As the end of the “special military operation” (abbreviated: SMO), whatever it is conceived to be and whatever it could be, becomes even less likely, the Russian media increasingly, albeit in different ways and with different shades, hears one statement, presented as indisputable, which is akin to an accusation: the Bolsheviks and their offspring (the word “artificial” is often added), the Soviet Union are to blame for all the current troubles, in particular, for what happened to Ukraine and in Ukraine.
The argument goes that in the case of Ukraine, the Bolsheviks artificially, according to their party whim, that is, according to their erroneous ideas, which are also illusions, unnaturally united the proletarian Donbas, i.e. the Donetsk-Kryvyi Rih Republic, by abolishing it, and the rest of the peasant, i.e. farm regions, former provinces of pre-Soviet, imperial Russia. The motives or good intentions of the Bolsheviks were to make all these territories proletarian. In addition, they believed that the borders between the Soviet republics being created did not matter, they were temporary because soon, as a result of the world revolution, there would be one world Soviet republic. Yes, as a by-product, so to speak, a powerful Soviet Union emerged, but on a national principle, short–lived, which in the late 1980s - early 1990s (in 1991), the nationalists destroyed. What the President of the Russian Federation absolutely correctly said more than once.
There is a simple and crafty scheme or principle in these and similar arguments. To call any act, action at the creation or already during the existence of the USSR erroneous and allegedly conditioned by Marxist doctrinaire, implying or directly asserting that if it is erroneous, then de facto harmful or even criminal. Then, at best, they recognize some achievements of the USSR and immediately declare that they necessarily and, of course, had a downside, and, in the end, they turned into disastrous consequences for the country. Finally, they conclude by saying that it is by no means possible to return to the Soviet past, and even less so to take something from it now to solve problems, to move into the future. Never.
At the same time, when the situation requires it, they resort to other techniques, trying to present the USSR as just one of the forms of historical Russia (for example, on July 31 on Vesti FM radio around 10:45). No, the USSR differs from the so-called historical Russia, i.e. from tsarist Russia, and from the current Russia, post-Soviet and still anti-Soviet, in principle, both in form and content. After all, the USSR, as it was called and is still called in the West, was Soviet and communist Russia, seriously and for a long time a new world that opened for all peoples the way to a truly bright future – fair and humane. Thus, the slanderers of the USSR are trying to conflate imperial, pre-revolutionary Russia and the USSR. And, by conflating the two, they, perhaps without suspecting it, are doing the same as Western liberals, who try to put the USSR and fascist Germany, Stalin and Hitler. But the former is doing it in a different sense: supposedly, all the good and great that was in the USSR is not at all the result of the struggle for a new world for everyone and not the result of its heroic creation, but only a manifestation of some deep Russia, its deep and, of course, Orthodox spirit. Thus, slandering the USSR, they do not hesitate to attribute to themselves its achievements and merits.
Forced almost every day to remember positively the Soviet past, Soviet achievements, they always immediately stipulate that now the Soviet experience is not applicable, Soviet ideals and ideas, Soviet projects are no good, and we need to move forward. But at the same time, both they and the official authorities constantly parasitize on the Soviet past, on Soviet achievements, on – as they call it - nostalgia for the USSR, on the ineradicable memory of the USSR – be it victory in the Great Patriotic War, the world's first Soviet cosmonaut, the world's first atomic icebreaker, and much more, much more. Moreover, brazenly and shamelessly changing and renaming this Soviet past in favor of their interests, repainting and draping it, shamelessly falsifying it, as, say, in the case of Victory Day celebrations on May 9, committing one cynical forgery after another.
Thus, willingly or unwittingly, they joined all the past and modern Western and pro-Western homegrown slanderers of the USSR, including the opponents of the country. They joined all those who hate the USSR, even after more than three decades have passed since the moment when the Soviet Union was viciously and treacherously destroyed by criminal conspiracy, and, first of all, by those who, according to their position and according to their oath, had to preserve and protect it, who solemnly promised to lead it into communism, to all those who do not calm down in any way and continue to slander nightly and hourly – for a bribe or by conviction, but in any case not disinterestedly. Liberals and conservatives, centrists and radicals, right-wingers and even some leftists including self-styled Marxists, tirelessly replicate and voluptuously savor the terrifying "truth" about the USSR and about Soviet people, which was hidden from the world and from these people themselves, its communist rulers, while contemptuously calling these people "sovkami” that means owl.
They slander especially loudly and shamelessly whenever tragedies and catastrophes, troubles and misfortunes occur as a result of their own policies, their own actions, including as a result of past slander, explaining what happened not by their own miscalculations, mistakes and selfish intentions, but by the fact that the causes of what happened were laid back in the USSR. And the more absurd and illogical such explanations look, the more they contradict historical facts and just common sense, the more annoying and impudent they sound, and the more clearly they look like attempts of self-justification.
It would be a waste of time to try to prove something to them by citing irrefutable facts and arguments: they will always have a lot of seemingly convincing conclusions and impressive words. But the words are essentially the same, only invariably repeated in different variations, the meaning of which boils down to the fact that initially the "Soviet project" was a malicious communist utopia, and the Soviet Union was an unsuccessful attempt to implement it, which, as it seems to them, is obviously proved by the termination of its existence. It is equally useless to call for objectivity and simple honesty, to appeal to their conscience. But still there is something they have nothing to object to.
Slandering the Soviet Union, they are not able to offer anything better in return, they cannot present anything positive of their own, nothing that even remotely approached what was achieved in the USSR or at least in some way surpassed what was achieved. And there is no need to refer to the new Moskvich, a hypersonic missile, or the Crimean Bridge. After all, in most, if ultimately not in all cases, Russian technical and technological innovations are either the embodiment with some modernization of old Soviet developments and projects, the development of Soviet reserves, or borrowing foreign scientific and design ideas. In addition, it would be at least strange if a country that has been "reviving" for more than 30 years turned out to be unable to produce a single new mechanism or technology. But one has only to turn to the state of health care, education, science, culture, and the "social sphere", as failure after failure, catastrophe after catastrophe is found everywhere. It is enough to compare the Soviet and Russian pension system. In the USSR, men retired at 60 and women at 55, and those who worked in hazardous industries even earlier, and there was enough money in the state budget for pensions, and the pensions themselves, albeit small, were enough for life. Now, it is impossible to live on a modern minimum or average Russian pension. Except in a shelter for the homeless.
In conclusion, there are several, we are sure in advance, unanswered questions. When the Soviet Union existed, did those of you who lived then try to solve its problems, its shortcomings, make it better? And when it was gone, did you offer something better in return, ways and means of creating a fairer, more humane structure of society, and the world as a whole? Have you solved at least one of the problems that the Soviet Union has already solved? Have you fed those who can't work, given jobs to those who can, provided free education and healthcare, free housing, a decent, not impoverished old age, confidence in the future, achieved lasting peace, including in your own country? Have you corrected at least in your own way, or are you correcting the mistakes of the USSR and how, with what result? Have you managed to create anything even satisfactory in post-Soviet Russia in the sense of coexistence of people and their prosperity? Can you show some real positive experience, real achievements, and not just another modern Potemkin village?
Association "Soviet Union"
August 11, 2023