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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Dissent Over Zyuganov

During his pre-election campaign speeches, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov has more than once expressed his imperial displeasure with the news media. He says that their coverage of his campaign is not being carried out the way it should be. He is already beginning to seem like a party apparatchik from the Communist period of stagnation who is used to giving orders to the press. Just think: Not all newspapers -- such as Sovietskaya Rossia, which is headed by the Communist Party Central Committee member Valentin Chikin -- are extolling the "country's chief communist." It turns out that there are people who find fault with and express their doubts about the activities and moral qualities of the pretender to the Russian throne.

It is not hard to guess what will happen to the free press in Russia if Zyuganov becomes president. Meanwhile, the Communist leader should be thanking newspapers and television for supporting the myths that this functionary of the old Brezhnev school is foisting on the people. In fact, journalists are committing a grave sin by calling Zyuganov and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation "communist." In fact, not by his philosophical views or by his convictions can this doctor of sciences be said to be communist.

At a recent conference of leftist parties, many spoke about the eclecticism of the Russian Communist Party. The party could be just as easily described as social democratic as national socialist or Christian democratic. Professor Boris Slavin, member of the editorial board of Pravda, very much considers him to be a pure opportunist, since the Communist leader is constantly trying to "improve on" Marxism. For example, Zyuganov has called an end to class analysis and the class struggle. This means coming to terms with the existing regime. He has spoken about the "Russia's limits of toleration for revolution being exhausted," but there are and can be no such limits. When the Russian people are brought to rise in revolt out of discontent, they will not be asking Zyuganov about limits.

After hearing such an anti-scientific passage from the Communist leader, I would also like to ask the neophyte whether there are limits to the war in Chechnya. The philosopher Zyuganov has renounced militant atheism. His Russian Communist Party can now be joined by believers of all confessions. This is idiocy. The main thing for Marxists is appealing to the people to fight for the establishment of Soviet power, whereas for preachers, it is to reconcile themselves to the existing order.

It should be noted that all these new ideas that have been put forward by Zyuganov have one way or another entered the Russian Communist Party program, only two years after the party was created. And this is not by chance.

From its inception, the Russian Communist Party sprang from former party and state functionaries -- a group of managers which, after Yeltsin forbade the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1991, spread out into commercial firms and banks and headed stock companies. They thus gained control over public property and made it private, and became pure capitalists. Naturally, after saving up some money, they began to think about returning to power.

Hence, Zyuganov's calls to support the new bourgeoisie. People are right in thinking the Russian Communist Party and its members are not communists but rather social democrats, national socialists or Christian democrats. This is why the left parties talk about the Russian Communist Party as the party of nomenklatura revenge, in which ordinary members are considered pawns in a big game. But the Russian Communist Party kings are counting on these pawns.

In fact, the most striking thing about Zyuganov's pre-election platform is its populism. According to Communist Party First Secretary Viktor Tyulkin, it is a modified program of Yeltsin's political and economic course. At one time, Zyuganov talked about how harmful the post of presidency is for Russia and how it did not correspond to the Russian people's ideas of collectivism. Now the presidential candidate does not even hint about it. Moreover, he recently proposed that Yeltsin restore the position of vice president which had earlier been abolished. This is clearly an attempt of this defender of the people to increase his own future power.

Given the economic collapse of the country, Zyuganov's assurances of providing free medical care and education sound almost like they are mocking an unenlightened electorate. His promises, however, will never reach the majority of the population. Many believe that if the "communist Zyuganov" comes to power, he will build socialism and restore the price of bread and milk to 20 kopeks. But this will not occur. The candidate in general does not even mention socialism.

Businessmen and politicians are needlessly worrying that if Zyuganov comes to the Kremlin throne, he will set about a program of re-nationalization and redistribution of property. First, he himself does not want this. Second, who would allow him to do so? Since he is a protege of party-nomenklatura capital, he will be forced to look after their interests. He will begin to maneuver among the working class, peasants and intelligentsia on the one hand and the "new Russians" on the other. And here Zyuganov will be helped by his conceit, his evasiveness and ability to lie. Yes, yes, namely to lie.

For true communists, there is no doubt that Zyuganov considers the title communist to be a mask or a banner to help him achieve his goal of heading the Russian government. And if he does manage to get elected, he will soon take off this mask and throw away this banner. Then, when subjugation of the people begins, they will cry out like lone wolves.

Alexander Golovenko, a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union since 1974, is a correspondent for Pravda. This article, which he contributed to The Moscow Times, represents his own views.