We Still Have Putin – Part 2
Continued from yesterday …
‘It’s your fault that the capitalist system still exists. With your brutal methods, with your paranoia and your pathetic cult of personality, you turned the working masses away from socialist ideas. They prefer to be exploited to clenching their fists. The class struggle is over, thanks to you. You, Stalin, are the gravedigger of communism.’
‘He had to make his mark. He had a difficult childhood; his mother put him in a seminary,’ said Lenin.
‘Hey! I don’t need you to defend me.’ cried Stalin.
‘A comrade is duty bound to defend another comrade,’ said Lenin.
‘A comrade is duty bound to attack those who attack other comrades,’ Stalin corrected.
‘And that’s just what I did.’
‘No comrade, you defended me and what you should have done was attack that Jew there.’
‘I am very proud to be Jewish,’ said Marx.
‘Why didn’t you become a banker? That’s what Jews are: bankers, traders, moneylenders. In short, capitalists. When you start doing things that you’re not meant for, that’s when the problems begin,’ said Stalin.
‘There it is,’ said Marx, pointing his finger at him. ‘There you have the proof that you never understood the classless society project. Leaders of the classless society do not discriminate against people because of their ethnic origin. Proletarians of the world are equal. But you, you reveal all the racial prejudices of capitalist society and of your friend Hitler.’
‘He has a point, Stalin, you shouldn’t call people Jewish. Some Jews aren’t that bad,’ Lenin said.
‘Trotsky?’ said Stalin, hardly stifling a guffaw.
‘And let me tell you, there are Russians who aren’t that bad either, but that can’t be said of you or of your colleague Putin,’ Marx retorted.
‘I’m not Russian, I’m Georgian,’ said Stalin.
‘We’re all Soviets,’ Lenin corrected him.
‘I’m German,’ Marx said.
‘And, by the way, what do you have against Putin, comrade Marx?’ Lenin asked.
‘What do I have against Putin? He has invaded countries, arrested opponents, silenced the press, and worse still, he has become a capitalist.’
‘Comrade Marx, let’s analyze the situation in a dialectical manner. Comrade Putin took power at a very difficult time, after that traitor Gorbachev had chopped up and sold off the USSR. Comrade Putin is not a capitalist. Comrade Putin is in a process of antithesis against bourgeois democracy to try to restore the greatness of the USSR. This takes time; there are many enemies, many saboteurs, but he is on the right track. Finally Europe is afraid of a Russian. Who would have known that gas could be the weapon of the future?’
‘It was well used in the past,’ Stalin joked.
‘Comrade Putin is our last hope. Fidel Castro is finished, the Chinese are traitors, that guy from North Korea should be in an asylum and that Venezuelan one too,’ said Lenin.
‘Putin is very soft. He doesn’t have the courage of a true leader. Why doesn’t he open a gulag as he should do?’ Stalin asked.
‘They’re not called gulags anymore, comrade,’ explained Lenin.
‘And purges, how many has he done?’ Stalin asked.
‘He has purged some journalists and a few entrepreneurs.’
‘That’s not enough. Sometimes I doubt if that Putin really admires me …’
‘He admires you comrade, but for the moment he can’t say so in public,’ said Lenin.
‘He’s not powerful enough yet to confront the Americans,’ explained Lenin.
‘So the only place I’m still honored is Korea?’
‘Comrade Stalin, in North Korea no one knows who you are anymore. Everyone there believes that the world was created by the Kim dynasty,’ said Lenin.
‘Even they betray me? Well, drop an atomic bomb on them, then,’ said Stalin.
‘I’m liking Russia less and less,’ Marx commented.
‘Whose side would you be on if you were alive during the Second World War, Jewish comrade?’ Stalin asked.
‘I would be against tyranny, the Holocaust and the gulags,’ replied Marx.
‘What is that supposed to mean?’ asked Lenin.
‘I was very clear; I would be against the tyrants,’ said Marx.
‘Which tyrants? The good ones, protecting the people, or the bad ones, who defended the exploiters?’ asked Lenin.
Stalin intervened. ‘Do you see, comrade Lenin? Jews mince their words; they hide their intentions; they cannot be trusted. But this means that you would be against us.’
‘Against you, yes, and in favour of the Russian people,’ Marx replied.
‘Comrade Marx, that’s a guileful answer. You shouldn’t abuse the dialectic. Don’t you think that a little self-criticism is in order, after so much criticism directed at us?’ said Lenin.
‘Jews only criticize themselves in concentration camps,’ said Stalin.
‘You see? He’s just the same as Hitler,’ Marx said to Lenin.
In the meantime, someone appeared and whispered into Lenin’s ear. ‘Hey, I have good news: Putin has invaded Ukraine.’
‘Really?’ Stalin asked with a twinkle in his eye.
‘Yes.’ Lenin was beaming. ‘Crimea is ours again. Didn’t I tell you that Comrade Putin could be trusted?’
‘And how did the Europeans react?’ Stalin asked.
‘They are really scared, paralyzed with fear.’
‘Excellent. Without Churchill they’re not going anywhere,’ said Stalin.
Lenin continued. ‘The Europeans won’t do anything for two reasons: firstly, they have no armies; secondly, they would lose big business.’
‘And the Americans? They’re always against us,’ said Stalin.
‘Don’t you worry. The Americans don’t know what to do either. They have enough wars already,’ said Lenin.
Marx intervened. ‘You both seem very happy, but you’ve forgotten the Chinese.’
‘The Chinese, comrade Marx, like invading countries. This time they’re on our side,’ replied Lenin.
‘I have to admit, I underestimated comrade Putin,’ Stalin said. ‘He has leadership qualities after all. Has he already begun deporting Ukrainians? And when is he invading Poland?’
‘Let us hope. Comrade Marx here wrote that history repeats itself,’ said Lenin.
‘First as tragedy, then as farce,’ Marx clarified.
‘You’ve got it wrong once again, Jewish comrade. Don’t confuse your life with the history of people. My instinct tells me that something big is about to happen. Comrade Putin, I am sending you a hug from down here in hell,’ said Stalin, stroking his moustache.
Bio: João Cerqueira has a PhD in History of Art from the University of Oporto. He is the author of seven books: Blame it on too much freedom, The Tragedy of Fidel Castro, Devil’s Observations, Maria Pia: Queen and Woman, João de Guimarães (published in China by the Today Art Museum), João de Guimarães: Public Art.
The Tragedy of Fidel Castro won the USA Best Book Awards 2013, the Beverly Hills Book Awards 2014, the Global Ebook Awards 2014, was the finalist for the Montaigne Medal 2014 (Eric Offer Awards), and was considered by ForewordReviews as the third best translation published in 2012 in the United States.
His works are published in: Toad Suck Review, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Hypertext Magazine, Cleaver Magazine, Danse Macabre, Contemporary Literary Review India, Open Pen Magazine, Queen’s Mob, The Liberator Magazine, BoldType Magazine, Saturday Night Reader, All Right Magazine, South Asia Mail, Linguistic Erosion, Sundayat6mag and, Literary Lunes.