Soviet Man and His World

Soviet Man and His World

Soviet Man and His World

Soviet Man and His World

Excerpt

Production Figures for coal, steel, and atomic power in the Soviet Union, the contribution of collectivized agriculture to the Soviet economy, the number of planes in the Soviet Air Force-- such data are secondary to the central problems: will all these activities be controlled in the future by Bolsheviks, or will people like ourselves be in charge?

At the moment, Russian policy, for the most part, is in the hands of men who played a role in the Revolution and have been confirmed Bolsheviks for many years. But the day will come when the sons and grandsons of the Revolution will no longer hold the reins; control will then pass to their descendants. What sort of men will these be?

Will our children have to deal with Stalins and Khrushchevs-- with the fanatical upholders of a revolution that threatens the rest of the world with a vast, ant-like community of robots? Have the people of the Soviet Union been transformed by Communist upbringing and conditioning? Or will their way of life and their aims begin to bear resemblance to our own as the Revolution of 1917 recedes further and further into the past? Finally, will human factors prevail over politics? In brief, is Soviet man more 'Soviet' or more 'man'?

Some say there is no such thing as 'Soviet man', that the people of the Soviet Union are simply Russians, and that Bolshevism is merely the logical evolution of the Russian character. At the other extreme are the Soviet leaders and ideologists who contend that 'Soviet man' exists and is a type of man the world has never seen before.

The traditional Russian of the nineteenth century is familiar to all of us through Russian literature. This book now attempts to establish which of the old Russian traits have disappeared during the last four decades, what new features have emerged, and what the result of this dual process is.

Since 1929, in the course of thirteen visits spread over thirty years, I have spent a total of about six years in the U.S.S.R., travelling all over the country. As a German born and bred in . . .

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