76372 - Transcription Podcast # 43: The political paranoia

N. Lygeros

The political paranoia is a characteristic of totalitarian systems and it was of course the same for the Soviet Union from the beginning. Nothing was new. Because everything has to be new. The Revolution had to continue its mission but always as a new thing. Everything which was old had to die, to be replaced for the security. The assassination of Sergei Kirov in 1934 was only the starting point or even the flash point for the purges. And the culmination was the Great Purge. The old Bolsheviks had to die and it was the same for the old military high command. But it wasn’t sufficient for the system, so it targeted ethnic minorities. The point was that everyone had to be controlled through fear. The foundation of the Soviet Union was now the terror. This fact explains also the assassination of Trotsky in 1940 by the NKVD. Even the history of this institution is relevant. Initially the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs i.e NKVD was established in 1917. In 1934, the functions of the Secret Police Organization i.e. OGPU was transferred to the NKVD and in 1946 it became the Ministry of Internal Affairs. This is a classical way to think in a totalitarian system.

The political paranoia is indeed a characteristic of totalitarian systems, so everybody is against them. They have the right to do it, they have the right to exist and all the others have no right. So from the beginning the Soviet Union as a totalitarian system thought the following fact: We have to be the new men. We have to be the new system. We have to be the Revolution. In reality it was just a resurrection, but never mind, something new. The problem is when you say all the time, I’m new, I’m new, I’m new, you have to change something and the idea is easy, kill the old guys. So you have all the time new guys, a very big turnover and you can say that we are always the new guys. It’s very interesting even in Greece because the Communist Party is the oldest one for a new guy. So they thought that a way to do that is to control inside, you remember the Big Brother, so the assassination of some guys, the purges, the Great Purge, of course and the idea that a good Bolshevik is a new guy. So an old Bolshevik is a bad guy. So you have to help him and a way to help him is to kill him. Because if you kill this guy, he can’t be older, so you stop the age. He was a hero but the important thing is not the hero, it’s the dead. In Soviet Union the heroes had to be dead. This was for the system, inside. So like a purification, always something new, which means always new crimes. But you have also the ethnic minorities. These guys were not so important for the system, they were only details. But the problem is the mass. When you have many details you have noise, they bother you, you want to keep the whole situation calm so first you avoid noises, second you kill noises. As a system, in reality, you can see that it was not its foundation. It was not the new, it was the terror. It’s important to see it because we have the same thing with the French Revolution, we have the part of terror in 1793 after 1789. The idea is that the freedom was too dangerous so to control this kind of freedom, this kind of new thing is new, yes, free, no. So how to have something new without freedom, there is a solution, terror. So everybody is afraid of you so you control them with fear. If you control them with fear, feel free to do what they want, no? In fact no. In reality, they do what they want with the fear, so they do less and as they do less, they are free to do what they want. So the idea was to have police in this policy, secret police organization, very hard, tough, strong, the core of the system. So it was strange, because in reality you want something new and you have to keep something in the core which is old and this is the control of everybody. So they look to the other new but the core was very old and it was tyranny. So they use in their political paranoia this system to control everything inside outside as a new thing, always new, refresh, refresh, refresh but in reality with the same structure. The same structure against Mankind.