In March 2019, The Epoch Times interviewed Vladimir Bukovsky, the author of “Judgment in Moscow: Soviet Crimes and Western Complicity,” about his life and work. Bukovsky passed away before he could participate in the coming

start of Nuremberg trials for communism that he called for several times. Excerpts below:

The Epoch Times: What are your thoughts about “Russiagate,” the probe into whether our president colluded with Russia, with Putin, to win the election?

Vladimir Bukovsky: My first reaction was to laugh because probably the majority of your countrymen don’t realize, but the Soviet Union was always involved in the elections and manipulations even before computers were invented.

Last Man Standing: The Triumphant Return of Vladimir Bukovsky and the Dark Truth About the USSR and the West

They were always good at machinations but their knowledge of American realities was always very poor. They had no idea how America lives, how it is governed, what is going to prevail, what will be the result of this or that action.

The Epoch Times: The American left today, because it is an attack point against President Donald Trump, is wildly anti-Russian, Russo-phobic. Now. Suddenly.

Mr. Bukovsky: Yeah. The fact that Russia today is much weaker than the Soviet Union used to be, and therefore less dangerous, does not influence American opinion. They now perceive the danger very seriously.

The Epoch Times: So much of your life work has been about trying to wake up the West that communism was an abomination. They say 55 percent of millennials in the United States are proud to call themselves socialist. What hope is there?

Mr. Bukovsky: Very little hope. Mind you, don’t forget communism is still very powerful in places like China, Vietnam, countries like that, and when these countries are discussed you seldom hear anything about communism. As if China is not the biggest communist country in the world.

The Epoch Times: How does it feel that “Judgment in Moscow” is coming out in English? How has the response been?

Mr. Bukovsky: It’s a bit too late. It was written 25 years ago. Politically, it’s a bit too late.

The Epoch Times: Is this a dangerous book to publish in today’s world?

Mr. Bukovsky: Being a small publisher, they are not afraid of it. After all, you still have your First Amendment and things like that. They’re not afraid of the opposition.

The Epoch Times: What do you think is the most controversial thing in your book that caused it to be repressed or thwarted 25 years ago?

Mr. Bukovsky: The reaction here was most strong in connection with certain individuals, not with the documents. That has nothing to do with me; these are Politburo documents, I didn’t invent them.

The Epoch Times: Appealing to the part of the human mind that already knows what it thinks, aiming for that, lulling, and no surprises.

Mr. Bukovsky: Yeah.

The Epoch Times: The things going on now, raging all over in the name of political correctness, censorship, de-platforming, deleting people—are these new forms of the same old beast?

Mr. Bukovsky: The question is: How new? If you look back at the ’30s, “Brave New World,” it presents more or less that picture. These things were already set. But it didn’t become universal knowledge. People didn’t expect it to happen.

The Epoch Times: You have triumphed over your enemies in an extraordinary way. How did you do it? How did you survive, psychologically?

Mr. Bukovsky: I think it all depends on the strength of your character. If it’s strong enough it will become stronger. If it’s weaker, it might break down. So I’m not the only one who benefited, so to speak, from this experience. I knew quite a number of other people who became only stronger.

The Epoch Times: Can you look back on it all now and draw strength and maybe even joy from what you lived through, and were able to bear witness to?
Mr. Bukovsky: Oh, yes. Yes, of course.

The Epoch Times: Good.

Mr. Bukovsky: (Laughs.)

The Epoch Times: What do they mean when they say “globalism” and what does the word “globalism” mean to you?

Mr. Bukovsky: They usually mean global governments. A single governing structure over the whole world.

The Epoch Times: Why do they want this? Why do they want one government and why do they hate nations?

Mr. Bukovsky: Nations—if you look at the history of leftism—nations were always perceived as the enemy because they make people unequal. The basic idea of the left from very old time is the equality of people. Anything which makes people different is bad. So, for example, private property, incomes, abilities—it’s all bad. People are supposed to be equal, meaning the same. Therefore, nations are always bad. Nations have different histories, different privileges, different traditions. You can’t make them equal so leftism was always against nations.

The Epoch Times: Is communism a bodiless parasite that never dies?

Mr. Bukovsky: The basic idea probably would never die. Communism was a much more detailed program. As such it is already half dead. The program itself assimilated by Marx and others, it became bankrupt. Therefore theoreticians of the left today don’t want to remember the basic positions of the left at the time. With industrial relations, class relations, they don’t want to think about it right now, they don’t want even to discuss it. But they moved into a more general field, of equality in general and formulated their policies from that viewpoint. Therefore, political correctness today become more and more involved with personal affairs, private affairs of people, which didn’t happen before.

The Epoch Times: Did the architects of communism truly believe in communism?

Mr. Bukovsky: It very much depends. Lenin was the first to realize that he miscalculated. By 1921, he saw that the world revolution did not follow, and he was kind of banking on it. It was his main idea that a socialist coup in Russia would precipitate the world socialist revolution. By 1921, it was obvious that the world socialist revolution does not follow. And he had to admit it. You can find this in his writings. He was quite frank about it. He was disillusioned. It was “postponed” he said. And therefore he switched his policies into the New Economic Policy, NEP. Allowing the country to breathe a bit. But he also said it was temporary, it was not for a long time. He was the first to understand that it was a basic miscalculation.

Stalin realized the same thing when Germans attacked him in 1941 and the Soviet Union started collapsing, splitting into different parts. He suddenly realized that the whole thing is a big miscalculation. The new entity, as they called it, the Soviet people, was not born. And the Red Army was running like mad. They didn’t want to fight. So that was the collapse of his ideas, including collectivization and things like that.

Kruschev realized that only after he was pensioned off, was sitting in the dacha thinking it over and over again. He said a bit about it in his memoirs but not much. But you could see that he was very much in doubt of the main concepts. As far as people after Kruschev are concerned, I doubt they ever believed in anything. They believed in power, in their right to distribute wealth, and to be a kind of permanent elite. Most of them perceived ideology as something that actually hampered their movement forward. Makes it more difficult. And they got rid of ideology. But it’s still a communist mentality. In Brezhnev time I don’t think they believed in anything, except their right to be the nomenklatura [elite members of the Soviet bureaucracy].

The Epoch Times: Can you address the mass murder element in communism, that so many Westerners have a blind spot for?

Mr. Bukovsky: That was the result of introducing their ideology, which deliberately replaced human values with class values and therefore “liberated” them from responsibility. That was what they called “historic inevitability” and therefore no one was guilty. The old classes were supposed to die anyway and therefore murdering them was not a crime and so it went. Until it was not perceived anymore as murder. It was perceived as an aspect of class struggle. The question is, of course, how easy is it to dehumanize human beings? Apparently it’s very easy.

The Epoch Times: What is the difference ultimately between Nazism and communism?

Mr. Bukovsky: Well, Nazism essentially is a more narrow concept of one nation being above others, representing the masters, and others being subjugated. In the Soviet version we’re talking about classes—one class being the master, not one nation being the master, like in the Nazi version. But that’s the only difference; Otherwise both of them were socialist. Let’s not forget that the Nazi party was called National Socialist Workers Party so they were on the same line with creating a paradise, only for their own nation at the expense of others. That’s the only difference.

The Epoch Times: The average Western person says consistently that Nazis were extreme right wing, while communists were left wing. That’s why people like communists.

Mr. Bukovsky: (Laughs. )That’s very naive. Nazis were never right wing they were always left wing. They were socialists. It’s a version of socialism.

The Epoch Times: Defined how?

Mr. Bukovsky: Everything, including the social policies. If you look at labor legislation under Hitler, you will discover that they introduced huge, massive labor legislation in favor of working classes. Restrictions on the rights of the so-called capitalists. The difference between our version of socialism and the so-called northern socialism that the Germans implemented is that they would not nationalize the enterprises. They would cut the profits with huge taxes, cut them to the bone—that’s the difference in technical terms.

The Epoch Times: My experience of growing up in radical socialist Sweden in the late 70s was that the central idea was to build a new person, the new Swede, who would have only selfless, collectivist impulses, and have all human error drained off. A highly functional human being who could be predicted, you might say, like a robot. Tell me about the Soviet version of this.

Mr. Bukovsky: Same as with us. We were also told that they were creating a new historic entity called “Soviet People.” The New Man has all these qualities you mentioned—collectivist and so on and so forth and having no nationality, no ethnic belonging.

The Epoch Times: You say the West didn’t win the Cold War. Could you elaborate?

Mr. Bukovsky: I perceive the Cold War as an ideological war. Liberal democracy vs communist totalitarianism. In that sense we didn’t win. Instead, liberal democracy became infected with a lot of elements of Soviet ideology and the Soviet ideology did not disappear. It transformed, so there was no great victory. Usually they say that the West has won the Cold War meaning the military confrontation between the Warsaw Pact and NATO. NATO is still around and the Warsaw Pact disappeared, so that was perceived as a victory.

But I always perceived this war as much deeper, as a clash of ideologies, and in this clash we didn’t win. Communism has never been condemned internationally as a crime. They were not put on trial. They were not forced to answer for their crimes. Membership in communist organizations have never been perceived as a crime. Since we didn’t have some kind of Nuremberg trial in Moscow, the war’s not over.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: