Advertisement

Accomplices of Violence: Guilt and Purification through Altruism among the Moscow Human Rights Activists of the 1960s and 1970s

  • Barbara Walker
Part of the Mass Dictatorship in the 20th Century book series (MASSD)

Abstract

The theme of samozhertvovanie (a term meaning both self-giving and self- sacrifice) in the Moscow human rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s invokes considerable passion as activists, opponents and observers have long debated the motives of participants in that movement. Some dissenters and their supporters have focused on the activists’ willingness to give up careers, health, social stability and even their lives for the sake of human rights in the Soviet system, while their critics both inside and outside the movement have viewed at least some dissenters as being motivated instead by self-interest, desiring primarily western currency, western contacts and fame. Debate over motives represented as selfless is by no means a new phenomenon in world history; it has played a role in discussions of altruism for as long as those discussions have been recorded.1 Many apparently find it difficult to believe in the integrity of claims of selflessness.

Keywords

Soviet Period Hard Currency Political Prisoner Charitable Activity Soviet System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Robert H. Bremner, Giving (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1996), p. xii.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See Anke Stephan, Von der Küche auf den Roten Platzz: Lebenswege soowjetischer Dissidentinnen (Zurich: Pano Verlag, 2005), pp. 33–71Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Adele Lindcnmeyr, Poverty Is Not a Vice: Charity, Society, and the State in Imperial Russia (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996), p. 7.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, trans. David Magarshack, intro. Priscilla Meyer (New York: Signet Classics, 2002), p. 915.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Anton Chekhov, Five Great Short Stories (New York: Dover, 1990), pp. 30–44.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Marshall S. Shatz and Judith E. Zimmerman (eds. and trans.), Signposts: A Collection of Articles on the Russian Intelligentsia (Irvine, CA: Charles Schlacks, Jr., publisher, 1986), pp. 35Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    Philip Boobbycr, Conscience, Dissent and Reform in Soviet Russia (London: Routledge, 2003), 64.Google Scholar
  8. 15.
    Anatolii Marchenko, My Testimony, trans. Michael Scammell (London: Pall Mall Press, 1969).Google Scholar
  9. 16.
    Ludmilla Alexeyeva, Soviet Dissent: Contemporary Movements for National, Religious, and Human Rights, trans. Carol Pearce and John Glad (Middletown, CT: Weslyan University Press, 1985), p. 287.Google Scholar
  10. 39.
    Aslexander Solzhenitsyn, Invisible Allies, trans. Alexis Klimov and Michael Nicholson (Washington, DC: Counterpoint, 1995), p. 265.Google Scholar
  11. 44.
    Horace W. Dewey and Ann M. Kleimola, ‘Suretyship and Collective Responsibility in Pre-Perrine Russia’, Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas vol. 18, no. 1 (March 1970), pp. 337–54.Google Scholar
  12. 45.
    Isabel de Madariaga, ‘Penal Policy in the Age of Catherine II’, Politics and Culture in Eighteenth-Century Russia, Collected Essays by Isabel de Madariaga (London: Longman, 1998), p. 117.Google Scholar
  13. 46.
    Anna Labzina, Days of a Russian Noblewoman: The Memories of Anna Labzina, 1758–1821, ed. and trans. Gary Marker and Rachel May (DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University, 2001), pp. 9Google Scholar
  14. 62.
    Petro G. Grigorenko, Memoirs (New York: Norton, 1982), p. 233.Google Scholar
  15. 63.
    Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate: A Novel, trans. Robert Chandler (New York: Harper and Row, 1985), pp. 839–41.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Barbara Walker 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Walker

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations