Potemkin Villages

Discussion in 'History' started by PoliticalChic, Feb 27, 2011.

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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    1. In the early years after the Bolshevik Revolution, the communists used manipulations, such as the Potemkin Villages, to pursued the world how admirable and successful the revolution had been. One technique was to invite prominent American and British leftists to take carefully planned tours. And these ‘Potemkin Progressives,’ for the most part, behaved and thought just as they were meant to. Woodrow Wilson wouldn’t recognize the Bolshevik regime, nor would the contemporary British government (Churchill had famously told Lloyd George, ‘You might a well legalize sodomy…’)

    a. Lenin, and then Stalin, carefully arranged the tours so that these progressives would then go back to their countries and praise Soviet Russia, and demand that Russia be recognized.


    The above is from a lecture by Dr. Paul Kangor, on his book "Dupes."

    2. By coincidnce, I picked up a novel by Sam Eastland, "Eye of the Red Tsar." which contained this passage on same. I hope some find it interesting.

    “You must drive straight through. You may not stop. You may not speak to anyone. It is important that you give the appearance of normality.”
    The second man appeared with a wooden box, …nestled on a padded black cloth, were half a dozen perfect apples. He handed one to each man.
    It was only when Pekkala felt the apple in his hand that he realized it was made of wood, carefully painted.

    “When you drive through the town you must hold these apples in your hands as if you are about to eat them. Make sure they are seen. The apple is a sign to those people in the town that yu have been cleared to pass through. You will be shot if you do not do exactly as I say.”

    They passed fields, [with] green tides of barley, they could make out the white headscarves of women standing on carts and gathering baskets handed up to them by men on the ground.

    “Those baskets are empty,” muttered Kirov.

    They found the village bustling with people, the place looked clean and prosperous. Women carried babies on their hips. Shop windows were piled with loaves of bread and fruit and slabs of meat. The village bore no resemblance at all to the muddy streets and miserable inhabitants of Oreshek.

    As they were driving by, a cluster of men and women spilled out of the meeting hall. They were all foreigners. Their clothes and hairstyles were those of Western Europeans and Americans. Some carried leather satchels and cameras. Others had notebooks opened and were scribbling in them as they walked.
    “Journalists,” whispered Anton.

    Pekkala stared at the people milling about in the street. They all appeared happy. Then he caught the eye of a man sitting by himself on a bench…there was nothing but fear in his gaze.
    “After the Revolution, the government ordered all of the farms to be collectivized. The original landowners were either shot or sent ot Siberia. The people left in charge did not know how to run the farms, so the crops failed. There was famine. There was famine. Five million people died of starvation.”

    “Maybe more than five,” continued Anton. “Exact numbers will never be known. When the word of the famine reached the outside world, our government simply denied it. They have built several of these model towns. Foreign journalists are invited to tour the country. They are well fed. They receive gifts. They see these model villages. They are told that the famine is a fabrication of anti-Soviet propaganda. The location of these villages is secret. I didn’t realize this was one of them until we reached it.”
    “Do you think those journalists believed what they were seeing?” asked Pekkala.
    “Enough of them do.”

    When Kirov returned to the car, Pekkala and Anton were both surprised to see that he was smiling.
    Anton: “Glad to see you looking so inspired.”
    “Why wouldn’t I be?” Don’t you understand the genius in what we saw back there? We were taught at the Institute that sometimes it is necessary to portray the truth in a different light.”

    “Welcome to the Revolution.”
     

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