Soviet man in search of morality.
November marks the sixtieth anniversary of the Red revolution in Russia. The parades, speeches, and the rumble of rocket launchers around Red Square all celebrate the birthday of the U.S.S.R. and the new communist age confidently established by Lenin in 1917.
How stands the Gospel of Marx in the Soviet Union today? Derek Sangster, editor of the British gospel paper “Challenge,” interviewed Anatoli Krasnov-Levitin, an influential figure in the movement for human rights in the Soviet Union who is particularly noted for his influence on young people. Mr. Krasnov-Levitin now lives in Switzerland but keeps in close touch with his homeland. Here he talks about the changing face of the Soviet Union today.
At first sight, Marxism-Leninism seems triumphant in the Soviet Union. The truths of Marxism are drummed into young people in every school, institute, and university. Generations of people have known nothing but Marxism-Leninism. And this ideology is probably going to influence millions of people for a long time yet.
However, if we look deeper, things aren’t going as well for Marxism-Leninism as they might seem.
When 1 was young, the majority of young people raved about Marx and Engels and knew their works almost by heart. It was like this up and down the country, from Moscow and Leningrad to the remotest villages. Old people treated all this with skepticism, sighed for the czarist order, and went to church.
Now the roles are reversed. The ardent Marxists and adherents of Soviet ideology are old-age pensioners. Young people laugh and tell jokes about Lenin, and some of them turn to the church.
An acquaintance of mine in Moscow—previously an important Soviet diplomat and a prominent KGB worker (quite ...1
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