Those of us who lived in the USSR know what Tommy Robinson can expect in Belmarsh prison

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Commentary by Alexander Maistrovoy

Western elites have mastered the Soviet arsenal of repressions perfectly. The report stating that Tommy Robinson was transferred to a special closed prison Belmarsh in the South of London, which was described as “jihadi training camp”, has brought an ominous deja-vu to me.

Belmarsh Prison.

In the 1990s, we learned a gloomy story about N.

In USSR, N. was a dedicated Zionist and together with other Zionists and religious Jews he was trying to immigrate to Israel. However, unlike many others who were pressured into a cooperation with KGB (in no way we can blame them for that), N. stood steadfastly and uncompromisingly. And as the result KGB sent him not to a solitary cell in which Shcharansky was detained, but to a common one – together with criminals.

Day by day he was subject to violence – physical, verbal and sexual. N. survived an unprecedented humiliation and even many years after that in Israel he could not recover completely from the horror he had experienced. “The System” knew how to break a man.

Related: Sentenced to prison for journalism’: Tommy Robinson asks Trump for asylum, July 11, 2019

Modern pseudo-democratic regimes have learned the post-Stalinist Soviet arsenal of repressions perfectly. The first and foremost of these lessons is simple: it is not necessary to murder a person, especially in the name of the law. Murder would give them a halo of martyrdom. One should only deprive them of their will and instill fear in the hearts of their followers. This practice has been widely used against dissidents, nationalists, etc.

The second fundamental lesson is that the regime itself should not be tainted. The “dirty work”, wrote Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, should be done by “socially allied elements”. In the USSR, these were criminals who collaborated with the authorities and got privileged positions as the result of this.

In the case of Robinson, such role was assigned to “jihadists” in prisons. Thus, the authorities are not only relieved of any responsibility, but they can assert that any violence against “an enemy of the democracy” (“fascist”, “racist” etc.) is a spontaneous manifestation of indignation. Even if the person is not subject to violence, the very fact of being involved in such environment is an unambiguous hint to him and his supporters.

Anyway, nobody knows or will ever know. As we remember, the “far-right extremist” 35-year-old Kevin Crekhan, who made a joke by having left unfinished bacon on the threshold of the mosque of Bristol in 2016, died in prison under suspicious circumstances from a so-called “drug overdose” in 2018. These “mysterious deaths” are very familiar to everyone who lived in USSR.

Prison may have different functions. It can be a repressive apparatus in relation to some people and a place of training of “future cadres” in relation to others. And as Stalin liked to say, “Cadres decide everything”.

Modern “socially allied elements” are detained in privileged conditions — not only in England, but throughout the Western world, including Israel, where Palestinian terrorists live a luxury of a four-star hotel — with plenty of food, libraries and television, surrounded by their comrades, having the right to study through distant learning, entitled to regular visits of their relatives, etc. They can study the Quran, practice jihad sermons and maintain contact with the outside world. For “enemies of the nation” (once again, the term was widely used by Stalin) there are completely different conditions: obscurity, lack of any comfort and life in perpetual fear.

Use of prisons as a means of intimidating dissidents is not the only thing that the Western establishment has adopted from the Soviet repressive apparatus. Another powerful lever is informal social groups used to fight against “enemies of the nation” (today’s “fascists”, “racists”, “supremacists” and so on).

In my youth, in the mid-1980s, the so-called “Lyubertsy Squads” (named after the near Moscow city Lyubertsy, where they originated from) appeared in Moscow. These were well-organized groups of young men going in for hand-to-hand combat, boxing and martial arts. Well-coordinated and disciplined like wolf packs, they scoured the streets and public transport tracking down representatives of the informal youth culture — hippies, heavy metal music fans, punks, etc. Having found them, they beat them brutally. They had their own anthem, songs and uniform — wide plaid pants and leather jackets. In a short time, they reached far beyond the boundaries of Lyubertsy and Moscow in general. Everybody knew that they were supervised by KGB that used them to fight against “aliens to Soviet cultural elements”.

Today, in almost all Western countries you can discover militant “informal” groups that systematically engage in intimidation of opponents. In the USA these are, first of all, Antifa and the Black Life Matters. The mass violence at Berkeley was just a beginning. This was followed by a series of actions of intimidation. During the events in Charlottesville, even the reporter for New York Times Sheryl Gay Stolberg admitted that “Club-wielding ‘antifa’ beat white nationalists being led out of the park”.

In August last year, they even beat the supporter of Bernie Sanders, who came out to demonstrate against fascism with an American flag. The reason? “The US flag is a symbol of fascism.”

In October 2018, their victim was John David Rice-Cameron — the son of Susan Rice. The incident happened at Kavanaugh rally in Stanford University College.

In June 30, 2019 the conservative journalist editor of Quillette Andy Ngo and three civilians were assaulted with weapons by Antifa’s activists in Portland. It is not surprising that Ted Cruz requested to add Antifa to the list of terrorist organizations.

In Germany, local militants of Antifa organize periodic pogroms of the “enemies of progress”. Their last object was Drei Kastanien restaurant in Leipzig in January this year, where AfD (“Alternative For Germany”) activists liked to gather.

There are Muslim “Sharia patrols” in almost every western country that detain, search and demean everybody whom they don’t approve, like the Lyubertsy did. And, like the Lyubertsy, they receive poorly disguised support from the authorities and the establishment.

Streets of German cities are patrolled by Muslim bikers led by Marcel Kunst (now Mahmud Saddam) who was converted to Islam. Practically everywhere you can learn and hear about “Sharia police”: in Germany, Great Britain, New York, France, Sweden. They are presented by the media as an innocent and even praiseworthy initiative aimed at, firstly, strengthening people’s sense of security (Oh, My God!) and, secondly, promoting cultural enrichment. In the Soviet ideology it is named “strengthening of the ideals of communist society”. Socially allied elements have become an integral part of the “Apparatus”.

Can the people of the West change the situation? Yes, they can. There is still a window of opportunity. They can vote for the truly right-wing parties, go to demonstrations, like courageous people in Eastern Europe and the USSR did (and continue to do today in Russia), they can publish open letters, like dissidents did. But first of all one should understand and recognize the main thing: the current political system in the West is not democracy in general and, of course, not “liberal democracy” in Alexis de Tocqueville’s terms. This is a perverted cultural totalitarianism of a new type wrapped in beautiful slogans, using the pseudo-Soviet rhetoric and Soviet repression tools to intimidate anyone who dissents and doubts, turn them into “consumer plankton”.

The ideas of freedom, liberal values and democracy are entrusted to the militants of Antifa, BLM, “Sharia patrols” and “jihadists” of Belmarsh prison. Welcome to anti-utopia.

The author also wrote “Agony of Hercules or a Farewell to Democracy (Notes of a Stranger)”, available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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