Russians urged to reflect on ‘inexplicable paradoxes of the Soviet Union’

Russians must wait in food lines to get whatever goods are available in November 1991, just a month before the collapse of the USSR

Russians must wait in food lines to get whatever goods are available in November 1991, just a month before the collapse of the USSR 

Analysis & Opinion, History, Russia

A Moscow blogger has suggested that Russians now, when thinking about the Soviet past, should reflect on what he calls that country’s “inexplicable paradoxes” not only when thinking about their own relationship to it but also about where they are now.

His observations merit quotation in full. In Soviet times, he writes,

  • “Everyone had a job, but no one did anything.”
  • “No one did anything but the plan was always fulfilled 100 percent or even at times 104 to 110 percent.”
  • “The plan was fulfilled 100 percent but there was nothing in the stores.”
  • “There was nothing in the stores, but everyone had all they needed.”
  • “Everyone had all he needed but all stole.”
  • “All stole but all had enough.
  • “All had enough but all were dissatisfied.”
  • “All were dissatisfied but no one went on strike.”
  • “No one went on strike but no one worked.”
  • “All were against, but all voted ‘for.’”
  • “He who shouted ‘yes’ the loudest, now beats his chest more than anyone else and insists he was against.”

“How was all this possible? What do you think?”

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Edited by: A. N.

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