Thursday, June 2, 2016

What I'm Reading Now - The Sources of Soviet Conduct

What I’m reading Right Now:
The Sources of Soviet Conduct by ‘X’ (George Kennan)
George F Kennan, aka 'X'. US Ambassador to the USSR 1952.

Why I’m reading it:
It came up on a reading list. I’m preparing a research guide for an upper level government class, and this famous article/essay was one of the assigned readings. So I figured this was a good opportunity to learn more about the Cold War period.

What I think of it:
I think that his description of the Soviet setup is remarkably similar to what I see going on in Social Justice circles today. He says that by the nature of Soviet ideology, it was impossible for them to see any opposing viewpoint as having any validity. Any contrary idea was obviously and only a reflexive hostility of their enemies (in this case, capitalist nations). I hear this sort of thing all the time from SJWs – if you disagree with them, then you must be evil; you cannot be anything other than evil.

Will I finish it?
I have already. It is a 16 page essay, published in Foreign Affairs in July 1967. Check with your local public library for back issues.

Would I recommend it?
Yes. It puts some historical perspective on the current SJW thing, as well as the current fascination with Socialist politicians. This is not a new phenomenon; it is old news. The Soviets were and the SJWs are about getting and keeping power. This is as old as humanity.

Gimme a quote:
“ . . these revolutionists found in Marxist theory a highly convenient rationalization for their own instinctive desires. It afforded pseudo-scientific justification for their impatience, for the categoric [sic] denial of all value in the Tsarist system, for their yearning for power and revenge and for their inclination to cut corners in the pursuit of it. It is therefore no wonder that they had come to believe implicitly in the truth and soundness of the Marxian-Leninist teachings, so congenial to their own impulses and emotions.”  - p. 567
Power and revenge. What a surprise.

“That is the infallibility of the Kremlin . . . requires that the Party leadership remain in theory the sole repository of truth.  This means that truth is not a constant but is actually created, for all intents and purposes, by the Soviet leaders themselves." – p 573.

This is exactly what we find with modern SJWs. Logic and reason do not matter, only the Narrative.