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A strange dissident : Alexander Zinoviev.

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Post 04 May 2009, 18:24
thekraken wrote:
I am reading in french Zinoviev's biography (1922-2006)

Is he related to the Zinoviev that worked closely with Lenin and briefly Stalin?

Welcome by the way.

No, he was another (true) Zinoviev. The political Zinoviev was in reality Grigori Ievseïevitch Radmylski.

Alexander Zinoviev is applauded here :

Beautiful days of May were saddened with the news about the death of A. Zinoviev – worldwide known scientist, writer-humorist and author of over 40 books. We are not going to see his appearance on TV screen any more, we will no longer read newspaper interviews, we will not read his new books. The official Channel 1 of the Russian television informed us very poorly about the fact that Zinoviev was expelled from the USSR for his satirical book "Yawning Heights", which ridiculed Brezhnev’s epoch. The TV Channel 1 informed us that Zinoviev lived many years in the West and that he returned to Russia after the "collapse of communism" where he taught at the university. The Head of Moscow State University Sadovnichev said the following: "Zinoviev left us a huge heritage, which must be studied". And that’s it. The TV station did not say anything about the main thing. It is the committed defender of the USSR who passed away. His judgmental statements bombarded lies of those gravediggers of the USSR who daily pour dirt and garbage onto our glorious and heroic history!

A. Zinoviev was a hot-tempered man, he was intolerant of any injustice. He went through numerous searches and delusions in his life. It is true that in his young years he happened to be a member of a group plotting Stalin’s assassination and only a miracle helped him escape arrest. Yes, indeed, he mischievously ridiculed the shortcomings of our society, for which he was forced abroad as a dissident. However, having lived in the West for over 20 years, A. Zinoviev became convinced about the cannibalistic nature of capitalist society and gave a lot of thought and appreciation to the great importance of the revolution of 1917 and the building of socialism in the USSR. He received the death of the USSR as a personal tragedy and used every opportunity to dismiss the system of lies, created by pseudo-democrats – the modern students of Goebbels.

In his last TV interview, shown in A. Pushkov’s program Postscript on TVC, A. Zinoviev gave the following sentence to Putin’s capitalist Russia: "The is no powerful Russia. It used to exist, but will never again. Never, nowhere and under no circumstances. They treated Russia with especially brutality. They killed Russia artificially. They were murdering her for a long time. They were murdering her because at one point she committed a grand revolutionary turnover. They were murdering her for fulfilling in the Soviet days something, which no one in history has done before."

The authorities wanted to present A. Zinoviev as anti-communist for his criticism of our shortfalls. However, this is what he said to the Russian followers of Reagan who called the USSR "the evil empire":

"-- One must be simply a cynical bastard to deny what was achieved in the Soviet period thanks to communism. Descendants who will conduct a more just evaluation of our days will be impressed with how much was achieved in the Soviet epoch. Our real communism has already played its great historic role and had a tremendous impact on the development of human evolution… Communism is young, it has been around for only about 70 plus years. Western Civilization exists many centuries. Historic time consists of centuries and millennia. Unfortunately, in a life of only one generation little can be done. I am categorically against considering our history as "black failure". Soviet history is difficult, tragic, horrifying, yet grandiose. Not everything in it was evil. There were great triumphs. People have not evaluated these triumphs properly yet, but this will happen. I do not look at the modern society as the one that abandoned the ideals. As a sociologist I claim: it could not have happened any other way."

One may ponder, why the modern liberals-democrats who studied in the Soviet schools and universities look at the USSR only through the "black glasses"? These ladies and gentlemen are a generation of greedy and selfish "golden youth", sons and daughters of their successful parents. They had every need met and every desire catered to them, this is why the revolutionary and socialist ideas were completely alien to them.

A. Zinoviev belongs to a different, a heroic generation. In front of the people of his generation and with their hands and their labour the most gigantic turnover in human history took place. Zinoviev could compare the USSR during the years of socialism and what came in its place after the demise.

A. Zinoviev was born to a poor peasant family with many children. As a youth, Zinoviev together with his father moved to Moscow where they lived in a constantly flooded basement. Later Zinoiev recalls: "The overall picture was: cold, hunger and abject poverty. This is why I had developed a negative view of the Soviet system from my early years." This is why he almost became a "terrorist". Nonetheless, Zinoviev successfully graduate from high-school and entered university. He went through the entire WWII as a tank-man and later as a pilot. Upon graduation he became a brilliant scientist.

It is fashionable to day to blame collectivization, which, supposedly, "destroyed the master-peasant". However, Zinoviev recalls asking his mother whether she would like to return to the individual cultivation. His mother responded with "No". Why? Zinoviev goes on in describing her reply: "Because despite of the hardship, which collectivization of peasants brought along, it freed the peasants from hard labour and from threat of starvation, which periodically used to hang over the villages before the revolution. Numerous new professions were developed in villages, as well as culture, and education. This is a stunning contradiction: material and other difficulties and opportunity to join great culture."

And how about "Stalin’s repressions", based on which today they are "formulating the weather", talking over and over about "The Gulag Archipelago" by Solzhenitsyn? A devout anti-communist Karaulov in a TV interview with Zinoviev quoted Solzhenitsyn’s 60-80 million repressed. The answer he received was as follows:

-- "The Gulag Archipelago" is a gross falsification of Soviet history. According to it, Stalin and the evildoers were on one side and the rest, the victims, on the other. As if there was no great revolution, no grandiose process. Yes, there were repressions and about 3 million people became their victims. Is this a small number? No, not a large one taking into consideration the occurrence of the grandiose revolution, which the West was fighting since its early days and did not stop the fight, not for a minute… Today the facts are falling through the cracks. However, take any one district and observe the changes, which took place. A certain number of people were repressed, but how many became teachers, doctors, scientists and officers? A large number compared with the number of repression victims. Hundred times larger!"

A. Zinoviev recollected the enthusiasm of the older generation, which he belonged to, and how different it was from the one, which bore the gravediggers of the USSR: "For me and my peers liberation from centuries-long slavery had a tremendous significance. We lived through a lot of things: horrific living conditions, arrests and hardship of the war. And yet, I would not trade my life in those days for any other life. Many millions of my peers in those days felt free and realized they were Citizens with a capital C. We gained tremendous knowledge; the entire country was studying. In those days Russia transitioned from the most illiterate into the most educated country. We were given access to the highest cultural achievements. This was our compensation for the poverty of our daily living. Our pants were ripped and patched, we wore no ties, but in our heads we carried something, which to us meant more than any treasures of the material world."

A. Zinoviev’s family is a vivid testimony to what the revolution gave people. He became a scientist, a professor, his older brother became the head of a factory, other siblings became engineers, one became a colonel and was about to become a general.

A. Zinoviev could recognize true communists: "Such true communist was my uncle. During the civil war he was a commissar of a military division, later – a party worker. While holding these responsible positions, all his life him and his family lived in one room and never asked for an apartment. All his life he wore one trench coat. My oldest brother was the same. He and his wife were given a tiny little apartment only when he became the head of a factory and a regional Soviet deputy. There were many people like them. I think our country survived mainly because there were such people."

In one of his books A. Zinoviev classifies the features of the Soviet society of the 1930s-50s in the following manner: "Communist social structure, created in Russian after the revolution of 1917, brought people collectivism, guaranteed satisfaction of their basic needs, opportunities to improve their life situation with the help of their own abilities, their own labour and decent behaviour in a collective. In the eternal debate: "To have or to be?" many millions of people preferred "to be" while being satisfied with only a minimal "to have". The Russians attempted to create a system of higher values, superior to the ones they called petty bourgeois and low. Among these values are moral and spiritual perfectionism, serving the collective, self-sacrifice in the name of the society, self-restriction and others. Many sincere followers of such system of values appeared. Thanks to them many historic heroic acts were accomplished and unprecedented results were achieved. A layer of educated and created personalities was formed who lived in material poverty, but read, thought, discussed and wrote. They did not strive for fame or career. They were satisfied with the reputation within their immediate circle."

In his interview to the paper "Rote Fahre" in 1991 A. Zinoviev said he was not a communist and that all his life he was an anti-Stalinist. However, now, being an elderly and mature man, he does not want to lie and speaks as a scientist and as a researcher. He appreciated Stalin’s leading role, among many areas, in collectivization industrialization and in the victory in the Great Patriotic War.

With all his life experience A. Zinoviev to a different evaluation of Stalin’s personality. When responding to the attempts of describing Stalin as some monster, Zinoviev used to say: "Almost everything written and said about Stalin is not true! The historic role is missing. Stalin was the greatest political and social activist of the 20th century, along with Lenin. If the 19th century was the century of Napoleon and Marx, the 20th century was a century of Lenin and Stalin."

As for the liberals’ favourite, Solzhenitsyn, Zinoviev responded: "Solzhenitsyn is a mediocre writer and as a thinker he is an absolute nothing…"

The image of A. Zinoviev, a true Intellectual, a Communist by spirit, a Soviet Citizen and Patriot will always live amongst the fighters for rebirth of the USSR.
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