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The Symptoms, Damages, and Lessons of Historical Nihilism in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union


Hu Zhongyue, a scholar of Marxism, examines the collapse of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) to distill cautionary lessons for the CCP. He argues that by opening its legacy—particularly under Lenin and Stalin—to reevaluation and critique, the CPSU undermined its political legitimacy and public trust in socialism. As a prognosis, Hu emphasizes the gravity of ideological work and urges vigilance to such trends in Chinese society, especially as new technologies disrupt the traditionally unidirectional flow of information.

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The collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century. As the Soviet Union’s only ruling party, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) made brilliant achievements during its eventful history of over 90 years, but in the end—in a regrettable turn of events—it left the stage of history. Although scholars and Marxist theorists alike have yet to reach a consensus on the causes of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the CPSU, it is clear that historical nihilism within the CPSU dealt a fatal blow to its rule. China is currently the largest socialist country in the world; studying the errors in and lessons of the CPSU’s handling of historical issues, which can serve as a cautionary example, is important for the strengthening of socialist ideology and adherence to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

苏联解体是 20 世纪最大的地缘政治灾难。苏共作为苏联唯一的执政党,在 90 多年的风雨历程中创造了辉煌成就,但最终却退出了历史舞台, 令人唏嘘和惋惜。关于苏联解体、苏共垮台的原 因,学界和理论界莫衷一是,但是苏共党内历史虚 无主义对苏共政权带来的致命性打击却是不容忽 视的。中国是当今世界上最大的社会主义国家, 研究苏共在处理历史问题上的失误和教训,对加 强社会主义意识形态建设,坚持中国特色社会主 义道路具有重要的警示和借鉴意义。

I. The development of the countercurrent of historical nihilism within the CPSU


The second half of the twentieth century saw two upsurges of historical nihilism in the CPSU. Under the pretext of “re-evaluating history,” these movements—championed by Nikita Khrushchev and Mikhail Gorbachev respectively—misrepresented, attacked, and slandered CPSU leaders and even repudiated the October Revolution and the achievements of Soviet socialism.

20 世纪中后期,苏共党内主要形成了两次历史虚无主义高潮,分别以赫鲁晓夫和戈尔巴乔夫为首推者,以“重评历史”为名,歪曲、攻击、诋毁  苏共领袖,甚至否定十月革命,否定苏联社会主义革命和建设的成就。

(1) The first upsurge of historical nihilism within the CPSU

(一) 苏共党内第一次历史虚无主义高潮

The first upsurge of historical nihilism in the CPSU began at the end of the 20th Congress of the CPSU, when Khrushchev gave a four-hour-long “secret speech” entitled “On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences,” which subjected Joseph Stalin to a great “trial,” ruthlessly criticizing his character and cooking up charges against him to obliterate his achievements. Khrushchev’s “secret speech” set a precedent of repudiating the CPSU’s history and rang up the curtain on the first wave of historical nihilism within the CPSU. “In the late 1950s, after Khrushchev consolidated his position as the chief leader of the Party and the government, this fighter against the cult of personality turned around and started his own personality cult.”1 After taking power, Khrushchev became increasingly self-aggrandizing while criticizing Stalin, and a nihilistic campaign against Stalin was launched in the CPSU, with the sacred image of Stalin in people’s hearts completely torn apart. As Chairman Mao commented, “Khrushchev’s secret speech against Stalin not only lifted the lid, which was good, but also stirred the pot, which shocked the whole world.”2 The 20th Congress of the CPSU shook the entire communist movement to its foundations. Anti-communist and anti-socialist political activities emerged at some universities and research institutes, and there were even slogans of “Down with the Communist Party” and “Down with the Soviets” shouted at marches.3 Historical nihilism did not analyze the Stalin model in a dialectical manner and simply equated him with the cult of personality, repression, and concentration camps, even seeing him as a tyrant. In fact, “Soviet people who had firsthand experience of the Stalin era emphatically affirmed Stalin’s great contributions, but they also personally suffered the bitter consequences of his errors in the Great Purge and his insufficiently democratic, even overbearing leadership style.”4

苏共党内第一次历史虚无主义高潮肇始于1956  年苏共二十大即将闭幕时,赫鲁晓夫作了长达四个小时的《关于个人迷信及其后果》的“秘密 报告”。该报告对斯大林展开了大“审判”,对斯 大林的个人品质无情批判,并罗织罪名来抹杀斯大林的历史功绩。赫鲁晓夫的“秘密报告”开了否定苏共历史的先河,拉开了苏共党内第一次历史虚无主义浪潮的序幕。“从 50 年代末开始,当赫鲁晓夫作为党政主要领导人的地位巩固以后, 这位反对个人崇拜的斗士竟然自己也搞起了个人崇拜。” 赫鲁晓夫上台后,在批判斯大林的过程中逐渐自我膨胀起来,苏共党内开始全面虚无化斯大林,斯大林在人们心中的神圣画像被彻底撕碎。毛主席指出: “赫鲁晓夫反斯大林的秘密报告,一是揭了盖子,这是好的,二是捅了娄子,全世 界都震动。” 苏共二十大使整个共产主义运动受到了极其强烈的震撼,在一些高校和科研院所里, 出现了“反共”、反社会主义的政治活动,甚至在游行活动中,喊出了“打倒共产党”“打到苏维埃” 的口号。 历史虚无主义不对斯大林模式进行辩证分析,仅仅把它同个人崇拜、镇压和集中营等相联系,甚至把斯大林看成“暴君”。事实上,“亲身经历过斯大林时期的苏联人民,充分肯定了斯大林伟大的历史功勋,但也亲身感受了他在肃反扩大化,以及他在工作作风方面不够民主甚至作风粗暴所犯错误而造成的苦果”。

When Leonid Brezhnev came to power, however, he selectively ignored Stalin’s errors and stressed only his achievements, going from one extreme to another. Brezhnev mounted a full defense of Stalin and of the CPSU’s history and did not treat them dialectically. This kind of one-sided assessment of history had exactly the opposite effect, which exacerbated the spread of “de-Stalinization” in theoretical circles. In the later years of the Brezhnev era, the caliber of CPSU members declined, and they became increasingly divorced from the masses. Gripped by unfounded optimism, they announced only good news to the people and withheld negative information. The CPSU grew complacent and became stuck in a rut, its way of thinking gradually hardening. Bureaucracy and dogmatism were the order of the day, and problems such as cadre corruption and the degeneration of the privileged class threatened to spiral out of control.


(2) The second upsurge of historical nihilism within the CPSU

(二) 苏共党内第二次历史虚无主义高潮

The second upsurge of historical nihilism within the CPSU occurred during the Gorbachev era. Gorbachev launched a campaign to “re-evaluate history” and directed its attack at CPSU leaders and Soviet socialism. From discrediting individuals like Stalin and Lenin to repudiating the whole Soviet socialist system and even Marxism, the movement was unprecedented in its scale and scope, affecting culture, politics, and the economy. In the 1980s, the Soviet economy all but stagnated, with material well-being reaching a nadir. The political system faced severe challenges, and reform was imperative. Gorbachev thought that the socialist system of the Soviet Union was politically “totalitarian,” economically “high-handed,” and culturally “bureaucratic.” Reform, then, entailed breaking the monopoly and demolishing everything—that is, a fundamental remodeling of the long-established edifice of Soviet socialism on the pattern of Western democratic socialism. As Zbigniew Brzezinski notes in The Grand Failure, in a May 1987 conversation with János Kádár, leader of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, Gorbachev said, “The totality of Soviet experience since 1929 had been wrong. … No less than three quarters of the Soviet practice was discredited and should somehow be repudiated or corrected.”5 Finding it difficult to alter the economic system, Gorbachev started with the political system. The “openness, democratization, and social pluralism” that he emphasized at the 19th All-Union Conference of the CPSU in 1988 became a powerful weapon for revealing the “dark side” of Soviet socialism, and a trend of “overturning original verdicts” swept through Soviet society. For example, the last czar, Nicholas II, was described as a wise monarch, while the press condemned the Bolshevik “atrocities.” Gorbachev rashly advocated absolute freedom of the press, which enabled supporters of liberalization to use historical nihilism to denigrate the CPSU’s history, leading to rampant liberalization in Soviet society.

苏共党内第二次历史虚无主义高潮发生在戈尔巴乔夫时期。戈尔巴乔夫掀起了一场史学领域 的“重评历史”运动,矛头直指苏共领袖和苏联社会主义制度,从对斯大林、列宁等个人的否定延伸 到对整个苏联社会主义制度的否定,乃至对马克思主义的否定,并且渗透到了文化、政治和经济等领域中,其规模之大、范围之广前所未有。20 世纪 80 年代,苏联经济发展几近停滞,物质福祉跌至最低点,政治体制面临严峻挑战,改革势在必 行。戈尔巴乔夫认为,苏联社会主义制度在政治 上是“极权的”,在经济上是“专横的”,在文化上是“官僚的”,要改革就要打破垄断,炸毁一切,从 根本上改造业已形成的社会主义大厦,按照西方 模式走民主社会主义道路。布热津斯基在《大失 败》一书中指出,1987 年 5 月,戈尔巴乔夫在与匈牙利社会主义工人党领导人卡达尔的一次谈话中 说: “苏联自 1929 年以来的经验全部是错误的。” “苏联的经验有四分之三以上是令人怀疑的,应该予以否定或纠正。”戈尔巴乔夫难以撬动经济体制,于是,他先从政治体制入手,在 1988 年苏共第十九次党代表会议上,戈尔巴乔夫提出的“公开性、民主化、社会多元论”成为揭露苏联社会主义“黑暗面”的有力武器。苏联社会刮起了一阵“翻案风”,比如末代皇帝尼古拉二世被描述成英明的君主,报刊谴责布尔什维克的“暴行”等。戈尔巴乔夫轻率地主张新闻自由绝对化,导致自由化分子用历史虚无主义打开了“突破口”,对苏共历史展开了诋毁和攻击,苏联社会自由化泛起。

In May 1989, the Soviet Union held its first Congress of People’s Deputies, whose scale, influence, and extent of democratization and openness far exceeded those of any precedent in Soviet history. “This congress was characterized by plain speaking: deputies bluntly pointed out the difficulties facing the country and the mistakes that the leadership had made, while leaders admitted to many shortcomings and faults in their reports.”6 “Although a large number of deputies made pertinent remarks, quite a few vehemently attacked the CPSU, the KGB, and the Soviet systems, and their opinions were not duly refuted. In particular, even though most of the members and candidate members of the Politburo and members of the Secretariat of the CPSU Central Committee were people’s deputies, they did not say a word during the congress, which dissatisfied the masses outside the congress.”7 Historical nihilism maliciously slandered CPSU leaders, with the revilement and demonization of Stalin reaching a peak, and ruthlessly vilified and denigrated the CPSU’s history, sensationalizing its dark chapters. The Soviet elite lost faith in socialism. Renowned sociologist Tatyana Zaslavskaya abandoned her belief in socialism and thought that mature capitalism had “socialist features.”8 After leaving the CPSU, former government official Ivan Silayev said, “I myself am completely different from the person I was in the ’70s. … We favor the privatization of property … We favor private property of both land and industrial enterprises.”9 “In 1989, institutions of higher learning in the Soviet Union cut many traditional social science courses. ‘History of the CPSU’ was replaced with ‘Twentieth-Century Social and Political History,’ ‘Scientific Communism’ was replaced with ‘Issues in Modern Socialism,’ ‘Marxist-Leninist Philosophy’ was replaced with ‘Philosophy,’ and ‘Marxist Ethics and Aesthetics’ was replaced with ‘Ethics and Aesthetics.’”10 In the late 1980s, the State Committee for People’s Education of the Soviet Union completely abolished courses on Marxism-Leninism at institutions of higher learning, radically repudiating the socialist system. The historical nihilism movement reached its apogee and raged like a prairie fire. The program statement of the 28th Congress of the CPSU in 1990—“Towards a Humane, Democratic Socialism”—marked Gorbachev’s departure from Marxism-Leninism and the CPSU theorists’ rejection of historical materialism; instead, they tried to understand and explain history through abstract humanitarianism. A humane, democratic socialism thus replaced Marxism as the leading ideology of the Soviet Union, which brought the country to the brink of total collapse and which led it on a wrong, irreversible path.

1989 年 5 月,苏联召开了首届人民代表大会,这次会议的规模和影响以及民主化和公开性 程度远远超过了以往。“代表们对当前国家面临 的困难和领导工作中的失误直言不讳,领导人在报告中大量揭短亮丑,是这次代表大会上的一个 重要特点。”“虽然不少代表发表了中肯的意见, 但有相当多的人在会上对苏共、克格勃和苏联的 制度进行了猛烈攻击,这些言论没有得到应有的 驳斥,尤其是苏共中央政治局委员、候补委员和中 央书记大多是人民代表,却坐在会场上一言不发, 这引起了会外群众的不满。”历史虚无主义恶意中伤苏共领导人,对斯大林展开的狂轰滥炸和妖 魔化程度达到巅峰状态,并无情地糟蹋和抹黑苏 共历史,浓墨重笔地刻画苏共历史的阴暗面。苏 联的精英丧失了对社会主义的信心,著名社会学 家塔雅特·扎斯拉夫斯卡娅放弃了自己的社会主 义信念,认为成熟的资本主义具有“社会主义的特征”。  原苏共政府官员伊万·西拉耶夫在退党后说: “和 70 年代的我相比,我好像完全换了一个人似的。”“我们向往财产私有化……我们向 往的不仅是土地,而且包括工业企业在内的私有 制。”“1989 年,苏联高等院校砍掉了许多传统的社会科学课程。如取消‘苏共党史’,以‘20 世纪社会政治史’代替; 取消‘科学共产主义’,以‘现代社会主义问题’代替; ‘取消马克思列宁主义哲学’,以‘哲学’代替; 取消‘马克思主义伦理学和美学原理’,以‘伦 理学和美学原理’代替。”20 世纪 80 年代末,苏联国家国民教育委员会全面取消高校的马列主义课程,从根本上否 定社会主义制度,历史虚无主义运动升级到极点, 泛滥到白热化程度。1990  年,以苏共二十八大通过的《走向人道的、民主的社会主义》纲领性文件 为标志,戈尔巴乔夫背离了马克思列宁主义,苏共 理论界抛弃了历史唯物主义原则,用抽象的人道 主义解读历史、阐述历史。人道的民主的社会主 义取代了马克思主义在苏联意识形态领域里的主 导地位,把苏联带入全面崩溃的边缘,引入无法挽 回的歧途。

II. The harm of historical nihilism to the CPSU


“To destroy a nation, it is essential to first erase its history.”11 The CPSU repudiated its own history “with its own hands,” which allowed historical nihilism to run rampant both inside and outside the Party and evolve into a raging current of political thought with ideological demands. The CPSU was powerless to ward off the countercurrent of historical nihilism within or nihilistic attacks from outside the Party, and the failure triggered a domino effect that swept across various Eastern European countries and profoundly damaged the international communist movement, as would be evidenced by the drastic changes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union’s disintegration.

“灭人之国,必先去其史。” 苏共“亲手”否定自己的历史,导致历史虚无主义在苏共党内外 大肆泛滥,演化成一股猖狂的具有意识形态诉求 的政治思潮。苏共在处理党内历史虚无主义逆流 和应对党外历史虚无主义攻击时毫无招架之力, 并引发“多米诺骨牌”效应,危及东欧各国,对国际共产主义运动造成了深远的消极影响,东欧剧 变、苏联解体是其留下的最明显的注脚。

(1) It defamed leaders, ridiculed heroes, and distorted the image of the CPSU

(一) 抹黑领袖、恶搞英雄,扭曲了苏联共产党的形象

The 20th Congress of the CPSU set off a “de-Stalinization” movement in Soviet society. Under the pretext of combating the cult of personality and re-evaluating Stalin, theorists and historians of the CPSU eagerly portrayed Stalin in a nihilistic way. “They did their utmost to demonize Stalin, putting him on a par with Hitler, and willfully exaggerated the errors and the number of victims of the ‘Great Purge.’”12 Liberal intellectuals arbitrarily disparaged Stalin on the basis of subjective assumptions and made vicious, insulting remarks about him in an effort to obliterate his great achievements. His “errors” and faults were staggeringly blown out of proportion, and he was portrayed as a tyrant, a demon, a treacherous, devious person, and a heinous “murderer.” Statues of Stalin were smashed, and the remains were defiled. “At the time, anyone who could write was smearing Stalin’s name. … Whoever was the first to denounce Stalin would be a hero.” 13 After Stalin, historical nihilism directed its attack at Lenin, who was labeled a Nietzschean manipulating the will to power. Rumors spread that Lenin was “an agent of the German kaiser.” His “crimes” were enumerated, such as ordering the execution of the czar and his family, betraying Russian interests to Germany, and having an indulgent private life. The flaws and “errors” of CPSU leaders were thus infinitely magnified, and their authority was waning by the day. Historical nihilism’s efforts to tarnish the image of CPSU leaders essentially represented a denial of the achievements of the Soviet socialist revolution in the name of “reflecting on history.”

苏共二十大后,苏联社会上掀起了一场“非斯大林”化运动。苏共理论界和史学界以反对“个人崇拜”为旗号、以“重评斯大林”为理由,大肆虚无化斯大林。“他们竭力把斯大林妖魔化, 把斯大林和希特勒相提并论,恣意扩大‘大清洗’ 运动的错误和运动中的受害人数。”自由派知识分子以主观臆断来任意贬低斯大林,用恶语谩骂和攻击斯大林,以此来抹杀和掩盖斯大林的丰功伟绩。斯大林所犯下的“错误”和缺点被无限渲染和夸大,斯大林被描绘成暴君、魔鬼、阴险狡诈 的人、十恶不赦的“杀人犯”等。斯大林的塑像被捣毁,遗体被焚尸扬灰。“在那个时期只要能写几笔的人都在抹黑斯大林。……谁先冲上去,谁 首先反对斯大林,谁就是英雄。” 在抹黑斯大林后,历史虚无主义又把矛头指向列宁,称其为尼采 主义者,玩弄权力意志,散布列宁是“德皇间谍” 的谣言,历数列宁“罪状”,如残杀沙皇一家、出卖 俄国利益给德国、私生活糜烂等。至此,苏共领袖 的缺点和“错误”被无限放大,领袖权威日渐式微。历史虚无主义抹黑苏共领袖的形象,实质上 是借“反思历史”之名来否定苏联社会主义革命和建设的成就。

Similarly, revolutionary heroes were wantonly vilified and vulgarized for popular entertainment. “Under the pretense of ‘declassifying history,’ some liberal writers and political commentators … smeared and distorted the image of CPSU leaders and Soviet Red Army heroes.”14 For example, heroes of the Great Patriotic War such as Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya and Alexander Matrosov were slandered, vilified, and ridiculed. The CPSU had wanted to stimulate enthusiasm for reform by correcting historical mistakes, but it ultimately lost control and caused irreparable damage to its own image.

同样,革命英雄也被肆意丑化和庸俗化,出现了泛娱乐化现象。“一些自由派文学家和政论家以‘历史解密’为名…… 丑化和扭曲苏共领导人和苏联红军英雄形象。” 例如,诋毁、丑化、恶搞卫国战争中的英雄卓娅、马特洛索夫等。苏共本想通过纠正历史错误来激发人们改革的热情,最终却失去控制、覆水难收,严重扭曲和贬损了苏联共产党的形象。

(2) It misrepresented history, distorted facts, and sowed confusion in the minds of the Soviet people

(二) 裁剪历史、歪曲事实,搞乱了苏联人民的思想

Historical nihilism within the CPSU eroded the Party’s legitimacy to hold power. Khrushchev’s total repudiation of Stalin shattered the unified value system of the Soviet people and sowed confusion in people’s minds, eroding their faith in socialism and confidence in the socialist system. Such repudiation of the Party’s supreme leaders ultimately evolved into the complete repudiation of the CPSU-led revolution and the Party’s political legitimacy. “The CPSU’s degeneration was a long and complicated process, at the forefront of which was the Party’s ideological confusion.”15

苏共党内历史虚无主义消解了苏联共产党执政的合法性。赫鲁晓夫用全盘否定斯大林的方式 将苏联人民团结统一的价值体系瓦解了,造成人们思想上的混乱,进而使人们迷失了对社会主义的信仰,丧失了对社会主义制度的信心。这种对苏共最高领导人的否定最终演变成对苏共领导的 革命及其执政合法性的全面否定。“苏共的蜕变有个长期而复杂的过程,而党的思想混乱是首当其冲的。”

“After Gorbachev’s ‘reform’ turned into ‘redirection,’ the CPSU fell into ideological confusion and became disorganized, with factionalism running rife both inside and outside the Party.”16 Gorbachev’s “humane, democratic socialism” was in the same vein as Khrushchev’s modern revisionism: he believed that repudiating the Soviet Union’s socialist history was a prerequisite for reforming Soviet socialism. His glasnost campaign set off a wave of “historical reflection” in Soviet society, which “focused on ‘exposing the dark chapters of Soviet history’ with the aim of casting doubt on history and repudiating the past. All of a sudden, a large number of films, TV programs, and writings that defamed Lenin and reviled Stalin appeared in the Soviet media. They repudiated agricultural collectivization, repudiated industrialization, equated the October Revolution with ‘violence and crime,’ and called the Soviet socialist system ‘totalitarianism,’ ‘alienated, deformed socialism,’ and ‘barracks socialism.’ The result was that the CPSU became a villain of historic proportions, and the Soviet system became the root of all evil.” The Soviet propaganda department, too, had fallen. “With the connivance of Gorbachev, Alexander Yakovlev, a member of the Secretariat of the CPSU and head of the Central Committee’s propaganda department, loosened control over public opinion and encouraged the public to critically examine the ‘dark side’ of the CPSU and of Soviet socialism, so as to uncover ‘gaps’ in Soviet history.”17 Historical nihilism focused solely on secondary trends and ignored principal trends, cherry-picked historical materials and took them out of context to present a partial view, deliberately amplified historical fragments, made baseless interpretations and assumptions, and tailored history to fit a particular narrative, turning serious history into a caricature. Soviet historians and theorists abandoned the basic positions of Marxist historical materialism, willfully overturned established conclusions about CPSU history, and denied the inevitability of the October Revolution. Historical nihilism spread from the study of history to the arts, engulfing Soviet literature. Publishing works full of insinuations, some authors spearheaded the advance of historical nihilism and considered it fashionable to portray CPSU history and Soviet socialism in a nihilistic way. The misinterpretation, distortion, and desecration of history was thus an ever-rising tide that ultimately turned into a shocking deluge.

“自从戈尔巴乔夫‘改革’变成了‘改向’之后,苏共思想混乱,造成了党的组织涣散,并且迅 速形成了党内与党外都是派系林立的分裂局 面。”戈尔巴乔夫鼓吹“人道的民主的社会主义”与赫鲁晓夫的现代修正主义一脉相承,认为 否定苏联社会主义历史是推动苏联社会主义改革 的前提条件。在公开性运动中,苏联社会掀起了 一股“历史反思热”。“这股‘历史反思热’的焦点在于‘揭露苏联历史上的阴暗面’,目的在于怀疑 历史,否定过去。一时间,苏联文坛和报刊上出现 了大批污蔑列宁和咒骂斯大林的影视作品和文 章。它们否定农业‘集体化’、否定工业化,把十 月革命称为‘暴力和罪恶’,把苏联社会主义制度 称为‘极权主义’、‘异化、变形的社会主义’、‘兵营式的社会主义’。结果是,苏共成了历史的‘罪 人’,苏联制度成了‘万恶之源’。”苏联新闻宣传 部门也沦陷了,“在戈尔巴乔夫的默许和纵容下, 当时主管新闻宣传工作的苏共中央书记雅科夫列 夫有意识地放纵舆论,鼓励他们将批判的视角转 向苏共和苏联社会主义的‘阴暗面’,挖掘和暴露 苏联历史的‘空白点’”。  历史虚无主义只看支流不看主流,选择性加工史料来片面地截取历史、 抽离历史,刻意放大历史片段,任意曲解、随意假 设、肆意剪裁历史,严肃的历史被搞成一副讽刺性 漫画。苏联史学界和理论界抛弃了马克思主义唯 物史观的基本立场,大肆“翻案”苏共历史、否定 “十月革命”发生的必然性。历史虚无主义从史 学界渗透到文艺界,虚无烟雾弥漫,一些作家通过 大量含沙射影的作品,成为历史虚无主义的先锋 队,把虚无苏共史和苏联社会主义当作时髦。裁 剪、歪曲、拼凑和糟蹋历史之风一浪高过一浪,达到了令人瞠目结舌的地步。

(3) It eroded faith and values and led to the CPSU’s loss of ideological control

(三) 信仰坍塌、价值迷失,导致苏共意识形态的失控

Historical nihilism “eroded the foundation for socialism’s legitimacy, nullified the value of Marxism-Leninism as a guiding principle, and therefore caused a total ideological collapse.”18 Why was historical nihilism so destructive? It was because “ideology embodies the core values on which a system depends; destroying an ideology amounts to overturning a system.”19 If CPSU members had discredited their own socialist practice, then what justifications did they still have for remaining as leaders of the country?

历史虚无主义“瓦解了社会主义的合法性基础,消解了马列主义的指导价值,从而造成了意识形态全面崩溃”。历史虚无主义何以有如此般破坏力呢? 因为“意识形态体现了一个制度赖以存在的核心价值。摧毁一种意识形态,也就意味着推翻一个制度”。试想一下,既然苏联共产党人抹黑自己的社会主义实践,还有什么理由来领导这个国家呢?

Seeing Marxism as an imported foreign ideology not suited to Russia’s conditions, historical nihilism claimed that it was the root of the “evil” that was Soviet socialism in order to attack the CPSU and the Soviet Union. “As disillusion pervaded Soviet society and the ‘idol’ in the hearts of the Soviet people crumbled, Soviet society, politics, and public opinion became fraught with emotion. The second half of the 1980s witnessed a surge of various anti-Marxist ideas as the CPSU completely lost control of ideology, which severely undermined the ideological and political foundations of the Party and the socialist system, and Gorbachev’s reform lost its direction.”20 “After 1989, bourgeois academic views proliferated, and reviling Marxism, blaming socialism, and vilifying the CPSU became the most fashionable ‘theory,’ with the most vociferous critics becoming celebrities and ‘theorists.’ Various bourgeois and petit bourgeois academic thought and religious teachings swept the academic world, which spurned only Marxism-Leninism. An unprecedented catastrophe befell Marxism.”21 “What was serious about the problem was not only that hostile forces used ‘democratization’ and ‘openness’ to launch savage attacks on Marxism and socialism, but that even CPSU leaders, especially Gorbachev, tolerated, connived in, supported, enjoyed, and even participated in the anti-Marxist chorus themselves. They let bourgeois ideas, values, and worldviews completely occupy all fronts, including the press, social sciences, and literature and arts. Marxism, socialism, collectivism, and patriotism were ignored, rejected, and ridiculed. It was precisely this erroneous attitude of CPSU leaders toward ideological work that led to the rapid collapse of the socialist cause and the Party’s cause.”22

历史虚无主义认为马克思主义是舶来品,不适合本国国情,把马克思主义说成是造成苏联社 会主义“罪恶”的根源,以此攻击苏共和苏联。“苏联社会理想破灭,苏联人民心中的‘偶像’坍塌,社会政治和舆论极度情绪化。20 世纪 80 年代中后期,苏共彻底失去了对意识形态的控制,导 致各种反马克思主义思潮猖獗,严重动摇了苏共 和社会主义制度的思想政治基础,苏联改革迷失 了方向。”“1989 年后资产阶级学术观点泛滥,谩骂马克思主义、指责社会主义、丑化共产党成了 最时髦的‘理论’,谁骂得痛快谁就成了名人和 ‘理论家’。各种资产阶级、小资产阶级学术思想 以及宗教学说风靡学术界,却唯独摒弃马克思列 宁主义。马克思主义遭受了空前的大劫难。” “问题的严重性不仅仅在于敌对势力利用‘民主化’、‘公开性’对马克思主义和社会主义发动猖 狂进攻,问题的严重性更在于以戈尔巴乔夫为代表的苏共领导人姑息、纵容、支持、欣赏甚至自己 也参与反马克思主义的大合唱,放手让资产阶级思想、价值观、人生观完全占领报刊、社会科学、文 学艺术等所有阵地。马克思主义、社会主义、集体主义、爱国主义受到冷漠、排斥、嘲弄。正是苏共 领导对意识形态工作的这种错误态度导致了社会 主义事业和党的事业的迅速溃败。”

Historical nihilism has great power to swallow and absorb the mainstream ideology, and a sense of nothingness overwhelmed the Soviet people, who were stuck in the mire of historical nihilism, lost and anxious, their faith and values having disintegrated. The “new view on history” informed by historical nihilism displaced historical materialism among the Soviet people and eroded the foundation of their value system, bringing it to the brink of collapse and bringing the spiritual crisis to its worst point. Disillusion and disorientation resulted in an ideological vacuum and spiritual emptiness, and all authority was rendered meaningless. Endless nihilism tore up the social fabric and bred rejection of Soviet socialism and skepticism about communism. The CPSU lost popular support, lost its vitality, lost its political legitimacy, and lost control of ideology. “Disenchanted with the ideal of communism and pessimistic about the CPSU’s future, large numbers of members left the Party, whose membership plummeted from 19 million to 15 million—the 1973 level.”23 Historical nihilism—peddling nihilism, negation, uncertainty, facetiousness, and deconstruction—erupted with great force and deprived the CPSU of ideological control. It fundamentally undermined the CPSU’s position as the ruling Party, challenged its legitimacy to hold power, chipped away at the ideological pillar of Soviet socialism, and shattered the Soviet people’s faith in communism.

历史虚无主义对于吞噬和同化主流意识形态具有巨大的威力,被裹挟进历史虚无主义漩涡中 的苏联人民信仰坍塌、价值迷失、精神焦虑等虚无 感接踵而来,从而陷入了历史虚无主义的泥淖。历史虚无主义塑造的“新史学观”瓦解了苏联人民的唯物史观,使其固有的价值体系失去牢固的 根基,徘徊在崩溃的边缘,把精神危机引向了高潮。信仰坍塌和价值迷失造成了理想层面的真空 和精神层面的空虚,一切权威化为虚无。无底线 的“虚无”撕裂了社会业已形成的秩序,使人们对 苏联社会主义制度产生了排斥心理,对共产主义 信仰产生了怀疑、失去了信心。苏共失去了民心、 失去了群众、失去了生命力、失去了执政合法性、 失去了对意识形态的控制权。“广大党员共产主 义理想信念动摇,对苏共的前途失去信心,大批党 员退党,苏共由 1900 万党员骤减为1500 万,退回到 1973 年的人数。”历史虚无主义以其虚无性、否定性、不确定性、娱乐性、解构性等痼疾爆发出 了强大的“威力”,致使苏共意识形态失控,从根本上动摇了苏共的领导地位和执政根基,挑战了 苏共执政的合法性,一定程度上粉碎了苏联社会 主义制度赖以支撑的精神基石,消解了苏联人民 的共产主义信仰。

III. Lessons


“Why did the Soviet Union collapse? Why did the CPSU fall? One important reason lay in the intense ideological struggle. With the complete repudiation of the Soviet Union’s history and the CPSU’s history and the denouncement of Lenin and Stalin, historical nihilism plunged Soviet ideology into chaos, paralyzed Party organizations at various levels, and deprived the Party of its leadership of the armed forces. In the end, such a great Party as the CPSU just came crashing down, and such a great country as the Soviet Union just fell to pieces. This is a cautionary tale!”24 “The prelude to the rapid disintegration of the Soviet state was the unraveling of the CPSU’s ideological underpinnings and of the CPSU itself, after which the Soviet Union as a new model of society and ideological state could no longer exist. The communist ideology and Marxist-Leninist theories did not take roots in people’s minds simply as a conceptual system, moral obligations, or a standard mode of behavior. This ideology was not only proved by reality, but also formed the political and socioeconomic structures of the state.”25 Marxist ideology was the beating heart of a socialist state like the Soviet Union, and the edifice of Soviet socialism collapsed as soon as this heart failed.

“苏联为什么解体? 苏共为什么垮台? 一个重要原因就是意识形态领域的斗争十分激烈,全 面否定苏联历史、苏共历史,否定列宁,否定斯大 林,搞历史虚无主义,思想搞乱了,各级党组织几 乎没任何作用了,军队都不在党的领导之下了。最后,苏联共产党偌大一个党就作鸟兽散了,苏联 偌大一个社会主义国家就分崩离析了。这是前车 之鉴啊! ”“苏联国家体系迅速解体的前奏是苏共思想理论的崩溃和苏共自身的瓦解,在此之后, 苏联作为新的社会模式和意识形态国家已经不可 能存在了。共产主义的意识形态和马克思列宁主 义思想理论绝不仅仅是作为观念体系、道德要求和 行为方式的标准而扎根在人们的头脑中。这种意 识形态不仅被事实所证明,而且还形成了国家政权 体系和社会经济模式。”对于苏联社会主义国家来说,马克思主义意识形态就是心脏,当这颗心脏 衰弱之时,也就是苏联社会主义大厦崩塌之日。

It is crucial to prepare for danger in times of peace. The collapse of the CPSU and the Soviet Union serves as a cautionary example for China, underlining the importance of ideological security. We must draw profound lessons from that example, firmly resist and guard against the erroneous ideological trend of historical nihilism, uphold a Marxist stance, perspective, and approach in treating our own history and culture, and consolidate Marxism’s position as our guiding ideology.

居安思危,苏共垮台和苏联解体的教训十分 深刻,对我国意识形态安全建设具有重要的警示 意义,必须认真分析和总结苏共亡党亡国的教训, 旗帜鲜明地抵制和防范历史虚无主义的错误思 潮,坚持以马克思主义的立场、观点和方法来对待 我们自己的历史文化,巩固马克思主义在意识形 态领域的指导地位。

(1) Cultivate and practice the core socialist values and consolidate Marxism’s position as our guiding ideology

(一) 培育和践行社会主义核心价值观,巩固马克思主义在意识形态领域的指导地位

The core socialist values are the common values pursued by Chinese people today and act as a cohesive force in Chinese society. Composed of national, social, and individual values, they guide ideological trends in society and help prevent and check the spread of historical nihilism. We must maximize the core socialist values’ role as ideological and moral guidance, integrate the core socialist values into people’s daily lives, promote the spirit of the nation and of the times, and extensively launch themed programs that promote patriotism and citizens’ moral education, so as to induce in the people conscious vigilance against and opposition to historical nihilism. China’s excellent traditional culture is the root and soul of the Chinese people, and it possesses intrinsic immunity to historical nihilism: it has, for example, the moral values of “integrity and righteousness,” the patriotism of “repaying the country with the utmost loyalty,” the political philosophy of “taking the people as the basis,” the ideal of “great harmony and unity,” and the sense of public duty reflected in the saying that “the rise and fall of the nation concerns everyone.” When it comes to the traditional culture of the Chinese nation, we can neither blindly boast about it nor forget our own roots; we should embrace what is good and reject what is bad, discarding elements that have fallen behind the progress of the times. In other words, we should adhere to the principles of making the past serve the present, sifting the old and bringing forth the new, and putting into practice what has been learned. We must carry on and promote the excellent traditional culture of the Chinese nation, stimulate cultural vitality, and strengthen cultural self-confidence.

社会主义核心价值观是当前中国人的共同价值追求,具有凝心聚气的作用。社会主义核心价 值观通过国家、社会和个人三个层面的价值导向 来引领社会思潮,防范和抵制历史虚无主义的泛 滥。要积极发挥社会主义核心价值观的价值导向 功能、思想引领功能和道德规范功能,把社会主义 核心价值观融入人们的日常生活中,弘扬民族精 神和时代精神,广泛开展弘扬爱国主义、提升公民 道德教育的主题活动,引导人们自觉警惕和抵制 历史虚无主义。中华优秀传统文化是中华民族的 根与魂,具有抵抗历史虚无主义的内在免疫力,如 “诚信正义”的道德品质,“精忠报国”的爱国情怀,“以人为本”的治国理念,“和合大同”的和谐思想,“天下兴亡,匹夫有责”的担当意识等。对待中华民族的传统文化,既不能数典忘祖,又不能 盲目自大,对不符合时代发展要求的元素要加以 扬弃,取其精华、去其糟粕,坚持古为今用、推陈出 新、学以致用的原则。我们要继承和弘扬中华民 族的优秀传统文化,激发文化活力,增强文化自信。

“The ideology of a socialist society has Marxism as its guiding principle. Any wavering from or relaxation of the guiding principle could cause the ideology to lose cohesiveness and thus lose its direction.”26 “The victories of the working-class parties in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe began in the realm of ideology first of all, and their failures also began with their loss of the ideological edge. They had for a long time deviated from Marxist doctrines before finally abandoning them, which was an important cause of their loss of political power.”27 Marxism is the theoretical foundation for a communist party’s legitimacy as the ruling party. We must resolutely uphold and further develop Marxism and prevent it from becoming dogmatic or rigid. A period of social transition usually sees various ideological trends burgeon. In the new era, historical nihilism has manifested itself in new forms in China, such as oblique criticism of China’s path of socialism through reference to the Soviet Union’s collapse, wholesale repudiation of Mao Zedong and the Mao era through wholesale repudiation of Stalin and the Stalin model, and denigration of the achievements of socialism with Chinese characteristics since the reform and opening up. We must actively guard against and firmly counter the encroachment of historical nihilism; maintain confidence in our path, in our guiding theories, in our political system, and in our culture; ensure that China’s reform and opening up is always smoothly advancing towards socialism; and consolidate Marxism’s position as our guiding ideology.

“社会主义社会的意识形态是以马克思主义为指导思想的,指导思想上的任何动摇和放松,都 有可能使社会主义社会的意识形态失去凝聚力, 从而迷失方向。”“苏联东欧工人阶级政党的胜利首先是从思想上的胜利开始的,而失败也首先 是从党在理论上失去先进性开始的。他们之所以 失去政权,一个重要的原因是他们长期违背并最 终丢弃了马克思主义的学说。”马克思主义是共产党执政合法性的理论基础,我们必须毫不动摇 地坚持和发展马克思主义,避免马克思主义教条 化、僵化。社会转型期是各种社会思潮的活跃期, 新时代,历史虚无主义在我国意识形态领域里有新的表现,如借苏联解体影射我国社会主义道路, 以全盘否定斯大林及斯大林模式的手法来全盘否 定毛泽东和毛泽东时代,攻击改革开放以来中国 特色社会主义建设的成就等。对此,我们要积极 防范,坚决抵制历史虚无主义的侵蚀,坚持道路自 信、理论自信、制度自信和文化自信,保证我国改 革开放始终顺利朝着社会主义方向前进,巩固马 克思主义在意识形态领域的指导地位。

(2) Adhere to the methodology of historical materialism and form a scientific view of history through rational analysis

(二) 坚持历史唯物主义方法论,在理性辨析中树立科学的历史观

In today’s Chinese society, there is a nihilistic undercurrent in the form of vilification of Party leaders, which is a manifestation of historical nihilism’s struggle to undermine Marxism’s position as the guiding ideology. Under the pretext of “reflecting on the past,” historical nihilism seizes on setbacks in our Party’s history and launches one-sided attacks focusing solely on them without considering the overall context, completely rejecting Mao Zedong thought and even Marxism solely because of Mao’s mistakes in his later years, and disparaging the achievements of socialism and even the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics since the reform and opening up solely because of the “leftist” errors in the Cultural Revolution.

当前,我国社会上潜伏着一股虚无和抹黑党 的领袖的暗流,这是历史虚无主义意图打破马克 思主义在意识形态领域的指导地位的一种表现。历史虚无主义以“反思历史”为幌子,以我们党历 史上的曲折为突破点,攻其一点而不及其余,从纠 正毛泽东晚年的错误到全盘否定毛泽东思想,乃 至马克思主义; 从纠正“文化大革命”的“左”到否定社会主义建设的成就,乃至改革开放以来中国 特色社会主义道路。

Whether or not we hold a correct view of history affects the fate of our nation. We must adhere to the methodology of historical materialism, seek truth from facts, and objectively and rationally examine history, basing conclusions on abundant and reliable historical sources. We must always uphold the guidance of Marxism and consider, analyze, and resolve historical questions from a Marxist stance, perspective, and approach. We must strengthen education in a historical materialistic view of Party history and Chinese history, evaluating the contributions and mistakes of revolutionary leaders against their historical contexts. Heroes are the backbone of a nation’s spirit; a hopeful people cannot do without heroes to look up to. We must actively confront and tackle head-on the vilification of revolutionary heroes such as Qiu Shaoyun, Dong Cunrui, and Huang Jiguang. Historical materialism is key to overcoming historical nihilism. It is important to let historical materialism guide historical research, to distinguish between essence and phenomena and between principal and secondary trends, and to respect the objectivity of history; only then can we eliminate the breeding ground for historical nihilism, dispel the falsehoods of historical nihilism, and form a scientific view of history through rational analysis.

历史观正确与否关乎国家兴亡。必须坚持历 史唯物主义方法论,实事求是、客观理性地分析历 史,把历史结论建立在翔实准确的史料上。始终 坚持以马克思主义为指导,以马克思主义的立场、 观点和方法看待历史问题、分析历史问题、解决历 史问题。加强党史国史的唯物史观教育,对于革 命领袖的功过是非要放在其所处的时代背景和历 史条件下评价。英雄是一个民族的精神脊梁,一 个有希望的民族不能没有英雄,我们要崇尚英雄。 面对丑化歪曲邱少云、董存瑞、黄继光等革命英雄 的行为,要敢于亮剑、积极应对、正面回击。历史 唯物主义是克服历史虚无主义的钥匙,以历史唯 物主义引领史学研究,分清本质和现象、主流和支 流,尊重历史的客观性,才能消解历史虚无主义滋 生的土壤,涤荡历史虚无主义的错误言论,在理性 辨析中树立科学的历史观。

(3) Promote the integrated development of traditional media and new media and firmly maintain predominance and influence in cyberspace

(三) 推动传统媒体和新媒体融合发展,牢牢把握网络空间的主导权和话语权

The rapid development of the internet, especially the rapid development of new media tools such as Weibo and WeChat—characterized by instantaneity, interactiveness, openness, dynamism, and shareability—has subverted the traditional unidirectional flow of information and transformed the mode of production and way of life in modern society. Breaking the hold of the traditional unidirectional mode of transmission, the rise of new media has caused “gatekeepers” to concede some of their influence. Historical nihilism has been wantonly peddled on Weibo and WeChat, and it easily goes viral and triggers a chain reaction by virtue of new media’s advantage in spreading information. The damage thus done is not to be underestimated.

伴随着互联网的迅速发展,尤其是以即时性、互动性、便捷性、开放性、动态性、共享性等特点著称的微博、微信等新媒体技术的快速发展颠覆了传统信息流的单向度传播模式,变革了现代社会的生产和生活方式。新媒体的崛起使传统的单向度传播模式被打破,“把关人”让渡了部分话语权,历史虚无主义“借壳”在微博、微信中大肆兜售虚无言论,凭借新媒体的信息传播优势进行“核裂变”式扩撒和“病毒”式传播,造成的危害不 容小觑。

In the age of new media, neutralizing the rampant spread of historical nihilism on the internet rests on governance but even more on wisdom. First of all, it is necessary to promote cooperation between traditional media and new media. We should fully utilize the professionalism and authority of traditional media and the instantaneity and openness of new media to voice the right views, voice the dominant melody, and spread positive energy, influencing how people think about and relate to the mainstream ideology in subtle and invisible ways. Second, it is important to enhance our capacity for cyberspace governance and strengthen the construction of the rule of law in cybersecurity. We should step up the supervision and regulation of film and television and introduce harsher penalties for spreading rumors and political misinformation, so as to counter the corrosive influence of historical nihilism and leave it nowhere to hide. Finally, we should come up with innovative ways to propagate the mainstream ideology. This means improving the capacity for and standard of ideological work in cyberspace to keep up with the times and take advantage of the characteristics of new media. We should create new content and forms to spread the mainstream ideology and incorporate the core socialist values through agenda setting, using microtexts, microimages, and microvideos to show the charms of the mainstream ideology in well-illustrated and expressive ways, which will help set a new trend of promoting the mainstream ideology and guide public opinion in a positive and healthy direction. In this way, we can firmly maintain ideological predominance and influence in cyberspace and win this war of ideology.

新媒体时代,消解网络中历史虚无主义泛滥在于“治”,更在于“智”。首先,推动传统媒体与新媒体共同发力。充分利用传统媒体的专业性、权威性与新媒体的即时性、开放性等优势,发出好 声音、唱响主旋律、传播正能量,用潜移默化、润物 细无声的手段引导人们对主流意识形态的思考和 认同。其次,提升网络空间治理能力,加大网络安 全法治建设。加大对影视作品的引导和管理,加 大对造谣、传谣,散布政治类虚假信息者的处罚力 度,抵制历史虚无主义的侵蚀,让历史虚无主义无 处藏身。最后,创新主流意识形态传播机制。适 应时代发展要求,契合新媒体运行特点,提升网络 空间意识形态建设的能力和水平,创新主流意识形 态的传播内容和形式,通过“议程设置”融入社会 主义核心价值观,以微文字、微图片、微视频,图文 结合、声情并茂地展现主流意识形态的话语魅力, 营造宣扬主流意识形态的新风气,引导舆论走向积 极、健康的方向,牢牢把握网络空间意识形态的主 导权和话语权,打赢这场意识形态领域的战争。

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Cite This Page

胡中月 (Hu Zhongyue) (2023). "The Symptoms, Damages, and Lessons of Historical Nihilism in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union [苏共党内历史虚无主义的表现、危害及启示]". Interpret: China, Original work published December 20, 2019, https://interpret.csis.org/translations/the-symptoms-damages-and-lessons-of-historical-nihilism-in-the-communist-party-of-the-soviet-union/

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