shmage at shmage at
Thu Sep 26 20:11:28 MDT 1996

On Wed,Sep 25, 1996 9:32:40 AM, Louis N Proyect wrote:

>Notes from Elwood's pamphlet on the Malinovsky case. Malinovsky was an
>infamous provocateur in the Bolshevik party.
>1. Descriptions of Malinovsky refer to his 'disdain for the usual
>rules of spelling and grammar'.
>2. Malinovsky's own accounts of his background fluctuated. But in his
>formal evidence to enquiry he described his poor background and
>limited education.
>3. Malinovsky had a record of minor crime before entering politics.
>This resulted in at least one prison spell, during which the
>authorities obtained the information with which they controlled him
>4. Malinovsky's political activity begins suddenly and with a high
>level of intensity. following a prison term. The circumstances of his
>conversion to the marxist cause have never become clear.
>5. Following his appearance in political activity he moves rapidly
>into leading positions, showing an ability to impress and convince
>large numbers of people.
>6. A further arrest and short imprisonment, followed by release and
>(internal) exile.
>7. An ability to inspire obstinate loyalty on the part of leading
>revolutionaries (inc. Lenin) even in the face of the facts. This was
>attributed to 'reverse snobbery' ie exaggerated respect for a working
>class origin, on the part of his most loyal supporters.
>8. A manner of discussing that 'made me feel tired immediately'
>9. A career episode in publishing and journalism, despite the
>limitations of his language skills.

This fascinating little account, so striking in its similarities to the
career of a certain famous Bolshevik leader, got me to thinking:  What if
Malinovsky, or a second Okhranik of his ilk and stature,  had *not* been
unmasked?  What sort of  political leader would he have turned out to be?
What sort of things would he have done?  Maybe I let my imagination run
away with me, but here are a few of the (admittedly improbable) things I
came up with:

-In March 1917, as one of the top Bolsheviks not in external exile , he
would (acting sincerely as a Great-Russian chauvinist) have done what he
could to rally the Bolsheviks to support of Russia in the imperialist war.
Pursuing  his career in journalism, he would even have attempted to block
publication of Lenin's         anti-war "Letters from Abroad."

-When Lenin returned in April 1917, he would abjectly abandon his defensist
line and from then on pass himself off as Lenin's most devoted follower.
But he would hide politically and disappear from open politics. He would
play no role (except on a letterhead) in the October Revolution.

-During the Civil War he would start building his own powerbase in the
party apparatus, especially in the army.  He would foment a "Military
Opposition" against the commander of the Red Army,  going so far as to
perpetrate direct disobedience of a vital order--resulting in a military
and political disaster of historic proportions at the gates of Warsaw.

-After the victory, he would use his power to turn the Communist regime
into a Great-Russian chauvinist one,  even organizing  brutal suppression
of the  Transcaucasian nationalities.

-He would make a firm alliance with the head of the secret police,  but
recruit his most important and vital agents from among its devils ("A
Chekist must be either a saint or a devil"--Feliks Dzherzhinsky).

-When Lenin (for whose personal security and care he had made himself
primarily responsible) was about to unmask him, he would have the
incredible luck to see Lenin become incapable of political intervention and
then to see Lenin die suddenly just when his doctors were encouraged enough
about his recovery for his only dangerous enemy to leave Moscow on a
medically-indicated vacation.

-He would have seized the opportunity of Lenin's death to capture for the
Russian state and for himself the underlying religious and nationalist
thought-patterns of the Russian masses.  By violating the most definite
declarations of the deceased, and over the strenuous protests of the widow,
he would turn Lenin into a mummified Communist god-king,  whose eventual
"successor" would inherit enough appeal to religio-nationalist credulity to
claim legitimacy as a new Tsar blessed by History (by now his thinking
would be decisively marked by the vulgar Marxism he had learned to
parrot--though his values, sentiments, and ambitions would forever remain
those of an Okhranik).

-He would ruthlessly strive to consolidate his personal power, making and
breaking unprincipled blocs with opportunistic factions of the party
leadership, depriving the internal party opposition of all opportunity to
organize, and making fulsome use of all the techniques of the courtier from
flattery to assassination but with a special preference for slander.

-Having secured total political control for himself, and having exiled his
greatest enemy, he would have followed policies aimed at the most rapid
expansion of
Russian military and industrial power, even at the cost of immeasurable
suffering to the Soviet peoples and castration of Soviet agriculture.  In
foreign affairs he would preferentially seek alliance with the most
nationalist elements in Germany--going so far as to manipulate the
Comintern and the KPD in order to secure the rise to power of an Adolf

-He would coldly and patiently (he would call a slow and cold revenge his
greatest pleasure) bring about the political and physical destruction of
the entire remaining Bolshevik cadre, sparing neither surrendered opponents
nor his former dupes.  He would create in his own police-informer image a
whole new nomenklatura cadre of bureaucratic political and industrial
managers, whose
"ordeal by fire" would be the demand by the secret police to inform against
and falsely denounce the doomed Bolsheviks.

-Having presided over (much more than a little despite himself) an epochal
military victory he would give free reign to his truest passions. Having
been unable (except for intra-party demagogy) to do much direct persecution
of Jews, he would make up for it by  unleashing a cumulative pogrom,
starting with poets and actors and going on to doctors and
thenceforward...Having earlier satiated his youthful hatred of the Orthodox
clergy, he would restore the Church
to its traditional role as spiritual monopolist and sanctifier of
absolutism...Having become deranged by self-induced flattery he would begin
to see himself as the greatest genius in the history of humanity, a kind of
combination of Jesus Christ, Peter the Great, and Karl Marx,

-He would die a sudden and mysterious death, together with the head of his
bodyguard, just at the moment his immediate subordinates had become
terrorized that he would deal with them the way he was preparing to deal
with Jewish doctors.

-He would, of course, have succeeded so well in destroying all verifiable
documentary evidence of his role as Okhranik that even the most resolute
prosecutor before the court of history would, on this alone of his crimes,
be unable to gain other than a Scottish verdict--not proven.

                   Shane Mage

Why Lvov? (Lenin)

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