A Warning from the Loss of the Press and Propaganda Front in the Perdition of the CPSU

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This article by Zhu Jidong was first published on 24 September in Red Flag Manuscripts. While it focuses solely on the USSR, it contains many barely-veiled references to present-day China and the lessons it should draw from the Soviet collapse. For example, it points to the fossilization of Soviet propaganda, which resulted in wooden language and laboured official-speak. There have been repeated warnings against ideological fossilization in China, amongst others in this Liu Yunshan speech and the 2011 Central Committee Decision on Culture. The need to keep propaganda tools lively and interesting has also been one of the political drivers behind the emphasis on reform and growth in the cultural industries. Zhu also refers to the Westernization of propaganda officials and the increasing pressure towards peaceful evolution by Western countries. In particular, he refers to Alexander Yakovlev as the puppeteer behind the scenes, who orchestrated the liberalization of Party media, and to Gorbachev’s decision to stop jamming foreign broadcasts as one of the key moments in which the CPSU lost control and started crumbling. The implied lessons for China are clear: keep a close eye on the foreign-related activities of officials (Zhu finely observes that Yakovlev had studies in the US), and ensure that foreign media voices gain no foothold in the domestic public opinion sphere. Lastly, Zhu notes that media liberalization led to a slander campaign of revisionist history against Marxism-Leninism and Socialism, in which all the CPSU’s achievements were denied and its leaders smeared as criminals. Apparently, there is a growing concern that such tendencies may strengthen in China as well, as evidenced by Xi Jinping’s statements on Mao as well as recent articles in Party media.

Zhu Jidong

Through deep examination about the historical lessons of the perdition of the CPSU, I discovered that the news media that should, of course, share the same fate as the Party, actually had an effect of adding fuel to the flames and even opposing the Party in the process of perdition, it has been named as the last straw that overwhelmed the CPSU. How should we deeply analyse the sources of the problems, why all of this actually happened, and which warning for the times might we obtain?

I, The “fossilization” of the main leading ideology on the press and propaganda front led to press and propaganda work becoming lifeless

During the Stalin era, because of the complex environment and special factors of that time, the phenomenon of “fossilization” of leading cadres in charge of the ideological area was relatively prominent, the leader in the ideological area, Zhdanov, is one representative of the Forties of the 20th Century in the Soviet Union, which were widely known for strong ideological “fossilization” After the Fifties of the 20th Century, following the successive deaths of the old generation of proletarian revolutionaries, the majority of the central leadership of the CPSU came from economic and organization departments, many among them had a limited knowledge of Marxism-Leninism, and their theoretical accomplishments were low. Around the Sixties of the 20th Century, the fact that the ideological and organizational leadership levels of the CPSU had declines became even more prominent. Although the tradition that the number two person was in charge of ideological work was maintained, the cadres in charge of propaganda and ideology were regularly scorned by leaders managing economic work and cadre work. In social thinking trends, the pursuit of a material society and life enjoyment also pushed out the regard of the CPSU and the entire society for propaganda, ideology and theoretical work, and ideological guidance, this led to the emergence of thinking trends that pushed out ideals and convictions in society, not a few news workers and even press and propaganda front leading cadres lost their beliefs and felt confusion in their thinking.

The US and other Western countries continuously schemed to change the nature of the Soviet Union’s Socialism, they also recognized that as long as Stalin was alive, this sort of scheme was impossible to realize. Then, privileged factions within the CPSU who advocated the capitalist path and their followers actively opened a breach for Western peaceful evolution. When Khrushchev took over power, this was seen by the US as a great opportunity to exert ideological influence on the Soviet Union, and they adopted a series of measures to this end. Khrushchev tried to conduct so-called “news reform”, and allowed a limited amount of openness and news freedom. But what Khrushchev did not expect was that a batch of “liberalist” journalists and writers would use the opportunity to attack and criticize Stalin to attack the CPSU and the Soviet Union’s Socialist system. In the face of this situation, Khrushchev soon after again strengthened control over news, constrained by intra-Party pressures.

By the Brezhnev era, because of fears that a situation of chaos as brought on by Khrushchev’s “news reform” would occur, the CPSU again abandoned Khrushchev’s ideologies and methods, and brought their understanding of Socialism back to the levels of the Thirties of the 20th Century, they solidified the “Stalin model” and equated it with Socialism. Brezhnev’s ideology also influenced the leading cadres in the ideological area causing the Soviet Union’s news undertaking and public opinion environment to restore the Stalin era situation of “fossilization”. During the Brezhnev era, the CPSU Central Propaganda Department’s persons in charge were changed regularly, this also indicated that Brezhnev, Suzlov and other CPSU leaders were extremely dissatisfied with the Central Propaganda Department’s work, and also did not find choices that were suitable for this work. Brezhnev’s own thoughts fossilized, his “writings” with hollow content were published and distributed in millions of copies, all large news media ran lengthy articles to propagate them, which in the end led to ever more Soviet Union citizens treating Marxism-Leninism with a ridiculing attitude, this sort of effectless propaganda further aggravated the crisis of belief within the Party and the society, resulting in turbulent undercurrents within Soviet society against the CPSU’s high level of ideological control and against the strict control over news. The “fossilized” model of press and propaganda led to chains of empty and conventional phrases in the ideological area, formalism became ever stronger, and in the end, the root of the CPSU’s loss of control over ideology was laid.

II, The main leaders of the press and propaganda front completely “Westernized”, leading to a loss of control power and ideological confusion

During the Gorbachev era, the leading cadres in the entire ideological area, including those controlling the press and propaganda front, were all known as “Westernized”. Gorbachev’s “little classmate”, Gaidar, who had graduated from Moscow University’s Economics Department and held a Ph.D. venerated the capitalist system, he and a group of young scholars who completely accepted Western political and economic theory formed a political clique, the Young Reformers. Gaidar was called “the little Chicago boy” and “a completely Americanized expert”, he was called a “key figure among market reformists”, the theoretical viewpoints of the young scholars he represented were first, economic marketization and second, political democratization. In their minds, marketization meant the establishment of a market economy system with private ownership as in Western countries, and democratization meant the establishment of a capitalist political system. US economic scholars researched the standpoints of these young people and discovered that what Gaidar and the others accepted was merely the most simple and most innocent form of 19th Century liberalism. After Gaidar graduated from university, he successively was responsible for the most important theoretical periodical of the CSPU Central Committee, “The Communist” and the economic department of an important CPSU newspaper “Pravda”, he was a very influential character in CPSU ideology departments, and one can well imagine the evils of his influence over the overall press and propaganda front.

Yakovlev, who had in the past been a Politburo Standing Committee member, secretary of the Secretariat and director of the Central Propaganda Department, was a crucial figure in charge of ideological work in the CPSU, he was also a “bosom friend” and “military counsellor” of Gorbachev, even so, he not only failed to earnestly study Marxism, instead, he profusely praised capitalism, in reality, he was an anti-Communist and anti-Socialist element hidden within the CPSU. It can be imagined that such people being in charge of the CPSU’s press and propaganda front and even overall ideological work, may  lead to such a situation of chaos. During the first few years when Gorbachev implemented reform, Yakovlev strove to change the nature of the CPSU and destroy the Socialist system of the Soviet Union through exerting influence over Gorbachev and using his powers and responsibilities to lead propaganda and public opinion work. Especially after he grasped power over the press and propaganda front and even the overall CPSU ideology, Yakovlev began to make reports, give speeches and compose articles everywhere, preaching so-called “democratization” and “openness”.

The complete “Westernization” of leading cadres in charge of the press and propaganda front and even the overall ideological sphere not only caused a weakening of the voice of persisting in truth, but also quite a few people became isolated or even met with attacks and retaliation, even more people choked with silent anger. A model example is storm triggered by the Leningrad Institute of Technology professor Nina Andreyeva, who published the letter “I Cannot Forsake My Principles” in the “Sovetskaya Rossiya” on 13 March 1988. In her letter, Andreyeva said that the sensational articles in the newspapers at that time could only cause people to lose their bearings, and disgraced the Socialist Soviet Union. This letter triggered a mighty uproar, the so-called “reformist” saw this even more as a counterattack from “conservative forces and old CPSU forces”. The CPSU Politburo convened emergency meetings for two successive days to discuss countermeasures, the objective was to stop and beat back these so-called “counterrevolutionary forces”. The upshot was that Gorbachev reassigned the Politburo member Ligachev, who persisted in Marxist principles and was then in charge of ideology, to take charge of agricultural work, his replacement was Yakovlev, who had studied in the US. Following a direct suggestion of Yakovlev, “Pravda” published a counterarticle on 5 April: “The Principle of Reform: The Revolutionary Spirit of Thoughts and Actions”, which comprehensively counterattacked and pressured Andreyeva. “Pravda” named Andreyeva’s letter “a counterrevolutionary manifesto”, and named Andreyeva “an enemy of reform, a Stalinist element, and a representative of conservatism, office bureaucrat and Party bigwigs”. Afterwards, all sorts of discourse and articles attacking and abusing the CPSU and the Socialist system swarmed out of the cage, all sorts of anti-Marxist thinking trends spread unchecked, and the entire history of the Soviet Union was described as utter pitch darkness. Thus, the dyke of the CPSU’s thinking and ideology, in which a breach had already been torn, rapidly slid down to the margin of collapse.

III, Main people in charge of news work units were dismissed, leading to a complete loss of CPSU control over the leading power on the press and propaganda front

In order to further control the entire CPSU’s press and propaganda front, Yakovlev also arranged that persons from the so-called liberal faction became editors of a number of newspapers and periodicals, which made these media become anti-Communist and anti-Socialist vanguards that he could freely boss around. Under the management of Yakovlev, between 1986 and 1988, a batch of most influential newspapers and periodicals in the Soviet Union were successively taken over by “new people”, such newspapers and periodicals include: “Izvestia”, “Little Fire”, “Moscow News”, the “Communist Youth League Pravda”, the “Moscow Youth League Paper”, “Youth” magazine, “New World” magazine, etc. The editorial departments of the CPSU “Pravda”, “Communist” magazine, the “Economic News” and other newspaper and periodicals were also restructured to a large extent. Among those, the general editor of the CPSU’s most important theoretical journal, “Communist” magazine, Kosolapov, who had profound skills in Marxist theory, was relieved of his duties… This symbolized the complete loss of leadership power on the CPSU’s press and propaganda front. Afterwards, these mainstream newspapers and periodicals that had much influence across the Soviet Union stirred up trouble and messed about public opinion, they had an important effect in the downfall of the CPSU and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The documents of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation describe it as follows: mass media tools were wilfully handed over to representatives of capitalist viewpoints. They used methods of psychological warfare to impart large amounts of information maliciously discrediting the Soviet Union and its history to the masses, and took a laissez-faire attitude towards forces opposing the Soviet Regime and the unity of the federal state.” In addition, Western countries vigorously supported anti-Marxists and anti-Socialists’ control of the leadership power of all sorts of news media, these media that should be the eyes, ears and mouthpieces of the Party successively stood opposed to the CPSU, and even became opposition parties against the CPSU to some extent, so that anti-Soviet, anti-Communist and anti-Socialist propaganda flooded across society on a large scale, gravely shaking people’s belief in the CPSU and Socialism and accelerating the process of the CPSU’s perdition.

In the face of hostile forces’ unbridled attacks against Marxism and the Communist Party, a number of CPSU leaders felt that the state of affairs was grave, and they demanded the convention of a Central Committee meeting to discuss trends in the Party and the country, and to counterattack against anti-Communist and anti-Socialist thinking trends. However, Yakovlev said: “Is this worth it… Reform is being conducted normally. This is an unavoidable difficulty in a period of transition, you must not be so restless.” Because Yakovlev used his power and responsibility of leading propaganda and public opinion work to strive to change the nature of the CPSU and destroy the Soviet Union’s social system, main media also could only actively or forcibly act according to his will, at that time, attacking Marxism and the Communist Party continued to become the main task of media. The White Russian Communist Party’s evaluation of this hit the nail on the head: “Mass media tools that have fallen into the hands of slanderers and provocateurs smear Socialism and the Soviet Union’s history on a large scale, they opened up a path for forces opposing the Soviet regime and its allied countries, consequently, between August and December 1991, a counterrevolutionary coup d’état was realized.”

From the winter of 1990 onwards, following developments and changes in the circumstances, Yakovlev further showed his true colours, not only did he announce withdrawal from the CPSU on 6 August 1991, he also supported Yeltsin, who built a “democratic reform movement” together with Shevardnadze and others to openly oppose the CPSU. Yakovlev afterwards again exposed his true colours in his memoirs “A Bitter Cup”, where he praised capitalism profusely, kneeling and bowing in worship, believing that “capitalism brought the ethics of pragmatism. In the capitalist slogans of liberty, equality and fraternity, a noble idealism is reflected, its basis is sober, earnest and down-to-earth real thinking.”

IV, Gorbachev supported news reform and “news freedom”, which led to a reckless flood of anti-Soviet, anti-Communist and anti-Socialist propaganda

In March 1986, during the “criticise Stalin again” movement that Gorbachev had started, he invited mass media to criticize the Soviet Union’s Party and State organs. He told news media that: “at he current stage of social development, our newspapers and periodicals may become and independent opposition faction.” With official encouragement, a number of especially radical “rethinking history” newspapers and periodicals such as “Little Fire” magazine and the “Moscow News” progressively revealed their true face: they used the opportunity to deny the past, deny the CPSU’s history and deny Socialism, and then brazenly broke out the banner of “reform” in the direction of capitalism. In the first half of 1990, there were more than a thousand of all sorts of “unofficial” publications within the Soviet Union. On 12 June 1990, Gorbachev approved the “Press and Publishing Law”, declaring “news freedom”, and causing a fundamental change to occur in the Soviet Union’s news system and nature. The “Press and Publishing Law” provided that public opinion would not be subject to examination, the news censorship system was abolished, all sorts of organizations and private persons had the right to run newspapers, and it expanded the autonomy of those running paper. This in fact connived at the flood of opposition newspapers, it did not only not change the disorderly state of the news world, but instead caused the situation of chaos to get steadily worse, the Soviet Socialist Party Newspaper structure with “Pravda” as cornerstone came under lashing attack, and thereupon continued to go downhill and cave in.

The first director of the CIA, Allen Dulles, maintained that there should be no hesitation to adopt all possible means to “sanctify” all contemptible things in Soviet society, to reduce those keeping a cool head and remaining loyal to Socialism to a minimum, and to be put in an “isolated and helpless plight, and change them into the target of mass mockery.” Because of this, Western anti-Communist forces continued to try every method to launch comprehensive attacks against the Socialist Soviet Union through supporting Soviet anti-Communist media and the media three controlled themselves. In order to implement peaceful evolution strategies, Western developed countries respectively established special news media aimed at Socialist countries. In the face of this sort of propaganda offensive, Gorbachev not only failed to respond vigorously, but instead, he let the tiger go its way, he not only instructed in January 1987 that jamming of BBC broadcasts into the Soviet Union should cease, before long, he also successively ceased jamming broadcasts into the Soviet Union by the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and other Western radio stations, which enabled the people in the Soviet Union to listen to the voices of foreign radio stations whenever they wanted. These Western countries’ mouthpieces propagated Western lifestyles on a large scale, they introduced Western attitudes and viewpoints on Soviet reform, and discussed the political situation in the Soviet Union with Western viewpoints and angles. Where the Soviet people who were at the crossroads of reform were concerned, it goes without saying that they were seduced into wrongdoing and incitement. The US International Broadcasting Commission believed that: “The Soviet Union’s ceasing the jamming of Western broadcasts may have been more important than Gorbachev’s decision to promise the withdrawal of half a million troops from Eastern Europe. Where the US was concerned, it provided a rare opportunity to stimulate peaceful evolution in the Soviet Union’s society.”

V, Ever more media successively stood in opposition to the CPSU, leading to increasing ideological confusion and perplexity among Party members and the masses.

Because Gorbachev promoted press reform and declared “press freedom”, when CPSU Party newspapers, with the “Pravda” as representative, faced competitors who used exposing so-called “CPSU scandals” and criticism the so-called “crimes” of Lenin, Stalin and other CPSU leaders as their main tricks to attract readers, they increasingly lost superiority, under these circumstances, many Soviet Union media and even some Party newspapers and periodicals rapidly started a surging tide of attacks on Marxism-Leninism, exposure the dark side of Soviet society, and belittling the achievements of seven decades of Socialist construction in the Soviet Union. During the “Criticise Stalin Again” movement, all sorts of news media controlled by anti-Marxists and anti-Socialists unearthed even more history and exposed even more of the dark side of the Stalin era, as a means to attract readers. Furthermore, right-wing forces seized the opportunity to add fuel to the flames, and the CPSU’s press and propaganda front and even the overall ideological area saw the surge of a tidal wave that deepened step by step into a complete denial of CPSU history and the leaders of the Soviet Union, CPSU Party members’ thoughts were upset, the thoughts of the people of the Soviet Union were upset, Stalin became a demon, the entire history of the CPSU and the Soviet Union consisted either of crimes and other crimes, what the October Revolution and Socialism brought was only disaster, and capitalism became an ideal paradise of freedom and plenty in people’s hearts and minds. In the face of these articles that confounded black and white in the media, and as the people in the Soviet Union progressively lost faith in the Party and the country, and lost their belief in Socialism and Communist, the spiritual pillars of the people of the Soviet Union also came crashing down. In a short two years between January 1989 and January 1991, 29 million CPSU members announced their withdrawal from the Party organization, and the Party members left within the Party also mostly lost faith in the CPSU.

At this time in the Soviet Union, not only had newspapers become anti-Marxist and anti-Socialist battlefields, television stations were unwilling to lag behind as well. A number of young journalists established live debate-type programmes such as “Viewpoint” and “Fifth Wheel”, which openly attacked and criticised the CPSU. In the spring of 1989, on the basis of the revised Constitution, the entire Soviet Union held elections for people’s representatives. The opposition faction within the CPSU grasped this rare opportunity to campaign even more, and through live television, it legally diffused all kinds of anti-Soviet and anti-Communist voices across the entire country. The CPSU’s National Representative Conference and the subsequent wholly live broadcast People’s Congress also became important platforms for the CPSU’s opposition faction. In fact, the so-called open media that had already become monopolized and the free campaigning movement, further intensified the crisis of trust in the CPSU, and this became the beginning of the political and organizational complete denial of the CPSU. Because of this, it may be said that the loss of control of the CPSU over the media let to anti-Communist and anti-Socialist public opinion disintegrating and destroying the foundations of the Soviet Union’s ideological building step by step, hollowing out the core value system of the Soviet Union Socialist system and the acceleration of the pace of the CPSU’s perdition.

Where a Marxist governing party is concerned, strong ideological work is its bugle and banner to concentrate the hearts of the Party and the hearts of the People, and to command the ideals and the will of the people to advance. When its bugle and banner are captured, when its ideals and its will are destroyed, can this party still exist? By 1991, as public opinion in the mainstream media had repeated thousands of times that the CPSU and the Soviet Union’s Socialist practice were defeated, when all sorts of media smeared the image of the Party’s leaders black all over, after the broad Party members and popular masses believed that these lies and fallacies were true, in the face of the critical moment when hostile forces propagating the dissolution and the Communist Party and the overthrow of the Socialist system, who would step forward to defend the Communist Party and Socialism? The result of the perdition of the CPSU and the dissolution of the Soviet Union had become the clearest answer.

(The author is a postdoctoral researcher at the Tsinghua University Marxist Theory Postdoctoral Mobile Station and the Adjunct Chief Secretary of the National Cultural Security and Ideological Construction Research Centre)

新闻宣传战线在苏共亡党中的迷失及警示
朱继东
深刻反省苏共亡党的历史教训,我们发现,本来应该是与党同呼吸共命运的新闻媒体,在苏共亡党过程中竟然起了推波助澜甚至反对党的作用,被称为压倒苏共的最后一根稻草。这一切是怎么发生的,我们应该如何深入剖析问题根源,从中又该得到怎样的时代警示呢?

一、新闻宣传战线的主管领导思想“僵化”导致了新闻宣传工作死气沉沉

在斯大林时代,由于当时的复杂环境和特殊原因,主管意识形态领域的领导干部“僵化”现象比较突出,以思想“僵化”强硬著称的苏联20世纪40年代意识形态领导人日丹诺夫就是一个代表。20世纪50年代后期,随着老一辈无产阶级革命家相继去世,苏共中央领导层多数来自经济和组织部门,其中很多人对马克思列宁主义认识有限,理论素养不高。20世纪60年代前后,苏共的意识形态组织领导水平下降的情况更加明显。虽然形式上一直保留着党的第二把手主管意识形态工作的传统,但管理宣传思想的干部经常受到管理经济工作和干部工作领导的蔑视。社会思潮中对物质社会和生活享受的追求也排挤了苏共和全社会对宣传思想和理论工作的重视和思想引导,导致了社会上排斥理想信念思潮的出现,不少新闻工作者乃至新闻宣传战线的领导干部都感到信仰迷失、思想混乱。

美国等西方国家一直企图改变苏联社会主义的性质,但也承认只要斯大林在世,这种图谋就无法实现。而苏共党内主张走资本主义道路的特权集团及其追随者主动为西方和平演变打开了一个缺口。赫鲁晓夫上台执政,被美国视为从意识形态上对苏施加影响的大好时机,并为此采取了一系列措施。赫鲁晓夫尝试进行所谓“新闻改革”,允许有限度地开放新闻自由。但让赫鲁晓夫没想到的是,一批“自由派”记者和作家借攻击批评斯大林之机攻击苏共和苏联的社会主义制度。面对这种情况,赫鲁晓夫不久之后迫于党内压力又重新加强了新闻管制。

到了勃列日涅夫时期,由于害怕出现赫鲁晓夫所谓“新闻改革”带来的混乱局面,苏共又摈弃了赫鲁晓夫的思想和做法,把对社会主义的理解倒退到了20世纪30年代的水平,将“斯大林模式”凝固化并将其与社会主义等同起来。勃列日涅夫的思想又影响了主管意识形态领域的领导干部,使得苏联的新闻事业和舆论环境又恢复到了斯大林时代的“僵化”景况。在勃列日涅夫时期,苏共中央宣传部的负责人经常更换,这也说明勃列日涅夫、苏斯洛夫等苏共领导人极不满意中央宣传部的工作,也没有找到适合此项工作的人选。勃列日涅夫本人思想僵化,其内容空洞的“著作”被成百万册地出版发行,各大新闻媒体长篇累牍地宣传,最终导致越来越多的苏联公民以讥讽的态度来对待马克思列宁主义,这种没有成效的宣传又进一步加剧了党内和社会的信仰危机,使得苏联社会在苏共对意识形态高度控制和对新闻严格管制的表面下暗流涌动。新闻宣传的“僵化”模式,导致了意识形态领域空话套话连篇,形式主义愈演愈烈,最终为苏共对意识形态的失控埋下了祸根。

二、新闻宣传战线的主管领导全面“西化”导致了控制权丧失和意识形态混乱

戈尔巴乔夫时期,主管新闻宣传战线在内的整个意识形态领域的领导干部均以“西化”闻名。戈尔巴乔夫的“小校友”、毕业于莫斯科大学经济系、具有博士学位的盖达尔崇尚资本主义制度,他和一群完全接受西方政治经济理论的年轻学者形成了一个政治团体——青年改革派。盖达尔被称为“芝加哥小男孩”、“完全美国化了的专家”、“被称为市场改革派核心人物”,他所代表的一批青年学者的理论主张,一是经济市场化,二是政治民主化。他们心目中的市场化就是建立西方国家的私有制的市场经济制度,民主化就是建立资本主义政治制度。而美国经济学家研究了这些年轻人的主张后发现,盖达尔们接受的不过是19世纪最简单、最天真的自由主义观点。盖达尔大学毕业后先后负责苏共中央最重要的理论刊物——《共产党员》杂志及苏共主要报纸《真理报》的经济部,是苏共意识形态机构中很有影响的人物,对整个新闻宣传战线影响之恶劣可想而知。

曾担任中央政治局委员、书记处书记、宣传部部长的雅科夫列夫是苏共掌管意识形态工作的关键人物,也是戈尔巴乔夫的“密友”和“军师”,然而他不仅不认真学习马克思主义,反而对资本主义赞不绝口,实际上他就是一个隐藏在苏共内部的反共反社会主义分子。可以想象,这样的人掌管苏共新闻宣传战线乃至整个意识形态工作,会是怎样一个混乱的局面。在戈尔巴乔夫实行改革的头几年,雅科夫列夫通过对戈尔巴乔夫施加影响和利用负责领导宣传舆论工作的权力,力图改变苏共性质和毁掉苏联社会主义制度。尤其是在掌握了新闻宣传战线乃至整个苏共意识形态大权后,雅科夫列夫开始四处作报告、发表讲话或撰写文章,鼓吹所谓“民主化”和“公开性”。

主管苏共新闻宣传战线乃至整个意识形态领域的领导干部全面“西化”,不仅使得坚持真理的人声音变弱,而且不少人还被孤立起来甚至遭到打击报复,更多的人是敢怒而不敢言。典型例子就是列宁格勒技术学院女教师尼娜·安德列耶娃在1988年3月13日《苏维埃俄罗斯报》发表《我不能放弃原则》这封信引发的风波。安德烈耶娃在信中说,当前报刊上轰动一时的文章只能使人迷失方向,是给社会主义的苏联抹黑。这封信引起轩然大波,所谓的“改革派”更是将其视为“保守势力和苏共旧势力”的反攻倒算。苏共中央政治局连续两天召开紧急会议商讨对策,目的就是要制止和反击这股所谓的“反对改革的势力”。结果,戈尔巴乔夫将坚持马列主义原则、原主管意识形态的政治局委员利加乔夫调整为主管农业工作,取而代之的是曾留学美国的雅科夫列夫。在雅科夫列夫直接授意下,《真理报》4月5日发表了反击文章《改革的原则:思维和行动的革命性》,对安德烈耶娃给予全面反击和打压。《真理报》将安德烈耶娃的信称为“反改革分子的宣言”,把安德烈耶娃称为“改革的敌人、斯大林主义分子、保守派、机关官僚、党的权贵代表”。此后,各种攻击、谩骂苏共和社会主义制度的言论、文章纷纷出笼,各种反马克思主义思潮泛滥,整个苏联历史都被描述得一团漆黑。由此,已经被撕开裂口的苏共思想和意识形态的大堤,急剧滑向崩溃的边缘。

三、新闻单位主要负责人被撤换导致苏共新闻宣传战线领导权全面失落

为进一步掌控整个苏共的新闻宣传战线,雅科夫列夫还安排所谓的自由派人士出任一些报刊杂志的主编,使这些媒体成为他可以自由使唤的反共反社会主义的急先锋。在雅科夫列夫的主持下,1986年至1988年间,苏联一批最有影响的报刊先后被“新人”接管,这样的刊物包括:《消息报》、《星火》画报、《莫斯科新闻》、《共青团真理报》、《论据与事实》周刊、《莫斯科真理报》、《莫斯科共青团员报》、《青春》杂志、《新世界》杂志等。苏共《真理报》、《共产党人》杂志、《经济报》等报刊的编辑部也大幅度调整。其中,苏共机关最重要的理论刊物《共产党人》杂志的主编、有着深厚马克思主义理论功底的科索拉波夫被解除职务……这标志着苏共新闻宣传战线领导权全面失落。此后,这些在全苏很有影响的主流报刊煽风点火、左右舆论,为苏共垮台、苏联解体发挥了重要作用。俄罗斯联邦共产党的文献中这样描述:“大众传媒工具被有意地交给了持资产阶级观点的代表手中。他们使用心理战的方法,向群众灌输大量恶意中伤苏联及其历史的信息,对反苏维埃政权和联盟国家统一的势力听之任之。”再加上西方国家积极扶持反马克思主义、反社会主义者控制各种新闻媒体的领导权,这些本来应该是党的耳目和喉舌的媒体纷纷站到了苏共的对立面,在某种意义上甚至已成为苏共的反对党,以致反苏、反共、反社会主义的宣传在全社会大肆泛滥,严重动摇了人们对苏共和社会主义的信念,加速了苏共亡党的进程。

面对敌对势力对马克思主义、共产党肆无忌惮的攻击,苏共一些领导人也曾感到事态严重,要求召开中央会议讨论党和国家的形势,对反共、反社会主义的思潮予以反击。而雅科夫列夫却说:“值得这样吗……改革正在正常地进行着。这是过渡时期不可避免的困难,不要这样不安。”由于雅科夫列夫利用负责领导宣传舆论工作的权力力图改变苏共性质和毁掉苏联社会制度,主要媒体也只能主动或被迫按照其意志去做,这时攻击马克思主义、共产党继续成为媒体的主要任务。白俄罗斯共产党对此的评价一针见血:“落入诽谤和挑拨者手中的大众传媒工具,对社会主义和苏联历史大肆污蔑,为反对苏维埃政权及联盟国家的力量开辟道路,于是1991年8—12月实现了反革命的国家政变”。

从1990年冬季起,随着形势的发展变化,雅科夫列夫更是原形毕露,不仅在1991年8月6日宣布退出苏共,而且支持叶利钦,同谢瓦尔德纳泽等人组建“民主改革运动”公开反对苏共。雅科夫列夫后来在其代表作《一杯苦酒》中也再次暴露出了其本来面目,他对资本主义赞不绝口、顶礼膜拜,认为“资本主义带来了实用主义的伦理。在资本主义的自由、平等、博爱的口号中体现了崇高的理想主义,它依据的是清醒的、脚踏实地的现实考虑。”

四、戈尔巴乔夫支持新闻改革和“新闻自由”导致反苏、反共、反社会主义宣传肆意泛滥

1986年3月,在戈尔巴乔夫掀起的“重评斯大林”运动中,他邀请大众媒体批评苏联党政机关。他对新闻媒体说:“在当今社会发展阶段,我们的报刊可以成为独特的反对派。”在官方鼓励下,一些对“反思历史”特别激进的报刊如《星火》画报和《莫斯科新闻》逐渐暴露其真面目:借否定过去,否定苏共历史,否定社会主义,进而公然打出向资本主义方向“改革”的旗号。1990年上半年,苏联境内各种“非正式”出版物多达上千种。1990年6月12日,戈尔巴乔夫批准《新闻出版法》,宣布“新闻自由”,使苏联新闻体制和性质发生根本性变化。《新闻出版法》规定,舆论从此不受检查,取消新闻审查制度,各种组织和私人均有权办报,并扩大办报人的自主权。这实际上纵容了反对派报纸的大泛滥,不但没有改变新闻界的无序状态,反而使其混乱局面有增无减,以《真理报》为基石的苏联社会主义党报体系受到沉重打击,从此一直走下坡路并一蹶不振。

原美国中央情报局局长艾伦·杜勒斯主张不惜采取一切可能的手段,把苏联社会上一切卑鄙的东西“神圣化”,使头脑清醒、忠于社会主义者变成少数,并被置于“孤立无援的境地,把他们变成众人耻笑的对象”。因此,西方反共势力一直在想尽办法通过支持苏联反共传媒和自己掌控的传媒,对社会主义苏联展开全面的进攻。为了实施和平演变战略,西方发达国家分别建立起专门针对社会主义国家的新闻媒体。面对这种宣传攻势,戈尔巴乔夫不仅不积极进行应对,反而为虎作伥,不仅在1987年1月指示停止干扰BBC对苏广播,不久又相继停止干扰美国之音、自由广播电台等多家西方电台的对苏广播,使苏联民众从此可以随时听到外国电台的声音。这些西方国家的喉舌大肆宣扬西方的生活方式,介绍西方对苏联改革的态度和观点,以西方的立场和视角评论苏联的政治局势。这对当时正处于改革十字路口的苏联人来说,其蛊惑性、煽动性不言而喻。美国国际广播委员会认为:“苏联停止干扰西方广播,可能比戈尔巴乔夫决定从东欧撤军50万的允诺更重要。对美国来说,它为促进苏联社会的和平演变,提供了难得的机会”。

五、更多媒体纷纷站到了苏共对立面导致党员和群众思想日益混乱和迷茫

由于戈尔巴乔夫推行新闻改革宣布“新闻自由”,《真理报》为代表的苏共党报在市场上面对以揭露所谓“苏共丑闻”、批判列宁和斯大林等苏共领袖所谓“罪行”为主要噱头吸引读者的竞争对手时越来越没有优势,在这种情况下,苏联很多媒体甚至一些党报党刊也迅速掀起了一股攻击马克思列宁主义、暴露苏联社会的阴暗面、贬低苏联70年社会主义建设成就的狂潮。而各种反马克思主义、反社会主义者控制的新闻媒体在“重评斯大林”运动中更是把挖掘历史、揭露斯大林时期的阴暗面作为吸引读者的手段。再加上右翼势力乘机推波助澜,苏共的新闻宣传战线乃至整个意识形态领域掀起了一股步步深入直至全盘否定苏共历史和苏联领导人的浪潮,苏共党员的思想被搞乱了,苏联人民的思想被搞乱了:斯大林成了恶魔,整个苏共和苏联的历史除了罪恶还是罪恶,十月革命和社会主义带来的只是灾难,而资本主义则成了人们心目中自由和富足的理想天堂。面对媒体上这些颠倒黑白的文章,当苏联人逐渐失去了对党和国家的信任、失去了对社会主义和共产主义的信仰时,苏联人的精神支柱也轰然坍塌了。从1989年1月到1991年1月在短短的两年内,就有290多万苏共党员声明退出党组织,留在党内的党员也大都对苏共失去了信心。

这时的苏联,不仅报刊成为反马克思主义、反社会主义的阵地,电视台也不甘落后。其中几位年轻记者创办的直播政论性节目“视点”、“第五车轮”,就公开抨击和批判苏共。1989年春天,根据修改后的宪法,全苏进行了人民代表选举。苏共的反对派更是抓住竞选活动这个难得的机会,通过电视直播,合法地将各种反苏、反共的声音传遍全国。苏共的党代会和后来全程电视直播的人民代表大会也成为苏共反对派的重要舞台。实际上已呈垄断之势的所谓开放传媒和自由竞选运动,进一步加剧了苏共的信任危机,并由此成为政治上和组织上全盘否定苏共的开端。因此,可以说是苏共对媒体的失控导致反共、反社会主义的舆论一步步瓦解、摧毁了苏联意识形态大厦的根基,掏空了苏联社会主义制度的核心价值体系,加速了苏共亡党的步伐。

对于一个马列主义执政党来说,强有力的思想意识形态工作就是它凝聚党心、民心,率领人民前进的理想、意志和号角、旗帜。当它的号角、旗帜被夺取,当它的理想和意志被摧垮的时候,这个党还能够存在吗?到了1991年,当主流媒体的舆论千百次地重复苏共和苏联的社会主义实践是失败的,当各种媒体把党的领袖的形象抹得漆黑一团,当广大党员和人民群众把这些谎言和谬论误认为真理之后,面对敌对势力宣布解散共产党、推翻社会主义制度的危急时刻,还有谁会站出来捍卫共产党和社会主义呢?苏共亡党、苏联解体的结局已经作出了最明确的回答。

(作者:清华大学马克思主义理论博士后流动站博士后、国家文化安全与意识形态建设研究中心副秘书长)

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