16 December 2009

"...Soviet bastards have destroyed Russia"

Despite being absolutely fed up with graduate school, I somehow still enjoy the subject of early Soviet print culture. One of the reasons for my resilience (!) is the fact that I occasionally come across gems like the following:

“In your journal you mock the Tsarist ministers and the Tsar in such a way that you show your stupidity. You have done nothing in the past ten years to show your intelligence. What good, and for whom, has the Soviet power brought? Industry has dropped to nothing. Unemployment has increased by 100%. We workers were never without fish in Astrakhan’, and now we don’t see it anymore. Where did the fish go, dear comrades? Where is the gold of Russia? All the workers know that Soviet bastards have destroyed Russia. You show in your journal that the Tsar’s ministers drank a lot, but at least they were doing their job. Now everyone drinks and steals and does nothing. Everywhere they sit in other peoples’ places...Dear comrades, you should learn from the bourgeoisie, not mock them...I ask you to print this letter in your magazine. It is of greater interest than all your caricatures. Our Moscow workers will read it with pleasure.” (Astrakhan’ workers, a letter to Gudok newspaper, Apr-1927)

(Jennifer Clibbon, The Soviet Press and Grass-roots Organization: The Rabkor Movement, NEP to the First Five-Year Plan (PhD thesis, University of Toronto manuscripts, 1993). Emphasis -- mine.)

This letter shouldn't come as a surprise to other "junior scholars" (pardon the pretentiousness) in modern Russian history. However, I think it is important to demonstrate things like this to my fellow alternative right-wingers, as it shows dissent amongst the lower social echelons within the first years of the Bolshevik regime.


Lungu Laurentiu said...

What's new? History repeats itself, punishing us if we don't know it... or worse, if we forget it. Nice writting (I hope my englist is good enough :)

Brian said...

Makes me wonder what happened to the Astrakhan workers (after writing that letter). I have a feeling that a) their letter was never printed in Gudok newspaper and b) most of the people associated with its creation died in a rather unpleasant fashion.