K: Take science and the future of science. Our technical
university with which I was concerned with for thirty-five years,
now is going to the dogs. Imagine MIT in America going to
the dogs, literally. You see, these things. I had much
more support on Russian Soviet television than I do have today.
That owner thinks about ridiculous advertisements or publicizing
this very low-grade culture that overruns all our things.
How can you carry on with these things? These are very important
issues because this forms the sort of ideas and such. A couple
of years ago, my grandson, Sergei, I think you haven't seen him...oh,
you've seen him, he came back from his holiday--when he was asked,
"Now, Sergei, what sort of books do you read?" "I
don't read books; I want to be a millionaire." Now he's
playing the flute, you see, but still, I think that was the babes
telling the truth. Is that the truth that we want?
What's happening to the schooling?
K: The school is in good state, but still it has very difficult
times, you see. Some people have this absolutely wrong idea
that democracy must be all private, but when the country is destitute
in terms of money, how can you do that? In modern society,
I think that happened to the French Revolution or whatever revolution
it was, it was that this society has to guarantee the rights to
education. In fact, I think in terms of human rights, this
has led to a much greater degradation of human rights than we had
in Soviet times by the way. That's never discussed, as I was
saying, in quite open terms. The right to education, the right
to health, the right to work. These major human rights are
now not -- although they're guaranteed in the constitution, they
always were--but they were carried out in the former system but
they're not carried out today. You can talk about anything,
but what does that matter, you see. It matters for a few very
small intellectuals that have nothing to say. In fact, that
was the peculiar thing; when they were not allowed to say it, they
said they had something to say. But now when they can say
something, there's no message. So the matters of this human
rights issue is negative. Maybe the greatest advantage is
that you can travel. That certainly has diffused many difficulties,
and I'm very happy that people now see that the world was not exactly
like in that story about propaganda like what it really turned out
It's going to be crucial to keep pushing on.
K: You do have to push on. And, in fact, many of these
problems, I think, are common not to--they're common to the world,
not only to Russia. Maybe in Russia they are amplified and
exasperated in a certain way, but that's sort of part of the--many
of these processes happen in Russia to much stronger scale than
in other parts of the world.
It's been speculated that when you run in the time of Kerensky,
if that was one of these turning points where perhaps ...
K: Yeah. You know, Kerensky and Lenin went to the same
school. They were classmates. Kerensky and Lenin.
But then his brother was killed.
But today, if there were a setback, with a highly authoritarian
leader, if a really powerful, then he wouldn't be able to push on?
K: Well, again I say, history has no alternatives. So
it wasn't then a thought between Stalin and Trotsky, but I'm sure
after reading Trotsky's diaries and autobiography, I'm sure that
Trotsky would be just as bad as Stalin--maybe worse, if you can
be worse; although he's still emulated by so many.