PostAmerika *


... Beyond PoMo [ Theology of Technology ]
In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. Rather, they must be instilled in the public mind by more subtle means. A totalitarian state can be satisfied with lesser degrees of allegiance to required truths. It is sufficient that people obey; what they think is a secondary concern. But in a democratic political order, there is always the danger that independent thought might be translated into political action, so it is important to eliminate the threat at its root. --Noam Chomsky[1]
[IMAGE. Shaved Marx -- Kissenger] Another Jew, another small time prophet. Marx without the beard? How would he look like? Imagine it and you would know the name of the next millennium.

See _Anti-Marx_: I'm against marxism because it misleads us by not seeing the triumph of communism. As usual, the disciples misinterpreted the teacher. We all are working, we are working hard, men and women....

In 1980 USSR looked good. Nothing was there to predict the death of the giant. Not the invasion of Afghanistan. Moscow was a "capital of history" (Zinoviev). And something was wrong with the communist kingdom -- there were no communists, only bureaucrats who called themselves communists. I was one of them. The great communist dream lost its intellectual charms for the Russians. The energy which brought this system into existence wasn't in Moscow. The Specter of Communism, where was the history's spearhead? I suspect that my decision to go to the United States was based on suspicions that America had the energy of the future. (It was time of American shame, the Iranian crisis. But I do not trust politics; it's events are rarely a cause). What was the nature of American potential?

Everything I heard about American spirit came as a contrast with the communist ideology.

Why is our Communist future inevitable?

Communism represents the wishes of humans (social animals). As long as we insist on humanism, we have to march into a totalitarian future. Animals must be controlled by the society, by all. Especially, the human animals, the wicked of all.

What an irony to call the global New World Order a post-communism! Oh no, comrades, global communization is to occur. Yes, in reversed order! The state communism was only a brief and violent introduction. Since societal communism uses the culture as its means of penetration, the cultural revolution is the first stage. The change of the mode of production and ownership is the last phase. (Periodization of the communism era was suggested by young Marx in 1844. The biggest problem is our perception of history: we continue to count communism as a part of the previous history, when in fact it's a new historical cycle which will have a duration probably longer than all the history we got. Marxists themselves are responsible for this paradox -- connecting communism with capitalism, when the two are different in every way (length and nature). Our known history should be considered as pre-history of communism. We are still under the spell of the present when a few centuries our rather recent accelerated western history have the same weight as the entire era. Second perceptional failing -- sense of historical time, when we believe that with the next stage the previous cultural period disappears. We better see the new a dominant which overpowers the past main motif, not necessarily fully replacing it. Third, we view communism politically. We see Stalin and Mao, the monster of state communism, as symbols not signs. Perhaps, we are too close to understand the ideas of communism when we still remember the pictures of the war communism. Maybe, we are too emotional to understand the historical magnitude of the Gulag, we evaluate it from the humanist tradition. The communist were not radical enough in their intellectual attacks on modernity. They should leave the dialectics behind in order to be true revolutionary.)

Wise Marx anticipated the natural changes in the economy, in his "The Possibility of Non-Violent Revolution" (an address of the First International in 1872) he mentioned evolutionary transition to communism. (To talk about anything peaceful in our history, our "non-violent" is always just a degree of violence).

The most famous Russian marxist wrote "Imperialism As A Last Stage of Capitalism."
Lenin knew the difference between Modernity (socialism) and the After (communism).
The communists were right in their primitive instincts.

USA as a leader of the world has to become a leader of communist ideology through technology. Practice as theory, very marxist. It's not political correctness but a cultural revolution which America has to undergo to bring its ideology in line with global economic (communist) infra-structure. The super-structure is a product of the economic base and comes in two forms -- pro and contra: for communism and against it. I'm the later.

The utopian element of marxism is the most powerful and is alive as never before. Call it Resurrection, Kingdom of God, Communism and Postmodernism. I never understood why a negating of the past is "forgetting" -- on the contrary, the negation is institutionalization of the previous history. Economic formations do not drop their yesterday but get them incorporated within the New. At least, according to dialectics. Capitalism can't be "fully" rejected, even in Marxist's mind. In a sense, the future is always an improved (better) past. What's why we call it PROGRESS.


We, the ex-Soviet, got it wrong. From the cultural viewpoint, the Soviet era does look as the great fall out of humanity, history and culture. But the Bolsheviks aimed exactly at that -- the great break with the past and even the present (modernism). The state communism was a social experiment in history, the attempt to go beyond the existing, to construct the anti-thesis to "capitalism" -- to jump into the postmodern.

[Is it possible to be a marxist living in a communist present? Marxism was a practical theory of transition to communism. I find unproductive to think in marxist's terms (class struggle), something like to talk about the Roman's attacks on early Christians. It's all a matter of history. I feel that I've been asked to go back in time to discuss the nature of "late capitalism" which was already defined by the marxists of the turn of the century as IMPERIALISM.[2] (I can't be a Marxist as it's impossible to convert the Christians into Christianity --). I have to remind myself not to go for "new" intellectual categories when the existing ones are not fully understood. So, I use "communism" instead of "pomo."]

I feel stupid. I feel as a party member. Maybe they are right after all. We, the humans, are nothing but a construct. Nazism is gone with Hitler; the post-war Germans are as different as they are all from China. In 1992 in St. Petersburg City Hall I witnessed the weekly meetings of the committee for renaming the streets of the city. Their job was actually easier than of their communist predecessors; they were restoring the previous names. Leningrad became Petersburg again. But interestingly enough not every name was brought back. The tzars didn't get it. Also, not every Soviet hero was rejected. St. Petersburg is still situated in the heard of Leningrad region. (Lenin's body is still in the heart of Russia's capital -- the Red Square). I saw how the plates with the old names were taken down and the new ones (in two languages!) were put on the walls. I wondered what if tomorrow instead of Anatoly I would be called Alexander, how would Anatoly react? Well, in fact, that is exactly what took place -- my name in English has very little in common with my Soviet identity. So, how do I take it?

Since the only thing which matters is my performance, I, the Russian, is dead. I'm nor renamed, but re-borne. What does Saul have to do with Paul? In Moscow in the Ministry of Culture I met all the same Soviet censors who became democrats overnight. Why was I surprised? Did I not see before that the cross could be replaced with the star? And back again. Did the communists explain this phenomenon already? It's all depends on the situation, the moment and the need.

I must be an idiot. I still wonder -- why didn't we recognize the pomo as a begining of the communist era? Was Marx overpraise? Why don't we give Hitler a credit for re-shaping Europe? Napoleon didn't get so much bad rap. Why? Oh, the death camps! The extermination of the Jews made a lot of sense not to Hitler alone. Elimination of the whole class was logical for the Russians. We are in charge of nature, history and universe -- why not? Didn't we transform Japan into something else within a span of one generation? I don't understand why are the existentialists not another branch of marxists? Why can't Foucault or Deleuze be seen as communist thinkers? Look at the their concepts of power and in-dividual -- Trotsky and Stalin had their differences too. What makes Clinton a "capitalist" leader? Why do I have to be ashamed of the name "communist" like he does?

I don't want to pretend. I can't claim that I am a human or an individual. I can't lie to myself. I can't do it anymore. I want to die with some dignity even I have to have give up my human dignity. What do I need it for? I don't think of myself as a human. I am me.

I don't want to critique Marxism. This is a task for a historian.... I'm not a historian. I'm a subject of history. The talking monkey who tries to talk about its feelings under the experiments of history. I reject the notion that my Soviet or American experience are for nothing. I refuse to apologize for my feelings. And I am not about to be brain-washed again. Postmodern my foot!... I know that if I begin to talk about America as a triumph of communist mentality, I'll be talking to myself. Well, that's what I do anyway.

.... It's embarrassing that I wasted so many years (days of creation) to figure out that PM is communism! The change and the signs are everywhere.

"The Change"? (Clinton's 1992 Presidential campaign). How about America's peaceful transition to communism?
Oh pomo revolutions! Very pleasant. Soft and sexy.
U.S.(S.R.): American future as the Soviet past.
Tell me, comrade.

What did Reagan or Gingrich's conservative revolutions produce? Did they slow down the pace of communization? Maybe. But it's only an attempt to control the speed of socialization. Conservatism makes economic sense, balancing the budget has little to do with a direction of America's evolution. Reforms in taxation or education is only corrections. Globalization picks up the speed with every decade. Ten years on Internet will change the very fabric of our social culture. Government doesn't have to exercise the control over the Internet -- Internet is a social control (of information). Read Foucault. With the fall of communist states the communism transforms from an ideology into a culture. From discipline to control to customs. Society is the discipline and control at its max! Our advances in technology replacing previous apparatus of socialization.

State forms of communism were a necessary measure for the countries behind the West. With globalization they are replaced with societal forms. Lenin placed electrification as a condition of communism: the industrial infrastructure has to be there in order to form the new culture. Marx talked about industrial society. We are the post-industrial.

Courage, comrade, all I can tell you -- it's possible to live under communist dictatorship. The communist society is less obvious than communist state in its suppressive nature. It's inside you, not outside. Learn how to control a communist in your mind and heart.

The communist conditions have to be seen as such -- the given circumstances of your existence. This is a mode of history no less than our previous history of humanism (the only history we knew). Will humanism be fully replaced by technology? We are at the very early stages of communism to imagine the future forms. Will a man literally be a part of the whole?... I rather think about the present. Like the Greeks, who were unconcerned with the future. I have too much future every day.

The facts. Being a communist is my position, something like citizenship. My real interest is in my relations with myself. I can vote Republican or Libertarian, it makes little difference for the overall direction of America. The majority rule (Bolshevism) is the king of democracy. I already lived in the communist democracy (freedom for the communists) and I have no illusions that American democracy is the freedom for those who have "American" values. What are they? I have to accept the cult of sport celebrities, the way I had to live with the faces of the Politburo. I think that advertizing is better (social) propaganda and that is the reason why consumerism replaced the state propaganda. I saw the brutal communism, I can take the communism with a human face. Especially, if I am not human.

Still I have to remind myself who the president is (in order not to be irritated by the stupidity). Clinton is still a better looking guy than any of the Soviet leaders. Alas! I have to train myself to stay focused, to mind my own business. I have things to worry about to stay as MY-SELF, MY and SELF.

Of course, I'm anti-communist! Who else could I be? All of us are. Some more, some less. I know about it and I don't complain. Actually, I work as a communist.... (Big pause).I have to talk again about living a double life. You see, you have to develop this ability to be in two worlds at once. Well, that's about the morals of the communism which is beyond good and evil. Something true Machiavellian....

About lying and pretending, deception and cynicism, indifference and cruelty.... what do you think they, the New French, meant by "non-fascist" living? In order not to become a fascist you have to act as a best one. Man from underground must learn how to be a celebrity. I value my lessons in Soviet living I ran way from. Of course, you can stay underground -- you always there, inside yourself. You can completely withdraw from social life, there is nothing novice about monastic mode. But only in a conflict with yourself, an extreme conflict -- the clash of the opposite personalities -- the true individual can be formed. Yes, you have to divide yourself to conquer your "I." It's not only a productive energy of power (Foucault), more -- a becoming the power is the maximum of self-confrontation. Without living the double life I would never come to understanding of my situation.
I was taught that it's a compromise. That's what they thought in their human history. That's what the Russians call "intelligencia.' The double life of masters before them didn't bother the aristocrats. (Actually, the conflict between what is right and wrong made them into masters). How abstract is the common morality! Shall not kill? Really? Maybe I should say -- it all depends. When, why and how?

Did they say -- the Folding? Why not extreme, the opposites? Sounds crazy? Right. That's what I am, now I only have to master this ability.

Why the extreme? Because I am in extreme conditions. I have no home, family, nation, race, country, or class to be protected. I have to be it all for myself, if I want to be MY-SELF....

Remember, communism is not a resolution of all previous conflicts and contradictions. Communism is the extreme form of drama. Read the extensive literature on tragedy. Go beyond it. God is not tragic, he is a source of tragedy. I understand why Dostoevsky was afraid to let the Grand Inquisitor to speak. Dostoevsky had his hope. I don't. Do I need it? Too human.

The Double, the Multiple?
Is it possible? They told me that this is the road to self-destruction. Yes, it's a dangerous path. But I have no choice -- I'll be destroyed if I myself won't take it as my task. Could one call it a free "choice"? Maybe it's the only freedom and choice I have left.

Oh, man! Is everything allowed?
How far can you go? It's for you to decide. That's why it's called the Last Judgement. That's why communism would go after all and everyone. We can trust no one. Internet must be in every home, V-chip in every tv set and MS-NBC in every brain. You haven't hear the news yet, you don't know that Hitler is alive. You know him. You don't know that he is you. There are six billions of them. The new ones are born every moment. God has no nature, not even humans who are in his image. And you thought that you are safe.... That's what I mean by post-Christianity.

I know your panic. Make use of it. Go beyond the dread.

.... Of course, I knew it before my son spent two years in public school. I teach, I see them in class -- and for two, if not more years we struggle to compensate what they missed in their twelve years of incarceration. Nothing could be done. At least, not now. This is this soft communism at work. They say American educational system doesn't work. No, it works, it works all right...

I don't know what is more impressive -- the terrors of the twentieth century or our dismissal of them. We left behind the First World War, Nazism, Stalin, Mao, Pal Pot, Amin.... we are forgetting with a speed of light, velocity of our communications. Five hundred thousand vanished in one week in Rwanda -- by any historical standard it's a big number. Not to us. I have the same Soviet feeling that numbers matter little in the world of big numbers. Was it 20 or 30 millions dead on the Soviet side in the war with Germany? They still don't know. What is ten millions nowadays?

We dismiss things. We put them behind us. Yesterday has no power over today, only tomorrow. We have to go on! We have no time for remembering. The Evil Empire is no more, gone, over.... There's a method in our lightness.

Do you remember the cultural revolutions of modernity? 1937 in Russia. 1967 in China? Culture of anti-culture. It was only normal to get ahead of modernity, ahead of the West -- into the postmodern! Socialism is a first face of communism. Socialist Europe has over a century of history. America still goes through socialization, we have to catch up with the socialism of the old world. America is the biggest cultural revolution of all, true cultural -- by the people, for the people, off the people. Most invisible and therefore powerful, the revolution of CULTURE. The more we cry about American individualism, the more I convinced that an individual is the target. The class struggle taught me that when the masses gain freedoms, I lose. Everything what is good for them is bad for me. Good economy, peace, prosperity.... Does it mean that the opposite is true? WHATEVER IS BAD FOR THEM IS GOOD FOR ME? Stalin would say -- yes; he was a man of steel. Their misery and tragedies? They won't listen till then. In paradise pain must be manufactured!

No, you don't have to be a marxist to be a communist. Since the communism" failed" politically, I don't have to worry about a perception that accepting communism as an ideology of hegemony I take sides. I can take the communist side with a clear American conscious because there are no communist states left....

Museums of history.
China, North Korea and Cuba. Yeah, what about them?

.... Nothing could be done. Not now. The great revolt of the twentieth century brought our Everyman to light; the vertical (classical and class) society is no more. What could I say? I am myself from there, the darkness and the low. Of course, they must not be foggoten, the last and the lost. So, we lowed everything to the TV level -- what else could you do with the billions... and more are coming to light. Come in, comrades! Come on! ....

Excuse me, sir. Is freedom possible in mass/global world? What kind of freedom, we should ask? Which brand do you prefer?

In the West industrialization was in place before the East went for communism. The second task of Bolshevism was Collectivization. What was it? Agricultural production (productivity) or land ownership issue. Environmentalism goes over the concept of private property. Private ownership is stipulated so many laws that owning a land is in reality a co-cooperative. Collective farms had a separate status from the state property, kolkhozniks were co-owners.

The final gaol of communists was the Cultural revolution. Since literacy became a law the education system enforced by the state must be in place. In USA we call it "Federal laws."

Communist target was a creation of a new man: was it an American? (see Engels in _Talk Show_)

Who is he, a true (natural) communist?

Politics is not a profession, according to the American ideal (naive as any ideal) . That's what the communists dreamed about when Lenin said that "every cook-maid should be able to govern the country." And they did. And they do. What is most radical in the statement --"Every One"! In an ideal situation it should make no difference who will be a president. It should be a random act. The election (selection) process outlived itself. The only way to prevent the leader from gaining full authoritarian powers (king) is to develop the system (bureaucracy), when he could do very little. Lenin's formula should be seen as "All cooks must govern the country." ("cooks" means all citizens). This is full (communist) democracy.

My method is simple: I try to read the present day America as a text using my experience of the Soviet grammatology. I'm too old for a revolt or even a resistance. I ran away from my communist shadow to discover that as usual the shadow is still there and grows longer every hour.

"Our" v. "mine": when and how this balance was destroyed in America. Step: from the Civil War to the Income tax. Two W wars with the US standing army and the fifty years of the Cold War. Leading (super) power in the New World Order (Global). What is left of the American isolationism? Multi-national corporations (concentration of capital) driven by the market, they had to destroy the National (country).

Communism was politicized; in the early fifties it was considered as "Anti-American" activity (but not the socialist New Deal)! All the fifty years of the Cold war were post-modern in appearance and nature. Surprisingly, none of the pm model was applied to this new kind of war, when USA and USSR had never fire a single shot at each other (B-2 story, cuban Crisis and Nuclear Arms as a mutual deterrence). The conflict of two super-powers was a clash of two concept of global future: American Age v. Communism. Global Society against Global State. From the global perspective it could be viewed as the first Global Civil War. Both sides shared the physical space and the space of potential time. They has a subject to fight over, i.e. it was an issue of interpretation of the same doctrine.

Comparing the notes from the two times:

The communist party has no place in America, because America is a field of communism. Utopia and American Dream -- what's the difference? Of course, I thought that communists are in Russia. That's what I was told. Communism is not just organizations or even ideas -- but the feelings! (See _Generation_ in Father Russia, _Netizen Epstein_). Everything American was under attacks in the Soviet Union, including the most ridiculous like music and fashion. The Iron Curtain and the Berlin was were erected for the purpose to isolated the citizens of the utopia from "capitalist" influence. The Party war against rock-and-roll lasted several decades. It was a cultural war, or an ideological competition of two brands of super-modernity. Both sides worked on social programming of mind no less than on military technology. The entire space program had more propaganda purpose than any practical needs....


I find myself in a peculiar position writing about communism. I ran away from it and I have to defend the integrity of the idea communism! I have to clean up the concept from trivialization, because communism is not our past but the future. I have to recognize my enemy, the powers and legitimacy of the new reality, in order for me to fight it. I remember the writing of the White Russians (Bunin) and the Red (Mayakovsky); they were bewildered by the apocalyptic experience of the revolution. There were no new words to describe it. Communism, ideology, party -- the new vocabulary was too new to have meaning. What language should they use -- Russian? Poor Gorki lost his mind and talent trying to connect the two histories: Russia and Communism. It was the end of local (national) histories and history itself. I understand the shock of a miracle; your every sense of reality is dismissed and you CAN'T believe it. The ones who were shot by the Cheka, shot themselves -- the time was too intense for a poetry. We do not have poets any more for that very reason -- we are in shock (_Future Shock_). For years I myself struggle with nothing more than a FACT of living in communist history. I deny it! I shake my head in disbelief -- is it really so?

After seventeen years in America I ask myself -- What a new proof do you need? I know that I waste my time trying to avoid the facts. My diaries are full of whining of a squeezed human. There's little of (intellectual) values in my complains. I know that I fight with my fate. What a ridiculous man!

There's a famous episode in Dostoevsky's life when he was put in front of the firing squad. As you can read the similar story in "War and Peace" when Pierre became a changed man. I can die only once (at least, physically), but I can kill many times. I always wanted to rewrite those famous pages. From a point of view of a man in the firing squad, the one who knows that he is about to shot Dostoevsky. The one who read "White Nights" and knows who Dostoyevsky is, who understand that after he pulls the trigger there will be no "Crime and Punishment" or "Brothers Karamazov." And he does it, he aims at the heat (or head) and shoot Dostoevsky dead. Next day is time for execution of Tolstoy. I was this soldier. I stood next to the boys with rifles whose job was to kill. For a day I had a military uniform, I swear my ligeance to the country and the party. I was old enough to understand everything -- I was 26 and I was a writer. I knew that I could (should) be on the other side -- in front of the firing squad.... If you are a democrat and think that Dostoevsky's life has no more value than any other life, put in his place your father, or a child. I know, you think that I exaggerate. After all, I didn't shoot Dostoevsky or a child. I'm glad that I didn't. I wasn't in Vietnam, Afghanistan or Chechnya. I wasn't in Prague in 1968 and Beijing (Tiananmen Suare) of 1992 shooting men LIKE myself. And I wasn't shoot at. I watch it from a safe distance. BECAUSE I KNEW THAT I COULD BE THERE KILLING!

Is my American situation any different? I know that I am on the side of the many who are executing the few. I look back at the pre-communist times when the few had power over many and I don't like it either -- if not Dostoevsky than a child still there in front of me. "Why does it have to be this way?" I want to ask and not allow myself to be rhetorical. I know -- it's a war, it's a life, it always was and will be THIS WAY. But now this man in front of me is place for an execution at random. I don't know him. I kill him because that's the law -- to kill and be killed. We call it an accident. We all drive, accidents do happen. What do you want? People die. They die all the time. My problem is that I do KNOW. I know that I am a participant. I am still alive because I am smart, I am still in this uniform which protect me from being executed. Strip it down and I will be there naked, facing my death. I have to work, to move, to lie if I want to survive. I have to play the game and the moment I'll stop doing it I know what will take place. I see them, the losers. I have to be strong, I have to stick to them, the winners. They have bad breath or bad manners, but they are the power.

I see them behind the glass in their cars with their cellular phones. I bet you don't know that phone is a weapon. You think that your car is just a transportation vehicle. Don't you know what they talk about on their car phone? You still don't know why those new guns were invented? Why we want them? To be out of the spot in front of the firing squad. Don't you how we build this protection around ourselves, now more than ever. We have to be insured against any possible disaster. I have my life insurance (in case if I die!). I don't have a cellular phone. i better get one soon. To be with them, to know the secrets.

I know you think that communists are in plain uniforms with big red stars on their stupid hats. When the conservatives cite the libertarian Rand with praises to capitalism and freedoms of individual, I am silent. I go and vote with them. I lose with them every time. Even this primitive anti-state message of the libertarians is too much (500 thousand votes in 1996). You think that China's capitalism could be run by the party communists, but not American capitalism by the soft (humanistic) communists....

I have to be a (non-human) animal to notice how abnormal the paradise is. Never take miracles for granted, young man. Feel it.

Deleuze & Guattari's "plateau": a non-narrative site of continual intensity, reaching no end, desiring no "little death," but only the pleasures of mobility and continuation.... that's how it feels, living in paradise. Non-structured, non-totalitarian landscape. Like in a shopping mall; elevators and escalators -- the earth is flat! Don't try to play a hero; you'll looks like a fool! There are no mountains to claim in New York City, even if you work on seventieth floor. No gravity; the vertical is horizontal too. Where else the two dimensional man could live? In two dimensional universe. Termites do not jump. Non-narrative life can't be mortal or human. It's an existence of a machine? Oh, great! Thanks.

The People's God, man's god (remember them, criticized by Lenin, the Russian revolutionary God-builders) -- enough about it. We don't need even to remember the name.

(Also, see _American_) + Fukuyama (The End of History) @2001-2004 *

2008 : Elections