December 20, 2005

Dasvedanya, Uruk-Hai

J.R.R. Tolkien always insisted that The Lord of the Rings triology was not an allegory about 20th Century Europe, but it may as well have been. It looks as if Uncle Joe Stalin tried to take a page straight out of Saruman's playbook:

Moscow archives show that in the mid-1920s Russia's top animal breeding scientist, Ilya Ivanov, was ordered to turn his skills from horse and animal work to the quest for a super-warrior.

According to Moscow newspapers, Stalin told the scientist: "I want a new invincible human being, insensitive to pain, resistant and indifferent about the quality of food they eat."

In 1926 the Politburo in Moscow passed the request to the Academy of Science with the order to build a "living war machine". The order came at a time when the Soviet Union was embarked on a crusade to turn the world upside down, with social engineering seen as a partner to industrialisation: new cities, architecture, and a new egalitarian society were being created.

Posted by Robert at December 20, 2005 11:21 AM | TrackBack

Foolish New World quadrupeds. LOTR has absolutely nothing to do with taking up arms to defend the values of the West. Nothing at all.

After all, when Aragorn tells you that Saruman represents the United States, I think the debate is finished.

Posted by: utron at December 20, 2005 12:25 PM

The legend of this remained in the USSR until its breakup in the early 90s. Rumor in Lithuania had it that the Spetznaz who invaded us in January 1991 were composed of orphans - wards of the state raised for military service and pshycologically conditioned to kill. There certainly were and are plenty of orphans in Russia, but the Russian Communists never were systematic enough at anything to pull that one off.

Posted by: John at December 21, 2005 10:59 AM

Stalin wanted " new invincible human being, insensitive to pain...indifferent about the quality of food they eat"

Sorry Uncle Joe, the Marines are American.

Posted by: Marvin at December 22, 2005 08:03 AM