New textbook reinterprets history as Putin tries to bring it back
January 16, 2008
A new textbook called “Russian History 1945—2007” was approved last week by Russia’s Ministry of Education. The book clarifies some “confusion” about what’s been going on in Russia the last several decades and will help school children learn that the consolidation of power through murder, poison and subterfuge is a tradition that President Vladimir Putin is emulating out of respect for the past.
According to La Russophobe quoting the Russian press, children will learn that Stalin was an effective manager taking Russia from the plow to the atomic bomb in just a few years. Yeltson and Gorbachev were weak leaders who allowed the Soviet Union to collapse. Putin’s abolition of directly elected regional governors was necessary because Russians cannot govern themselves. And the imprisonment of Yukos Oil CEO Mikhail Khodorkovksy, instead of allowing him to run for president, means Russia has no more corrupt oligarchs. There have been some tricky times the last couple of decades, but Putin is working hard to make things right.
“Stalin was an effective leader and his results, if not all of his methods, should be applauded,” said Russian president Vladimir Putin, playing Tetris with the internal politics of former Soviet States and backing terrorists in Iran while waiting to be appointed prime minister. “He was his own god and so am I. If I believed in spiritualism I’d say I’m channeling the great leader right now, except that I tend to poison people more than shoot them in the head. Nowadays I have to use the Russian mafia for hands-on killing so my work is less direct.” Then sighing he added, “Times were simpler back in Stalin’s day when a leader could just gun down whomever they wanted indiscriminately.”
Agence France-Presse reports that the newly approved textbook, “Russian History 1945-2007,” is to be tried out in schools in five Russian regions. Kommersant media said “the eras of Joseph Stalin and Leonid Brezhnev get good marks, with justification of authoritarianism and repression.” The text is based on a handbook published earlier in 2007 by pro-Kremlin historians that described Stalin as “efficient.” The book puts a positive spin on the controversial imprisonment of Yukos oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky under Putin and the 2004 decision to end direct elections for regional governors, the report said. 1,000 copies have been published so far and have been sent directly to the schools concerned, where it will be used in classrooms during 2008, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta Daily reported.
“Authoritarianism and repression is the time honored approach to proper government in Russia and the region, and people in the West have been intolerant of our fine tradition. The West needs to stop complaining when we remove human rights and freedoms from our confused citizens because we’re only doing what’s best for them,” said Shurwi Shootem, director of the Rebuild the Soviet Empire By Any Means Necessary Commission, a small office established by Putin which currently comprises most of Russia’s budget. “It would do the West well if they’d use our new history book. As part of inter-cultural understanding it’s important that the world sees things our way.”
In other news, students at Joliet Junior College in Illinois have formed a group called “Students for Smokers’ Rights”. A similar group formed at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill this year and a small protest was held at Ball State College over smokers’ rights last fall. Debate over authoritarianism, repression and individual rights continues around the globe with only Bill Clinton having complete freedom to do whatever he wants.
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