Saturday, November 30, 2019

Russia Must Overcome Bolshevik ‘Ideology of Death,’ Tsipko Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 26 – “The victory of the Bolshevik Marxists meant the coming to power in Russia of the ideology of death,” of the willingness to sacrifice tens of millions of lives in the pursuit of empty ideals, Aleksandr Tsipko says; and despite the end of the communist project in many respects, that ideology remains strong to this day.

            A major reason why Bolshevism triumphed in Russia, the senior economist and commentator argues, is that for Russians in contrast to the other countries of Europe human life was not so highly valued (

            Another reason for the Bolshevik victory is the fact that “the Russians were and up to now remain the most long-suffering people in Europe. The Stalinist repressions of the 1930s were the era of the victory of the main idea of communism, of the idea of death and enormous victims in the name of ‘the happy future of humanity.’”

            Tragically, this attitude continues in Russia, he argues. “To free oneself from communist totalitarianism, it isn’t enough to destroy the Soviet power machine of force over people. One must also drive out of their post-Soviet souls the satanic beauty of death which so attracted our great Lenin, rehabilitate the value of human life and condemn the crimes of the Bolsheviks.”

            And at the same time, Tsipko says, one must remember “the heroism of those who stood against this religion of death and struggle with the desire of our powers that be to kill their own population.”

            Unlike the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe, however, Russia does not have the will or “even the desire to condemn Soviet power which condemned to death and suffering millions of people.” That is why there is such a gap between the East Europeans who celebrate perestroika and the Russians who condemn it as the beginning of the end.

            In Russia today, Tsipko continues, “Gorbachev who brought freedom to the peoples of Eastern Europe is ‘a traitor’ not only for Gennady Zyuganov but also for Nikita Mikhalkov [and] the hero for present-day Russia is not Metropolitan Filipp who stood up against the oprichnina and the bestial cruelty of Ivan the Terrible but on the contrary the father of the oprichnina.”

            “No one in tsarist Russia would have risked putting up a monument to Ivan the Terrible,” Tsipko points out; “but in post-communist Russia, some governors consider it their responsibility to make his memory immortal.” 

            According to the commentator, “we have forgotten and do not want to know that Gorbachev’s perestroika which gave birth to the miracle of ‘the velvet revolution’ was above all a phenomenon of Russian history and testimony to the spiritual health of the Russian nation which had liberated itself from the despotic Soviet power.”

            In fact, Tsipko argues, “the first ‘velvet’ bloodless revolution from above occurred in the USSR a year earlier than in the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe.” Beginning from the end of 1988, “we in the USSR freed ourselves from the main constraints of the Bolshevik system but not unfortunately from the maximalist pursuit of death.

            “If one looks at the philosophy of present-day Russian patriotism, for which not only Gorbachev but even Khrushchev are traitors and Stalin is ‘a great statesman’ and ‘a reflection of deep Russian national consciousness,’ it becomes clear that the old Russian tradition of justifying evil is alive to this day” expressed by people like Aleksandr Prokhanov among others.

            And that means that Russia remains in a paradoxical situation: “The basic freedoms given to our people by perestroika have been preserved, but freedom in the country coexists with the enormous power of this satanic illness and this type of patriotism for which the most important thing is death and the capacity to sacrifice oneself in the name of a state idea.” 

            This is the real tragedy, Tsipko says. “Our people in their overwhelming majority do not recognize the senselessness of the communist experiment, that the sacrifice of the people and the deaths of millions did not lead to anything.”

            “In 1917,” he continues, “Russians began to destroy private property and capitalism, but in 1991, more than 70 years later, they began to revive the Russian property owner. Despite this, however, there did not arise at the same time an understanding that in fact we have no future if we do not become part of Europe, if we do not revive the value of human life, cultivate the values of humanism and of European culture.”
            Tsipko concludes by saying that “there is no alternative to these values which arose out of the Christian teaching ‘do not do unto others what you do not want done to you.’”

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