Question by : How did the Soviet life differ under Joseph Stalin than under Nikita S. Khrushchev?
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Answer by moravianhawk
Khrushchev wanted to move Soviet society from state of permanent fear and paranoia into more normalcy with better emphasis on quality of the life. This created better consensus between masses and party. People experienced significant rise of the living standard, and overall improvement of the life. Healthcare, science, education was source of pride for all Soviets and in that time, USSR indeed was a first nation to put man in the space, used nuclear reactors for electricity, or universal access to hospital care. People did not need to worry to be arrested without reason, and as long you were careful what you have said, you did not need to worry to be killed or shipped into gulag. Stalin created a society of permanent fear and massive, selective extermination program of the enemies of the revolution. This policy combined with foreign invasion and destruction in WWII, created system in which very a few were happy. Even people close to Stalin were scared for their life. After Stalin’s death, the situation in USSR normalized, the Cult of Personality was denounced, and people started to believe that in their lifetime, they can experienced normal, productive, happy live as they were promised by communist ideology. However, it was clear that USSR would not be able to catch economically with the wealthier West, but at least, for majority of people from diverse background had steady income, food on their table, and some entertainment to enjoy. The USSR and entire eastern block achieved the best decade in the 1960’s, which can be often attributed to relaxed policies of Khrushchev. At the same time, culture, media, cinema, experienced one the most productive performance in the 20th century for the Russian culture. The inability of the communist party to capitalize on the sacrifices of the masses, its amnesia, inability to learn from mistakes, and following doctrines fit for the 19th century, eventually caused significant imbalances in USSR, which became evident decade later.
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