Engels Commanded, Sovoks Obeyed

Engels writing in 1868:

This right of the great national subdivisions of Europe to political independence, acknowledged as it was by the European democracy, could not but find the same acknowledgement with the working classes especially. It was, in fact, nothing more than to recognize in other large national bodies of undoubted vitality the same right of individual national existence which the working men of each separate country claimed for themselves. But this recognition, and the sympathy with these national aspirations, were restricted to the large and well defined historical nations of Europe; there was Italy, Poland, Germany, Hungary. France, Spain, England, Scandinavia, were neither subdivided nor under foreign control, and therefore but indirectly interested in the matter; and as to Russia, she could only be mentioned as the retainer of an immense amount of stolen property, which would have to be disgorged on the day of reckoning.

Soviet propaganda map: “Tsarist Russia: Prison of Peoples. The Predatory Ambitions of Tsarist Imperialism.” Notably, it is from 1936.


Legend: Blue – “Great Russian majority territories” (much reduced compared to reality); striped blue – “oppressed nationalities within Tsarist Russia”; striped green – “colonies of Tsarist Russia”; green – “Tsarism’s sphere of influence”; striped yellow – “targets of predatory ambitions.”

For some reason, there is still a Russian city of 200,000 people called Engels. It’s probably most famous for hosting a major airbase, which contains most of Russia’s Tu-160 bomber fleet.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Verymuchalive says

    I have to agree with Steve Sailer that the theory of Projection is the only useful idea devised by Freud. In this case, it’s Retro-projection. 1936: Stalin has gotten rid of nearly all the Jews from the upper echelons of the party. But, obviously, some still remain in the propaganda departments.
    Any idea which individuals devised this campaign ? Or is this hidden to this day ?

  2. Felix Keverich says

    For some reason, there is still a Russian city of 200,000 people called Engels.

    There is a reason for that, actually. Russian people nowadays are divided into those, who value “glorious Soviet past”, and the vast majority, who simply don’t give a fuck how their city/street is called.

  3. Reg Cæsar says

    I have to agree with Steve Sailer that the theory of Projection is the only useful idea devised by Freud

    What about sublimation? Isn’t that useful? Or was it devised by someone else, and merely borrowed by Freud?

  4. Reg Cæsar says

    For some reason, there is still a Russian city of 200,000 people called Engels.

    What’s the deal with Kaliningrad? Is “Königsberg” embarrassing?

  5. I do not know who came up first with the phrase ‘the prison of nations’ but it was apt when applied to Tsarist Russia and when applied to Austro-Hungarian Empire. The difference is that a pine stake was driven through the heart of Austro-Hungary but Russian Empire is still standing though on wobbly legs like a zombie full of pretense and resentment.

  6. So this is why you’re so eager for Russia to nuke Israel. It will collapse the Russian prison and free all those remaining Chechnyas and Cossackias and Idel-Urals and sundry Green Ukraines. Gotcha.

  7. Did the Bolsheviks also condemn the U.S. for waging a war of aggression against Mexico in the late 1840s? Or did the Bolsheviks limit their criticism to the imperialism and colonialism of European Powers?

  8. Yes, and then Green Ukraine can join North Korea and have their populations intermarry so that a super-race called Korkrainians will be formed! 😉

  9. I though that my comment was descriptive not emotive though perhaps I wanted to point out that you are barking at a wrong tree.

  10. The Austro-Hungarian empire was a retarded proto-Yugoslavia and deserved to be broken up.

  11. Verymuchalive says

    Wikipedia cite Nietzsche as the origin of the theory. They may even be right !


  12. It`s quite normal to rename what you conquered in general. In soviet times more so, hence calling it after commie functionary Kalinin.

  13. Verymuchalive says

    Actually, Russia is not a prison of nations. Rather, it is an ethnological ( or should it be ethnographical ) safari park. It is the world’s largest country by area and is able to accommodate scores of unique ethnic groups in a reasonable and tolerant manner, by and large. Some of these groups are quite large – Volga Tartars for example – and are left much to their own devices. Some of the beasties are dangerous though – I wouldn’t step into the Chechen Pack’s Den, if I were you, Mr Utu.
    Contrast Russia with China. The latter is increasingly putting the screws on the remaining ethnic groups.

  14. Russians generally love various Russophobic turds as a legacy of Sovok. In Orenburg, the city council holds Shevchenko days, even though Shevchenko never wrote shit about Orenburg, he hated his internment there, and he spewed venom on Russia. But he was a repressed pleb, therefore worthy of sovok’s appraisal.

    Islam Karimov has a monument and a square in Moscow, even though he closed Russian schools and conducted ethnic cleansing against Russians. Derussification does not interest the Kremlins of today, some proles are irrelevant. Business must continue as usual.

    I am totally not surprised post-Sovok Russians retain names of some German Russophobes, which are little relevant to their being, and interests.

  15. You are right, a safari park is a good image. There are many small ethnic groups and tribes for whom Russia and later USSR were OK. In fact, imo, some tribes like Chukchi were less impacted in negative sense by the white man than their relatives Inuits in Alaska. I was once at Inuit Chukchi meeting in Barrow, Alaska and I could see a difference, though perhaps the ones sent as the delegation to Alaska were specially selected. But neither Engels nor Bolsheviks nor AK meant or were concerned with them. AK, I think, is still upset that Finns, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians and Poles were release from the grips of Russian Empire by Bolsheviks.

  16. Yes, but St Petersburg went back. Why not Königsberg, which was almost as historic?

  17. Contrast Russia with China. The latter is increasingly putting the screws on the remaining ethnic groups

    I once used the Chinese term Miao in front of a Hmong teenager. She popped off that I may as well have said “nigger”.

  18. Actually the theory of Projection predates Freud by 1800 or 1900 years or so. In Romans 2:1-3 the ancient Christian apostle Paul succinctly describes, and then condemns Projection. But of course if Freud rejected the authority of Christian scripture, he could claim the idea as his own!