This is Part Two of a series of interviews with Nevin Gussack, who is author of Turning the Page. Please forgive me, Nevin, for completely failing to answer the first question.

Piecing Together Russian and Chinese strategy

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40 thoughts on “Interview With Nevin G., Part II

      1. America faked moon landing and gave detente to the soviets in exchange for being quiet about it.

      2. I like America. American tax payers deserve to know the truth about project Apollo.

  1. I remember the collapse of the communist regime in Czech Republic (1989). The secret police (StB) staged a death of a university student Martin Smid during students demonstrations – the dead student was in fact a member of StB Ludvik Zifcak, who was pretending to be dead. By spreading the misinformation about the death of Martin Smid, StB was able to bring ordinary people to join students in demonstrations. The role of StB in the collapse of the communist regime in Czech Republic was never explained, but there is little doubt that StB was deeply involved.

    Another interesting fact is a formation of the Prognostic Institute in 1984. The Institute was officially founded to study and predict social and economic trends, but in hindsight, it served to form a new elite cadre of communists to lead the country in the upcoming post-communist era. The members of the Institute have become the main architects of post-communist economic “reforms”, and the new establishment in post-communist politics (two prime ministers, two presidents, two central bank governors, diplomats, etc.).

    1. Very good comment. You have an excellent memory. StB officer Zifcak was interviewed by my friend Robert Buchar in his documentary on the Velvet Revolution. The Devil is in the details.

  2. And yet… In Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union after the collapse, the people were subjected to the most brutal and Predatory Neo-Liberal Capitalist ”Shock Therapy” imaginable; wages and price controls lifted, pensions slashed, education, health care, utilities suddenly billable and rents levied. a fire sale of industries where the industries and business concerns were closed down, looted, and the loot monetized and the money parked in Western banks, with millions of workers thrown out of work. Many starved, though the numbers will never be fully known (i’ve seen the number 8 to 10 million starved to death in the 1990’s bandied about). Oligarchs amassing wealth the likes of which the world has never seen before.

    I can see the ”strategic deceptions” of a Revolutionary, sure. But what kind of ”Revolutionary” exactly? When we talk about the real world, this is what happened to real people, drained of their lifeblood by damn vampires. They’re not wearing Mao suits and singing the ”Internationale”, they live in palaces with gold fixtures and drive around in armored Mercedes automobiles, their children going to private schools in Europe, families vacation in the Maldives and Dubai, Southern France and Spain. I’m having a hard time thinking of Marx or Lenin when I think of them, except perhaps the same Atheism and Materialism at their core.

    Ayn Rand or Karl Marx, the same kind of bastards.

    1. I disagree. It has been, and is, standard practice for communist leaders to live in luxury, send their children to private schools, and travel to nice places for vacations freely.

      1. You’re focused on what Elites are doing with their children and all that, what about regular people? That is the problem with Ideologues, they don’t see real people, regular people.

      2. I’m only commenting on what you said. The elite class of the various communist parties had no problem honoring Lenin and Mao, while drinking champagne, eating caviar, and sending their children to Western universities. That’s a fact. They no longer had to publicly honor the Party and its gods after the early 90s, but that didn’t introduce some kind of new element to their behavior.

    2. Liberal shock therapy or the manipulations of the nomenklatura? One should be a little careful when interpretting such a complex set of events.

      1. Yegor Gaidar’s “shock therapy” was a well-premeditated and utterly cynical psychological operation, by which the Russian people was conditioned to no longer wish for a free market (including, democratic) system EVER AGAIN. When Putin succeeded Yeltsin, this seemingly anarchical phase was swiftly brought to an end, and people were relieved (the whole thing was a classic example of Marxist dialectics in action). A similar thing happened in the satellite countries of Eastern Europe. Even though Western companies invested vast sums in their economies (as did lateron the European Union as well), still no substantial prosperity has ever been achieved even now, after more than three decades since the “fall of communism”. Compare that to completely levelled post-WWII Western Europe: Of course, the Marshall Plan was THE decisive factor for rebuilding, but West Germany, Austria (minus its Soviet-occupied parts), the Low Countries, Britain, France, Italy, Greece, Scandinavia, they all recovered fast ALSO because of a near-superhuman effort of their own. This kind of effort, with communists still in charge in post-1989 Eastern Europe, was of course impossible. Which is why, by the way, they still flood over to Western European countries to find jobs… These countries are still communist, whether we like it or not.

      2. “These countries are still communist, whether we like it or not.”

        The original plan was to privatize industries into the hands of intelligence agents, who were to play role of capitalists, this was supposed to be temporary, it was part of the deal. In Russia, this plan worked, Putin was able to re-nationalize most of the industries and jail those “capitalists” who refused to cooperate like Khodorkovsky. I believe in the Czech Republic the plan failed IMO, there was too big share of wealth transferred into foreign hands or domestic actors with western foreign backing.

      3. Yes, I also lean towards thinking this “both sides/systems are evil” argument came from the communists and socialists who use it as a wedge to advance their own agenda.

      4. ”Liberal shock therapy or the manipulations of the nomenklatura?”

        Yes. I do agree that it is complex, but everyone wants to be one of the ”terrible simplifiers” in this Modern era.

        To the Devil with that.

        After all, Yeltsin and Gaidar and Chubais imposed on Russia the very economic system that is prevalent in the West now, the system that you and I and Nevin Gussack can agree on being against. It wasn’t the Pharonic or Feudal System, but the same economic system that cratered the middle class jobs in America, during the same time period I might add.

        Is it possible, just possible, that the same Bolshevik revolutionary spirit that animated them in 1917 to impose a form of Socialism on Russia, impelled some of their descendants to try to impose a system on Russia in 1991 that would do Ayn Rand proud, a Libertarian kind of dream (actually I think it devolves into a Neo-Feudalistic situation)? That scum is just another ”Bolshevik” to me, another godless materialist with a ”system”, coming out of a fevered brain in a Garret somewhere. And damned if they didn’t kill millions more people in the 1990’s….

  3. “they all recovered fast ALSO because of a near-superhuman effort of their own. ”

    they were not cut off from world markets for 40 years.

    1. Cut off by whom? Certainly not by the “evil Western imperialists”, They called it “Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart”, remember? And it was built in order to keep Eastern Europeans, including their opportunities, sealed off and imprisoned. Otherwise, Honecker and his fellow communist dictators in Prague, Budapest, Warsaw, Bukarest, Sofia and Tirana would have ended up with all their populations run over into the West. Funny outcome that would have been: Dictators without populations to dictate! If this was my blog, I would tell you, “Spread your communist propaganda somewhere else!” But it isn’t my blog, and yet the degree of idiocy you’re spreading here was crying for a response.

      1. “Certainly not by the “evil Western imperialists”, ”

        exactly by them. Have you ever heard the term containment policy? It included economic sanctions and embargoes, especially during late cold war.

      2. That would mean we were cut off from their bounty. Why didn’t we suffer? The communist bloc made up more than a third of the world’s population and surface land area, with all the resources one might need. If capitalism was a bad system why would they need us?

      3. to Nyquist: One third population yes, it means that the rest two thirds were imperialists and their colonies at the beginning of the cold war. China was unable to feed its population, what resources are you talking about? Eastern Europe was devastated by war. The USA controlled 60% of world’s economy after WW2.

  4. Mr. Nyquist, you said;

    ”The USA sent massive resources in aid to the Soviet Union. Massive amounts of trucks, machine tools, food, etc. ”

    People quibble over the amount, but both the Anglo-American and the Soviet sides of the Anti-Fascist Allies were suspicious that one or the other would make a separate peace with Hitler, and so the Anglo-American contingent sent aid. They knew that 80% of the Axis forces were fighting the Soviet Union, and that the Russian Eastern Front was the decisive battlefield of the War. 80% of the Axis forces were destroyed by Soviet soldiers and armament. Now Stalin also knew that he couldn’t beat Hitler alone either, this is very true.

    It may seem that we are going round and round about a war fought 76 years ago, that it doesn’t seem important. But I am asking you-since you are aware that this information we deal in is complicated and nuanced-if a good deal of what we see is an echo of the period 1914-1945, that this must be factored in too? Soviet figures state a death toll of 27.6 million lives lost of Soviet citizens, military and civilian. Marshal Volkogonov (the archivist of the post Soviet regime) stated that the figure could actually be double that. What I know is that every family I know does not lack a dead family member during the Great Patriotic War. Think about a people determined to see that never happen ever again. Add to that the spectre of nuclear war. People say another ”Hitler” could never happen to threaten the world again. People say that nuclear war could never happen. People say that a Hitler with nuclear weapons could never happen and/or that they’d never be used by such a regime as his…

    You seriously think Russia is going to take that chance, or China for that matter (being as they fought Japan and lost many millions too)? Does that factor somewhat into the things we are seeing? I know so.

      1. Yes, actually I have. Hard men, more than a few, godless men. Some fought in three wars (World War One, Russian Civil War, and World War Two) when most men in this era today are just starting families and all that. Marshal Tukachevsky literally worshiped (and not very privately either!) the Pagan Russian god Perun, the god of war among other things. Marxist Dialectic informs much Soviet Military Strategy, but so too does a healthy regard for geopolitics and other factors-factors which all contribute to victory or defeat.

      2. I had a friend from that milieu. They were real warriors, and at the highest levels he said they were not “normal people.” He said everyone above the rank of colonel had psychopathic traits. We have a similar problem with our MBAs. But it manifests differently.

  5. It’s interesting to me in Orthodoxy, the term ”Psychopathy” is pretty much the fallen human condition in general, in a matter of degrees. It means ”Soul Sickness” in English, for which the term denotes a person severely afflicted with evil, where it has practically become who they are, their sins. Such people aren’t normal to be sure. But what is to be done with them, when every human society produces them as leaders like the gallbladder produces bile (because we all value ”strength” and also those who flatter us instead of telling us the truth, we wind up valuing murderers, thieves, and liars without shame)? I mean, beyond praying for them and working for their conversion, their healing? In time, most are removed personally from life in ways uncomfortable to them to say the least, so there’s that… And that doesn’t help society much.

    In a Warrior culture, they can be diverted into avenues useful to society-somewhat. In a society than inhibits Warrior culture, they are often very much the criminal underclass. As you say, in different societies the problem manifests differently. But Killers want to kill, Thieves to steal and be bandits, in any case. This is the World.

    Blessed Augustine, the best political thinker I know of, believed that government was wicked, as were the governors almost entirely, but that they serve to restrain the wicked in general so that everyone will get something in life whereas if there was no government, there would be no human society at all. Without government, mankind would very quickly exterminate itself in an orgy of murder, theft, rapine, and mass stupidity.

    What is needed isn’t necessarily cynicism, but realism; what restrains the wicked, the Psychopath?

      1. People eventually lower to the occasion of using a weapon once it’s made and has proven it’s utility, because some people only think of utility to begin with. However the force of the wicked restrains other wicked men, and we have the measure of peace we have at the moment, anyway. That’s partly why I also mentioned Hitler; he only lacked the weapon to use that was in scale with his own psychopathy. I recall reading somewhere that chemical warfare in the Great Patriotic War was inhibited not by morality, but the logic of retaliation freezing the front lines into the static warfare of the previous major conflict. I’ve no doubt nuclear weapons will be used again, but not sure that they will be decisive by the time that they are used.

        Are not nuclear weapons, and nuclear weapons alone, what has kept the peace this far for so long and prevented invasions of America, Russia, and China, among others? It surely isn’t out of benevolence.

      2. Nuclear weapons changed the nature of war. Yes. But only in Western military theory did they think these weapons imposed a condition of stalemate (initially). Soviet military theory was far more creative than Western, and entirely new kinds of strategy were invented and employed — especially as Leninism itself offered concrete answers to many of the problems of such a war. The Americans began to understand this better in 1981 when James Dunnigan and Redmond Simonson developed the first realistic World War III war game for the U.S. military. By playing this game American military strategists began to understand how the Soviets were preparing to fight and win a world war. In the first two games our people played between the blue and red team the blue Team lost the war to the USSR (red team). The Americans caught on to the strategies needed and created new defensive weapon systems. Seeing that the Americans were improving their position, in 1983 the Soviet Union apparently came very close to launching a preemptive nuclear war but changed their mind at the last moment. I was told by a high-level source that Andropov had become suspicious of the generals. He canceled the attack and ordered an investigation. We cannot know whether our sources are accurate in explaining why this happened. We know, from our own intelligence sources, that Moscow had a clear shot and did not take it. Was it Andropov’s illness? Was a coup plot detected by the KGB? We simply do not know. A war then would have been terribly destructive; but the USSR was in a position to win and determine humanity’s future. If luck or God had been against them, they could have lost everything. But I am told they did everything right in setting up their strike and we did everything wrong. The world had a narrow escape then. I first learned about this from someone on the American side, in the CIA, who explained the embarrassing details. We would have lost the war, he told me. We were not ready and did not react properly due to the actions of a CIA official who I do not wish to name — who dropped the ball. I later spoke with a high-level KGB official who knew what had happened on the Russian side. He said the USSR military was suspected of using the war as a way to take over the government and overthrow the Party/KGB apparatus of control. Of course, I cannot verify his statements. These statements do explain what is otherwise hard to account for. No contrary evidence has appeared.

      3. Jeff, I may have asked this once before, but how would you relate the concept of the psychopath and Weaver’s “Mystic Soldier” It seems to me that there are differences between them.

    1. “Seeing that the Americans were improving their position, in 1983 the Soviet Union apparently came very close to launching a preemptive nuclear war but changed their mind at the last moment.”

      what are your sources? The predominant view is that soviets suspected America launching first strike during Able Archer.

      Have you made some podcasts on this topic?

      Also, what is your view on Watergate, end of detente and restart of the cold war during late seventies? What is your view on president Carter? Seems that during mid seventies, the soviets were pretty confident that they are winning the cold war, which probably delayed the liberalization predicted by Golytsin. But Carter and Brzezinski started pushing back.

      1. One of my sources is in Russia and should not be named. Peter Vincent Pry is my other source. Read his book “War Scare.”

  6. Interesting reply Mr. Nyquist. I do know that Lenin stood Von Clausewitz on his ear and believed that Politics is the continuation of War by other means-which of course it is, and those ”politicians” who don’t realize this strife lose everything. Nuclear weapons ”work” without being physically used of course, because people in leadership positions balk at using weapons that could collapse civilization altogether (in their minds) and the threat of using such weapons is often sufficient in itself to get an enemy to comply. Again, I suspect that the lessons of the period 1914-1945 loom large in the thinking of serious generals and politicians-Western politicians neither think, nor are they serious people.

    It is frightening in fact to serious people, such madness no doubt has partly epistemological roots…. Being that people don’t even want to truly know themselves, nor even understand how they come to think, and why, at all.

    This may provide a partial clue to the events you speak of in the 1980’s.

    I want to mention once more the ”period 1914-1945” as precisely this key of knowing, collectively speaking. What did the military/geopolitical thinkers of Russia and other nations learn from this time? And what can be learned from this time? Note that I bracket those years together, as if the two world wars (and the conflicts between them) are one big reality. Once you have scaled those heights intellectually, the world looks like a different place from that perspective. For some people, the war never ended.

    1. History seems to teach that “leaders” do not learn. Or if they do, someone younger replaces them and everything must be “learned” all over again.

      1. The sad truth. And as far as ”leadership” goes, I don’t want to imply that I don’t wish for good leadership for my nation, but if he is going to be wicked or a fool instead, I at least want him restraining, keeping in check his fellow wicked or foolish somewhat, both of the foreign and domestic variety.

  7. Reuben, concerning my comments on the behavior of Post-Communist Elites in the FSU/Eastern Bloc, you said;

    ”I’m only commenting on what you said. The elite class of the various communist parties had no problem honoring Lenin and Mao, while drinking champagne, eating caviar, and sending their children to Western universities. That’s a fact. They no longer had to publicly honor the Party and its gods after the early 90s, but that didn’t introduce some kind of new element to their behavior.”

    After a while, the Socialism that isn’t implemented isn’t Socialism. And the Socialism that is actually rolled back and eliminated by the very Neo-Liberalist Capitalism that Nevin and Jeff decry, simply doesn’t exist anymore, and one might reasonably suspect that these people might not be Marxist Leninists anymore. They might still be revolutionary scum, godless materialists, bastards to their fellow man, but after 30 years or so, maybe not Communists.

    The problem any real leadership in these nations might have with followers of the ”Golitsyn Thesis”, is an inability to prove a negative. If they don’t publicly honor the party and it’s gods, it’s definitely possible that they aren’t Communists.

    Funny thing about genuine Atheistic Materialists; they want to be around to enjoy seeing their projects come to fruition. If these theories are correct, the ”strategic deception” cannot possibly go on too long. Look at Gorbachev; he’s in his 90’s, right? Most of his comrades are in the ground now.

    I’d say with China one would be on firmer ground with these ideas, because the entire culture for thousands of years has been Atheistic and Materialistic; Marxist Leninism has very fertile ground to grow on there.

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