Russia: Conditioning the Comrades

The Communist ethic forbids private ownership of anything produced through common labor.

— Lenin

The old dogma was certainly specific enough, and many Russians even today have a lingering prejudice against private property. Such an attitude, of course, could put a serious crimp in the Kremlin's ambitious plans to create a consumer-oriented economy. Last week Izvestia attempted through sleight of mind to remove the stigma of ownership from Marxist-Leninist doctrine.

The occasion was a letter to the editor from an obscure party functionary in the Ukrainian city of Chernigov. Complained Comrade Fomenko: "Millions of Soviet citizens who have never in their...

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