Stalin lives in millions of russians. russia threw off all vestiges of decency and demonstrated that it will be Stalin’s state for a long time to come – Portnikov
“Stalin died yesterday” – that was the name of one of the most famous texts of the perestroika era, an article by the publicist Mykhailo Hefter, the title of which was repeatedly quoted by everyone who wanted to understand the essence of social processes in the Soviet Union. When the changes began, it suddenly became obvious that Stalinism was alive, that the official rejection of the leader and the “exposure of the cult of personality” did not at all become a real cure for the evil, that Stalinism was still with us, writes Ukrainian journalist Vitaly Portnikov for zbruc.eu.
It wasn’t much of a revelation. Even during Khrushchev’s “thaw,” the bard Oleksandr Halych wrote his prophetic song “The Night Watch” about how “the bronze idol goes – but plaster ones lie in wait.” Now, when a monument to Stalin was complaisantly opened before putin’s arrival in Volgograd, these lines look even more convincing.
But it turned out that he never left. After all, what was the Soviet condemnation of Stalinism? It was the self-preservation instinct of the party apparatus, which could not forgive Stalin for the destruction of his own and the rampage of the Chekists. The main meaning of de-Stalinization for the nomenklatura [people appointed to posts in government or industry by Party – UT] was the rehabilitation of former party workers and military leaders. When the perestroika began, those whom the nomenclature of the Khrushchev era did not dare to return to the party, were rehabilitated. But at the same time, the country’s leadership did not tell its compatriots the most important thing: without a total condemnation of Stalinism, the state remained terrorist and aggressive. It remained misanthropic.
In russia, they now want to prosecute for comparing Hitlerism and Stalinism – despite the fact that the regime established by Stalin in the Soviet Union, according to the statistical level of terror against its own population and the peoples of the occupied countries, surpassed Hitlerism. Yes, Nazism will be known in history for the Second World War and the Holocaust. But Stalin is three decades plus another four decades of regime decay and plus its restoration under putin. And all the time – repressions, murders, prisons, torture, wars and lies!
Just think about this ratio! 12 years of Hitler and an infinity of Stalin! After all, Stalin’s infinity is the destruction of not just entire social groups, it is the destruction of all living things. All living things. And since the mid-1930s, starting from the alliance with Hitler, this destruction has also had a pronounced chauvinistic face. This is the total destruction of the intelligentsia of the conquered peoples. Of course, russians were also killed – and in what number, you can’t even count! But let’s not forget that belonging to russian culture was not an aggravating reason for destruction. And belonging to the Ukrainian culture, to the Belarusian culture, to the Jewish culture, to any culture – it was, because this is “bourgeois nationalism”. We know the Ukrainian numbers – 246 Ukrainian writers, the so-called “shot Renaissance” – before the war. And after the war, after the Holocaust, they destroyed all the classics of Jewish literature in Yiddish that managed to survive the war – just all of them. If we learn the history of any other nation of the former Soviet Union, we will face the same reality. Well, plus the deportation and defamation of nations. Well, plus the destruction of religious institutions, which were replaced by ugly simulacra. I would even say more: life itself has become a simulacrum.
Both during Khrushchev’s “thaw” and during perestroika, the most important part of Stalin’s legacy – his terrorist empire, which, as it turned out, can exist without communism – was not condemned. After all, Stalin’s revolution, in contrast to the revolution of Lenin and Trotsky, was precisely the revolution of the restoration of the russian Empire. Of the empire that no longer even tried to imitate the appearance of legality, that no longer put on white gloves before striking. No, it was an empire of banditry incarnate. And its creator continues to inspire admiration among his former subjects.
And I just don’t have time for him anymore. Now the most important thing for me is to stop his terrible corpse from casting its shadow on Ukraine. To expel the “collective Stalin” from here – and never let him in again. After all, Stalin is russia. No, not Dostoevsky with Leo Tolstoy, not Pushkin with Bulgakov, and not even putin. putin’s courtiers told him that if he was gone, russia would be gone. But they tricked him. putin is only the russian desire to live with Stalin. And with his departure, russia will not go anywhere. This is how russia is – aggressive, cruel, and complacent.
But if Stalin is expelled from russia, it will be a blow. It’s like driving the devil out of hell. Hell cannot exist without the devil. russia – without Stalin. But during these seven decades, it turned out that Stalin grew in that “mysterious russian soul.” We have solved its mystery. A six-letter word. A word with which this country is branded forever.