Imagining a World with U.S.S.R

“I greet you, Soviet Union

with humility: I am a writer and a poet.

My father was a railroad worker: we were always poor.

Yesterday I was with you, far off, in my little

country of great rains. There your name grew

hot, burning in the people’s breasts

until it touched my country’s lofty sky!

Today I think of them, they are all with you!

From factory to factory, from house to house,

your name flies like a red bird!

Praised be your heroes, and each drop

of your blood, praised

be the overflowing tide of hearts

that defend your pure and proud dwelling!

praised be the heroic and bitter

bread that nourishes you, while the doors of time open

so that your army of people and iron may march, singing

among ashes and barren plain, against the assassins,

to plant a rose enormous as the moon

upon the fine and divine land of victory!”

Neruda’s ode to the Soviet Union invites us to reinvent a world where bread, rose, land and peace are gifted to our future generations; where the working poor are united, proud and victorious. A world where the idea of communism comes to fruition, where men and women work in solidarity to promote socialistic values, where exploitations of labour cease to exist, where dehumanizing effects of profits do not motivate individual success quests, where children draw flowers and birds – not guns or tanks; where elderly citizens are not abandoned to their tragic fates, where women are not commodified to sell a bottle of perfume, and where men do not become conscripts to avoid unemployment.

“At the same time, what will be attained via Soviet Union shall bring endless joys to the traditionally marginalised and oppressed class of people, the huge majority of human beings on this planet who never get to speak to us via our favourite television channels.”

And such a world will emerge. A world with a stronger, mightier and more resilient Soviet Union. For us to emulate a systemic model that ensures socio-economic equality is not merely a desired imagination, it is a dire necessity.

With Soviet Union, there will be uncompromising opposition to imperialistic forces of the world – not by temporarily occupying street corners or sloganeering anarchies, but through internationalist and authoritative party strictures that acknowledge the need to unite workers of the world to wage revolutionary struggles against the elite NATO czars. With Soviet Union at the helm, no longer will American rogue power dictate the flow and distribution of capital, media or cultural reproduction. No longer would the colonial powers of the past dare raise their ugly heads to indirectly control their former victims – the indigenous peoples of Africa and Asia. No longer will the Nazis and the Fascists and their cloaked successors succeed in institutionalising race hatred. No longer will multinational corporations spread their fiendish or friendly wings into territories of native marketplaces. No longer will the factory workers be afraid of their bosses, farmers of their feudal lords, students of their unpaid loans, or the sick of their medical bills. Even the Americans will no longer be afraid to recreate the America of their collective dreams. As Langston Hughes once imagined:

“Put one more s in the U.S.A.

To make it Soviet

One more s in the U.S.A.

Oh, we’ll live to see it yet.

When the land belongs to the farmers

And factories to working women and men—

The U.S.A. when we take control

Will be the U.S.S.A. then.”

Not just the U.S.S.A., the rest of the world too will pay heed to the unprecedented might of the working lot, and this time more than two-thirds of the world map will unfurl the red flag.

Red flag symbolises revolutions, not just in its riveting crimson form declaring bloody wars on battlefields, but it also signifies radically transformed human thought processes. The world as we mentally map today will have to be reconfigured with Soviet resurgence, because with its coming, we shall not be gloating over billboards and skyscrapers and luxury cars, and our societies will no longer be having spike in the billionaire club memberships. Mexico and India will no longer be flaunting their national disgraces as the most celebrated on the covers of Forbes magazine. Parasites will no longer be rejoiced as glories.

Subconsciously, our generations of self-centred, egotist, family-centric, tradition-flaunting, racist, proud heritages of having been the nobles and the royals and the landlords and the entrepreneurs and the professors and the doctors and the various success stories attached exclusively to our unique bloodlines will be arrogantly abused and denied their worthy/holy recognition.

At the same time, what will be attained via Soviet Union shall bring endless joys to the traditionally marginalised and oppressed class of people, the huge majority of human beings on this planet who never get to speak to us via our favourite television channels. This invisible lot will find its suppressed voice once again – as Maxim Gorky once noted, the true hero of revolutionary narrative will always be the human labour. And this labour that builds the widest of roads and the tallest of monuments and this labour that cooks the food and feeds the babies, the labour that fights the reactionaries on the battlefields and the labour that tends to the sick in state hospitals – all the while being taken for granted, will once again win the spotlight and the medals decorated with Lenin’s orders, when the Soviet Union is reborn.

Even as the working class will be euphoric, Soviet Union is not going to be good news for another class of people. Historically, it has been challenged through various civil wars by the imperial White Armies, subjected to diplomatic manipulations by the Western militarists, and finally ravaged by the revisionists within the party itself. This is because many opportunists initially surrender for their own survival, but soon strike back against the proletariats, when an occasion arrives to turn the table. And yet, backstabbers like Khrushchevs, Titos, and Gorbachevs lurking from within, to sabotage the Soviet journey have faced formidable challenges in the form of revolutionaries like Hoxhas, Gottwalds and Ho Chi Minhs. For each champion of “peaceful coexistence” trying to de-Stalinize the communist world, there has always been a Che Guevara thundering: “peaceful coexistence among nations does not encompass coexistence between the exploiters and the exploited, between the oppressors and the oppressed.”

If Soviet Union of the past was marred by saboteurs and opportunists, the future Soviet Union will be marked by equally intense uncertainties, if not more – considering the levels of coexistence that already exists between the oppressors and the oppressed today, and the collective failure on part of humanity to contain the advances of capitalistic strides in our times. Technological exploits at the behest of the imperialists likewise cannot be reversed in a simplistic manner. The means of cultural and knowledge reproductions finely monopolised by the ruling elites of this era cannot be overturned with ease either. The damages wrought about through years of corporate establishment, commerce treaties and pacts signed in our unipolar world can hardly be outlawed conveniently.

This time around, the Soviet Union will not be able to carry out the revolutionary tasks on her own. For she will not be encompassing a territory called Russia, or a stretch of land called East Germany, or a satellite called Cuba. Soviet Union will be the other world for the majority of people on this planet – she will symbolise the notion of social equality and economic justice worldwide, and if we have all defeated her greater purpose in the past century, now is the time to rekindle this source of our collective hope, strength and courage.

As Neruda reminds us, her revolutionary seeds have been sown, and when Soviet Union reemerges, we – the other red hands – are the ones who cannot afford to let her die, again –

“…We are millions of men and women

but we still do not come to defend you, mother.

City, city of fire, resist until one day

we come, shipwrecked, to touch your walls

like a kiss from children who were eager to arrive.

Stalingrad… you will not fall, even though iron and fire

pierce you day and night.

Even though you die, you do not die!

Because your men and women can no longer die

and must go on struggling from the place where they fall

until victory lies only in your hands

although they are weary and pierced and dead,

because other red hands, when your hands fall,

will sow throughout the world the bones of your heroes

so that your seed may fill all the earth.”

Saswat Pattanayak is a New York-based journalist, photographer, atheist, third-wave feminist, LGBT ally, black power comrade and academic non-elite who refuses to give up his association with Kindle. A true comrade.

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