The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse

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

draw the conclusion that the main and cardinal question in the debates now under way in the country is the question of recognizing or not recognizing the leading role of the Party and the working class in socialist construction, and hence in restructuring—needless to say, with all the theoretical and practical conclusions for politics, the economy and ideology that stem therefrom....

Today, the question of the role and place of socialist ideology has taken on a very acute form. Under the aegis of a moral and spiritual "cleansing," the authors of opportunistic constructs are eroding the boundaries and criteria of scientific ideology, manipulating openness, and propagating an extra-socialist pluralism, which objectively impedes restructuring in social consciousness. This is having an especially detrimental effect on young people, something that, I repeat, we higher-school instructors, schoolteachers and all those who deal with young people's problems are distinctly aware of. As M. S. Gorbachev said at the February plenary session of the CPSU Central Committee: "In the spiritual sphere as well, and perhaps in this sphere first of all, we must be guided by our Marxist-Leninist principles. Comrades, we must not forgo these principles under any pretexts."

We stand on this, and we will continue to do so. We have not received these principles as a gift: We have gained them through suffering at decisive turning points in the history of the fatherland.


NOTES

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nina Andreyeva, a Leningrad schoolteacher, emerged, in part thanks to this article, as a leading figure in the movement challenging Gorbachev's reforms.

1.
[The quotation is from Ye. K. Ligachev's report on education at the plenary session. See Current Digest of the Soviet Press, Vol. XL, No. 8, p. 11.]

23 The Tragedy of Centralism

ALEKSANDR PROKHANOV

For the second time in a century we are experiencing a tragedy of centralism. In the space of an hour the monarchy crumbled through the Party's efforts, and the empire rained down on our heads in a pile of shards. In the Civil War, in the crucible of a social utopia, and in the attempts to refashion elementary administrative structures across our vast expanses, we lost the aristocratic elite, a fragile,

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