Communism Destroyed Russian Cooking

Yes, I’m a bit of a foodie, so I’m fascinated by how people ruin cuisines.

Reason‘s December special issue marks the 30th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union. This story is part of our exploration of the global legacy of that evil empire, and our effort to be certain that the dire consequences of communism are not forgotten.

In August 1936, Josef Stalin sent his commissar of food, Anastas Mikoyan, to the United States on the SS Normandie for a working holiday. The long-serving party member and diplomat was a natural fit for the expedition: He’d formerly served as trade commissar, and he took great pains to publicly profess his loyalty to Stalin, who rewarded him and Mrs. Mikoyan with the opportunity to travel from coast to coast sampling all sorts of luxurious American fare—popcorn, ice cream, hamburgers, bologna, cornflakes, and corn on the cob. The Soviet crew visited Midwestern dairies and slaughterhouses, fascinated by everything from meat processing plant capabilities to the griddles used to cook burger patties. Mikoyan soon became enamored with tantalizing new kitchen appliances and advances in refrigeration that had recently begun to proliferate in the U.S.—all inconvenient evidence of the splendor and efficiency brought by capitalism.

Over the course of the ’30s, Stalin’s government went to great lengths attempting to create, often through Socialist Realist–style propaganda, a cohesive national identity that could bind good Soviets together in service of the party. Part of the aim was to reimagine Russian home cooking via standardized, party-approved recipes.

Three years later, The Book of Tasty and Healthy Food was born. It was the fruit of Mikoyan’s grand adventure and an attempt to show comrades just how good they had it. The thick book, filled with glossy, full-page illustrations, was an exhaustive-seeming compendium of recipes organized by category. Its implicit message was that those who were loyal to the party would have access to the abundant delights depicted therein.

Source: Communism Destroyed Russian Cooking

Totalitarianism Is Upon Us

The paramount question we should be focused on is not the fact that Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff won the Georgia elections — or even the possibility that their wins might have been a result of the usual Democrat cheating — but how two Marxists were even in a position to run for the United States Senate in a traditionally conservative state.  It seems reasonable to conclude that somewhere between 30-40 percent of voters in this one-time red state apparently prefer socialism to free-market capitalism.

Clear thinking on this matter also forces one to face up to the reality that America is now closer to becoming a Marxist nation than at any time in its history.  And, if so, I believe it’s important for people to understand what Marxism is all about.

As a prelude, let me start by pointing out that socialism and communism are, for all practical purposes, one and the same.  Karl Marx made it clear that socialism was but a phase along the way to communism, which is why I use those two terms, along with terms like Marxism, progressivism, liberalism, leftism, and collectivism, interchangeably.

Second, communism as Marx described it has never existed on this planet.  Leftists like to romanticize about his heaven-on-earth version of communism, a fantasy wherein the state “withers away” because everyone has equally satisfying lives — food, housing, medical care, and more — thus no one covets his neighbor’s possessions.  In the real world, however, from Lenin to Stalin to Brezhnev, from Mao to Deng to Xi, the term communism (and all of its synonyms) has proven to be nothing more than a euphemism for totalitarian rule.

Source: Totalitarianism Is Upon Us