Quotes About Ussr

Quotes tagged as "ussr" (showing 1-22 of 22)
W.E.B. Du Bois
“My 'morals' were sound, even a bit puritanic, but when a hidebound old deacon inveighed against dancing I rebelled. By the time of graduation I was still a 'believer' in orthodox religion, but had strong questions which were encouraged at Harvard. In Germany I became a freethinker and when I came to teach at an orthodox Methodist Negro school I was soon regarded with suspicion, especially when I refused to lead the students in public prayer. When I became head of a department at Atlanta, the engagement was held up because again I balked at leading in prayer. I refused to teach Sunday school. When Archdeacon Henry Phillips, my last rector, died, I flatly refused again to join any church or sign any church creed. From my 30th year on I have increasingly regarded the church as an institution which defended such evils as slavery, color caste, exploitation of labor and war. I think the greatest gift of the Soviet Union to modern civilization was the dethronement of the clergy and the refusal to let religion be taught in the public schools.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Autobiography of W.E.B. Du Bois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the Last Decade of Its First Century

Mark Millar
“I offered them Utopia, but they fought for the right to live in Hell.”
Mark Millar, Superman: Red Son

Jorge Luis Borges
“It's a shame that we have to choose between two such second-rate countries as the USSR and the USA.”
Jorge Luis Borges

Vasily Grossman
“I don't believe in your "Good". I believe in human kindness.”
Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate

Christopher Hitchens
“Attempts to locate oneself within history are as natural, and as absurd, as attempts to locate oneself within astronomy. On the day that I was born, 13 April 1949, nineteen senior Nazi officials were convicted at Nuremberg, including Hitler's former envoy to the Vatican, Baron Ernst von Weizsacker, who was found guilty of planning aggression against Czechoslovakia and committing atrocities against the Jewish people. On the same day, the State of Israel celebrated its first Passover seder and the United Nations, still meeting in those days at Flushing Meadow in Queens, voted to consider the Jewish state's application for membership. In Damascus, eleven newspapers were closed by the regime of General Hosni Zayim. In America, the National Committee on Alcoholism announced an upcoming 'A-Day' under the non-uplifting slogan: 'You can drink—help the alcoholic who can't.' ('Can't'?) The International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled in favor of Britain in the Corfu Channel dispute with Albania. At the UN, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko denounced the newly formed NATO alliance as a tool for aggression against the USSR. The rising Chinese Communists, under a man then known to Western readership as Mao Tze-Tung, announced a limited willingness to bargain with the still-existing Chinese government in a city then known to the outside world as 'Peiping.'

All this was unknown to me as I nuzzled my mother's breast for the first time, and would certainly have happened in just the same way if I had not been born at all, or even conceived. One of the newspaper astrologists for that day addressed those whose birthday it was:

There are powerful rays from the planet Mars, the war god, in your horoscope for your coming year, and this always means a chance to battle if you want to take it up. Try to avoid such disturbances where women relatives or friends are concerned, because the outlook for victory upon your part in such circumstances is rather dark. If you must fight, pick a man!

Sage counsel no doubt, which I wish I had imbibed with that same maternal lactation, but impartially offered also to the many people born on that day who were also destined to die on it.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

“Truth and justice are commonly found in the personality of the paranoid delusional”
Russian, Unknown

Vasily Grossman
“There was something terrible, but also something sad and melancholy in this long cry uttered by the Russian infantry as they staged an attack. As it crossed the cold water, it lost its fervour. Instead of valour or gallantry, you could hear the sadness of a soul parting with everything that it loved, calling on its nearest and dearest to wake up, to lift their head from their pillows and hear for the last time the voice of a father, a husband, a son or a brother...”
Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate

Claire North
“I like Russian trains. Not for comfort, of which there is none, nor speed, of which there is barely any to be spoken about, particularly when you relate it to the size of the country that must be crossed. Not even, particularly, for the view, which is inevitably repetitive, as Mother Nature decrees that her works of wonder can only occur so frequently across such a vast and cultivated space. I like Russian trains, or at least those I travelled on in the early spring of 1956, so many centuries after I gunned Lisle down in cold blood; I like the trains for the sense of unity that all these hardships create in its passengers. I suspect the experience is relative.”
Claire North, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
tags: train, ussr

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties—but right through every human heart—and through all human hearts.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, books III-IV

Vasily Grossman
“The hide was being flayed off the still living body of the Revolution so that a new age could slip in to it; as for the red bloody meat, the steaming innards - they were being thrown onto the scrapheap. The new age needed only the hide of the Revolution - and this was being flayed off people who were still alive. Those who slipped into it spoke the language of the Revolution and mimicked it's gestures, but their brains, lungs, livers and eyes were utterly different.”
Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate

Ion Mihai Pacepa
“Stalin scribbled on an intelligence report predicting that Hitler would attack the Soviet Union in June 1941: 'You can send your "source" to his f*cking mother. This is disinformation.”
Ion Mihai Pacepa, Disinformation

Sebastian Haffner
“Graças a Churchill, não foi a Alemanha que passou a dominar a Europa, mas sim os Estados Unidos e a Rússia. Graças a Churchill, o fascismo deixou de desempenhar qualquer papel significativo no mundo, ficando o liberalismo e o socialismo a travar a luta pela primazia na política interna dos países. (...) Churchill não desejava grande parte destes cenários, embora aceitasse como mal menor num contexto mais pessimista.”
Sebastian Haffner, Churchill

Samir Amin
“The general economic growth of the quarter of a century that followed World War II not surprisingly created many illusions. In the West, people thought that they had found in Keynesianism the definitive solution to the problem of crises and unemployment. It was thus thought that the world had entered into an era of perpetual prosperity and definitive mastery of the business cycle. In the socialist world, it was also thought that the model formula for even higher growth had been discovered which enabled Khruschev to announce victoriously that by 1980 the USSR would have overtaken the united States "in every domain." In the third world of Africa and Asia, the national liberation movements which had seized political independence, also had a battery of prescriptions which, in a mix of capitalist and socialist recipes, in doses that varied from case to case, would enable these movements to overcome "underdevelopment" in "interdependence.”
Samir Amin

“When agents of the Turkmen secret police came up short in arrests of counterrevolutionaries in 1937-38, they filled their quota by going to the Ashgabat marketplace and rounding up all men who wore beards, on theory that they were likely to be mullahs.”
Douglas Northrop

“Even under Stalin, Soviet state power, acting through law and the courts, confronted serious limits in its efforts to govern, much less transform, its colonial Central Asian periphery.”
Douglas Northrop, Veiled Empire: Gender and Power in Stalinist Central Asia

“Still other rumors held that the ultimate aim of Bolshevik policy, seen in the combination of unveiling and collectivization, was to have all women held in common. In the kolkhoz, peasants ware warned, men and women slept together under giant blanket, and wives became common property.”
Douglas Northrop, Veiled Empire: Gender and Power in Stalinist Central Asia

“In insisting that peasant activity contrary to Communist policies could be defined as kulak while at the same time maintaining that his approach to the peasantry was based on scientific Marxist class analysis, Lenin provided his successors with conceptualizations that would be used in collectivization when Stalin launched a war against all peasants.”
Lynne Viola, Peasant Rebels Under Stalin: Collectivization and the Culture of Peasant Resistance

“Pope Pius XI called for a world-wide day of prayer, to be held on 16 March 1930, on behalf of the persecuted believers in Russia. This action led Stalin to suspend temporarily the antireligious campaign, according to Roy Medvedev”
Lynne Viola, Peasant Rebels Under Stalin: Collectivization and the Culture of Peasant Resistance

“Two weeks later General Kaledin received a deputation from his troops. 'Will you,' the asked, 'promise to divide the estates of the Cossack landlords among the working Cossacks?'

'Only over my dead body,' responded Kaledin. A month later, seeing his army melt away before his eyes, Kaledin blew out his brains. And the Cossack movement was no more...”
John Reed, Ten Days That Shook the World

“The transitional nature of the 1920's can also be discerned in what may be labeled a new kind of 'dvoeverie' (or dual faith), a syncretistic belief that combined peasant ways and new Communist practices in tentative and uneasy assimilation. For example, there were reports of portraits of Lenin or Kalinin turning up in icon corners and of habit-ridden old peasants crossing themselves in front of these holy images.”
Lynne Viola, Peasant Rebels Under Stalin: Collectivization and the Culture of Peasant Resistance

“In Lenin's view, such changes were positive: nations, as products of capitalist economic relations, fitted into classic Marxist stage theory of development. Even Stalin, who differed on the implications for Soviet policy, agreed that nations were an inescapable phase through which all humans communities must pass. Ultimately, they (like, capitalism) would be superseded, but for precapitalist societies national development and nationalist movements were treated as progressive. Lenin drew a further distinction between great-power nationalism, which oppressed others, and small-power nationalism, which formed in response o it. In places - such as Russia - that had been responsible for national and colonial oppression of others, nationalism was to be combated without mercy and torn out by the roots. Among groups that had been victims of national or colonial oppression, by contrast-such as in the tsarist imperial periphery, where Russian power had created deep economic, political, and social resentment-the Leninist approach was to build socialism while encouraging indigenous development and national differentiation.”
Douglas Northrop, Veiled Empire: Gender and Power in Stalinist Central Asia

Tony Judt
“Far from addressing the Soviet nationalities question, the Afghan adventure had, as was by now all too clear, exacerbated it. If the USSR faced an intractable set of national minorities, this was in part a problem of its own making: it was Lenin and his successors, after all, who invented the various subject ‘nations’ to whom they duly assigned regions and republics. In an echo of imperial practices elsewhere, Moscow had encouraged the emergence—in places where nationality and nationhood were unheard of fifty years earlier—of institutions and intelligentsias grouped around a national urban center or ‘capital.”
Tony Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945

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