Many people are still convinced today that the collapse of the USSR was the result of a coup or a conspiracy. There are also those who support the little-known, but quite reasonable point of view of the dissident professor Alexander Zinoviev about the “anti-communist Gorbachev-Yeltsin coup,” which legally ended in December 1991.
According to VTsIOM, in 2011 more than a quarter of our fellow citizens from different social groups perceived the events of August 1991 as a tragedy that led to disastrous consequences for the country. And this testifies to the relevance of the discussion of the sad anniversary of the State Emergency Committee, the results of the latest research, according to which there were no objective prerequisites for the collapse of the USSR, and treatment of the accumulated socio-political and economic problems was required. Nevertheless, the Union was dismantled. One of the main architects of the so-called perestroika, Alexander Yakovlev, predicted a similar fate that arose on the sovereign ruins of the Russian Federation. He also called the members of the State Emergency Committee conspirators.
Isn't it time to abandon the perception of GKChP participants as state criminals? Not only decisions are needed, but above all a broad public discussion.
The reasons for the emergence of the State Emergency Committee and the defeat of this proactive authority (which included the top officials of the state) are many - internal and external, objective and subjective, not only situational, due to the upcoming signing of a new union treaty on August 20, which actually meant the dismantling of the USSR, but also rooted in 1987 1989 years. We are talking about managerial and political mistakes committed while trying to solve the accumulated socio-economic and political problems. The sharp complication of the international situation also played its role.
In those foreign policy conditions, the leadership of the USSR was required to make precise and verified decisions. What was needed was the mobilization and consolidation of the country, additional measures to enhance the role of science.
However, the decisions were made in the opposite direction, often contrary to common sense. In 1987, instead of stepping up scientific and technological progress and modernizing industry, the USSR engaged in radical democratization in order to hide the failure of Gorbachev's acceleration program. As a result, by August 1991, a fundamental political conflict arose between the supporters of the legitimization of private property and the bourgeois state and their opponents, between the adherents of the USSR and its antagonists. Yakovlev, by the way, stood for a confederation instead of a renewed Union.
It is impossible to reduce the matter to the competition between Yeltsin and Gorbachev and their teams, to the childishness and naivety of a large group of people's deputies. One thing is clear: to counteract the growing chaos and social disorganization, special measures were required. Objective prerequisites were seen for this. Another question: would Vice President Gennady Yanayev and his associates cope with this task?
Demons of Democracy
Disorganization as a political tool has long been a subject of research and a topic for publicists of various kinds. It is interesting that a few years before the State Emergency Committee in the USSR, numerous works by Trotsky devoted to aspects of anti-government conspiracies began to be published, and the work of the Italian diplomat and journalist Curzio Malaparte "Technique of a coup d'etat" was published. We believe that these books turned out to be unread by the leaders of the country and the creators of the State Emergency Committee, but the behind-the-scenes scriptwriters and directors of political disorganization worked them out thoroughly.
More should be said about the role of Trotsky and his views, since, as an opponent of Lenin and Stalin, he expressed a lot of interesting ideas that are linked, among other things, with the theory and practice of "color revolutions". "Chaos is my ally!" - This theorist of small affairs and "genius of tactics" repeated many times, discussing the "technical-bureaucratic-military machine", its flaws and strategic points of state defense. “It is not necessary to provoke a strike,” wrote this demon of revolution back in 1917, “the monstrous chaos that reigns in Petrograd is stronger than a strike. This chaos, paralyzing the state, prevents the government from taking measures against the uprising. Since we cannot lean on the strike, let’s lean on chaos! ”
Such views deserve discussion in order to better understand the significance of the growing disorder in the country by the end of the 80s, as well as the importance of the USSR law on the state of emergency adopted in September 90, which created the legal basis for the implementation in August 1991 of special measures for which already there were many reasons and reasons.
If until the mid-80s and in the first years of Gorbachev's reforms the situation in the economy and society was stable, then in 1990-1991 the results of managerial mistakes became noticeable, the processes of disorganization and destruction of social, legal, spiritual and moral norms grew. Anarchy was approaching, almost in full accordance with the theoretical schemes of the aforementioned monograph "Technique of a coup d'etat." Common sense was disappearing. The game of democratization and renewal acquired a self-sufficient meaning. As a result, by August 1991, both the country's leadership and society had lost their understanding of the boundaries of reality. In these conditions, it was not necessary to rely on the rationality of the attitudes of the organizers and active participants of the Emergency Committee, since even those in power were acting, but people.
We wanted the best
Was the plan of the GKChP really poorly worked out, although it was prepared by high-class professionals? What are the real reasons for the indecision of Yanaev and Kryuchkov? Let's say right away: the main reason for the failure is seen as a superficial understanding by the organizers and active participants of the State Emergency Committee of the socio-political, economic processes taking place in the USSR.
Nevertheless, the conclusion about the unpreparedness of the introduction of the state of emergency is not confirmed. The necessary plans and solutions were created and agreed. Another thing is the quality of the documents prepared by the expert and analytical group of the power ministries of the USSR (it was they who were supposed to mobilize public opinion in determining the exact guidelines and the necessary means for solving the most important task - preserving the state). We have to talk about insufficient depth of study of issues, about ignoring significant factors. Only the use of administrative resources was analyzed; Kryuchkov's point of view on what was happening was dominant, as if an alternative to Gorbachev's opinion.
It would be necessary to speak in more detail about the competence of the GKChP initiators, but we will limit ourselves to a statement of the fact: there is a lack of knowledge about the processes in the country and the inability, unwillingness to establish cooperation with professional sociologists in order to better understand the essence of what is happening.
The assumption of sociological incompetence as the cause of the destruction of Soviet statehood may seem paradoxical and unlikely, but this is only at first glance. The facts are as follows.
First, with a great delay (in December 1990), a group was created in the power ministries of the USSR that monitored the reaction of the country's population to the possible introduction of a constitutional state of emergency.
Secondly, the tasks of this group were vague, and there was no question of predicting the behavior of various associations of deputies, party and state leaders.
Thirdly, only apparatchiks were included in it. This narrowed the possibilities of analyzing and forming public and expert opinion of such important categories as the leaders of party and Soviet bodies, deputies of all levels, and employees of law enforcement agencies. Trying to understand and evaluate the wave of events, Yanaev and Kryuchkov were unable to rise to the required level of political generalizations.
The individuals who performed the affairs turned out to be unsuitable for solving the problems facing the USSR at that time. Not according to Senka was the hat.
However, the most important thing is that "Gorbachevism" as an ideology and psychology of indecision-reinsurance began to take deep roots in the public consciousness. Its (and the so-called new thinking) social base was a group that came to power on the wave of perestroika. These are tens and even hundreds of thousands of people from the party-Soviet apparatus and law enforcement agencies. In 1986-1989, according to statistics published by Professor A. V. Ostrovsky, 400 thousand people freshened the ranks of the militia. The composition of the leaders of the CPSU at the district and city levels has been updated by 82 percent, and by 90 percent at the regional, territorial, and republican levels. They replaced 80 percent of prosecutors, 60 percent of judges. Cadres zombified by Yakovlev's propaganda and perestroika slogans were promoted to key positions.
Gorbachev's style - controversial and inconsistent - penetrated into the work of analysts of power ministries engaged in predicting the possible consequences of a state of emergency. It seems to be rightly noted the growing sociopolitical tensions and immediately gave an inexplicable conclusion that it is still early to take special measures, it is necessary to weigh everything more carefully and to prepare more thoroughly.
Such recommendations of the apparatus advisers and assistants, who called themselves experts without any reason, only confused the management and the public. However, not a word was said about the involvement of specialists from the Academy of Sciences, universities, military research institutes in the study of the causes of political chaos. Thus, it is the intellectual and sociological components that are seen as a vulnerable spot in the preparatory activities for the introduction of the State Emergency Committee.
A limited and deformed understanding of what was happening, which actually paralyzed the defenses of the public and state organism, became one of the reasons for the defeat of the State Emergency Committee and the dismantling of the Soviet Union. The destruction of the sovereignty of the USSR, the change of the system, the imposition of capitalism, the transformation of the identity of the 200 million people took place without large-scale and prolonged hostilities.
"An economic and social catastrophe was artificially created, the intensity of which has no precedent in the industrial society of modern times." We agree with Professor S. Kara-Murza that we can talk about a special operation with the participation of an influential intellectual group, the purpose of which in a vast area is to dismantle the Soviet people.
Without anger and addiction
The creation and lightning-fast defeat of the State Emergency Committee is a deep, unhealed wound in the souls of many of us. It is already well known about the dramatic events of August 1991, but generalizations and fundamental assessments are still lacking. It's time to abandon the widespread version of the formation of the Emergency Committee in the interpretation of Yakovlev-Shevardnadze-Yeltsin-Sobchak as ideologized and unreliable. This is, first of all. Secondly, the expediency of the 1994 amnesty for the members of the State Emergency Committee is questionable. They did not commit criminal acts and did not have such intentions. They managed to do little, and one can say: members of the State Emergency Committee - G.I. Yanaev, V.S. Pavlov, V.A.Kryuchkov, B.K. Pugo, V.A. I. Tizyakov and DT Yazov were disoriented by assistants and "pocket sociologists." From this point of view, the rehabilitation of the initiators of the Emergency Committee seems justified, which presupposes a complex of organizational and political measures.
First of all, a parliamentary commission should be created to assess the events of August 1991. She will have to find out the reaction of society to the political rehabilitation of the organizers and active participants of the Emergency Committee. It is necessary to hold parliamentary hearings on the collapse of the USSR. The revealed facts should be transferred to the Prosecutor General's Office to determine the validity of actions and the legal responsibility of officials.
In addition, a report should be prepared and widely published, the basis of which will be the official documents of those years, materials of public organizations and individuals, revealing the prerequisites for the creation of the State Emergency Committee, its subsequent defeat and dismantling of the political system and the state. It would be justified to have a special assignment from our president to the Russian Science Foundation, the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the academic institutions of the historical and socio-political profile subordinate to it to conduct research into the events of those years.
Reconstruction and evaluation tasks historical the events of August 1991 appear to be extensive. Much will depend on reliance on scientific methodology; new approaches to analysis and interpretation are on the agenda. What happened at the turn of the 80s-90s of the XX century requires discussion in a different paradigm, going beyond the framework of the Marxist-Leninist analysis of premises - reasons - reasons.
Here, perhaps, the theory of a coup d'état, little-known in our country, but widespread abroad, created by Italians D. Moreno, A. Gramsci, K. Malaparte, based on an analysis of the revolutionary events of the 20-30s of the XX century, taking into account the theory and practices of Trotskyism. Curzio Malaparte wrote several decades ago: "The modern state is more exposed to revolutionary danger than we think: governments do not know how to defend it", "The simple application of classical police measures does not save." These paradoxical ideas also deserve to be taken into account when analyzing and assessing the dramatic events of the 80s and 90s in our country.