When Training Manual Expires. About Latvia & USSR

Recently, a video1 caught my eye, in which the author considers the appearance of pages on social networks that respond warmly about the Soviet past as a targeted attack from Russia (though it’s not completely clear why would Russia need this). The author argued that without the financing of the Kremlin, such a phenomenon is impossible, and showed complete and sincere amazement at the fact that people are nostalgic for the “totalitarian” state. Let’s try to figure this out.

For the anti-Soviet people, Since the days of the “Cold War,” the USSR primarily means “communist ideology,” and that’s why even when they talk about Russia (let me remind you that Russia is a bourgeois state), it’s very difficult to get away from all the cliches and stamps. Everything that comes to hand falls into a heap: quotes from Dr. Goebbels’s propaganda and agitation from “Radio Liberty,” fake documents of the emigrants and nowadays’ declarations of the European Parliament. Such a bucket of slops falls onto the head of an unprepared ordinary person, that you may ask: is it at all possible that he figures this out?

You come home after a 12-hour shift, tired as a dog (because the capitalist squeezes out all of your juices), and you don’t understand why you work a lot and work hard, but your living conditions don’t improve? Maybe it’s not about you, but rather about the social and economic structure of the state where you live? Go on the Internet – and here you’ll also be told all the “truth”: the Holodomor, repressions and GULAG, totalitarianism and much more. All this is done in order that you don’t have a shadow of doubt about the correctness of your life. “The planned economy does not work, the power of workers is a utopia, the class struggle is Marx’s fiction!” And you take a hard sigh, with a 20 year mortgage, paid medicine and education, and you fall asleep with the happy thought that you live in democracy – the power of the people, not some “totalitarianism!”

The bourgeoisie uses nostalgia for the USSR as a commodity, something they sell (after all, capitalism turns everything into a commodity), therefore it uses old, remembered good quality names of products, replacing their actual contents with cheap ersatz. Advertising with excerpts from Soviet films, songs, even the memory of the Great Patriotic War – everything is in the service of capital. The ruling class will do its best to convince you that a classless society, a society built on equality and absence of exploitation, is impossible! Films, programs, and publications – everything will literally scream that capitalism is your happiness and the Communists want to destroy it, take something away from someone and share it with someone. This is usually said by those who are now well-established and living at the expense of the working majority, and of course they do not need change.

Listening to talks about Latvia as part of the USSR, two words are most often heard: occupation and deportation. You may find the data in open sources, you can see how many are deported, how many are returned etc. But for some reason little to nothing is said about the rise of the culture, science and art of Latvia during this period. The growth of industrial production, agriculture, and the welfare of the population – these figures are not expressed by the ruling class and are trying to hush up. The townsfolk are thoughtlessly repeating behind them. It is advantageous for the bourgeoisie to imagine, tortured by a hard life in the USSR, the inhabitants of the country who now have finally gained freedom and independence. But how long will these training manuals be enough…

Conscious worker