Two Generations of Soviet Man: A Study in the Psychology of Communism

Two Generations of Soviet Man: A Study in the Psychology of Communism

Two Generations of Soviet Man: A Study in the Psychology of Communism

Two Generations of Soviet Man: A Study in the Psychology of Communism

Excerpt

Most books arise from a personal relationship between an author and a topic. Writers work under the spur of a motivation. If they were not personally involved in one or another point of their chosen subject, few of them would persevere in the labor of clarifying ideas and putting them into words. The principle of scientific objectivity, so dear to academic writers, is not incompatible with this relationship. It requires, however, that the author should strive to overcome his personal involvement and write as an unprejudiced observer. The historian, political scientist, psychologist, or sociologist endeavors to achieve this objective in his own way and must be judged by the degree of impartiality he has shown.

The present book attempts to interpret a psychological aspect of Communism, a subject that all too often evokes the free outburst of human emotions. It is therefore only fair that the author should state what the extent of his personal involvement is and what efforts he made to overcome subjective judgment. This statement is needed not as a personal clarification but rather as a summary of the problems that will be investigated here.

My first relationship to this topic was nothing else but the idle curiosity of my youth. I grew up in Hungary in the 1930's, the decade of the depression, under a government far removed from the ideals of democracy and social justice. Communism was an illegal movement, and anybody arrested as a Communist was sent to the military prison and even to the gallows. Yet, there were some illegal party members and even more sympathizers. They hid their . . .

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