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英文解釈の思考プロセス 第172回


今回の題材は、2017年3月20日付の The New York Times 紙に掲載されたフランシス・ベケット氏によるエッセイ、 How Moscow Lost Its Luster as the School of  Revolution  ”如何にしてモスクワは革命の学校としての輝きを失ったのか”  です。このシリーズの前回(第171回)がロシアにおける1917年の2月革命から10月革命までの時期を俯瞰していたのに対し、今回は、10月革命の成功によりモスクワが世界の共産主義運動の中心となった1919年から、各国の共産主義政党の希望の星だったソ連への期待が失望へと変化する1956年までの歴史を捉えています。全文の和訳はオリジナルの次にあります。

The Opinion Pages

How Moscow Lost Its Luster as the School of Revolution


Francis Beckett




A statue of Vladimir Lenin lies on the ground after being removed from public display in Mariupol, Ukraine, in 2015. Credit Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times

LONDON — After the Bolshevik Revolution of November 1917, the Soviet state became a beacon of hope for the left, and Moscow a place for pilgrimage. It was four decades before the magic faded, and the world is still waiting for something to replace it.

It’s easy to see the original appeal. In 1917, men were dying like flies on the blood-soaked fields of France and Belgium. Many of them were working men who made the ultimate sacrifice for countries where they could not vote, and whose deaths left their families in penury while the rich got richer.

So Vladimir Lenin’s message found willing listeners. Communist parties formed quickly in the nations that had fought the war. A young boilermaker named Harry Pollitt, later to become Britain’s Communist leader, summed up the reason: “Workers like me and all those around me had won power, had defeated the boss class.”

People like Pollitt loved the Soviet state even more when the rich and powerful attacked it in extravagant terms: “Eastward, also prostrate, also in dire confusion, lay the huge mass of Russia — not a wounded Russia only, but an infected Russia, a plague-bearing Russia,” declared Winston Churchill, who regarded such revolutionary ideas as “political doctrines which destroyed the health and even the soul of nations.”

The international friends of the Soviet state were numerous and active enough for Lenin to harbor hopes of states based on the Soviet model all over the world. So he created the Communist International, or Comintern as it was known, and took a personal interest in the formation and development of revolutionary socialist parties everywhere, including the Communist Party U.S.A., formed around 1919, the British and French Communist Parties the following year, and many others.

Moscow became a mecca for foreign Communists: a place of refuge when danger loomed, a place to find inspiration, support and finance. In 1926, the International Lenin School was set up in Moscow to train foreign Communists. According to one study, 370 Germans and 320 Czechs studied there in the 12 years of its existence, as did more than 200 apiece from France, Poland, Italy, the United States and China, and over 100 each from Austria, Britain, Spain and Finland.

Lenin School students and visiting foreign Communist leaders stayed in the Hotel Lux, a bare but functional building in the city center. There, they ate, slept and imbibed the intoxicating revolutionary fervor — literally, in the form of Russian vodka and strong Georgian brandy.

Comintern agents were sent all over the world, but they tended not to last long. Once their activities were discovered by the police, they were sent back to Russia or to prison. In Britain, the only agent of consequence who evaded the police for any length of time was Max Petrovsky, Moscow’s envoy to the British and French Communist Parties from 1924 to 1929.

He was born either David Lipetz or Max Goldfarb, and either in Ukraine or Russia, around 1883. Reliable details are scant because he lived his adult life under a series of false names: first, to avoid czarist police as a member of the Jewish Socialist Bund, then to avoid the American authorities in the years immediately before the 1917 revolution, when he helped run the socialist newspaper The Jewish Daily Forward in the United States.

In Britain, under the assumed name of Bennett (or Bennet), he spoke with the authority of Moscow. According to Ivy Litvinov, the British-born wife of a Soviet diplomat named Maxim Litvinov, Petrovsky was “the ugliest man you ever saw, but very charming.”

Around the time he arrived in London, in 1920, another Comintern agent named Rose Cohen returned to Britain, after traveling the world distributing party funds. She and Petrovsky fell in love. Cohen, from a poor Jewish family in London’s East End, was lively, clever, literate and hauntingly beautiful, with brown eyes and long dark hair.

Petrovsky and Cohen married and moved to Moscow around 1929, where their son Alyosha was born. After Lenin’s death in 1924, Joseph Stalin had assumed leadership. For a time, all went well: Max had an important government job, and Rose became the foreign editor of an new English-language newspaper, The Moscow Daily News.

Their idyll collapsed in 1937. Suspected of sympathy with the exiled Leon Trotsky, Petrovsky and Cohen were arrested. Alyosha was sent to an orphanage and never saw his parents again. They were soon shot.

Because of Stalin’s purges, it was getting very hard to see Moscow as a beacon of hope rather than as a cruel oppressor. Yet many still managed to do so, for the world looked bleak in 1937. Hitler ran Germany, Mussolini ruled Italy, and the fascists were winning the civil war in Spain. In Britain and America, the Depression, with all the human misery it caused, looked to dedicated Communists like the final death throes of capitalism.

As Harry Pollitt saw it, those who had defeated tyranny in Russia “could never do, nor ever can do, any wrong against the working class.” Pollitt had counted Petrovsky and Cohen among his friends, but mistakes are made, he thought. You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.

So the agents of the Comintern and loyal comrades like the graduates of the International Lenin School learned to hunt down Trotskyists and anarchists, and to think only of the brave new world that was to follow all this misery.

The French Communist leader André Marty went to Spain as a political officer in the International Brigades. There, he coldly ordered men to be shot for alleged Trotskyist sympathies. Marty and others called those they executed “enemies of the people,” a term that has found a newly chilling resonance today.

Marty is unforgettably portrayed in Ernest Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (disguised in some editions as Massart): “So many men had cursed him at the end. He was always genuinely sorry for them as human beings. He always told himself that and it was one of the last true ideas that was left to him that had ever been his own.”

The Bulgarian Communist Georgi Dimitrov knew some of the Soviet Union’s darkest secrets. Sentenced to death in 1923 for political activities in his homeland, he escaped to Yugoslavia, then settled in Germany. There, in 1933, he was arrested by the Nazis for alleged complicity in the Reichstag fire, which Hitler used as a pretext to suspend parliamentary government. With extraordinary courage in the circumstances, Dimitrov chose to represent himself at trial.

“I am defending myself, an accused Communist,” he said from the dock. “I am defending my political honor, my honor as a revolutionary. I am defending my Communist ideology, my ideals.”

He was eventually acquitted for lack of evidence, and moved to Paris, then Moscow. A hero there, he was appointed secretary of the Comintern in 1935. In 1944, he returned to Bulgaria after two decades in exile to lead its Communist Party. In 1946, he became his country’s prime minister.

Dimitrov, like Marty, was no sordid careerist, scrambling to power over the dead bodies of innocent people. He thought the great prize was worth the hardship and injustice along the way.

Communist parties thrived during World War II thanks to the alliance against fascism. When Stalin dissolved the Comintern in 1943, foreign Communist parties seemed on the verge of a new era, when they would act independently, make their own decisions and no longer be instruments of Soviet foreign policy. But once the war was over, Stalin reasserted his control.

In 1947, he created the Communist Information Bureau, or Cominform, to transmit Moscow’s decisions to Communist parties worldwide. In the case of the British party, Stalin personally intervened in the drafting of its postwar manifesto.

The difference between the Comintern and the Cominform was that the Cominform merely transmitted decisions. There was no longer any pretense that anyone outside the Kremlin participated in making them. The new agency’s first test came in 1948, when Moscow decided that Yugoslavia’s independent-minded leader, Marshal Tito, was no longer a heroic Communist leader but a traitor. Foreign Communist parties quickly adopted the new line.

After Stalin’s death in 1953, Nikita Khrushchev prevailed in the succession struggle. In a secret session of the 1956 Party Congress — secret in that reporters and foreign Communists were excluded — Khrushchev laid bare the terror that Stalin had inflicted on the Soviet Union over three decades.

Finally, the light of Moscow’s beacon went out. The new generation could not now produce people like Pollitt, Dimitrov, Petrovsky and Cohen, who would loyally risk all for what they believed was a great and just cause. To be sure, Communist parties around the world kept the allegiance of many hard-liners and still recruited some young idealists, but 1956 was a turning point, and the Soviet Union as an idea was irretrievably tainted. Thereafter, Communists were as likely to define themselves as against Moscow as for it.

Francis Beckett is the author of “Enemy Within: The Rise and Fall of the British Communist Party” and “Stalin’s British Victims.”

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< 全文和訳例 >

ロンドン発 ― 1917年11月のボルシェヴィキ革命(10月革命)の後に、共産主義国家(ソヴィエト社会主義共和国連邦)は、左翼にとっての希望の光となり、モスクワは、彼らが巡礼で訪れるべき聖地となりました。それは、魔法が消えてしまう40年も前のことであり、現代の社会は、その魔法に代わるべきものの到来を今も待ち続けています。



ポリットの様な人々は、経済的に豊かで政治的権力を備えた社会の支配者層が誇張的表現を用いて共産主義国家(ソ連)を攻撃した際:即ち、”東に向かって、疲弊し大いなる混乱のさなかに巨大なロシアが横たわっています ― 満身創痍で、疫病に侵され苦痛にもがくロシアが”、と革命思想を、”国民の健全性や精神さえも破壊する政治的理論”であると見なしていたウィンストン・チャーチルが宣言した際、ソ連に対する忠誠心を更に高めることになりました。



レーニン学校の学生とソ連を訪問していた国外の共産党幹部は、ホテル・ラックスに滞在し、そこは質素ではあったもののモスクワの中心部に位地していた機能的なホテルでした。そこで、彼らは寝食を共にし、陶酔的な ― 文字通りウオッカと強烈なジョージア(グルジア)産のブランデイを通して ―  革命への情熱を吸収することになりました。


彼は、1883年頃に、ウクライナかロシアいずれかにおいて  David Lipetz 又は Max Goldfarb として誕生しました。彼は成人となってからも一連の偽名の下に生活していたので、彼の経歴について信頼に値する情報は非常に乏しいものでした:最初は、ユダヤ人社会民主主義労働者協会のメンバーとして帝政ロシアの官憲から逃れる為に、その後1917年の革命の直前に至る数年間においてアメリカで社会主義者に向けの新聞である  The Jewish Daily Forward 紙の編集を支援していたことによりアメリカの警察から逃れる為に。

英国では、ベネット(Bennett or Bennet)という偽名で、彼はモスクワの威光を背にして民衆に語りかけました。マクシム・リトヴィノフという名のソ連の外交官の妻となった英国生まれのアイヴィ・リトヴィノフによると、ペトロフスキーは、これまで見た中で顔は一番醜いものの、非常に魅力的” な男性でした。





ハリー・ポリットが目にしたように、ロシアで専制君主(皇帝)を打倒した共産主義者は、”労働者を虐げるようなことは絶対に不可能であり、やろうとしても出来ない” のです。ポリットはペトロフスキーとコーエンを友人と見なしていましたが、何らかの過誤は起きる、と彼は考えました。少々の犠牲なくして大願は成就できないのです(卵を割らずしてオムレツを作ることはできない)。


フランス共産党の党首だったアンドレ・マルティは、国際旅団の政治士官としてスペインに赴きました。そこで彼は、冷酷にもトロツキー主義者との嫌疑をかけれらた者を銃殺するように命じました。マルティとその同調者達は、これらの処刑された人々を “人民の敵” と呼びましたが、その表現は、新たに恐ろしげな意味を伴って、近年再び耳にするようになりました。

マルティは、アーネスト・ヘミングウェイの小説、”誰がために鐘は鳴る” の中で鮮烈に描かれています(いくつかの版においてはマサートという別名で):即ち、”多くの兵士が、最後には彼を呪った。彼は、彼らにとって常に人間として耐え難い存在だった。彼は、いつもそのことを自分に言い聞かせていたが、それは、いみじくも彼自信が思いついた最後にいくつか残された真実と言える考えの内の一つだった。”






1947年に、スターリンは、世界中の共産主義政党にモスクワの決定を伝達する為の機関として、共産党、労働者党情報局(the Communist Information Bureau)、あるいはコミンフォルムを創設しました。英国の共産党の場合には、スターリン自らが同党の戦後のマニフェストの原案作成に携わりました。


1953年のスターリンの死後、ニキータ・フルシチョフが一連の権力闘争を勝ち抜きました。1956年の共産党総会の秘密会議 ― 国外の共産党の要人や報道機関は締め出されていた ― において、フルシチョフは、過去の30年に渡ってスターリンがソヴィエト社会主義共和国連邦の国民に対して加えてきた国家的テロの内容を暴露しました。


To be continued.