USSR - The Welfare State

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USSR - The Welfare State
USSR - The Welfare State

Video: USSR - The Welfare State

Video: Welfare State and Social Democracy 2022, October

Today it is already difficult to remember, and for those who did not find the USSR - to fully realize, according to what laws the society of "developed socialism" lived. In material terms, this was a version of what the West called the "welfare state". The West largely borrowed this model from socialism, buying the loyalty of its population. But when the USSR was liquidated, the Western elites no longer needed to compete with the alternative system for the hearts and minds of people. Since then, the dismantling of the welfare state began, because caring for the population does not enrich the largest owners.

USSR - the welfare state
USSR - the welfare state

In the 1960s and early 1980s, the USSR pursued an income equalization policy to prevent social polarization. But the well-being of people did not depend 100% on their personal well-being: the basic needs were met free of charge by the state, this practically guaranteed in the material sense a comfortable life - that is, life without troubles.

In the 1960s, the poverty of the post-war years went away. The tasks of raising the standard of living, increasing pensions, expanding housing construction, introducing a five-day working week, and improving the quality of goods were systematically solved.

The size of wages in the USSR was set by the state. The difference in the earnings of specialists of the lower and higher categories did not differ significantly. The prestige in society was brought rather by intangible achievements. The income equalization policy resulted in the majority of the population becoming the Soviet “middle class,” while in the West the middle class did not constitute the majority.

Growth in prosperity and quality of life

Soviet people were mostly confident about the future: for example, a free higher education guaranteed subsequent employment. The state was the employer and the guarantor of employment. Having conscientiously worked out what was supposed to be, a person received a pension that allowed him to live without poverty. This, perhaps not the most exciting scenario, was perceived as an immutable law.

In the USSR, inflation and unemployment were practically absent. The family, standing in line to improve their living conditions, although not immediately, but after 5-10 years, received free separate housing. Education and medicine were free and at a high level. Mutual aid counters in enterprises issued interest-free loans for large purchases. A vacation voucher was often affordable or free for everyone. The share of rent in the average family income was within the margin of error. All this was accepted with gratitude by the mass of the population. Such prosperity was expressed in reaching the maximum average life expectancy - almost 70, 5 years in 1965.

The top leaders of the USSR were not rich. They received most of the privileges in non-cash form, were provided with official transport and dachas only for the duration of their official duties, did not have foreign currency accounts and foreign real estate. Their children did not inherit the social status of their parents.

Since the 1970s, the state has allocated free land in the suburban area for personal ownership - the famous "6 acres" to all comers. Personal property was not included in the concept of "private property", which was prohibited by law.

Consumer boom

In the 1970s and early 1980s, significant sections of Soviet society gained relative prosperity, and many were seized by a "consumer boom" - a consequence of long-term poverty in the past. People were striving not only to be of high quality, but also to dress fashionably. American jeans, Italian sheepskin coats, Finnish suits, French cosmetics, and Yugoslavian boots were in high demand. Citizens overpaid speculators exorbitantly for the “firm” that was absent in stores. But in the special stores for the party nomenclature, imported goods were present.

Due to the lag in the rates of production of the branches of group "B" (production of consumer goods), domestic goods turned out to be significantly less than the money in the hands of the population - a deficit arose. It was necessary to find workarounds for obtaining scarce goods - through cronyism, speculators, relatives and acquaintances.

Public life

Quite calm, predictable, and in comparison with previous decades - a wealthy life has made it possible to expand the forms of leisure. "Wild" tourism is gaining popularity - hiking, mountaineering, river rafting. This romantic spirit was most accurately expressed by Vladimir Vysotsky.

In the 1970s - early 1980s, amateur song clubs (KSP), propaganda teams, theater studios, scientific circles, vocal and instrumental ensembles (VIA), KBH teams, etc. spread. They existed under the Komsomol patronage, created conditions for creative leisure of youth and acted at schools, universities or at work.

Leisure and communication took place in kitchens, at "parties" (discos, dude companies, etc.), in hostels, in songs by the fire in a construction brigade or "on potatoes". At that time people met more often and more willingly than now.

Cultural and spiritual life

In the 1960s and 1970s, the popularity of theater, opera and ballet skyrocketed. The main idols of the stage played in the Taganka Theater, in Lenkom and Sovremennik (Moscow), in the Leningrad BDT. A visit to the theater or conservatory has become a necessity for many. The Soviet leadership, not without success, promoted high art to the masses.

The USSR was the most reading country. The state published books in millions of copies and maintained a huge network of district and school libraries, which made the book publicly available. In the 1970s, the widespread formation of home libraries began. Classical works were in good demand.

Most of the Soviet intelligentsia of the 1960s and 1980s did not adhere to dissident views. The matured "sixties" saw themselves in creative work for the good of the people on the basis of the ideals of socialism. Many were members of the Communist Party (CPSU), honored Lenin, and criticized Soviet reality not for the purpose of destruction, but for its improvement.

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