Matt Taibbi, Walter Kirn and Fyodor Dostoevsky Walk into a Bar

Nah, no punchline. In Mother Russia, joke make you. Taibbi and Kirn host a show called ‘America This Week’ on substack. Back on June 9th, the title of their discussion was “The Grand Inquisitor” by Fyodor Dostoevsky. It’s a stand-alone (more or less) short story at the beginning of The Brothers Karamazov. Yeah yeah, I know, I didn’t either. But some guys in my old office at Ft. Leavenworth probably did. Summarized summary: Dostoevsky explains the nearly inexplicable by imagining Torquemada in a conversation with Jesus Christ. The former mansplains to Jesus why the latter got it all wrong, and immorally so at that. I highly recommend reading the short story and listening to the discussion Walter and Matt have about that story. You might have to pay their fee. According to the discussants, Fyodor anticipated the Russian Revolution, or at least its fundamental justifications. The story does more than that. For those of you who would like to see a long-form explanation of propaganda of the deed, or of why the Faucies and Schwabs of the world are so flippant about killing lots and lots of folk, well — Dostoevsky.

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