Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Michael Kirkwood — The End of Communism in Russia Meant the End of Democracy in the West – Alexander Zinoviev

Alexander Zinoviev, along with Solzhenitsyn and Sakharov, was one of the three great intellectual giants who became dissidents during the late Soviet period.

This remarkable and prophetic interview was originally published in 1999 in the French Figaro Magazine. Its original title was: ”The West and Russia - A Controlled Catastrophe”
An annual conference attended by Russian and foreign luminaries and Zinoviev fans in memory of Zinoviev's work will be held in Moscow on October 27.
Translated from Russian especially for RI by Sergei Malygin and Andrey Medvedev
Alexander Zinoviev was exiled from the Soviet Union with his wife and daughter on 6th August 1978, principally on account of his writings on the nature of Soviet communism.
They spent the next twenty years based in Munich. On 30th July 1999 they returned to Moscow, principally on account of his writings on the West. Zinoviev died in 2006 and his remains are buried in the Novodeviche convent.
These few lines suggest that he must have been a remarkable man. He was. Born in 1922 to a Russian peasant family, he was the sixth of eleven children who became an international phenomenon in a variety of fields: philosophy (particularly in the field of many-valued logic), literature (novels, novellas, poetry), politics, sociology, and painting. The two books which, for me, best illustrate the reasons for his exile and rehabilitation are, respectively, The Reality of Communism and The West.
This, Zinoviev’s last interview before returning to Russia provides an excellent example of his unmatched forensic gifts as a sociologist.
I look forward to sharing with friends of RI further details of the life and work of Aleksander Aleksandrovich in future columns.
Michael Kirkwood | Leading specialist on Zinoviev, professor emeritus, University of Glasgow.
Zinoviev was quite prescient in his day, but his conclusion that neoliberal globalization is the new totalitarian future may be overly pessimistic in light of recent pushback. Good read anyway, and a warning of the danger to be averted — the illiberalism of "liberalism."

No comments: