Making a few things perfectly clear . . . Soviet style
The MCP predicted it all: the GCC is well under way. And a worldwide AE cannot be far behind. The MCP is, for the uninitiated, not a male chauvinist pig. The reference is to the Manifesto of the Communist Party, one of 207 terms explained and cross-indexed in an invaluable little political dictionary just distributed in Moscow.
The quicker students will already have guessed: the GCC is, of course, the General Crisis of Capitalism. AE refers to the Abolition of Exploitation.
Yet so explicit and detailed is this little book - called ''Political Terms: A Short Guide'' - that even the less attentive readers will get the message.
One nice feature is that examples are given for trickier concepts. For instance, the entry for Aggression, listed under ''A,'' reads in full:
''An armed attack on a country with the aim of seizing its territory and subjugating it economically and politically. Examples of A are the United States' war against the Vietnamese people and Israel's actions against Arab states.''
Another helpful feature of the booklet, originally in Russian but translated for foreign readers, is that it corrects Western misreadings of Soviet history.
Under ''C,'' for instance, the dictionary addresses Stalin's collectivization of agriculture - a period of Soviet history which, in the West, is often presented as one of wholesale slaughter of peasant farmers:
''Collectivization of agriculture (in the USSR): Reorganization of agriculture along socialist lines by uniting small individual peasant households into large cooperative collective farms . . . which met the interests of the peasantry and all working people of the country.''
The entry for Abolition of Exploitation provides a lengthier explanation:
''. . .In Soviet Russia, the abolition of class exploiters was conducted with due regard to the way members of this class reacted to the measure. Particularly harmful wreckers . . . were punished. In rural areas, their property acquired through plunder and exploitation was confiscated and their families were exiled to remote regions.
''Those whose resistance was less active were resettled in remote regions together with their families, and their property was confiscated. The bulk of the rural bourgeoisie, after their property had been confiscated, were resettled in other localities within the boundaries of the same region, where they were provided with the necessary minimum means of subsistence. In this way the socialist state compelled former exploiters to take part in socially useful work at state-owned enterprises in the non-ferrous metals industry, in gold fields, in the coal mining and timber industries, and in fishermen's and artisans' associations. The labor reeducation of former exploiters turned them into full-fledged citizens of the Soviet Union.
''In other socialist countries the AE took milder forms.''
Then there is the question of human rights or HR:
''The socialist revolution not only proclaims HR, but also ensures them. . . . While keeping silent about the flouting of HR in capitalist countries, imperialist propaganda tries to discredit socialist reality in every way. . . .''
Under ''S,'' the booklet addresses, in quotation marks, ''the Soviet threat'' as follows:
'' 'Soviet threat:' an anti-Soviet propaganda myth about a danger allegedly menacing the capitalist countries and coming from the Soviet Union. This absurd allegation is circulated by the aggressive forces of imperialism in order to justify the arms race which brings fabulous profits to the magnates of the military-industrial complex.''
Some Westerners, of course, will scoff that all this is propaganda. But happily, the dictionary puts that term, too, in proper perspective.
''Propaganda: dissemination and explanation of ideas, doctrines, knowledge, and theories with a view to making them firm convictions of people. P is a powerful weapon in the class struggle because the mass media enable it to reach broad sections of the population.
''Bourgeois P often deceives public opinion by spreading deliberate lies and slander against socialist countries and progressive regimes.''