in Univers 17, J'ai lu, 1979
- Univers/17, Alexandre Zinoviev (trad. Eurocon 4, Bruxelles), éd. J'ai Lu, 1979
This so-called scientific fiction (1978)
- According to my observation, it is above all the fantastic which prevails in S-F, that is to say these absurdities with scientific pretensions which have absolutely nothing in common with science. p.131
- [...] literature plays a sort of ideological role; it instills in men perspectives of humanity. p. 132
Interview by Bernard Blanc and Yves Frémion (1978)
- There is a sociological law according to which systems which have contact end up looking alike... p. 138 and 144
- I am not for any ideology, I am for Man, for the Human being with a capital H, I am neither for socialism, nor for communism, nor for capitalism... . 142
- The dissident movement in Russia, despite everything, remains compliant with the regime. It is a diet product. For my part, I stay outside of this whole society. I don't fight any diet. p. 143
- I address every man, my writings seek to reach what is human in every living being. p. 143
- The S-F is a very powerful, very modern tool, [...]. p. 143
Interview by Jacques Freymon (1981)
- You probably know that, in my books, many characters - to make the possible happen - fight against the impossible. But if we gather 100,000 people, if we lock them in an enclosure, if we let them live there for a year while feeding them normally, I can guarantee you that I know in advance what will happen from here there. I can write it down for you somewhere, in a small envelope that we will open in a year, in order to check if I was wrong. Because such experiences are innumerable: every time you try to organize a very large mass of people, the methods of organization are always and everywhere the same. And a year from now, when you find these people locked up, you will find subordinates, superiors, you will find inequality, you will find a mafia and a small local “KGB”.
fr : The demand for equality, Alexandre Zinoviev interview by Jacques Freymon (trans. fr. Jacquelin Lahana), ed. Geneva International Meetings, 1981, t. 8, part The demand for inequality in communist societies, p. 147. URL : http://classiques.uqac.ca/contemporains/RIG/textes/RIG_28_1981.pdf
1984 and 1984 (1983)
- in Science Fiction - Politique (1983). éd. Denoël, 1984 (ISBN 2 207 33002 8), t. 2, partie 1984 et 1984
- Furthermore, if people seek power, it is not for power per se, but for the material advantages that their position and influence could provide them. p. 42
- Communist society is a veritable paradise for parasites. p. 42
- I must insist on the fact that communist society does not only have negative aspects. I would even say that its positive aspects are absolutely fundamental and that the negative points result directly from them. p. 48
Misconceptions that turn into prejudices die harder than objective truths. p. 49
Interview with Jean-Jacques Lafaye (1991)
- Others question the real facts and make mistakes. For my part, I am ignorant of this side of reality and I am hardly wrong. There are several ways to find the truth of things: for me, it's always in my head and in my heart.
- The disease of our time is mediocrity.
- in The 2012 Alexandre Zinoviev Birthday Book, interview with Alexandre Zinoviev by J.J. Lafaye in 1991 in Munich (trans. Jean-Jacques Lafaye for the journal Connaissance des Arts et "La Marche de l'Homme" (L'Harmattan, 2006)) , ed. blurb, 2012, p. 39
Alexander Zinoviev on Stalin and the dissolution of the USSR (1999)
- A western citizen is being brainwashed much more than a soviet citizen ever was during the era of communist propaganda. In ideology, the main thing is not the ideas, but rather the mechanisms of their distribution. The might of the Western media, for example, is incomparably greater than that of the propaganda mechanisms of the Vatican when it was at the zenith of its power. And it is not only the cinema, literature, philosophy – all the levers of influence and mechanisms used in the promulgation of culture, in its broadest sense, work in this direction. At the slightest impulse all who work in this area respond with such consistency that it is hard not to think that all orders come from a single source of power.
- After the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, a massive attack on the social rights of citizens was launched in the West. Today the socialists who are in power in most European countries are pursuing policies of dismantling the social security system, destroying everything that was socialist in the capitalist countries. There is no longer a political force in the West capable of protecting ordinary citizens. The existence of political parties is a mere formality. They will differ less and less as time goes on. The war in the Balkans was anything but democratic. Nevertheless, the war was perpetrated by the socialists who historically have been against these kinds of ventures. Environmentalists, who are in power in some countries, welcomed the environmental catastrophe caused by the NATO bombings. They even dared to claim that bombs containing depleted uranium are not dangerous for the environment, even though soldiers loading them wear special protective overalls. Thus, democracy is gradually disappearing from the social structure of the West. Totalitarianism is spreading everywhere because the supranational structure imposes its laws on individual states. This undemocratic superstructure gives orders, imposes sanctions, organizes embargos, drops bombs, causes hunger. Even Clinton obeys it. Financial totalitarianism has subjugated political power. Emotions and compassion are alien to cold financial totalitarianism. Compared with financial dictatorship, political dictatorship is humane. Resistance was possible inside the most brutal dictatorships. Rebellion against banks is impossible.
"Der ewige Dissident" (1999)
- Although Russia was the first victim of the global Americanisation, one should realise, that the whole Western Europe is affected. The liberal democracy belongs to the past. So does classical Capitalism. We are already situated in a post-democratic era: The new ruling class has realised that one cannot solve the problems of mankind through democracy.
- As quoted in "Der ewige Dissident" in Jungle World 21(1999)
Interviews by Galia Ackerman (2001)
- I discovered a law of social organization that I call the “law of social regeneration” and which can be stated as follows: when a social system collapses, but the men and the political framework remain unchanged, the new social system resembles the one that has just disappeared. Under this law, many elements of Sovietism were preserved or regenerated.
- Western societies were not born in a day. They were formed over the centuries, at the cost of devastating wars, fierce social struggles and enormous human sacrifices. Western values did not come from nowhere either: they are based on religious and philosophical doctrines which are not universal and which therefore cannot be applied to just anyone at any time. What's more, it is not the real Western model that has been implemented here, but its propaganda version.
- “Putin and the West”, Alexandre Zinoviev (comments collected by Galia Arckman) (trans. Galia Arckman), www.politiqueinternationale.com, nº 92, nº 92, 2001, p. https://archives.politiqueinternationale.com/revue/read2.php?id_revue=7&id=363&content=texte&search=ackerman (read online)
Interviews for the almanac “Vostok” (2003)
- the mathematical modeling of social phenomena only makes sense and can only give a positive result under one condition: if the modelers have at their disposal a scientific theory of the objects modeled. The model is not a theory, the model is only one of the means.
- the model gives good and solid results, provided there is a scientific theory.
- And people will be deceived in such a way that they will chew what they are given and be satisfied.
- You see, with modern means of manipulation, manipulative people can do anything.
Not to mention medical means. They'll just make and give pills, injections, and any number of people - any number of people can be made into anything.
- “Interview with Alexandre Zinoviev”, Alexandre Zinoviev (comments collected by O. Kozyreva and S. Pudenko) (trans.?), Vostok, nº 5, August 2003, p. http://zinoviev.info/wps/archives/86 (read online)
The Testament of a Sentinel (2005)
- It is the characteristic of totalitarian systems to understand nothing about humor.
- Communism was an ideal for me. But above all an education system: […]. I was therefore educated and raised as an idealist communist, in the sense that Thomas More, Campanella, Charles Fourier or Saint-Simon understood it, who mean a lot to me. But this communism was perverted and betrayed by the leaders of the Party. The reality I observed did not correspond at all to the ideals of communism.
- F.B._ What is your relationship with Alexander Solzhenitsyn? A.Z. _ I've never had one and I don't want to have one. As a writer, his "work" is mediocre, overvalued. And as a thinker, it's close to nullity. I am looking to the future, and Solzhenitsyn, to the past.
- ““The testament of a sentinel””, Alexandre Zinoviev (comments collected by François Busnel) (trans. Valéry Chemelkine), 'Express, nº online, 01/03/2005, p. https://www.lexpress.fr/culture/livre/le-testament-d-une-sentinelle_809877.html (read online)
Interview with Alexander Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Zinoviev for the newspaper "Zavtra" (2006)
- The intellectual level of Westerners has never been very high. This is still the case today: you don't have to be intelligent to have power. Westerners create computer models, but they don't have scientific models.
- I argued from the beginning that in the socio-political sphere, Westernism seeks to strengthen the non-democratic aspect of the system of power and administration, to strengthen the role of the state, to introduce non-democratic elements into the system of power and to make democracy a means of manipulating the masses and a camouflage for the totalitarian aspect.
- The effectiveness of the Westernist economy is conditioned by three laws: the rational organization of business; brutal work discipline; maximum use of the means of production and labor force.
- Western society is undemocratic, totalitarian in its very essence - at the level of production cells. And that is why it is democratic in its superstructure, in its ideology. There is a sort of law of constancy of the sum of democracy and totalitarianism.
- ...Social laws are immutable. You can destroy a nation, but you cannot destroy the laws by which nations are formed and exist. If the West faces a real threat to its existence, it will not stop at reducing the world's population. I'm pretty sure AIDS, SARS, etc. are all man-made viruses. And I am absolutely certain that in the decades to come, the United States will see China break up into dozens of states. This is all the more inevitable since a billion and a half Chinese are violating the biosociological optimum of humanity.
- Biotechnology is likely to play a role in reducing the world's population, eliminating unwanted peoples, etc. But no matter what we invent, the heart of society will remain the natural man with a human body and a human intellect.
- “Interview with Alexandre Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Zinoviev by Mikhail Boiko and Alexei Nilogov”, Alexandre Zinoviev (trans. S.L.), Zavtra, nº № 20 (652), 05.17.2006, p. Electronic publication in Center of Humanitarian Technologies. - 01/28/2008 URL : https://gtmarket.ru/library/articles/2653 (read online)
- Communism was so organic for Russia and had so powerfully entered the way of life and psychology of Russians that the destruction of communism was equivalent to the destruction of Russia and of the Russian people as a historic people. [...] In a word, they [the anti-communists] aimed at communism but killed Russia.
- I consider him [i.e Stalin] one of the greatest persons in the history of mankind. In the history of Russia he was, in my opinion, even greater than Lenin. Until Stalin's death I was anti-Stalinist, but I always regarded him as a brilliant personality.
- In an interview to Независимая Газета
Problems of the Logic of Scientific Knowledge, 1964
- New knowledge [of] the objects of investigation comes not through observation and experiment (as happens on the empirical level) but through logical judgments in the framework of a given or newly developed theory (i.e., special groups of concepts and statements united by rules of logic)
- Foundations of the logical theory of scientific knowledge (Complex Logic). Reidel Publishing Company. trad : Guidi Kûng and David Dinsmore Comey. 1973. page VII. part editorial introduction
- Logical and Physical implication, p.91 in Problems of the Logic of Scientific Knowledge (1964)
The Yawning Heights (1977)
- Les Hauteurs béantes, Alexandre Zinoviev (trad. Wladimir Berelowitch), éd. L'Age d'Homme, 1977, chap. la peur de la vérité
- Today, fear of the truth is not a fear of the unknown, but a fear of something we know very well. People are afraid of themselves because they know who they are. p. 302
- School is not only a preparation of men to receive an education and a specialty. School is a sphere of social life which is subject to the same laws as the whole. It reflects in itself the whole society with all its properties and problems, which only transform in relation to the age and position of citizens. p. 502
On the Social State of Marxism (1978)
- Lecture at the University of Alcalà, (December 1978)
- Marxism emerged not only with the intention of explaining scientifically everything in the world, but in addition to this, as a representative of the ‘hurt and injured’ classes of the world, expressing thus the centuries old dream of an earthly paradise. But dreams and wishes have nothing to do with science.
- All in all, Engels talked so much rot of every kind, that now all the world’s academies of science should be directed to rectify his mistakes and idiocies.
- One physicist writes a study on microphysics, but another writes a book on the importance of Lenin’s and Engels’ works for the development of physics; one mathematician proves theorems, another publishes demagoguery on ingenious mathematical ideas of classical Marxists.
- None of the Marxist concepts (literally – not a single one!) matches the logical rules of scientific concepts.
- The firmest proof that Marxism is not science but an ideology is Marxism’s attitude to the experience of the real communist (or socialist) societies.
- But the [communist] authorities acquire from Marxism a splendid method and abounding phraseology to justify whatever piggery.
- Historically, Marxism was born with the ambition of explaining everything in the world scientifically. It is known, that Marx even dealt with mathematics. Although he could not solve problems which are nowadays clear for even asinine pupils, Marx left behind for the future generations his smart tips.
- Marxism disguises itself as science and owing to this it is easier for Marxism to portray the existing society as acting on the basis of scientific laws of his history, to portray the leadership’s selfishness and idiocy as ingenious scientific foresight etc.
- Unlike science, an ideology is constructed of conventional ambiguous expressions, which require interpretation. It is impossible to verify or experimentally confirm an ideological statement, one cannot refute these for they are meaningless. […] While arising, an ideology may have pretensions to be scientific. But having become an ideology, it loses all the major characteristics of science.
Communism as reality (1981)
=> Le Communisme comme réalité, Alexandre Zinoviev (trad. Jacques Michaut), éd. Julliard/L'Âge d'Homme, 1981
Historical approach and sociological approach
- It is so natural in trying to understand the phenomena of human life to have recourse to notions of historicism that the very fact of wanting to question them seems sacrilegious. Some people think that we can only understand communist society in its essence from a historical point of view, that is to say by considering the history of its formation. Authentic history, that goes without saying, and not the falsified history practiced by pro-communist historians and philosophers. According to them, the course of events, the way in which this society was constituted is sufficient to explain nature. p. 39
- In the present case, historical judgment furthermore obstructs the scientific understanding of the society that interests us, because the stories here impose functions foreign to this society. p. 40
- Historical judgment focuses attention on phenomena from which we must above all abstract ourselves if we want to understand what this new society born in a given historical context really is. The historical process is also, of course, a reality, but it is a reality which disappears into the past. The new society which has matured within him quickly got rid of a historical covering which encumbered it and had become foreign to him. It constitutes another historical environment more in keeping with its nature. Sociological reality is designed to remain. She is looking to the future. p. 41
- Millions of people participated in the historical process that gave birth to the communist society of the Soviet Union. These people have performed billions of different actions. They accomplished them in their own interest. They acted according to the laws of community conduct and not only according to the laws of history, which do not intervene in the conduct of individuals. Some of these actions worked in favor of the new society, the other against. Sometimes the same actions worked either in favor of this society or against it. The supporters of the new societies have not always necessarily acted for it, and conversely its adversaries have not always harmed it. The revolutionaries have done a lot against the revolution and the counter-revolutionaries a lot in its favor, without realizing it. p. 41
Practically (and logically) it is impossible to demarcate the favorable and unfavorable elements. It is only once the process is completed that it becomes possible to judge the past based on the result obtained, and this risks making too many mistakes. p. 41
- Historical consciousness is condemned, for its part, to take everything at face value; she sees the origin of communist society in the action of supporters of communist doctrine and links the development of opposing forces to the action of its enemies. She is, for example, incapable of understanding that without the help of representatives of the privileged strata of the old Russian society the new society would not have been able to last a year. p. 41
- In the present case the man who reasons as a historian is only a petty bourgeois in disguise. p. 42
Ideological thinking and scientific thinking
Petty-bourgeois thought and scientific thought
- From a petty bourgeois point of view something normal and natural is "something" good. this type of thinking makes no difference between the subjective appreciation of phenomena and their objective qualities. p. 35
- The man who thinks like a petty bourgeois notices directly observable facts and immediately draws hasty generalizations without the slightest analysis. His judgments are subjective, that is, they bear the mark of his personal inclinations. p. 35
- The man who thinks like a scientist seeks not only to note the facts, but also to analyze them taking into account their chance or their necessity, he tries to analyze the laws that immediate observation does not discern and to 'eliminate the influence of one's own inclinations on the results of one's reflections. 35
- Petty-bourgeois thought claims to see its results directly confirmed by observable facts. Scientific thought, on the contrary, knows that its results do not directly coincide with observable facts. They only provide means by which concrete facts can be explained and predicted. p. 35-36
- The petty bourgeois is inclined to pass off what he feels as the truth. p. 36
- It has frequently happened to me to come up against conclusions which, although made by educated people, were no less monstrous in their absurdity. p. 36
- This way that petty-bourgeois minds confuse their subjective assessments with the objective situation goes so far that the majority of notions used in conversations about social problems have currently lost their scientific character to become simple expressions of estimation. . p. 37
- The petty-bourgeois mind considers the lives of others as if it were in their situation, transposing onto them its attitude, its criteria of judgment, its feelings. p. 37
Ideology and science
- Science presupposes the use of thoughtful, precise terminology, which leaves no room for ambiguity. Ideology, on the contrary, presupposes the use of meaningless, vague, equivocal terms. Scientific terminology does not need to be analyzed or interpreted. Ideological phraseology must be commented on, compared, rethought. Scientific assertions assume that we can at any time confirm them, refute them, or even in extreme cases, recognize their insoluble nature. The absurdity of ideological propositions means that they can neither be refuted nor confirmed p. 285
- Understanding scientific texts requires a long period of specialized preparation and the use of a particular, professional language. Science is aimed at a restricted circle of specialists. Ideological texts are addressed to an entire population, regardless of profession and differences in educational level. To “understand” them (or more precisely to assimilate them), there is no need to undergo special preparation. It is enough to refer to examples from daily life to clarify this or that obscure passage. p. 286
- It is impossible to refute an ideology. We can only weaken or strengthen it depending on whether we weaken or strengthen its influence on people. p. 286
- The individual is today capable of carrying out an ideological treatment on information received, the effects of which are assured. Science is ultimately content to provide the phraseology, ideas and themes. p. 288
- The ideology in the present case is eager to give itself the air of science. p. 289
Scientific thinking and anti-scientific thinking
- Current science is not only concerned with seeking the truth. His part of scientific spirit, which in no way resembles science as it is commonly conceived, is far from equaling that of an anti-scientific spirit hostile to the first, but apparently much more scientific than him. p.287
- The scientific mind produces abstractions, the anti-scientific mind destroys them under the pretext that they do not take into account this or that factor. The scientific spirit establishes rigorous notions, the anti-scientific spirit, under the pretext of encompassing the multiplicity of reality, gives them various meanings. The scientific mind avoids using means that it can do without. The anti-scientific spirit is firing on all cylinders. The scientific mind seeks to simplify and clarify. The anti-scientific spirit confuses and complicates. The scientific mind strives to trivialize what seems unusual. The anti-scientific spirit aims for the sensational and likes to surround the most ordinary phenomena with mystery. p.287
- At first, both (under other names, of course) can be considered equal parts of the same science, but soon the anti-scientific spirit takes over, just like those weeds that choke plants that we forget to weed. p. 287
- The scientific spirit is relegated to the pitiful role of an inferior attribute. However, we support it to the extent that it can serve as an alibi for the anti-scientific spirit. But, above all, we try to dismiss it as a kind of unbearable reproach for a guilty conscience. p. 287
- Which means that we are seriously mistaken when we hope to see science play a role as an instrument of progress and civilization.
- Science is a mass phenomenon, therefore entirely governed by community laws and which contains a completely negligible part of scientific spirit. - In the conditions which are those of a domination of communitarianism, the part of scientific spirit present in science tends towards zero. p. 288
- But the Party had declared merciless war on drinking and that’s why those two remarkable party leaders had to confine themselves to the most trivial non-alcoholic drink. Had their fathers and grandfathers lived up to that moment and had they got to know it, they would have regarded it as a betrayal of Russian traditions and a trick by masons and Zionists.
- The members of the commission flew to Partgrad the very next day – it was an unprecendented case in the Soviet Union. During the Brezhnev era, it would have taken a couple of months for all the discussions, after which the commission would have flown for a holiday to the Crimea or Caucasus in a body. And really, why should one fly to a certain Partgrad if everyone knows that all those ‘Lighthouses’ are mere swindle.
- ‘More and more centres of population are joining the socialist competition to acquire the name of the place where prince Oleg was stung by a snake and former czarina Maria was strangled.’
- After the death of Stalin the town was renamed Grazhdansk. But this name didn’t hold out more than a couple of years: then was the town given the name of Khrushchev himself. For a certain period after the deposal of Khrushchev the town didn’t have any name at all.
- When Andropov became First Secretary of Central Committee of CPSU, he ordered the town renamed Partgrad. It’s hard to guess, how long will that name endure.
- The first words of the inhabitats of Partgrad were offensive words.
- On the palace of the Prince, there was a slogan: ‘Long live feudalism – the bright future of the whole humanity!’ The slogan on the first sanctuary read: ‘Forward to the victory of serfdom!’
- It was prince Igor who decided already many years before Peter the Great to cut an opening to Europe. But as he didn’t know where Europe was, he cut it in a wrong direction, namely to Asia.
- The Stalin Square and Stalin Prospect were renamed Lenin Square and Lenin Prospect. The statue of Stalin was remade into statue of Lenin.
- The oblast head of Church disproved the claim in a party newspaper. At the same time he condemned the president of the US as a warmonger.
- Having taken advantage of the carelessness of the KGB, the true communist ran to Moscow, with the intention of announcing the Western journalists that communism in Partgrad is being built in a wrong way and to begging the Western leaders to exert pressure on Soviet leadership so that the latter would rectify the Soviet communism and he, a true communist would be taken back in the party.
- She is well known as an ardent supporter of whatever the party’s main direction is. She used to be a passionate Brezhnevist. Now she is an even more passionate Gorbachevist.
- Khrushchev’s perestroika ended without any bloodshed. Khrushchev’s companions abandoned their leader in time and turned Brezhnevists.
- They new the old folk wisdom: what has been built might be really crap and therefore it doesn’t make any sense to dig it, for the smell could make the life really impossible. They regarded Gorbachev exactly that kind of a fool, who had broken the rule.
- Gorbachevism, carried out by mediocre but ambitious party bureaucrats, is an attempt not only to outdo the people but also the objective laws of human society.
- 4th article
- The scientific approach uncovers, that Communism does not eliminate the inequality between men, the social injustice, exploitation of man by man and other evils of society – communism merely changes their form and gives birth to new evils, which become eternal fellow-travelers of communism.
- 5th article
- Perestroika is nothing but a spectacle organized from above.
- 32nd article
Confessions of a Too Much Man (1990)
=> Les confessions d'un homme en trop, Alexandre Zinoviev (trad. Galia Ackerman et Pierre Lorrain), éd. éditions Folio, 1991
- Russian society before the revolution was torn between three forces: a disappearing nobility system, embryonic capitalism and a state bureaucracy. The latter was so predominant in our "hole" that the mass of the population hardly noticed the other two. For this reason, the February revolution went unnoticed. p. 36
- The problem with slavery is not why people are forced to become slaves, but why they allow themselves to be enslaved. p. 67
- According to a well-established opinion, kolkhozes were invented by Stalinist villains out of purely ideological considerations. Pure nonsense! The idea is not Marxist, it even has nothing to do with classical Marxism. Far from being a fruit of theory, it emerged in practical life as the product of a very real, nothing less than imaginary, communism. Ideology was only a means of justifying a historical evolution. p. 68
- I believe that to succeed in any sphere of human activity, it is not enough to have the dispositions. Even if we are very talented, if we are not supported by those who are able to recognize and encourage a talent, success is impossible p. 99
- The thirties were the darkest and at the same time the most optimistic period in Soviet history. p. 99
- Communist society arose in Russia in full conformity with the laws of evolution and not as a chance exception. The October Revolution simply cleared the way for a trend that had already been present in Russia for centuries. p. 153
- I have always been surprised that cultured people with important factual data produce, on large-scale social phenomena, conclusions that are insignificant, superficial or distorted to the point of becoming absurd.The conditions of my existence and the relationships I have maintained with those around me have forced me to do the opposite: to formulate vast generalizations based on the observation of a limited number of “small” events. Over time, I discovered that these "little things" are precisely the foundations of the historical process and that, from a social point of view, the apparently grandiose phenomena are only the dross. Dialectical notions like essence and phenomenon, content and form have been very useful to me. p. 195
- Every war reveals in one way or another the fundamental characteristics of the societies involved in it. p.196
- “It is not a question,” I said, “of acting as if there existed somewhere a ready-made dialectical logic, which we would only have to identify as such. This science does not exist and the expression “ dialectical logic" has several meanings. The problem must be posed differently. No one questions the fact that there exists a mode of thinking and a dialectical approach to phenomena. In this approach we use forms that logic describes formal. But we also resort to other means which allow us to orient ourselves in a complex, changing and contradictory reality. It is these means, which make dialectical thinking possible, which must be taken as the object of study of logic . And it matters little whether we view this science as a particular dialectical logic or as a branch of formal logic. Incidentally, these modes of thinking have already been studied by John Stuart Mill, to name only him." p. 316
- This debate forced me to develop my own conception of these aspects of philosophy. I decided to design a discipline which would encompass as an object of study the problems of logic, gnoseology, ontology, methodology, and dialectics as well as other subjects which touch on the general problems of language and knowledge. I considered the name of the said discipline to be secondary. “Philosophy” didn’t fit. […]. Over time, I began to use the term "complex logic" to distinguish what I was doing from what others were doing. p. 317
- [...] the dialectical method is nothing other than scientific thinking in conditions where, to paraphrase Marx, the methods of experimental and empirical investigation must give way to the force of abstraction, to theoretical postulates and deductions applied to a changing and complex interconnection of relationships and processes. John Stuart Mill had already attempted to describe such a method, but God knows why it was never compared to dialectics p. 323
- By transforming Marxism into an official ideology, dialectics had no longer been made an instrument of knowledge of complex realities, but a means of stupefication and ideological fraud. p. 324
- Any attempt to describe the dialectical method as a set of logical techniques (and this was indeed the purpose of my work) was doomed to vilification: Soviet philosophy had established dialectics as a doctrine of the general laws of the universe. p. 324
- …[the] historical Stalinism (or simply Stalinism) is the form in which communist society was created in the Soviet Union under the leadership of Stalin, his lieutenants and all those who carried out their wishes and acted in accordance with their ideas and directives (the latter can be described as "historical Stalinists". Communist society is not the product of one man's will. It arose in obedience to objective social laws, which revealed themselves through activity of certain individuals, so that the form they took bears the mark of Stalin and the Stalinists. p. 337
- Any fool can assert himself at the expense of the past.p 339
- Stalin is not the creator of Russian tragedy, he was only its expression. p. 340
- The problem is no longer how to build paradise on Earth, but how to live there. p. 424
- While considering communalism as a universal phenomenon, I emphasized that only communist society was totally governed according to the laws of communality. p 424
- Thus, the West perceives its own smallness, reflected in the curved mirror of Soviet society, as a grandiose phenomenon p. 598
- Ideological brainwashing constitutes the essence and foundation of the formation of the Soviet man. […]. As part of ideological training, people learn to “correctly” interpret the phenomena that they are comforted with in their lives. […] This is not a question of stupidity. The ideological man thus trained does not become stupid. rather, it is the opposite effect that takes place. p. 638
- One of the reasons for the rather low intellectual level of essays which criticize Soviet society and denounce its scourges is precisely poor ideological education. p. 638
- In reality, Orwell did not predict the future post-capitalist society, but simply expressed as no one had done before the West's fear of communism. p. 672
- Nothing takes root so well in people's minds as misconceptions that become prejudices. Ignorance is strength ! p. 673
- A new type of hurricane of disinformation has been unleashed on humanity. It is no longer a question of the intentional creation and dissemination of deliberately false information to mislead. Now, true information is being used for the supposed purpose of mind cleansing. But this information is selected, processed, combined, interpreted and presented in such a way that a false and distorted picture of reality results. p. 695
- Never in the history of humanity has such an enormous amount of truth served as material for such a gigantic lie. Never before has humanity fallen into such great error based on the best information available. Today, education and skill serve to stupefy the masses as much as ignorance did in times past.
The special characteristic of this new form of lying is that it resembles the truth more than the truth itself. p. 695
- The truth is now the lot of the loner with, unfortunately, very limited means of disseminating their ideas and influencing the masses. p. 695
- … the media lie, having monopolized moral assessments, takes the form of good while attempts to reveal it take the form of evil. Distraught demagogues manipulate the masses by promising them all kinds of earthly good, without taking into consideration the laws of history. p. 696
- The propaganda apparatus of Stalin and Brezhnev seems, in comparison [to the media lie], a game of amateur forgers. p. 695
- The world once again finds itself faced with crazy temptations and crazy seductions. […] Be afraid of those who seduce you because seducers always deceive! p. 696
Perestroika and counter-perestroika (1991)
- Perestroïka et contre-perestroïka, Alexandre Zinoviev (trad. Anne Coldefy-Foucard), éd. Olivier Orban, 1991
The origin of communism
- (…) I disagree with the commonly accepted opinion that real communism would be the realization of Marxist ideals and that it would be imposed on the masses, against their will, their desires and their interests, by a handful of people. ideologues resorting to force and lies. Communism is not only a political regime that can be transformed by an order from above, it is a social organization of the population. A Soviet Union was formed, not in accordance with the Marxist project nor at the whim of Marxist ideologues, but by virtue of the objective laws which govern the organization of a large mass of population into a completed social organism. It is the result of a historical creative process in which millions of people took part. (…) p. 13
- Communism arises in various ways. In Russia, it was the result of the crash following the First World War, the revolution and the civil war. It was brought to Eastern European countries by the Soviet army, victorious over Nazi Germany. But whatever the diversity of historical paths it takes in this or that corner of the planet, communism has this particularity in that it is not born from nothing and is not completely foreign to the country where it is established. (…) p. 14-16
- The roots of communism existed and exist, in one form or another, in the most diverse societies. They also existed in pre-revolutionary Russia. They exist today in Western countries. Without them, no large-scale or even slightly developed society is conceivable. They represent social phenomena that I would describe as “community phenomena”. These only become dominant and can generate a specific type of communist society - or "real socialism" - under very specific conditions. (…) p. 14-16
- Whatever the case, the community phenomena themselves are general, universal. They are determined by the simple fact that a fairly large number of individuals find themselves forced to live, over generations, forming a whole, a community. (…) These community phenomena are in turn governed by certain objective laws. p. 14-16
- It follows from what has just been said that communism is neither the product, nor the continuation, nor the outcome of capitalism. They have different origins. It is no coincidence that communism burst onto the scene of history, not in the highly developed West but in a Russia that was backward from a capitalist point of view and highly developed in terms of community phenomena. : centralized and powerful state apparatus, important class of civil servants, masses accustomed to submitting to power, peasant community. By liquidating the weakened classes of landowners and the not yet solid classes of capitalists, the October revolutions were to sweep away the terrain of community relations. It is also not by chance that communism has attracted countries with weak capitalist development. p. 14-16
- Communism, in a word, is the organization of millions of people into a whole, according to community laws. This naturally implies the establishment of many things that did not exist in the previous non-communist society, or in society of another type. The pre-existing community elements, the beginnings of communism, are transformed in the newly created conditions, sometimes so radically that they no longer seem to have any connection with their former manifestations. Hence the erroneous impression that communist-type relations are absolutely new. p. 14-16
- It follows that, to make a communist country, it is not enough to take power, collectivize the economy or impose a state ideology. We need deeper transformations, namely: organizing the masses differently, in accordance with community laws to which all aspects of life must be subject. (…) p. 14-16
The economic crisis
- The crisis of the communist economy has nothing in common with the economic crises of capitalist societies. At the basis of the capitalist crisis is anarchic production.[…] At the basis of the crisis of the communist economy are the very principles of its organization. […] This crisis is relative, in the sense that it is only perceived in comparison with the standard of living and technology of Western countries. The real crisis comes from the fact that we have moved away from communist methods applied in economics, to try to overcome difficulties and stagnation by capitalist methods. p. 107
- The best study of these capitalist crises remains, from my point of view, the work of K. Marx, which it is fashionable today to judge to be erroneous. In fact, it's exactly the opposite. p. 106
- Intending to improve the economic situation, the Gorbachevites put the economy itself into a state of crisis. p. 108
Occidentism - an essay on the triumph of an ideology (1995)
- L'Occidentisme - essai sur le triomphe d'une idéologie, Alexandre Zinoviev (trad. Galia Ackerman et Pierre Lorrain), éd. Plon, 1995 (ISBN 978-2259-183-178)
Social structure of the population
When examining the social structure of the population of the West, it is impossible to ignore the millions of immigrant workers without whom modern Western society is unthinkable. p. 112
The aspiration of millions of immigrants to blend into Western society of their own free will hardly influences their status within it. They form a stable social layer comparable to the slaves of the Roman Empire.[…] In proportion to the population, the slaves of the Roman Empire were fewer in number than our immigrant workers. However, Roman society was classified as slave-based while Western society is called democrap. 112
The existence of the stratum of immigrant workers has already generated, in the West, problems which are among the most important and difficult of our time.[…] Whatever way we characterize them, these serious conflicts have become, and for a long time, a permanent feature of life in the West. The permanence of this social layer and its maintenance in this semi-servile state is objectively essential to the existence of a society whose contradictions are exacerbated by the discourse on civil liberties, human rights and equality of rights. odds. To a certain extent, it is a boon for the West that these problems are perceived as racial: this allows their social essence and their organic character to be obscured. Otherwise, they would have long ago appeared for what they really are: skirmishes of class conflict. p. 114
Wealth and Poverty
- Poverty, which is seen as a kind of horrible and incurable disease, is not the fruit of the machinations of dark forces operating in the depths of Western society. It is the inevitable consequence of the objective laws of Westernism. p.117
The political class
- The political class belongs to the sphere of community which, I repeat, reached its maximum stage of development in communist society where it became dominant. In Western society, she probably cannot reach this level, but she tends to try. p. 161
- ...the political class of Western society reminded me in a striking way of what I had had the opportunity to observe for several years, as in the laboratory, in Soviet Russia. It's a bit as if Soviet society had divulged secrets that remain hidden in Western society and that are not spoken out loud. p. 161
Occidentism and Communism
=> Last chapter not published in the French edition by Plon
- In reality, the occidentist state system is not reduced to democracy. It is not even its main element. It is in the public eye, it makes a lot of noise and serves as a showcase. But it is only the façade of real power
- translated from French according to Zoubovitch, Olga. « La démocratie totalitaire dans la pensée d’Alexandre Zinoviev. » Cahiers d'histoire, volume 33, numéro 1-2-spécial, 2015, p. 83–98. URL : https://www.erudit.org/fr/revues/histoire/2015-v33-n1-2-sp%C3%A9cial-histoire03364/1042876ar/ d'après :
- Запад: феномен западнизма, Alexandre Zinoviev, éd. Eksmo, 2003. p. 175
The Great rupture - Sociology of a changing world (2000)
- La grande rupture - sociologie d'un monde bouleversé, Alexandre Zinoviev (trad. Slobodan Despot), éd. Éditions l'Âge d'Homme
The great rupture
- The mechanism of financial totalitarianism is constituted by the giant financial system of society, which is now conditioned above all by the infinite number of financial exchanges extending over all aspects of human life and society as a whole, including everything connected with capitalism.
- The income of the financial mechanism does not come from the exploitation of wage earners: the individuals who are part of it receive their wages without producing anything. They are servants of a government apparatus similar to that of the state. [...] In reality, its type of financing is similar to that of the state, which produces nothing. It takes the tribute of those it serves, that is to say, that it exploits.
Last interview in the West, 1999
- the end of communism also marked the end of democracy, our era today is not only post-communist, it is also post-democratic. Today we are witnessing the establishment of democratic totalitarianism, or if you prefer, the establishment of totalitarian democracy.
- Communist totalitarianism was sensitive to criticism from the West, and the West was also influenced by communism, particularly through its communist parties. Today we live in a world dominated by a single ideology, a single fact, by a single globalist party.
- Totalitarianism is spreading everywhere because the supranational structure imposes its law on nations. This non-democratic super structure gives orders, sanctions, bombs, and starves.
- Financial totalitarianism has subjugated the political powers. Financial totalitarianism is cold. It knows neither pity nor feelings. Political dictatorships are pitiful compared to this totalitarianism. A certain resistance was possible within the hardest dictatorships, no revolt is possible against a bank.
- Democratic totalitarianism and financial dictatorship exclude social revolution.
The Global Suprasociety and Russia (2000)
- La Suprasociété globale et la Russie, Alexandre Zinoviev (trad. Gérard Conio), éd. L'Age d'Homme, 2000
On the way to the supra-society
- Concrete historical processes are always a mixture of two types of processes: 1) the spontaneous, unplanned and undirected type; 2) the conscious and volitional, planned and directed type. Their proportions and roles vary within certain limits. When the second type is dominant, the whole process is, for the most part, planned (programmed) and directed, although some of its components remain unplanned and undirected.
- In order to describe a spontaneous historical process, one must appeal to dialectics. To describe conscious-voluntary processes, another methodological apparatus must be used. In this case it is indispensable to know what the social plans (projects) are; how and why they are decided, how they are realized, how, by what means and according to what rules, the social management of people is practiced. This is not in contradiction with the dialectic, it is another orientation of the study of social objects.
- ... in the social tragedy the judge pronounces a verdict against the victim.
The Russian tragedy
- ... Russia has made a breach in the world evolutionary process, discovering a new direction of social evolution, qualitatively different from the Western direction. On this way Russia has achieved colossal successes. It has found the solution to the most fundamental social problems, in principle unsolvable in the Western way. It has become a real communist competitor to the Western variant of human evolution.
- ... the masters of the global supra-society continue Hitler's work, but using the much more powerful means of contemporary science and masking their aims under the label of democracy.
- We can consider that the era we have just entered is not only post-communist but also post-democratic.
- ... as far as the conquests of science are concerned, they are the foundation on which an obscurantism flourishes, with which the obscurantism of the Middle Ages pales in comparison.
- Without Illusions (1979) (in Russian) [Без иллюзий]