What If the Russian Revolution Had Never Happened? by Simon Sebag Montefiore

The October Revolution, organized by Vladimir Lenin exactly a century ago, is still relevant today in ways that would have seemed unimaginable when Soviet Communism collapsed.

Marxist-Leninism (albeit in the unique capitalist-Maoist form) still propels China, the world’s surging hyperpower, even as that same ideology ruins Cuba and Venezuela. Meanwhile, North Korea, a dystopian Leninist monarchy with nuclear weapons, terrifies the world. Even more surprisingly, Communism is experiencing a resurrection in democratic Britain: Jeremy Corbyn, that quasi-Leninist comfortingly disguised as cuddly grey-beard, is the most extreme politician ever to lead one of Britain’s two main parties, and he is inching toward power.

But Lenin’s tactics, too, are resurgent. He was a sophisticated genius of merciless zero-sum gain, expressed by his phrase “Kto kovo?” — literally, “Who, whom?” asking the question who controls whom and, more important, who kills whom. President Trump is some ways the personification of a new Bolshevism of the right where the ends justify the means and acceptable tactics include lies and smears, and the exploitation of what Lenin called useful idiots. It’s no coincidence that President Trump’s chief campaign strategist, Steve Bannon, once boasted “I am a Leninist.”

One hundred years later, as its events continue to reverberate and inspire, October 1917 looms epic, mythic, mesmerizing. Its effects were so enormous that it seems impossible that it might not have happened the way it did.

And yet it nearly didn’t.

There was nothing inevitable about the Bolshevik revolution. By 1917, the Romanov monarchy was decaying quickly, but its emperors may have saved themselves had they not missed repeated chances to reform. The other absolute monarchies of Europe — the Ottomans, the Habsburgs — fell because they were defeated in World War I. Would the Romanovs have fallen, too, if they had survived just one more year to share in the victory of November 1918?

October might have heralded a short-lived interim, like so many other failed revolutions of that era. Any coordinated attack by White armies, the other side in the Russian civil war, or any intervention by Western forces would have swept the Bolsheviks away. It all depended on Lenin. He was very nearly overthrown in a coup by rebellious coalition partners but he made his own luck, though, by a combination of ideological passion, ruthless pragmatism, unchecked bloodletting and the will to establish a dictatorship. And sometimes, he just got plain lucky: On Aug. 30, 1918, he was shot while addressing a crowd of workers at a factory in Moscow. He survived by inches.

Had any of these events foiled Lenin, our own times would be radically different. Without Lenin there would have been no Hitler. Hitler owed much of his rise to the support of conservative elites who feared a Bolshevik revolution on German soil and who believed that he alone could defeat Marxism. And the rest of his radical program was likewise justified by the threat of Leninist revolution. His anti-Semitism, his anti-Slavic plan for Lebensraum and above all the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 were supported by the elites and the people because of the fear of what the Nazis called “Judeo-Bolshevism.”

Without the Russian Revolution of 1917, Hitler would likely have ended up painting postcards in one of the same flophouses where he started. No Lenin, no Hitler — and the 20th century becomes unimaginable. Indeed, the very geography of our imagination becomes unimaginable.

The East would look as different as the West. Mao, who received huge amounts of Soviet aid in the 1940s, would not have conquered China, which might still be ruled by the family of Chiang Kai-shek. The inspirations that illuminated the mountains of Cuba and the jungles of Vietnam would never have been. Kim Jong-un, pantomimic pastiche of Stalin, would not exist. There would have been no Cold War. The tournaments of power would likely have been just as vicious — just differently vicious.

The Russian Revolution mobilized a popular passion across the world based on Marxism-Leninism, fueled by messianic zeal. It was, perhaps, after the three Abrahamic religions, the greatest millenarian rapture of human history.

That virtuous idealism justified any monstrosity. The Bolsheviks admired the cleansing purges of Robespierre’s Reign of Terror: “A revolution without firing squads is meaningless,” Lenin said. The Bolsheviks created the first professional revolutionaries, the first total police state, the first modern mass-mobilization on behalf of class war against counterrevolution. Bolshevism was a mind-set, an idiosyncratic culture with an intolerant paranoid wordview obsessed with abstruse Marxist ideology. Their zeal justified the mass killings of all enemies, real and potential, not just by Lenin or Stalin but also Mao, Pol Pot in Cambodia, Mengistu Haile Mariam in Ethiopia. It also gave birth to slave labor camps, economic catastrophe and untold psychological damage. (These events are now so long ago that the horrors have been blurred and history forgotten; a glamorous glow of power and idealism lingers to intoxicate young voters disenchanted with the bland dithering of liberal capitalism.)

And then there is Russia, the successor to the Soviet Union. President Vladimir Putin’s power is enforced by his fellow former K.G.B. officers, the heirs of Lenin and Stalin’s secret police. Mr. Putin and his regime have adopted the Leninist tactics of “konspiratsia” and “dezinformatsiya,” which have turned out to be ideally suited to today’s technologies. Americans may have invented the internet, but they saw it (decadently) as a means of making money or (naïvely) as a magical click to freedom. The Russians, bred on Leninist cynicism, harnessed it to undermine American democracy.

Mr. Putin mourned the fall of Soviet Union as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century, yet he regards Lenin as an agent of chaos between two epochs of national grandeur — the Romanovs before Nicholas II (Peter the Great and Alexander III are favorites) and Soviet Union’s superpower glory under Stalin.

Mr. Putin presents himself as a czar — and like any czar, he fears revolution above all else. That is why it is victory against Germany in 1945, not the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 that is the founding myth of Putinist Russia. Hence the irony that while the West has been discussing the revolution at length, Russia is largely pretending it never happened. Lenin’s marble mausoleum in Red Square must echo with his laughter because that’s just the sort of serpentine political calculation he would have appreciated.

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Fact Resistant Unenlightened Females

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The Equal Rights Amendment

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

The Equal Rights Amendment was passed by Congress on March 22, 1972 but 45 years to to the day it still has not achieved the 38 out of the 50 states needed to ratify it in to law. In 2017 ERA bills have also been introduced in the legislatures of Arizona, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.

STATE RATIFICATION STATE RATIFICATION
Alabama not ratified Montana Jan. 25, 1974
Alaska April 5, 1972 Nebraska* March 29, 1972
Arizona not ratified Nevada not ratified
Arkansas not ratified New Hampshire March 23, 1972
California Nov. 13, 1972 New Jersey April 17, 1972
Colorado April 21, 1972 New Mexico Feb. 28, 1973
Connecticut March 15, 1973 New York May 18, 1972
Delaware March 23, 1972 North Carolina not ratified
Florida not ratified North Dakota Feb. 3, 1975
Georgia not ratified Ohio Feb. 7, 1974
Hawaii March 22, 1972 Oklahoma not ratified
Idaho* March 24, 1972 Oregon Feb. 8, 1973
Illinois not ratified Pennsylvania Sept. 26, 1972
Indiana Jan. 24, 1977 Rhode Island April 14, 1972
Iowa March 24, 1972 South Carolina not ratified
Kansas March 28, 1972 South Dakota* Feb. 5, 1973
Kentucky* June 27, 1972 Tennessee* April 4, 1972
Louisiana not ratified Texas March 30, 1972
Maine Jan. 18, 1974 Utah not ratified
Maryland May 26, 1972 Vermont March 1, 1973
Massachusetts June 21, 1972 Virginia not ratified
Michigan May 22, 1972 Washington March 22, 1973
Minnesota Feb. 8, 1973 West Virginia April 22, 1972
Mississippi not ratified Wisconsin April 26, 1972
Missouri not ratified Wyoming Jan. 26, 1973

*Five states have voted to rescind or otherwise withdraw their ratification of the ERA.

STATE DATE
Nebraska March 15, 1973
Tennessee April 23, 1974
Idaho Feb. 8, 1977
Kentucky March 20, 1978
South Dakota March 5, 1979

Seems to me in the face of all evidence to the contrary of a particular choice, basically making their lives more miserable these unenlightened females forge ahead so confidently without awareness of their own ineptitude. Warnings from female friendly wise and thoughtful people are ignored . They mistakenly assess their own cognitive ability as greater than it really is and are not ready to accept their own errors. The wise females are content knowing that their decisions or opinions are well analysed and researched instead of buying in to the popular theories concocted by frivolous experts and are not afraid to stand up to other females who are still living in an augmented reality due to their conditioning. The continuity of our world depends on the fact resistant unenlightened females becoming aware of their own brain washed conditioning  and respecting females who are trying their best to achieve an equal status in the modern times for all women.

“What does it mean for us, as women, that we look at those two candidates… and many of us said, ‘That guy? He’s better for me. His voice is more true to me.’ Well, to me that just says, you don’t like your voice. You like the thing you’re told to like,” she added, referring to the election of the President. Michelle Obama spoke to the women who voted against their own welfare in the last election. I am glad another women with a higher degree of experience and knowledge in the political realm explained the reason behind why most women chose the current primitive sub human instead of a valid candidate. This is a great point she made unfortunately for women it is hard to expunge the millennia of conditioning that has made them slaves to the patriarchy. Its like having been brain washed for centuries in to believing that someone else is responsible for their well being and this shackle is not something to be eradicated from their collective psyche expeditiously. A woman who has this deep-seated belief in handing-over her well being to a man can’t be held responsible for listening to him as to what is good for her.

“Women are disadvantaged by the impossible standards that attach to work by women entering fields dominated by men, and vulnerable, too, to the condemnation of women” the director referring to the super hero movie ‘Wonder Woman’ which was a movie that was well received by audiences but still was dissected with a fine tooth comb for flaws. I think this movie was marvelous compared to the other few hundred male super hero movies that do not even meet the basic premise of good movies sometimes. It goes to show the difference between the impossible standards thrust upon a woman and the mediocre effort expected from a man.

I am writing this post because I recently learned that 40 years since the Senate passed the ERA.  It is is still not part of the constitution because the United States still has not ratified the equal rights amendment for women(ERA)

March 22, 1972 | Equal Rights Amendment for Women Passed by Congress

Wisdom of being unselfish

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Less than 10 years ago, Conor Mcgregor was homeless. While homeless he met a woman named Dee Devlin. She took him off the streets, moved Conor into her tiny apartment and fed him daily.

All she ever asked was that he worked hard and believe in himself. She struggled to buy expensive healthy food so Conor could train and stay focused… but she stuck by him.

ONLY 6 years ago, Conor was a plumber… barely living above poverty, but Dee stuck by him.

Last saturday night, Dee sat in in attendance to once again support her man while he made over 100 MILLION dollars to add to his already successful new life.

Believe in yourself and find people to surround yourself with who believe in you as well. Life is too short to keep your circle full of people who will watch you fail.

Don’t EVER let your circumstances or people hold you down. Get out there and take what’s yours! No excuses!
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Productivity 101: A Primer to The Pomodoro Technique

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GOT got me singing Hands of Gold

Hands of Gold | Lyrics
He rode through the streets of the city,

Down from his hill on high,

O’er the wynds and the steps and the cobbles,

He rode to a woman’s sigh.

For she was his secret treasure,

She was his shame and his bliss.

And a chain and a keep are nothing,

Compared to a woman’s kiss

For hands of gold are always cold,

But a woman’s hands are warm

If you are an ardent book reader or fan of fantasy novels, Game of Thrones has got to be on top of your list of must read books, for me it takes the cake. It s not surprising that GRRM has not finished this masterpiece because just the details of character creations and construction of the plot it self must have been an amazing feat to under take at this scale. He has masterfully done justice to the story using his great imaginative skills , When they decided to create a HBO series out of these books they were amazed by the number of characters and the locations they will need in order to create a true to life series. I am glad they managed to create this wonderful work of art using the books and when you apply the details from the books how authentic the shows turns out to be. I experienced the score written for the series first hand by Ramin Djawadi and I got to say its a concert that’s etched in my brain. This is a show that that only could be created when extremely talented folk put their amazing skills together.

The premier of season 7 begins with Arya taking the sweet revenge she longed for and it was truly satisfying to see that winter came for house Frey. Sansa is also now far from the scared little girl she was, she is now a formidable force to be reckoned with and she by far had the cruelest teacher in Cersei, Daenerys is finally home and in her rightful place, She has traveled far and experienced the cruelty of so many tribes of people that taking the iron throne may seem like a walk in the park. This show may even be one of the only shows on TV with so many main roles are women, and not only are they women but in this case they are fearless and brave. This has been a show watched by many who are mostly men but the beauty is GRRM manged to convince the audience, it matters not if the heroes are male or female, flawed or righteous, good or bad, it only matters how much depth a character holds. when he published his first GOT book in 1996 this plot line would hardly seem plausible with so many females in lead roles, but fast forward 20 years people don’t even seem to question his decision to include so many female leaders in Westeros & Esos . I think this is why this book and series are a gem, in a time females are still undervalued as citizens here comes a story to depict the females just as capable, just as ruthless and just as formidable as their male counterparts. I love GOT and I am not ashamed to admit it because it is truly a fantastic story with women leading all the way to the end of the world

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Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice

In his book, Letters and Papers from Prison, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote:”Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed — in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical — and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack. For that reason, greater caution is called for when dealing with a stupid person than with a malicious one. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.”