01 February 2013

Alexander Prokhanov and Saint Koba (Joseph Dzhugashvili)

Alexander Prokhanov, as his short Wiki entry tells, is "a Soviet and Russian writer. He is a member of the secretariat of the Writers Union of the Russian Federation and the editor-in-chief of the ultra-nationalist newspaper "Завтра" (Zavtra - Tomorrow)".

As one of the leading characters of the Russian ultra-nationalist wing, Alexander Prokhanov displays all the traits of his ilk: unbridled xenophobia (including, but far from limited to, rabid antisemitism), messianic fervor, unquestioning love of the supposedly golden Russian/Soviet past, tearful sentimentality at somewhat surprising objects. A great example of the latter is his eulogy for the Russian tank T-90, where the following passage appears:
T-90, which I touch, has in its genealogy the ancient sacred steel. It contains the swords and the armor of Russian holy men, the prayers of the warriors that died on Russian fields. It is built of dying commands of the tankers that drove their burning tanks [sic!] to meet the enemy. This tank - T-90 - is a holy tank, it is an altar on tracks, where the crew is the clergy, doing its worship in the name of the Russian state, in the name of Russian holiness, in the name of sacred Russian victory.
I hope you enjoyed the style, even in such a poor translation.

So what, you would say (as some of my friends do dismissively) - he is just a nutcase, what kind of impact could such an obviously sick character have on the fate of the nation, not to mention the whole wide world? Of course, the man is bonkers, and of course the number of his "co-religionists" is relatively small. But when you sum up all the Russian nationalist and ultra-nationalist political parties of various kinds, when you add proliferating street gangs of neo-Nazis, blackshirts and other skinheads, when you consider the Russian communists, whose nationalistic fervor, xenophobia and nostalgia for the glorious past are not far from these of Mr Prokhanov - the picture becomes grim indeed.

The West could dismiss Mr Prokhanov, but at its own peril, I suggest. Prokhanovs are never going to quit and they always find their receptive audience. So here comes an outstanding example of Prokhanov's prose: an elegy for one of the two chief mass murderers of the XX century, Joseph Dzhugashvili aka Koba aka Stalin. Enjoy.

But first: hat tip to Myzantrop, on whose site the link to the original article and the following illustration appear.

Martyr Saint Joseph

Who is Stalin - yesterday, today and tomorrow?

The yesterday Stalin, Stalin that really existed - was a super-realist. A man who was brilliant and understood the reality in its dynamics, in motion. He operated an enormous number of facts, phenomena, could arrange these facts, could foresee them. He envisioned combinations of huge numbers of real-world phenomena - both domestic and international. And this reality included his knowledge of the metaphysical essence [don't ask me what that means]. After all, it wasn't just the reality of a two-dimensional world, a two-dimensional environment. But even more, and above all, it was the knowledge of the celestial reality that is then projected onto the earthly life. Where wars are started, revolutions, trials, construction of giant factories, development of new territories carried out, where events such as the great victories and great defeats are occurring. All this is a projection of the events taking place in other worlds.

Thanks to his possession of hyper-realism, Stalin defeated all his opponents. Not just his party rivals - Trotsky, Zinoviev, Bukharin, Kamenev. For this it was necessary to be a cybernetist [sic], hyper - strategist. But he vanquished such enemies as Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, Mussolini. He beat all the leading politicians of Europe and the world. He beat even Mao Zedong. And he did it due to possessing a knowledge that others did not have. He knew how to anticipate moments that others had no idea about. Therefore Stalin of the past was a hyper-realist, hitherto unknown on earth, and another one is not coming soon.

Stalin today is the Stalin's myth. Stalin returned to us, to our world, to our political culture, not a the person that appeared at congresses, that has created new weapons, as the man who led the world's most complex game. He came to us as a myth. Myth that is sheltering the Russian tribe of today, the Russian man, the Russian people: trampled, robbed, deprived of their state. The people that have been deprived of their greatness, their historical destiny. The people who are told that they are not a nation. And these wounded, tortured people are hiding in Stalin [sic], as they were in ancient days, during an invasion hiding in monasteries. Therefore, today's Stalin is this monastery, in which Russian people are protected, where they treat their wounds, where they again soaked up the spirit of resistance, of victory. The monastery, where the people take their sacred object, their tablets, their relics. Where they pray, preparing for new battles. Monastery from which the people go through underground passages to the field, were they fight and strike at the enemy.

This is the mythological significance of Stalin. Stalin is not important as a carrier of specific historical features [indeed?]. These features are not useful for the building of today's life. Something else is useful: his mythical image, which is absolutely consistent with Russian notions of the leader, of the state, the winner, the victor, the savior. This is the way Stalin appears to us today.

Stalin of tomorrow will again change his meaning, his form, his role. In the future Russia will build a new kind of empire. Russian civilization will leap over the black hole that separates us from the fourth, the Red Stalin's empire [if you know what that means, tell me]. Russian state will create new institutions, new structures, new technologies, new ideology, that are different from these of today and of yesterday. And then Stalin will take a very different role. Stalin, in 20, 30, 100 years will be rethought by Russian philosophers, historians, theologians, thinkers. And they will realize what he did to save the Russian civilization as much as, perhaps, no one did before, that Stalin is a miracle worker of victory, the mystic victory that was won in 1945. Inevitably, there will be icons on which a brave painter will depict his face, surrounded by glowing gold.

Stalin would be not just a saint and a martyr because he was murdered. He died as a martyr for his country, for the shrine of the Virgin. And Stalin the martyr saint will shine over the future Russia that does not yet exist, and bask it in his light, his will, his love and his sublime beauty and strength.


SnoopyTheGoon said...

St Joseph of Kolyma? Perhaps Prokhanov will follow up with "Ode to the T72 That Ran Over My Foot"

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Foot? I know a more painful area of his body to offer to a tank...

SnoopyTheGoon said...

The guy makes me feel physically sick. Every excrement ever produced by Mother Russia has been fertilized by this particular worm to generate the stinking infestation of ugliness that invariably comes from his mouth.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

That's what he does, for sure.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

This man, Prokhanov, is delusional. He seems to think of Stalin in quasi-religious terms as some sort of savior of Mother Russia. For Prokhanov, Stalin died for bringing glory to Russia. Prokhanov thinks of him the way the peasants used to think of each Czar, as their Father and champion. Maybe the worship of Joe Stalin, or Osip Dzhugashvili, is his religion.
If he has influence and followers, he's a dangerous man.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

That he is delusional is true, Clark. But he unquestionably has influence and several followers among popular Russian writers.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Fundamentally, Prokhanov is a Russian nationalist/anti-Semite.
It is somewhat ironic that Russian ultra-nationalist still worship a Georgian (Stalin) as their "Czar", but that's exactly what they do.