The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse

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

a lie. And we didn't always manage even that, I'm afraid. But there is still no justification for our lack of Sakharov's courage. The arguments we made then on the need to preserve some scientific groundwork and some independently thinking scholars and scientists for the future, when a need for them would arise, today don't look very convincing. We should have protested openly against deception, untruth and violence.

Of course, our submissiveness and passivity could be explained in large part by fear of the all-encompassing grinder of the totalitarian system.

But nevertheless, the main root of evil is cowardice and slavish submission to fate. All those who kept silent and reconciled themselves to the situation are themselves to blame for the fact that they lived a significant portion of their lives in vain and that our country has turned into a country of missed opportunities. Repentance is necessary, not for the sake of punishment, as a ritual, but for self‐ purification, so that all of our souls can finally awaken. Otherwise we will remain blind forever, seeing nothing and understanding nothing....

Unfortunately, [the 28th Party Congress] missed the last opportunity to break with the past and revive the Party's moral authority. It assigned it [self] the role of the continuer of previous policy—perhaps not all of it, but its main components. And for me personally, this makes it impossible to remain in the Party any longer. As a scholar who tries to take nothing on faith, I can't live any longer in expectation of a communist miracle, closing my eyes to past and present realities.

It's time to stop swearing allegiance to the dogmas of the Marxist faith and to turn toward common sense, universal human experience and age-old moral precepts, which have never yet let people down. Aren't they the key to salvation and a way out of our impasse?


NOTES

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Oleg T. Bogomolov, a prominent economist, is director of the Institute of International Economic and Political Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a member of parliament.


25 Elite Privileges

BORIS YELTSIN

... The party leadership is obsequious, obedient, and unchanging. An intelligent, independent-minded official of the Central Committee is a combination of words so paradoxical that one's tongue cannot even utter them.

-303-

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