Communism and Consumerism: The Soviet Alternative to the by Timo Vihavainen, Elena Bogdanova

By Timo Vihavainen, Elena Bogdanova

Intake in Russia and the previous USSR has been in recent years studied as regards the pre-revolutionary and early Soviet interval. The background of Soviet intake and the Soviet number of consumerism within the 1950s-1990s has hardly ever been studied in any respect. This e-book concentrates at the past due Soviet interval however it additionally considers pre-WWII or even pre-revolutionary times.The ebook includes articles, which survey the longue durée of Russian and Soviet customer attitudes, Soviet ideology of intake as indicated in texts pertaining to style, the area of Soviet type making plans and the survival techniques of the Soviet purchaser complaining opposed to sub-standard items and companies in a command economic climate. there is additionally a case learn about the makes use of of suggestions with anti-consumerist content.

Contributors contain: Lena Bogdanova, Olga Gurova, Timo Vihavainen and Larissa Zakharova.

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The Domostroi (1995), 123. The Spirit of Consumerism in Russia and the West 21 The myth about the Russian peasant which was developed in the 19th century declared that he was both a real Christian and a born collectivist. The main virtue for an Orthodox Christian is humility. 74 The Slavophiles were keen to take notice of the Russian peasant’s aversion to luxury: Ivan Kireevsky asserted that the Russian respected more the rags of a beggarly and weakminded man of God than the golden brocade of a courtier.

Probably the utilitarian ideal of the happiness of the greatest number would thus have been realized in the form of a decent subsistence for everybody and no surplus for anybody. 50 It can be asked, what ‘affluence’, before the invention of the ‘affluent society’ could have meant to the emerging socialist masses. The answer cannot be found in the discourse of the programs of the socialist parties. For instance, the Gotha (1875) and Erfurt (1891) programs of the German Social Democratic 48 49 50 Ibid.

65 While it is obvious that a prominent part of the Russian intelligentsia was afraid of the development of Capitalism in Russia and such modernization, which would bring about the dissolution of the Russian peasant commune, one may still ask, if this meant opposing consumerism in the modern sense. Of course, the question is anachronistic, because the consumerism of the affluent society did not exist and could not be foreseen. However, the Slavophiles and the narodniks could foresee a world where the ‘organic’ unity and collective way of life of the Russian village would be replaced by a society of individuals, whose relations to other human beings would be determined by money and not by morals.

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