“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for August 15th, 2008

Roundup Georgia.

with 4 comments

Regrettably for a number of reasons, some complex others mundane I haven’t been able to follow much of the Russian-Georgian conflict as I’d like to, so here is a roundup of various blogger’s opinions of the conflict:

Many political blogs try to take sides, Greater Surbiton’s suggestion is “We cannot afford to back down before this act of Russian imperialist aggression. We should defend Georgia with all the means at our disposal. We should send troops to bolster her. We should threaten Russia with sanctions. Heroic Georgia is fighting our fight; she is defending the freedom and security of democratic Europe.” whilst somewhat predictably Socialist Unity blog blames the United States, the comments box is rather bizarre.

Dave’s very thoughtful.

Olly notices a trend “A leading political thinker has criticised the West after his toilet became blocked for the second time in two years. Seamus Milne blames aggressive western imperialism for the incident. “We hear a lot about Stalin’s terror and the monstrosities of Nazism – but scarcely a word on the British and western empires or the horrors they perpetrated,” said Milne last night, shaking a toilet brush for emphasis. “This is not a story of simple plumbing but a symptom of a determination to enforce western global hegemony,” he added.”

HP also takes to task the pro-Russian drivel in the Guardian. Shiraz Socialist sees the same problem but is a little more direct.

Finally, an urban dictionary entry sums up part of the problem:


A hardline Stalinist. A tankie is a member of a communist group or a “fellow traveller” (sympathiser) who believes fully in the political system of the Soviet Union and defends/defended the actions of the Soviet Union and other accredited states (China, Serbia, etc.) to the hilt, even in cases where other communists criticise their policies or actions. For instance, such a person favours overseas interventions by Soviet-style states, defends these regimes when they engage in human rights violations, and wishes to establish a similar system in other countries such as Britain and America.

The term is used to distinguish the rare individuals with these kinds of beliefs from communists more broadly (including Communist Party members), whose adherence to Soviet doctrine and attachment to existing “socialist” states is somewhat weaker.

It is always more-or-less abusive in the sense that those termed tankies do not use the term themselves, but it doesn’t have any particular bite (unlike, say, Trot).

The term derives from the fact that the divisions within the communist movement first arose when the Soviet Union sent tanks into communist Hungary in 1956, to crush an attempt to establish an alternative version of communism which was not embraced by the Russians. Most communists outside the eastern bloc opposed this action and criticised the Soviet Union. The “tankies” were those who said “send the tanks in”.

The epithet has stuck because tankies also supported “sending the tanks in” in cases such as Czechoslovakia 1968, Afghanistan 1979, Bosnia and Kosovo/a (in the case of the Serbian state), and so on (whereas the rest of the communist movement has gravitated towards anti-militarism). “

Written by modernityblog

15/08/2008 at 01:45

Posted in Uncategorized