Genuine Author of Perestroika
19 May, 2011
Genuine Author of Perestroika

Beria wanted the Soviet Union to be ruled not by the Communist Party but by the government. The feeling was that Beria had sensed the impossibility of the final victory of socialism in the country. He wanted to direct the process of the development of the Soviet state through the channel conducive to the European model of capitalism.

GJ – What would that mean more exactly?

SM – Except Khrushchev, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union had several other secretaries, but

Khrushchev was outstanding among them because starting from March 5, 1953 (the day of Stalin’s death) one of those secretaries continued to be the member of the presidium (a.k.a. politburo) of the party central committee. All the rest of those party secretaries were dropped from the presidium. This means that Nikita Khrushchev was the most influential among the secretaries of the Communist Party, but he had never been given the same title which Stalin had enjoyed – the general secretary of the central committee of the communist party of the Soviet Union. Stalin gave a huge functional content to that party post. Even if there had been the post of the president of the USSR, the post of the general secretary would still have been the highest position in the minds of the Soviet people.

GJ – Why could Khrushchev not manage to acquire that rank?

SM – Had anybody received that rank, the Soviet people would necessarily have considered that person an inevitable heir to Stalin. Nobody used to be general secretary of the Communist Party for 14 years until Brezhnev had reintroduced the post for himself. As long as the Army was concerned, a rear marshal was appointed the minister of defense, and that person was Bulganin. He was connected with the Soviet military via the communist party structure. Bulganin used to be Khrushchev’s friend, but he was a man of neutral political position.

GJ – Let us now go more specific in terms of the gist of all those events, shall we?

SM – From the very first days of Stalin’s death it became clear that out of those three outstanding persons, who made up the Triumvirate, one wanted to change all that was extant at that time.

GJ – So who was that man and what did he desire to change specifically?

SM – That was the self-same Lavrenti Beria! As it had appeared, Beria wanted the Soviet Union to be ruled not by the Communist Party but by the government. The feeling was that Beria had sensed the impossibility of the final victory of socialism in the country. He wanted to direct the process of the development of the Soviet state through the channel, conducive to the European model of capitalism. He was trying to liberalize and normalize the relations with the West. He also wanted to see the national tendencies strengthen and develop in the Soviet republics.

GJ – Well, his ideas seem to have been very modern and progressive . . .

SM – Currently, many historians and researchers think that the genuine author of Perestroika was not Gorbachev but Beria. Gorbachev just repeated and gave a new start to what Beria was contemplating to do and had started to implement in his own time.

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