The pro-Soviet nostalgic or “homo sovieticus” absorbed in their DNA particular forms of social manifestation from which they couldn’t detach themselves when the Soviet Union fell apart and they obtained freedom, expert Igor Boțan stated in a public debate hosted by IPN.
The permanent expert of IPN’s project said that being free means being able to solve the problems. The nostalgic are persons who reached a particular age and who often complain that they earlier had where to go to have their problems solved. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the people obtained freedom, but didn’t have the necessary aptitudes to use this freedom. Knowledge was needed to start a business, for example, of the mechanisms for defending the business,” noted Igor Boțan.
The Communist Party at the start of the 2000s won the elections overwhelmingly because the people were promised a future similar to the so-called Soviet comfort.
“If I refer to nostalgia, I should note the pride of the chairman of the Party of Communists Vladimir Voronin, who insisted that the Republic of Moldova is the only country in the world in which the Communists returned to power by free and fair elections, without coups and revolutions, and that he was able for three times to win the elections with an absolute majority of votes. But after the young people’s rebellion of April 7, 2009, this triumphal match of the pro-Soviet nostalgic was interrupted,” stated Igor Boțan.
The expert said the Soviet Union didn’t have a competitive economy and this can be explained by a series of factors. The manufacture of galoshes was the largest production in the Soviet Union, but this product was popular only in Africa, where the natives used galoshes to run on hot sand. “This succinct response emphasis very important facts about the reasons why the USSR dissolved,” said Igor Boțan.
He noted that the adoption by the Soviet Union of the famous food program in 1980 revealed that even if the empire claimed to have been influencing the faith of the world, it actually experienced big problems in the supply of food.
“The Soviet Union claimed to have been spreading a particular set of value. For the purpose, in order to form allies, it had to direct a large part of the country’s revenues to all kinds of communist parties and regimes that allegedly shared socialist values. The maintaining of an army of 5 million people, of institutions for repressing civic freedoms was the second important factor as these things didn’t produce value added. There was also the dissident movement that exposed all the sins of this system and very important things related to civic freedoms.”
Igor Boțan also said that labor productivity in the Soviet Union was very low, several times lower that in the capitalist states, and there was no competition. The Soviet system made so that the stratification of society was less evident, but everyone realized that those who struggled for the destruction of classes actually created a new class, of nomenclature, which was the dominant class.
“The people realized that the Soviet power didn’t exist as there was the Communist Party that was placed between God and society and was the one that adopted decisions, while the Soviets didn’t exist as the people on these were chosen without elections.”
Asked about the legality and legitimacy of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Igor Boțan said this process was supported by the citizens. Referendums were held in most of the former Soviet republics. In Ukraine, over 90% of the people voted for independence. This shows that the people wanted the Soviet Union to disappear.
The public debate entitled “Why and how did the USSR disappear? Why does it cause nostalgia yet?” was the eleventh installment of IPN’s project “100 years of USSR and 31 years without USSR: Nostalgia for Chimeras”, which is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.