Party-mindedness” was “an almost mystical concept,” explained Kopelev. “The indispensable prerequisites were iron discipline and faithful observance of all the rituals of Party life.” As one veteran Communist put it, a Bolshevik was not someone who believed merely in Marxism but “someone who had absolute faith in the Party no matter what . . . A person with the ability to adapt his morality and conscience in such a way that he can unreservedly accept the dogma that the Party is never wrong – even though it’s wrong all the time.” Stalin did not exaggerate when he boasted: “We Bolsheviks are people of a special cut.”2 Nadya — Simon Sebag Montefiore

 

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