A recent public opinion poll carried out by the All-Russian Polling Center revealed that 50% of today’s Russians „consider Stalin’s roll positively“, while 37% are „unfavourably disposed towards him“. It is a very interesting fact that almost identic proportions – 46% „for“ and 39% „against“ him – can be observed among the young people, as well. What can we conclude from this? Delving into the matter a little more thoroughly and comparing these results with the results of other opinion polls, we will see that there is anything but sympathies towards socialism, the Soviet past, etc.
Let us have a look at first at some more details for a better illustration. One may, of course, sympathize with a public or political figure, i.e. of a historical person, as someone, who lived and made decisions under specific conditions and circumstances. You can feel enthusiastic about about the great Dzingis Khan without wishing him to be one of the rulers over today’s Russia, or one can put Napoleon on a level with a very progressive personality of politics, without allowing the methods he used to apply at his time to be re-established here and now. Stalin. however, is not merely indicative for the past. 42% of the interviewed stated that the country needs a statesman of „Stalin’s kind“ right now.
„What a huge leftist electorate!“ – says the superficial analyst, but he is very much mistaken there. It is no leftist electorate at all, but rather a radically rightist – and, apart from this, not a liberal one, of course. The Victorian England or Italy at Mussolini’s time were not liberal, but – to put it mildly – they were somewhat „right“. Let us now get back to Stalin. The test showed very simple results: an extremely rightist position can be found among those Russians, who love Stalin more than Lenin, the October Revolution, the Socialist structure, etc. What is more, these two kinds of sympathy correlate with eachother in no way. One can hate the „Reds“, but be enthusiastic about „the Stalinist Imperium“. This is usually the position of the Russian nationalists. And there are quite a few businessmen, who get sick when they hear the words „revolution“, „Russian Social-Democrat Labor Party (Bolsheviki)“, „marxism“ and „The Capital“, but nevertheless adore the „Father of all people“.
One can rate the Soviet-Union from two entirely different positions. One can rate it highly, because „there was order at those times“, „America feared us“, it was „a vertical state“, whereby Putin’s today’s regime can be compared, more or less, to some amateur talented activities. Une can also rate the former Soviet-Union high, because it guaranteed free medical care, a free educational system, free housing, a progressive, up-to-date state of sciences and world culture. Moreover there was a vertical mobilitiy, many a country was envious of, as well as a „high esteem of the working man“, as it was declared by state propaganda again and again. At first sight one might call this „national-socialistic“, on closer examination, however, social-democratic. In the first case Stalin is seen as supporting column of the fatherland, who ruled the people with a rod of iron. In the second case, Josef Visarionovich represents the reaction, the so-called Thermidor (the day, when the French Revolution ended; translator’s note), „ he abolished the Soviets“, „he betrayed Lenin’s heritage“, he is the black spot in front of the light, clear background of the USSR. One accepts him, but only as „something inevitable, as an evil one cannot escape from“.
One can easily imagine, which type the majority of the genralissimo’s venerators belong to and what kind of perspectives result from this.
Krasnoyarsk Evening Paper 09.09.06