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Interview Transcript

Paul Pozner     (cont)

Of course because nowhere in the West, nowhere here, people don't understand it.  There are very few people who really understand this danger.  And this danger still exists. Still exists.  The other, with all difficulties which exist, and there exist, the development will go in the normal way of development.  And, in that sense, I would agree with Marx, and in some ways with Lenin, because Lenin said one time long ago that the world is going to the United States of Europe and then to the United States of the World.  And we can see it today.  We had the confrontation - East/West.  Today this confrontations is very mild, and  marked the eliminate that, what I feel how it will go.  But then we will have the confrontation between North and South, which means the wellness and the poverness, poverty.  And, today the world with Communication, with all this fast development, with all that stuff, you have to share.  Just remember Pete Sieger?  You have to share.  And you cannot manufacture and produce everything in one country.  It doesn't work.  In one country you have to produce that, in the other one that, in the third that.  It all has to be organized.  It has to be, in some way, redistributed.  And that's the way of development.  It's not only for Russia.  I say it for the whole world.  We won't see it.  Of course we won't see it, but that's the way of development.  Or it will develop this way, or one day, then the rest we'll expose, because of this confrontation.

Question:  Now, having lived through all of this fall .  .  .  you came here in 1952?

Pozner:  Yes.

Question:  Just, in your gut, are you optimistic, pessimistic, on the fence?

Pozner:  I'm optimistic.  I always was optimistic.  I always was optimistic, and I remain optimistic.  Otherwise, I would behave differently.  It doesn't matter my citizenship because I feel myself a solid person.  It's not too bad.  A solid person with a culture mixed French/Russian culture, not communist, not capitalist.  I did well in the other system in the totalitarian, so-called Communist system.  I am doing well in this system, but I'm optimistic.

I just want to go back to the problem which is very typical to Russia.  People here deny everything which happened before what they have today.  At the Soviet time, everything which was done before the Revolution was super, and it was very bad.  At Soviet time, great.  Now, everything which was done during the Soviet time was horrible.  For example, but, what went before the Revolution, before 1917, was great - all this toward family, all this aristocracy.  It reminds me a little bit of how Tom Sawyer spoke about the kings and the counts and all that stuff.  It's normal.  It's normal.  It's, that's very, very in the Russian soul.  Then, today it's what.  And especially from the so-called intellectuals.  They love doing that.  And it's very interesting to analyze that stuff.  Like, a lot of people said that we had to change our system of education to the American system of education.  Although, I'm convinced that the Soviet, which came out from the Russian, and that's comes here, is much better than the American system of education, much better.  And, there are very few systems of education as good as the Russian one, as a general education, cultural education, but we go very fast to the same, in same direction.  Although now, people start to realize that in '90 to '93, we will, even we're afraid that we will arrive to the American system where a guy at 18 will not know the answer how much is 2 plus 2.  He will take out his calculator.  That's it.  Because we are here, we deny everything which was before.  It's a tradition.  So, but I'm convinced that the changes in this country were necessary.  And the direction in which go this, go this changes are absolutely necessary. 

On the same time, I'm convinced that there was a lot of good things on the Soviet times, that the majority of the population who was not traveling, today doesn't travel neither.  Who had nothing, had no, had no idea about freedom of the world, because they don't needed this freedom.  It just came not the ideal to go and say, "So what?"  They were sitting in their kitchens and talking about anything.  I don't say about Stalin's time, when this could be denounced.  I say about later period, that I remember.  People said anything they want to.  Don't forget about the jokes and the anecdotes and nobody wanted to kill for that.  And people said, everybody talked now.  That's what a freedom of word.  Today, they don't have any freedom neither, in that sense, because they don't, they can't use it.  They have the freedom.  Theoretically, you can go and publish anything you want to, but can we go and travel anywhere you want to, but you don't have the possibility.  At that time we didn't have it for political reasons.  Today don't have it for economic reasons, but they don't care about it.  It doesn't come to their idea.  But, these people, 80% of those people had a better life, economically better life, and much more secure life at the Soviet time than today.  So, for 80% of the population, if you take the immediate result, at the Soviet time their life was better than today, for 80% of the population.  It doesn't mean that in 10 years it will remain the same.  But today it is the reality, and it could be, and, at the Soviet time it almost had no poor people according to the Soviet standard of life.  Today, at least 25, if not 30% of the population is really poor, and any black guy from the Harlem is wealthier than these people.  That's the result of this so fast change, and the enormous wealth created.


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RAO > Catalgoues > Transcripts > TRAC > Paul Pozner p.12


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