Reprinted from Northstar Compass website http://www.northstarcompass.org/nsc0102/newssu.htm
At Last He Saw Clearly!
During the Cold War years, the enemies of the USSR widely utilized for "polluting the brains of people"
the writings of dissidents. Amongst them were books by Alexander Zinoviev, such as "Yellow Home,"
"Crisis of Communism," "Undertaking" - about 40 books and hundreds of articles. All of these, as if in a
crooked mirror, pictured Soviet Society in a deformed and unrecognizable manner. Dissident Alexander
Zinoviev laughed at and also heaped abuse and wrote in a very negative way about all the successes that
transpired in the USSR: Communist ideology, the CPSU, the Soviet economy, culture, living conditions, not
recognizing any successes or positive steps taken by the USSR. Of course all writings by these dissidents
were loudly cheered in the West and were used in order to undermine faith in socialism in people of left
orientation, purposely trying to instill deep crisis in the world communist movements. Here are just some
"pearls" from his last book called "Undertaking:" Our system of life is making people very unlucky, making them extremely
moody and worried," "this society is just a caricature of personal life and their work. They, the Soviet people are in
themselves different, strange and not normal." "Here everything is gray - all holidays, future, items, books, films,
successes. There are crisis and defeats, lawlessness, no happiness, no love, all hate etc., in short - everything..."
Of course in writings of this author-satirist he looks through his crooked mirror at life around him. Why is it that in Zinoviev's
outlook on life took such a turn when looking at the Soviet Union? Did he not see their cultural successes?
Zinoviev was born to a large peasant family and lived during the 1930's. After moving to Moscow they lived in an uncomfortable
basement apartment and this started the hate towards the Soviet system. He became a student and then organized an underground
terrorist group to plan the assassination of Stalin. He was arrested but was lucky that the Second World War started and he then
served in the tank corps, also as a fighter pilot. After the war he finished his university studies and he then became a Doctor of
Science in the realm of Logic. Because he continued his anti-Soviet activities, he was banished outside the borders of the USSR.
Was life in the Soviet Union so bad and horrific as A. Zinoviev wrote about during 1970's? Of course not! For over 70 years the
country became unrecognizable in its achievements in all spheres of life, making very gigantic steps forward. From a backward
country, living in practically feudalism; First World War destruction; the devastating civil war; then the horrendous destruction of
the Great Patriotic War and the cost in millions of the Soviet Union's best sons and daughters; the cold war; the arms race... the
Soviet Union and socialism became the savior of humanity. Education, culture, living conditions improved with each year. Workers
became engineers, teachers, doctors, artists, marshals of the Soviet Army and Air Force… all sorts of opportunities were open as
was the case with Zinoviev. All of these facts are masked and overlooked in these anti-Soviet books and socialism was made to
look like caricatures.
Were there reasons for some criticisms? Of course there were some shortages. The dialectical unity was fighting many enemies,
both internal and external.
What objective shortages became the stimulus for these dissidents? In spite of all the tremendous successes of the Soviet Union
state, it was impossible to solve all the problems and reach the standard of life in the leading capitalist countries who became rich
from World War II and their colonies while the Soviet people had to rebuild the devastation.
More capital outlays were needed but these had to go into the defense which was specifically
instigated by imperialism and the arms race, in order to weaken the development of the
economy of the USSR. This onslaught by Western Imperialism was meant to sow discord,
raise unobtainable expectations for the Soviet people. Thus the outlay of large capital into
construction was minimized, in spite of the greatest construction boom that any country of the
world had undergone. "Living conditions form attitudes."
The working class produced heroically for the population, but still it was not enough. There
were shortages to be sure, which were slowly being overcome. The desire to get better living
standards individually went into conflict with the overall plans for all of the society. This led to
some crime, robbery and also shady dealings by some section of the population, which in turn
started the careerists on their way up the ladder inside the CPSU which was not being
cleansed regularly as V.I. Lenin and J.V. Stalin demanded. These careerists managed to
usurp the leadership of the CPSU and this led to the disintegration of the USSR.
In order to put their personal needs above those of the country, these elements joined others
Zinoviev and other dissidents, seeing these revisionists making their way up the government ladder, made him blind to the progress,
enthusiasm and creative work of the masses.
In spite of all this, Zinoviev showed his love for the Motherland and, outside the borders of the USSR, he then characterized other
dissidents as: "These fighters for law and truth are not saints by no means! They are well paid with dollars from foreign
countries! They received money either in rubles or dollars!! Most of these dissidents that I worked with and met outside the
USSR were not normal. The dissident movement was a lucrative business." He especially is bitter towards these rabid
dissidents such as Sakharov, the "Great thinker?" This self-love was promoted by Western bourgeoisie in order to promote their
"genius" and thus these dissidents were given the green light to be even more outrageous in all of their writings. The more
outrageously they wrote, the more Western sources promoted them as "geniuses" and the more money they received!
When the counterrevolution took place, the curtain fell from his eyes and he started to see reality! This became a great surprise to
all those when Zinoviev called "perestroika" nothing but a "catastroika". And when Yeltsin came to power, A. Zinoviev took a
very good stand against his so-called "democracy" and "reforms."
I would like to show those people that read or agreed with any of the dissidents, what was written by Zinoviev now, after he visited
"I consider the Soviet period the best and the top summit of Russian history. Not being an apologist for communism, I
consider this period unbelievable. Generations will pass, the children will look at this period and not believe the
insurmountable obstacles that were overcome, the sheer magnitude of construction that took place and they shall not
believe that dedicated human efforts could have achieved this. Yes the great events were had, although there were
problems, there was sabotage, there was treason. In spite of all this, the colossal Soviet period is not matched in history."
A. Zinoviev now has become a defender of the Soviet Union. He told the newspaper reporters that "You should not spit at the
past, because if you do that, we cannot take not even one step forward!" He now is a Soviet patriot. He now never stops
proclaiming that "USSR - is my Motherland, I am a Soviet person!"
What transpired that changed this rabid anti-Soviet dissident? "Now I clearly see and Soviet people see as to what capitalism
has brought the people. It's practically slave labor and the loss of all the gains that were achieved under Socialism. All
this has now been seen by those who had a screen over their eyes."
The newspaper "Trud" had published this interview with former dissident Alexander Zinoviev. The newspaper asked Zinoviev
about his mother when she was working on a collective farm if she would like to quit the collective and have her own property.
She always said no. Why? Even with all of the problems at that time… she liked the progress, the standard of living, the happiness
and the culture of the population.
The correspondent asked why A. Zinoviev became an anti-Stalinist and found himself in jail. He replied that: "...there was no
system that I would have liked fully, but I now realize that under the Soviet system everyone had the equal opportunity to
reach his of her goal." Then he confessed that "Socialism is a system that is as good if not better than capitalism." As to the
question why he thinks that the Soviet system collapsed practically without a shot being fired, he replied: "It collapsed not
because it was weak internally but because of internal traitors in league with a mighty foreign foe. This collapse was
accepted without hardly a murmur because of the elite in the CPSU that sold out the interests of socialism. People to this
day do not understand that not only communism collapsed, but Russia collapsed as a country. Here is where the biggest
blow was given by world imperialism and internal enemies. Just look at the tempo of the loss of the population in Russia,
the terrible growth of unemployment, the growth of all narcotics and also alcoholism… there is taking place a moral and
intellectual death of the Soviet people - Russians in particular. This is the main aim of imperialism... the defeat of a
It is a fact that the main cause of anti-Communism of these dissidents was and is the so-called "repression," even though it is
now over 50 years that have passed. Zinoviev now hits this trump card of all of the present "democrats" at every opportunity that
is now available to him: "Regarding the so-called repressions... today, at 77 years of age. I feel, that, they were necessary
repressions of the enemies, because there was no other way to keep the country progressing with all these internal
enemies sabotaging politically and economically all the plans that were made for the benefit of the people. Let us look at
the present situation: millions of big and small robbers and traitors. Do you think that elements such as these present
robbers did not exist after the 1917 October revolution? There were echelons of them, all supported from inside and
outside by the enemies. Was not Trotsky a bitter enemy of the Soviet regime? Or Tukhachevsky? Was he not sick with
Bonapartism? If they were victorious over us there would not have been the 20s or 30s. In 1939 I was arrested. And they
were right to arrest me I was a terrorist. I feel now that Brezhnev was not too energetic and dedicated in his struggles with
all the dissidents. They were today's fifth column!"
Zinoviev's attitude to Stalin has also undergone a radical change, even though he was a rabid anti-Stalinist. As opposed to other
dissidents against the Soviet regime "I struggled against Stalin while he was alive. After Stalin's death I told my party
meeting that a dead Lion could be overthrown even by a Donkey. I immediately was then called a Stalinist. I never
concurred with Stalin's methods, correct as they were at that time. Let us just look at the terrible danger for the Soviet
Union beginning with the Great Patriotic War. Massive retreats were in order, millions of war prisoners. If there were no
Joseph Stalin, Moscow would have fallen. Millions of us would have been liquidated by fascism, and the rest would have
As to the question as to what he foresees for Russia, he said "I do not see a bright future now. The question is of life or death
of Russia and the Russian people. Our enemy is very strong, clever but has absolutely no conscience. Our total losses now
have already surpassed the losses in the Great Patriotic War(!!!) and the question is this, when are we going to realize the
truth and start the struggler for our resurrection?"
Is there anything else that we can expect? Zinoviev replied: "In life many things happen that are unpredictable. During the
last war, many times things looked hopeless and no light was seen at the end of the tunnel. But we did win a victory.
Everything depends of the will and courage to fight to the last. In this I see the chance of our people to struggle and live
and take our rightful place on this planet!"
The opening of the eyes and understanding of Alexander Zinoviev is a lesson for those who had a one-sided outlook on the Soviet
Union or the communist ideology. As was stated by Zinoviev: "We have to differentiate the objective and subjective points of
view - sometimes they tragically go apart, but in history everything depends on logic only!" From a fighter against the Soviet
State, A. Zinoviev has become a defender, and was able to see the objective meaning of the historical rising of the Soviet people,
the first to have a society of workers and peasants. Now he calls for a struggle to defend the working class from complete
We greet Alexander Zinoviev. 'We welcome him to our ranks!
May other former dissidents and their hangers-on also see the light of truth!
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Didn't Stalin murder mass numbers of people in order to stay in power? Are there still people who care what he tought? Can't we move on past authoritarianism?
Why post this article here? Its not news, its not local, and it doesn't contribute to the community. Do you think people read this stuff?
I will answer all of your questions one by one.
Question 1: Didn't Stalin murder mass numbers of people in order to stay in power? Answer: Contrary to what the McCarthyites, AnarchoMcCarthyites, Trotskyites, cold war liberals and Khrushchevites claim; the answer to this question is no and there?s solid evidence to back it up. For starts, read Mario Sousa?s ?Lies About the Soviet Union? at http://www.geocities.com/redcomrades/lies.html
for an excellent factual refutation of some of the ubiquitous lies told about the Soviet Union.
Question 2: Are there still people who care what he tought? Answer: Zinoviev was one of the most outspoken critics of Stalin. He wrote several books during the cold war ? to the delight of the bourgeois and fascists around the world ? condemning ?Stalinism?. After the USSR was overthrown, Zinoviev finally realized what a stooge he was for lackey imperialism and that the astonishing accomplishments of the USSR under guidance of Lenin and Stalin are the finest examples of the great things that Marxist-Leninist Socialism can do for humanity. This question is sheer arrogance or your part. There may not be very many people in your fake left circles, who care about what Zinoviev said, but there are millions of working people in the territories of the former USSR and around the world who do.
Question 3: Can't we move on past authoritarianism? Answer: Are you not being an authoritarian by labeling one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century as an ?authoritarian? to suit your political agenda? Who are you to try and dictate what working peoples? views of the USSR are?
Question 4: Why post this article here? Answer: This is supposed to be a place where people can freely express their views. Since most of the people who come here have been exposed to anti-Communism all their lives it is important that they see what Communists have to say about the USSR, Stalin, Lenin. It?s very arrogant and authoritarian of you to try and discourage workers from posting important facts about the USSR.
Question 5: Its not news, its not local, and it doesn't contribute to the community. Do you think people read this stuff? Answer: This is just more arrogance and authoritarianism on your part. Who says it?s not news? Who says it has to be local (there are all kinds of national and international affairs being discussed at this web site) and who are you to dictate what does and what doesn?t contribute to ?the community?? To me ?the communitiy? is the community of workers and our interests. It appears that, to you, ?the community? is a collection of elitist/opportunist fake leftists. As a worker,I will continue to express my views at this web site.
i'm not sure if you're the same person who always posts the copied and pasted mim notes articles, nevertheless the posting style is extremely similar in your choice to evade issues raised through name-calling and rhetoric or ignoring the issue all together.
re: answer # 3; whether you choose to recognize it or not stalin was authoritarian. the definition of authoritarian given by "the american heritage dictionary" is;
1. characterized by or favoring absolute obedience to authority, as against individual freedom: an authoritarian regime.
2. of, relating to, or expecting unquestioning obedience
the least you could do is accept it and excuse such behavior based on "historical neccesisity" or "defense". i'm sure stalin would agree.
re: answer #5; i don't think anyone has so far attempted to dictate the content of your posts nor the views of "working people" when criticizing your posts. if criticism should only be given by the privileged(ie. "who are you to ..."), how is it decided who is given such a right? what makes you presume that those responding to your accusations and posts are not working people themselves? and most importantly how would you define worker?
p.s. lotus, i'm pretty sure nobody does read this crap except for the people, unfortunately including myself, bored enough to attempt to create dialogue out of this futile pissing contest.
American heritage dictionary?s definition of the word authoritarian does not include the anarchist connotation of the word, which is bourgeois and generally understood - when used to describe an individual - to mean someone who lusts for power and authority. I reject the anarchist bourgeois connotation of the word and so if an anarchist calls Stalin an ?authoritarian? I have to disagree.
All authority, in the anarchist mindset, is bad ? even the anti-bourgeois kind that will destroy capitalism. According to these people the Workers State that ?withers away? into a stateless/classless society is bad because it used authority to oppress the bourgeois reactionaries!
Why should anyone care if bourgeois reactionaries are oppressed by the Workers State? Only the bourgeois reactionaries and their friends would care. And so there you have it; the anarchists are agents of the bourgeois reactionaries. (Lenin said that an anarchist is a bourgeois turned inside out. He was right!)
When someone tells me that my post, which is important to the working class, ?isn?t news, it?s not local, and it doesn't contribute to the community? that person is either a wannabe dictator or some kind of pig or both. AnarchoMcCarthyites are either snitches or bosses; they?re not workers.
Who is a worker? Look it up in your dictionary, fool. In the anarchoMcCarthyite world (la la land) everybody is a worker, even the police, the generals and the prez.
You sound like the same pseudointellectual anarchoMcCarthyite I had a debate with a few weeks ago over a statement by Lenin about the democratization of production. When you explain, as Lenin said, ?just what exactly is the democratization of production? I?ll be happy to explain why he was right. I have not evaded or ignored any issues; you just can?t handle the truth.
Now put your pink tutu on and go back over to anarchofakeleftnet.
i'm quite familiar with the lenin quote but could you offer any personal insight or historical evidence to back up such an accusation? if you can, please do. your name-calling has done nothing to strengthen your argument. please stick to the issues at hand.
i would love to hear your explanation justifying lenin's authoritarian undermining of the democratization of labor and socialism in progress of the workers collectives. i'm pretty sure we can handle it.
the problem with your definition of worker is that you place too much emphasis on the workingclass as an agency, while ignoring the fact that all of us are tied to wage exploitation to a varying degree and with varying interests. please don't get me wrong, i'm not ignoring the power it takes for the task of revolution and the importance of workingclass support, though it will take much more than the "dictatorship of the proletariat" to subvert the capitalist social relationship. creating a new form of capitalism supervised by bureaucrats is far from a positive example of socialism in practice, let alone communism.
p.s. is there anything wrong with pink tutus?
The ?democratization of production? was rejected by Lenin and the CCRCP. Why? It seems that the people who proposed it couldn?t explain exactly what it meant (and neither can you), which is a good enough reason to reject it. Unlike anarchists, Marxist-Leninists don?t have a fetish for fluffy names. All proposals before the ML CP Central Committee have to be clarified.
If you would explain exactly what ?the democratization of production? means I would be happy to take part in a discussion on whether or not the idea has any merit.
Show me where Lenin ?undermined? Socialism. Lenin made major contributions to the success of victory of the Socialist Revolution in Russia. It?s all a matter of record. You?re trying to rewrite history.
You say that "creating a new form of capitalism supervised by bureaucrats is far from a positive example of socialism in practice, let alone communism". This tells me a lot about your lack of an understanding of the history of the USSR.
Socialism was advancing by leaps and bounds in the USSR from 1917 until Stalin?s death. The slow restoration of capitalism in the USSR began when Khrushchev took over. Khrushchev purged the party of the ML elements and made major revisions to Marxism-Leninism. Khrushchev and his successors betrayed socialism in the USSR, turning into a state capitalist dictatorship with imperialistic tendencies.
You say the police, the generals of the armed forces and the president are all workers. I disagree. Why? If you are so alienated from the working class that you believe everyone is oppressed and that there are no distinctions between the working class and the boss class, then you are one goddamn stupid anarchoyanqui and I?m not going to waste my time trying to school you.
Stick to your pink tutu exhibitionism (fake left protests) and I?ll continue to defend Socialism. Some day, far off in the future, when the Socialist Revolution comes, if you?re still around and sporting your pink tutu, (if you aren't a full bird yuppie by then) the workers will laugh at you as hard as they laugh at you now.
I found the article very helpful. I have studied USSR history in depth (the real version not the capitalist fascist oligarch version). I had come to the same conclusions as Zinoviev and had wondered what the Soviet People thought. I know that they recently elected a majority of communist representatives to the Duma but these were removed Nazi style by fascists promoting US style "democracy". (Democracy for the few rich).
I also read of a poll by the All Russian Polling Service where they admit that only 23% of those polled said that they believed that Stalin had been a murderous dictator (as their schools and oligarch media spew to the applause of the fascist international). Also, the poll admited that 53% believed that Stalin was a great leader. These polls are funded and information controlled by the oligarch media so like US "polls" (showing that we love being serfs of oligarchs) I believe that this number was low.
People are not stupid. A great article on Stalin by a non-communist, anti-US fascist regime writer is at http://davesweb.cnchost.com/nwsltr38.html
Go into his website http://davesweb.cnchost.com
for incredible factual article on the US fascist state. Also, his book "Understanding the F-Word: American Fascism and the Politics of Illusion" deals with the Holocaust of 55 million members of the left in WWII and the real reason WWII was fought. (Deleted from oligarch version of history also).
the democratization of production was not an abstraction or a theory, it was an existing practice of the workers councils and organizational committees on many levels from peasant farming collectives to industrial factory councils to engineering committees. among others, in the early days of the revolution, lenin recognized the central role of councils in the revolution as organs of workingclass power and usurped the libertarian rhetoric of the movement to gain popular support(saying such things as; "the source of power is not a law previously discussed and passed by parliament, but the direct initiative of the masses from below, in their localities- outright 'seizure', to use a popular expression'. from lenin's selected works vol. VI pgs.27-28). within a year, between october 1917 and october 1918, the bolsheviks had passed measures not only limiting the power of the worker-managed councils but often making them illegal.
lenin's outlawing of the workers' councils/committees was a reaction to what was seen as a direct threat to the hegemony of the party and it's state-capitalist monopoly. instead of supporting the workers' bottom-up organization, the party forced the councils to submit to the vesenka aka supreme council of national economy. the vesenka was a centralized organization comprised of party bureaucrats and union officials. by august of the same year the vesenka became a state department. after this the constituent assembly comprised of bolsheviks, mensheviks, anarcho-syndicalists and social democrats was desolved in the interest of maintaining a monopoly of policy making and political representation.
the difference between the trade unions and autonomous workers' councils was based on a resolution, in april 1918, that the central role of the union was to 'apply all their efforts to raise the productivity of labor and consistently to create in factories and workshops the indespensible foundations of labor discipline' and full subordination to the government. along with the lengthening of work days, lenin, who previously denounced taylorism as 'the enslavement of man by the machine'(lenin's 'sochineniya, XVII, pgs. 247-248), now changed his tune to 'we must raise the question of piece work and apply it and test it in practice... we must at all costs adopt all that is valuable in the achievements of science and technology in this field... we must organize the teaching of the taylor system'. through his acceptance of taylorism and the hierchical organization and supervision of production lenin proposed 'today the revolution demands, in the interests of socialism, that the masses unquestioningly obey the single will of the leaders of the labor process(see my definition of "authoritarian" above)' (lenin's selected works vol. VII pgs. 340-342). lenin had no longer agreed that the production methods were inherently alienating, but what was solely important was whose ends the means of production were serving.
'socialism is nothing but state capitalist monopoly made to benefit the whole people' - lenin; the threatening catastrophe and how to fight it
i would love to go on further but my fingers are tired, so i'll end with this; the bolsheviks, through their arbitrary definitions, of worker, socialism, opportunism, etc. demonized and suppressed the very workers that made the revolution possible. it is said that 'those who only make revolution halfway merely dig their own graves', the russian experience is proof of this. let's recognize the mistakes of the past and move on.
You still haven?t described exactly what was/is meant by ?the democratization of production? and until you do your criticisms about how Lenin responded to the proposal are meaningless.
The truth is - and you have to admit this since you are an anarchist ? since you are against the Marxist principle of the workers seizing political power and exercising it in the form of a Workers State for the purpose of liberating the masses, it only follows that you?d be against everything Lenin and Stalin because they adhered to this principle.
In other words, you are against what Lenin and Stalin did because they made major contributions to the successful victory of Socialism in the Workers States of the USSR. Wherever the Workers State exists your mission is to destroy it. And wherever one existed in the past your mission is to defame it.
Since anarchism rejects the principles of scientific socialism, of Marxism-Leninism, it can play only a negative, reactionary, disruptive role in the struggle for socialism.
This is well illustrated by the activity of the (anarchist) Makhno Movement in Soviet Russia after the socialist revolution of November 1917. This was led by the Ukrainian anarchist Nestor Makhno (1899-1934), and from 1918 to 1921,
" ... fought ... the Red Army without respite".
(Daniel & Gabriel Cohn-Bendit: 'Obsolete Communism: The Left-wing Alternative'; London; 1968; p. 220).
" . . . the summer of 1921, when it was finally crushed by the Red Army". ((Daniel & Gabriel Cohn-Bendit: ibid.; p.220).
The Manifesto of the Insurrectional Makhnovite Army declared that the aim of the movement was the abolition of the Soviet state:
"Only by overthowing all governments, every representative of authority, by destroying all political, economic and authoritarian lies, wherever they are found, by destroying the state, . . . can we . . . advance. . . towards socialism"., (Manifesto of Insurrectional Makhnovite Army, in: Daniel & Gabriel Cohn-Bendit: ibid.; p. 222).
In August 1921, Makhno
" . . . was forced . . . to surrender to the Romanian authorities". ('Great Soviet Encyclopedia'; Volume 15; New York; 1974; p. 344).
Anarchism thus represents a reactionary anti-socialist political trend. It is
" ...a reflection of the petty-bourgeois protest against the development of large-scale capitalist production, which tended to ruin the petty-bourgeoisie, against the exploiting essence of the state, which safeguarded the interests of big capital".
(Preface to: Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels & Vladimir I. Lenin: op. cit.; p. 7).
and Engels bluntly depicts it as the creation of " . . . would-be great men who would like on the cheap to play an important role. It seems as if anarchism were specially made for this purpose".(Friedrich Engels: Letter to Johann Becker, 16 December 1882, in: Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels & Vladimir I. Lenin: ibid,; p. 170).
You say ?Let?s recognize the ?mistakes of the past? and ?move on??? So far all you?ve shown us is what a bourgeois reactionary you are.
Move on to what? Shall I now don a pink tutu and join your organization Tutu Nation? No way! The differences between anarchism and ML are irreconcilable. I will always expose anarchism for what it is ? a bourgeois, pseudo left trend and an impediment to the Socialist Revolution. Workers of the World Black, Brown and White, Unite!
the democratization of production, in simple terms, describes the bottom-up organization and decision making process of production and distribution by the workers themselves. a direct democracy applied to economics rather than politics, electing temporary officials accountable to workers councils for specific tasks. a similar description can be found in participatory economics.
therefore lenin's centralization of economic decision making, and acceptance of taylorism and the wage system, replicates the capitalist organization of production and stripped, the already organized, workers of their capabilities to dictate their own socialism.
your description of makhno and his army is quite correct in his intent to destroy the soviet state and states of all nations. his aim was to harness the present revolutionary spirit to follow it to it's logical conclusion, communism.
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