ZAGLADIN VADIM VALENTINOVICH

(23.06.1927, Moscow–17.11.2006, Moscow)

ZAGLADIN, Vadim Valentinovich (b. June 23, 1927, Moscow; d. November 17, 2006, Moscow) – Soviet (Russian) politician, one of the founders and initiators, together with I.T. Frolov, of national developments in the field of global issues of our time, and one of the authors of the theory and strategy of “new political thinking.”

Zagladin graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was a Candidate of Historical Science, a Doctor of Philosophy, and a professor. He worked for the weekly newspaper New Time and the journal Issues of Peace and Socialism, in the International Department of the CPSU Central Committee (1964–88), headed the Department of Issues of the International Labor Movement of the Academy of Social Sciences under the CPSU Central Committee, and was the chairman of the Global Challenges section of the Scientific Council of the Presidium of the USSR.

Academy on philosophical and social issues of science and technology, was an advisor to the Chairman of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet, the chairman of the Supreme Soviet, the USSR President (1988–91). From 1992 he was advisor to the President and leader of the Gorbachev Foundation, deputy chairman of the International Association of European Atlantic Cooperation, and senior executive of the Foreign Policy Association.

One of the decisive factors that has been responsible for the genesis and active development of a new field in Soviet social science, the study of contemporary global issues, has been Zagladin’s creative community together with academician I.T. Frolov.

If Zagladin was “responsible” for the socio-political aspect of problematics, then Frolov was “responsible” for its philosophical and scientific justification.

In the mid – late 1970s they jointly published a series of articles in leading political magazines, giving a Marxist interpretation of the phenomenon of global issues, proposed a strategy to overcome them that took into account the severity and novelty of the contradictions that were exciting civilization at the turn of the twentieth century gave way to the twenty-first.

As part of their scientific cooperation they proposed a methodology for the study of global issues, developed their classification, and identified scientific methods for solving global issues and social conditions of their implementation (see V.V. Zagladin and I.T. Frolov, “The Development of Global Issues Philosophy,” Ivan Timofeevich Frolov (Moscow, 2010)). The ideas outlined in the first domes- tic monograph on these urgent issues (see V.V. Zagladin and I.T. Frolov, Global Issues of Modernity: The Scientific and Social Aspects (Moscow, 1981)), for many years identified the research areas for Soviet social science in the study of contemporary global issues.

Zagladin considered the phenomenon of global issues as a natural stage of the world-historical development of civilization, a form of expression of the trend of internationalization that affected of mankind’s production, economic, and socio-cultural activity. The fundamental principles of Marxist historical doctrine, emanating in particular from the fact that, on the one hand, an active process of overcoming national isolation, stereotypes, and lifestyle takes place under the influence of capital, but on the other there are historical socio-cultural contradictions, caused by the essence of the capitalist way of production, aggravated and extrapolated in the modern era by global issues.

Analysis of the acute global is- sues of the 1970s and 1980s (war and peace, contradictions between developed and developing countries, global environmental tension, etc.) allowed Zagladin to formulate the conclusion that the severity of global contradictions, to an even greater extent than ever before, reveals the social constraints of the capitalist system, a convincing argument, as then it seemed, in favor of socialism.

Zagladin participated in the development and implementation of the strategy of “new thinking,” as one of the leaders of the International Department of the CPSU Central Committee, the leading expert and developer of Soviet foreign policy in the 1970s and 1980s. In its framework, it preserved the supporting structures of the traditional Marxist political model (ideological contradictions of the “two worlds,” the class approach, the role of the working class, etc.), and at the same time proved the thesis according to which universal values gained a higher status, increasingly determining the direction of world politics. Back in the 1930s, extrapolating the process of turning humanity into a force on a planetary scale, V.I. Vernadsky foresaw the situation where people will think and act not only in the “biospheric aspect” but also in the “planetary.” Later, in the Russell–Einstein Manifesto (1955), the need not only to think but to act globally was formulated, which took into consideration the disastrous aftermath of the possible use of nuclear weapons.

The position of the Club of Rome in the 1970s and 1980s was characterized by the principle of “think glob- ally, act locally.” It became clear, especially after the withdrawal of the “nuclear winter” model, that if humanity fails to curb the arms race and prevent nuclear war, the material basis of modern civilization will not simply be destroyed, but total ecological disaster will become a reality, leading to the death of all living things. However, if previously the thesis of “new thinking” had been predominantly scientific in nature, then from the mid-1980s, in terms of “perestroika,” when the Soviet Union was actively released from under the banner of “evil empire,” Soviet policies in the “Gorbachev era” (Zagladin was one of the leading members of Gorbachev’s team) obtained a new dimension. It turned out that the policy of “real socialism” fits into the doctrine of the peaceful coexistence of states with different political systems, contributing to a radical improvement of the international situation. The policy of “new thinking” has received considerable publicity. The Soviet Union was able to overcome the stereotypes of international politics of the past decades to convince the international community of the sincerity of its peace initiatives. The policy of “detente,” which led to a breakdown of the “iron curtain,” had a significant historical aftermath: the appearance of a “new Russia” on the world stage. As the chairman of the Section of Global Issues of the Scientific Council of the USSR. (the chairman of the Scientific Council was I.T. Frolov), Zagladin participated in discussions about the entire spectrum of global issues, organized a summing-up of relevant developments in the framework of the leading scientific institutions of the USSR Academy of Sciences (Institute of World Economy and International Relations, All-Union Scientific Research Institute for System Studies, Institute of Geography, Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences, Computing Centre, etc.). The section (and the Scientific Council) undertook major discussions on global issues (summarized in Marx- ism-Leninism and Global Issues (Moscow, 1983); Socialism and Global Issues (Prague, 1985); etc.), and initiated the publication of fundamental monographs (ed. V.V. Zagladin et al., Marxist-Leninist Concept of Contemporary Global Issues (Moscow, 1985); ed. V.V. Zagladin et al., Countries and Peoples. Earth and Humanity. Global Issues, p. 20 (Moscow, 1985); etc.). Zagladin is considered to have been one of the liberal party figures at the level of consultants and speechwriters of top officials of the Soviet state who held unorthodox positions, trying to promote the modernization of the social and political system in accordance with the global challenges of the era. Zagladin proceeded from a position of political realism, trying to push neo-Marxist ideas through the “needle’s eye” of ideological Soviet stereotypes: “I am very sorry for what happened in the past, and I’m ashamed of what is happening now” (from an interview with Radio Svoboda, 1999).

Works: Laws of the Labor Movement and the Struggle for Socialism (Moscow, 1970); Premises of Socialism and the Struggle for Socialism (Moscow, 1975); (ed.), Global Issues of Modernity: The Scientific and Social Aspects (Moscow, 1981); Historic Mission of the Socialist Society (Moscow, 1981); International Character of the Great October Socialist Revolution (Moscow, 1987).