The socialist footnote

One of the great contributions to literature is what may be called the socialist footnote, or, rather, the communist party footnote. These immensely pleasurable texts appear, for instance, in the footnotes for each volume of Stalin’s Collected Works. Here you find that glorious language of communist depiction of one’s opponents, whether the ‘fifth column’ within the party or external and even international opposition. A few choice morsels from a rich feast. To begin with, nothing much seems to have changed with regard to newspapers:

Novoye Vremya (New Times)—an organ of the reactionary aristocratic and government bureaucratic circles. The Times—a London daily, founded in 1788, influential organ of the British big bourgeoisie. (p. 437)

As for one’s opponents:

The conference condemned the opportunist, capitulatory position of Kamenev, Rykov, Zinoviev, Bukharin and Pyatakov, who opposed a socialist revolution in Russia and took a national-chauvinist stand on the national question. (Works, vol. 3, p. 420)

J. V. Stalin sharply criticized the speeches of the traitors and blacklegs Kamenev and Zinoviev on the question of armed insurrection. (p. 450)

Here’s to restoring such glorious language to footnotes: opportunist, capitulary, traitor, blackleg …


2 thoughts on “The socialist footnote

  1. The use of this polemical language is indeed one of the greatest contributions of the Communist literary canon. My favorites come from the speeches, statements, and pamphlets of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution!

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