Russian Communism: Leninism and Stalinizm is what?


Communism: Leninism and Stalinizm is what?

The specter is haunting Europe—the specter
of communism... So what is this specter called communism and how haunting
is it really? The Webster’s Dictionary says that communism is a system
of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled
by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political
party. Karl Marx says that communism is abolition of private property.

Others say it is equal division of unequal earnings or it is an opiate
of the intellectuals. Even some go so far as to proclaim that communism
is a state form of Christianity. The bottom line is—communism is "one-third
practice and two-thirds explanation of a failed experiment," as the authors
of Twelve Chairs, E. Ilf and I. Petrov, define it. The underlying theme
of Twelve Chairs is to define the Russian communism. The authors, though
their two protagonists, Ostap Bender and Ippolit Vorobyaninov, use satire
and slight exaggeration to ridicule the idiocy and flaws of Soviet social
structure in a funny yet touching, melancholy way.

The search for bejeweled chairs takes Bender
and Vorobyaninov from the provinces of Moscow to the wilds of Soviet Georgia
and the Trans-Caucasus Mountanins. Ostap Bender is an unemployed con artist
living by his wits in post revolutionary Soviet Russia. He joins forces
with Ippolit Vorobyaninov, a former nobleman who has returned to his hometown
to find a cache of missing jewels, which were hidden by his mother in one
of the twelve chairs. The Soviet authorities had confiscated these chairs,
as well as all of Vorobyaninov’s possessions including his mansion. Not
only does the search for bejeweled chairs serves as a plot device for the
novel, it also contributes to ridiculing the Soviet system.

On their long and thrilling expedition,

Bender and Vorobyaninov satirically inspect progress and success of the

Soviet Communism; they come to conclusion, not surprisingly, that there
is no success (success of the Soviet Communism) because there was not progress
to begin with. Communism, as the novel points out, is inequality, but not
as property is. Property is exploitation of the weak by the strong, communism
is exploitation of the strong by the weak. How can the weak abuse the strong?

Sounds absurd doesn’t it? Yet it is the actuality of the Soviet Communism.

One of the main points of Soviet propaganda
was to get rid of all the wealthy, that is educated upper-middle class,
and let the illiterate lower-middle class rule in a classless society.

How could such thing be possible? How could people who do not know how
to rule be in charge? How could the last be first and the first be last?

That is the absurdity of Soviet apparatus, for it goes against the human
nature. Because "the light at the end of the tunnel" was to achieve classless
society, everyone must be of one class, that is class of the proletariat.

Consequently, everyone must be equal. Everyone must live in the same communal
apartments, everyone must wear the same type of clothing, everyone must
have the same political idea (idea of communism), and everyone must receive
the same amount of money for his/her services to the country. And
that is, as Bender points out in a dialogue with a Moscow worker, the absurdity
of the communist program. "They [communists] went from bad to worse," Bender
concludes (78). The implication of that sentence is that Lenin got rid
off all the wealthy (those who were in charge in Czarist Russia) and filled
the vacuum with the proletariat. Thus all workers became, theoretically
and practically, in charge of their factories or mills. And what happens
when everyone is in charge thus forming a "classless" society? The answer
is simple. Communism or its synonym— nonsense." Furthermore, how can everyone
receive the same amount of money for different types of services; how can
everyone get paid the same? It’s the senselessness of Soviet Communism,
as the book points out. In turn, the "equality of wages" created pandemic
laziness and slackness in Soviet Union. For instance, imagine yourself
an engineer in a factory and imagine your friend, Joe Smith, a simple worker
in that same factory. Although you worked considerably harder and longer
to get you Ph.D. in engineering and Joe Smith didn’t, for he is a simple
worker, both of your salaries are about the same. Soon, you will start
asking yourself one plain question: how come I work three times harder,
both mentally and physically, then Joe Smith yet our paychecks are alike?

And little by little you