The Communist Party of the Russian Federation: yesterday, today and tomorrow. On the threshold of elections
In the first part of the interview you have told that most of KPRF members resembled followers of some religion. So, what is their creed? After all, different things happen under the cover of KPRF. For example, it seems, that Lenin was replaced by Stalin in the role of the God the Son.
I think, one can’t say that Lenin has been replaced by Stalin. After all, this topic about “Stalinization” of the Communist Party smacks of Black PR of 1996 or attack of left radicals. I would rather share the opinion of Boris Kagarlitsky, who has said, that “if KPRF is a true Communist Party is will become a great step forward”, since it would force it to designate openly its ideological platform.
Some time ago among the left-wing young people there was a serious discussion of the Stalinism, Trotskyism, etc. In my opinion the most sensible idea was that there were neither Stalinism nor Trotskyism any more, since from the point of view of the modern, present situation their positions should agree.
Chief differences are in strategy and tactics of creation of a socialistic state, but not in performing a socialistic revolution. But then there are opportunists and revolutionaries. It is remarkable, that people who are the most ardent followers of Stalin, who walk with his portraits and so on - as a rule, they adhere just to the opportunistic opinion.
In spite of all negative things that happened at that time, Iosif Vissarionovich was a true staunch Marxist. Nowadays one can argue about his views, but they rested upon a strong theoretical basis of a professional revolutionary and building of the worldwide communist society was his goal. But his present admirers (I won’t have the heart to name them ‘followers’) turned him from the leader of the Communist party to the ‘founder of the Soviet State’, the main statist; and his advocates would be rather followers of Count Uvarov. For him Stalin is a person who has established a strong government, restored the state, and achieved an alliance with the religion. They don’t see the wood for the trees, the more so as none of them have read works of their cult figure.
“Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationality” - just this slogan is in ideological fashion now.
Yes, it is so, this triad is supported by the present power, Putin’s ideology follows just it. In the opinion of Putin, the reabiliattion of Stalin is based just on the opposition of Stalin and Trotsky. Stalin is supposedly a statist and Trotsky is a destroyer of the state system. Have you seen a film “Nine lives of Nestor Makhno”? There Trotsky conspires with the White forces t control the revolutionary movement in Ukraine. It’s totally ludicrous.
And Stalin, they say, was nearly a nationalist, a pious person - although it was absolutely alien to him. In contrast to Trotsky he was a pragmatic person, a realist and he understood quite well when one should attack and when one should quite the contrary wait. It was just that thing which predetermined his victory in the inner-Party struggle. It is well known that while this fight continued Stalin stood on quite a moderate position but as soon as the struggle was over, he realized much more radical left program than Trotskyites supposed. By the way, many present left-wing politicians inherited their dogmatism straight from Lev Davydovich and they suppose this to be their prowess and just this is the main impediment to creating an able, efficacious left party.
So, who remain in the pantheon of authoritative figures for KPRF? Marx, Engels? Lenin? Stalin?
On the whole all remain; but it seems, that there are the least of complaints to the last mentioned.
Some ‘fighters for Russian socialism’ consider that the West Marxism has been absolutely alien to us, that it has been designed to destroy Russia and has been thrown in Russia by the German Joint Staff on purpose to disturb Russian people. But wise Lenin and especially Stalin turned this alien theory in true Soviet Marxism-Leninism that became the core of the Russian state and allowed to keep the country and win everybody.
There are even sentences like “Where have you seen a word ‘Marxism’ in the name of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union? We are Communist Party, not Marxist one. We are Soviet communists but not something like visitant Marxists. Just Marxists with their economic theories have led the Soviet Union to the break-up. These obscurantists are the main support of the party apparatchiks, since they all can be easily manipulated”
There are a lot of violent among such lunatics. One can easily find them on a meeting: their eyes are sparkling, they always hold some anti-Semitic poster in their hands and they are greedily listening to the words of the leaders. Lately Young Communist Leaguers drive these lunatics away but they often complain of arbitrariness and it is easier to leave them alone.
There was quite a revealing case. There was in a circuit department of KPRF in Moscow a member of the Komsomol, now all the country knows him. Being an Armenian by origin, he was a staunch nationalist and anti-Semite; he is constantly vowing love and fidelity to Stalin. He was expelled from the Communist Youth Union for ‘views being incompatible with communist ones’. So, the party leadership appointed him at the position of... a secretary on the ideology of one of KPRF organisations. The astonished secretary of the State Committee of the Communist Youth Union asked for explanations and he was given a brilliant answer: “But he is an active guy, he is good in sticking leaflets”.
The older generation decide this contradiction very simply: the ideology is no object; if a person is active, obedient and doesn’t like the government - that’s enough, we’ll examine his views later.
Does KPRF consider itself to be a. successor of the C.P.S.U?
Yes, sure, it does.
But of what C.P.S.U. exactly? Of the very C.P.S.U., of the RSDRP (Russian Social Democrat Workers' Party) or of the C.P.S.U.(B.) (Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks)) of 1930-1950s?
The party activists mostly have a bent for the C.P.S.U.(B.) of the 30s and for the C.P.S.U of Brezhnev’s times. More radical and more left-wing members for the C.P.S.U. (B.), less ones for the C.P.S.U. But young people, certainly, identify themselves rather with the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks).
Do they acknowledge the decisions of the XХ-ХХII Congresses?
Yes, they do, but quite prudently. I guess, not all members know that there is an official decision concerning that issue. But it seems to me, that this decision was made before the elections of 1996 and it was a pre-election one.
The modern CPRF, being mostly a Brezhnev’s party, wants to become a Stalin’s one. It simply doesn’t understand what a Stalin’s party is, there are not such leaders.
And is there a difference? After all, reactionaries of Brezhnev’s times also were stalinists in one sense.
Stalin had a very strong Marxist basis, especially if to say about Stalin of the 30s. After all the Soviet Union worked on the mondial revolution right up to the Great Patriotic War and invention of the atomic bomb. Certainly, it was quite another fight than Trotskyists, who denied the possibility of establishment of socialism in one country, conceived. But the purpose of this struggle was obvious and united for all lefts. But in the Soviet Union of Brezhnev’s times the thesis on the mondial revolution was replaced by notions of national interests, of division of the spheres of interests, of the Socialist Camp, etc., a system of constraints and counterbalances was created; and it was absolutely not Stalin’s policy. Well, the present CPRF doesn’t understand this difference.