Saturday, January 23, 2016

Revival of ‘Enemy of the People’ and Other Odious Soviet Terms Threatens Russia, Nazaccent Warns

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 23 – The revival of odious Soviet terms like “enemy of the people” and the legitimation of them because of their use by Ramzan Kadyrov and others represents a threat to Russia because it promotes the kind of stereotypical thinking that will divide Russia and threaten its future, according to the Guild of Inter-Ethnic Journalism.

            “The reincarnation of [such] forgotten terms,” the editors of its media project. say, only encourages people to identify entire peoples as “’wild’” or “’venal,’” a trend that does nothing to promote “the consolidation of society.” Indeed, they say, “everyone loses” (

            The harshness of such expressions “is a sign of the building up of dissatisfaction, the inability to negotiate or to find a compromise. This is a dangerous place in which we in our history more than once have entered and … it undermined the entire world,” the specialists on ethnic issues continue.

            “Terms like ‘enemy of the people,’ ‘shame of the country,’ and others like them were in widespread use beginning in the 1920s until the middle of the last century.  They accompanied and to a certain extent justified the most horrific events connected with the self-destruction of our Russian nation: a civil war, political repressions and deportations.”

            Once people begin to call some of their fellow citizens “enemies” that means that “it isn’t necessary to speak with them but only destroy them.” And to the extent that happens, society very quickly “’matures’” to the point that it will be ready to view entire peoples as “’hostile’” and subject them to forced resettlement or make them into second class citizens.

            Any Chechen should be aware of this given that his nation was one of the 12 peoples of the USSR which were declared to be “’bad,’” the editors say.  And thus the question arises: Is this the only way to cope with the naturally occurring differences within Russian society? Or would it not be better to “leave these dangerous phrases on the shelf of history?”

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