Chernobyl HBO Series: The Radiology of the Ideology

Comrades! After having watched with growing indignation all five episodes of the new HBO miniseries, Chernobyl, we feel it is our duty to denounce this show for its counter-revolutionary agitation and to report its creators for slander and sabotage to the proper authorities.


The show’s many thought crimes against progress and socialism pale in comparison with the egregious question asked at the very end: “what is the cost of lies?” It implies that in a socialist state people are afraid to speak the truth, and that the question on everyone’s mind is “what is the cost of truth?” while the question they should really be asking is about the cost of lies. According to the show, the cost of lies is a disaster of apocalyptic proportions.

The audiences are led to believe that the Soviet state was run on lies and that everyone in the chain of command lied to their subordinates and to their superiors alike, to cover their own behinds and to ensure career growth. That view is a gross deviation from the Party line.

Along with all progressive people of good will, we know that “lies” is what comes out of the mouths of the enemies of progress. What we say is never a “lie.” The preferred nomenclature here is the “current truth,” and it is subject to change without notice as per the interests of progress and socialism. The only exception is Gorbachev’s statement that Chernobyl had led to the collapse of the USSR. That is a lie.

Some ex-Soviet dissidents may similarly claim that the horror of Chernobyl was a metaphor for the failure of socialism. Everybody in the USSR, they say, had jobs in the monopolistic state-run economy, witnessing gross mismanagement and incompetence of their higher-ups on a daily basis and later telling bitter jokes about it. As things kept breaking all the time, the Party promoted role models who unthinkingly filled the cracks in the broken system at the cost of their own lives. The permanent state of crisis demanded individual sacrifices for the common good, validating the collectivist moral code.

The real surprise here was not that the Chernobyl reactor finally exploded, but that something of that nature hadn’t happened sooner and on a larger scale. Once that idea sank in with most Soviets, putting an end to the socialist system became a simple matter of their survival. Compounded with the degrading faith in the power of the state and the Party, it led to a psychological chain reaction and a proverbial 1991 meltdown five years later.

Such understanding is complete rubbish. The current truth is, of course, that the accident was caused by the agents of Zionism and Yankee imperialism, and the Communist Party was truly a guiding force in the heroic struggle of the Soviet workers, who sacrificed their lives for the glory of the Motherland and for the victory of socialism around the world.

The series neglected to mention that five days after the nuclear explosion, millions of residents of Kiev, the Ukrainian capital city 70 miles south of the reactor, poured into the streets to partake in the official May Day parade, the annual celebration of the international solidarity of workers. The revelers hadn’t been informed about the radiation for their own good, or else they would’ve been fleeing in panic rather than demonstrating the unbreakable bond between the Soviet people and the Communist Party. Every progressive person of good will would agree that given the choice between the radiology and the ideology, the ideology prevails and the show must always go on. By then, of course, all the top Party leaders and their families had left the city in an organized fashion; the state couldn’t afford to lose their most valuable cadres.

Another reason to ban this HBO series is its blatant white nationalism. As noted by one British filmmaker who happens to be a young woman of color, “there are so many great actors of colour in this country that would’ve been amazing in #chernobyl.” She was disappointed to see “yet another hit show with a massive cast that makes it looks like PoC don’t exist.” And yet, an entire gang of Russian miners – all played by Caucasian actors – was filmed in blackface. Couldn’t the directors just hire black actors for that, saving on makeup and sparing themselves an embarrassment? As for the lack of racial diversity complaint, let’s just say that the Soviet Union’s glorious diversity of black and brown people at all levels of government could only be rivaled by its diversity of thought. Here’s a little-known fact: Vladimir Lenin was 1/1024th Native American.

And yet, in spite of all their efforts to distort the Party-approved history, the makers of Chernobyl couldn’t avoid showing the selfless heroism of the Soviet people under the caring leadership of the Communist Party. Neither could they hide the workers’ spectacular living conditions at state-run housing projects, as well as the poignant visual agitation and propaganda in the form of artistic murals, portraits of Lenin, and a red banner saying “Our goal is the happiness of all mankind.” We dare you to disagree with that slogan.

On behalf of all progressive workers and peasants, we demand that all digital copies of this muckraking British-American series be destroyed, all digits be scrambled and buried under a ton of concrete like the radioactive dead dogs in Episode 4. All TV schedules must be retroactively cleansed of this title to erase the memory of its existence, and this very report must be also burned after reading along with all the viewing equipment.

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