text > The Speech (critofiction)

In this text – assembled from fragments of speeches delivered by the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev – I replaced words and phrases that have been native to a particular ideological discourse. For instance the word “comrade” was substituted with “Ladies and Gentlemen,” “socialism” with “capitalism,” and so forth. The original sources are to be found in this footnote.[1]

 

 

 

The Speech
(from the series “Historical Leaders Edited by Contemporary History)

 

Dear comrades, friends and brothers, Ladies and Gentlemen,

An analysis of the world situation of the early teens of the twenty first century cannot but rise a sense of deep satisfaction and legitimate pride among all members of the great capitalist nations. Indeed, Ladies and Gentlemen, reality has greatly surpassed the boldest and most optimistic of predictions and expectations. In the past we used to say that history is working for capitalism. What we meant was that eventually mankind would consign socialism, communism, terrorism, and other “isms” to the dustbin of history and that capitalism and freedom would triumph. Today we can say that capitalism is working for history, because the rise and consolidation of freedom on a world-wide scale is the basic content of the contemporary historical process.

(APPLAUSE)

The history of the world capitalism has seen all sorts of trials. There were difficult times and critical situations. But capitalists have always courageously faced the attacks of the adversary, and have invariably won. That’s how it was, and that’s how it will be. And let no one doubt our common determinations to secure our profits and our people’s freedom, for we are fighting for a just cause. We have on our side the truth of the Gospel and our strength is financial co-operation and military cohesion.

There are a number of factors which make the march of capitalism unconquerable. Capitalism and freedom has won the minds of hundreds of millions of people and has thus become, to use Adam Smith’s expression, a mighty invisible hand, a hand, Ladies and Gentlemen, which is detachable at the wrist. There is no force on earth strong enough now, nor can there be, to halt the constantly growing urge of vast masses of people to see with their own eyes and, so to speak, “feel” on their own skin the cold touch of this hand – to see it not as before, only through our commercials and advertising, but in practice. There are no forces on earth now able to prevent the peoples of more and more countries from advancing to capitalism. There is yet another fact of prime importance. Yesterday hundreds of millions of people in Asia, Africa, and Latin America languished under the yoke of the so-called communist or socialist “liberators,” while today the picture is changing completely. Today large LED displays and electric billboards have been erected in every corner of the globe, in places which only a decade ago were immersed in poverty and degradation, providing most favorable conditions for an unprecedented expansion of our great goods and services.

(APPLAUSE)

Ladies and Gentlemen, all these years we have devoted unremitting attention to strengthening friendship and cooperation with other capitalist countries. Hand in hand with them we are building a new capitalist world, a world based on truly just and sincere relations between states. This, indeed, is the spirit in which our relations are shaping with the other countries of the capitalist world, among all – Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, China, Germany, Mongolia, Czech and Slovak Republics. Relations between states have been called international since olden days. But it is only in our time, in the capitalist world that they have truly became relations between people. Millions upon millions of customers take an immediate part in them, engaging through Google, Facebook, eBay, and Amazon, to name just a few channels of fraternity, in truly brotherly relations. That, Ladies and Gentlemen, is a fundamental gain of capitalism, and its great service to humanity.

(APPLAUS, CHANTING IN UNISON: “PRIVATIZE INTERNET NOW!”)

Far be it from us, Ladies and Gentlemen, to paint the picture of the present day capitalist world in exclusively radiant colors. Complications, too, occur in the development of our markets. The slow process of deregulation in some less advanced markets, the sluggish privatization of the public sphere and the health care, of correction and pension systems, and most importantly the problems involved in molding a truly universal capitalist consciousness – all of these cannot be achieved overnight. It takes time and tireless creative search to overcome those prejudices and misconceptions which some of our partners had inherited from their previous social orders. But it is essential to learn from each other, and together we can transform our people into responsible clients and passionate consumers of everyday life.

During the years of building democracy the capitalist countries gained diverse positive experience in privatizing production, management and public services. For example, we know how skillful the work of agricultural corporations and enterprises is organized in Hungary, and what valuable experience Romanian private owners have gained in rationalizing production, cutting up costs, raising efficiency, eliminating subsidies and price control, establishing free exchange rates. There are many interesting and valuable points in the experience of many other countries, for instance the privatization of the social security and pension system in Chile. At present our Polish partners show good examples of flexible neoliberal capitalism by introducing a unique form of labor discipline which is self-regulatory, self-auditing, and which, in addition, disengages the worker from his or her social context.

(STORMY, PROLONGED APPLAUSE. CHANTING IN UNISON: “DEREGULATION!” “FREE TRADE AND FREE MARKET! PRIVATIZE SOCIAL SECURITY, EDUCATION, CORRECTION AND HEALTH CARE!”)

The range of our cooperation extends to more and more spheres. One example is the War on Terror program. Politicians, secret agents, solders and policemen from partnered markets are performing a tremendously important political mission securing our markets and the interests of our clients. So allow me, form this rostrum, to extend cordial greetings to those brave sons of the capitalist countries that have devoted the best years of their lives working for prisons, detention camps, and interrogation centers. To those who have invented new methods and techniques of spreading freedom and democracy.

(APPLAUSE)

We must all learn from our partners’ experiences, Ladies and Gentlemen, because this is capitalism and democracy in action. We understand and approve of such a stand, for all of us gathered here have a stake in the market. But the benefit of augmenting each other’s market potential is certainly not confined to the purely commercial field and we must also be in favor of expanding economic and financial relations with the non-democratic countries. That, by the way, is a factor that stabilizes international relations. We are compelled to take account of the policy of some states which remain hostile to freedom and democracy. Not infrequently they try to use economic ties with us as a means of political and economic pressure. Some of their recent political and financial actions has lead to a series of failures in some of our most important businesses, to the devaluation of some of our most advantageous stock portfolios and to instability in certain markets, above all in that of energy and natural resources. The slowing down of the processes of democratization and the attempts to resist our war on terror are no small burden for us as well.

The terrorists and their accomplices are systematically conducting hostile campaigns against the democratic countries. They malign and distort everything that goes on in them. For them the main thing is to turn people against capitalism, democracy, and freedom. Recent events have shown again and again that our opponents are learning from their defeats. Their actions against the capitalist countries are increasingly refined and treacherous. In addition to terrorist subversive activity there are mistakes and miscalculations in home policy, which have recently stimulated the emergence of locally bread elements hostile to democracy and freedom. But we are working on this, Ladies and Gentlemen, and I can assure all of you from this rostrum that both the local and the foreign enemies of freedom will be sooner or later held accountable for their treacherous acts.

(APPLAUSE)

Capitalism, Ladies and Gentlemen is sure to win the economic competition with terrorism. Our industrial and financial output today amounts to more that 80 per cent of terrorist output. Here are the relevant figures for the more important items for 2006 (a preliminary estimate):

 

PowerPoint Presentation

Ladies and Gentlemen, these are portentous figures and staggering indexes! I would remind you that a mere two or three centuries ago the capitalist industrial output was less that 90 percent that of the terrorists. At the present time our industrial and financial output has already outstripped that of the terrorist countries in the extraction of iron ore, and coal, the production of sugar, of prefabricated concrete elements, tracks and bulldozers, sawn timber, woolen textiles, dog perfume, iPods, cellular phones, automobiles, laptops, sugar substitute, butter, fish, GPS navigators, external hard drives and video cards, Energizers bunnies, Ninja spinning blades and remote control zombies, to name only some of the most successful products and services.

One thus should look at the entire scene of the battle, on the scene of our great offensive, and see the victory. Let me ask you now: who is the winner, and who is the looser, in this global offensive of capitalism? We and our consumers are the winners! And who are the losers? The terrorists are the looser!

(STORMY, PROLONGED APPLAUSE. THUNDEROUS CHEERS. CHANTING: LOOSERS! LOOSERS!)

Facts are stubborn things. The facts of our successes in capitalism expansion are known to the whole world and cannot be obscured or denied. A particular example is our beer industry, which assumes today exceptional importance. In twenty years its output will rise about 17-fold, coupled with a broad enlargement of the range of other beverages.

(APPLAUSE)

It will be useful to recall how Mickey Mouse, one of our sources of inspiration, described the process of the world capitalist revolution and the forces involved in it: “Hey bartender,” he said, “this beer has no foam!” Such was the case in Mr. Mouse’s time, when entrepreneurs used fruits, honey, numerous types of plants, spices and other substances as a basic starch source. The lack of genuine brewing material, facilities and of proper tapping equipment led to foamless beer, causing distress among the masses leading often to social unrest and revolutions. Today the global beer manufactory industry, which has learned the lesson of history, is equipped with sound knowledge and the most up-to-date machinery. They have done much good work in our country, and will do much more, inspired by the great plans of capitalist expansion.

The ideologists of terrorism, and their followers, go to great pain to misrepresent the taste of our beer. This falsification has a definite purpose – to mislead their people, to divert them from fully enjoying life, to hitch them to the terrorist bandwagon, to create the impression that terrorism is not in its death-throes, but is creeping into the future through a sort of deliberate “evolution.” But no amount of lies is able to hide from the peoples the great taste of beer produced under capitalism, and the terrorist leaders must know that they will soon slip into the garbage can of history.

(APPLAUSE, CHANTING: PRIVATIZE HISTORY!)

We Capitalists who draw upon the great teachings of Oswald Rabbit and Mickey Mouse, upon the Rabbit-Mouse scientific doctrine, say: No, You filthy commy bastards, No! You dirty terrorists! The true progress of society is ensured not by the laws of history but by a bunch of fly agarics, by a fungus, Ladies and Gentlemen, which gratifies people’s passions and wishes for goods, services and the clothes of Heaven. We shout in their unshaven faces: Steeper us there is no one! This is accurate! All, hence! We do not live on concepts alone, and on the foehn. No to botayu, we must give to drink beer under sad songs about Magadan played on the iPod or from the guitar and films about bratvu. We love the radio. Of shanson, we live on the concepts! What will produce you for me, [g]#####?!

(APPLAUSE)

Hey, the uncle of roofing, singing KA to me about the thievish portion of your filthy terrorist beliefs! Yes about the vezuchikh koreshey, that are sported on the wheels of our four-wheel drive SUVs. You did spoil the air or this is smell from your mouth? If the second, then not must it be better to sing to then… There is any of blatnyak? Toss up cassettes, CDs and Blue Ray. Listen to KA. Anything such that it is straight it would take as the soul. But, in the machine of kasety, agreeably somehow then another time. What zhuk still wanted to ask… Pancake, forgot now! KA! KA! KA!

(STORMY, PROLONGED APPLAUSE. THE AUDINECE IS CHANTING IN UNISON KA! KA! KA!)

The strength of our agenda lies in examining capitalism exhaustively as a system of universal equality and justice, as a system capable of unprecedented growth of the productive and consumer forces. In the capitalist society science and technology will furnish man with unparalleled means of dominating nature – that great whore…

(APPLAUSE, CHANTING: “DOWN WITH NATURE!”)

…thank you, thank you – and the treasures of human culture will  become part and parcels of the life of every consumer. The people living in such a society will, naturally possess high moral qualities.

We shall come, Ladies and Gentlemen to the complete victory of capitalism!

(STORMY, PROLONGED APPLAUSE.)

Honor and glory to capitalists, courageous fighters for the consumers’ cause!

(APPLAUSE)

Long Live Capitalism!

(APPLAUSE)

Long Live Capital!

(APPLAUSE)

 

Octavian Esanu, 2008

 


[1] Leonid Ilich Brezhnev, “Report of the Central Committee of the CPSU to the XXVI Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Immediate Tasks of the Party in Home and Foreign Policy,” (Moscow, Novosti Press Agency, 1981).
———, “The CPSU in the Struggle for Unity of All Revolutionary and Peace Forces” (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975). Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev, “Socialism and Communism: Selected Passages, 1956-63” (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1963).