The Ideas I Was Imprisoned For In 1983
I was "captured" on August, 1, 1983. This date means little for a person far from our modern history. That is why before I start the detective story about my arrest I will describe first the political situation of those months that preceded this tragic for me event. Why precisely political? You see, because my arrest was sanctioned by KGB. But about it later. First about the situation.
At the end of 1982 the next tsar of the Soviet Empire - Brezhnev passed away. His death wasn't sudden - it was expected. People started talking about it long before this long-awaited event: one with gladness, with hope, the others with fear and anxiety. It was natural that the successor was discussed a lot, particularly as there were rumors about the undercover fighting around the living corpse.
The most probable applicants to the desired throne were considered Andropov and Chernenko, though Romanov and the others pretended to it as well. The winner of coarse was the one who had the most power and authority in one's hands, to be more precise - the former KGB chief who recently left that post in his unrestrained way upward. For me it was clear already in autumn when Andropov was appointed to make the main report. To tell the truth, Chernenko and Ustinov's supporters passionately assured all that nobody would let the Jew to the power, though I just laughed at it in response… The Jew appeared to be the most far-sighted and cunning of them, because he understood best of all what governmental bodies one should use in order to reach the top of the pyramid.
In fact, Andropov took power earlier than "Militia Day" on the eve of that day Brezhnev passed away. Making use of weak will and senile marasmus of the never-dying monarch Andropov when he was yet alive started realizing his own policy promising to restore the firm authority.
The new governor had personal traits that differed him from the dying man, like a sighted person differs from a blind one. He saw that the first communist state desperately left behind in the competition with the capitalistic states, and not only in financial respect, though this figure was the most apparent one, but also in the moral respect: the soviet people not only improved under the influence of the communist moral, but on the contrary retreated on two centuries back in their unspirituality and moral vandalism. However, the last thing didn't touch him. He was more conscious of the economic backwardness of the country that could drive the population of the country to the bitterness when it would be already impossible to govern the half-hungry and brutal crowd. And the all-saving propaganda about the bright future already couldn't help.
However, Andropov wasn't that person who was lighted up with a foresight concerning the hopelessness of the authoritarian system. He was a desperate communist of Stalin breed who didn't want to change the existing political system. The only way out of the existing situation he saw in "screw-tightening". He couldn't admit that the authoritarian system didn't justify itself, because in this case he had to reject automatically the supremacy of the Communist Party in the country and voluntary give power to the others. Never! Even thinking about it was a crime for a communist that he became forever. It meant that there was just one thing left - repressions: frightening for the sake of achievement of the stable power.
He started acting. Knowing well enough that the whole ruling elite got stuck in the greedy embezzlement of public funds (there were no secrets for a chief of the secret police). He gradually started picking up the most insolent partocrats among the lower and middle ranks who practiced stealing in the most evident and shameless way that was already ridiculous not to notice. Against these very persons Andropov arranged the show trials that aroused the storm of cheers of the proletarian crowd: as though they would finally have the strong ruler who will "deal a blow" with all the local princelings shamelessly robbing the country. By these very actions that looked effective at the first sight, but changed nothing radically, Andropov von the authority of the primitively thinking crowd as an honest and incorruptible defender of public benefit. The tested trick for the fools worked: it appeared that all the people's misfortunes came from few officials caught in stealing. One should took the wealth from them and return it to the public and everything going to be all right. Everything is simple and plain. All kind of intellectual talking about some systems just took people in. The main thing is to reveal all the swindlers gaining authority and the life will become rich.
The new leader of the country was counting for this very reaction continuing the policy of general fooling of people using all mass media available. As one more argument in this policy was the new vodka called "Andropovka" that was a little bit cheaper than the preceding ones. This very gesture strengthened the reputation of the new leader as a kind and at the same time strict master in the opinion of people that completely taken to drink. That was what the so called "common" people dreamed of after the slovenliness of Brezhnev period.
Obtaining the support of the crowd Andropov's team started restoring the order in the country. Here one could see the whole essence of the new ruler. There was nothing new in it. Everything was desperately familiar, particularly to us who had enough Stalin's stuff.
Repressions started again. I do not mention the restoration of raids in broad daylight. The rascals of the secret army of KGB and MIA (Ministry of Internal Affairs) unscrupulously took people on the streets, brought them to the police offices and questioned them. The protests and grumble were considered as an opposition to the authorities and anti-Soviet statements. The references to the honor of the Constitution and observance of its principles had no reaction in response. It is well known to every fool that the Constitution went one way, and the Soviet everyday life the other. They had never anything in common. That is why nobody knows it. Only the dissident intellectuals headed by academician Sakharov arranged the demonstration next to Pushkin monument once a year, on the Day of the Soviet Constitution reminding the communist governors about the necessity to observe their own main law. However, these protests of a small group of brave kamikazes were cut short within few minutes and the public found out about it only from the "hostile voices" - so brief these actions used to be.
Andropov decided putting an end to these liberties. Even earlier, being the head of the secret police at Brezhnev's times he carried out the ruthless fight against dissenters sending some of them to the camps for improvement and deporting the others from the country. After he became the sovereign governor of the country he incredibly enlarged the army of peepers and derzhirordas and appointed the listener-ins to every a little bit freely-thinking man. How many parasites were spread at his time was known only to the selected ones. In fact, Andropov was one of the staunchest misanthropes - communists like Trotsky, Stalin, Mao-Tze-Dun and Pol-Pot, who at the time of strengthening their authority were ready to execute any person. The humanism, philanthropy and other high moral impulses were alien to them. Indeed, where these vices could come from? You see, the communist is not just the belonging to the party.
The staunch communist (I emphasize the first word) is formed already in mother's womb where he acquires his natural abilities, to be more precise, their absence. Born genetically defective he all his life takes revenge on the mankind for his inferiority. Uniting into the party the communists using all means (usually the meanest ones) are trying to gain leadership and after gaining it they kill all their potential competitors. However, because they appear to be the best layers of the society the communists declare the merciless war to all high classes of the society. Under the slogan of fight for the world happiness they destroy all the cultured and intellectual part of the nation. Intelligentsia is their enemy number one, because the communist - misanthrope is unable to compete in intellectual abilities with them. This is how the country of fools is formed.
Let's refer to the recent history: the communist Pol-Pot after he gained power executed along with his gang three of seven million people. Then one part of the population he turned to slaves and the other part to the slave-drivers. This way the abundant country of Kampuchea turned in a moment from the bearer of ancient traditions into the outdated illiterate despotism. According to the communists' terms this is called the human paradise. This is the very ideal we were speeding to at Stalin's times. Khrushchev stopped this running to hell, though I'm far from the desire to idealizing this illiterate swine-herd. Khrushchev was an inborn communist; one shouldn't forget it when one thank him for his anti-Stalinism all his achievements were limited. In all other respects he was a typical general secretary who changed the cult of Stalin by his own cult. At his time Russia was the country of bans and remained it until now. Until now people live in the tight frameworks of regulations already turning into the norm so usual that people do not notice the shackles tying them from top to toe even now. We are still living according to the rule: what is not permitted that is prohibited.
Anyway, Khrushchev was better than Brezhnev and more over Andropov, because he hated Stalin. In his brutal desire to kick the dead lion he allowed the criticism of his terrible predecessor. How could one criticize Stalin not to mention the communists in general? Was it impossible, though Khrushchev demamded from the writers not to make the quite natural general conclusions. However, the genie was already released from the bottle and "thaw" of the fifties set the beginning of the dissidence that the "reformer" himself tried to suppress collecting himself by the end of the very first five-year plan of his own ten-year governance.
Andropov had his aim to restore the status quo and return the country back to Stalin's times. At that very time the anecdote appeared that reflected to the point the existing situation. "Once Andropov's office visit one of his fellow-companion and sees two portraits hanging over his chair - Stalin and Pushkin. Listen Yuri Vladimirovich, I understand why you have hung Stalin's portrait, but what about Pushkin? Why, answers Andropov, you know that it was him who said (playing of words: in Russian the words stifle and soul have the same pronunciation) "soul beautiful impulses", so I'm stifle them. So, Pushkin is our ideologist".
This seemingly innocent anecdote has the hidden secret meaning of dictatorship of any communist regime. "Beautiful impulses" are beyond comprehension of the primitive and embittered crowd. Any lofty and spiritual ideals are not understandable to him and consequently they are suspicious to him. Any suspicious thing is always hostile when you are afraid of loosing the ephemeral power. One should know a lot in order to retain power. However, the party of bastards and abortions couldn't retain it in free competition with more intellectual parties. The communist that could nothing but to crush and destroy got rid of all their opponents right after the revolution. In their brutal hatred to all more superior they killed everybody who surpassed these embittered primitives just in anything. The people born as the fates decree with the outstanding abilities tried to hide them in order not to be suppressed or killed (in our country there were always more than enough means to pick on an innocent talent). The more flexible and adaptive by nature persons pretended fools and straight men - they could survive. Those who wasn't endowed with inborn resourcefulness were subjected to forcible conversion into the primitive-wretched stamp and either had to resign themself to the servile serving to the primitive authority of the powerful ones, or became their victim. Only the communists managed to kill forty million of one hundred seventy million people in the peace time for ten - twelve years (1928 - 1940). Even in the bloodiest war there were twice less victims, though everything was made in order that the headless army fell in the fight against the smaller in number army of the interventionists. Nevertheless, the communists hurried ascribing themselves the victory over the Nazis, though, in fact, they became the truest allies of Hitler. This war was von by peoples that opposed the violence and dictates, but they never could reap the fruits of their victory.
Recovering from the war Stalin returned to his postponed work on "cleaning" of the nation from the independently thinking layer (in Stalin and post-Stalin times the term layer was applied to intelligentsia, trying by any means to reduce its role in the life of the nation, though any a little bit critically thinking man understood how could the brain of the nation and people be the layer, as according to the laws of anatomy it is situated above all other organs).
Today the communist press tells a lot that Stalin with his cruel habits wasn't a typical occurrence of the communism. It's not true. Stalin was the typical and consistent communist. Born defective - small, pock-marked with one hand inoperative he hated the mankind for his defectiveness and had his goal to take revenge on everybody who was gifted and whom the nature showed much favor. According to his understanding it was the restoration of justice. In the process of fighting for this terrible justice he became a paranoiac. In this fight he relied on the same kind of wretched bastards like him united by a single goal - to take revenge on the mankind for their wretchedness. The communists are an awful power that cunningly hiding behind the time-serving slogans, in fact, leaded the mankind to its death, killing the most gifted part of the population and cultivating the primitive - brutal world's perception and in social sense sending the mankind back to slavery. However, as against the epoque of slavery in the history of the mankind, it was characterized by the presence of the highly-gifted cohort of philosophers - thinkers who left their priceless works, the slavery of the communists lacked this, because it was general. There are no people like those that were in the ancient slave-holding states and the state was governed by the same slaves, though united in the party that forcibly made anybody subjugating to it. It prohibited all other people creating the other parties, making all the adequate and talented people enter the hateful party in order to survive. How many poor people were the members of the communist (the single) party of the Soviet Union! Not half, but many anyway. And these poor people had to deform themselves by forging their nature for the sake of the foolish beginning. The worst thing was that these people, knowingly or not, took part in the destructive process on dragging the country into financial disaster, in impoverishment of people both physical and spiritual in order to finally turn "unwashed Russia" into "the land of slaves, the land of lords" with its slave-drivers in blue uniforms of KGB and the obedient to them people.
I retold Lermontov's poem almost word by word. How it is up-to-date in the 20th century! What was opposed by the mankind represented by its best representatives and was finally destroyed by the February revolution was restored in October 1917. Indeed, Russia couldn't get rid of the stamp of authoritarianism. The communists not only restored serfdom, but went further than tsarism exceeding it in despotism in many times. The description of tsarist repressions looked like a child's play in comparison with Bolsheviks' methods. If tsarism used only one quarter of these methods Bolsheviks couldn't even consider creation of their party. The liberalism of the last Tsar called "bloody" provokes the hysterical laugh of those people who knew the communist camps. For example, Lenin's brother - Alexander Ulyanov attempted Tsar's life, Lenin when he was young openly declared about his implacable fight against tsarism continuing before Okhranka's very eyes his subversive activities against the existing regime. In case it happened in Soviet times the communists would murder the whole Ulyanov's family up to the third kin for mere kinship with the terrorist. What did tsarism? It offered the uncompromising revolutionist going to exile on his own free will, and even provided him with the pension in order that, God forbid, he wouldn't complain about the inhuman attitude to his personality. Moreover, the future Ilyich was provided the ultimate freedom that he used in full: he went hunting when he was bored with writing the rebellious works, received correspondence from his party-fellows and even had the regular messenger represented by his party wife. What a wonderful life! Today many people are ready to give the half of their fortune for such life. You see, the person is busy with one's favorite work without compulsion to labor (one wouldn't be arrested for parasitism in compliance with the article 209), moreover the one is provided with more than decent allowance. Today our candidates working over the difficult topics do not live in such conditions. You see, he appeared to be in exile. What for? For anti-governmental activity. One really runs into hysterics comparing the present with the past.
Lenin acted like the true communist: he punished the monarchs with the severest means for their liberalism executing the whole family of the last Russian tsar showing no mercy even to little girls. Who could dare after it calling Stalin an exception to the rule? No, he was the truest Leninist. Was it Stalin who introduced the authoritarian regime to the country destroying all political parties? Was it Stalin who introduced the camp caserne communism (in other words "military") he is today blamed for? Now, it was completely the merit of "the leader of the world's revolution". Who executed the poet N.Gumilev? It was also Lenin.
Stalin invented nothing new. He was too stupid for that. All Stalin's machine was run by his predecessor. Stalin due to his inability to creative thinking just took Lenin's heritage for a doctrine, having an implicit faith in his God and teacher.
You know, at the end of his life Lenin understood the falseness of the communist idea, but he had no time to improve his mistake. All his followers were several times intellectually less gifted than their leader. Canonizing him when he was alive they made a Holy Writ of all his works creating the whole institutes of interpreters - dogmatists who sucked every word of the apostle of Russian communism. On one's deathbed Lenin was lighted up with the provision to what abyss he set the country leaded by the animals that could do nothing but to crush. Lenin considered that he could keep in check the wild element that put absolute trust in him like in God. However, he didn't take into consideration the fact that the place prepared by him could take the ignorant barbarian and Asian despot. He didn't think that he will die so soon. This Lenin's self-sufficiency was the greatest crime against the mankind that cost ten millions of lives and even more human tragedies.
Lenin's communism is an ideal environment of the limited layer of the population - autocrats, in other words, the persons with the constitutional bias towards dictatorship. As a rule, these are people with the dogmatic way of thinking, lacked of creative abilities. They could be the conscientious executors, but they couldn't become Lomonosovs and Einsteins, though there are scientists among them (to be more precise taught) and writers. So, communism is the system for autocrats. However, in every country there are both types of persons. The history of human development proved that the most flexible and adjustable system of two political systems that meet the biological biases of the mankind appeared to be democracy that doesn't suppress the autocrats, being the system designed for people with the democratic way of thinking. Lenin should know this being an educated person. I suspect that the emotional motives in his soul took over the common sense when he (when he was young) decided joining the communist in order to implement his selfish and vain ideas. He regained consciousness only not long before his death. He tried to improve the situation (NEP (New Economic Policy) could prove that), but didn't carry the matter to its conclusion.
I think nobody had right to call oneself Leninist, because Lenin was different in the different periods of his life. He developed like any creative person. However, it's too difficult for the communists- autocrats to understand this. They didn't understand him ignoring Lenin's last directions and recommendations. Being unable to evolution they preferred remaining on their former positions stopping in development and thus carried the initial idea to an absurd by thoughtless replication. The creatively thinking leader that was Lenin and that weren't the other his companion-in-arms (except maybe Bukharin, with great reserve) would never let it happen. However, the disaster of the communist party is that it is the party of autocrats unable by nature to creative comprehension of real life, and to abstract thinking in general. Without it there can't be any philosophy that serves as the base of any science.
To my firm believe the mankind that lets the communists taking power in the separate parts of the planet makes an unforgivable mistake at the expense of its own existence.
The practice of existence of the communist regimes on Earth in the 20th century showed unambiguously that the communists always fought against the freedom, in everything from big to small. You see, the infringement of freedom suppresses not only the personality inclined towards creative work, though one this thing is the prerequisite to the delay of the progress. Overregulation of life imposed by the communists turns people into a dummy lacked of any spiritual emotions and imagination. By means of the chain of the cause-and-effect relations this finally leads to the economical regress. What is the difference between the human being and the most perfect computer machine? The man has the ability to emotional impulses that could increase his emotional abilities in several times. The person whose freedom was reduced to the level of a small screw in a huge machine is unable to the emotional pinning. That is why the communist regimes in the course of time appear to be incapable of competing in the free peace competition with the democratic systems grounded on the freedom of personality. Now there is already no need to prove anybody that the authoritarian systems imposed both by the Nazis and the communists showed their failure before the rest of the world. In fact there is no difference between Nazis and the communists. From this it follows that the communists who didn't justify the hopes for "perfect bright future" mast leave the political scene, and yet there wasn't the burst of the people's anger they must let the democracy (read multi-party system) in that countries where they took power. Otherwise, the matter could go as far as it was once in Hungary (1956) where they were hung on the telegraph poles.
… So it was how I used to think at the end of the 70th - the beginning of the 80th. There were more than enough reasons for this at those years - the communists of the world in their death-agony became brutal to such extent that lost any prudence. One could recall the Czechoslovakia incident in Europe or Chinese agony that begun with so called "cultural revolution" and ended with the military confrontation on the far eastern borders and in Vietnam. Later there were the communists' outrages in Cambodia headed by their leader Pol-Pot. And finally there was our intervention to Afghanistan. All these world events were happened at the same time and were the part of a single whole: the communists understood that their system became a bankrupt. That is why they took the desperate actions trying to save the situation by means of military actions. In other words, they played their last trump card: the whole country was working for the war, everything was giving to it and everything was subjecting to it. I understood this political situation already at that time. I understood that our intervention to Afghanistan is the desire, first, to solve the economic problems by the extensive methods, so usual for all communists, second, to continue the world's expansion of slightly forgotten World Revolution.
Fortunately for the mankind all these crazy attempts came a cropper. Chineses regardless their oppression and backwardness understood first that the communist ideas leaded them into a dead end. That is why they started "perestroika" (the foolish word) few years earlier than we did. Today they are fully developing the capitalistic relations and the Chinese communists have nothing but to put a good face on things. Pol-Pot regime also collapsed with the help of Vietnam and Soviet communist troops. They saw with horror the naked communism as it was. They understood that before the very eyes of the mankind there is an example of the realization of the idea that couldn't arise the desire to imitate it. As far as Afghanistan concerned, only the dull militaries and wretched politicians couldn't foresee from the very beginning that this conquering reckless scheme was doomed whatever false phrases it wouldn't be covered with.
I recall how I tried to set straight one newly-made officer from the military - political academy in winter 1979, i.e. right after the intrusion of our commandos into Kabul. Saying that I met the incomprehension means saying nothing, because he looked at me like at the poor animal in the zoo. Maybe he wasn't far from the truth, because it was easier to find the people with such moods and ideas under the jail then freely walking among the duped idiots. Of course this officer couldn't think for himself yet, but was firmly convinced that such persons as me had nothing to do among Soviet people.
"We never leave it" - murmured the officer to me. He expressed not his own opinion, but the directive of the Supreme Quarters. It was later when the Soviet propaganda suggested everybody an idea of "limited and temporary military contingent in Afghanistan". In fact there were no thoughts about any temporary intentions and ideas. Kremlin officials intended to make a second Tuva or Mongolia of Afghanistan, also joining this long-suffering country forever to "inviolable union". I have no doubt that the insolence and forwardness of our bosses made indignant not only the international community that altogether rose the voice of protest, that undermined not only the prestige of the Soviet Union, but caused an irreparable damage to the economy of our country caused by the boycott for trading of the capitalistic countries with us (even China set against the Soviet Union). Even the thinking intelligentsia within the country started grumbling. I found out that I wasn't along in my attitude to the governmental decision from the radio where "The Voice of America" (or BBC) broadcasted the interview of academician Sakharov to foreign mass media. I was pleased that I think with equal terms with Sakharov. However, when Sakharov was unexpectedly subjected to repression for these statements (in January 1980 he was exiled to Gorky out of court) I understood that I should keep my mouth shut. If they dared to shut mouth of Sakharov they would get rid of me without any hesitations.
However, one couldn't change one's nature. The only thing that I gave up was the confiding talks with the strange people. However, among my numerous friends I kept on openly express my disregard towards "peoples' leaders" even among those who didn't share my views and warned me that I could be taken to responsibility for that kind of talks.
The essence of sedition of these "talks" was that I called things with their proper names. That is all. However, from the communist's point of view this was the anti-governmental crime. You see, the main goal of the communist was to hide one's nature. If a person tears the mask off the communist he becomes his implacable enemy. Indeed, for us - the Soviet people - it is the most difficult task to understand the essence of the communism, because we were lacked of the possibility to learn the alternative opinion about it. We eat what we were given by its ideologists. Any attempt to learn the alternative opinion was regarded as a parricide. Saying that you were listening to "Voice of America" or other "hostile voices" was equal to admission that you were "public enemy" and was worth of their fate. That is why nobody did such admissions listening to "voices" secretly, without making it public. It was very recently, comparatively recently. In any case, in Andropov's time those who liked looking into the political situation without the prompting of the domestic communists were quickly enrolled into the black lists.
… I guessed about my being in "black lists" back in 1956 after the disorders at the university (it is worth telling about it in more details, but I don't want to digress myself) secret bodies took note of me. Professor Oleg Konstantinovich Leontev told me about it confidentially. He noted me in the crowd of students and was my patron all the time. In the critical for me year 1957, in spring when I was sent down from the university and then restored by a miracle as the decree that was passed earlier lacked any reasonable grounds; he took me to his expedition providing me both with moral and financial support that came very handy, because in 1956 when my mother died I became a complete orphan.
Saying about "black lists" I of course mean the records that were made in the building on Lubyanka. This record appeared in 1956 and increased in thickness as I became adult.
In our authoritarian state one was executed for dissent. I was imprisoned for lesser sins - just for doubts. If only they found these notes they would rot me irrevocably. However, I am just a mirror that reflects the real state of things. It is foolish to take offence at the mirror when one has a wry face one should change one's face, but not to break the mirror. Any despotism prefers dealing rather with the deaf and blind or with the idiots. The dissent is inherent only in democracy. The democracy is the highest form of human organization, however one must grew up to it.
… In conclusion to this chapter I would like to cite the writer Sinyavsky who spent seven years in the Soviet concentration camps: "Any intellectual in Russia, particularly a writer mustn't avoid a prison". According to Sinyavsky the Soviet writer who didn't taste imprisonment is not a valuable person. Thank you very much for consolation. However, if I have to tell unadorned for example about what I had to live through and experience in the Soviet concentration camp, I think not every intellectual would like to become a valuable person.
Note: The material was taken form E. Kudusov's book "Confrontation Goes On (Dissident's Notes)".