The Soviet Condition Themes in Soviet Life, after Mark Galeotti in ‘ Gorbachev and his Revolution ’ (1997)
 
<ul><li>Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev were all travelling together in a railway carriage, when unexpectedly the train st...
The Apparatchika <ul><li>“ His (Khrushchev’s) removal in 1964 by a bloodless coup reflected both his failure to keep the e...
The Era of Stability & ‘Trust in Cadres’ <ul><li>“ Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev had all, in their ways, tried to change th...
General Sec. Politburo Central Committee CPSU Chair (PM) Council of Ministers State Bureaucracy Chair (President) Presidiu...
The State <ul><li>“ In practice the Supreme Soviet was a powerless sham.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Supreme Soviet met only ...
The Party <ul><li>“ The CPSU was the brain, heart, sinews and tissue of the Soviet system.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It (the pa...
<ul><li>“ The Party brought together the country’s elite, had its own civil service to shadow the ‘official’ civil service...
Economic Decline <ul><li>“ Little proves the limited strengths and glaring weaknesses of Brezhnev’s system so well as its ...
<ul><li>“ The USSR was a world superpower largely by virtue of its military strength, but this itself was a tremendous dra...
<ul><li>“ The whole Soviet approach to economic planning was itself a product of the Stalin era. The State Planning Commit...
Stagnation <ul><li>“ When the time came for tough decisions – as it did in the latter half of the 1970s – then this was a ...
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Brezhnev-Themes in Soviet Life (2)

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More quotations on life under Brezhnev from Dmitri Volkogonov's 'The Rise and Fallof the Soviet Empire'

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Brezhnev-Themes in Soviet Life (2)

  1. 1. The Soviet Condition Themes in Soviet Life, after Mark Galeotti in ‘ Gorbachev and his Revolution ’ (1997)
  2. 3. <ul><li>Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev were all travelling together in a railway carriage, when unexpectedly the train stopped. Stalin put his head out of the window and shouted, &quot;Shoot the driver!&quot; But the train didn't start moving. Khrushchev then shouted, &quot;Rehabilitate the driver!&quot; But it still didn't move. Brezhnev then said, &quot;Comrades, Comrades, let's draw the curtains, turn on the gramophone and pretend we're moving!&quot; </li></ul>
  3. 4. The Apparatchika <ul><li>“ His (Khrushchev’s) removal in 1964 by a bloodless coup reflected both his failure to keep the elite happy and their coming of age as a dominant ruling class.” </li></ul>
  4. 5. The Era of Stability & ‘Trust in Cadres’ <ul><li>“ Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev had all, in their ways, tried to change the Soviet Union. With Brezhnev, though, the emphasis was on managing it.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Put crudely, the leadership bought everyone off, with benefits, perks and resources proportionate to their importance to the system.” </li></ul>
  5. 6. General Sec. Politburo Central Committee CPSU Chair (PM) Council of Ministers State Bureaucracy Chair (President) Presidium Supreme Soviet Real Power Formal Authority
  6. 7. The State <ul><li>“ In practice the Supreme Soviet was a powerless sham.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Supreme Soviet met only a couple of days a year to rubber-stamp the decisions made by the Presidium, its small (40-member) standing council.” </li></ul>
  7. 8. The Party <ul><li>“ The CPSU was the brain, heart, sinews and tissue of the Soviet system.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It (the party) lost the sense of mission which had given it coherence in earlier days and simply became a cosy and privileged caste. It even became hereditary, as apparatchika pulled strings to ensure their children received the education and jobs they needed to remain in this privileged world.” </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>“ The Party brought together the country’s elite, had its own civil service to shadow the ‘official’ civil service and permeated every aspect of Soviet government and society. It was above the law. It perpetuated itself, thanks to the nomenklatura system, which made a mockery of any pretence of democracy or accountability.” </li></ul>
  9. 10. Economic Decline <ul><li>“ Little proves the limited strengths and glaring weaknesses of Brezhnev’s system so well as its management of the economy and thus the quality of life of the Soviet population.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The reasons for economic decline are several: natural backwardness, military spending, economic planning, bad luck and the consensual nature of Brezhnev’s rule.” </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>“ The USSR was a world superpower largely by virtue of its military strength, but this itself was a tremendous drain on these relatively scarce national resources…the defence industries managed to become fairly efficient only by becoming parasites. They developed at the expense of the rest of the economy, skimming off the best materials…” </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>“ The whole Soviet approach to economic planning was itself a product of the Stalin era. The State Planning Committee, Gosplan, was established to manage the Soviet economy…economies, though, are complex and dynamic systems beyond the capabilities of any committee. Under Stalin, the planned economy worked because it had simple targets and, above all, it was backed by terror.” </li></ul>
  12. 13. Stagnation <ul><li>“ When the time came for tough decisions – as it did in the latter half of the 1970s – then this was a system with a built-in bias away from radical measures…” </li></ul>

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