Virtual History Tour: What Was the USSR?
Caoimhín Mac Dhíomasaigh, Irish writer and historian will apply a historical critique of the former USSR that takes into account all the contradictions, internal and external forces that were at play throughout its history, and that in the end also brought about its demise.
What exactly was the former USSR? In the West it is still - and always has been - pilloried as being the prime example of the ‘evils of communism’, whereas in the Soviet Union itself, even Pravda writers and committed members of the Communist Party would have laughed at this idea and told you that the USSR was at best socialist or at worst state-capitalist, and that ‘communism’ was just an abstract end goal, still far off in the future.
But whether you loved or hated the USSR, it seems that nobody has yet tried to put together a coherent explanation of this peculiar 20th century phenomenon, beyond diatribes or eulogies from one ideological perspective or another. The totalitarian elements of the regime are of course obvious, as is its deficit in human rights and rigid adherence to ‘Marxist-Leninist’ politics.
Yet also is the fact that millions upon millions of Soviet citizens, despite the daily diet of lies, shortcomings and failures, gave the USSR their willing (if begrudging or despondent) consent, and in some way thought it really was better for them than the other options on offer.
So what was it behind all the fabrications of both East and West? Come along to the talk and find out!
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