REGNUM news agency editor-in-chief challenges Cold War clichés in new book

08.01.2017, Russia.

Modest Kolerov’s new book entitled Totalitarianism: A Russian program for Western doctrine took place on January 5 at the Tsiolkovsky bookstore in Moscow. A Rossa Primavera news agency correspondent attended the event.

The REGNUM news agency editor-in-chief spoke about his previous books. He expressed regret over the fact that Russian historiography still utilizes rhetorical cliches from the Cold War, which sensible western researchers have abandoned. He explained his viewpoint on how the term “Totalitarianism” originated, how it spread, and how it has transformed.

Kolerov connects the emergence of the term with the criticism of industrial society by post-revolutionary Russian emigres, mostly socialists, and Mensheviks. Their criticism of a society that “squeezes a person dry”, in exchange for public education, universal healthcare, and universal employment, could be equally applied both to Western industrial capitalism and to the USSR.

The emigres “pain” relating to the “one-party dictatorship” and the transformation of the communist dictatorship in the USSR into Joseph Stalin’s personal dictatorship received special attention. Kolerov noted that accusations by the second generation of USSR critics, “Cold Warriors” like Zbigniew Brzezinski, regarding the Party dictatorship in the Soviet Union after the pre-War purges and the Great Patriotic War,  do not have objective evidence to support them, and they were likely borrowed from Trotskyist discourse without critical appraisal.

As the result, the term “Totalitarianism” term became a rhetorical cliche used solely against the USSR, and the concept itself was emasculated thank to Cold War realities. Meanwhile, any talk of totalitarianism in Western society was suppressed. The term was almost never used even relating to China.

According to Kolerov, Totalitarianism: A Russian program for Western doctrine is a summary and further development of his notes made during while writing his main work of the last 20 years, the book Stalin: from Fichte to Beria. Essays on the history of the language of Stalin’s communism, which was published in 2017.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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