|Original title||Москва 2042|
|Genre||Political, Dystopian, Satirical|
|Publisher||Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; 1st ed English|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover, Paperback)|
|LC Class||PG3489.4.I53 M6513 1987|
Moscow 2042 (Russian: Москва 2042) is a 1986 novel (translated into English from Russian 1987) by Vladimir Voinovich. In this book, the alter ego of the author travels to the future, where he sees how communism has been built up in Moscow: at first, it seems the government has actually been successful in doing so. But slowly it becomes clear that it is not really a utopia after all.
Voinovich wrote this book in 1986, a few years before the downfall of the Soviet Union.
The Russian author Kartsev, living in Munich in 1982 (just like Voinovich himself), time travels to the Moscow of 2042. After the "Great August Revolution", the new leader referred to as "Genialissimus" has changed the Soviet Union... up to a certain point. After Vladimir Lenin's dream of the world revolution narrowed down to Joseph Stalin's theory of "Socialism in one country", Genialissimus has decided to start from building "Communism in one city", namely in Moscow.
The ideology has changed somewhat, into a hodgepodge of Marxism-Leninism and Russian Orthodoxy (Genialissimo himself is also Patriarch). The country is ruled by CPGB — The Communist Party of State Security, a merger of Communist Party and KGB. The decay from which the Soviet Union suffered has worsened. The rest of the Soviet Union, where people barely survive, has been separated by a Berlin type of wall from the "paradise" of Moscow, where communism has been realised. Within the wall everyone gets everything "according to his needs". Only their needs are not decided by themselves, but by the wise Genialissimus. Most people have "ordinary needs", but a chosen few have "extraordinary needs". For the first-mentioned group, life is dismal even within the privileged "Moscow Republic". The situation finally gets so desperate that people throw themselves in the arms of the "liberator", a fellow dissident writer and (kind of) friend of Kartsev, the Slavophile Sim Karnavalov (apparently inspired by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn), who enters Moscow on a white horse and proclaims himself Tsar Serafim the First. Thus, communism is abandoned and society progressed back into feudal autocracy.