When the famous Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko requested the USSR government in the 1962 poem The Heirs of Stalin (published nowhere else but in Pravda – a miracle of the Khrushchev thaw) “to double and treble the sentries guarding the tomb” of the tyrant near the Kremlin wall “and stop Stalin from ever rising again and, with Stalin, the past,” he may not have even realized how prophetic his lines were. Yevtushenko’s fears came true very soon – to a large extent, in the “vegetarian” Brezhnev era. And the Kremlin’s current regime is openly baring its neo-Stalinist “fangs” in spite of its false pseudo-modernization rhetoric and hypocritical and absurd talk of “sovereign democracy.” Therefore, we can say quite confidently that Stalin’s cause lives on. There is no need to look for his heirs far from the Kremlin – they are inside it. What proves this?
♦ FIRSTLY, there is every sign of quite an aggressive, more and more openly chauvinistic, great power spirit (“Russia is the best,” “Russia, rise from your knees,” “We are Russians – what a delight!” etc.). This causes the greatest alarm. Puffing his pipe quietly, Comrade Stalin notes from the other world: “The great empire, for the making of which I spared no effort, is reviving. Very good!” (Incidentally, the tumultuous events in Ukraine over the past few days have been full of absurd, truly Kafkaesque, pictures: for example, pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine are covering the remnants of an ignominious Lenin statue with… the Russia official – once imperial – tricolor rather than with a red flag. This amply shows that the point is not in the figure of Lenin: the monument is to symbolize Russian state presence – this is why these “masterpieces” have been standing in “independent” Ukraine for 20 years.)
♦ SECONDLY, there are overt political signs of the “cult of the Leader.” Like in the Stalin era, all decisions in the Kremlin are being made by one person, a model of political wisdom and all the conceivable and exceptional qualities. This is a national tragedy of Russia, which may have extremely important consequences for the country and humankind in general. The perestroika-era democratic reforms have been stamped out – we can in fact see a totalitarian neo-Stalinist regime which is forcibly turning Russia decades back, threatening its neighbors.
♦ THIRDLY, the Kremlin is clearly trying to put its regime and country (let us not forget, a powerful nuclear country, which is the most terrible thing!) in confrontation with the entire civilized world. Hence is vicious and aggressive anti-Western rhetoric (“The whole world hates Russia!”), xenophobia, and imposition of a “besieged fortress mentality” – quite in the spirit of Stalin.
♦ FOURTHLY, we can see really Orwellian-style propaganda by Russia’s “Ministry of Truth,” especially on television. It is being spread also by the true disciples of Comrade Stalin by way of instilling fear and hate, clamping down on free thought, resorting to demagogy and lies.
This writer has put down – very concisely and sketchily – his reflections on the causes of not only the survivability, but also “immortality” of the political practice and mental setup of a bloody tyrant in the Kremlin’s corridors of power. It is a problem for the entire humanity, which cannot be ignored. Let us not be ostriches!