The collapse of the USSR and the present of Russia: historical parallels
Authors: Orlova Tetiana
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The current moment adds emphasis to the importance of comparativistic approach in analyzing the development of Russian civilization at different stages of its history, particularly, the Soviet and the contemporary ones. 2016 marks a quarter century past the end of the USSR and as long a period of new Russia’s existence. Although by global historical measures it’s not too long, some summaries can be made, historical parallels drawn, and certain similar fatal factors noted. The reasons to what turned out not the progress but the regression of the society are reviewed in such domains as economy, politics, ideology, the social sphere. A particular emphasis is laid on changes in social demographics and people’s moods. The general tendency of the Russian empire’s way – under whatever name – con-sists in its antagonism to actual democracy. That showed up both in the Soviet totalitarianism and in the authoritari-anism of Putin’s times. Both periods rely on the relations of «metropolis vs. colonies» type: first with the republics if the Union, now with the subjects of the Federation. The essence is in the principles of distributing resources, fur-thered by the «raw material curse» of Russia. The latter circumstance, together with many others, explains the pecu-liarity of Russian historic path: attempts at breakthroughs towards modernization – and inevitable involution to-wards the past. The current inability to effect modernization is masked with the increasingly aggressive regime of the Kremlin pursuing the militaristic traditions of the past. In the Soviet Union and in the present Russian Federation alike, one of the main causes of disaster is ignoring the laws of synergy, which predetermine the likeness of progres-sive development or decay in a system of any type, including social systems. Like the USSR, the Russian Federation fits poorly into the processes of globalization and transition to the post-industrial society. Both the Soviet and the Russian societies are conservative. A great part is here played by the propaganda, the ideological brainwashing of the population, where words always differ from the reality. The conclusions are important for understanding the processes taking place northeast from Ukraine, as well as for acknowledging the necessity of truly modernizational reform and their support by Ukrainian population.