Friday, December 4, 2020

The KGB's Plan for Destroying America

Yuri Alexandrovich Bezmenov was a KGB agent who defected to Canada in 1970. In 1984 he gave an interview in which he laid out what the KGB was actually doing in America:

Bezmenov made the point that the work of the KGB mainly does not involve espionage, despite what our popular culture may tell us. Most of the work, 85% of it, was "a slow process which we call either ideological subversion, active measures, or psychological warfare."

What does that mean? Bezmenov explained that the most striking thing about ideological subversion is that it happens in the open as a legitimate process. "You can see it with your own eyes," he said. The American media would be able to see it, if it just focused on it.
Bezmenov described active measures like this:
What it basically means is: to change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent that despite of the abundance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country.
I suppose this used to be trotted out all the time by far right characters upset about socialism. But maybe the hippies were just a red herring and the goal all along was Fox News.


Anonymous said...

Interesting. Arguments against?

* They collapsed before the USA.
* Russian intentions of this nature are widely known.
* People are dumb without help from sinister outside forces.
* The "strong, independent nation generates wealth --> every body moves there --> multiculturalism gets out of balance --> civil unrest --> collapse" pattern has happened a number of times throughout history, and hasn't needed any Russian help.

None of which is to say that they didn't see this and work to hasten events.

David said...

"The "strong, independent nation generates wealth --> every body moves there --> multiculturalism gets out of balance --> civil unrest --> collapse" pattern has happened a number of times throughout history""

For what it's worth, I can't think of any clear examples of this. Premodern empires like the Romans and the Ottomans were "multicultural" for most of their history and for centuries before their collapse, while a relatively unity of culture didn't keep Chinese empires from collapsing multiple times (only to be rebuilt, of course). Modern empires like the French and British collapsed before their home countries became multicultural in the way they are now.

There is a theory that Teotihuacan collapsed because of ethnic conflict in a capital that lots of peoples migrated to. But one example (and that only a theory among several) does not make a pattern demonstrated "throughout history."

G. Verloren said...


I share your sentiments, and would go on to suggest that it's actually easier to found counter examples.

The Venetian Republic was massively wealthy, had a large number of immigrants relative to its overall population, and was pretty broadly multicultural, and it achieved a sort of stability and prominence that few other societies on the Italian peninsula did that only waned in the face of fundamental economic shifts that made their Eastern Mediterranean trade network non-competitive with the new Atlantic trade system.

The Majapahit Empire was similarly wealthy, attractive to immigrants, and broadly multicultural, but its downfall was caused primarily by a series of problematic monarchs and civil wars combined with - once again, like Venice - changing economic patterns and a failure to adapt competitively to the new regional balance as Islamic merchants increasingly became the predominant force of trade in Nusantara. If anything, Majapahit might have benefited from more multiculturalism, not less, in that they were reflexively resistant to Islamic influences, which proved to be to their detriment as it made them a lot of enemies among their neighbors.

The Hanseatic League? Also declined due to failure to adapt to changing markets and political realities, not multiculturalism. Al-Andalus? Toppled not by its rather sweeping multiculturalism, but rather by the zealotry of the Reconquista and the ever popular problems of succession crises and political infighting. The British Empire? It certainly wasn't benevolence and tolerance towards other cultures that led to the sun setting upon their globe-spanning realm.

Multiculturalism really doesn't appear end nations - but stagnation, stubbornness, greed, war, and political instability absolutely do.

Anonymous said...

Good reasoning, gentlemen. Rather than getting hung up on the word "multiculturalism" (and using G. Verloren's words) I'll amend that step:

strong, independent nation generates wealth --> every body moves there --> "stagnation, stubbornness, greed, war, and political instability" --> civil unrest --> collapse

Regardless, the point was about Russia claiming to be a secret motive force behind broader historical trends.

G. Verloren said...


I mean, just because these things happen without Russian help doesn't mean the Russians weren't (or aren't still) helping them to happen.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, and I made that point in the original comment. It's just that the "sinister outside forces are doing this" is a common scapegoat (we use it over here in Asia too), and I wonder how much truth there is to it. If the sun is setting and you really wish for it to keep setting, and spread disinformation about it, and have your version of the KGB plot and scheme for it to happen, did you really contribute? Again, not so much arguing as wondering aloud.

szopen said...

Given what I know about history of my country, multiculturalism does not cause stagnation nor collapse - but it's additional source of conflict in times of struggles.

G. Verloren said...


That's probably a fair assessment, although I think one must also note that it is a source of additional strength and versatility in better times.

Maybe a decent comparison would be to crop diversity?

In lean times, it might be costly to try to maintain many different kinds of crops instead of focusing on just one which is the most efficient and will best prevent starvation - for example, potatoes alone can feed a nation of desperate people and keep them alive if necessary. But ideally you want much greater crop diversity - both for reasons of taste, and for reasons of nutrition. It leads to everyone being happier and healthier than they otherwise would be, and makes times of even modest prosperity even more prosperous.

Also, monocultures are inherently susceptible to dangers like blight, and can die off or become unviable with startling suddenness. Trying to rely on a single crop is never a good idea if you can at all avoid it, even if it is somewhat efficient.

David said...

Multiculturalism aside, I think Anonymous' original point has merit. Societies decline, or at least go through periods of internal division and weakness. It would be silly to blame the US' current dysfunction on the KGB. On the other hand, the KGB's understanding of what would happen in the US is remarkably accurate, almost uncanny. The USSR may have collapsed, but their analysts of the US were good at their jobs.