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What was life like for the average citizen...
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What was life like for the average citizen of the USSR in the Post-Stalin period? How did they get paid? How did they buy food and clothing? Who made such items, and how did one acquire luxury goods or appliances, cars, furniture? What about student life? University and education? Educate me plz
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>>682295
>>682295
>What was life like for the average citizen of the USSR in the Post-Stalin period?

Variable, depending on many factors.

In general, the time since the death of Khushchev up to mid 1970s was a period of slowly rising living standards in terms of available consumer goods, housing, healthcare etc. Since mid 1970s and mid 1980s there was a time of so-called stagnation. Living standards reached a plateau and couldn't rise more. That's where the gap between the West and East widened. Then, somewhere after 1986 there comes the crisis and living standards fell sharply. First at more remote areas, later on in the cities of central USSR.

Also, the standard of living much depended on who you were and where you lived. If you were member of one of the priviledged classes (party nomenclatura and their families, army officers, scientists etc) you lived a good life. If you were a peasant who worked on a collective farm (and you were bound by law to remain there), not so much. Biggest cities were better supplied, with absolute priority given to Moscow, Leningrad (modern Petersburg), then on each Republic's capital (Kiev, Tbilisi, Dushanbe etc.). Then the crisis finally reached Moscow somewhere around 1988, it was a symptom of absolute decline.

>>682295
>How did they get paid?

In money, but money never played an important role. More important was the availability of goods that you could actually buy.

>>682295
>How did they buy food and clothing?

In shops. There were all kinds of malls in big cities and smaller shops everywhere. Some privileged classes had their own shops where you could buy goods unavailable to the public.
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>>682295
>who made such items, and how did one acquire luxury goods or appliances, cars, furniture?

In factories. There were lots of factories manufacturing such consumer goods.

They often did not produce up to their maximum capacity due to shortages of raw materials/supplies or due to organisational flaws. Also the quality often was abysmal. But those were typical ills of socialist economy.
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>>682440
>Buy
This was always a bit odd to me. They were hardcore communists, right? Sholdn't they have just been able to go around and take what they needed?
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>>682295
>What about student life? University and education?

Education was pretty good, but heavily loaded with ideological bullcrap. Education is one of the things the commies did rather well, even if anyone had to quote Marx in each paper. To bad sciences were often handicapped by various shortages and political steering.

The state knew the youth were the main danger to the order, so they tried to organize student life as much as possible. The Youths' energy was channeled into various heavily incentived sporting activities and various ideological drive. Nevertheless, Western youth trends and music did manage to creep in to an extent. Especially by late 1980s.
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>>682459
They never claimed to be communist, just moving towards communism. Officially, the USSR was in the 'Socialism' transitional phase according to Marxist-Leninist theory.
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>>682440
>the time since the death of Khushchev

I meant - since the death of Stain, ie. Khrushchev's tenure and the first decade of Brezhnev's.
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>>682459
>This was always a bit odd to me. They were hardcore communists, right? Sholdn't they have just been able to go around and take what they needed?

The official explanation was that money is only temporary and will disappear once the communism is reached.

It was actually heavily promoted in official propaganda that the future society will be communist. That's why lots of time capsules were buried everywhere for the "future communist generations".
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>>682465
How could that be the case though? Surely Russia had a "melting pot" effect like America, what with all the satellite states in and around it? Did they not have their own youth trends and subcultures? Or were they considered threatening to the established or state mandated desired traits that the tryouts should have?
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>>682459
Americans should be banned from /his/ i swear
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>>682465
Except when you had someone who was politically unrelliable in your family. Then you could have been the best student in the world, but you wouldn't get to university anyway.
>Who made such items, and how did one acquire luxury goods or appliances, cars, furniture?
With cars and things like electronics or flats you got put on a waiting list. Which was often years long
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>>682480
Honestly makes me kind of sad. Full gommunism may be an impossible dream, but still, it was a nice one (even if it did get a shitton of people killed)
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>>682508
So is Judenfrei world. Doesn't mean you should do it.
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>>682498
>How could that be the case though? Surely Russia had a "melting pot" effect like America, what with all the satellite states in and around it? Did they not have their own youth trends and subcultures? Or were they considered threatening to the established or state mandated desired traits that the tryouts should have?

Like I said, the state and the Party tried to channel the Youths' energies into various officially mandated activities and organisations. Some subcultured did emerge, but they were very quickly minimalized. Basically the only subculture that did manage to survive was the criminal underworld, which thrived on the murky deals between the Nomenklatura and common thugs. That's one of the reasons why today's Russians are so fascinated with criminal life - from prison songs for the educated (chansons) up to gopniks for the underclass.
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>>682295
>How did they get paid?
By going to work and getting paid duh.
>How did they buy food and clothing? Who made such item
Food - state farms and industry. Lots of imports from other socialist countries as well. Clothing - factories destroyed after 1991. There was much lesser choice than it is now, but the stories about half-starved people waiting in lines to buy vinegar, the only thing that was on the shelves are just as exaggerated as the stories about everybody living in luxury back then.
>how did one acquire luxury goods or appliances, cars, furniture
Produced by factories most of which were destroyed after 1991. Availability depended on period and region but generally you signed a contract that said "It's 1973 now and <name> has/paid money for a car, we(government) are obliged to deliver it by 1980". Obviously contacts and bribes made the purchase instant. It looked similarly with flats and houses.
>What about student life?
Similar to what happens nowadays, just more dorm parties with moonshine and less clubbing. Also less AIDS.
>University and education?
Better than nowadays. Universities mostly stayed as they were, high schools mostly stayed as they were but trade schools went straight to shit which is a great tragedy.
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>>682504
>Except when you had someone who was politically unrelliable in your family. Then you could have been the best student in the world, but you wouldn't get to university anyway.

That's true, but political "Unreliables" were marginal in USSR for most of the time. They proliferated in 1980s, when the Perestroyka kicke in.
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>>682547
I should clarify. What system worked for pay? Was there tiers? Did service work on a points system I.e time in the service/quality of work/the individual factory they worked in contribute to higher rates of pay? Pensions and benefits
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>>682498
>Did they not have their own youth trends and subcultures?
Punks, hippies and skinheads were more or less global occurrence and existed in Eastern Bloc as well.

The kinda-specific subculture for the region were predecessors of gopniks/bydlos etc. basically groups of people from social margin who worked like majority of other people(work was one of the things that was easy to get no matter what) and spent majority of their free time in their districts, hating "aliens" and taking parts in small-scale "gang wars". Their criminal activity was limited to said hate(which resulted in beatings), those "gang wars" and buying illegal alcohol and cigarettes, in the 80's also drugs.

The less liberal state you've had(Romania, Albania, USSR) the more of those proto-gopniks you've had, the more liberal it was, the more punks and skins. One exception was the heaviest-policed out of them all - Eastern Germany, there was very few "proto-gopniks" and they were hard to distinguish from local skinheads while punks were much, much more numerous(thanks to being close to the west).
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>>682591
Generally you've had wages and it worked like in every normal company nowadays, if you were shithead you were thrown out, if you were good, you were promoted(of course corruption was rampant but it's Russia after all). The only difference was that the disparity in earnings was smaller than it is now(much, much smaller) but I think it's also the case in the western world before Reagan/Thatcher era.

Some goods were rationed at some times and for example heavy-physical workers had higher meat rations. Of course the second-hand market flourished - if you didn't smoke you've exchanged it for ham with vegetarian who smoke. If you didn't drink(rare but happened), you've sold that vodka you could buy for butter. You get the idea.

Usually you've had more money than you could spend, no matter what you did.
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>>682633
As for benefits - they existed but were quite low and you've had to work every now and then for some time(not only because you wouldn't get benefits, work was simply compulsory). Not that it mattered because you could've find work very, very easily.

Disability benefits etc. were another thing ofc. although people with disabilities were still encouraged to get some less-demanding jobs, but could abstain from it.
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>Usually you've had more money than you could spend, no matter what you did.
>>682633

I'm guessing that's because wages were artificially inflated to a degree and the economy couldn't quite accommodate a consumer market?
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>>682648
Prices and wages were set-in-stone and changed centrally(quite often, depending on period) therefore they didn't take supply and demand into account.
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>>682653
>therefore they didn't take supply and demand into account.
Or maybe they did, but didn't take corruption into account so lots of goods disappeared. We will never know I guess.
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>>682665
We know it already because you could find decent stuff being sold on the markets, but it was expensive as shit compared to shops. Lots of goods did indeed disappear due to corruption, of course, but again, people could buy some common food like meat on the market - with proper market prices.

>>682591
One of the biggest failures of the Soviet system was complete lack of motivation for improving the quality of your work through payment, because wages were the same regardless of how you performed, plus money in those amounts couldn't buy you anything above-average anyway (because for black market you'd have to have way more, unobtainable by legal means). Hell, the workplace discipline was so poor everyone was considering it completely normal to snitch something from work, and I mean everyone. From electric transformers to paperclips, this was not just widespread, it was a way of life.

>>682498
>Surely Russia had a "melting pot" effect like America
No, not like America at all. Go read this book if you want to know the full details (http://www.amazon.com/Internationalism-Russification-Soviet-nationalities-problem/dp/0913460400) but the gist of it is, Russians tried to assimilate and Russify everyone by force as they always do because they're fuckwads.

>>682465
>Education was pretty good, but heavily loaded with ideological bullcrap
Scientific education was pretty good, anything regarded humanities or history was naturally piss poor. You can't exactly correlate Marxism-Leninism with Ohm's Law (though boy did they fucking try, pretty much every scientific book of the period I've seen has this long introduction trying to tie it in with dialectical materialism, even a fucking edutainment-style book on optical illusions), but anything other than that fell the victim of it.

>>682647
>work was simply compulsory
As in you could literally get thrown into prison for not working.
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>>682981
>Hell, the workplace discipline was so poor everyone was considering it completely normal to snitch something from work, and I mean everyone. From electric transformers to paperclips, this was not just widespread, it was a way of life.
We used to have a saying in Czechoslovakia. Who doesn't steal is robbing their family.
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>>683086
>We used to have a saying in Czechoslovakia. Who doesn't steal is robbing their family.

In Poland we had a similar one:

Tym chata bogata co ukradnie Tata. - The cottage (i.e. household) is rich with what Daddy steals.
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>>682295
>What was life like for the average citizen of the USSR
Shitty, why do you think people defected so much and hijacked planes to land in western countries?
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>>682648
>I'm guessing that's because wages were artificially inflated to a degree and the economy couldn't quite accommodate a consumer market?

Yes, but keep in mind that cash was often not the only kind of money you needed to buy something. They were chronic shortages of both many basic necessities (like toilet paper, milk) and more "luxurious" goods like fridges, washing machines or cars. In order to buy them you often had to procure ration cards or bribe you way by gold or "hard currency" (dollars or German marks).

The thing with socialist economies is they they did not have "a market" like capitalist ones. By "market" I mean the basic rules of supply and demand which adjust prices and encourage our discourage producers to produce certain goods. In socialist economies, the volume of production was set in stone by the Plan. There could be a product that people crave, but it was impossible to increase production until the top leadership approves such increase in the next Plan and adjust the supply of materiel. Similarly, there could be a product nooone wanted, but it still produced until it was struck down from the Plan.
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>>682295
>What was life like for the average citizen of the USSR in the Post-Stalin period?

Pretty good, just like life after 1921 pretty much. Consumer goods access increased log from 1921 (inflection point 1953).

>How did they get paid?

Wages in cash from their factory based on the "norm," a piece work system. This was the case from 1921.

>How did they buy food and clothing?

Cash at public access stores. Better or more loyal work got you access to the factory store.

>Who made such items, and how did one acquire luxury goods or appliances, cars, furniture?

Soviet citizens and Eastern European citizens. In factories. Luxury goods weren't acquired. Cars were on a waiting list (ie: nomenklatura access only). Furniture was either waiting list or grey market. Flats interested more people than furniture desu.

>What about student life? University and education? Educate me plz

Entry by list. Racial discrimination against jews at top universities. "Political" consideration of the list.
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>>682591
>I should clarify. What system worked for pay?

Everyone.

>Was there tiers?

Since the NEP in 1921.

>Did service work on a points system I.e time in the service/quality of work/the individual factory they worked in contribute to higher rates of pay?

Norms. "Worker in a workers' state" explains this, as does Andrle, as does Fitzpatrick.

>Pensions and benefits

State based for GPW veterans. Factory based for everyone else. One of the reasons why the nomenklatura privatised the factories, to destroy the benefits.
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>>682648
>I'm guessing that's because wages were artificially inflated to a degree and the economy couldn't quite accommodate a consumer market?

No, it is because the Soviet Union never solved the "qualitative" problem of repressing the working class's desire to slack off at work (ie: motivation) combined with consumer goods to induce motivation.

In the arms industry where factory stores had first dibs on goods, workers were highly motivated.
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>>682981
>because wages were the same regardless of how you performed
No. They varied by output volume for most workers, which motivated against quality.
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>>682295
>how did one acquire luxury goods or appliances, cars, furniture? What about student life?

They didn't, generally.
I've met several people from former Soviet republics. The one echo I hear from all of them is this;

Everyone had money. But there was nothing to spend it on.

Even in East Berlin, a Soviet style state, there weren't many shops around. There were even shops in East Berlin where such consumer goods were held, but they were kept away from the public. The shops were meant for Diplomats.
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>>682295
You work, get paid, and go to the store to buy stuff.
Are you retarded?
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>>685755
You "work", get "paid", and go to the store to "buy" stuff.

FTFY
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>>685767
>le people east of berlin only ate rocks and drank rain water meme
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>>685771
More like "we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us" meme.
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>>685767
>>685778
They could get volume out of workers.

They couldn't get quality.
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>>685771
No, but they had to stay for hours in queues in order to buy minimal quantities of most basic necessities.
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>>685853
More memes. What you had to wait a long time for was cars and apartments, not bread and shoes.
The other "waiting for hours" is either entirely made up, or some Poland/Germany shit that is specific to these places, not the rest of Eastern Europe.
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>>686056
>More memes. What you had to wait a long time for was cars and apartments, not bread and shoes.
Let me tell you about your country-the post.
No, you moron, we stayed in line for chicken and pig legs.
But let's tell a joke on the subject:
A man came home and found his wife in bed with a stranger. Furious, the man shouted, “You, good-for nothing, look at what you’re spending your time for, while at the corner store they’re selling eggs, and they have only three boxes left!”

>The other "waiting for hours" is either entirely made up, or some Poland/Germany shit that is specific to these places, not the rest of Eastern Europe.
Bullshit. Stop talking about things you don't know about.
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>>686074
I am right and you are wrong: The Post.
Now with a bad joke at the end!
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>>686081
Yeah, i bet all these people liked pretending to stay in line in front of general stores.
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>>686103
Look at all these people standing in line. I beat they are all starving.
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>>686112
Your trolling sucks.
But i'll bite
You know commie dissidents were amazed that supermarkets had a lot of stuff on the shelves, and that they resupplied the stocks?
But here is an article on the subject, now with shitty google translate.
http://www.libertatea.ro/ultima-ora/cand-prindeam-oua-era-sarbatoare-507366
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>>686124
If you are doing that meme now, at least post the Yeltsin anecdote written by a guy who heard it from a guy who was allegedly there. Its translated very well into english and stretched enough to be published as a book. No surprise, it was a best seller in the USA, since it might as well be a pamphlet that says "our supermarkets beat USSR!!!!". Funny enough reminds me of the slogans written on the sides of farms and factories.
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>>686103
>>686112
standing in line with a trolley full of stuff is different from standing in line to get into the shop

a better argument for the commie here would be that communist countries were poorer due to being a bit behind the US, though the asian tigers and europe miracles went from tatters to developed in 20 years, any country could achieve this if enough of the population embraced capitalism and ceased being a security threat
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>>686133
If he bought those pudding pops, felt very sleepy and woke up to Bill Cosby penetrating him what would the consequences be?
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>>686142
Probably nothing, Yeltsin was the worst most limp wristed politician of all time.
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>>686138
Standing in line in front of a store only proves that the neighborhood needs more stores.
You look at an image and make up unrelated facts.
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>>682440
>Then, somewhere after 1986 there comes the crisis and living standards fell sharply.
The crises is not a result of economic stagnation but the dismantaling of the USSR planned economy that started shortly after Gorbachev came to power. If you look at dates of when Gorbies rule started and when the 'crisis' begins, it coincides remarkably.

Interesting fact from Soviet archives, the Soviet leadership realized stagnation was a problem and shortly before Brezhnev's death had developed a 15 year plan (consisting of 3 5 year plans) that were meant to revitalize Soviet growth. However, this plan was never implemented because Gorbie came to power, who considered himself a 'visionary' and that he knows better, leading to a dismantling of the planned economy apparatus by 1988-89, leading to rampant corruption, theft and total collapse of the URS in 1991
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>>682442
>They often did not produce up to their maximum capacity due to shortages of raw materials/supplies or due to organisational flaws. Also the quality often was abysmal.
Not true. The Soviets had access to all the raw materials they needed. Morever, quality was often excellent (for many things not for everything) as most consumer goods were based off of high quality military products. Products were 'percieved' to be low quality because they looked ugly as the Soviets did not see a point in wasting money making something look pretty. Furthermore, the Soviets tried to make products so that they lasted for as long as possible (thats why for example alot of Soviet era devices still work in hospitals) as they didnt have a consumer philosophy, were long lasting items are unprofitable.
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>>682465
>Education was pretty good, but heavily loaded with ideological bullcrap.
Kinda like the West now with 'Political Correctness and feminism' being inserted even into hardcore sciences...
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>>686434
>>686447
>>686456
Go to bed, Ivan.
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>>686434
Problems were already there. Gorbachev was simply an idiot who did not know hoe to handle them. Instead of reforming slowly and carefully he just started changing things dramatically, releasing the Pandora's box of the economic and political issues. He also stamped all over the CPSU's legitimacy. The Soviet Union should have done like Deng did in China and reformed economics while crushing dissent at the same time.
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>>682600
>districts, hating "aliens" and taking parts in small-scale "gang wars".
True only in the late 80s (1988-89) after Perestroika was going in full force, the Police was beginning to fall apart and widespread corruption had started due to dismantaling of the planned economy. Not before. The URS was one of the safest countries on the planet because of a large and well equipped/paid police force (you can easily look this up on wikipedia), so gang wars were impossible as the police or omon units would be there faster than you could say gopnik. Furthermore, until 1989-90 it was basiclly impossible to acquire a gun as all military guns made in factories/military bases were well accounted for. If a gun was lost, a shitstorm would be raised that they would almost call in the KGB to find it. Of course, this all fell apart after Gorbie started his reforms and guns became proliferated in criminal gangs (mostly stolen from army bases)
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>>682981
>wages were the same regardless of how you performed
False. Wages were not the same amongst professions and could be increased as 'premiums' for exemplary work. For ex.ample if there were a team of engineers producing blueprints, the engineer/engineers that produced the best quality or most blueprints would be awarded premiums (monetary or car or flat) and their mug would be on billboards throughout the workplace so that everyone would use them as an example.
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Someone pointed out that the West had more social unrest (civil right, student protests, vietnam) than the USSR post-war, is that true?

The west also seems to have taken inspiration from them too, with all the welfare stuff.
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>>682981
>Hell, the workplace discipline was so poor everyone was considering it completely normal to snitch something from work, and I mean everyone. From electric transformers to paperclips
People do that even here in Canada. I've seen people take everything from paperclips and pens, to packs of printer paper, to calculators and even to computer monitors home and nobody cared (of course this is true mostly in large companies dunno about smaller ones)
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>>686504
Also it might have been Russia rather than the USSR that was said, but anyway is either true?
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>>685508
>Racial discrimination against jews at top universities
To be fair this was the case in the US until fairly recently. And jews are not a race.
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>>686074
>Bullshit. Stop talking about things you don't know about.
Not bullshit. Simply wasnt the case in URS. Dunno about yugoslavia, poland, east germany or the rest of east europe
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>>686504
Depends on what you mean by "social unrest"

Ukrainian Insurgent Army stopped functioning as a capable force in 1954.
Baltic resistance fighters kept on around 1957.

Then we've got:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norilsk_uprising and various other concentration camp uprisings
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novocherkassk_massacre
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeltoqsan

Now sure, the state tried to suppress any social movements heavily but that didn't work out in the end as we can see.
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>>686138
>communist countries were poorer due to being a bit behind the US, though the asian tigers and europe miracles wen
Ussr was poorer than the US because it had 70 years to develop an economy whereas the US had 150 years to develop theirs and didnt undergo massive wars either.

As for eastern europe vs western europe development levels, the answer is simple, the Marshall plan. The us put money into developing europe the USSR didnt give a fuck, hence the different standards of living in the East vs West.
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>>686516
>And jews are not a race.
Call the police, I don't give a fuck.
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>>686463
Yeah I agree. There were problems Gorbie simply exacerbated them.
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>>686533
If you are going to write something it better be correct or what you say has no legitamacy.
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>>686434
>Interesting fact from Soviet archives, the Soviet leadership realized stagnation was a problem and shortly before Brezhnev's death had developed a 15 year plan (consisting of 3 5 year plans) that were meant to revitalize Soviet growth.

It sounds fishy to me.

Kosygin tried various reforms throughout the 1970s and not one revitalized the economy. How can you believe that *another* attempt by the very same leadership would succeed? Also, between Brezhnev and Gorbachev there was Andropov and Chernenko. Both of them, and especially Chernenko, continued Brezhnev's course. Why didn't they implement such a reform?

The economic decline coincides also with the sudden drop of oil prices, with USSR being increasingly addicted to the petrodollar since mid 1970s.
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>>686539
Your opinion on whether jews are a race or not is nice. I don't give a fuck. The treatment of jews in the Soviet Union corresponds to the phenomena of racism, has been described as racist, and fits the standard categories of racism. I don't give a fuck about your precious special personal definitions.

Call the police: I do not give a fuck.
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>>686447
What a load of crap.

There was a constant shortage of raw materials and supplies. They were many reasons for it, one of them being that the supply system was inefficient and overly bureaucratic. Supplies and raw materials arrived irregularly, and factories often stayed idle for days, even weeks. When they finally arrived, they usually did in massive quantities and factory frantically worked whole days and nights to meet the production quotas,churning out massive amounts of products with abysmal quality. This was so common they workers coined a mocking term for this phenomenon - shturmovisna.

Soviet products were bad. I mean really bad. They often broke, produced lots of noise, ate up insane amounts of energy. I know an old lady who until recently still used her old Minsk fridge. When it finally died, her grandkids bought her a new one. She was dumbfounded when she found that her electricity bill fell by almost half.
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>>682295
Question for any /his/torians
Did the Soviet Union, or any communist country, succeed in complete industrialization?
Did they ever succeed in creating the proletariat?
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>>682501

>>>/out/
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>>686149

What?

Do you not know about how he essentially forced Gorbachev and by extension the entire communist party into submission in 90/91?

I mean, he was a drunkard who preferred to dodge his problems by getting shitfaced instead of solving them, but that was largely after the dissolution of the Union.
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>>682295
Now let me tell you a story about how *allied countries* did stuff in USSR.

Say you are a country famous for growing apricots *I'm looking at you Armenia*. Now apricots get easily damaged by hail and other stuff. So, you set a goal of say producing 10k tons of apricots. Now then, in comes a report from meteorologists that there was a hail and now Gosplan decreases your production plan to 8k. Through heroic efforts you produce the 10k and get additional funds for exceeding the plan!! Ura tovarischi!!

Now "what's the problem?" you'll ask. Well, there was no hail. The officials from Moscow stationed at your country kindly accepted gifts of fruit-vodka *try it, good stuff* and other valuables and made a small mistake of misreporting stuff. So basically you just got additional funding while putting in 0 additional effort (disregarding the getting drunk with the officials part).

Ahhh.. Motherland!
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>>682633
I've heard from a taxi driver that USSRwas good cause he worked at a factory got 120-ish rubles and also *borrowed* parts, which enabled him to live a carefree life.
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>>682981
>We know it already because you could find decent stuff being sold on the markets, but it was expensive as shit compared to shops.

Nope, there were no goods that were in high demand on the shelves, they were empty most of the time. However you could always get the thing you wanted from "under the table" and that's where the real prices were set.
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>>686056
This is what are economics prof told us.

"When we went to Moscow to participate in the chess tournament, my friends and I were young and decided to play a prank. We queued up in front of an empty stall. After some time, some folks started to ask "Who's the last in line?'" we answered "They'll bring it in a minute" and "We are". After 30 minutes there was a huge queue of people just standing there waiting."

According to the guy, after the games they went to check on the queue and it was still there.

So not so much of a meme bruh.
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