The Sweet Soviet Illusion
14 July, 2011
The Sweet Soviet Illusion

The illusion was crated that a Soviet person was a superman or a superwoman, endowed with unusual spiritual and mental abilities who can achieve anything in life; that the Soviet Union was a super-successful country where life was flowing with milk and honey. The sense of pleasure and ambition which is characteristic to a certain extent for every human being in general was used as a tool for influencing and subjugating the masses.  Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.

GJ – It

is a historically perpetuated fact that Russia was never ready to make any changes in her policy towards the conquered nations and occupied lands. The fact remains true even today. It is internationally recognized that Russia cannot and does not want to change its imperial character. Russia wants to dominate anywhere she can by means of using her long-tried policy of ‘stick and carrot’. Wherever they could not get away with their policy of force and violence, they tried to be ‘sweet and nice’. History had demonstrated the preference of this particular method of dominance, especially in case of Georgia and the Georgian people. How accurate does this statement sound?

SM – Very true! The warming up of relations and general policy of interaction between Russia and other Soviet nations came to a head right after Stalin’s death and continued into Khrushchev’s and Brezhnev’s period of rule in the Soviet Union. This was especially felt in case of Georgia, which was headed by first secretary of Georgia’s communist party Vasili Mzhavanadze. He was a type of a Soviet leader who appreciated personal initiative and was ready to support the incentives thereby even if it took to wink at certain functioning laws at times. As it was already emphasized, his style of leadership noticeably enhanced the standard of living in Georgia in an amazingly short period of time. The restaurants started to pop up, recreation and entertainment spots came around, partying was no longer prohibited, private car owners grew in number, and communal (shared) apartments were substituted by individual ones. Frankly speaking, the projects (they were popularly called ‘khrushchevkas’ – houses with very low ceilings), in which people received individual flats with very low rental prices, were not the source of a great happiness, but people could at least have their own toilets not to share with their neighbors. In the Mzhavanadze time, people were given an opportunity to make money by means of being involved in the structures of shadow economy. The state security service had all that on their fingertips and controlled the situation with the help of so called ‘legitimized thieves’(This is a purely Soviet phenomenon which means that a thief of a bigger caliber has acquired certain rights to rule the underworld, and not only). The state would never allow anybody to become an oligarch, but people were given a chance to somehow enjoy life in any possible way they could get away with. Most interestingly, critical comments against the state were allowed in the literature and cinematography. The illusion was created that people were liberated in their actions and options. In reality, all that was the subject of concern for the Soviet people and bothered them deeply, and instigated their aggression and was so masterfully depicted and presented with such humor in those books and movies that we all started loving those movies and books and the characters in them. This was a well-calculated tool for neutralizing the accumulated popular anger and indignation against the state. That was the time when television was turning into a very popular media. The state started using it as one of the best instruments of influencing people’s minds and hearts. There were stories on the air which described the life of successful soviet personalities. The Soviet athletes were promoted vigorously and they were profusely supported by the state. The news about internationally renowned Soviet athletes would go around unlimited. Again and again, the illusion was built that a Soviet person was a superman or a superwoman, endowed with unusual spiritual and mental abilities who can achieve anything in life; that the Soviet Union was a super-successful country where life was flowing with milk and honey. The sense of pleasure and ambition which is characteristic to a certain extent for every human being in general was used as a tool for influencing and subjugating the masses.

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