Is the restoration of the Soviet Union possible?

In early December 2021, US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nuland said the US was concerned about Russia's push to re-create the Soviet Union. On January 9, 2021, US Secretary of State Blinken confirmed in an interview with CNN: Americans believe that one of President Putin's goals is to restore the USSR.

It is no secret that the vast majority of ordinary people living today in the former Soviet republics treat the USSR with warmth and if they do not want the restoration of the Union, then they would not mind returning to the Soviet past, forgetting about mortgages, loans, rising prices, national strife, terrorism and unemployment. However, President Putin himself clearly stated in the summer of 2021:

Rebuilding the Soviet Union is pointless

The logic of the Americans is clear. Russia is playing an increasingly significant role in the world policy and, in order to justify the moral right to restrain the development of a competitor, they accuse the Kremlin of recreating an "evil empire", for in the West the USSR is synonymous with totalitarianism and a threat to the "free world." Plus, there is no more effective horror story for the Western man in the street than the alliance of red China and red Russia. Indeed, if one fantasizes about the appearance of a duet between the USSR and the PRC now, then the Western world order would come to an end. The total resources that the USSR and the PRC would possess significantly exceed the potential of the battered United States and its allies.

The logic of the former Soviet people is also understandable: social relations in the USSR were more humane, life was calmer, more stable, and for the majority of today's pensioners, unemployed and workers, it was even more prosperous. This is how the Union was ruined in due time with the slogan “We will live better”, so today they want to restore it with the slogan “We used to live better”. Not all of them, of course, have been torn apart, and not all of them want to restore them. We have a couple of million rich people in our country, hundreds of thousands of liberal-minded intellectuals and millions of ordinary people who are simply indifferent to the fate of the Motherland. They are either categorically against, or they do not care. However, in general, we can say that the peoples of the former USSR, with rare exceptions, are not averse to returning to their former Soviet life.

Where does the desire to return the USSR come from?

The desire of our people to restore the USSR is based not at all on ideological principles and not on the understanding of the socio-historical experience of socialism and capitalism. We want to return the USSR, because we are dissatisfied with the government. And we are dissatisfied with the government because we believe the state is obliged to provide an acceptable standard of living. It is regrettable to admit, but in this case the liberals are partly right when they argue that pro-Soviet citizens "just want a freebie."

The fact is that the relationship between society, the state and the individual in the USSR underwent a certain evolution. The USSR emerged as a result of a revolution that set itself the goal of a grandiose social construction of a whole new world without exploitation, oppression and wars. The basic value of this social construction was the socialization of the country. Property, nature, power were declared popular, the people became the masters of the whole country. It is clear that all this is a very conditional concept, because the concept of "people" can be interpreted this way and that, but the point was that everything in the country was subordinated to a single goal of the development of society, the happiness of the people - as it was understood by the revolutionaries who took power. Moreover, at first, only workers, peasants and working intelligentsia were referred to the people, that is, mainly those who were engaged in productive labor. They were called the masters of everything: production, infrastructure, cities, the whole country. Hence the requirements for the individual - they say, since you are the master of everything, you must be conscientious, thrifty, hardworking, you cannot freely leave the country or not work, and so on. And it was not just propaganda, it was part of a new public consciousness that was shared by millions. Hence such phenomena of the past that are alien to us today, such as public censure, comradely courts, hatred and a thirst for reprisals against enemies, speculators, corrupt officials, saboteurs, and even idlers.

However, gradually this rather fragile policy of maintaining the moral and political unity of the people began to falter. People have ceased to live in tension, to feel themselves the masters of the country, to see a struggle in everything. It is enough to watch films, read books of the Stalinist and post-Stalinist eras. In one case, the struggle for the transformation of the country is shown as the central link in life, and in the other - personal, small-scale, psychological issues against the background of some problems of the country. People began to perceive the society in which they live, simply as a habitat. Many have slipped into the logic of giving less to society, and taking more from it: "take even a nail from the factory - you are the owner here, not the guest."

All this, of course, played an important role in the collapse of the USSR, because the liberals convinced our people that they needed an owner, an owner, he himself, they say, is not capable of managing.

Many were unable to rebuild from socialism to capitalism and still perceive the state as the personification of the very host people from whom they want to take more. And our, modern, state is an institution of civil society, it only regulates relations between various subjects. Our property has long been private, literally everything has owners. Even state property has nothing to do with the people. Our citizens are also owners, they have apartments, cars, summer cottages, they can freely take out a loan and do business. We live in a different social system, that's the point.

And our people continue to blame the state and officials for everything. Private producers, private carriers, private retail chains have raised prices - the mayor, the governor, the president are to blame. Private energy companies, private water companies, private management companies have raised tariffs - the state is to blame. It is partly, of course, to blame, because it “regulates” and “approves”, but what should the state do if production is in private hands? Even state-owned companies buy raw materials Technology, products from a private trader, and, as a rule, on the world market. State-owned companies are run by managers from the private sector, and the officials themselves are closely linked to business.

Therefore, officials and deputies periodically appear who sincerely do not understand what the people want from them. Here is the labor market, here is the capital market (loans) - earn, and the state will regulate this activity, pass laws and dictate rules ... They lament why some citizens constantly demand money and support from the state.

Therefore, the desire to return the USSR, or rather, the desire to return life, as in the USSR, is largely dictated by this social inertia, echoes of the old perception of the socialist system.

Different approaches to the essence of the USSR

The question of a return to the USSR also has the problem of establishing the actual subject of this return. What is the USSR in the understanding of those who speak of a return to it?

Americans today under the USSR understand Russian statehood, roughly speaking, "historical Russia", which, under the sauce of communism, subjugated half of Europe. For them, the return to the USSR means the transfer, first of all, of the CIS countries under the control of the Russian Federation.

Oddly enough, V.V. Therefore, Putin believes that modern Russia should not try to revive the USSR, since it will have to take on the problems of neighboring countries.

However, if we talk about a return to the USSR, it is necessary to remember the moment of its formation. If you read the Declaration on the formation of the USSR, then it says the following.

The years of war have left their mark. Ruined fields, stopped factories, destroyed productive forces and depleted economic resources inherited from the war make the individual efforts of individual republics inadequate for economic development insufficient. The restoration of the national economy turned out to be impossible given the separate existence of the republics.

On the other hand, the instability of the international situation and the danger of new attacks make the creation of a united front of the Soviet republics inevitable in the face of capitalist encirclement.

Finally, the very structure of Soviet power, international in its class nature, pushes the working masses of the Soviet republics onto the path of unification into one socialist family.

All these circumstances imperatively demand the unification of the Soviet republics into one union state, capable of ensuring external security, and internal economic success, and freedom of the national development of peoples.

... the new union state will be a worthy crown to the foundations of peaceful cohabitation and fraternal cooperation of peoples laid back in October 1917, that it will serve as a loyal bulwark against world capitalism and a new decisive step towards uniting the working people of all countries into the World Socialist Soviet Republic.

Thus, according to the plan of the founders, the USSR was a step towards a world socialist state. This is something completely different from what is commonly said today.

Some will say: no matter how the USSR was created, we want to return the USSR in which our parents lived or lived. The late USSR was definitely not drawn to a decisive step towards a world socialist state; on the contrary, with each year of its existence, it looked more and more like an ordinary multinational country. But here the problem is that the late Khrushchev-Brezhnev USSR was the result of the development or decay (it depends on who has what political preferences) the early Lenin-Stalinist USSR, its bulk stood on the heroics of shock five-year plans, feats of arms with the name of Stalin on their lips, tough collectivization, forced industrialization, the fight against the enemies of the people, and so on. In other words, it is impossible to create the late USSR at once, bypassing the stages of the revolutionary breakdown of society and the leap forward in mobilization. This is just a political fantasy.

The essence of the USSR was that it was a country with a different social system, which naturally arose after the October Revolution, but was then destroyed, and not without the participation of millions of Soviet people.

You can, of course, try to unite the former Soviet republics on the basis of a market economics and capitalism, to call this unification "USSR", but this will not be a return to Soviet life. And market countries, as a rule, do not voluntarily unite, because each country has its own business and bureaucratic elites with their own private interests. Under capitalism, an economically strong country usually swallows a weak one, but this does not require revising borders and establishing new states.

Therefore, talk about the restoration of the USSR in our people is rather sentimental nostalgia than a political program.
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  1. Valentine Offline Valentine
    Valentine (Valentin) 12 January 2022 17: 16
    First you need to transfer all our bourgeoisie, and only then you can restore the best from the former USSR, but only according to your mind, so as not to wait for the next knife in the back.
  2. Mikhail L. Offline Mikhail L.
    Mikhail L. 12 January 2022 17: 26
    The restoration of the Russian state within its old borders, with the restoration of the socialist Soviet Union, should not be confused!
    "These are two big differences!"
  3. steelmaker Offline steelmaker
    steelmaker 12 January 2022 17: 30
    No impossible!!! Only the Russian Empire !!!
  4. Captain stoner Offline Captain stoner
    Captain stoner (Captain Stoner) 12 January 2022 22: 34
    The USSR was created 100 years ago with "iron and blood". And for the first 30 years of its existence, that blood and iron was simply an unimaginable amount. For what? To fall apart so shamefully at the turn of the 80-90s?
    That social experiment ended in failure, the necessary and sufficient conditions for its repetition are completely absent, therefore, all discussions on this topic are idle chatter and a waste of time.
    1. Rusa Offline Rusa
      Rusa 17 January 2022 15: 37
      That social experiment ended in failure...

      There are no guarantees that the experiments of liberal reformers and the oligarchization of the Russian economy will end successfully. Therefore, the "necessary and sufficient conditions" have not gone away despite the flagrant social injustice in the existing system.
      1. Xuli (o) Tebenado 17 January 2022 20: 27
        Therefore, the "necessary and sufficient conditions" have not gone away.

        It's okay to talk.
    2. zenion Offline zenion
      zenion (zinovy) 21 January 2022 17: 52
      So, in your opinion, Russia can only be a feudal country? After all, capitalism failed.
  5. Jacques sekavar Offline Jacques sekavar
    Jacques sekavar (Jacques Sekavar) 12 January 2022 23: 47
    The restoration of the Union of Soviet Socialist (!!!) Republics is IMPOSSIBLE due to a different social system.
    The plans of big capital of the Russian Federation to integrate into the world capitalist economy through entry into the WTO did not come true.
    Western partners diligently block not only all possible directions, but make attempts to absorb or subordinate it to their interests.
    In such conditions, the big capital of the Russian Federation is trying to turn its expansion into post-Soviet state formations that have not been colonized by Western partners and for which it is still possible to compete.
    The re-creation of some kind of political and economic territorial analogue of the USSR on the basis of industrial relations is possible, and the ruling class of the Russian Federation is promoting this idea in the form of a union state formation of the Russian Federation-Belarus, the CIS, the EAEU, etc., including the SCO. This limits the political and economic influence of the US-EU, allows you to control raw materials, expand the sales market and increase incomes, become a serious competitive regional leader on the world stage, but for this you need to convince the ruling classes of the post-Soviet state formations of personal benefit from a possible unification.
  6. Siegfried Offline Siegfried
    Siegfried (Gennady) 13 January 2022 02: 05
    there is a feeling that under the conditions of external pressure on Russia, the country is developing more successfully. Perhaps the key to Russia's revival is development under conditions of danger and pressure. When everything is smooth, oil sprays like a fountain, gas rushes through the pipes and there are zero threats and pressure - the country plunges into the lithargy of doing nothing "until the thunder breaks out." This is our purely national feature. And the harder we get in the teeth, the more eagerly we prepare for the next round. The sanctions have fully confirmed this. External threats and pressure are the driver of Russian development and consolidation.
    1. Captain stoner Offline Captain stoner
      Captain stoner (Captain Stoner) 13 January 2022 09: 20
      When everything is smooth, oil squirts like a fountain, gas rushes through the pipes and there are zero threats and pressure - the country is immersed in the lithargy of doing nothing "until the thunder strikes." This is our purely national feature. And the stronger we get in the teeth, the more eagerly we prepare for the next round.

      1) How did Peter I the Great raise Muscovy? - Shaving beards, smoking tobacco and his oak stick (on the faces of the boyars).
      2) The rise of Russia in the second half of the 18th century, when the “daughter of Petrov” reigned first, and then the German empress, what was the reason? - smart people in power.
      3) The belated abolition of serfdom and the reforms that followed it, what caused it? - Defeat in the Crimean War, that is, the West (Britain) + East (Turkey), the Russian bear was beaten with sticks.
      4) What caused the rise of Russia at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries? - More or less tolerable kings, who selected sensible ministers.

      Here are all the "drivers" - the oak stick of God's anointed one;
      calm rulers who selected smart managers;
      sticks of enemies that hit in the face.

      If we take the USSR, then all three of the "drivers" I mentioned in various combinations were also present there.
  7. Alexey Davydov (Alexey) 17 January 2022 12: 14
    Russia has long needed a geopolitical goal. Such a goal could be the revival of the world socialist system in alliance with China.
    It's up to the small thing - to put this goal in the Constitution, and build socially-oriented capitalism for the time being.
    It is foolish to revive the entire system of socio-economic relations of the USSR during the period of stagnation. It was a period of serious illness, the decay of the foundations of the country, and the top of the CPSU. Although connected with our wonderful "childhood".
    1. Vladimir501 Offline Vladimir501
      Vladimir501 (Vladimir) 21 January 2022 15: 52
      And who told you that in China there is socialism, exactly the socialism that you mean? And what do you even know about socialism?
      1. Alexey Davydov (Alexey) 21 January 2022 17: 21
        And how do you know - what kind of socialism I mean?
        Why do you think that someone told me something about Chinese socialism?
        Why do you think that this someone you have in mind could not say what I really think about socialism? A?
        And most importantly - if socialism is only a goal for both countries, what difference does it make - from which side does each country go towards it?
  8. zenion Offline zenion
    zenion (zinovy) 21 January 2022 17: 49
    Those who are now rowing in the galley, the restoration of socialism is impossible. They did not destroy the USSR in order to make it a monolithic country where everyone works and gets what they earn. Who then to rob, and where to put the money? It turns out, as if they were themselves, and this is by no means suitable for galley owners. They dislike the oppressed so much that they keep money away and have created several walls between the people and themselves. History goes in turns, and has the ability to turn everything upside down and drown the galley.