…by Jonas E. Alexis and Vladislav Krasnov
Vladislav Krasnov graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in history and anthropology. He has a Master’s degree in Slavic languages and a Ph.D. in Russian literature from the University of Washington. He taught at numerous institutions, including the University of Texas (Austin), Monterey Institute of International Studies, the Hoover Institution (Stanford University), etc. He was formerly a visiting scholar at Sapporo University, Japan.
Krasnov is the author of Solzhenitsyn and Dostoevsky: A Study in the Polyphonic Novel (Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1980), Soviet Defectors: The KGB Wanted List (Stanford: Hoover Institution, 1985), and Russia Beyond Communism: A Chronicle of National Rebirth (New York: Westview Press, 1991). He is the president of RAGA, Russia & America Goodwill Association. This is our first in a series of interviews. The second interview will be on Solzhenitsyn and his relation with Vladimir Putin.
Alexis: You are a Solzhenitsyn scholar, and Solzhenitsyn is arguably one of the rarest minds and perceptive writers the twentieth century ever produced. Solzhenitsyn praised Putin for his tremendous work, and no one ever really challenged him on this.
Krasnov: First of all, thanks for focusing on a Russian writer who belongs as much to Russia as to the USA, Jonas. He wrote in Russian. However, it was the United States that gave him a refuge when he was forcibly deported from the USSR. He lived here from 1976 to 1994. Enjoying the freedom of research and expression unavailable then in his beloved Russia, he produced a very substantial body of work at his home in Cavendish, Vermont. Even though he had gotten a Nobel Prize in literature in 1970 before he was exiled from the USSR, his major works were published here. Scholarship on Solzhenitsyn was first produced in the West too. So I am pleased but not surprised you regard him as a towering figure of the 20th century.
Alexis: Peter Eltsov of National Defense University disparagingly linked Solzhenitsyn with Putin in an article. He said: “Indeed, it is one of history’s ironies that the No. 1 internal enemy of the Soviet Union has now become a spiritual guru to a former KGB officer who repeatedly voices nostalgia for Soviet times.”
Krasnov: The linkage per se does not surprise me. However, Eltsov does it in a negative context. Apparently he excludes even as a possibility of a genuine spiritual regeneration. I regard this linkage as a good omen for the future of Russia. In the late 1980s, when the Gorby mania was on a rampage in the West and Reformed Communism was the ultimate dream of the US intellectual establishment, I wrote Russia Beyond Communism: A Chronicle of National Rebirth, in which I foresaw Russia’s return to its Christian roots.
In fact, my book was dedicated to the Millennium of Russian Baptism in 1988. At that time in the USSR it was strictly verboten for Soviet soldiers even to wear a crucifix or any other religious symbol. Now, if you watch the military parade on the 9th of May, Victory over Germany Day, you will see on Russian national TV how the commanding General Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s Defense Minister, crosses himself publicly before he enters the Red Square through the Kremlin Gate. If you did not see it, I am not surprised. The Big Media indulges in Putin-phobia to divert attention to the greatest event of the past 25 years, Russia’s spiritual rebirth, of which Putin and Shoigu are just two examples.
I would love VT followers to see this video on the meeting of Putin and Solzhenitsyn in 2008.
Alexis: Thank you for the information. The masses in America are being buried beneath the avalanche of disinformation, colossal hoaxes, fabrications, and just bold lies. I am still stunned that the Zionist Media would even suggest that Putin wanted to rebuild the Soviet Union. One has to sink very low to propagate such nonsense. Anyway, anything on US Ambassador William Joseph Burns?
Krasnov: We know that US Ambassador William Joseph Burns did meet with Solzhenitsyn in 2008, just a few months before the writer passed away. Here is what was reported:
“According to Burns, Solzhenitsyn positively contrasted the eight-year reign of Putin with those of Gorbachev and Yeltsin, which he said had ‘added to the damage done to the Russian state by 70 years of communist rule’. Under Putin, the nation was rediscovering what it was to be Russian, Solzhenitsyn thought.”
Alexis: Do you agree with Solzhenitsyn’s assessment of Putin?
Krasnov: Yes, I do. Moreover, I think Solzhenitsyn would have been pleased with Putin’s performance SINCE 2008, even though Burns was right to point out that “the writer’s praise for Putin wasn’t unqualified.” Solzhenitsyn was a man who could not be subservient to anyone.
Alexis: Did you meet either Solzhenitsyn or Putin?
Krasnov: I never met Putin. As to Solzhenitsyn, although I met him only once, I corresponded with him for many years and during late 1990s, when he moved back to Russia in 1994. I talked to him on the phone every time I came to visit Russia.
Alexis: What did you talk about?
Krasnov: I won’t go into details, but generally he asked me about what was going on in the US and I asked him of his readjustment to Russia, especially, to the tragic years of the oligarchic rule in the 1990s.
Alexis: Since you are a Solzhenitsyn scholar, and since you wrote Solzhenitsyn and Dostoevsky: A Study in the Polyphonic Novel way back in 1979, does the book have any relevance almost forty years later?
Krasnov: Well, as you said, it’s a work of scholarship, and my primary purpose was to help American readers understand Soviet realities via Solzhenitsyn. I wanted to put Solzhenitsyn’s novels within the Russian literary tradition, tracing it back to Dostoevsky who, while letting his heroes argue for their diverse world views, also gave freedom to the reader to choose his favorite.
As to its relevance, I once had an interview with Kevin Barrett who asked the same question. I told him that the polyphony of literary heroes needs to travel from novels to the polyphony of ideological views in real life. I think Solzhenitsyn sensed this need during the totalitarian rule of the Marxist-Leninist ideology in the USSR, and his literary work did much to undermine it. Many American intellectuals, Dr. Barrett is just one of them, feel the same need in the USA where Big Media and the Zionist-controlled intellectual establishment want their MONOLOG monopolizing the world.
Alexis: I remember that one of the battle cries of Soviet dissidents was the demand for glasnost, meaning giving “voice” (glas) to any subject on which Soviet leaders put a taboo.
Krasnov: Exactly so. That’s why while writing my book, Russia Beyond Communism: A Chronicle of National Rebirth, I tried to give a voice, an opportunity to speak to every brave and cogent Soviet intellectual or expat dissident who, not being satisfied with Gorbachev’s schemes to save Communism, called for a Russian future BEYOND Communism, a future which could not be gained unless Russia recovered its thousand years deep national roots, including its Christianity.
In fact, I was not so much an author but rather a conductor of a polyphonic choir against the endless monotonous Communist tune. Solzhenitsyn was one of those voices, but his main influence was that I consciously translated his literary strategy into Russia’s spiritual quest for a future BEYOND Communism.
I noticed that you have a whole string of questions, all of which focus on the ethical imperative to tell the truth. Am I right to assume that your educational background influenced you, first, to question the secular predominance in the US educational system and, second, made your views more compatible with Solzhenitsyn’s and Russia’s renewed Christianity?
Alexis: Very good question, but there is no way to delve into all the details here. Let me be brief. I have always been interested in metaphysical issues. That’s how I got to study mathematics and philosophy. My first major was psychology, but I switched it very quickly because I disagreed with some of the fundamental principles I was learning about Freud, Jung, Adler, Maslow, Fromm, Rogers and others. I came to realize that modern psychology wasn’t as rigorous as I once believed in high school and some of it is just common knowledge.
I remember I went to one of my professors to talk about some of my issues because they were really important to me, and I could not get a satisfying answer at all. So, I dropped out of psychology within one semester. That was back in 1999, and I knew next to nothing of revolutionary movements during that time.
I was OK in math and science in high school, so I quickly changed major. I got interested in history right after I realized that practical reason cannot really be understood without a historical context and background.
To make a long story short, I quickly discovered that no philosophical, political or intellectual project can make sense without what Immanuel Kant called practical reason (categorical imperative), and practical reason cannot really exist without metaphysical Logos.
As a corollary, any individual who dismisses practical reason in his project will inexorably end up propounding internal contradictions and incoherency. That’s what happened to Darwin, and his intellectual children have never recovered from that. I have written numerous articles on this, among them “Vladimir Putin: The New World Order Worships Satan,” “Soros, Practical Reason, and the World-Wide Criminal Organization,” “Dark Lord Soros Meets Charles Darwin,” “Metaphysics of the New World Order: Contempt for Morality and Practical Reason,” “Social Darwinism, Einstein and Determinism,” “Fashionable Nonsense, Fads, and Fallacies in the Name of Logic and Science,” “Scientific Frauds, Academic Gangsters, and the Khazarian Theory Revisited,” etc.
I also realized that Solzhenitsyn was basing his critique of the former Soviet Union on both practical reason and metaphysical Logos. That’s how I got to appreciate his non-fiction work.
Krasnov: You obviously base your premise upon what you say is Logos. If that is the case, then why it is usually said that Christian Zionists are no less responsible for Israel’s obstinacy in occupation of Palestine than Jewish and Israeli right-wingers?
Alexis: This is a very complicated issue which requires a long and complicated answer. If people would like to study this in much detail, numerous scholarly studies have already been written on it.
Let’s just briefly say that Christian Zionism is part of the revolutionary project which got its inception in the 16th century but which blossomed in the 19th century, when a con man by the name of John Nelson Darby came on the scene.
Darby had a pernicious influence on another con man named C. I. Scofield. But the seed of the Zionist movement really flourished in 1800s. As one scholar puts it,
“By the 1830s philo-Semitism and anti-Catholicism were becoming the flipsides of the same coin. Hugh McNeile [an Irish-born Calvinist]…became one of the most outspoken anti-Catholic orators of the 1830s and a leading voice of those advocating the new philosemitic message.”
Similarly, in his book Jewish Influence on Christian Reform Movements, rabbi Louis Israel Newman argues that Jewish revolutionaries have supported virtually every subversive movement in the West, and Christian Zionism is no exception.
Heinrich Graetz, the father of modern Jewish historiography, agreed: “Whenever a party in Christendom opposes itself to the ruling church, it assumes a tinge of the Old Testament, not to say Jewish spirit.”
The overarching theme of the Christian Zionist movement is the elevation of the Jewish people and Israel above the law, above practical reason, and sometimes even above metaphysical Logos (as in the case of people like John Hagee).
So, whenever people start to defend Christian Zionism, despite numerous evidence to the contrary, it is an obvious sign that you are in the presence of either useful idiots, political or religious whores, or cowards.
Krasnov: What do you like most about Solzhenitsyn?
Alexis: What I specifically like about Solzhenitsyn is that he was committed to the truth, regardless of where it took him. In fact, he wrote arguably the most controversial book in the twentieth century, 200 Years Together, which has yet to be translated in the English language. Solzhenitsyn said that the first step of a courageous man is to not take part in a lie. Shouldn’t that be an encouragement for us today?
Krasnov: Sure, the truth shall set us free! And the failure to acknowledge the truth and indulgence in lies will put us back to moral and intellectual bondage. This is applicable to Russia, the USA, and everywhere
Alexis: Why are the Zionist-controlled media reluctant to praise Solzhenitsyn? And why do they persist in calling Putin the “new Hitler”?
Krasnov: Certainly the Jewish intellectual establishment is very reluctant to praise Solzhenitsyn now. They know he did as much as ANYONE to end the Communist experiment in Russia. Moreover, having been deported from the USSR, he strengthened the Western world by resisting the Soviet expansion. He helped turn around pervasive pro-Soviet sentiments of the left-liberal intellectual establishment, where Jews predominated, into criticism of the USSR and Soviet bloc. This was evident in the USA during the 1970s when I wrote my first book. My students felt the impact of Solzhenitsyn’s writings, taking a more critical view of the USSR and becoming more patriotic US citizens.
Solzhenitsyn’s impact was just as strong in Western Europe as anywhere else. In France a whole generation of left-leaning intellectuals, the New Philosophers, abandoned pro-Soviet sympathies in favor of the US. I once had a long conversation with Eldridge Cleaver, and he told me Solzhenitsyn helped him turn to God and away from radicalism.
Now the Jewish establishment is reluctant to give credit for the denouement of Communism to Solzhenitsyn or any Russian for that matter. They prefer to credit Russian Jewish dissidents who came to the US during the 1980s or those who immigrated, en masse, to Israel during the 1990s. Of course, the Neo-Cons claim lots of credit too.
That’s why they ignore Solzhenitsyn’s last major work, Двести лет вместе, 1795-1995 (“Two Hundred Years Together”) dealing with the origin of the Bolshevik Revolution, even though it led to the great woes for both Russians and Jews, especially for those aspiring to live in Zionist Israel.
Alexis: Eldridge Cleaver got caught up with a movement he didn’t fully understand. That movement was known as the Black/Jewish alliance. I don’t think Cleaver understood that he was being manipulated at the time. David Horowitz himself admitted that Robert Scheer became “the key person to launch the career of Eldridge Cleaver.”
Krasnov: Thank you for clarifying on Eldridge. My conversation with him was not wide-ranging so I am unaware of many things. However, I did read David Horowitz’ book The Destructive Generation that was very revealing about Jewish Communist infiltration of the USA. Alas, I hear that he now turned into a Zionist zealot.
Alexis: What career was Horowitz talking about? The Black Panther Party, which, like Black Lives Matter, was an essentially messianic project. The Black Panther Party would have been buried long ago were it not for people like Scheer, David Horowitz and Sol Stern, who promoted violent groups and individuals in the defunct magazine Ramparts.
Horowitz’s brethren were and still are using “racism” as the linchpin to promote violence in major cities in America. The Black Lives Matter movement is a classic example. Interestingly enough, Dostoevsky talked about how revolutionaries were manipulated the large section of the black population.
Dostoevsky’s indictment was written back in 1877, and the Black Panthers proved Dostoevsky right. By 1967, Harold Cruse messed everything up when he declared that Jewish revolutionaries were using blacks like remote control. Virtually every serious historian of that era says the same thing, including David Levering Lewis and Jewish writer Gelya. The late academic Israel Shahak noted,
“The apparent enthusiasm displayed by American rabbis or by the Jewish organizations in the U.S.A. during the 1950s and the 1960s in support of the Blacks in the South, was motivated only by considerations of Jewish self-interest, just as was the communist support for the same Blacks…
“Stalin and his supporters never tired of condemning the discrimination against the American or the South African Blacks, especially in the midst of the worst crimes committed within the USSR…Its purpose in both cases was to try to capture the Black community politically, in the Jewish case to an unthinking support of Israeli policies in the Middle East.”
Jewish scholar Benjamin Ginsberg of Johns Hopkins University goes so far as to say that through the Black/Jewish alliance, “Jews were able to weaken their conservative Southern adversaries as well as their Northern white working-class rivals within the Democratic Party, and to virtually destroy the traditional party machines upon which these forces depended for their power.”
There you have it. People were being used as pawns in the service of a larger messianic ideology, which was and still is essentially against practical reason, against Logos, and against all mankind.
What’s the solution to all this madness? More subversive movements? More insurrections in places like Ferguson and Dallas? The answer to that is no. The solution is simple: people need to submit their will to practical reason and Logos.
What unites decent people is practical reason in the moral and political firmament, and anyone who is docile to it is our friend and ally. I think it is what Alexander Solzhenitsyn would have recommended. Subversive movements are obviously lies, and Solzhenitsyn has some damning things to say about lies:
“Our way must be: never knowingly support lies! Having understood where the lies begin—step back from that gangrenous edge! Let us not glue back the flaking scale of the Ideology, not gather back its crumbling bones, nor patch together its decomposing garb, and we will be amazed how swiftly and helplessly the lies will fall away, and that which is destined to be naked will be exposed as such to the world.”
This article was first published in the summer of 2016.
-  Peter Eltsov, “What Putin’s Favorite Guru Tells Us About His Next Target,” Politico, February 10, 2015.
-  Vladislav Krasnov, Russia Beyond Communism: A Chronicle of National Rebirth (New York: Westview Press, 1991).
-  I reported this episode in RAGA Antidote Newsletters. It was also reported by http://thesaker.is/something-truly-amazing-happened-today/
-  Luke Harding, “WikiLeaks cables: Solzhenitsyn praise for Vladimir Putin,” Guardian, December 2, 2010.
-  Vladislav Krasnov, Solzhenitsyn and Dostoevsky: A Study in the Polyphonic Novel (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1979).
-  http://noliesradio.org/archives/74314.
-  See for example Donald M. Lewis, The Origins of Christian Zionism: Lord Shaftesbury and Evangelical Support for a Jewish Homeland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010); Timothy P. Weber, On the Road to Armageddon: How Evangelicals Became Israel’s Best Friend (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004); E. Michael Jones, The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History (South Bend: Fidelity Press, 2008).
-  Donald M. Lewis, The Origins of Christian Zionism: Lord Shaftesbury and Evangelical Support for a Jewish Homeland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 102.
-  Quoted in Jones, Jewish Revolutionary Spirit, 149.
-  E. Michael Jones has discussed the content of that book at length in his study The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History (South Bend: Fidelity Press, 2008), 731-758. Parts of 200 Years Together can be found online.
-  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Philosophers.
-  https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Двести_лет_вместДвести лет вместе — М.: Русский путь, 2001/2002.
-  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Hundred_Years_Together.
-  See Jones, Jewish Revolutionary Movement, 950-951, 96-966.
-  Quoted in ibid., 957.
-  Quoted in ibid., 691.
-  Murray Friedman, What Went Wrong?: The Creation & Collapse of the Black-Jewish Alliance (New York: The Free Press, 1995), 59.
-  Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion (New York: Pluto Press, 1994), 103.
-  Benjamin Ginsberg, The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), 225.
-  Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Solzhenitsyn Reader (Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2006), 558.