No More Pravda

March 19, 1992

For decades, Soviet citizens used to joke about their country's main newspaper that there was no truth in Pravda ("The Truth").

According to the Leninist relativity theory they were right. Vladimir I. Lenin, the founder of the Soviet state, used to argue that constant truth did not exist; it changed according to circumstances. By naming the party's newspaper Pravda, Russian speakers immediately knew that its truth, too, was changeable. For there is another Russian word, istina, that signifies eternal truth.

After 80 years as a newspaper read and second-guessed by the world, Pravda printed its final issue last week. Its old slogan -- "Workers of the world, unite!" -- was on that final front page. Yes, the workers had united: to throw the rascals out.

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