G. Zyuganov gave interview to the Pravda newspaper on the eve of the CPRF CC Plenum

In connection with the Plenum of the CPRF Central Committee, having the agenda of “The effectiveness of ideological work is essential to achieve policy objectives of the Party”, the Chairman of the CPRF CC G.A. Zyuganov gave an extensive interview to the “Pravda” newspaper. Herewith is its summary. 

Ideological work is the core of any political organization’s activity. For any party is built around a big idea or a system of ideas. In the case of a Communist Party it is the idea of social justice, democracy, equality of people. However unlike the bourgeois parties, we are not fighting for a greater or lesser share in the current government, but for the transition to the new – socialist – society order.
We, Communists, have always attached special importance to the ideological struggle. Our main goal is the introduction of socialist consciousness in the widest sections of working people. Therefore, we will discuss a wide range of problems. Among them: the state of Russian society, and the nature of ideas and policies of the opposing forces that form the society, and the state of our party.
In the center of our advocacy work today is the CPRF program of action for the bailout or, briefly, – Anti-crisis program.
Currently, the propaganda of the CPRF initiatives among the population is an extremely important task of all party offices.
The impact of our agitation and propaganda is directly related to the overall strength of our Party building. After all, what does the specific experience of the CPRF regional and local offices show? If there is no proper flow into the organization, if the network of the primary party branches is weak, if the organizational and personnel work is “not on the level”, then by what forces can you provide effective ideological, propaganda work? At the same time the Party can gather forces only around the idea, around the political task which will draw people, make them unite and get ready to act.
For several months we are getting figures of the numerical growth of the party. Good results have shown Stalin and Lenin calls for joining the CPRF. Now the challenge is to consolidate this trend.
For the Russian Federation socio-economic crisis is not the reality the last two years, but the one of the last two decades. You could even say that the crisis has become a chronical state of our society. But the situation continues to worsen. The financial position of broad social layers is deteriorating. Already 72% of people living in Russia are not in a position to make any savings.
Certainly, dissatisfaction with government expands our outreach opportunities. But this does not lead to an automatic victory of the CPRF. We must prove our right for the role of the vanguard of the masses.
The cultural destruction caused by the restoration of capitalism is growing in the country. We are no more the most reading country in the world. The illiteracy of the population is growing. Our children are reading in 4-5 times less than two decades ago. 40% of families now simply do not have home libraries. It creates a huge gap in access to cultural values.
Our party raises issues of culture as an important part of the strategic objectives of transition to socialism. Counter policies of cultural degradation we oppose the program of spiritual and cultural progress.
It is impossible to talk about culture in isolation from our work with the intelligentsia. For the cause of socialism advanced intelligentsia can do an incredible amount: for it can back up “work of reason” by “work of feelings”.
The subject of special care should be the state of ideological cadres. In general, we need an orderly system of training and retraining of existing party activists, cadre training.
We have set up quite an effective system of ideological and political, institutional, legal training of the first and second secretaries of the CPRF regional offices.
Particular attention should be paid to new CPRF members. We have more young people, who have no special training. In the ranks of the party merge people unfamiliar with the works of classics of Marxism-Leninism. Partly we solve these issues by increasing the number of summer camps and schools for young communists and Komsomol members. Only last year 15 such training meetings were held. But at the same time we need a system of permanent work-shops and distance-learning arrangements.
Today the training of youth has another facet. Developments in information technology open up new opportunities for the Communists. And to solve this problem are designed primarily young party members. Extensive mastery of the newest means of propaganda must be accompanied by immediate involvement of our young comrades in systematic information and propaganda activity.
Before our eyes, much broader ideological ‘finishing’ of the population is being organized. Citizens are driven by force into the “United Russia”. That is how have all appeals of the late 80’s to “abandon “isms” and just live a normal life” ended up. Another pair of shoes is that the ideology of the new ruling group has been implemented and incorporated into the consciousness of people by new, more sophisticated means, and above all – with the help of television.
Simultaneously, the most violent struggle is going on, aimed at discrediting the ideas of the Left. The major aim of anti-communists’ impact is the Soviet past. Familiar words – “were aiming at Communism, but hit Russia” – have failed to become a warning to the new government. An increased destruction of the nation “ideological” torso ridge is being carried out through the distortion of its history. The most famous and successful period of Russia’s millennial history – the Soviet stage – is subject to particularly violent attacks. Malicious attacks against Lenin and Stalin at the highest government levels are dictated, above all, by the desire to silence and discredit the tremendous achievements of our country for 70 years of Soviet power.
Thus, the ideological struggle has not vanished, but it largely determines the current state of Russian society. And the CPRF has never shied away from this fight. We have taken the challenge. We consider as our duty and vital concern the protection of the historical achievements of socialism, we organize public counter stand to assaults against the name and deed of V.I. Lenin, against the historical heritage of I.V. Stalin. And it is the most important direction of the combat against the machinations of anti-communism. And the success will directly depend on the involvement of each CPRF member and every our supporter.
Last year we celebrated three great anniversaries: the 130th anniversary of I.V. Stalin’s birth, the 140th anniversary of V.I. Lenin’s birth and the 65th anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War. All work done in connection with these dates has lined up for us in a single politics. And we can say with certainty: the active struggle of the CPRF against falsification of history is bearing fruit.
The CPRF Central Committee believes that the protection of Soviet history is the common concern of all communist parties and progressive forces in the world. We welcome and thank those, who have already joined in the solidarity campaign. Joint actions strengthen our capabilities in countering the anti-communists.
Of course, defending the gains of socialism of the twentieth century, we can not be limited to defense only. In 2006, our response to the forces of reaction became the “Memorandum on the struggle aims against imperialism and the need for international condemnation of its crimes”. Building on these efforts, we held in Moscow this May – in the year of the 65th anniversary of Victory Day – an International scientific conference “For historical truth and truthful reflection of the epoch”. It demonstrated once again that the fate of Soviet history is not only the matter of our compatriots. In the fight for its preservation, we have a large number of allies, 50 scientists and politicians from 21 countries participated in the conference. They showed not only the scale of fraud, but also revealed the reasons for the things going on. By crushing Nazism, the Soviet Union has demonstrated tangible benefits of socialism over capitalism. Supporters of the latter will never forgive this.
“United Russia” is our political opponent. None, even the most unscrupulous ones, rivals’ actions pose as many threats as the ones enclosed inside any public body. That is why we can not afford within the party any group activity, any factionalism. No less dangerous is ideological confusion and ideological omnivorous. There is no room for complacency in the ideological war.
When a counter-revolution happened and the restoration of capitalism in Russia has begun, we have seen their common phenomena – they were aiming not only at destroying the Soviet Union, but also at the destruction of centralized state institutions peculiar to Russia for more than a thousand years of its history. There happened and still continues the destruction of the army and the navy, unified system of education and health, science and culture. Inevitable result of this will be the elimination of the Russian state. The end result of the process is well known: the collapse of the country.
Presidential authority with its enormous powers does nothing in this regard. It only covers the controlled process of breakup. Assessing the risk of the latter, the CPRF has raised on its red banner the slogan of unity of socialism and patriotism, appealing primarily to Russian patriotism as the source of all-Russian patriotism. Authorities have called us “red-browns”. Not far away from them stay “champions of purity of Marxism”. They have accused the CPRF in the national-communism, in distinction from Marx and Lenin.
For a long time we are fighting against cosmopolitanism, unmasking it. But in recent years the authorities have done much for feeding up nationalist prejudices of different colors. The purpose of the activity is clear: by presenting the “simple” answers to complex questions distract people from the real causes of their misery, to split and strike together on a national basis, to crush the forces of popular resistance. All this means that the party must also speak out with respect to nationalism, played off, inter alia, for patriotism.
We must be clear: nationalism is historically alien to the Russian people. Today’s imposition of nationalism is the same manifestation of bourgeois reaction, as well as the imposition of individualism, consumerism, and primitivism of mass culture.
Russophobia politics pursued by the ruling liberal-bourgeois regime is causing a painful reaction of the Russian people, especially among young people. The idea of Russian nationalism has been introduced into this environment in order to develop nationalistic consciousness instead of national consciousness among young people. The purpose of this operation is obvious – to help globalizers in pushing the process of disintegration of a great country. The CPRF has counter stood these destructive actions by its policy position: the solving of the Russian issue and the struggle for socialism are the same in essence.
Today, it is imperative to implement a radical reversal of the country socio-economic policy. This is the guarantee of Russia’s rescue, its people’s preservation, protection and development of its culture. Now, when mock-patriotism of Putin’s system is quite clear to millions, the question is extremely explicit: either socialist transformation of Russia, or further degradation and destruction of the country. Any “patriot”, who does not understand the rigidity of this alternative, is either hopelessly stupid or a snake in the grass for our people.
The majority of the Russian people believe us. This is confirmed by the meetings with people, election campaigns, letters to our party committees and factions. The Russian people believe us, but often hope in power. People considerably believe that once in the hands of the authorities there are enormous opportunities, then you need only to convince them, to exhort, to soften, persuade – and they will sure address the needs of people. And we must say straight out: today we are seriously hampered by this tradition to hope in that those in the upper levels would “drive out somewhere”, “decide somehow”. The ideologists of the ruling circles cleverly manipulate this tradition.
Russian society is collectivist by spirit. But the targeting activities of the power erode these foundations. They have already imposed on many the perception of life through the prism of an individual, “family” interest. Those, who think in terms of high goals and interests of the country, are not so much as we would like to be. Who thinks this way, consistently supports us and provides a sustainable impact of the CPRF in the society. But those, whose attitude to life is already affected by the rules of bourgeois morality, are not our enemies.
Today, we are to apply also to those, who has fallen into the ideological captivity of such categories as “profitable – unprofitable”, “what will it bring to me? “,”how am I personally be living tomorrow?”
Now the most important documents are the CPRF anti-crisis program and the CPRF Central Committee’s appeal to the citizens of the country “Path of Russia – forward to socialism!” They are further aimed at assigning “the direction of our major ideological attack”. In this case, we run up against the need for diverse forms of propaganda. If each regional and local committee, relying on the materials of the Central Committee, has launched an interesting and compelling work around all the 15 items of our anti-crisis program, the effect would be much stronger.
It is not an easy task to provide not only content-richness but also the attractiveness of our agitation. It is not enough for a man to know about our goals, stated in policy documents. He needs to see and feel his own place in any social project. Our goal should become his one. He is to get caught by the goal to live for it. Only then do we get many new allies in the fight.
There appear new challenges that need to be addressed. Technologies and methods of use of information space develop rapidly, and require special efforts to keep up with them. It is essential to learn and master constantly the growing Internet facilities.
For us, the development of the Internet does not diminish the importance of print media. The only one thing is changing – the information competition is growing, and we need to improve the presentation and supply of our materials.
Our main newspapers – the party “Pravda” and the public “Soviet Russia” undertake great efforts to unite the forces in the struggle for an independent, just, socialist Russia. Recently, the quality of the CPRF Central Committee organ – the newspaper “Pravda” has seriously increased. But still many issues of the distribution, expanding of the subscribers remain unaddressed. If we do not radically change this unsatisfactory situation, it will be a matter of self-deception to talk seriously about improving ideological work. Without a weekly political information and education of communists there can be no positive shift in the ideological work.
The centennial anniversary of Lenin’s “Pravda” is approaching. We have every reason to pay special attention to this event. And the centennial anniversary of our major newspaper should become an event for all the party media, for the entire party.