The social constructs of the soviet union

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Mail The understanding of the social contract seems to be shifting around the world. But for Russia, at least, the phenomenon is nothing new. The country has tried any number of variations on the social contract over the more than 1, years of its history.

The system has undergone so many permutations that today it is all but obsolete, and no rule is too fundamental to break. The Bolsheviks came to power championing equality and a better life for workers and peasants.

In turn, they expected the support and acquiescence of the Soviet people as they embarked on the economically and politically demanding task of building a new society. Josef Stalin changed the rules when he took control of the country, dispensing almost entirely with personal rights in the name of developing the Soviet Union.

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The memory of the war was still fresh, and it weighed heavily on nearly every family in the Soviet Union.

My grandmother would often say, "No matter what, the main thing is to avoid a war. The public was well aware of the danger of a nuclear strike. Mikhail Gorbachev, the final leader of the Soviet Union, introduced the liberalizing policies of perestroika and glasnost in a last-ditch effort to keep the massive state together, but the reforms proved to be too little too late.

The Soviet Union collapsed. The ensuing chaos was as liberating as it was terrifying. In the s, the Russian state had neither the will nor the ability to uphold its previous social contract.

The Russian people, meanwhile, felt a growing desire for freedom and economic independence. The Constitution struck a compromise between the old and new elite, describing Russia as both a liberal and a social state that simultaneously maintained the separation of powers and bestowed its president with practically boundless authority.

The social constructs of the soviet union

And so, as it entered the 21st century, Russia introduced a new model that would provide its citizens a reliable standard of living so long as they paid their taxes. Professor Alexander Auzan described the setup in an article about social contracts in Russia: You pay us rent and we leave you alone.

At some point, people started to ask what their taxes were getting them. The justice and safety they were theoretically paying for, after all, were in practice a privilege of the social and political elite.

But for many Russians, even the prospect of security was worth the price, as long as the threat of attacks like the Beslan school siege and the Moscow Metro bombing loomed over the country. Skyrocketing oil prices, moreover, gave the government economic leverage over the public: Sincethe situation in Russia has evolved, not only economically but also geopolitically.

The same year that the global financial crisis hit, Russia went to war with the neighboring republic of Georgia. The timing was perfect. Though the conflict lasted only a matter of days, it was enough to re-establish Russia as a world power.

When the country, emboldened by its success in Georgia, annexed Crimea a few years later, its actions came as a shock to the rest of the world. Because We Can For the Russian people, the idea of belonging to a great power was equally intoxicating.

He even gained the respect of some Western libertarians, who saw him as a brave individual, unafraid to buck the global economic system, its overregulated banks and its greedy governments, regardless of the authoritarian measures he favored at home.

The social constructs of the soviet union

Defying the global trends toward tolerance, human rights — including rights for women and members of the LGBTQ community — and freedom of expression, Russian authorities have instead played by their own rules, sanctions and international opinion be damned.JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources.

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The culture of the Soviet Union passed through several stages during the Soviet Union's year existence. It was contributed to by people of various nationalities from every single one of fifteen union republics, although a slight majority of them were Russians.

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