Appeal of the Russian Patriotic Left
Our country finds itself in an extremely difficult situation. The USA is moving from steps to expand NATO, tough sanctions and information wars to attempts to reshape the whole system of international relations. By holding the “summit of democracies” Washington is signaling that it is prepared to paralyze the role of the UN and impose on the world a thuggish diktat of the strong and the arrogant.
Russia is entering a new stage of world destabilization in a highly enfeebled state. Our country’s potential is multiple times less than the economic and military-political weight of the USSR in the world. To help our country out of the impasse, the patriotic left has united to defend the interests of the people and ensure national security. We are absolutely sure that it is necessary to achieve social cohesion, mobilize all the resources and chart a new course for the country’s development and spiritual resurgence.
We believe that the President’s goals of making Russia one of the world’s top five economies, overcoming poverty, stemming population decline and achieving a technological breakthrough are extremely important. They fully correspond to Russia’s interests. But we are convinced that the setting of tasks must be followed by concrete measures to fulfil them. That is why the patriotic left has been insisting and will continue to insist on the need to work out a realistic program of taking the country out of its crisis.
Acting in a consistent and responsible manner, the CPRF and its allies have proposed a program Ten Steps Toward People’s Rule. Our party at the State Duma has come forward with a package of legislative initiatives and a development budget. We have offered a well-thought-out, honest, constructive and positive alternative.
We continue to insist on the need to change the socio-economic course, to cast aside the oligarchic policy of plunder, degradation and weakening of the country. But all our actions meet with a stone wall of counteraction on the part of the elite of the United Russia party, its supporters in the government and the team of Russophobes and anti-Sovieteers in the President’s administration. The ruling party thwarts all the living and creative things in the country. It refused to discuss our initiatives even during the crucial elections to the State Duma of the RF Federal Assembly. We have identified concrete measures of social support to stop the appalling decline of the population. Russia has amassed huge reserves. That is why the CPRF has proposed to raise the living minimum and the minimum wage to 25,000 roubles, which would enable people to survive. To limit utilities rates to ten percent of the family income. To pass a law on state regulation of prices for staple foodstuffs and medicines. In response the ruling circles have continued to jack up prices, rob the citizens and muzzle all protests.
We urged the need to stem capital flight out of the country and introduce normal taxes, but they continued to turn a blind eye to the merciless plunder of the country. This year alone 60 billion dollars have bene exported out of Russia. Besides, the gates have been flung open for the export of gold, metals and grain, with permission to leave hard currency profits abroad.
We urged the need to give priority to the development of science, high technologies and artificial intelligence, electronic and aviation industry and machine building. In response, we have been saddled with a federal budget in which these sectors have not even been mentioned as a separate item.
We proposed comprehensive programs to develop agriculture and rural areas and open up virgin lands. In practice even what has been approved by the President and the State Council has been emasculated. Today raiders are out to grab the lands of the Timiryazev Academy and the greenhouses outside Moscow. We have prepared new drafts of the Land, Water, and Forestry Codes to address the backlog of problems crying for solution. But our proposals fell on deaf ears. As a result, 18 million hectares of Russian woodlands, an area half the size of Germany, the biggest European country, have been lost to wildfires.
We have worked out a system of measures to strengthen people’s personal safety, to protect them from corrupt and callous bureaucrats, and have identified ways and methods of enhancing occupational safety. However, neglect of safety rules continues to claim human lives. Sadly, accidents such as the one a Listvyazhnaya coalmine continue to happen. For several years now we have been trying to secure the adoption of legislation to launch the Education for All program. We have developed proposals to improve secondary and higher education. We have given them a test run at Zhores Alfyorov University in St.Petersburg and at the pilot school at the Lenin Collective Farm outside Moscow. In response we have seen attempts to foist on us the Unified State Examination, per capita funding and distance learning. Thus the Russian-Soviet school education system, the best in the world, continued to be destroyed.
We have been pressing the state to fulfil its sacred duty: to provide decent living conditions for veterans and “war children.” We called for a repeal of the cannibalistic pension reform and for providing the population with medicines. In response we have seen further humiliation of the people whose dedication has defended and restored the country.
We have proposed to restore the responsibility of the state for support of children’s and youth creative activities, physical culture and sport. In response we have seen a cynical attempt of the Sablin and Palikhata gang to seize the Lenin Collective Farm. This may lead to the destruction of the social infrastructure of the unique agricultural community.
We have worked out a comprehensive health program that would double budget spending on public health. But the authorities continue decimation of primary healthcare, starving pharmaceutical industry of funds and paying meager salaries to medical personnel. We are not against vaccination, but we are against indiscriminate vaccination of all. Instead of necessary checkups, considered medical reports and recommendations people are just issued token Ausweises.
We have created people’s enterprises, the best thing this country has today. We have proposed making this experience the common legacy of all Russia. In response raiders wearing legal mantles and police uniforms are attacking these unique islands of social optimism. They are brutally destroying the life of entire work collectives. Such outrages did not happen even in “the wild 1990s.” At the State Duma we handed to the Prosecutor-General I.V.Krasnov a letter signed by 336 workers of the Lenin Collective Farm asking for protection of their families, children, dwellings and jobs from out-and-out criminals. In response we met with unpardonable inaction and a strange silence.
We have proposed a range of measures to shore up historical memory. In response we have seen more anti-Soviet and anti-Russian lies. The nation is forced to watch the foul-smelling goo of Zhirinovsky-speak pouring from the TV screens over the main channels.
We have proposed to discuss the accumulated problems in the course of nationwide elections in a fully-fledged and constructive debate. The authorities responded with fines, threats and arrests. Instead of punishing those who violate electoral law, they have punished 106 of our comrades. This is now developing into searches of flats and offices leading to criminal prosecution for minor misdemeanors. We have sent an open letter to the Guarantor of the Constitution handing the President a package of requests and interesting proposals. We have been given authoritative assurances that they would be considered in a timely manner. Instead we see growling and mud-slinging from the media. Those who are called upon to fulfil the instructions of the head of state are not answering the letters and calls from members of parliament and political leaders. Shying away from dialog, they wave clubs and stage repressions and provocations. Instead of honest elections they continue to steal votes and impose three-day and distant voting. They have launched a McCarthy-style “witch-hunt.” They are fiercely persecuting P.N.Grudinin and I.I.Kazankov and victimizing V.I. Bessonov, V.V.Bykov, S.S.Udaltsov, A.S.Levchenko, N.N.Platoshkin, V.F.Rashkin and many others.
We categorically reject this kind of policy. It is illegal, destructive and perilous. For us, a strong Russia, a decent life of its citizens, and a peaceful and democratic resolution of the crisis have always been the main purpose of our political activities. That is why in the context of serious external threats and growing arbitrary rule, violence and police brutality we call on all the citizens to unite, organize and protect themselves. We call for united action in the interests of the country’s future and for the sake of the fundamental rights of the citizens.
Courage, maturity and unity of the popular masses have more than once saved Russia at the most complicated and perilous periods in its centuries-long history. The volunteers under Minin and Pozharsky, the big stick of the People’s War against Napoleon, the fight against invaders and their accomplices at the dawn of Soviet Power, the great exploit of defeating the Nazi invaders are outstanding examples of true popular unity.
Today it is increasingly evident that power is more and more distancing itself from the people, its needs and suffering. Its representatives sometimes behave like place holders and occupiers. We should counter the growing challenges and threats by forming public councils, holding meetings of citizens and creating other bodies of people’s self-defense. The time has come to use all legitimate methods of struggle, including the organization of voluntary law and order squads. It is incumbent upon us to counter arbitrary rule and lawlessness with civil activities and mass mobilization.
The patriotic forces of Russia are convinced that when power is short on responsibility and wisdom, the people must display their own will. The time is coming to unite all the thinking and honest people to secure a peaceful way out of the crisis. It is our historical duty to safeguard our sovereignty, national independence and human dignity. This requires unity and joint action.
That capitalism is in a dead end is obvious. The pendulum of history is inexorably moving to the left. China’s success demonstrates the right path. The people demand to be treated with respect and justice. All those who seek to torpedo the Anti-Crisis Program of the CPRF and its followers, are opposing the union of our country with the most progressive forces in the world. We disagree with this untenable policy. We shall act in a responsible and energetic manner for the future of our Motherland.
The laws of history are inexorable. The policy of truth and justice, patriotic Russia will prevail.
Gennady Zyuganov, Chairman of the CC CPRF, leader of the Patriotic Left Forces of Russia.
This Appeal has been supported by 56 associations of youth, women, veterans, professionals, and scientists, editorial offices of patriotic publications, creative and sport societies.
The Appeal has a public character and is open for support by all the interested organizations and citizens.