Igor Boțan: Propaganda must be combated by imbedding critical thinking

The USRR arrogated to itself the merit of ending fascism and Nazism, although this wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the allied countries, expert Igor Boțan stated in a public debate  titled “Festive practices and identity engineering in (post)totalitarian regimes”. According to him, festive practices characteristic of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes are still exploited by pro-Russian parties in Moldova, and this phenomenon can be combated only by critical thinking and by presenting the positive and negative sides of history.

According to the expert, fascism was a reaction to the threat of Bolshevism and Bolshevik ideology in the work of Karl Marx, according to whom the permanent revolution must end with the dictatorship of the proletariat. “If we are talking about dictatorship, those who followed the developments understood that the so-called revolutionaries were convinced people, who pushed God and the church aside and reason was put in their place. We saw this in the French Revolution. Immediately after God was replaced by reason, rivers of blood flowed. Lenin and Trotsky insisted that the Bolshevik revolution was nothing but a repeat of the Jacobin revolution in France. If the dictatorship of the proletariat had to dominate for the classes to disappear, for uniformity of society to take place, fascism was a reaction to Bolshevism,” said Igor Boțan.

He noted that the USSR defeated fascism and Nazism only thanks to the support offered by the allied countries. Stalin’s USSR seized victory in World War II, using it for its own benefit and devaluing the joint contribution of the anti-Hitler alliance. “Mussolini was a socialist leader in Italy. He was the editor of the main socialist newspaper Avante. But Mussolini had the idea that the destruction of classes is a stupidity because the social system is like an organism. Leaders are needed, but the working class must also operate. For the purpose, a section of entrepreneurs under party control is needed and trade unions must also have a role. Bolshevism had its roots in fascism and the arrival of Hitler, who drew inspiration from Mussolini, brought racial ideas to the fore. If we refer to the fact that the communist regime survived and the fascist regime disappeared, we must explain that it disappeared as a result of a war between a coalition of states of which two democratic states, Great Britain and the USA, in cooperation with the totalitarian USSR, defeated fascism. Based on the Nuremberg trials, fascism was condemned and the USSR found itself victorious, claiming to have had the greatest contribution to defeating fascism/Nazism,” stated the expert.

Igor Boțan also said that military parades and festive practices specific to totalitarian regimes are still politically exploited by pro-Russian parties in Moldova. The impact of these actions is declining and the task of historians is to explain to society the events without retouching the negative sides. “Festive practices are still in decline and this cannot be disputed, but because there are political forces that are interested in exploiting these practices, they still survive. The historic events that are celebrated through such activities must be regarded in all complexity. The task of citizens, historians is to show that historic events have several facets, and propagandists who try to highlight only certain parts of historic events must be combated through critical thinking, by displaying the entire range of aspects characteristic of the historic events,” noted the expert.

The public debate entitled “Festive practices and identity engineering in (post)totalitarian regimes” was the 37th edition of the series “Impact of the past on confidence and peace building processes”. The project is supported by the German “Hanns Seidel” Foundation.

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