Dmitrii Moor, Bolshevik cartoonist and propagandist (1883-1946)

My favorite Bolshevik propaganda artist of all time might be Dmitrii Orlov, better known as “Moor,” who was active in revolutionary struggles from 1905 through the Russian Civil War and World War II. His drawings are just so fucking hardcore. Readers of this blog will have seen some of his illustrations for the militant godless journal Bezbozhnik, as well as other assorted propaganda posters. Trotsky named him as one of the USSR’s finest young cartoonists.

In this post I’m just including some of the ones I like the most. No real rhyme or reason to it. Enjoy!

 tumblr_npzq00jK1g1ta0q7zo1_1280 IN_1134_B_l Плакаты СССР- Ты записался добровольцем? (Моор Д.) 1920 00-unknown-artist-the-golden-idol-of-the-lord-of-world-capitalism-1918-20 Плакаты СССР- Помоги. (Моор Д.) 1921 Continue reading

Spy vs. spy

Parvus & Harry Dexter White

Image: Richard Burton in the Cold War classic,
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, (1965)


Was Harry Dexter White an inverted Parvus?

Aleskandr Parvus, German imperial spy and prominent Marxist theoretician

Aleskandr Parvus, German imperial spy and prominent Marxist theoretician of permanent revolution

1. A German imperial agent planted into the highest echelons of Second International Marxism substantially contributes to Leon Trotsky‘s theory of permanent revolution and helps smuggle Vladimir Lenin out of Zurich into Russia following the February 1917 revolution, thus paving the way for the glorious October Revolution that same year.

Harry Dexter White

Harry Dexter White, Soviet spy and savior of the postwar US financial system at Bretton Woods

2. A Soviet double-agent planted in the highest echelons of the US financial establishment helps devise the Bretton Woods system, fastening international currency to the gold standard and thereby saving postwar capitalism from itself (until the rise of stagflation).

We must construct the Soviet dirigible fleet without delay

The struggle for lighter-
than-air dominance 

Image: “Let’s build a dirigible
fleet in the name of Lenin!”
Soviet agitprop poster (1928)


From an advertisement to appear on the text of a candy-wrapper:

The dirigible

The bourgeoisie come together
In order to separate us
But the Soviet dirigible
Flies along the border

Vladimir Maiakovskii
Moscow, 1923-1925

zeppelin zeppelin

Continue reading

Soviet board-games, 1920-1938

Games of revolution and industry 

Image: Reds and Whites, a war game!
A Soviet board-game from 1929.


It’s the 1920s. You’re a young revolutionary living in the newly-formed Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Now that the Allied Intervention’s been frustrated, and the reactionary White Army beaten back, the threat of counterrevolution seems to have momentarily subsided. All in all, it’s a good time to be a Marxist in old Muscovy.

There’s only one problem with this new arrangement: What to do with the free time you’re not spending locked in combat against the tsarists, yankees, and Huns? Sure, you’ve got a job at the local shoe factory. But war communism’s out, and the New Economic Program is in. It’s time to kick back and relax. Communism will be built soon enough.

Luckily, there’s a new product available to help pass the time. A.V. Kuklin’s come out with a whole batch of revolutionary board-games, featuring such riveting class-conscious titles as ElectrificationRevolutionReds vs. Whites, and Maneuvers: A Game for Young Pioneers [Soviet Boy Scouts]. Games for the whole family, even though the family form of property-relations must eventually be abolished. Let the capitalists have their Monopoly; let the imperialists play their Risk. I’ll stick to Modern War or Air Struggle.

Ages 8 and up?

My favorites among these include the “electrification” board-game, the chemical war game, and the Reds vs. the Whites game. You can tell that they reflect the immediate experience of devastating world war, revolution, and bloody civil war, followed by a project of social engineering and economic modernization the likes of which the world had never seen. The only other thing I’ll say is that, from an aesthetic perspective, one can see the change in the officially-sanctioned styles from the more avant-garde lines, shapes, and typography to the cartoon realism of caricatured figures in the Sots-art of the 1930s. Enjoy!

Models of Soviet avant-garde architecture

Some gorgeous models I found of Soviet avant-garde architecture (both realized and unrealized structures) designed by Australian students.

Iakov Chernikhov’s Principles of Modern Architecture (1930)

Browsing the Russian search engine Яндекс for information about Iakov Chernikhov, I came across an online copy of his 1930 book, Principles of Modern Architecture (Основы современной архитектуры). It’s free to browse in its entirety.