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Soviet society as a modernization project
Kanarsh Grigorii Yur'evich

PhD in Politics

Senior Scientific Associate, Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences

109240, Russia, Moscow, Goncharnaya Street 12, building #1, office #314

grigkanarsh@yandex.ru
Abstract. This article is based on the project “Modernization as a Megatrend. Vectors of Russian Modernization in the XIX – XXI centuries” within the framework of the target topic “Socio-Philosophical Analysis of Histories and Theories of Modernization” of the sector of social philosophy of the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The object of this research is the Soviet Society, while subject is the peculiarities of modernization of the Soviet society at various stages of its evolution. The article analyzes the causes and prerequisites for the Russian revolution (including February of 1905 and October of 1917), historical alternatives of the post-revolutionary development (New Economic Policy, and Stalin’s “revolution from above”), specificities of modernization of the late Soviet society (1950’s – 1970’s). During the course of the research, the author refers to the following approaches and concepts: concept of socialism as a way to industrial development (along with the other option – capitalism); socialism as a “second world” in the context of unified industrial civilization; concept of the Russian revolution as a universal phenomenon, which includes a number of milestones (bourgeois revolutions of 1905 and February of 1917; social revolution in October of 1917);  concept of world systems analysis that considers the Russian events through the prism of economic relations of Russian with the West in terms of the concept “capitalist center – periphery”; concept of the catching up modernization of the overcoming limitations of the latter concept of the “national model of modernization”; concept of “Characterological Creatology” that allows analyzing the peculiarities of social and political life based on the natural characters of people (including characters of the political leaders and heads of states). The scientific novelty consists in the attempt to examine the evolution of Soviet society since its origins (Russian revolution) until the crisis of Soviet system in 1970’s – 1980’s from the perspective of specificities of its modernization. The main conclusion lies in the thesis that the notion of “Soviet project” is conditional. In reality, it is necessary to consider not a single, but certain multiplicity of the modernization projects, which existed at various stages of development of the Soviet society and competed against each other. This implies the two different projects of the Russian revolution (Lenin’s and Plekhanov’s); two development projects in the post-revolutionary era (Lenin’s and Stalin’s); various development projects that existed in the late Soviet period (neo-market and target). In the author’s opinion, the main problem regarding the reforming of Soviet society consisted in the choice of the optimal combination of the target and market starts, which eventually has not been realizes in terms of the “Soviet project”. Although, separate projects development at various stages of the establishment of Soviet society, such as the New Economic Policy, remain relevant at present stage.
Keywords: target economy, era of thaw, era of stagnation, Stalin, Lenin, socialism, the new economic policy, revolution, modernization, soviet society
DOI: 10.25136/2409-8728.2017.6.19665
Article was received: 06-07-2016

Review date: 07-07-2016

Publish date: 21-06-2017

This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here.

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