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Monday, September 10, 2018

A most revealing tour yesterday in St. Petersburg: 1) the "museum of political history"; and 2) a memorialized apartment of Sergei Kirov, a leader of the CPSU and the popular mayor of Leningrad until he was assassinated in 1934. First, tour guides in every subject domain must be examined and relicensed by the state annually. So, the guide scripts and "facts"  are centrally approved.

Second, Lenin has very nearly been, and is being ERASED: example: "He was a German agent, bent upon ceding lands and treasure in WW1, a terrorist who staged a 'coup' to overthrow the "real' revolution led by Kerensky". The smugness and derision of our guide was as thick as a pound of butter on a saltine. 



Third, there was no need for revolution at all, since Tsar Alexander II freed the serfs had he not been assassinated by "terrorists".

Fourth, the Romanovs -- perhaps the most extractive and putrid autocracy in human history -- are raised from their porcelin, marble and golden graves and memorialized with apologies reminiscent of "Gone With the Wind" fables that glossed over the stench of the US Confederacy.

Fifth, Stalin gets a halfway pass, despite his manifest crimes. I am speculating a bit, but the deep, deep pride of the Russian peoples immense sacrifices, and profound victory in WWII cannot be erased, yet, from common memory. Thus Stalin's crimes -- the RED TERROR (this phrase was repeated 30 times in a 3 hour tour, and blamed primarily on the "terrorist Lenin")  are held to just be a feature of "communism",  not Stalin's personal character.

Sixth, for those who think this script was an introduction to a rejection of authoritarianism -- sorry, the word "democracy" was not mentioned once.