Tag Archives | Soviet Union

TROTSKY IN CHINA: How Communism’s Most Controversial Theorist Found An Audience – In China

Pic: Trotsky (PD)

Pic: Trotsky (PD)

This article breaks down how books by Leon Trotsky supported the Chinese ideological shift away from soviet Communism.

via News China

Trotsky’s Views was openly published in China in 1980, two years after the country embarked on its ongoing experiment with Reform and Opening-up, and 40 years after Leon Trotsky, who remains one of the world’s most contentious political thinkers, was assassinated.

Its predecessor was Excerpts of Trotsky’s Reactionary Views, compiled by the Central Compilation and Translation Bureau and printed by the People’s Press, as one of the “Gray Cover” books issued to a limited number of Party cadres in 1964.

 Gray Cover books were classified into three categories. Category C included books by such European socialist thinkers as Alexandre Millerand of France and Otto Bauer of Austria who attempted revisions to perceived orthodox Marxism. These were generally available to Party functionaries, though banned from public sale.

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Trailer: Flowers and Sickles: The Psychedelic Underground of the Soviet Hippies

The hippie movement which turned hundreds of thousands of youth towards the cult of peace & love in the West wasn’t absent on the other side of the Iron Curtain. The creative documentary takes us on a psychedelic road trip through time, exploring the traces of the hippie legacy in the Soviet Union – the dream which allowed the youth to feel free even under the repressive Soviet rule. The conflicting personal and social ‘truths’, the tension between the psychedelic and the ‘rationale’ are vividly revealed.

Trailer – Flowers and Sickles: The Psychedelic Underground of the Soviet Hippies from Kultusfilm on Vimeo.… Read the rest

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How the Cold War Spawned the Environmental Movement

The_Population_BombVia New Scientist

In Arming Mother Nature, Jacob Darwin Hamblin argues that environmentalism is rooted in cold war plans to abuse nature for military ends

I have often wondered why NATO holds environment conferences. Now I know the answer. Back in the 1960s, the Western military alliance coined the term “environmental warfare” and for years actively considered how to wage such wars. More than that, argues Jacob Darwin Hamblin in this startling account, much of modern environmental thinking originated with the scientists and military strategists during the dark days of the cold war.

And you thought the first environmentalists were muesli-eating, sandal-wearing hippies? Far from it, Hamblin says. Before them was a generation of scary Dr Strangelove types, “scientists, military leaders and politicians who believed they would have to manipulate and exploit nature” in a war against the Soviet Union. The original doom-mongers were not sounding the alarm; they were riding into battle.

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Former KGB Officer Describes The Soviet Union’s Secret UFO Studies

soviet ufoThe earthly or extraterrestrial origin of the UFOs was never determined, but some military officials  believed they knew how to summon them, Russia Beyond the Headlines writes:

The Soviet Union took UFOs seriously. The KGB and the Soviet Defense Ministry had dedicated units collecting and analysing information about paranormal activity. Military experts even claimed to know how to “summon” UFOs and make contact with them.

The source for this is a retired FSB major general and researcher, Vasily Yeremenko. Yeremenko was in charge of the KGB division overseeing the air force and aircraft manufacturing. This division was entrusted with the task of collecting all reports of UFO sightings.

[In the 1970s], as Yeremenko told RBTH, there had been an accumulation of reports on numerous paranormal incidents. Missile Troops units were even instructed on how to behave in the event that they spotted a UFO: the main thing was not to act in a way that could create an opportunity for a retaliatory aggression.

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Lake Karachay: The Most Toxic Place On Earth

Basement Geographer on a lake in the Russian mountains which may be the single most concentrated spot of environmental desecration:

Imagine a lake so polluted and contaminated that spending just an hour on its shores would result in certain death, and the only way seen fit to deal with it is to fill the entire water body with concrete blocks to keep the toxic soil underneath from moving onshore. That lake is Lake Karachay in Russia’s Chelyabinsk Oblast, and it is considered by many to be the most polluted place on the planet.

Lake Karachay lies within the Mayak Production Association, one of Russia’s largest and oldest nuclear facilities and a major source of plutonium during the Soviet era. Built immediately following World War II, Mayak has been the site of numerous nuclear-related accidents throughout its history, some approaching the size of the Chernobyl meltdown but far more concentrated.

Statistics reveal that by the 1990s, there had been a 21% increase in the incidences of cancer, a 25% increase in birth defects, a 41% increase in leukaemia, and a rendering of 50% of the population of child bearing age sterile in the Mayak region.

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The Soviet Synthesizer That Bridged Electronic Music And The Occult

Boing Boing on a bizarre, pioneering musical instrument, suppressed in its day, which built on occultist concepts and attempted to unify the senses:

You don’t play the ANS synthesizer with a keyboard. Instead you etch images onto glass sheets covered in black putty and feed them into a machine that shines light through the etchings, trigging a wide range of tones. It’s a nearly forgotten Russian synthesizer designed by Evgeny Murzin in 1938. The synth was named after and dedicated to the experimental composer and occultist Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin (1872–1915).

Today it sits behind a rope at the Glinka Museum of Musical Culture, almost forgotten and seldom used. A few artists have recorded albums with it over the years, mostly notably the late occultists/electronic musicians Coil who traveled to Russia in 2002:

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The Last Soviet Moon Lander Discovered Water on the Moon in 1976

Moon Landing MapCold War politics. Via the Technology Review’s Physics arXiv Blog:

The last Soviet mission to the moon, Luna-24, returned to Earth with water-rich rocks from beneath the lunar surface. But the West ignored the result.

The possibility of water on the moon has excited scientists and science fiction fans for decades. If we ever decide to maintain a human presence on the moon, clear evidence of water will be an important factor in the decision.

In recent years, that evidence has begun to mount. The data comes from several sources. First there was the pioneering Clementine mission in 1994, America’s first return to the moon in twenty years. Clementine looked for water by bouncing radio waves off the surface—the returns giving a strong indication that water ice must lie beneath the surface…

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