Download Communism and Consumerism: The Soviet Alternative to the by Timo Vihavainen, Elena Bogdanova PDF

By Timo Vihavainen, Elena Bogdanova

Intake in Russia and the previous USSR has been in recent times studied as regards the pre-revolutionary and early Soviet interval. The heritage of Soviet intake and the Soviet number of consumerism within the 1950s-1990s has hardly ever been studied in any respect. This ebook concentrates at the past due Soviet interval however it additionally considers pre-WWII or even pre-revolutionary times.The booklet contains articles, which survey the longue durée of Russian and Soviet customer attitudes, Soviet ideology of intake as indicated in texts referring to type, the area of Soviet type making plans and the survival concepts of the Soviet purchaser complaining opposed to sub-standard items and providers in a command economic system. there is additionally a case learn in regards to the makes use of of innovations with anti-consumerist content.

Contributors comprise: Lena Bogdanova, Olga Gurova, Timo Vihavainen and Larissa Zakharova.

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Human beings have always been prone to acquire an abundance of goods which satisfy their primary, physical, or secondary, social, needs. Moreover, like many other species, homo sapiens obviously is also prone to hoarding. The possession of unnecessary amounts of goods is a resource, which is not only a guarantee against future need, but also an asset in social life. But what about the propensity to obtain expensive and unnecessary goods; that is, the desire for luxury? Ancient scriptures such as the Bible, Greek authors like Aristotle or Roman ones like Tacitus provide ample testimony that the temptations of luxury were understood to pose a challenge to human 27 28 Hessler (2004), 11–12.

The philistine (meshchanin), for the early Gorky, was a person, who lacked radicalism and was afraid of the ultimate doomsday which was to settle the scores between tortured and torturers. 90 Here the philistine was not just a representative of the ‘commanding classes’, and not even just a political being. For Gorky, the philistine was apparently an eternal principle: the philistine represented the inferior part of man. He was the quintessential consumer, who could not be a creator. Only by overcoming philistinism would it be possible to emancipate Man (Chelovek, with a capital letter), who, when stripped of the filth of philistinism, embodied all that was brave and great in a human being.

Lewin (1985), 17–18, 86–87. See Chayanov (1986); Shanin (1985), 84–86. Nove (1992), 146–152. The Spirit of Consumerism in Russia and the West 23 But Russia did not consist of just peasants and the tsar. There were also the nobles and the townsmen, amongst them both merchants and the meshchane. The latter can be described as the petty bourgeoisie. They also were understood to be the quintessential champions of consumerist appetites. It goes without saying that consumerism in its early form also arrived in Russian cities in the 19th century.

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