Zhdanov Anniversary and the Leningrad Blockade – Part III

Dear Readers:

This is the final part of my summary/translation of this historical piece from PolitNavigator. This past February 26 was the 120th anniversary of the birth of Andrei Alexandrovich Zhdanov.

 

Left to Right: Zhdanov, Molotov, Stalin, and Voroshilov.

Already we have had ourselves a vigorous debate (see the Comment section) whether Zhdanov was really all that a great a leader; or if he was an incompetent un-proactive boob, sort of like a Russian version of Michael Brown, of Hurricane Katrina fame.  In which case, did this Stalinist flak make so many mistakes and errors in judgement, that he inadvertently increased the amount of “necessary” losses due the people of Leningrad?

I wasn’t there, nor am I an historian, so I don’t know the answer to these questions.  All I can say is that the author of this piece, Vladimir Siryachenko, is an admirer of Mr. Zhdanov and does NOT think that he is a booby.  This final part of this series comprises a brief biography of the personage in question.  So, without further ado:

A Man Is Born

Andrei Alexandrovich Zhdanov was born in the city of Mariupol (today’s Ukraine) on 26 February 1896, into a middle-class and well-educated family.  Andrei’s grandmother (on his dad’s side) was an accomplish pianist, who enjoyed playing pieces by Liszt, Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Grieg.  From her, Andrei inherited a fine musical ear and a love of music.  Which might explain his genial idea of staging the Shostakovich concert during the time of Leningrad’s greatest ordeal.

Student Art Competition: “I study at Timiryazevka!”

The notion that Andrei only had a basic “Aggie technicum” education is a myth.  In actuality, he studied at the prestigious Petrovsko-Razumovskaya Academy (today’s Тимирязевка – the Moscow Agricultural Academy).  And also at the Moscow Commercial Institute.  Which he never graduated from, as World War I intervened.

By the time he went off to war, Andrei was an ideologically convinced Social-Democrat.  He joined the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social-Democratic Party as early as 1915, making him officially an “Old Bolshevik”.

By the age of 26, Andrei Zhdanov was already the Chairman of the Gub-Ispolkom (Gubernia – “regional” Executive Committee of the Communist Party) of the city of Tversk.  His career advanced rapidly.  Within two years the Party Central Committee sent him to Nizhniy Novgorod, where he was elected Secretary of the Gubernia and Krai Committees.

Ideological Battles and High Culture

In the 1930’s a big debate erupted in Soviet society about the problems of studying (Russian) history.  Some mistakes had been made in the 1920’s, when the study of Russian history was excluded from the schools (!)  I guess this happens after every revolution (and counter-revolution, for that matter):  the inconvenient past is scorned and denied.  And then the inevitable Hegelian swing-back:  Public opinion had shifted, and the Communists decided it would be a good thing to educate children on the past deeds of such figures as Alexander Nevsky, Dmitry Donskoy, Kuzma Minin, Dmitry Pozharsky, Bogdan Khmelnitsky, Peter I, Alexander Suvorov, Fedor Ushakov, Mikhail Kutuzov, Vasily Chapaev, and Nikolai Shchors.  Writers and film directors hastened to create works based on these amazing historical personalities.

American writer Upton Sinclair wrote about the horrors of the meat-packing industry.

Zhdanov’s son Yury was later to reminisce:  “My father had an organic distaste towards aesthetism, snobbery, aristocratism, decadence, and modernism.  His striving was to make as broadly accessible as possible the cultural riches of world civilization.  Even before the war, it was his initiative in the USSR to make accessible (to the population) the classic works:  from Homer, Plutarch and Hippocrates to Sinclair, Dreiser, and Rolland.  The Soviet Union published the complete works of Hegel, Spinoza, Berkeley, Schelling, Descartes, Helvétius, Didero; the works of Newton, Galileo.  Economists were able to read the works of Adam Smith and David Ricardo; political scientists and philosophers read the works of Tommaso Campanella, Thomas Moore, Fourier, Saint-Simon, and Owen.

[yalensis:  And factor in, that all these works were translated into Russian, in order to make them accessible to the masses – a MAMMOTH endeavour!]

Literary Wars

By the end of the war, it was said that Zhdanov, now a member of the Central Committee and Politburo, was Stalin’s chosen successor.  Within the Politburo Zhdanov’s main job was in the field of ideology.

Humorous writer Mikhail Zoshchenko

To this day, the liberal intelligentsia are angry with Zhdanov for his 1946 sally against the magazines “Zvezda” and “Leningrad”.  It is said that Stalin, the more moderate of the two Party leaders, advised Zhdanov not to take it so personally, in his polemics against certain writers, such as Zoshchenko.  Another satirical writer who incurred Zhdanov’s ire was Alexander Khazin  [yalensis note:  the original incorrectly gives the writer’s first name as Mikhail].  Instead of writing about military heroics, these satirical writers preferred a gentle humorous approach to life’s foibles.  Khazin, who had never been on the front lines during the war, penned negative portrayals of ordinary people riding the Leningrad trams.  Sensing proto-kreakls at work, Zhdanov was highly offended by these works.  In his personality, Zhdanov was a “maximalist”, not to mention highly ideological and opinionated.  Having lived through the extreme stress of the Leningrad blockade, he was intolerant to those who treated the war carelessly.  Zhdanov even invented the term “internal emigration” to define parasitical intelligentsia who like to eat and sleep well and expect to be praised, but don’t lift a finger to help the common good.  And these same types keep repeating:  “Everything is better in the West!”  [yalensis:  Nothing ever really changes, does it?!]

Philosophy Wars

The year is 1947.  The country is in ruins.  The Cold War.  The atom bomb.  In between performing his core functions of defending his country and trying to rebuild from the war, Stalin also starts to dabble in the areas of philosophy and political economy.  Zhdanov supports him in this.  The Central Committee votes to conduct an open philosophical discussion.

Speaking in front of eminent Soviet scholars, Zhdanov expresses his thought, that not one of these professional philosophers, in all the 30 years of Soviet power, has produced one single idea that has enriched the world of human thought.

Zhdanov stresses that the victory of the Soviet Union in the war is also a victory for socialism, and for the ideas of Marxism-Leninism.  This victory has infuriated the imperialists.  All the dark and reactionary forces have combined to combat the ideas of Marxism-Leninism.  Which, in itself, is a living growing philosophy which needs to be developed and nurtured by the best minds available.

A year later, on 31 August 1948, Andrei Zhdanov died, at the age of 52.  It is believed that the stress of the war years shortened his life.

And the author ends his piece with this paragraph, which I translate in full:

In August of 1941, when Zhdanov bore the responsibility for the fate of Leningrad, a certain person in far-away Chita Oblast, had turned 4 years old.  This person was to grow up and become the initiator of the renaming of Leningrad [back to St. Petersburg]; and was to go on to slime the memory of the man [=Zhdanov] who helped to save it.  This person was the immoral political hack named [Anatoly] Sobchak.

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27 Responses to Zhdanov Anniversary and the Leningrad Blockade – Part III

  1. PaulR says:

    ‘Speaking in front of eminent Soviet scholars, Zhdanov expresses his thought, that not one of these professional philosophers, in all the 30 years of Soviet power, has produced one single idea that has enriched the world of human thought.’ – Well, whose fault was that? Lenin threw all of Russia’s best philosophers out of the country on the famous ‘philosopher’s steamboat’, and those who remained doubtless soon realized that Stalin wouldn’t be anything like as generous if they dared to produce any ‘idea’ to ‘enrich the world of human thought’. It was a bit of rich of Zhdanov, the key enforcer of ideological rigidity, to complain of a lack of original thinking.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Yeah, but at least these exiled philosophers could still write and publish books in their new countries. And at least they weren’t chemically castrated, like what the English did to their best mathematician (=Alan Turing).
      Just putting things in perspective….

      Like

      • davidt says:

        Even if we accept that the Turing episode is somehow relevant it is only fair to acknowledge that the Brits are generally embarrassed by Turing’s tragic treatment. On the other hand, I find myself frequently wincing by comments made on the KS blog regarding incomparably worse crimes committed in Soviet Russia. It is easy enough to spot the inconsistencies and weaknesses in the other guys attitudes but a little more honesty in acknowledging problems in Russia’s past would be refreshing. That doesn’t mean that Russia has to disown its past or apologize for it.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          I know, I know.. It’s just my personal “process” to do tit for tat. Some people call it “what-about-ism”. I call it “tit for tat”, and I consider it to be a valid game strategy.

          Like I said, I’m not “wedded” to Zhdanov. He probably was exactly what most people think he was: a crusty old Stalinist dinosaur who had his fixed ideas about how life should be, and couldn’t adapt to the post-war realities.

          And I’m not a Stalinist, by the way. I give Stalin his due for what he accomplished as a national leader, but I still hold a grudge, for the way he killed off virtually the entire of Lenin’s Central Committee. All because of the political game. Politics is a fight, and a game, but it should never be allowed to turn that deadly.

          Anyhow, I was just doing a “piece” on Zhdanov, I didn’t know that much about him myself, I found the PolitNavigator piece interesting, and I thought that Zhdanov’s biography deserved some attention, since he doesn’t often rate any.
          Professor Paul has irritated me, because I find him (=the Professor) to be excessively ideological, on the other side of the coin. He fights for his Tsar Nikolai, and his Whites, and his favored philosophers, like Ilyin, while turning his nose up at anybody on the other side of the class barricades.

          So, people get all ideological, and that’s fine. Zhdanov himself was a specialist in ideology, he would understand how polemics work.

          Like

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          “On the other hand, I find myself frequently wincing by comments made on the KS blog regarding incomparably worse crimes committed in Soviet Russia. ”

          Oo-oh, oo-oh! That would be me! 🙂

          What I’m doing there (and elsewhere), davidt, is just adressing decades (if not centuries) worth of lies, stereotypes, libel and slander. I’m against appealing to emotions and subjective “moral” when doing so. And for me it doesn’t matter what or whom I’m defending – Stalin, Ivan Grozny or Giles de Montmorency-Laval, Baron de Rais – if their names and actions had been smeared unjustly.

          Like

          • davidt says:

            The trouble is that you don’t just do this- you go a step too far, and, unfortunately, then weaken your, admittedly very strong, case.

            Like

            • yalensis says:

              Russians, with their/our typically wicked yet cynical humor, call it Головокружение от успехов – literally “one’s head spinning from too much awesomeness!”

              Like

            • yalensis says:

              P.S. – david, if you read something that you don’t like or agree with, either here or on K.S., you shouldn’t hold back – just ream the person out and tell them what you think.
              That’s what I do.
              Which is probably the reason why I am not popular!

              Like

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              Any examples? Because I’m, naturally, oblivious to them. Mind you – people voice their disagreement with me and my positions. And I answer them to the best of my ability. But to answer them they must make the first step.

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            • yalensis says:

              Absolutely right.
              People need to be more specific.

              Like

            • davidt says:

              To Lyttenburgh: Undoubtedly you are highly intelligent and very well educated, however, you remind me of the one or two “Catholic intellectuals” that I have known. Clearly you know more about Soviet history, and by an order of magnitude, than I know about Australian history. But here is a simple example where you overreach. You don’t respect Antony Beevor as an historian but instead of just criticizing his scholarship, you continue to accuse him of concocting a figure of 13,500 executions of Soviet troops at Stalingrad. Yet, in fact, his figure is consistent with a slightly higher figure quoted by an earlier Soviet authority. As it happens, I too don’t have a high regard for Beevor, and the publicity machine behind him. Last year, he was in Sydney and I was invited to go to an question/answer type afternoon with him, however, I did not go for the reason that I do not consider him to be a fair and dispassionate scholar. Perhaps some would say John Erickson is also not dispassionate but, among others, I much prefer him to Beevor. Erickson held Konstantin Rokossovsky in the highest regard as a military commander, and the comment that you made when imitating Stalin immediately brought him to my mind. By any standards, Rokossovsky was a most impressive man and yet he was tortured viciously due to the policies of Stalin. When you made your comment pretending to be Stalin I could barely refrain from asking whether you would have finished the job on Rokossovsky. (It is reported that Rokossovsky said that he would commit suicide if ever arrested again.) Are you aware that, according to his daughters, Zhukov kept a packed suitcase of his personal belongings so that he wouldn’t hold up the NKVD if they came for him? What a truly abnormal society! And as far as Yalensis’s comment goes that he holds a grudge against Stalin for the way he killed off the entire of Lenin’s Central Committee, I can only assume that he made this crack by way of light relief.

              Like

            • yalensis says:

              Dear David:
              I will let Lyttenburgh respond to the rest of your polemic.

              But just one note on my own behalf:
              My “crack” about the Central Committee was absolutely sincere, and was not meant for humorour effect.
              Given that I admire Lenin, that truly IS my main beef against Stalin.
              Here is the classic image showing the mostly violent end of most of Lenin’s Central Committee:

              It was said that Lenin’s wife Krupskaya, would have been purged too, if she had not wisely withdrawn from political life. And if Lenin hadn’t died when he did, Stalin probably would have nailed HIM as well.
              Well, and I would also throw in Rokossovsky and Tukhachevsky and many many other outstanding personalities.
              You are right that Stalin was not a nice guy, and he did torture and murder many of his political opponents, or anybody he thought could get in the way.
              Why on earth would you think I was joking about that? That doesn’t make any sense to me. I clearly stated that was my beef against Stalin; and I clearly meant it sincerely.

              But on the flip side of the coin, the fact that Stalin was a bad guy, doesn’t mean that he slaughtered “millions” or that the Western historians are right about him either. They exaggerate their asses off. Like I said before, Stalin’s repressions were mostly confined to the political/military elite, and barely affected most ordinary people. Except indirectly, of course, because now they had to live in a “Thermidorian” society, as Trotsky put it, run by a caste of bureaucrats.

              Like

            • yalensis says:

              P.S. – since this thread is getting narrow, you guys (David and Lyttenburgh) can feel free to polemicize in the main thread. If you like, I can even set up a stub post for you, then you can just go at it. Or, if you like, you can both do your own posts.
              Just let me know how you want to do this.

              Like

            • davidt says:

              I am sorry Yalensis, but you still don’t get it. Even by Lyttenburgh’s estimates over 600,000 Soviet citizen’s were executed because to Stalin’s policies and yet you hold a grudge only because a handful of people that you can name were shot. Your brains may not have fallen out but they are decidedly very loose.

              Like

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              “But here is a simple example where you overreach. You don’t respect Antony Beevor as an historian but instead of just criticizing his scholarship, you continue to accuse him of concocting a figure of 13,500 executions of Soviet troops at Stalingrad. Yet, in fact, his figure is consistent with a slightly higher figure quoted by an earlier Soviet authority.”

              That was on Irrusianality, as can be seen here. Yes, I don’t respect Beevor as a historian. In fact, I don’t consider him one – he is a propagandist, pure and simple. But I don’t “just” dismiss all of his scribblings – I do provide alternative data. As is evident from sources provided by other people in that comment thread, I’m not alone in my dismissal of Beevor’s numbers – and we have sources.

              “…and the comment that you made when imitating Stalin immediately brought him to my mind.

              [puts on his old french, light up the piple, Georgian accent: on]

              – Vhat do yu mean by zat, comrade davidt?

              “By any standards, Rokossovsky was a most impressive man and yet he was tortured viciously due to the policies of Stalin.”

              Policies of *Stalin* or of the whole Soviet establishment of the time? It was not Stalin who wrote anonymous reports. It was not Stalin either who “outperformed” all possible quotas (hello, Khruschev!).

              In fact, I’ve enough material for a big-ass article/series of them about another “Stalinist crime”, which is used both by liberasts and some pseudo nat(z)ional-patriots – the purges of the officer corps. Are you interested in some truth?

              “You are right that Stalin was not a nice guy, and he did torture and murder many of his political opponents, or anybody he thought could get in the way.”

              Wow. Yalensis. What – personally?

              “Even by Lyttenburgh’s estimates over 600,000 Soviet citizen’s were executed because to Stalin’s policies and yet you hold a grudge only because a handful of people that you can name were shot.”

              Yes. Key word here – executed. Not murdered. Executed according to existing law. And, no – I don’t feel shocked at that.

              Like

            • davidt says:

              A very minor point. I believe I was the first to dismiss Beevor’s figure and for the same reason that you substantiated. You have a legalistic frame of mind that I find very unsettling. As I have hinted I have seen it in “intellectuals” in your opposing camp.

              Like

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              Define “legalistic”. Yes, that’s important – we belong to different cultures and speak different languages, so coming to terms is essential for any meaningful dialog.

              Like

            • yalensis says:

              “Wow. Yalensis. What – personally?”

              No, Lyt, of couse not “personally”. Stalin did not personally torture and murder people, there were structures in place which did that.

              The big problem was that necessary separation of the Party from government and from judiciary had been seriously compromised. This happens when a camarilla starts to make the decisions that are supposed to be made by other bodies.
              For example, you see this in the current U.S. where a “deep state” camarilla of unelected neo-cons is basically making decisions that should be made by elected representatives and the judiciary.
              In Soviet case, this problem occurred mainly in the mid-30’s. Fortunately, the damage started to be repaired already by post-war times, and especially after Stalin’s death.

              Like

            • davidt says:

              Lyt, by your own testimony you are pretty “unshockable” and no one ever changes their mind in an argument, so let’s not waste our time. (By the way, I’ll make a little wager that Yalensis will change his position in time.)

              Like

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              “Lyt, by your own testimony you are pretty “unshockable”…”

              1) All these years studying history.
              2) Family chokefull of doctors.

              If this combination won’t produce a rather misanthropic cynicist I don’t know what will.

              2yalensis.

              In my opinion there were in fact several such “camarillas” within a party, divided along several lines – Old vs New Boslsheviks, World Revolutionaries vs One State Socialists, supporters of this or that vozhd – and what happened in 1930s was a civil war within a Party.

              Stalin won. The rest us hisotory and propaganda.

              But let’s agree to disagree here, before delving too deep.

              Like

  2. Fern says:

    yalensis, I want to thank you again for these posts – I found them fascinating and highly informative. I’ve long thought we need to re-discover the importance of organising and educating. Watching the US election from the UK and having been through endless election cycles here, it’s clear that what is needed on both sides of the pond – and, throughout much of Europe – is what’s missing, a grass roots movement that can both educate folk on what’s gone wrong and the possibilities of a better world and organise to provide genuine opposition to the status quo. Nothing can be achieved without organising and we’ve really lost much of that skill.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Thanks, Fern!
      Yes, I agree with what you say, it seems like people have just become atomized and don’t even dare to believe in a better future any more.

      Like

  3. yalensis says:

    Oi yoi yoi yoi yoi…. starting a new thread!
    David said:
    “I am sorry Yalensis, but you still don’t get it. Even by Lyttenburgh’s estimates over 600,000 Soviet citizen’s were executed because to Stalin’s policies and yet you hold a grudge only because a handful of people that you can name were shot. Your brains may not have fallen out but they are decidedly very loose.”

    I say:
    Dear David:
    My brains may be loose, but yours, my dear Sir, are definitely over-heated and liquefied. To the point they are oozing out your ears.

    Okay, if one accepts the figure of 600K people executed in Stalin’s time, and that’s a reasonable figure, I don’t know who these people are, I know the ones I know about (members of the elite ruling party and army officers, whose biographies I have studied); and I already said they should not have been executed. But let’s even stipulate that most of the other 600K whose names I don’t know, were innocent of whatever crimes they were charged with. Should I care about these people from the past whose names I don’t know? Probably. And what exactly should my concern about them lead me to do? What course of action do you propose to rectify these deeds from the past?

    And what exactly do you propose to do yourself? Whatever you think you need to do to fix this past situation which occurred in Russia in the 1930’s, just go and do it instead of sitting around boiling in your own bile.

    In the words of Bizet’sCarmen:

    Va-t’en ! Va-t’en ! tu feras bien,
    notre métier ne te vaut rien !

    Like

    • davidt says:

      Sorry, I missed this. There can only be a point to this comment if it makes you feel better- perhaps I was a little hard on you. If so, then I apologize. My earlier wager still stands. Keep your spirits up.

      Like

      • yalensis says:

        Dear David:
        Your wager to Lyttenburgh was that I would change my mind. About what, exactly?
        You sound just like some bitter old mother lecturing her childen: “Someday you’ll see things my way.” But they never do…

        My political opinions do evolve over time, but not in the direction you hope for.
        I doubt if I am moving in your direction. Whatever your direction is, since you don’t even seem to even have a coherent historical POV or ideology. All I am sensing from you is a lot of raw emotion combined with classical anti-Communist rhetoric.

        Like

        • davidt says:

          Again, we disagree. I have virtually no emotional involvement in Russia’s past- why would I now? It’s not my country and its past is well nigh irrelevant to me. My main knowledge of it comes from my reading of its role in WW2- this I indulged in about 30 years ago, or earlier. There were some decent books about by Western authors. Moreover, the woman who ran the book shop where I bought my Russian mathematical books, was in Moscow during the war years and she also stocked Russian books on WW2, mostly memoirs, in translation. I think I told you that I once asked a close colleague who survived Europe and the holocaust whether he thought something good would come out of the Soviet Union- this was the guy who is now mostly remembered for having the black hole coordinate system named after him. He was confident that something would, but not too many years later the country broke up. That was that. It’s true that I barrack in a sense for Russia today. The first reason is simply that I would like all people and countries to prosper, and especially Russia as its had such a hard time for such a long time. However, there is a second reason and that’s simply that it “stands up” to the US as the worlds only hegemon. (Of course, this is not an accepted view in Australia where the propaganda against Russia is total and relentless.) To be sure, this is a dangerous position to take and I hope Russia does not suffer because of this. As far as Stalin specifically is concerned he was obviously a complex historical figure but the fear and suffering he caused to so many people was real enough. Why not properly acknowledge this and move on? (There is not much more that you can do.) At Yekaterinburg the tourist buses go to the site where the Romanovs were murdered- I think the site is now sanctified ground, and a visit there is treated as a semi-religious experience. A few kilometres away, on the Europe/Asia border, there is a simple memorial to those executed in 1937-38. The names of the hundreds of thousands who died are recorded in stone. I daresay they were people ultimately like the rest of us, but there is not such a pilgrimage there. I am sorry that I sound like an old woman, but whatever “raw emotion” I have is not related to anti-communist rhetoric. (I just haven’t the imagination to envisage a communist society.) I cause you angst because you are an idealist whilst Lyttenburgh and I are just old cynics.

          Like

  4. yalensis says:

    And this one is for Lyttenburgh:

    I think we need to make a distinction between a CAMARILLA and a FACTION.
    In Lenin’s time the Socialist Party (well, indeed any political party, even bourgeois ones) had this thing called FACTIONS.

    It was an official concept, and was not even considered to be a bad thing. A faction within a Party was a group which dissented in a principled manner from one or another planks of the official party line. The differences were not great enough to break away and form a new party; yet were significant enough that the faction would publish its own sub-platform laying out the disagreements.

    For example, suppose there is a party called the “Pet Lovers Party”. It publishes its official party platform, including Point #10: “Dogs are better than cats”.
    During the party plenum there was a vigorous debate on this point, 30 out of the 100 party members voted the other way, that “Cats are better than dogs”, But they lost the vote, and majority rules. The cat-lovers don’t want to split off and form their own party, but they do decide to convene a formal faction within the Party. They publish their own position paper, saying that they agree with everything else in the majority platform EXCEPT for Point #10. So that’s a faction. A faction is like a party within a party, it has its own sub-platform, and its own leaders, who sort of form a shadow government, and still have hope of convincing the majority to come around to their position.

    And this is how every party operated in those days, including the Socialists.
    The Bolsheviks themselves began as a Faction (NOT a camarilla!) within the Socialist Party.
    Later, factions developed even within the Bolshevik Party. And again, this was not considered to be a bad thing, it was perfectly normal. Especially considering that these guys are a bunch of opinionated intellectuals.
    Get any two of these guys together, and they are going to disagree on some major points. It’s not a bad thing, it actually leads to healthy debate about complicated issues.

    Even though Lenin temporarily banned factions under Civil War conditions, after the war was over, the Bolsheviks continued to split into factions. There was the classic 3-way split of Trotsky (Left) – Stalin (Center) – Bukharin (Right). And, like you said, Stalin won. But here is where, after the triumph of the Center Faction, this faction degenerated into a CAMARILLA. Do you see the distinction?

    I think it’s important to make these distinctions because, for those of us who would like to see Russia return to socialism, and to the principles laid down by Lenin, it is important to learn from these historical mistakes, and not make them again. At my job, we have a laudatory process called “post-mortem” where we analyze things that went wrong on the job, and make a list of things of do’s and don’ts based on experience of something bad that just happened. So here is start:

    DO
    (1) Allow political factions and healthy political debate, even within the ruling party
    (2) Decide issues by majority rule, but allow room for official dissent, just in case the minority turns out to be right about something
    (3) Treat your political opponents with respect

    DON’T
    (1) Ban political factions
    (2) Put restrictions on freedom of press or speech among the various factions
    (2) Allow differences to get to the level of physical violence.

    I think that people engaged in politics should follow these simple rules, and others too.

    Like

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