Muscovites got their sloganeering orders for the annual Red Square parade today, with calls for the liberation of Grenada from American occupation and an end to aggressive U.S. actions in Nicaragua joining many old standbys in the Communist Party's list of official watchwords to be displayed at the Nov. 7 event.
With big, bold headlines running three deep across the full width of Pravda over a single item that filled all but the bottom of the front page, the announcement of the slogans had the look of big news.
In fact, the publication of the slogans is an October ritual, issued well ahead of the Nov. 7th anniversary of the 1917 revolution, when they will be read over loudspeakers and carried as banners at the Red Square parade.
Not just Pravda, the official party paper, but every Soviet newspaper today carried the full text of this year's 63 slogans. The highlights were the lead item on the television news.
Most of the slogans are standard Soviet fare, a repetition of the phrases that run along the sides of railroad bridges and atop Moscow's big buildings.
Heading the list this year, as it does every year with the appropriate update, is "Long live the 67th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution." Number 45 is also an old standby, "Proletarians of all countries, unite."
Like all rituals here, the list of official watchwords is scanned closely for any slight shift, indicating a change in policy or emphasis.
In 1983, when Soviet leader Yuri Andropov was alive, a number of familiar sayings were weeded out, and the number dropped from 85 to 61. The purge eliminated messages to specific countries or favored movements, except Lebanon, Palestine, South Africa and Namibia, and greetings were sent to whole continents instead.
The change was in line with Andropov's attempts to remove the excess baggage that had begun to weigh down the Soviet Union's stylized rituals.
For the most part, today's package closely followed last year's, except for a few new ideas and some subtle rewriting of phrases here and there.
The litany as always includes a long list of interest groups, each either deserving thanks, urged on to greater accomplishments or both -- collective farmers, veterans, workers in the chemical industry, transport and communications workers.
Young people are called on to "live, work and struggle according to Lenin." Workers on the ideological front are told to "carry the idea of the party to the masses with conviction and passion."
In the last column are the messages for audiences abroad. This year's slogans on Grenada and Nicaragua are imbedded in "warm greetings to the people of Latin America."
There is also a first-ever call for the banning of space weapons, the latest impasse in U.S.-Soviet relations. On the domestic front, a new insert -- No. 24 -- calls for greater "organization and discipline" in keeping with Soviet President Konstantin Chernenko's recent speech calling for renewed vigilance in the workplace.
There is also new wording on the exhortation to cultural figures. Instead of being urged to create "works worthy of the motherland," they are called on to concentrate on "works embodying the spiritual richness of the new socialist civilization," part of a push for more socially useful writing.
Changes in the international situation require changes in the slogans. So while Europeans were urged last year to struggle against the deployment of American missiles, this year they are called on to struggle for their removal.
Not all the changes are easily understood. Last year inventors and "rationalizers" were instructed to stand "in the first ranks of fighters for technical progress." This year they are not even mentioned.
Finally, there is a new twist to the last slogan which in years past ended with "forward to the victory of communism." Now it reads "forward to new victories in building communism," in keeping with the recent admission that the Soviet Union is still far from achieving true communism.