At the beginning of the “Sovietia,” Stalin was concerned that by destroying the treasures of Russian art, valued all over the refined world, he would get branded by the West as a vandal.
Osip Mandelstam, a Russian poet considered a genius, wrote a stinging poem about Stalin. These are the opening lines of the poem (which was not published at the time, but it was copied, read, and passed on):
We live without feeling the earth under our feet.
What we say is never heard ten steps away.
Now, was Mandelstam a poet of genius? If he was, he would not be killed publicly right away. There would be problems abroad: “Stalin has killed a poet whom the Russians call the greatest, not only in Russia but in the world at large.”
Stalin contacted the poet Boris Pasternak: “Is Mandelstam a poet of genius?” he asked. “Yes,” Pasternak answered, “but I would like to speak with you about something else.” “What about?” Stalin asked. “Life and death,” was the response.
Stalin hung up.
Mandelstam was committed to a temporary exile, where he lived with his wife, Nadezhda, and where he created his great poetry. Months later he was sent to a concentration camp, where he perished.
There were no changes in the Sovietia except those for the worse, until 1970 brought incredible, impossible news: Several hundred “Soviet citizens” were allowed to emigrate to the countries of their choice!
Where should we emigrate? For quite a few of us the choice was made by history.
The English-speaking countries have the most elaborate freedom rights! And that was where we went — America! — the most powerful free country which would be able to defend us best.
Before going over to the current flow of time, let me devote a couple of paragraphs to the life of myself and my near and dear here in New York City. During our life in Moscow, Russia, we eyed our beloved English-speaking countries, where the freedom of speech (such as writing poetry by Mandelstam) was no crime, one that could end in a poet’s death in a concentration camp.
We had a nervous worry about the survival of the free countries in the age of Stalin, Hitler, and Mao, and in New York I began writing a weekly column about the world at large. My wife was my secretary, since both of us went through the same world drama.
Now, after having lived in America for 40 years, I cannot help comparing the electoral systems of the United States and Great Britain.
The majority party in the British parliament, which receives more votes than any other party, nominates a candidate to speak with Her Majesty, after which the Queen either approves or rejects the nominee to be her prime minister.
The British briefcase “Prime Minister” contains about 50 pages. Why did I choose to write the above paragraph? Well, some information is more important the greater the number of those who voted for it. But with other information, it may be the other way around: the fewer the voters know about it, the more valuable it may be.
Had not the U.S. president received the information about nuclear bombs through a letter he received from a great German scientist (who was not even a voter in the United States!), Hitler with nuclear bombs would have become the owner of the world.
The American government power is said to have originated in the American Revolution.
I saw it being abused by Obama after he became president of the United States. Shortly after Obama moved into the White House, he declared a new era of “cooperation, not confrontation” with China and arranged for the two days of high-level talks with Chinese officials. Said Obama: “The relationship between the United States and China will shape the 21st century, which makes it as important as any bilateral relationship in the world.”
Has Obama read numberless conclusions of experts about the coming destructive war between the United States and the “People’s Republic of China”?
But what about those Americans who believe that the China founded in 1949 by Mao, the Stalinist who killed 64 million Chinese, will save America because Obama declared it to be its friend?
What about us who emigrated to the United States, and not to Britain, because we believed that as a larger country than Britain, America will be able to defend its citizens better?
Actually, all Americans who want to remain Americans, can, on the contrary, find themselves in a trap, created by Mao and his “communist China.”
It is generally recognized today that the harm to Russia done by the “Russian Revolution,” which took place in a country by no means as free as Britain, was tremendous, and its inheritor Stalin died only in l953, but his unprecedented-scale atrocities continued after his death.
It may be appropriate to mention here that Canada is not part of the United States.
Surely had America remained part of the English-speaking territory, the queen of England would have spoken with Obama after he had been elected and would have rejected him after their conversation.
The opposite result? It seems possible for those who make up Obama’s noisy army of those who have been and will be displeased with any America except if it becomes the “People’s Republic of America.”
Obama discovered the “People’s Republic of China” not by reading scientific accounts, but by “their flesh and spirit” being “mine now and for centuries ahead.”
Lev Navrozov can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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