisitions “not because there is too little land in Russia but because a Russia that isn’t expanding isn’t Russia just as a Universe which isn’t expanding isn’t a Universe.”

            The duplicity continued. “The people of Ukraine were declared a fraternal people ... but at the very same time, [Moscow television labelled Ukrainians] fascists, Nazis and Banderites.”

            Moscow’s involvement in Ukraine is obvious to the world, but “just like in the case of the invasion in Prague, earlier in Hungary, and later the fraternal assistance to Afghanistan,” the Russian authorities now follow the Soviet Law and insist that what everyone can see is not in fact the case.

             Magarshak suggests that Moscow’s vote for a UN Security Council resolution on Iraq, a vote that was on its face a humane and correct one, should have been the tip-off that the Kremlin was about to do something terrible.  And it did.

            And Putin’s statement in Austria that Moscow is not involved in Donetsk and Luhansk was followed only two days later by “something especially terrifying,” the unification of the two “peoples republics” into Novorossiya, something that anyone familiar with the three Laws of Soviet reality would have expected.

            The “chief result” of Putin’s time in office has been that “Soviet power has again come to Russia,” not with the goal of the construction of communism but rather with a world in which there is “a fundamental lack of correspondence between words and deeds,” exactly what one would expect of someone who is a KGB officer.

            “The struggle for the establishment of a Fifth Rome (the third was the Empire of the Romanovs, the fourth that of the Ulyanovs and Dzhugashvilis known under the pseudonym of the Soviet Union) is in full swing and will continue.  But there can be no doubt,” Magarshak concludes, “that the Soviet Union has already been restored” in the Russian Federation.

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