Poisoned Air

I have been asked lately by several people whether I plan to comment on current events in the United States. To be honest, I wasn’t eager to do it for a number of reasons. Firstly, a lot has already been said on the subject, and I am unlikely to come up with something new here. Secondly, I normally try not to use euphemisms, while speaking my mind could get me into trouble. About 20 years ago, I already tried to go against the government machine, mostly by writing articles and books, but it didn’t end very well: in 2004, a totally bogus criminal case was concocted against me right at the Seattle/Tacoma airport. As a result, I have not appeared in the U.S. since then. In 2008, I received an official reply that the case was closed. Besides, all statutes of limitations have already expired. However, as it turned out, those were relatively vegetarian days; today everything could be more serious. And I still plan to visit the USA…

But something must be said, so I decided to view the current events from a different angle, in the context of a more general picture, especially that the coincidences and the cyclical nature of our world were clearly reflected in the history of my family.

In the late 1980s, with the fall of the Iron Curtain, we could all feel the “wind of change” that blew from the west. Of course, a lot of other things blew from there as well, but back then not too many of us thought about it… All of a sudden, new horizons opened up for the Soviet people, imprisoned in the grayness of the Red Empire that was living out its final days. We gradually began to realize that there is another world, another life. Those were the years of unprecedented enthusiasm and expectations, even in spite of food coupons and empty store shelves…

For me, these years coincided with the period of graduation from school and the start of university life. A double prize that is! Even my service in the Soviet army (where I was drafted after my 1st university year and from where I was returned under Gorbachev’s “amnesty” for students) failed to darken the general uplift.

In March 1991, our whole family emigrated to the United States. I wasn’t too happy about this, but the decision was made, and I had to submit… After eight years of living in America, receiving a degree at UCLA, and getting a good high-paying job (what else does one need to be happy!), I started feeling stuffy. It took me another couple of years to finally realize that I’m not quite living my dream, that the United States is not exactly my type of country. As time passed, I started noticing that the “air of freedom,” which once blew across the ocean, has a lot of harmful impurities, and their presence just kept growing over time. When I tried to clear the air a bit, I was given a gentle but clear signal to stop. But I did not heed the warning and continued my “subversive” activity. Most likely, all of this ultimately led to the sad story of 2004. But that happened later, and in the meantime, in 1999, I wrote a rather stupid (this is how I feel about it today) article in Russian titled “The Other Side of America,” where I expressed, in a very emotional and reckless matter, everything I thought about the United States. This triggered a tidal wave of resentment and name-calling from the Russian-speaking diaspora in the US (mostly among the so-called “sausage” emigrants), which made me realized that my stupid article had some rational kernel after all.

In October 2002, I returned to Russia. The freedom of the 90s was still in the air. I would say that these were the golden years for the country. Or so it seemed. There was free speech (more or less anyway), while the mold of political correctness had not yet reached Russia. At the same time, I had the complete feeling of being in charge of my future, that I could build it the way I wanted. The first few years after my return, I was in a state of complete euphoria. It was a time of absolute happiness for me. Perhaps one of the best periods of my life took place between 2002 and 2007.

However, my return was prompted not only by the fact that America was “not my kind of country.” Gradually, I kept discovering the unsightly sides of the United States that were strikingly reminiscent of what we once escaped from when leaving the USSR. In the West, there has always been a category of citizens contemptuously called “useful idiots” – those who sympathized with the USSR and shared socialist views. I noticed that there were too many of such useful idiots around. Even worse, they were now in charge.

In 2004, my book titled “The United Socialist States of America” was published in Russia and was also available in electronic form in the U.S. A revised and improved version was reprinted in 2008. In the book, I tried to draw analogies between the USSR and the Socialist America and even predict where everything is heading – to a socialist “bright future” in one form or another. Even then, I noticed the brainwashing of children and youth, socialist propaganda disguised as liberalism, a sharply leftist bias in many aspects, and general degradation… I didn’t want my children to grow up in such an environment. Surprisingly enough, Russia of the early 2000’s in comparison really looked like a breath of fresh air. Two of my American acquaintances, who came to work in Russia back then, shared their astonishment that Russia seemingly had more civil liberties than the United States. And that was true!

Of course, signs of impending disaster in the form of apartment building explosions, the Kursk submarine catastrophe, the Nord-Ost terrorist attack, and other similar events should have alerted us back then, but the notorious “stability” and a well-fed life unprecedented in Russia gradually tuned down critical thinking and started turning Russians from “citizens” into “population” that could be silenced by food abundance in stores. Alas, today the Russian air has also become hopelessly poisoned, while the former freedom remained only in our memories.

Today, in 2020, the situation in Russia is very similar to that of 1990’s USSR. Back then, just as today, everyone understood that the regime has become completely rotten and is in pre-collapse state. The trust for the government is below zero, and people long for changes. Interestingly enough, in 1990, when my father took us to America, he was only a couple of years older than I am now… Of course, there is an important nuance: 30 years ago, the stores were empty, while there was free speech and “glasnost” on TV. Today the situation is reversed: the shelves are abundant with products, while the media is severely censored and produces nothing but lies and fake news. However, today we have the Internet and Youtube with any available information. So, the overall situation is similar. Or so it seems…

And yet there is one fundamental difference.

When the Iron Curtain fell 30 years ago, a fresh breeze blew from the west. But today there is no curtain to fall. There is nothing left “there” that Russian people haven’t seen or don’t know. Worse yet, it is no longer a fresh breeze, but a suffocating stench from the dump of political correctness, densely mixed with socialism with admixtures of fascism… The situation in Russia, of course, is no better, but unlike in 1990, there is nowhere to go today. Not to the U.S. anyway. It seems that the world has not just gone mad, but turned inside out, became one endless world behind the Looking Glass. Orwell and Kafka are not only about today’s Russia. It became painfully clear how small our world has become, shrinking in the last 30 years to the size of a tiny ball. And today we see how the free Internet, social networks, and Youtube are subject to censorship, and – what a surprise! – with a leftist bias.

Useful idiots are now everywhere, like metastases of cancer of socialism. And the USA would finally turn into a “socialist paradise,” as planned, if not for Donald Trump who jumped out like a jack-in-the-box and totally ruined the game for the leftists. The United States suddenly got a leader who – what a weirdo! – instead of exercising political correctness, speaks his mind, aims to make America great again, condescendingly and defiantly exits the Kyoto Protocols circus and, most importantly, keeps his promises. And, frankly, his appearance and his behavior (“non-presidential,” as my American friend recently noted) and even sometimes not quite literate speech don’t really matter. After Trump winning the election, I personally was extremely pleased not so much by the very fact of his victory (back then no one knew what kind of president he would be), but by the complete fiasco of the democrats (leftists), resulting in their worldwide hysteria. It was truly priceless! Of course, the establishment hates when something goes not according to their plan. Hence the non-stop harassment of Trump, propaganda and lies in the vast majority of the world media. But as the dog barks, the caravan moves on. The older generation reasonably believes that America did not have such a large-scale figure as President since Ronald Reagan. And Trump has every chance to outshine Reagan.

Apparently, the final slide into socialism has been postponed for at least 4 years, and most likely for 8 years. The elections in the United States are still three months away, but I have no doubt that Trump will be re-elected.

And then…

Then it all depends on the Americans. In fact, it will all boil down to a confrontation between the “old guard” and the fresh university graduates brainwashed with Marxist ideas and the mentality of a victim that must constantly kneel down and feel guilty just because of their white skin color… American universities and colleges have long been hotbeds of leftist ideology. This was evident even during my studies at UCLA, and since then the situation has only worsened. I believe that the United States has about ten to fifteen years to save the country, while the “old guard” is still alive and sane. It is made up of those who still remember what the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence mean, and who George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were… In a dozen years, the leftist liberals with dissected and sterilized brains will make up the majority. The project “USA” will be considered closed, and the experiment will be over. At best, the country will split into two or three unequal parts, clearly along racial lines. And at worst, it will be handed over to be torn apart by a gang of animals who today loot all over the country and terrorize the population, encouraged by the Democratic Party. Exercises in political correctness, taking their start from the introduction of affirmative action, produced several generations of parasites, idlers and criminals who have perfectly mastered the art of parasitizing and killing, including each other, but have neither the desire nor the ability to master at least one skill of civilized life. And this is exactly what I think about the current events in the United States, if anyone wonders. By the way, to avoid stupid questions and baseless accusations, I do not equate these parasites with the entire “colored” population.

Admittedly, the air of freedom is becoming an extremely scarce resource in the world. It is now poisoned even in places where it was plentiful. It is infected with the virus of socialism. This air is extremely toxic and life-threatening. Perhaps, you can still find some countries or even territories that are not completely absorbed by this infection, but as our ball “compacts” further, there will be much less such places on Earth. This means that today the fate of the whole world and its future are in the hands of the “old guard,” as pretentious as it may sound. If this chance is missed, then all that remains is to master some island in the ocean and create there a Gault’s Gulch.

Or look for another globe …

© 2020 Victor Friedman