None of these statements is true.
Myth 1. "The Soviet Union did not have popular support"
17 March 1991, nine months before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Soviet citizens came to the polls to vote in a referendum on whether they were in favor of preserving the USSR. More than three quarters voted "For." So the majority of Soviet citizens wanted to save the USSR and did not support its disintegration at all.
Myth 2. "Russians hate Stalin"
In 2009, the Rossiya channel conducted a three-month survey of more than 50 million Russians, to find out who, in their opinion, is the greatest Russians of all time. Prince Alexander Nevsky, who successfully repelled an attempt of Western invasion of Russia in the XIII century, took the first place. The second place went to Peter Stolypin, who served as prime minister during the time of Tsar Nicholas II and conducted agrarian reforms. In third place, behind Stolypin only by 5500 votes, was Joseph Stalin - a man whom the "regulators" of Western public opinion constantly describe as "a ruthless dictator, on whose hands the blood of tens of millions." He can be blasphemed in the West, which is not surprising, since he never tried to please the hearts of the corporate "grandees" who dominate the ideological apparatus of the West, but it seems that Russians have a completely different opinion on this subject - one that by no means confirms the assertion that the Russians "became victims" and not reached unprecedented heights under the leadership of Stalin.
In a May / June 2004 Foreign Affairs article (Escaping Freedom: What Russians Think and Want), anti-communist Harvard historian Richard Pipes cited a poll in which Russians were asked to list the 10 greatest men and women of all time. This survey concerned significant historical figures in any country, not just Russian ones. Stalin came in fourth, behind Peter the Great, Lenin and Pushkin, much to Pipes's annoyance.
Myth 3. "Soviet socialism did not work"
If this is true, then capitalism, if judged by the same canons, is a complete economic failure. Since its establishment in 1928 and until 1989, when it was dismantled, Soviet socialism did not once, with the exception of the times of the most difficult years of the Second World War, experience recession and was always able to provide full employment. The capitalist economy of which capitalist country grew tirelessly, without recessions and with the provision of jobs for all its citizens for the whole 56 years? (The period during which the Soviet economy was socialist and the country was not at war was taken, 1928-1941 and 1946-1989).
In addition, the Soviet economy grew faster than the capitalist economies of countries that were at an equal level of economic development. <...> Of course, the Soviet economy never caught up and surpassed the economy of the industrially developed countries of the capitalist world. But she started this race from an unfavorable starting position, she did not have, like Western countries, centuries of slavery, colonial plunder and economic imperialism behind her, and she was tirelessly the object of Western, especially American, sabotage and opposition. Particularly detrimental to Soviet economic development was the need to divert material and human resources from the civilian economy to the military economy in order to solve the problem of worthy confrontation of the USSR with the potential military aggression of the West. The Cold War and the arms race that entangled the Soviet Union in a battle with a stronger enemy, rather than state ownership and planning, prevented the socialist economy from overtaking the industrialized countries of the capitalist West. And yet, despite the tireless efforts of the West to slow it down, the Soviet socialist economy showed positive growth in every peaceful year of its existence, realizing in practice the material guarantees of a decent life for all. What capitalist economy can boast of such achievements?
Myth 4. "Now that they have tried it, the citizens of the former Soviet Union prefer capitalism."
On the contrary, they prefer the state planning of the Soviet system, that is, socialism. Responding to a recent survey on the question of which socio-economic system they support, the Russians responded:
- State planning and distribution - 58%.
- Private property and distribution - 28%.
- Hard to say - 14%.
(Total - 100%).
Pipes quotes a poll in which 72 percent of Russians "stated that they would like to limit private economic initiative."
Myth 5. “Twenty-two years later, citizens of the former Soviet Union believe that the collapse of the USSR was more useful than harm”
And again - wrong. According to the “Gallup” poll, which has just been published, for every one citizen of eleven former Soviet republics, including Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, who consider the collapse of the Soviet Union to be good for the country, there are two citizens who believe that this has caused her a huge harm. Among those aged 45 and older, that is, among those who truly knew the Soviet system and can compare, the proportion of the latter increases significantly.
According to another poll, mentioned by Pipes, three-quarters of Russians regret the demise of the Soviet Union, and this is unlikely to be the reaction of people who could have been expected from someone “freed” from a “repressive state” and a “paralyzed, slow economy”.
Myth 6. "For the citizens of the former Soviet Union, it’s better to live today"
It should be noted that yes, some of them began to live better. But to the majority? .. Considering that the majority prefers the former socialist system to the current capitalist system and thinks that the destruction of the USSR did more harm than good, we could conclude that the majority of Russians did not get better or, at least to the extent that they do not believe that they live better. This view is supported by data on life expectancy.
In the article by the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet, sociologist David Stackler and medical researcher Martin Mackie show that the transition to capitalism in the former USSR caused a sharp drop in life expectancy and that "just over half of the former communist countries today (22 a year later! - Approx. Transl.) Again reached their pre-reform (socialist) level of life expectancy ". The average life expectancy of men in Russia, for example, in 1985, was 67 years. In 2007, it was already less than 60 years old. Life expectancy has collapsed in five years, between 1991 and 1994 years. The transition to capitalism thus provoked mass mortality among the adult population and continues to cause a higher mortality rate than it probably would have been under a more humane socialist system.
The 1986 study of the year by Shirley Tsireto and Howard Weizkin, according to the World Bank, showed that the socialist countries of the Soviet bloc achieved more favorable results in terms of the physical quality of life, including life expectancy, infant mortality and calorie consumption than capitalist countries at the same level economic development, and not inferior to capitalist economies, are at a higher level of development. (Well, here, Comrade Howard, as a true European, is somewhat out of touch, wanting to whitewash capitalism. Not a single country in the world, even the most capitalistly developed, could and cannot still provide such a high standard of living as the citizens of the USSR. Under living standards, we, former Soviet citizens, understand not only the material living conditions, but also the spiritual benefits provided by society FOR ALL, and that particular state of spiritual and moral comfort in a society that cannot be changed with any money. - Editor’s note ".)
With regard to the transition from a one-party state to a multi-party democracy, the Pipes points to a poll that demonstrates that Russians consider democracy to be fraud. More than three quarters agree with the statement that "democracy is the facade for the government, controlled by the clique of the rich and powerful."
Who said there that the Russians are not insightful? ..
Myth 7. “If the citizens of the former Soviet Union really wanted to return to socialism, they would simply vote for it”
If only it were that simple! Capitalist systems are designed to pursue a state policy that suits capitalists, and not to realize what is popular among the people, if what is popular contradicts capitalist interests.
For example, the United States still does not have public health insurance for everyone. Why, if according to public opinion polls, most Americans want it? Why don't they just vote for him? The answer, of course, is that there are powerful capitalist interests, mostly private insurance companies, which, by using their wealth and connections, do not allow for a government policy that would reduce their profits. What is popular among the population, unfortunately, does not always prevail in society, because those who own and control the economy always use their wealth and connections to dominate the country's political system, winning in the competition between the interests of the elite and the interests of the people. Michael Parenti writes: “Capitalism is not only an economic system, it is a whole social order. Once it is established, you don’t get it out of existence by electing socialists or communists. They can occupy formal positions, but the wealth of the nation, the basic property relations that determine Life laws, the financial system, and debt structures, along with national media, justice, and government agencies, all serve the interests of capital, not the people. "
The Russian return to socialism is most likely to occur next time, just as it did the first time - through revolution, and not through elections. Revolutions are not because people prefer a more advanced system than the one in which they currently live. Revolutions occur when it is no longer possible to live as before, and the Russians have not yet reached the point where the life they live today would become completely unbearable.
Interestingly, the Russians' survey of the year 2003 contained the question of how they would react if the Communists seized power. Nearly a quarter will support the new government, one in five will work with it, 27 percent will accept it, 16 percent will emigrate, and only 10 percent will actively resist it. In other words, for every Russian who actively opposes the communists, there will be four or five who support the communists or cooperate with them, and three who will accept them completely. Again, it would be an impossible reaction of people who were happy to quit - under what we call the "yoke of the communist government".
Thus, the liquidation of the Soviet Union is regretted by people who know firsthand about life in the USSR (not according to Western journalists, politicians and historians, who know Soviet socialism only through the prism of their capitalist ideology). Now that they have more than two decades of experience in multiparty democracy, private entrepreneurship and a market economy, the Russians do not consider these institutions to be “miracles” that Western politicians and the media are trying to present to us. Most Russians would prefer to return to the Soviet system of state planning, that is, to socialism.
But these realities of Russian society are hidden behind a blizzard of propaganda carried on by the media, the intensity of which reaches its maximum every year on the anniversary of the death of the USSR. They want us to believe that socialism, where it was tried out in practice, was supposedly publicly despised and allegedly unable to fulfill people's aspirations, although just the opposite is true.
It is not surprising that anti-Soviet views prevail in the epicenter of the capitalist world. The Soviet Union is condemned in the West by almost everyone: the Trotskyists for the fact that socialism in the USSR was built under the leadership of Stalin (and not their leader Trotsky); Social Democrats - because the Soviets welcomed the revolution and rejected capitalism; capitalists — for obvious reasons, for there was no place for them; the media, because they are in the hands of the capitalists; educational institutions - because their curricula, ideological orientation, and political and economic studies are directly dependent on the capitalists.
So, on the anniversary of the liquidation of the USSR, one should not be surprised that the political enemies of socialism are putting the Soviet Union at all different from what it really was, hush up what the socialist economy has really achieved, and what those who have been of this socialism really crave now deprived.