Mirror, Mirror: ‘They’re All Bolsheviks, Now . . .’

It could be that Star Trek episode, you know the one. Evil Spock with the goatee. “Mirror, Mirror” (Season 2, Episode 33 for the geeks).

Instead here it is early 1921. A Politburo meeting. The topic? How to prevent a systemic collapse after excesses of dogmatically ideological government and economic policies. Ad hoc ‘interventions’ fail to stabilize the situation. Let’s listen in . . .

Henry Paulson’s Mirror Mirror


Nikolai Bukharin: Bernanke: You’ve seen the news. The interventions we implemented earlier such as Tukhachevsky’s smashing of the Tambov uprising such as Bear Stearns and the GSEs are not working to restore order. The sailor revolt in Kronstadt AIG situation is more systemic than we realize. Brutal suppression Our $85 billion bridge loan failed to stabilize the Party’s revolutionary control markets. The economy and our entire system is headed for a free fall if we don’t act now. We must do so and be seen to do so in a major way.

Aleksei Rykov: Paulson: We must act now. This is not how I would like us to operate in theory. Marx taught us that class revolution . . . We all here today remain in favor of unrelenting ideological struggle against class enemies deregulation and market forces. These are cards we are dealt. We must intervene now and seize the ‘commanding heights’ of the economy. We will stimulate regulatory and other incentives to allow market clearing forces to function at the krai local and soyuz Union levels.

We are calling this our New Economic Policy (NEP).

It’s a temporary measure, to signal stabilization to the peasants and workers financial markets. From the excesses of the recent years. We will nationalize those assets that are too big to fail allow others to control and allow primitive capitalization to occur people to feel safe in their mutual funds.

Evgeny Preobrazhensky Eric Cantor: No. We must continue to pursue the policies of market forces War Communism even more so now. Those polices if we don’t panic will work. Only market forces the State can effectively allocate seize control and end the liquidity crisis scissors crisis.

Lev Kamenev:Mitch McConnell: Exactly so. You are asking us to give you a blank check bourgeois freedom to the masses and force the burden onto the backs of the American people revolutionary consciousness. I tell you nationalization private markets are a betrayal in principle and in practice to superior State planning we already had in place under Alan Greespan War Communism.

We are in a crisis, no doubt. And we should act. But nationalization unfettered class retreat is not what is called for.

Grigory Zinoviev: Jim Bunning: When I picked up the morning paper, I thought for a minute we were living in America, not Moscow. I see that socialism capitalism is thriving here in the heart of the free market world revolution. The whole point of capitalism a dictatorship of the proletariat is to allow markets to function. Force individuals take responsibilities for their own actions. Especially if other people they don’t know (who are our friends) screw them crush all opposition to building socialism.

Lev Kamenev: Mitch McConnell: In the end, we are all Americans Party Members and we adhere to the rule of putting the American people first Party solidarity and ending factionalism. My friends Comrades, we must join together and act.

Chuck Schumer: Chuck Schumer: This is a somber moment.


  1. Anon says

    We take back the Ogreman moniker for Olberman – we’ve always thought play-on-name jokes were inherently weak, so forgive us for a tempory lapse in standards. The markets,

  2. Comment says

    It seems McCain’s clumsy suspension (but not really) gambit is an effort on his part to mimic Bush’s “let’s not play politics” schtick.

    It’s always very annoying when Bush does that because the MSM plays into his various narratives about being a plain speaking Texan etc.

    But it’s not really working for McCain – he just seems old like he can’t walk and chew gum

  3. Comment says

    The McCain campaign flubbed it telling people they were using Michael Steele as stand in random black guy to play Obama in debate prep. They should have said they were using Christie Whitman. That would have been more clever.

  4. Anon says

    What’s really makes Noam’s Scheiber’s manliness flinch so perfect is how self-cancelling it is, because he implicitly buries Obama with the same charge and he is supposed to be supporting Obama.

    In mant ways it’s a pefect encapsulation of the dilemmn of the liberal gelding in the latter Bush years – Ever criticism haunts. This is why they externalize their angst and worry about Russia and other things they can’t control

  5. Anon says

    Noam’s TNR thought bubble: “… ah yes that librarian thing …but I’m the bookish one. Not she! Maybe I could tutor her. Yeah, tutor her. I worked for Kaplan one summer. Has she read Thomas Mann? Bet she’s never even been to Venice.. Hmm unless you include the one in Vegas. Gotta read Roth’s new book.”

  6. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Our Liberal Manly Man is doubly confounded by Palin. The only fire arm he’s ever discharged is a super soaker in his college dorm back in the day. He’s never even touched an animal at a petting zoo.

    And deep inside, he knows that Palin at school was the kind of girl he would constantly and surreptitiously (he thinks) glance at in the library but never have the nerve to talk to, knowing ahead of time he would get turned down.

    Now, however, he revels in his superior cosmopolitan life experiences. Wassila indeed. Did he not drink apple beer at a Belgian ‘Friends of NATO Expansion’ conference?

    Oh wait. There she is again with that librarian thing going on. With guns. And kids. And he’s never even touched a snow mobile.

    Thank goodness all the women he knows thinks she’s a man . . .

  7. Anon says

    It would be interesting to see if someone challanged Noam on his Hillary manliness comment too see if they could bitch him into a retraction if he could be made to worry about the downside of what he seemd to be saying. Is he implying Hillary is not a woman? Is he being Tweety-like?
    Noam probably flinched when people threw fake punches at him growing up.

  8. Anon says

    Enter Liberal: Umm, er, ah … by manliness, uh …. I’m not being gender normative … uh I mean I am trying to be emphatic – not obnoxious in any sexist sense (spills coffee on shirt, looks for rag) Damm!. Look, what I mean – I guess I was joking, in a sense – in a limited sense.Damm. You know my Dad was a veteran and I supported the Surge – ANyway, back to what I mean by Manliness, I am tr

  9. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Re TNR

    How hilariously typical — agree whole heartedly. TNR’s flinch is out of Spinal Tap. One really does have to ask what color sky they see.

    Only the delusional actually will believe McCain’s political ineptitude somehow cedes fundamental Mojo to the Boy King. Momentum, yes. Mistakes, yes.

    But the rest? It is to laugh.

  10. Anon says

    TNR flinches after playing the ‘manliness’ card. Leo, YMMV by this is funny. Noam accuses McCain of basically lacking the big M. Then he wimps out and does the classic liberal flinch and has to qualify what he means by ‘manliness’ so no one misunderstands him and thinks he is being sexist or something.

  11. Anon says

    Right now this game of chicken is heading to a stress point. We read that Peloso & Co. plan to insist on GOP cover and a McCain yea vote in the Senate. Can it be? Unfortunately, we fear they will blink and just vote for the bailout and then, after playing ‘grown-up’, let the GOP demagogue them.

    We hope we are wrong – but we have too often heard Dems and liberals bargain away and fail to play the game.

  12. Comment says

    re Eli Lake – it would be interesting to study Lake’s brainwave scan from the beginning of Obama’s campaign to the point where he wrote that speculative/hopefull essay. Obama has both manipulated Lake and Lake has wanted to be maniulated – The truth lies somewhere in between it all.

    Kirkpatrick – it should be noted – rejected Lake’s POV shortly before he passed on

  13. Aldershot says

    “[Obama advisors] Clarke and Beers in effect were drawing on a time-honored tradition of foreign policy that goes back to the Gurkhas: finding proxies to fight an enemy. It was a tradition for America that found its apotheosis in the Reagan Doctrine of the 1980s, which was defined by Charles Krauthammer as “unashamed American support for anti-Communist revolution,” regardless of whether or not such support respected the sovereignty of communist states. It was a policy that manifested itself in U.S. support for the Nicaraguan Contras, Jonas Savimbi’s insurgency in Angola, and the Afghan mujahedin. In a sense, the Reagan doctrine was a full-throated rejection of the Carter era. It was Kirkpatrick’s Commentary essay put into practice. So here we arrive at the central irony of the charge that Obama will revive Carterism: The two most important architects of his counterterrorism policy came of age at the height of the Reagan Doctrine, and that thinking continues to inform their strategy.
    Clarke explains this as follows: “When you partner with people with unsavory records, it has to be consciously a temporary spate, partnering has to include fixing them, and they have to be genuinely willing to be fixed.” In fact, this is the key difference between the Reagan doctrine and the Petraeus-Obama brand of counterinsurgency–where the Reagan doctrine placed its emphasis on blowing up bridges, Petraeus and Obama want to build them. Their program depends on winning the allegiances of local populations–a goal undermined, over the long run, by brutal tactics.”
    -Eli Lake


  14. Comment says

    They are worried about some extremely black (but not black enough) helocopters. Irony of ironies, Obama will sell out the left.

  15. DrLeoStrauss says

    Seems four factors in play — please feel free to add to the list:

    (a) for Rs, not a little fear giving ‘the other side’ (nighmares of ACORN helping the ‘unknowns’ et al.) a blank cheque now;

    (b) even creatures of the Duma like getting their egos stroked, and after 8 years of public humiliation (not quite like having their wives/husbands treated as per Caligula), craven weaklings on both sides will make a stand when the roles are reversed, a shriveled Warlord et al. having to crawl to them;

    (c) constituent reaction to the bailout remains volatile and they face November, too; and

    (d) almost none of our elected officials understand basic economics, let alone finance.

    The ‘A’ team for the Administration is gone or worn down. What the Administration failed to do was forge some documents showing that the Chicoms were trying to buy American securities via a Nigerian front company soliciting Americans with emails to help them export a fortune.

    Everyone has had that spam and thus could relate to the nefarious nature of the threat. Those kinds of extra touches, lacking this time, might have given the ‘mushroom cloud’ narrative that extra umph.

  16. Comment says

    Leo – what do you make at out the two-tier (self aware, un self-aware but reacting) shock amomg Movement types regrading the rather standard dictatorial claims made in the bailout language? After all, don’t they want the energy to be in the executive.
    Are they fearful that Larry Sumers may soon be riding around in some Obama-copters>?

  17. Anon says

    It’s been noted on this blog that Al Franken has always been of questionable talent as a comic. We always thought he was mostly unfunny and pretty unsophesticated = Indeed, David Frum was well within his rights when he pointed this out in a review of Franken’s book. It was also noted that SNL – after a surprisingly well done Palin skit – returned to being unfunny attempt to retro-actively justify the former McCain fan club being shocked by McCain lies, So this revelation comes as no surprise:


  18. DrLeoStrauss says

    “This administration is asking for a $700 billion blank check to be put in the hands of Henry Paulson, a guy who totally missed this, and has been wrong about almost everything,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington. “It’s almost amazing they can do this with a straight face. There is clearly skepticism and anger at the idea that we’d give this money to these guys, no questions asked.”


  19. Comment says

    The Dems hit a nerve with executive comp – Kit Bond is always a genius – so we took note of his concern on Cramer that if we punish executives by nipping pay in exchange for welfare baleouts, they might lose incentive to save their companies.

    We guess the Dems will blink on this issue.

  20. DrLeoStrauss says

    On the way out to report to the Central Committee:

    Джозеф Кирнановский: Мы должны строить — как сказать это в русском языке ? — обесцененное окно.

    Joe Kiernan: We need to build, how to say it in Russian, a “discount window”?

    Красавица, Которая Делает деньги: Они создают беспрецедентный план национализировать командные высоты экономии !

    The Money Honey: They are creating an unprecedented plan to nationalize the commanding heights of the economy !

  21. Comment says

    Wouldn’t it be great if someone snuck the phrase “commanding heights” into Bush’s next speech. It’s easy to imagine Dubya liking that phrase and missing the allusion.

  22. Comment says

    Maybe the Kronstadt revolt was Lehman mgmt. squeezing over 2 billion in bonuses from Barclays

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