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Feature Story February 20, 2003
 
Let ‘Em Send Me to the Bughouse Again!
By Dar Zhutayev Browse author
 
Page 5 of 7
 
Then, one warm summer night, I came to the AKM lair and, though we Maoists disclaim the evil and revisionist Trotskyite practice of entryism, I just wanted to have a good talk with some members and, what the hell, try and convert some of them to Maoism. So, after the meeting was over, we installed ourselves comfortably on a bench, opened a bottle of counterfeit vodka and I began: "The revisionist Trotskyite theory of permanent revolution is a load of wank. On the other hand, Chairman Mao's theory of continuous revolution is a glorious contribution... And this wasn't no friggin' deformed workers' state: a social-imperialist state-capitalist superpower, that's what it was. Now, concerning the Three Worlds Theory..." And they began nodding as wisely as a treeful of owls and commenting: "Wow, man, that's deep! This ...whaddayacallit ... state-imperialist social-capitalist superpower! And the Three Worlds Theory! Gee, that's cool!" The guy nodding especially wisely and agreeing with everything I was saying was a passing-by member of Dr. Limonov's National-Bolshevik Party and, by his own admission, a nazi.

Organizationally... The acronym AKM is deciphered as the "Vanguard of Red Youth" (Avangard Krasnoi Molodyozhi), but it coincides with another Russian acronym: "Modified Kalashnikov Submachine Gun" (Avtomat Kalashnikova Modifitsirovanniy). The AKM's rhetoric is full of such militaristic overtones: they're all regimented into "platoons," "companies" and the like, they have not chapter secretaries, but "platoon commanders", etc. It doesn't go beyond the rhetoric, though. A Ukrainian Leftist friend of mine once ran into my apartment steaming with rage. "I mean, just what do those FSB stooges, the AKM, think they are? Such an unashamed secret services provocation!" "Hey, man, hold on a sec," I said, "What makes you think they are FSB?" "Why, their stickers in the metro, announcing the exact date of their meetings, giving the full address of the headquarters and all. It's tantamount to saying 'You are most welcome to come see us on Lubyanka!'" And though this ultra-cautious foreigner has yet to learn a lot about our local free-an-easy Leftist ways, in a sense he was right. Anyone is free to walk into their headquarters and take part in the debates. There is very little accountability. The movement must be infiltrated to its ears. And they couldn't care less. They aren't existentialists for nothing.

I don't mean existentialist as in Jean-Paul Sartre. I mean existentialist as in "Do It!", "Ona Move!", "Too Drunk To Fuck" and so on. These are the real guiding principles of the movement and not any fancy frills written in their program like "the dictatorship of the proletariat" or even "Soviet patriotism." If their elder comrades find consolation in being uncouth trashy greasers and in their Tolkienesque nostalgia for the Blessed Realm of the Soviet Union, then the AKMers get their kicks by being spontaneous and acting on the spur of the moment. Hence the high percentage of punks, hence the counterfeit vodka, hence the anonymous Baltica-No.-9-stained sexual relationships, hence the style of their political work. Take this guy Alexander Shalimov who was walking to (or from -- I forget the details) the AKM headquarters after some rally in the fall of 2001 and spotted a Church of Scientology building on the way. "Fuck the bastards, this L. Ron Hubbard guy was a really mediocre sci-fi writer plus the Scientologists are a friggin' zombie cult and all that..." These or similar thoughts must have raced though his head as he hurled a bottle of Molotov cocktail into the window. He was convicted of hooliganism and is now serving a two-year sentence. His trial was a farce, he is undoubtedly a political prisoner and we demand his immediate release, and, come to think of it, the Church of Scientology is a friggin' zombie cult. But you get the picture. The AKM were also one of the most militant sections at the "Anticapitalism-2002" rally last fall. Nine members of the movement were arrested by OMON and two of them, including the recent bombing hero, Igor Fedorovich, were given a savage beating.


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