Naukograd: How the USSR saved humanity from nuclear annihilation
One problem with radical ideas is idealism, empty promises that mean nothing. That can be knocked down with the same sophistry that produces them. That is why I am so set on trying to communicate ideas and visionary goals through the demonstrated facts of history.
But first, we must discuss something else, namely, the history surrounding the cold war.
The Soviet Union, following the US atrocities at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, developed a new vision, a vital goal which they would struggle to pursue throughout the cold war: Nuclear peace.
A lot of people say the Soviets lost the cold war, but this is only partially true. They won a big victory for the continuation of our species: They prevented America from successfully developing a first strike program, and a nuclear monopoly.
The US, especially during the Reagan administration, attempted to produce a Pax Americana, in which the United States ruled the world by the power of the atom.
The US Government themselves have admitted to this in a declassified document.
This is not to demonise the American people, majority of whom supported the Soviet nuclear policy.
In fact, the Soviet people and the American people would frequently carry out mass demonstrations favoring a nuclear peace. The Soviet government was entirely in support of this measure, but would frequently get maligned by US government representatives during international negotiations.
A lot of people, especially here in Europe, give the average American a hard time about history and politics, but truth is that working class Americans often support very good and sensible ideas. Problem is how they do not have democratic representation in their government. It is extraordinary to think that the Soviet Union was more eager to serve the interests of the US public than the US government was.
Moreover, the history of the nuclear arms race is frequently censored and distorted as to smear the US public for their ideas, and aggrandise men like Ronald Reagan.
I have discussed the Gehlen Organisation before, but I will do so again. It might be the closest thing we have to a real-life James Bond type antagonist organisation. In fact, it is also reminiscent of Dr. Strangelove, having all the things for the perfect cold war thriller: Pardoned Nazi war criminals, spies and doomsday weapons.
Gehlen was comprised of pardoned Gestapo and SS Officers for the most part, who were employed by the US as spies, being perceived as experienced anti-communist political officers who were supposed to do for NATO what they once did for Nazi Germany.
In fact, this is hardly surprising, seeing as how most of the founders of NATO were former high ranking Nazi military. Hans Speidel and Adolf Heusinger, are two of the more famous ones, but it is only the tip of the iceberg. As once again, the US Government themselves admit to aiding, funding, training and employing some of the worst war criminals of European history and letting them continue carrying out crimes against humanity for several decades following the cold war.
And this is by no means conjecture, here’s a citation from A Top Secret December 1951 report by the CIA:
“The USSR is now the center of opposition to American policy, and the one power menace to American security; thus the need for knowledge of the USSR, the orbit of its domination, and its worldwide communist organization transcends all other intelligence requirements.”
We are going to explore just what this American policy was in further detail, and why the US public did not support it.
But what made the Gehlen Organisation especially dangerous was not merely their genocidal past, but also, what might’ve been a terrifying future, whereupon they would not merely exterminate segments of humanity, but possibly that of the entire species itself.
As these were war criminals, they had a motive to keep themselves useful to the US government. If they proved ineffective or redundant, or perhaps not worth the public outrage or political detriment which could be caused by leaks or exposure, they might just face Nuremburg after all.
So they came up with an idea: Tell the US government what they want to hear. Thus, the Missile Gap was born.
The Missile Gap is largely dismissed by modern historians, the US intelligence community and most educated journalists as little more than a scheme and a conspiracy theory fabricated by CIA assets, it has no factual content of any kind.
Here’s a summary of the Missile Gap theory from CIA.gov:
The Missile Gap was in essence a growing perception in the West, especially in the USA, that the Soviet Union was quickly developing an intercontinental range ballistic missile (ICBM) capability earlier, in greater numbers, and with far more capability than that of the United States. Even as that perception was disproved, it became evident that the Soviets were placing their major effort toward developing strategic missiles against which, once launched, there was no defense. The perceived missile gap that ensued was based on a comparison between US ICBM strength as then programmed, and reasonable, although erroneous estimates of prospective Soviet ICBM strength that were generally accepted.
As you can see, they massage the narrative ever so slightly, leaving out key parts of the story such as how the US Intelligence community immediately disproved the allegations as soon as the Gehlen organisation made them:
beginning in the mid-1950s the U.S. intelligence community adopted a consensus opinion that the Soviets were ahead of the U.S. in strategic bombers and ICBMs (known to history as the “Bomber Gap” and the “Missile Gap”), despite the fact that there was little raw intelligence information to support these conclusions.74 For example, despite the incontrovertible evidence from SIGINT and U-2 overflights of the USSR which showed that production of Soviet strategic bombers was far less than what had previously been believed
This did not however stop them from briefing John F. Kennedy on the “nuclear situation” using these claims several years later after they were disproven.
In other words: The Gehlen Organisation lied about Soviet ICBM development, the CIA knew it was a lie, and still gave it to Kennedy, who, in the decade following, would present this lie to the US Public as incontrovertible fact.
This is what started the existential nuclear threat of the cold war, as these lies became facts to the public consciousness, permitting the US to start the arms race.
In other words, the US government justified the cold war nuclear arms race, by lying to the public about the Soviets having weapons of mass destruction that they didn’t have.
Perhaps in the 90s, this would’ve seemed outrageous, but now I think we all have ample evidence of just how commonplace this kind of political tactic is.
So as the US Government is employing former Gestapo agents to manipulate and endanger their own people, as well as that of humanity at large… the Soviets prove the CIA right in one regard, they are the main opposition to American policy.
Enter, Colonel Yuri Gagarin, Soviet Cosmonaut, scientist, and hero of the Soviet Union. He was the first man in space. Yuri was born on a collective dairy farm, but thanks to the Soviet vision of freedom for the workers, he was able to reach the stars.
Yuri Gagarin is only one man, representing the vision of millions. In my article about Stalingrad I discussed some of the experiences and perspectives of the generation that experienced the great patriotic war.
The central theme of the Soviet victory against fascism was also one of death and rebirth, as exemplified especially by the East German anthem, Auferstanden Aus Ruinen:
Risen from ruins
And facing the future,
Let us serve you for the good,
Germany, united fatherland.
Old woes are to be overcome
And we overcome them united
Because we so must succeed,
[So] that the sun beautiful as never [before]
Over Germany shines.
This was a universal sentiment in the Eastern Bloc. The revolutionary spirit was reignited, for the first time, people began to see some semblance of peace. No more civil war, no more world wars, no more sieges and encirclements, people began to ask: “What comes next?”
Even though the cold war did present some degree of martial security, most people had not experienced this kind of stability for decades, as everything from fascist dictatorships to enemy insurgents would bring turmoil to what was now the Warsaw Pact nations. As the Soviet liberation arrived, kicking out Hitler’s forces, people began to feel hopeful about this new normality.
Universities, hospitals, schools and culture was being developed all over the eastern bloc territories. The average citizen was, for the first time in European history, invited into the realm of academia, science and culture.
While the west was mired in commercial pop culture, beer commercials, PBS special interest stories, and private education schemes, the east had a ministry of culture, that followed a democratic mandate of the people, and the people demanded to be educated and entertained.
The radio played symphonies, the television taught history and science, the libraries were stocked with books in over 24 different languages, including Yiddish. It is thanks to the Soviet ministry of culture that Yiddish literature survived the Nazi horrors, as the market demand for Yiddish literature in the United States was very low, and Israel prioritised Hebrew literature, seeing Yiddish as being too diasporic and not in line with their nationalist sentiment.
And a small sidenote: Following the illegal NATO occupation of East Germany in the 90s, the newly formed liberal government destroyed 50.000 tonnes of books because of how they had Marxist content.
And there is a very good reason for the Soviet passion for literature, because the fascists were estimated to have burned hundreds of millions of books in Eastern Europe, as well as dozens of academic archives and almost 1000 libraries.
So you had one generation of Soviets who had been living under mass-illiteracy under the Russian Empire, been taught to read as Bolsheviks, and then watched the fascists burn all their books and libraries. Imagine that kind of heartbreak, and imagine what kind of spirit it must give a people to rebuild what has been lost.
So knowledge, both in the form of science, engineering, mathematics and philosophy, as well as humanities, history, political science and economics, was heavily ingrained into the very cultural fabric of the Soviet Union. Millions of people had died for the privilege to read, and to teach their children how to read. The Russian Empire had banned the possession of a printing press for centuries, and people had lived in intellectual poverty.
This is what created the vision of the Naukograd, which in turn was the physical manifestation of the Soviet vision of atomic peace.
And this is how the Soviet Union, in its philosophy of science, internationalism and peace, became the largest opposition to American policy, followed by the second largest opposition: The American people themselves.
Often liberal propaganda will tout that the everyman, the “Johnny Sixpack” is an idiot, part of a mass of uneducated and philistine people who despise anything without bikini models or graphic violence, the perverse and cynical prophecy of the “Idiocracy.” But there is no evidence to this in history. When workers are in charge of their own republics, science and literature quickly accelerate.
It produces theatres, operas, cultural works, art, discovery, invention and industry at unprecedented levels. Stallone becomes Shostakovich, and the Big Brother House becomes the St. Petersburg Ballet. People want to learn, and are excited to learn.
In the United Kingdom, one of the highest rated programmes is Quite Interesting, a state-funded educational game show in which the goal is not to provide the right answer, but the most interesting one.
IMDB user ratings permits viewers to rate various films and TV productions themselves, giving a good insight into audience reception. The Hollywood classic Taxi Driver has a score of 8.3, Citizen Kane, similarly, has a score of 8.3, as well as to To Kill A Mockingbird, all have 8.3. Casablanca has 8.5. Godfather an impressive 9.5.
This is a very high scoring out of 10. But even so, Quite Interesting, or QI as it is called, is rated 8.6.
This is a mid-budget TV panel show, and it has the same audience reception as some of film history’s most popular productions. Why? Because people like to be educated.
QI is based on careful research into interesting and rare trivia, often challenging common understandings of ideas in amusing and fascinating ways, simply by making the audience feel educated and informed, they provide the same level of enjoyment as some of cinema history’s biggest block busters.
And if you’re curious about it, you can watch all the episodes for free on Youtube.
I do not think that these kinds of ratings would exist in a world that would permit Idiocracy. Truth is that the vapid and commercial media that occupies the airwaves is the product of publishing corporations and advertising companies, it is the same ivy league liberals who point their fingers at the working class, who are the ones who operate this industry of stupidity.
In fact, imagine the complete lack of self-awareness it must take for the film industry, to make a film like Idiocracy. If the media industry want to see the Idiocracy, then they don’t need to be mirrored by satire, they just need to be mirrored by a mirror.
So, with all this context in mind, we now begin to see a fuller picture. How the cold war was not merely about socialism vs. capitalism, but also about the fate of humanity, and insofar as to prevent the extinction of humanity, the Soviets, and the American people, won against the US government.
So let’s talk a little bit about the Naukograd. The Naukograd might sound like a place, but it is more than that, it is an idea, a blueprint for a place. A vision of many places. A special city made entirely with the advancement of science in mind.
The Naukograds would feature universities, campuses, laboratories, testing facilities, surveying environments, logistics, infrastructure and everything needed for scientists to be able to work at top efficiency, and everyone was welcome. From the most modest of farmers, to families with several generations of successful academics, as long as you had an affinity for inquiry and invention, then you could become part of a Naukograd.
To me, this is one of the most radical accomplishments of any socialist society. It is like something taken from the pages of a utopian novel, except it was made real through the struggles and efforts of ordinary people.
The Soviet philosophy of science and peace was one that cropped up everywhere, even Mikhail Kalashnikov, the world’s most famous weapons engineer, once said “I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work — for example a lawnmower.”
The Soviet philosophy has always been one of peace, but not the peace of submission, rather the peace of liberation.
The war against Hitler was one in which people held rifles today, so that they may hold lawnmowers tomorrow. The Naukograd was part of making good on that promise, on letting people thrive in the peace of liberation.
Even today in the Russian Federation, some 70 Naukograds still exist, as they have been proven to be invaluable to the civic advancement of the country. To me, I think the word “Naukograd” will have a significance in the historical vocabulary or tomorrow, as they will describe the workshops of humanity.
In his book, Conquest of Bread, Mikhail Kropotkin also envisioned this quite poignantly:
Every machine has had the same history — a long record of sleepless nights and of poverty, of disillusions and of joys, of partial improvements discovered by several generations of nameless workers, who have added to the original invention these little nothings, without which the most fertile idea would remain fruitless. More than that: every new invention is a synthesis, the resultant of innumerable inventions which have preceded it in the vast field of mechanics and industry.
Science and industry, knowledge and application, discovery and practical realization leading to new discoveries, cunning of brain and of hand, toil of mind and muscle — all work together. Each discovery, each advance, each increase in the sum of human riches, owes its being to the physical and mental travail of the past and the present.
By what right then can any one whatever appropriate the least morsel of this immense whole and say — This is mine, not yours?
Kropotkin was a celebrated author in the Soviet Union, and was the only non-Soviet citizen to receive a state funeral. His philosophy influenced both the Bolsheviks and the Chinese communists, and while he was an anarchist, I think he would be quite pleased with how his vision of science for the worker came into fruition under the Soviet and Chinese systems.
The laws of the universe can be understood in every language, they are beyond borders, nation, faith or culture. They are both divine truth, and unforgiving reality, they give us brutality and yet comfort, they call to us at every turn we make down an unfamiliar path, and guides us towards a higher goal.
This higher goal is the unification of all workers, as our hearts are stirred by an immutable passion for inquiry, thought and friendship, an immortal inevitability that echoes across history in those simple words written by Karl Marx:
WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE
And that is how the Soviet Union saved the world.