Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Very Pleasant Surprise

It is impossible to tell short of people telling me in the comments or otherwise how many people ever read anything I write here. The site counter does not differentiate between real people and bots. But, I think a few real people actually did read my post to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the deportation of the Volga Germans. That along with the amount of coverage the anniversary got in German and especially Russian language media greatly surprised me. It wasn't that long ago that the event got almost no coverage at all. In the 1990s people like Deborah Lipstadt claimed that to even bring up the issue of ethnic German civilians victimized by Allied powers such as the USSR during World War II was Holocaust denial. Now people like Lipstadt have much less power to silence dissidents.

Monday, August 28, 2017

New Publication coming out in October

I have a journal article with the title "Kurds in the USSR, 1917-1956" scheduled for publication in the October 2017 issue of Kurdish Studies. As the title notes the article is on the history of the Kurdish population in the Soviet Union from the time of the Bolshevik Revolution until the start of Khrushchev's de-Stalinization campaign.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

76 Years Since the Deportation of the Volga Germans

Tomorrow marks the 76th anniversary of the Supreme Soviet decree to deport the ethnic Germans living in the Volga German ASSR, Saratov Oblast, and Stalingrad Oblast to Siberia and Kazakhstan as special settlers. They were dispersed across the vast and freezing expanses of Soviet Asia by a regime whose core identity was “Anti-Fascism.” This regime considered everybody even remotely associated or connected to anything German as a Fascist deserving of the most brutal punishments imaginable without even the pretense of legal process. I have already written the details of the deportation, special settlement regime, and mobilization into the labor army here and at other places. So I want to continue in the vein of considering why so many people consider this crime so unworthy of note whereas similar crimes committed against other people are publicly commemorated in the US on an almost daily basis.

The idea that only certain people are “worthy victims” by virtue of being of the correct ancestry and others such as Germans in the 1940s deserved no human or civil rights has been widespread for around three quarters of a century now. Part of this is that the idea of universal human rights is a political facade with no real content. Instead it is largely an intellectual cover for supporting certain unrelated real politic or ideological positions and often reflects considerable ethno-racial bias. Another part is that the perpetrators of this particular and many other crimes still retains a very strong international ideological credibility among intellectuals due to its “Anti-Fascist” identity. In particular the rhetorical commitment of the Soviet government to “anti-racism” has shielded it from charges of racial discrimination and repression by Western scholars. The only notable exceptions to this defense of the USSR from the claim that it engaged in racial discrimination has been in the cases where such discrimination was against Jews. But, the much greater repression on an ethno-racial basis of ethnic Germans by the Soviet government has been largely ignored or in some cases militantly denied by US based scholars. Volga German children deported in 1941 to die in Siberia are still not considered “worthy victims” by most US intellectuals because they shared distant ethnic ties with the perpetrators of the Holocaust.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Korean food in Bishkek

Yesterday, I tried a new Korean place called Seoul Ramen off of Kievskaya. I had the ramen, kimchi, kimbab, a half liter of coke, and a half liter of bottled water for 225 som (about $3.50). The ramen was nice and spicy.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Walk through Bishkek

I have decided to once again to try and use this blog as a personal journal. Especially, since I am planning on seriously reducing the time I waste on Face Book. Today, I went for a long walk. I noticed that they had renamed at least part of Manas which used to be Prospekt Mira after Chingiz Aitmatov. They are also building yet another mall on the street. This one is being called Asia Mall. It isn't completed yet. I also went to the other new mall, GUM over on Chui. It is quite nice and modern. But, the only store there that interests me is the book store and even that not very much. The history selection is very small and consists almost entirely of recent popular books from Russia. I am just not a 21st century man geared to constant consumption of new smart phones. I have a dumb Nokia from 2013. Looking at how other people are dependent upon their smart phones I have no intention of ever getting one. I think Mark Fisher was correct in his evaluation of the damage done to society by this particular piece of technology.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Why I Post so Little Here These Days

This blog has been slowly dying for a while. It long ago ceased to get any readers and comments stopped eons before that. But, now I am truly running out of new things to say in the short space of a blog post. I am also coming to the point where I am just going to have to accept that nobody is ever going to agree with me on anything and there isn't anything I can do about it. I never thought I would live to see Stalinism rehabilitated. But, that isn't as surprising as some of the other past horrors such as Dutch colonial atrocities in Indonesia or the Danish slave trade that are now routinely and militantly denied or defended by huge numbers of "progressives." But, there is no convincing these people that their idols whether it is the USSR, Denmark, the Netherlands, or Israel has ever done anything wrong. Unfortunately, these people appear to make up the vast majority of the population posting on the Internet.