Neo-Revisionary Collectivist Revanchism

You have to hand it to the enthusiasts of 20th Century communism. They had a way with words. Nearly everything that they printed was so crude as to be laughable, or so complex as to be unreadable. The basic problem for the English language reader was not their message, nor their medium, but the fact that their mind’s processes were fashioned from language and grammar that was not English. It could be translated but poorly from the Russian Cyrillic and this was done by people who may not have been familiar with either of the languages.

It renders the texts of the times dry and unproductive and humour turns quickly to exasperation. You start not to care whether the electrification of the Donetsk Basin will be 45% more extensive in 1934 than in 1933. And once you lose that fine appreciation of cracking literary style, you might as well just sit and drink.

Of course the great rivals of the communists – the fascists – wrote as poorly. But there was at least a savagery and vile, sneering crassness that kept you reading. You may have been angry or offended, but you did not have to read statistics about electricity towers.

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