People over 35 believe that life was better in the USSR, compared to the post-breakup period, almost in every country: 71% against 23% in Armenia, 69% against 29% in Azerbaijan, 64% against 28% in Russia, 60% against 32% in Moldova, 61% against 27% in Kazakhstan, 60% against 23% in Ukraine, 60% against 30% in Kyrgyzstan, 53% against 28% in Belarus, and 51% against 46% in Georgia. In Yiddish (as well as other Germanic languages, I presume), blat means a sheet of paper, and often, a list. In 1959, a new system was introduced uniting day nurseries and kindergartens. For anyone interested in more, there was an entire subculture based around these blue collar jobs. My research is devoted to the life of ordinary people and doesn’t concern politics. Compared to other empires throughout history, the USSR was an exception. Many people traditionally associate life in the USSR with repressions and troubled years of World War II. Cookies help us deliver our Services. Thus, someone in Russian would say "получил по блату" (poluchil po blatu), which means "got it from/due to blat", with the implied meaning of "got it due to being on someone's good list". Cambridge University Press. Secondly, and I will admit I'm very ignorant on the particulars of a communist economy, but how extensive were the financial and insurance industries? The drop in female life expectancy was less severe from 74.5 to 72.8 years. Everyone - no matter who or where they were - knew that Stalin was the leader. Often this meant individuals would need Blat (sway or influence) to navigate this system. The declared purpose was to give an opportunity to young people, especially to those with unprivileged background, from Latin America, Asia, and Africa to get a proper education. However, only one million people were literate by 1926. Wouldn't a socialist country have a social security net built-in? Why did a socialist country need an insurance industry, anyway? More attention was paid to each individual pupil and benefits for teachers were introduced (in Russian). Daily Life in the Soviet Union. Life in the USSR was bad. When the Bolshevik revolution came about the level of literacy in the Empire was strikingly low. They could hardly fail to It is hard to recall a Soviet school without mentioning pioneers, the Soviet version of boy scouts. The book itself is available here http://publ.lib.ru/ARCHIVES/N/''Narodnoe_hozyaystvo_SSSR''/_''Narodnoe_hozyaystvo_SSSR''.html. In large cities, a customer in a food store could buy canned cod liver and smoked sausage, and that would be possible on a good day. Often this meant individuals would need Blat (sway or influence) to navigate this system. Although their activities had some ideological flavor, in essence they were mainly involved in volunteers’ stuff – collecting used paper, recycling metal, helping the elderly. Life in the the Soviet Union during the Cold War was very different from life in the US. The founder of the Soviet state Vladimir Lenin called day nurseries and kindergartens “the sprouts of Communism.” According to him, these facilities “could actually liberate a woman, in reality diminish and eliminate her inequality to a man through enhancing her role in social production and social life.”. (1977). Food stores in … Minimum wage The […] You can look up more data and information about other fields in this Czech Statistical Office document, English notes included. A bit off-topic, but I find it ironic that a Communist country's currency would be named "crowns". These are numbers for 1985 that could be considered the last year of true USSR. If doctors were paid as much as janitors, it would seem that very few would choose to go through the hell that is medical school. The followers of this culture were called Mit'ki (Edit: now that I'm at my computer, Митьки is the cyrillic word). • Although Russia is largely an urban society, 3 out of every 4 people grow some of their own food in order to be able to survive. In 1960, Soviet authorities founded the Peoples’ Friendship University. McAuley, A. The average monthly salary was 3095 CSK, doctors (other than dentists) earned 5062 CSK, directorial or leadership positions in finance or insurance 6718 CSK, nurses 2955 CSK, miners 7199 CSK, window cleaners 2693 CSK, chemists 4220 CSK, seamstresses 2673 CSK, livestock (other than poultry) breeders 3722 CSK, statisticians 3030 CSK. In the communist party, he was the General Secretary of Central Committee. 3 I could elaborate on inequality in late USSR but alas anecdotes are forbidden. When Soviet Union collapsed, life as we knew it ended and stability was gone. (TREML) The introduction of "complete" (10 year) and universal secondary education in the Soviet Union during the 1970s is an admirabl e achievement. I assumed that the state ownership of most (all?) The state took care of children from the age of two months to seven years, at which point they started school. In the very end of 20thcentury only 21 percent of the country’s population was literate. The USSR had the highest physician-patient ratio in the world, triple the UK rate, but many medical school graduates could not perform basic tasks like reading an electrocardiogram. Thirty years later, this number jumped up to 12 million children. I went ahead and translated per industry average wages table. How different were those jobs from their Western counterparts, both on an individual and larger scale? However, the real breakthrough happened in 1930 when universal primary education was introduced in the USSR. The CIA drew no conclusions about the nutritional makeup of the Soviet and American diets but commonly accepted U.S. health views suggest the Soviet diet may be slightly better. The Great Patriotic War badly affected the whole of educational infrastructure. The first decades of the USSR’s existence was a time of huge experiments in education. It was only in 1934 when history was “rehabilitated” and returned to schools. It's true: the worst part of the USSR isn't what you think. Although these are just average monthly salaries for whole sections of economy, you can see that they differ fairly considerably. While this wage system might appear to stifle professional classes, and to an extent it did, the crucial thing to realize is that wages in the Soviet Union did not operate like those within capitalist countries. Hopefully you won't mind some data from socialist Czechoslovakia. With the stability a lot of benefits of the socialistic country vanished as well. For example, how many CSK would be needed to feed an average family for a day? If you had money was there a lot for the average citizen to actually purchase (I'm used to hearing tales of rampant shortages and severe rations)? In 1960, Soviet authorities founded the Peoples’ Friendship University. This website uses cookies. The absence of ethnic conflicts (46 percent) as well as economic growth and lack of unemployment (43 percent) were the second and third-most … The above boiler room example illustrates this, such a sinecure could be acquired through personal connections. The rulers of the Soviet Union viewed empire and imperialism in ideological terms as ‘the highest and final stage of capitalism’. major industries would make financial services mostly obsolete. Between 1991 and 2014, Russia lost several million people. Russia - Russia - The Khrushchev era (1953–64): After Stalin’s death in 1953, a power struggle for leadership ensued, which was won by Nikita Khrushchev. At the same time, by 1939 40 million illiterate people had learned how to read and write through Likbez’s, However, the real breakthrough happened in 1930 when universal primary, But as contemporaries recalled it was hard for existing schools to absorb newcomers after the decree on universal, The first decades of the USSR’s existence was a time of huge experiments in, The Great Patriotic War badly affected the whole of, It is hard to recall a Soviet school without mentioning pioneers, the Soviet version of boy scouts. 15% of the population lived in areas with pollution 10x normal levels. And although explicit apologists for the Soviet Union are no longer a significant intellectual force in Britain (except those who advise the Labour leadership), my generation is largely unaware of what life was like in the USSR. In the United States, people have heard of the bad things about the Soviet Union. So in 1960, people in insurance and finances were making less than workers in construction? 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