(The ghosts of Chairman Mao and Josef Stalin sit and chat. They compare the success of Russia and of China in penetrating the West and its institutions since their deaths. The conversation gets heated - they become increasingly competitive.)
Stalin: (Raises glass) Here's to another thousand years, Comrade.
Mao: (Raises glass) Here's to another ten thousand years, Comrade.
Stalin: (Looking slightly suspicious) Ten thousand years of the Marxist-Leninist struggle against the bloody oppressor, I assume you mean?
Mao: Comrade... I mean, ten thousand years of spreading the message - spreading our message... I mean, of maintaining our influence over the more ignorant nations of this world. I mean... of convincing the Western powers that in the long term it is our formula for power, our formula for government that will win through and that will bring long term stability to this planet.
Stalin: When you say our message, our influence, our formula... you mean Russian-Chinese influence indeed, do you not?
Mao: No, Brother... Just Chinese influence. That is what counts these days. For your country is no longer the power it once was. Nor has it the influence it once had.
Stalin: (Red-faced - Suppressing his incipient anger) How can you claim this Comrade? My country is indeed a force to be reckoned with. You need only see how the businessmen, how the oligarchs have managed in the space of just a few years to build world class organisations that can take on the best companies that the West has to offer. Russia dominates the oil and gas markets, it is buying into Western multinationals... and a Russian even owns one of the top British football teams - Football is like an opiate to the people of the West. They are gripped by the game, they venerate their football stars. But there is more still - the media! One of our leading lights now owns the only London newspaper still in existence. You must accept that our influence in the West has grown and, more to the point, is growing stronger by the day.
Mao: But what is that compared to the Chinese influence over everything from food...
Stalin: (Angrily interrupts) Food? Food? What like, Chop Suey? Spare Ribs?
Mao: Sure beat potato dumplings.
Stalin: Outrageous! To think... Egg Fried Rice!What about our Russian Vodka? One of the most popular drinks in the Western world! You export nothing that so sozzles the heads of these lazy Westerners!
Mao: But anyway, Comrade... As I was saying before you rudely interrupt me... Our influence is from food - and not just food - through to the very tools utilised by the Western economies. From among our number there indeed came the mathematician that generated the models and formulae that the Western bankers used to bring upon themselves the now legendary credit crunch.
Mao: Indeed. A Chinaman produced the model that priced those fateful credit derivatives.
Stalin: I had no idea, Comrade.
Mao: And what is more... We dominate production of the computers on which the Westerners work and the mobile phones upon which they speak... And in leisure too, we are ahead also. We make the televisions on which they can idolise their celebrities, we produce the games consoles on which they play their shoot 'em up games. And even those computers serve a dual purpose - for leisure as well. Effectively, through technology, we control the means of production and the distribution of their pornography by which they can indulge their endless adoration of tits and bums and blow-jobs and sado-masochistic sex.
Stalin: Hardly something to shout about, Comrade.
Mao: No, Comrade. But it is simply what they choose to use these computers for, not what we choose to make them for. It is their problem not ours if we have even penetrated their sexual pursuits!
Stalin: Okay, I grasp your point there Comrade. China does indeed control the means of production and penetration in that sense.
Mao: You could even say that China controls the means of penetration and ejaculation.
Stalin: Maybe, Comrade. But what about in other areas of sex... What about the legendary Russian 'Honey-Traps', these beautiful Russian spies who continue to ensnare the Western officials and the business men with their captivating looks. In that respect we still control the means of seduction, copulation and ejaculation. And many, many of these people that we have penetrated in that respect are high-ranking indeed.
Stalin: Oh, yes. There are none who rank higher than some of the officials that we have ensnared. They are truly men of rank!
Mao: But surely, Comrade. Why, in this computer age, do you need to ensnare men who are ranking the highest using these 'Honey-Traps'? Surely you can ensnare them by technological means, can you not? For surely they are still ranking as highly when they are using technology as when they are out socialising at Annabel's or at Bouji's?
Stalin: You do indeed have a point there Comrade. A rank is as good in front of a computer screen as it is at Bouji's.
Mao: Indeed it is Comrade. And I believe that your beloved Russia has missed a trick there. If you truly wish to control the means of penetration of men of rank then you should invest more heavily in technology than you currently do.
Stalin: Okay for now, Chairman Comrade. I will take your point. More penetration through digitalisation.
Mao: Indeed and more penetration of high ranking men no less.
Stalin: Yes, you are wise in that respect, Comrade.
Mao: Thank you for your support, Comrade.
Stalin: (Looks sombre) Even if it is grudgingly offered.
Mao: (Shrugs) Hmm... no surprise there!
Stalin: (Standing up) Now if you'll excuse me, I am just off to haunt Comrade Putin.
Mao: Yes, Comrade?
Stalin: Yes, Comrade. He is clearly asleep at the wheel.... I need to inform him that technology...
Stalin: Yes, that technology is the opiate of the people.
Mao: Indeed, Comrade. Maybe you should inform him of that point.
Stalin: Yes... and that he ignores it at his peril.
Mao: Yes... Comrade. He does indeed.
Stalin: So... Dos vedanya, Comrade Mao
Mao: Ciao, Comrade Stalin.