Vol.1 No. 10 October 1999

Twenty years after being exiled from the Soviet Union, Alexander Zinovyev—one of the most prominent living European authors—has decided to leave his adopted homeland, France, and to return to Russia. His reasons are summarized in the title of a long interview in Le Figaro Magazine: "The West has become totalitarian" (July 24). While he was thundering dissent in Brezhnev's Russia, Zinovyev was lionized by the American establishment. His novels were translated, published, and prominently reviewed. His views on the contemporary West, however, are unfit to print on this side of the Atlantic:

Today we know that the Cold War was the climax of Western history. Material abundance, meaningful freedoms, social progress, huge technical and scientific achievements. But the West was changing, almost imperceptibly. Early integration of the developed countries was the harbinger of globalization of the economy and politics that we are witnessing today, based on vertical structures dominated by supranational power. . . . The end of communism was the end of democracy. We are living not only in post-communism but also in post-democracy. We are witnessing the establishment of democratic totalitarianism, or, better still, totalitarian democracy.

According to Zinovyev, "democratic totalitarianism" exercises ideological control over its citizens far more effectively than...

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