Pravda: The Real Truth

Pravda was the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. It began publication in 1912, but was suppressed by the Tsar, and then by the short-lived bourgeois government, until the Bolsheviks took power during the October Revolution of 1917. Pravda means “truth” in Russian and despite the ravings of bourgeois and imperialist scum, it really was the truth. It reported the news and statements of communist party leaders. It conveyed the party’s official position on any given situation or event to all members of the party throughout the Soviet Union.

Bourgeois pundits continue to chuckle with smug satisfaction when accusing Pravda of being Soviet propaganda, which of course it was in the original and untainted sense of the word (political pronouncements and persuasion), but they continue to maintain that it was misinformation. George McGovern, the former CIA analyst who appears fairly regularly on RT, consistently brings up Pravda and mocks it by claiming it was poor propaganda and that, according to him, everyone knew it wasn’t true. Americans, on the other hand, are in a worse state because they actually believe the false propaganda perpetrated by the media organs of U.S. elites, he goes on to add; that much at least is true. As Grover Furr, an expert on the Soviet Union, recently replied to me, whether or not something is widely believed has no bearing on whether or not it is true, but in his opinion Pravda was widely believed to be telling the truth by party members even toward the end of the USSR in the late 80’s and early 90’s. In addition, Pravda indeed might have been considered poor propaganda in the sense that it could, according to journalists Andre Vltchek, Gaither Stewart and others, make for incredibly dry reading that apparently did not rouse the public outside of faithful party members.

In the words of Mr. Vltchek:

“East European propaganda was clumsy, compared to elaborate Western one … It was just repeating again and again, mechanically, what was actually the truth. So people got fed up and instead turned towards those colourful and well-packaged lies produced by Western propaganda.”

There was, in fact, a big difference between Pravda and the recently dubbed “Pravda of the Potomac” (Washington Post) and other U.S. organs such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Pravda was telling the truth and did not lie through journalistic acts of either commission or omission. Pravda did not package or brand itself in an exciting Western fashion, but it simply told the plain, hard truth. It has been said that truth is stranger than fiction, but if that be the case, then strange certainly doesn’t seem to be synonymous with either exciting or alluring.

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