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  • Apropos of nothing, really: The Browder Boys

    Posted by Ginny on October 31st, 2020 (All posts by )

    Jay Nordlinger’s National Review article has stuck in my mind – an interesting family history of curious (in both senses) people and how complicated man and his loves and choices are. I know nothing about math and little about American communists, who seemed (and seem) to me quite foreign.

    But the Browders were broad in their abilities: perhaps the effect on of Russia and America, communism and western values, might draw observations, especially if readers are more familiar than I with their lives. Bill Browder “goes around the world campaigning for “Magnitsky acts” — laws in honor of the murdered lawyer” who had represented him, battling Putin who was behind Magnitsky’s persecution and death. His grandfather is probably not a familiar name today, but he represented the Communist Party in America for decades and was famous for what we may (I’m sure my parents who were more his contemporaries would) see as absurd, the concise argument: “Communism is 20th-century Americanism.” The generation between – three sons – were remarkable American mathematicians.

    The complexity of human nature? What we learn from our parents and what we believe and how we rebel? How remarkable talents are handed down and how some families are able to cultivate those talents? How math can deliver real answers and politics become fuzzy as consequences, empirical evidence, is ignored? Oh, well, at least this may entertain as we await Tuesday’s verdict on our culture – perhaps a temporary one but important nonetheless.

     

    11 Responses to “Apropos of nothing, really: The Browder Boys”

    1. Gringo Says:

      His grandfather … represented the Communist Party in America for decades and was famous for what we may (I’m sure my parents who were more his contemporaries would) see as absurd, the concise argument: “Communism is 20th-century Americanism.”

      This was part and parcel with Kremlin’s the Popular Front approach during the 1930’s. From what I have read of American Commies from the 1930-1945 era, a lot of them agreed with the 20th-century Americanism claim. When the party line changed after the end of WW2, Browder was out of a job. Which brings forth the question: did those American commies change their view about 20th-century Americanism when the Kremlin told them to change? Did that particular change in the party line prompt many to leave the party? My guess is, not many left because of that change.

      The Browder family has a most interesting history.

      Nordlinger points out that the Earl Browder and the Koch brothers both hailed from Wichita. Also from the Wichita area:Barack Obama’s mother. IIRC, she worked in an aircraft plant in Wichita during WW2.

    2. Mike K Says:

      Maybe the mathematician Browders shared a gene with Ted Kaczynski.

    3. miguel cervantes Says:

      interesting story, now a detail left out of the account, is bill browder worked for edmund safra, whose republic national bank became very heavily involved in post Soviet Russia, now in time safra was encouraged to sell to a certain party, and just two weeks after the sale, he died under mysterious circumstances relating with his nurse, a former green beret named edmund maher, no who was the interested party none other that hsbc, which also profited from the carve up of arthur andersen, enabled by andrew weissman, now bill browder was fine when berezovsky and a whole host of oligarchs were dispossessed of their funds, then the bell tolled for him, of course certain other parties, hired fusion gps, against browder, and they engaged in the same type of project as danchenko and galkina’s laundered rumor mongering by steele,

      there are other characters like gusteriev, who were in league with batsurina, for rosneft’s acquisition of his systema, who was the lawfirm handling the negotiation, none other that king and spaulding, that christopher ray is a senior partner, I’m convinced that most everyone in political and business life, in russia, is in thieves’ world ‘vory y vory’ but only certain figures are noted and sanctioned, wray as we know has enabled this russia travesty, which apparently involved the selling of a bloc of shares to china’s hna,

      now hsbc has been proven to be like the law firm in devils advocate involved in all sorts of skullduggery, financing al queda, laundering cartel monies, but oddly none of their executives were prosecuted and when it came to sentencing back in 2015, judge gleeson, chose a non prosecution order, curiously, at the time james comey was working as a monitor for hsbc, gleeson who made his name prosecuting john gotti in the 90s, along with his bureau colleague andrew weissman yes that judge gleeson accepted a fine, 150 million, which is a pittance just like the 100 million that banamex paid for laundering billions of dollars, before and after it became a subsidiary of citicorp. a year before that deal, the sainted robert mueller took a 50 k honoraria from banamex,

    4. miguel cervantes Says:

      I’ve become a little jaundiced on the post soviet project, yes there was political liberty, but there was no reckoning for the nomenklatura, except perhaps the figures involved in the 91 coup, many lower and midlevel bureaucrats became the oligarchs, this was as true in the ukraine under kuchma, the shock therapy sachs and summers recommended had a lot to do with building these people up, both kolomoisky and zylochevsky the key figures in burisma, were energy minister and local administrator in reverse order, the fate of the people, was soon very clear, hence the shade cast on capitalism, in general, for this was the only representation the average people in moscow or kiev or alma ata, with these retainers of nusurbayev, like the rakishev who is another governor minister, what are the odds, the siloviki, were the security bureaucrats, the lead figure of which is putin, but he’s nowhere near the only one, he was the wolf, the vor who fancies himself a czar, so he made an alliance with the orthodox church, the truth of what part he had in precipitating the second chechen war, is murky, accounts of the precipitating event in ryazan involve both chechen and siloviki counterparts, the former figured like our own adventure in iraq four years they would reap the whirlwind, that hasn’t been the case, but one could understand how they would think that.

    5. Jay Guevara Says:

      This was part and parcel with Kremlin’s the Popular Front approach during the 1930’s. From what I have read of American Commies from the 1930-1945 era, a lot of them agreed with the 20th-century Americanism claim. When the party line changed after the end of WW2, Browder was out of a job.

      I had a lengthy comment on this that apparently went to cyber-Valhalla, but Bella Dodd (a distaff version of Whitaker Chambers) details exactly this in her book “School of Darkness,” (particularly Ch. 13, a must-read, IMO, because it elucidates the origin of identity politics in America).

      Her book is available free at http://genus.cogia.net/.

    6. Jay Guevara Says:

      Note also she addresses a few paragraphs later how the CPUSA under Browder considered imperialism dead, but after his ouster the Party lurched to the other extreme, and began to castigate the US as the worst imperialist power (!).

    7. MCS Says:

      An interesting article. Three exceptional mathematicians and a particle physicist out of four brothers seems almost impossibly improbable, even if you assume a genetic basis. Inheritance just doesn’t work that neatly, especially with something so presumably complex.

      Passed over rather lightly was that Earl wasn’t just a Communist, he was a hard core Stalinist. I doubt that an equivalent adherence to Hitler would have been so minimized. It continued long past the time when anyone could plausibly claim ignorance of Stalin’s crimes. As always, it’s hard to reconcile such willful blindness with an apparently respectable intellect, yet it isn’t particularly rare.

      I’m all in favor of anything we can do to retard Putin’s regime, but I have to wonder of Browder and Magnitsky were on the side of the angels or just the loosing side in fight between two mobs.

    8. Miguel cervantes Says:

      Browder paid a game of chicken and magnitsky paid the price, now a little lnoen part of this act, ginned by future never trumper doyen julian glover weiss was it was a replacement to the helsinki accords if memory serves.

    9. Anonymous Says:

      Miguel Cervantes, Your stream of consciousness style without captalization, proper sentence structure, typo corrections, spelling and organization is unintelligible to me. Pardon my simple mind, but I really desire to follow your thoughts. Some of my problem is probably due to being unfamiliar with the names and context of many of your references.

    10. Sam L. Says:

      I am currently reading a fantasy novel, entitled “Sir Apropos of Nothing”, from Pocket Books. (2001)

    11. Anonymous Says:

      what do you want to unpack, kolomoisky and zylochevsky, are hunter’s pay masters, the former looted the largest bank in the ukraine to the tune of 6 billion, including the 1 billion that biden had dangled over the current government as leverage to ensure the firing of shokin,