Vasili Ivanovitch was Kira Argounova’s uncle, she his niece, and each other’s favorite. When the Argounov family returned to Petrograd, she had become 18 years old. Uncle Vasili was 60, “His sunken eyes were like a fireplace where the last blazing coals fought against slow, inevitable ashes.”
Although set in 1920’s Russia, what Rand describes here is no different than the livelihoods crushed by 2020’s Wuhan virus inspired lock downs. Before the Soviet criminal gang of ‘Democratic Socialism,’ Vasili owned his life and built his future,
He started as a trapper in the wilderness of Siberia, with a gun, a pair of boots, and two arms that could lift an ox. His relatives heard no word for ten years. His muscles and long hours of frozen Siberian nights had paid for every fur that passed through his hands.
Chapter 2 introduced us to Vasili’s ante Soviet past, “he opened an office of which his relatives could not afford the door knobs,” and Kira’s aspirations, “It’s the only profession for which I don’t have to learn any lies. Steel is steel.” By Chapter 15, Kira and Leo were in their apartment after brutal days of unrewarded and forced labor,
She, as she did not want to be seen, stood before him now, bent over a Primus, in an aura of kerosene and onion smell, her hands slimy with raw mud. She wondered dully whether there was any place on earth where one could eat without begin sick of every mouthful.
The contrast is stark – the life premise of our benevolent universe vs. the death premise of the mob’s malevolent one. Vasili chose to live in a primitive environment, and used his impressive mental and physical energy to create wealth. Kira was imprisoned in a primitive environment, and using her prodigious mental and physical energy to avoid death.
On Nevsky Prospect, the latter was glorified by Soviet banners, “We, toilers of Petrograd, greet our British class brothers! Welcome to the land of the Soviets where labor is free! The women of the state pledge their support to England’s proletariat in its struggle with Imperialists!” In other words, the worship of mediocrity, the persecution of the good for being good, and its moral inversion.
Imagine, in 2016 America, that someone who never held political office ran for President. Imagine doing that without the support of a major political party, their corporate donors, or labor unions. Imagine the revulsion of his powerful Communist enemies at nearly every major media outlet and university in America.
Imagine him winning with populism, and then doing the unimaginable – what he said he would do. And doing it effectively for his vision of a legitimate American government, because he wants it.
Imagine him single-handedly goading “public servants” into exposing their own ethical corruption, intellectual incompetence, and metaphysical death premise. Imagine their hatred, slander, investigations, riots, looting, and murders – in the name of compassion, because they ‘just like doing things like that.’
Imagine John Lennon’s song, necessarily inverted by its mindless promoters.
For Vasili and Kira, this means sacrifice yourself to others or sacrifice others to yourself. In Chapter 13, Soviet enforcer Andrei explains the latter to Kira. After returning from his summer of looting the Volga region (fly-over country), he tells her, “Well, I guess everybody knows it. The villages – that’s the dark spot on our future. They’re not conquered. They’re not with us.” Lurking in our online forum, Starter explains Andrei’s frustration,
There’s a level of independence that threatens their cause. One example, big storms in Iowa a couple weeks back, and the community rallied around itself, gratefully receiving outside help, not whining about it. Local individuals choosing to work together.
This chapter also illustrates the former when Leo is asked by his employer to volunteer as a teacher in a new night school for Cultural Advancement. He is told it will be “a voluntary gift to the state.” Of course, these free-will donations are reinforced by the Soviet criminal justice system, a contradiction in terms if there ever was one, as Leo and Kira discovered the hard way.
When their building manager forced them to cede one of their rooms to a Comrade, they appealed to the People’s Court where Leo asked, “Is this a court of justice or a musical comedy?” The judge replied, “So-called impartial justice, citizen, is a bourgeois prejudice. This is a court of class justice. Next case!” So says the Democratic party’s 2020 San Francisco District Attorney.
Class justice was further defined in Chapter 15 when Kira began her new job – a gift from Andrei to avoid starvation. There she observed, “The House of the Peasant occupied someone’s former mansion . . . how strict that sympathy was . . . Tina ran the typewriter, a habit which had sprung over the country . . . no one was responsible nor could be punished . . . a steady drone of activity.” Avoiding reality had become a prized skill to be rewarded with a Soviet paycheck.
Propaganda, ratting out friends and strangers, and demonstrations, were where the money was, prison free, for avoiding reality, for the time being.
And today. On June 17th, future 2020 Democratic nominee for Vice President Kamala Harris was recruiting zombies for the terror wing of the Party,
They’re not gonna stop, this is a movement I’m telling you. Everyone beware, because they’re not gonna stop before Election Day in November, and they’re not gonna stop after Election Day. Everyone should take note. They should not, and we should not.
In Chapter 14, Kira had asked, “Andrei, why doesn’t your party believe in the right to live while one is not killed? You may claim the right to kill, as all fighters do. But no one before you has ever thought of forbidding life to those still living.” Here, Kira has noticed something new about 20th century brutality – conform, or achieve real victimhood, or both.
Inspired by the 19th century philosophers who condemned that era’s grand, humanistic achievements, Communism’s morality is subjective and individual human lives have no intrinsic value. For example, when the new Comrade arrived home to her room one night,
Marisha came in when Kira was alone. Her little pouting mouth was swollen, her eyes red. “Citizen Argounova, I’m afraid I’m in trouble. It’s that damn louse Aleshka. Said I’d be bourgeois if I didn’t let him. What am I gonna do?”
Gen Z’s “Kira said she didn’t know.” Uncle Vasili Ivanovitch, a Baby Boomer, surely didn’t know. What they both knew very well, is that no one avoids the consequences of a society that avoids reality. Their lives and livelihoods were being canceled for the crime of being good. Just ask any 2020 New York City restaurant and theater professional, thanks to their pathetically corrupt ‘Democratic Socialist’ Mayor, who just likes doing things like that.