Igor Boțan: After Stalin’s death, Stalinization is only a kind of phantom

Stalinization after the death of Stalin has been only a kind of phantom as the regime left together with Stalin. Later, there was a kind of inertia by which the system in the Soviet Union developed. This inertia reached the point when the Communist system in the Soviet Union, in Central and Eastern Europe dissolved, expert Igor Boțan stated in a public debate hosted by IPN News Agency.

The permanent expert of IPN’s project said that in modern society, there are no preconditions for the Stalinist ideology, while those who still march with portraits of Stalin do not embrace the Stalinist ideas. “They use particular models applied by Stalin, such as discipline, what they call social equality, rapprochement with Russia, which is a huge market and a supplier of hydrocarbons that the Republic of Moldova needs. They use this kind of arguments and do not apply the ideology. Yes, they invoke the necessity of introducing and using in the Republic of Moldova such a notion as “enemies of the people” - those who they consider do not pay increased attention to social equity here, in the Republic of Moldova. They have used such phrases since the Stalinist period to enrich somehow their pro-authoritarian narrative,” stated Igor Boțan.

He noted that it is hard to imagine how these nostalgic persons who carry Stalin’s flag can plead for the restoration of Stalinism in the Republic of Moldova. “A proof of what I’m saying is the fact that for eight years in the Republic of Moldova we had had in power a party that still insists that it is a Marxist-Leninist one. The PCRM astounded us in April 2007, when it proclaimed the liberal revolution, as they said, for implementing in the Republic of Moldova the ideas of Hernando De Soto. This is an economist from Latin America who has a specific formula for ensuring economic development and, simultaneously, for respecting the principles of social equity and others,” said Igor Boțan.

He believes there is no imminent danger of Stalinization of society, but this is an obstacle. Therefore, teaching at school is important as the people should realize all these dangers. “Authoritarianism has roots. If we look at Belarus, at the former Soviet republics in central Asia, at Russia, we see that there are very dangerous authoritarian regimes in these societies and these undermine the human rights principles, but do not directly apply Marxism or Stalinism. Therefore, we must realize that the danger derives from elsewhere,” stated Igor Boțan.

According to the expert, the political parties in the Russia Federation consider their task is to unite the rings of the imperial course into a chain. In this regard, they invoke elements of the Stalinist regime here, in the Republic of Moldova as well. “Yes, they consider that Stalin took the Soviet empire to its peak together with the victory in World War II. That’s why they insist on the celebration of Victory Day, on the decisive role of the Soviet Union in scoring a victory against fascism. Later, Russia expanded and occupied a part of Europe through marionette regimes. Their nostalgia is for this. We must realize all these elements. In that structure, Stalinism has a place as it is invoked as a model that was useful, but that cannot be replicated. Authoritarian regimes that continue close to Russia can be replicated, but they do not offer something new from ideological viewpoint,” concluded Igor Boțan.

The public debate titled “Stalinization and de-Stalinization of Moldovan society” was the 15th installment of IPN’s project “Impact of the Past on Confidence and Peace Building Processes” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.

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