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What Does Glasnost and Perestroika Promise for Russia, the Soviet-Occupied States and the Free World?

by Father Paul Leonard Kramer, B.Ph., S.T.B., M. Div.

Since Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union four years ago, the West has not ceased to be fascinated by his policies of economic and political reform. We have been repeatedly told by the Soviet press and by the Western press that the policy of perestroika is principally ordered to the purpose of restructuring the Soviet economy in such a manner as to decentralize production in a state where industrial and agricultural production has been heavily centralized since Stalin instituted the first five year plan in 1928. Especially in the West it is said by those who should know better that perestroika is the initial move in a trend that will eventually lead to something like a free market.

Glasnost Does Not Mean Openness But Means Publicity

Likewise Mr. Gorbachev's policy of glasnost is being hailed as a move away from the political totalitarianism of the Soviet slave state toward a more democratic type of rule which will eventually guarantee respect for human rights. The Western media seems to have been thoroughly mesmerized and mystified by the reform movement which is represented by that single abstract noun, "glasnost". The press is constantly bombarding us with propaganda about glasnost which allegedly designates "openness" and "frankness", but at bottom is nothing but the same old sterile bolshevist propaganda repackaged in Madison Avenue style.

The word "glasnost" does not mean "openness" or "frankness". In the Russian language the word for "openness" is otkrovenost. "Glasnost" merely means publicity, and is derived from the verb glasit, "to declare". Now what is declared and publicized is not necessarily true, but can just as easily be a brazen lie or empty propaganda. Only last July 25th, Andrei Sakharov warned the Western nations against being overly enthusiastic about the changes taking place in the Soviet Union.

It is an entirely valid question to speculate why the present Soviet regime is undertaking this policy of reform in marked contrast to the previous regimes, but it would be a great mistake to think that there is any radical ideological reform underlying the present economic and political reforms which are now taking place.

First of all, the reforms that are taking place in the Soviet Union, are not in the least intended to be moved away from a Marxist form of government. The decentralization of Soviet agriculture and the other economic reforms now taking place throughout Russia are practical measures which have been instituted in order to avert the unrest and chaos that would ensue as a result of a total economic collapse. Gorbachev is aiming for a more efficient economy, and this can only be achieved by a profitable economy that does not reward waste and inefficiency with government subsidies.

The Soviet Union is an 
Economic Basket Case

The ratio of GNP to national debt in the Soviet Union is much worse than that of the United States and most Third World countries. With all the natural resources at its disposal, the Soviet Union would certainly be the wealthiest nation on earth if it were governed according to the principles of Natural Law, with private property and free enterprise. It is the Capitalist economies of the West, and principally that of the United States which prop up the terminally ill Soviet economy, but in spite of the massive infusions of Western capital the Soviet Union shows no sign that it will ever be able to recover from its economically moribund condition.

The great Soviet Union, unable to produce the goods to supply the basic needs of its own citizens, is compelled to spend its precious hard currency on such things as Danish hams and Swedish consumer goods. The socialist economy of that immense nation has demonstrated itself to be totally incapable of alleviating the profoundly impoverished and backward conditions that have beset the Soviet Union since its foundation. Three out of four potatoes never make it to the market, while many of those that do, arrive in a semi-rotten condition, and are met by long queues of long-suffering Soviet shoppers.

The recent coal-miners' strike which crippled the Soviet economy in July well illustrates the moribund state of the Soviet economy. The mere fact that agreements have been reached and promises have been made does not by any means indicate that the underlying economic problems have been or can be solved. One of the key demands of the striking miners was that the system be reformed in such a manner so that Moscow will not continue to drain the resources from the mining regions while not bringing back enough money to satisfy local needs. The essence of socialism is that its purpose is not that of directing production for the sake of the common good, but rather that all production be totally controlled by the government. The Communists exploit the workers and rape the nation in order to bring about the realization of worldwide Communist hegemony. The rights of the workers do not count for anything according to Marxist teaching.

Last July 24th Mr. Gorbachev said that the coal strikes have been "the most difficult test" of his four-year rule. The Soviet Union is the world's largest coal producer, and one-fourth of its coal is produced in the mines of the Donbass region of the Ukraine. Other industries are directly dependent on coal, such as the steel and chemical industries. Labor unrest is also brewing in the metallurgical industry where workers labor under sweatshop conditions. Last July, Supreme Soviet representative V. Medikov said, "The situation in the metallurgical industry is tense and it is on the verge of an explosion." The deficiencies of the socialist economy have brought the Soviet workers to the brink of revolt. The Soviet economy is clearly moribund.

The reforms have not been designed as a means of initiating a move away from the tyranny of Marxist rule toward democracy and free enterprise. They are neither a voluntary transition in that direction, nor are they meant to be an open-minded experimental compromise with the West.

Gorbachev's Perestroika is Like 
Lenin's Policy

Gorbachev follows the teachings of Lenin, who wrote, "The lie is sacred, and deception will be our principal weapon."

Gorbachev's perestroika is not without precedent, but was paralleled in the 1920's by Lenin'sNew Economic Policy. That policy was instituted in order to preserve the Communist system, not to reform it. The NEP only lasted a few years, and was then abolished by Stalin who dictatorially instituted the centralized five year plans. Like Lenin's NEP, Gorbachev's policy does not aim to reform the Communist system according to non-Marxist principles, but it is designed to strengthen the Communist system by adapting it to the political and economic exigencies of the present situation.

Gorbachev has managed to get the Party to relax the reins of centralized monolithic control. Even an "orthodox" socialist hardliner like Yegor Ligachev has pledged his support for the agricultural reform that will bring about the decentralization of agricultural production and will permit the long-term leasing of state lands to private farmers. This reform is not a move toward a more liberal society, but like Lenin's policy, it is a practical measure whose purpose is to preserve the socialist system.

The reforms that are being allowed in the east-European states are to a certain extent parallel to the reforms taking place in the Soviet Union. The new policies of the east-bloc governments seem to be rooted in a new Soviet foreign policy based on the glasnost of the Gorbachev regime in the USSR. Moscow in fact seemed to grow impatient with the Prague regime for its failure to institute reforms in Czechoslovakia. The glasnost policy of Mr. Gorbachev has not only been the catalyst for political reforms in the Soviet system, and the economic restructuring in the Soviet Union, but Moscow seems to be encouraging the same in its occupied satellites as well.

Unrest is growing in the Baltic states, and through Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. Radical reforms are being proposed, discussed and promised by the Marxist regimes which, in the face of a looming economic collapse may lead to a situation of total political breakdown and anarchy if a workable compromise and reform policy is not effectively put into place in each respective country.

Growing sentiments of nationalism in the face of nearly fifty years of ruthless Soviet tyranny and repression have brought the peoples of the Baltic states to the brink of revolt. While Latvia and Lithuania have declared their autonomy from Moscow, Estonia has gone even further and has declared itself to be a sovereign state last November 16th. The Estonians have seized upon Gorbachev's reform program in such a manner so as to extract as much autonomy from Moscow as possible. They have won the right to fly their formerly banned flag, and to sing their formerly outlawed national anthem. Last July 27th, the Supreme Soviet granted the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania the right to regional economic independence which is to come into effect on January 1, 1990.

The ethnic Russians in the Baltic states, who were imported into the region by Stalin when large portions of the native populations were deported to the labor camps of the GULAG, have also voiced their own grievances. Twenty-seven percent of the Estonian population is Russian, and the bulk of these Russians feel that the concessions granted by Moscow to Estonia constitute a threat to their rights. Strikes are taking place in various enterprises where Russians make up the bulk of the labor force.

A new national legislature has been set up in Poland where the old parliament, the Sejm has become the lower house, and the Senate the upper house. The new office of president, however, has been kept in the hands of the Communists.

Poles Now Face Total Economic Collapse Under Communists

Generally throughout Poland, the mood of the people is not very enthusiastic. The Poles, who have been betrayed by the ruling Communists too many times in the past, are faced with the prospect of a total economic collapse in a country where the Soviet brand of socialism has already reduced the nation to a desperate condition of grinding poverty and severe food shortages. The government of Poland has lifted the price control for food. According to Lech Walesa, the program, which is ostensibly a move toward creating a market economy for food, may not be a true reform, but just a new round of price hikes.

With the exception of sausage, meat is practically unobtainable, even with a ration card. The UPI reported on August 1st that the Poles who lined up in the Warsaw markets found yogurt and cottage cheese prices up 350 percent, but butter, milk, hard cheese and salt were not to be found. The meat shops were closed. The prices for some foods have gone up by 1,000 percent. According to the same report a Warsaw store manager said that he has "no flour, no sugar, no butter, not much bread, no cheese — and I don't expect it in the near future — no salt and no pasta." The desperate food situation has unleashed strike calls for higher wages.

In Hungary, a similar situation developed which led to a movement to reform the government, and to institute a new constitution along the lines of the US Constitution. The new constitution would replace the former constitution which was modeled according to the old Stalinist Constitution of the USSR.

The government called for a multi-party system of democratic rule, and a neutral government that would not be subservient to Moscow. In the elections held last July opposition candidates out-polled the Communists. The low voter turnout seemed to indicate that the Hungarian people do not believe that they can exercise any real political power at the polls, or that they can thereby alleviate the difficult economic conditions that the government imposed austerity measures have brought about.

Under the previous regimes of Stalin through Brezhnev, movements toward reform in the occupied states invariably led to armed suppression by military intervention, such as the invasion of Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, and the Brezhnev inspired martial law in Poland in 1981 and the subsequent banning of the independent Solidarity labor union.

Zazwanyctja 1988 — Bishop Pawlo Wasylyk distributes Holy Communion to the faithful who attend Mass in the forest. The Catholic churches in the Soviet occupied Ukraine have been taken away from the Ukrainian people. The churches have either been closed or handed over to the Russian Orthodox clergy of the Moscow Patriarchate. The Orthodox Church is an organ of the KGB (secret police). All priests and bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USSR are agents and employees of the KGB.

Soviet Regime Exterminated Millions of Ukrainian Civilians

The West must not be lulled by the present prospect of the democratization of the Warsaw Pact states of Eastern Europe. Earlier in this century the Ukraine was allowed to flourish for a number of years before Stalin ordered the suppression of the Ukrainian nation. This brutal suppression was carried out by the systematic and genocidal policy of the man-made famine murderously imposed upon the Ukrainian people in the 30's. The Soviet regime exterminated millions of innocent Ukrainian civilians in this deliberately perpetrated holocaust.

Last July 25, Andrei Sakharov warned that the Soviet Union could still undergo the sort of bloody repression that has recently taken place in China. Just last April, Soviet troops put down the peaceful demonstrations in Georgia by slaughtering innocent civilians using poison gas, clubs and sharpened shovels. The demonstrations erupted again late last July when at least 20,000 Georgians marched through the capital city of Tbilisi chanting: "Long live free Georgia, down with the Russian Empire!"

The policy of softening and then tightening the reins more oppressively than before is part of the strategy for world conquest. Its foreign policy parallel is the periods of military conquest and aggression followed by retreat and peace overtures. Lenin referred to this tactic as "one step forward, two steps back". The Communists' advance toward world conquest is not an uninterrupted, direct advance, but a steady zig-zag advance interspersed by strategic retreats.

Lenin outlined his blueprint for world revolution when he wrote: "First we will take Eastern Europe, then the masses of Asia, then we will encircle the United States, which will be the last bastion of Capitalism ..." This is only one of many well known quotations of Lenin which set forth his plan for the encirclement of North America.

Mikhail Gorbachev is entirely committed to Lenin's goal of conquering the entire world and subjecting it to Communist rule. In October 1987, Gorbachev declared in a speech:

"We are moving toward a new world, the world of Communism. We shall never turn off that road."

It will be national suicide for us if President Bush were to think as his predecessor Mr. Reagan, who said that "Gorbachev is a different kind of Communist, a man we can trust ...", and "the Soviets have abandoned their designs for world conquest ..." The policy of "detente" and "peaceful coexistence" which the Soviets have been promoting since the time of Krushchev is a deceptive ploy called for in the Communists' overall strategy for world conquest.

Back in the 1930's, Dimitri Manuilskiy of the Lenin School for Political Warfare wrote: "War to the hilt between Communism and Capitalism is inevitable. Today we are too weak to strike. Our day will come in 30 to 40 years. But first we must lull the capitalist nations to sleep with the greatest overtures of peace and disarmament known throughout history, and then when their guard is dropped, we shall smash them with our clenched fist."

The beginning of those peace overtures was Stalin's abolishing of the Comintern, followed by Krushchev's policy of "peaceful coexistence", and that in turn was followed by Brezhnev's policy of "detente".

Leonid Brezhnev however, speaking confidentially to a group of influential Communist Party leaders was recorded in 1972, saying: "Trust us comrades, for by 1985, as a consequence of what we are now achieving with detente, we will have achieved most of our objectives in western Europe. We will have consolidated our position ... And a decisive shift in the correlation of forces will be such that come 1985, we will be able to exert our will wherever we need to ..."

Zazwanyctja 1988 — Locked out of their churches, Ukrainian Catholic faithful attend Mass in the forest.

Brezhnev's words made it abundantly clear that the apparently peaceful and seemingly friendly overtures mask sinister military objectives that are entirely hostile to the free nations of the world. Communism is an ideology of brutal world conquest, and whoever professes to be a Communist professes this ideology of world conquest.

Lenin wrote that "The revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat is power won and maintained by the violence of the proletariat ... power that is unrestricted by any laws." The Communist's concept of peace is not that of St. Augustine, who defined peace as "the tranquility of order". For the Communist, peace is defined as the cessation of war that will take place after the worldwide Communist revolution will have established the worldwide Communist state.Therefore, when the Communist says that he is promoting peace, what he means is that he is promoting the revolution that establishes the world-Communist order. This global revolution is to be waged by naked violence and brute force that is unrestricted by any law.

Mass murder, terror and genocide are all considered to be legitimate means of promoting "peace". This may appear to be a grossly deceptive manner of speaking, but one must never forget that the Communist is a professed liar who follows the teaching of Lenin, who wrote: ''The lie is sacred, and deception will be our principal weapon."

True to the teaching of Lenin, glasnost and perestroika are being employed by the Soviet regime as weapons of conquest in their deceptive war of propaganda. Mr. Gorbachev's perestroikais generally interpreted as an economic reform instituted primarily to improve the economic conditions of Soviet citizens. What perestroika has really accomplished is the transfer of the Soviet Union from a peacetime economy to a war economy. The glasnost that Mr. Gorbachev bestows upon the West masks the Communists' imperialistic and criminal intention to conquer the whole world and subject it to the cruel yoke of Marxist tyranny. The Soviet Union's criminal intentions are unmistakably manifested in the policy of massive military buildup which the Soviets relentlessly pursue in Central America, and in their promoting of terror, subversion and revolution throughout the world.

The Soviet Union declared war on the nations of the free world already in the time of Lenin. Since that war is not always a military war, it is not always so visible. Nevertheless, the Communists in Russia and elsewhere have relentlessly waged a total war against non-Communist nations — political war, propaganda war, drug war, terrorist war and spiritual war. "War to the hilt", as Manuilskiy said some fifty years ago.

Hruschiv, Ukraine — The Church of Blessed Trinity where the Mother of God has been appearing since 1986. The clergy and faithful of the underground Church have a great veneration for Our Lady and Her apparitions in Hruschiv. Our Lady said at Hruschiv: "Russia continues to refuse to recognize My Son; she rejects true charity and continues to live her domestic existence. Did I not ask for prayers for the lost Russian people on other occasions? If Russia does not accept Christ the King, the entire world faces ruin."

Pope Pius XI Declared Communism as "Intrinsically Perverse"

It is criminal and insane for the leaders of the free world to accept glasnost and perestroika at their face value. It is especially criminal for the clergy to cooperate or promote the Communist cause in any way whatever. Pope Pius XI set forth the Catholic teaching that no one may collaborate with the Communists in any undertaking whatever — to do so, according to Catholic teaching is criminal. It is criminal because the Communist ideology is rooted in evil principles. That is why Pope Pius XI declared that Communism is "intrinsically perverse".

Communism is irreconcilably opposed to the principles of civilized government: government according to reason, justice and right, natural morality and the rule of law. The truth of this statement is clearly manifested in the above-quoted words of Lenin, who said that Communist rule is "power that is unrestricted by any laws". Communism, therefore, is the rule of brute force, of naked violence. It follows necessarily from this premise that Communist rule is itself the very negation of true law and government, and therefore it is morally wrong to recognize a Communist regime as a legitimate government, or to collaborate with a Communist government in any undertaking.

In the West, our legal traditions have been based on the principle that recognized the individual human person as the subject of inalienable, God-given rights. Neither the fiat of the government nor the vote of the majority is the source of human rights, but God Himself: God created the human person with a nature and dignity that constitute the basis of human rights.

Marxism denies the existence of God, and denies that the individual human person is constituted of the essential humanity which, according to Christian Doctrine and Philosophy, is the basis of the individual's claim on his rights. This is the reason why democratic reforms and the permitting of a limited form of individual economic enterprise are strictly a temporary measure of political pragmatism subordinated to an overall geo-political plan which calls for the establishment of a worldwide socialist superstate.

Glasnost and perestroika are nothing but the application of Lenin's perverse principle: "The lie is sacred ..." — The glasnost which shapes the Soviet Union's present foreign policy is designed to lull the West to sleep with empty overtures of peace, and then when our guard is down they will smash us with their clenched fist. This is clearly their intention. They have announced it long in advance.

When Marshal Akhromeyev, Mikhail Gorbachev's chief military adviser, says that "force should be excluded from mutual relations that one might have with independent countries ...", it is a Communist who speaks: a Communist who believes that "The lie is sacred ..." When Akhromeyev says that the "people of each country have the right to remain under a particular political system that they are living under or change it if they wish", again speaks the Communist for whom "deception will be our principal weapon".

Communists Talk Peace While Preparing 
For War

For more than fifty years the Communists of Russia have said that they will talk peace while preparing for war. Khrushchev promoted peaceful coexistence while saying at the same time: "We will bury you!" By means of perestroika the Soviet economy has been geared up to supply the Soviet war machine with all it needs to execute the "Ogarkov Plan". It is the plan of Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov, the supreme commander of the Soviet armed forces, to unleash a massive surprise attack against the United States and Western Europe. Glasnost is nothing but the veil designed to camouflage the Soviet Communists' perverse and criminal designs to conquer the entire world by force of arms.

Let no one be lulled to sleep by Soviet talk of peace, arms reduction and glasnostFormer officers of the Soviet Spetsnaz have revealed that highly-trained professional terrorists are being sent into the countries of the free world in order to prepare for their operations of destruction, terror and mass extermination. In spite of the fact that such alarming information has been published in mass circulation journals like the Reader's Digest, our leaders seem to have chosen to ignore the ominous facts and continue to swallow glasnost hook, line and sinker.

For those who blindly persist in believing that the Communists of Russia can be trusted to become our friends and collaborators, I leave them with this final item to ponder:

Only a few weeks ago in Belgium it was reported that a crew of Spetsnaz operatives were arrested while masquerading as soccer fans. The policeman who stopped them was clever enough to know that they could not be going to a soccer match that day because there were none scheduled for that day. There was, however, a NATO installation nearby. Under interrogation the Soviet terrorists admitted that they were gathering military intelligence while waiting for Day X.

On Day X there will be no more glasnost, but only the swift and brutal execution of theOgarkov Plan. Once the missiles begin to fly and the bombs start to fall it will be too late to prevent the nuclear holocaust and the annihilation of nations from taking place. Our Lady of Fatima warned us that the only thing that can prevent the horrors of the Ogarkov Plan and Day X will be the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary performed by the Pope together with all the bishops of the world. So many of the leaders of the nations and Pastors of the Church have preferred to trust in the Communist mendacity of glasnost rather than in the promise of the Mother of God. That is why She pronounced at La Salette the dreadful words of apocalyptic doom: "Woe to the inhabitants of the Earth!" (Apoc. 8:13)

We must pray and make sacrifices for the conversion of sinners, because the evils which threaten our lives and our souls are a punishment for the sins of our wicked and perverse generation. We must all reform our own lives so that we don't perish in the day of wrath — Our Lady will protect all Her dear ones. We must all appeal to the Pope and to all the Pastors of the Church to do what Our Lady of Fatima demands of them: that they consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. God sent His Mother to Fatima to warn us that "Only She can help you." What She requests of the Pope and the bishops is in fact commanded by the Lord Himself:

Words of Jesus Christ to Sister Lucia: Make it known to My ministers that it has been given to them that they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My command and that they will follow him into misfortune.