Was the Geopolitical Catastrophe of the USSR Man-Made?

Publication type Article
Status Published
Russian State University for the Humanities
Institute of Sociology FCTAS RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameSotsiologicheskie issledovaniya
EditionIssue 8

The article analyzes causes, conditions and factors of the 1991 events, which became the starting point for the collapse of the USSR, liquidation of the first socialist state and rejection the possibility to realize socialism and communism ideas. Various attempts are analyzed from different worldview and ideological positions to explain the course that returned Russia to the capitalist path of development. Challenging and rejecting many of these explanations, produced under the influence of both purposeful and speculative reasoning and spontaneous conscientious delusions, the article focuses on the absence in most publications and political statements of an analysis of such key factors as ignoring the will of the people and scholarly conclusions and recommendations that focused on rational, balanced and reasonable means and methods of overcoming the crisis-ridden state of society. A significant place is given to the subjective factor – poverty of imagination, limited vision, primitive thought of those ruling the country who failed to offer a scientifically grounded development strategy. As a result, the country evolved in the framework neither of a revolutionary, nor an evolutionary path, but embarked on a turbulent, chaotic and contradictory path of development leading to what the author calls society of trauma. In conclusion, it is stated that the geopolitical catastrophe was largely man-made, caused by subjective factors that played a decisive role in the destruction of a great country. These conclusions are based on the results of 1985–1991 all-Union studies of social consciousness carried out by sociologists of the then Academy of Social Sciences under the Central Committee of the CPSU.

KeywordsUSSR, socialism, capitalism, perestroika, revolution, evolution, social consciousness, soviet man
AcknowledgmentThis article is a translation of: Тощенко Ж.Т. Была ли рукотворной геополитическая катастрофа СССР? // Sotsiologicheskie Issledovaniia. 2021. No 8: 3–13. DOI: 10.31857/S013216250016071-1
Publication date27.09.2021
Number of characters34690
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