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"Человек советский": проблема реконструкции исходных форм

русская версия

Опубликовано на портале: 22-11-2006
Тематический раздел:
"Homo Sovieticus": the Problem of Reconstructing the Initial Forms"(by Yuriy Levada). Presently in empirical research of "homo sovieticus" we deal with already "eroded", distorted social types. Investigation of modern phenomena of disintegration (precisely half-disintegration) of social and anthropological grounds of the soviet system allows to get the idea of its initial, more or less integrated condition. On the other hand, comprehension of original forms is important to assess the significance of changes occurred. The analysis of this problem acquires certain urgency under the conditions of evident reanimation of restoration trends and apprehensions in the society.
Soviet history may be presented as a succession of replacement of "dominant" generations in the various strata of society. In every significant period a certain generational group (cohort) usually correlated with some other one is active. Only one generation that dominated in 30s and 40s that is to say in the period of crisis formation and military trial of social system may be considered the most typical, strictly soviet one. And that is why the most "soviet" generation didn't give a human type really resistant and capable for reproduction in the next generations.
"Homo sovieticus" in its oiginal, symbolically speaking, classical version — is a collective notion, ideal type in terms of M.Weber; no empirical referent, no specific-historic type of social personality corresponds to him completely. The most important characteristic of a considered social type is "external" and "internal", spatial and temporal isolation. The failures of break-through into world civilization system during Perestroyka have led to reanimating isolationist's attitudes in all levels from official to mass ones.
"Internal" isolating barriers (in public opinion, in political ideology of the power) retain their significance in an almost complete absence of "external" ones. Isolation of existence of "homo sovieticus" was inevitably supplemented with its non-alternativeness. Two generations of soviet people grew up in space and time of secluded world practically having no idea of existence of other worlds or other lines of development. Efforts of the power and propaganda haven't created "simple" new man and couldn't do it, but the type of a "simplified" person had been really formed, rather by the circumstances of life, also primitive enough.
If an individual couldn't oppose total control, he sometimes could partly avoid it and more often — hope on its principle incompleteness, selectiveness. Constant fear of all-powered state system was most often habitual and not realized by a person. "Classical" soviet society didn't know any noticeable social protests and shocks — non-alternat i v e total domination doesn't leave any opportunity for them. The limits of adaptation to social-political reality demonstrated by soviet people including elite are to a great extent connected with such adaptive mechanism as dual thinking. The condition of mobilization was constant for soviet totalitarian socialism, and so it couldn't be effective.
Public opinion in societies of totalitarian type presents the mechanism of "unanimous" approval of the power and blaming its opponents.
Institutional limits of existence of "homo sovieticus" as a social-anthropological type are thoroughly destroyed not during recent 10-15 years but during much longer period of actual erosion of the soviet system. Certain features of "homo sovieticus" preserved after the downfall of the social and ideological system that formed him because they have older roots in Russian history and historical psychology. Circumstances under which these features have formed integrated and relatively stable construction of the "soviet" pattern are after all not reproducable.
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