Friday, July 22, 2016

Tough Russian Anti-Capitalist Literature, a book review by Andre Vltchek

Sergei Minaev is a Russian author who has written a witty, provocative and thoroughly outrageous novel called “R.A.B. In his novel he describes how Russia gets taken over a corrupt Western neoliberal system. Andre Vltchek below gives an excellent review of his book.


Imagine Moscow being taken over by some international corporate cartel. By a monster which has its own factories and office buildings, security services, private prisons, re-education (‘training’) centers, and its obedient mass media outlets. Imagine that it also has detailed databases on almost everyone who really matters in the capital.

Imagine that human lives suddenly don’t matter. People are only expected to produce and consume; they become fully disposable.

Imagine that the once greatly educated Russia with its legendary artists and philosophers is gradually getting reduced to an unimaginably primitive level. Suddenly, there is US pop trash flying about everywhere, and the greatest entertainment for the masses comes from watching countless television ‘reality shows’, including those that graphically depict, candidly, how both men and women are shitting and pissing in the capital’s public toilets.

That’s what you get when reading a witty, provocative and thoroughly outrageous novel by Sergei Minaev, called “R.A.B.”; 521 pages of it!

In all his novels, including “Soulless”, “The Telki”, “Media Sapiens” and “R.A.B.”, Minaev masterfully depicts the perpetual crimes committed by corporate culture and its mainstream media.
Brutally and candidly he describes an apocalyptic society constructed on the soulless, merciless and murderous principles of the modern Western-style capitalist system.


In such a world, nothing is sacred anymore. The ‘elites’ are having great fun hunting on the outskirts of the city, not for some animals, but for homeless people living in abandoned pipelines (“R.A.B.”). A US mainstream television news channel, together with its local counterpart, manage to trigger a military conflict between Georgia and Russia, after hiring several combat helicopters and retired soldiers, killing real people, just in order to increase their ratings. And several terrorist attacks in Moscow are being paid for and staged by other big media conglomerates (“Media Sapiens”).

Minaev is not crying; he is definitely far from being a ‘bleeding heart’. He is tough and cynical. His characters are mostly ruthless super-yuppies from Moscow, go-getters, living a fast life, taking drugs, partying in luxury clubs, having sex literally with everything that moves (“Soulless”).

But they get burned, destroyed, brought to near suicide.

They have no ideology, no political views. They laugh at, they insult everything and everybody, but deep inside they are actually suffering from a horrible void, from emptiness. In those rare moments of honesty, they admit to each other and to themselves, that they are actually still longing for at least ‘something pure and decent’, uncorrupted by the global market-fundamentalist regime and its ‘values’ and ‘culture’.

[The Russian managers then start a rebellion]... They do it after their Russian toy-producing company (and other companies all over the city) gets swallowed by a US-based multi-national corporation, which immediately begins dismantling all social benefits, while injecting uncertainty and fear into the workplace. A multi-national also opens a horrid toy factory on the outskirts of Moscow, which then employs desperate immigrants from the Central Asian republics.

......Nothing is spared. When the US toy-producing corporation demands a special tax from its employees in Russia, for “helping out those poor children in the Third World”, the main character of R.A.B. thinks: “well, they can now use that money to buy coffins for children they employ and kill in Indonesia or Thailand”. When the tax goes slightly up, he comments: “now they will have enough funds to dig at least a few mass graves”.

No comments: