Alexander Zinoviev as Writer and Thinker: An Assessment by Michael Kirkwood, Philip Hanson

By Michael Kirkwood, Philip Hanson

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MIZ, p. 147. 85. , p. 34. 86. , p. 36. 87. , p. 37. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. Arch Tait 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. , p. 36. BI, p. 76. NSNRNB, p. 54. Ibid. NSNRNB, p. 55. Zinoviev wrote in May 1980, 'Each day of this year comes and goes like a personal insult. You feel submerged up to your chin in a boundless ocean of dirty water. You feel as if your body and soul were already being consumed by the bacteria of decay and the maggots, and yet still you clutch at moral precepts which have lost their force - the last remaining straw.

An example is no doubt Ibansk itself which, Zinoviev suggests, he chose 'as a means of presenting the results of my researches into Soviet society as having some measure of relevance for any contemporary human collective of sufficient size and development'. 65 Zinoviev tells us that he has observed rigorous scientific standards, and has arrived at certain conclusions. His creative fantasy is not, therefore, unfettered. He describes his method as 'the scientific style of figurative thinking' (nauchnyi stil' obraznogo myshleniya').

Therefore the Soviet 'leaders' were not leaders at all but preventers of consistent, purposive action by human beings: 17 in the last resort a sort of negating mafia, bereft of religion, philosophy, logic and law, acting against good and against God. Zinoviev himself has never explicitly rejected Sovietism which he 20 Experiences of a Soviet Methodologist accepts de facto as a valid, working system. On the other hand, he idolises neither Lenin nor Glorious October. He believes that his country had, in the historical sense, very bad luck to be saddled with Lenin and his 'old guard'; especially the latter who, for Zinoviev, were mainly 'chatter-boxes' like Trotsky or softies like Bukharin.

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