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mercredi, 30 juillet 2008

Conversing with Alexander Zinoviev


Conversing with Alexander Zinoviev


We all remember the great Soviet dissident Alexander Zinoviev, a lucid analyst not only of all the odds of the Soviet regime but also and especially of all the odds of the human soul, which lead unequivocally to all those forms of rigid totalitarianism. Today Zinoviev criticizes ”Westernikism” with an equal vigor as he criticized Soviet power before. “Westernikism” is in his eyes an American version of a Gleichschaltung of the human soul, which is equally mutilating as the former Soviet version. Because he formulated his sharp critiques under Breshnev's Soviet Union , he was deprived of his Soviet citizenship in the Seventies. Zinoviev was compelled to live a long exile abroad, in Munich in Bavaria , a City which gave a safe harbour to many more Russian emigrations. Zinoviev is now disgusted by the dominant "Westernikism" in the world and cannot accept its haughtiness. He decided thus to leave the West to go back to his Russian homeland. His last work published in Switzerland, La grande rupture (The Big Rupture; ed. L'Age d'Homme, Lausanne) is pushing and assaulting, but without any illusion, full of bitterness and lucidity. A lucidity that will lead him soon to be deprived of his access right to the main media, for having asserted clearly and sharply some truths that aren't universally accepted. Our correspondent in Paris, Xavier Cheneseau, met ex-Soviet dissident Zinoviev during one of his last stays in the French capital. Zinoviev was attended by his publisher and interpreter Slobodan Despot, who translated into French the Russian answers of the philosopher.

Q.: What do you mean by a "Big Rupture" in your book and which is the central topic of it?

AZ: The Western-European civilization is doubtless the greatest civilization of history. Its apex was incarnated by the development of the main Nation-States as Germany, Italy, Britain and France . At the beginning of the 20th century, the idea appeared of a definitive decay of this civilization, that from then on was perceived as exhausted and mortal. Today one thing is certain: after having allowed the development of a superior organization system, the Western European civilization undergoes history and is not making it anymore. The rupture, that I define in my book, appeared immediately after the Western victory in the Cold War, followed by the crumbling down of the Soviet Block and the transformation of the United States in the only remaining Super-State of our Planet, ruling the entire Western world without any serious challenger.

Q.: According to you, how things evolved towards this situation?

AZ: You can explain it by saying that a new level of an organization that is superior than the one ruling the Western societies, was created, also by the fact that all Western societies were integrated in one single unity, which is a super-civilization, in comparison with the Western civilization, and, endly, by the fact that a World Order was instaured under the leading of the Western world. I was astonished some years ago to state that there was a real and a virtual dimension in every thing. The virtual world is now the dominant culture of nowadays people. In fact, people today perceive the real world through the expedient of this virtual world. They only perceive what the virtual world authorizes them to see. The virtual world doen't express the world as it is in plain reality.

Q.: According to you, do we still live in a democracy in the context of what you are describing us?

AZ: If you want a democracy to exist actually, you need to accept the possibility of a choice, thus you need plurality. During the Cold World, there was a plurality in the world, i. e. the actual possibility of a democracy: you had the coexistence of a communist system, of a capitalist system and of a group of other countries, which were named the "non-aligned". The Soviet Block was influenced by the critiques from the West and the West was influenced by the Soviet Union, due to the fact that communist parties were active on the political checkboards of the Western States. Today, you have only one ideology left, which serves exclusively the one-worldists. The belief that the future of human kind doesn't lay in communism anymore but in americanism (the superior form of Westernikism) is a belief shared by a majority of Westerners.

Q.: Nevertheless in Europe and notably in France , you find, despite of all, political forces that still oppose this general trend…

AZ: The shear existence of those forces is only virtual, it is not real. Look and you will see that this kind of opposition is more and more formal. As a proof, look at the attitude of the European political class during the war against Serbia . Almost unanimously, this political class supported the aggression against this sovereign and free nation.

Q.: Are we then allowed to talk about totalitarianism?

AZ: Totalitarianism spreads itself everywhere because the supranational structure impose its rule and law to all nations. There is a non democratic superstructure, which is giving orders, punishes, organizes blocades, bombs and lets people starve. Financial totalitarianism submitted the political powers. Totalitarianism is a cold ideology. It has no feelings and expresses no pity. Besides, we must accept the fact that people do not resist a bank, but can eventually compel any political dictature to handle or leave power.


Q.: Nevertheless, we can say that the system can explode due to the social situation in our countries…


AZ: Please, don't display naively illusions. Movements of that sort aren't possible anymore, because the working class has been replaced by the workless, who are in an extremely weak position, and only aspire to one thing; to get a job.


Q.: If I follow your words, you tell me that our societies aren't democratic…


AZ: The historical period of the all-pervading democracy of Western style belongs now to the past, because the end of communism introduced us fully in the post-democratic era.


Q.: Which is the role and the power of the media in such a situation?


AZ: The role of the media is that of a very important bolt that can work owing to a genuine sphere, which extends without measure the presence and the activity of the capital and the State's interests. It's one of the main pillars on which the Western system settles. The media represent the most powerful instrument to shape the tastes and the forms of knowledge shared by the big mass of people in the world. Today the media represent a real instrument to influence directly the masses. The media interfere in all the sphres of society: sports, everyday life, economics and, of course, politics. Everything becomes an aim for the media. They exert a totalitarian power on the people living nowadays, and even worse, they arrogated for themselves the function of the great arbitrator in the ideological choices.


Q.: How can we in your eyes organize the struggle against this "media-cracy" that surrounds us?


AZ: It's an historical struggle. We are the witnesses of history but we also take a part in it. We have to take into account the historical time because we have to bring thousands and even millions of people into movement, without having the certainty to win the battle. We have to take into account the fact that millions of people are today the victims of the mediatic contagion. We simply have to take the exemple of the war against Serbia to state that the number of contaminated people is huge. Moreover we must be always on the look-out in order that our attention may not be deviated by the mediatic smoke curtain.


Q.: How do you see the access to power of Vladimir Putin?


AZ: Putin's access to power is indeed the first sign of an interior resistance against globalization and americanization. But Putin's success depends in the end and despite of all from factors that are exterior to Russia.


Q.: We hear a lot about a survival of communist ideology in Russia today…


AZ: What do yo mean? Ideas are eternal. The marxist form of communism in Russia has been severely defeated. It survives marginally but isn't operational anymore. Today you cannot start anything with this ideology. As a proof, I would mention the Russian Communist Party itself, which doesn't evoke the Revolution anymore. The communists don't refer to the dictature of the proletariat and evolve even towards liberalism in a certain way.


Q.: Mr. Zinoviev, we thank you for this interview.


(Interview taken for "Synergon" by Xavier Cheneseau and translated into French by Slobodan Despot and into English by Robert Steuckers).      


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