Throughout Russian history, the intelligentsia have been a point of reference, schematically arranged: the messenger in the tradition of the Greek drama, ‘a witness and living testimony to events rather than as an anonymous reporter’ who commands respect through his or her efforts to represent the world in its clearest form. 1 In essence, the specific function of the Russian intellectual was to present an accurate depiction of everyday life (although allusions were occasionally made to grand programs, which may be similarly flawed). Its role within the general complex of Soviet social relations, however, was to make clear the nature of the dominant system, its political economy and ideological justification, regardless of the recriminations, its flaws and hypocrisy.