The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse

By Alexander Dallin; Gail W. Lapidus | Go to book overview

20 Are Our Principles
Any Good?

ALEKSANDR TSIPKO

... Time has no power over our Russian, Soviet "orthodox" [believers in Marxism]. At present, 73 years after the Revolution, they are convinced that the Marxist principles are good from all points of view.... At present even people standing in queues say that rejection of competition and of the market economy destroyed our economy and our country, that socialist monopoly production is a graveyard for advanced technologies and scientific-technical progress, that socialized property will always belong to no one, that theft and waste are caused by the absence of an owner, that no one is responsible for anything. But our philosophers and publicists prefer not to hear or see anything and insist that the Marxist theory of socializing the means of production is the truth. G. Lisichkin, O. Lacis, G. Vodolazov, A. Butenko, I. Kliamkin, N. Simonia and even G. Popov are trying to persuade their readers that mankind has thought of nothing more clever than the Marxist theory of socializing the means of production. Their chorus warns in unison not to reject Marx's theory but to follow it to the end, to make perestroika according to Marx.

At present, especially after the uprising against the Ceausescu dictatorship in Rumania and other, comparatively more peaceful, events in Eastern Europe, it would seem that it has to be admitted that everywhere and in all cases proletarian dictatorship, ruling communist party monopoly lead to totalitarianism or authoritarianism, and turns out to be a new cruel oppression of the individual and of the working class.... Stalinism, Rakosiism, Maoism, the Pol Pot regime, the Ceausescu family clique—that is only a short list of political monsters raised on the ideas of a socialist revolution. Communist ideology in its seventy years has given birth to so many more monsters than the old private property civilization could give rise to in three hundred years. But this striking fact is also neglected by the present Soviet "orthodox." They write in ecstasy how democratic and humane Marxism is, how it promises miracles of freedom and the ideological emancipation of the individual.

No doubt the policy of glasnost' and openness brought on by perestroika started and speeded up the process of de-Stalinization in Eastern Europe. But evidently the same democratic processes, common to all socialist countries, lead to unexpected, unpredictable ideological results in the USSR.... We do everything backward because of our fatal peculiarity. We associate de-Stalinization with a return to the Marxist ideas of October [1917], with a return to the "original truth."

-280-

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