The corrupt system of the Brezhnev nomenclature

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov President of Kalmykia billionaire Kirsan Ilyumzhinov about corrupt system of the Brezhnev nomenclature in Soviet Union.

“Okay, we will see who is a hero during the exams!” the teachers would say, “just you wait!”

However, foolhardy as we were, we did not pay the slightest attention to what they told us. As examtime approached even the most reckless of us grew more docile and quiet. No one wanted to get into conflict with the teachers. Naturally we all wanted to finish school with a normal certificate which would make it possible for us to study at an institution of higher education. The pupils’ activity levels had risen visibly. Everyone zealously tried to improve his or her marks, preparing diligently for lessons, and raising a hand whenever our teacher asked this or that question.

The corrupt system of the Brezhnev nomenclature had become firmly established throughout the country and, as a result, many of the teachers shamelessly boosted the marks of their, shall we say, proteges. People were used to this. Our school No 3 was nicknamed “the children’s home” because the children of almost all the prominent ministers, secretaries and members of the city Party Committee and the regional Party Committee of Kalmykia studied here. Simultaneously, the teachers penalized students who had no Party big shots to protect them. It was unfair; but we all maintained a gloomy silence, it was as if we were deaf and blind. Everyone was scared about jeopardizing their careers and risking their money, position and security.

By this stage, human weakness no longer provoked straightforward indignation in me as it had done when I was a child. I didn’t feel the old acute pain. In those shabby years we had grown accustomed to treachery and lies and, a decade later, this would become a state sanctified norm. Depressing, but true…

I was a sure candidate for the gold medal. In these circumstances to have provoked the teachers would have been suicidal. I couldn’t rid myself of a vile and cowardly thought: “why should I stick my neck out when the others keep silent?..”

Russians love abusive hand-signs. There’s the collectivist upbringing for you! You are nothing, a nobody, while your collective is the important force. So don’t stick your neck out, be like everybody else, a small cog in the wheel. And if baseness is universal then it cannot be called base at all, and you’re better off not worrying about it. I, like everyone else, have no mind of my own; ours are collective brains, the brains of a herd. And indeed, why should I behave in a responsible manner? If you are caught in a gang fight you will be jailed for ten years, but if you act like a coward along with everyone else then it is no big deal! No one will arrest you because you have broken no law.

Even if you have held your tongue, what does it matter? The whole country has been silent for seventy years and it still manages to survive.

It is true, that these cowardly thoughts did occur to me. But then one day my true, inner self suddenly awoke, rose up and rebelled. To hell with the gold medal! Damn these people! Enough is enough! I am sick and tired of it all!

I spoke out at a class meeting. I exposed the whole corrupt system, revealing how the teachers systematically doctored our results, improving the grades of the children of prominent local Party officials. The senior school teachers immediately ganged together in defense of their “honor”.

Immediately me and my family came under heavy artillery fire; there was friction at my father’s workplace, and my mother’s bosses began to quibble with her work. And my fellow-pupils were summoned to the teachers’ room, one by one, where they were brainwashed.

“…This is a conspiracy against our school. Ilyumzhinov has spat in our faces. A monstrous accusation!.. The outrageous behavior of Kirsan… And to think that he is a member of the
Komsomol…” All this was uttered in a high-flown style, in quivering tones and with noble indignation.

The boys were reminded of the upcoming exams and they were asked to defend the school’s honor.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, President of Kalmykia

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