14 December 2020

"There will be no war..."

"There will be no war, but in the struggle for peace not a stone will be left standing."

A Russian joke from the 1950s, cited by John le CarrĂ© in A Legacy of Spies, which I just finished reading.   For those who read and enjoyed The Spy Who Came In From The Cold and the other Smiley novels, this is a well-crafted prequel.  For someone unfamiliar with those works, this would be a more difficult read.

Reposted from 2017 to note the passing of John le Carré.


  1. Here's a Russian joke from the sixties:
    Prague, 1968: It's 8:45 p.m. and the city's citizens are rushing home to beat the compulsory 9p.m. curfew. Two Russian soldiers are on patrol. Let's call them Stiven and Vlad.
    Suddenly, as one of the Czechs rushes by, Stiven raises his gun and shoots him dead. Vlad is shocked. "Stiven, why did you shoot him? It's 15 minutes before curfew." Stiven replies: "I know where he lives. He would never make it home in time."

  2. I recall another Russia (USSR) joke....

    A local communist leader was trying to convince a farmer of the beauties of communism.

    "If you had two houses, wouldn't you be willing to give your neighbor one of the houses?"


    "And if you had two cars, wouldn't you be willing to let your neighbor have one?"

    "Yes, I would."

    "Well, then, if you had two cows, wouldn't you be willing to give one to your neighbor?"

    "Absolutely not!"

    "What? But why?"

    "Because I have two cows."


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