Andrej Aleksandrovich ZHDANOV


Copyright 2001 by Hugo S. Cunningham.

Biographical notes

    Derived in part from Jeanne [Dzhin] Vronskaya and Vladimir Chuguev [Chuguyev], Kto Est' Kto v Rossii i Byvshem SSSR ["Who's Who in Russia and the Former USSR"], "Terra," Moskva, 1994.
    Copyright 1992 by Jeanne Vronskaya and Vladimir Chuguev.


      Zhdanov, Andrej Aleksandrovich
      26 Feb 1896 -- 31 Aug 1948.
      Party official
      Born in Mariupol'. Joined Bolsheviks in 1915.
      Member of the Central Committee during Collectivization (1930).
      After assassination of Kirov, was appointed his replacement as Party chief in Leningrad.
      Member of Politburo 1939.
      After WW II, subjected leading writers (Zoshchenko, Akhmatova) to attack. As a Stalinist authority on culture, he became eponymous for a

Soviet Literature - The Richest in Ideas, the Most Advanced Literature Soviet Writers Congress 1934

Andrei Zhdanov Attacks Cosmopolitanism 


Comrade Josef V. Stalin mourns the death of beloved Andrei Zhdanov



  The co-opting of the idea of 'one-world government' by the bourgeois intelligentsia from a number of dreamers and pacifists, is used not only as a tool to press for the ideological disarmament of peoples, who stand up for their independence from encroachments from the direction of American imperialism, but also as a slogan expressly opposed by the Soviet Union, which constantly and repeatedly defends the principle of true equal rights and the protection of the sovereign rights of all peoples, great and small.



  What can the bourgeois author write about, what can he dream about, what inspiration can animate his thoughts, when can he borrow his inspiration, when the worker in the capitalist country is uncertain of the morrow, when he does not know whether he will have work the next day, when the peasant does not know whether he will work on his plot of ground tomorrow or whether he will be chased off it by the capitalist crisis, when the intellectual worker is out of work today and does not know whether he will get work tomorrow?

  What can the bourgeois author write about, what source of inspiration can there be for him, when the world, from one day to the next, may be plunged once more into the abyss of a new imperialist war?

  The present state of bourgeois literature is such that it is no longer able to create great works of art.  The decadence and disintegration of bourgeois literature, resulting from the collapse and decay of the capitalist system, represent the characteristic trait, the characteristic peculiarity of the state of bourgeois culture and bourgeois literature at the present time. Gone never to return are the times when bourgeois literature, reflecting the victory of bourgeois society over feudalism, was able to create the great works of the period when capitalism was flourishing. Now everything is degenerating-themes, talents, authors, heroes.

  In deathly terror of the proletarian revolution, fascism is wreaking its vengeance on civilization, turning humanity back to the most hideous and savage periods of history, burning in the bonfire and barbarously destroying the works of the greatest minds.

  Characteristic of the decadence and decay of bourgeoisie culture are the orgies of mysticism and superstition, the passion for pornography. The "celebrities" of bourgeoisie literature-of that bourgeoisie  which has sold its pen to capital - are now thieves, police sleuths, prostitutes, hooligans.

  All ths is characteristic of that section of the bourgeois literature that is trying to conceal the decay of bourgeois society, that is vainly trying to prove that nothing has happened, that all is well in the "state of Denmark," that their is nothing rotten as yet in the system of capitalism.  Those representatives of bourgeois literature who feel the state of things more acutely are absorbed in pessimism, doubt of the morrow, the eulogy of darkness:  they extol pessimism as the theory and practice of art.  And only a small section-the most honest and far-sighted writers-are trying to find a way out along other paths, in other directions, to link their destiny cand its revolutionary struggle.



  ... Today under the banner of  "ideological" struggle against Marxism large reserves are being mobilized. Gangsters, pimps, spies, and criminal elements are recruited. Let me take at random a recent example. As we reported a few days ago in Izestia, the journal Les Temps Modernes, edited by the existentialist Sartre, lauds as some new revelation a book by the writer Jean Genet, The Diary of a Thief, which opens with the words: "Treason, theft, and homosexuality - these will be my key topics. There exists an organic connection between my taste for treason, the occupation of the thief, and my amorous adventures." The author manifestly knows my business. The plays of this Jean Genet are presented with much glitter on the Parisian stage and Jean Genet himself is showered with invitations to visit America. Such is the "last word" of bourgeois philosophy.

  But the experiance of our victory over fascism has already shown into what a blind alley idealist philosophy has led whole nations. Now it appears in its new, repulsively ugly  character which reflects the whole depths, baseness, and loathsomeness of bourgeois decadence. Pimps and depraved criminals as philosophers - this is indeed the limit of decay and ruin. Nevertheless, these forces still have life, are still capable of poisoning the consciousness of the masses.