Why do people miss the USSR and a lot even want it back?

Feb 2018
Hong Kong
I think the reason is because Communism was not succeeded by a balanced, well regulated model of Capitalism, but by the wild variety, with massive inequality, widespread poverty with no social state to soften the edges, and corruption. For many, this resulted in a life much worse than the one under Communism. They were poor and unfree then, but healthcare, education, employment, a roof over their head, all the basic material needs were guaranteed by the state, in contrast to what followed afterwards.

I've met several immigrants from ex-Communist countries, when I asked an elder Ukrainian lady to compare then and now, she told me that what she missed the most from Communism was the lack of stress; if someone refrained from stepping on the regime's toes, life was quiet and without much to lose sleep over.
Social orientation of USSR is definitely exaggerated. In fact is was often dummy. Yeap, you could get a flat from the state for free, waiting only 10-15 years, but only if your initial accommodation was really crazy. 19 sq m room for 3 persons was considered good enough, not needing any enlargement.Stability in poverty can not be a dream. And, of course, soviet people had a lot of stress every day. Any purchase - foods, books, shoes, train tickets (in summer), etc. was a real quest, needing a lot of efforts to get acceptable goods and acceptable lives.
Nov 2015
Many older people whose youth passed in the USSR want to return to that youth. I myself do not feel any nostalgia for the USSR, although I understand the life in it very well and even wrote a book about it. And the high popularity of the USSR in today's Russia (according to opinion polls), I think, is caused by the practice of bleaching the USSR in Russian propaganda. What I see on Russian television and in Russian films often looks that way.


Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
San Antonio, Tx
Firstly I prefer living in the USA. I feel safe its accurate to say that myself along with the vast majority of Americans dont think our country should try out the Soviet Unions political system.

To this day Soviet people are honored around the world for their great achievements to science, math, film, art, The Steel and Auto industries.
I’m unaware of great Soviet contributions to “auto industries”. Please elaborate. Waiting ten years for an underpowered “car” doesn’t seem like progress.

There is an irony at work here in the US: we tout “capitalism” as if it were an unalloyed and pure form that we practice in the US, but that is not the case at all. After the Great Depression, this form of American capitalism pretty much disappeared because the lesson of pure capitalism is that it will be a destroyer of competition after its initial phases. Businesses don’t really want competition, even though they may harbor the suspicion that competition makes most things better, not worse.

However, once a business gains the upper hand, it has the fairly normal tendency to want to crush and eliminate the competition, which, ironically enough, makes the situation much worse and not better. So measures were put in place to curb the tendency of business to eat its young and to preserve competition.

I knew the owner of a large privately held grocery store chain in my hometown - a pretty brilliant businessman. Over lunch one day I mentioned to him that I only shopped at his stores and wouldn’t mind if the rest of them just went away. He said, “Don’t say that, please. We want to be the biggest player in the field, but we don’t want to crush the competition. That would make us look bad.” In other words, he needed his competition in order to not be accused of troying to monopolize the marketplace.

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and all sorts of programs to cushion the eventual “below” of unalloyed Capitalism are among the measures we have taken to maintain competition in the marketplace. In some industries, businesses must ask the government if they can make a takeover bid in an industry, for example. I’m sure that businesses chafe at the government’s role in preventing them from crushing the competition but that is exactly its purpose. Eliminate the competition and without that to act as a check on a business, quality will inevitably go down because there is less competition. In a large economy such as ours, competition tends to make things better (but not always).

I remember all too well how Americans used to be charged an arm and a leg by legal monopolies such as Bell Telephone was in many areas of the country. When this industry was finally de-regulated with other phone companies allowed into the marketplace, the price of phone service suddenly dropped into the basement. I understand why legal monopolies were permitted for a time but also understand why they eventually lost their usefulness.
Likes: andyferdinard
Feb 2018
Hong Kong
Sorry for all experts here. May I ask a question about it quality of life of Soviet Union?


The Stalinists or Stalin Fanboys at today Internet, keep claiming that according to exposed CIA files, in the CIA Statistics or analysis, Soviet Union have a higher calorie intake than the USA and all "Capitalists Dogs". Is that true? Urban Legend? Disinformation practice?
Nov 2015
The Soviet people in 1970-1980s did not go hungry. They got enough calories every day. True, in 99% of the stores in the Land of the Soviets there were no permanent sales of:

- meat (any - beef, pork, chicken, etc.)
- meat products (sausage, smoked meat, etc.)
- hard cheeses
- eggs, etc.

Those who have not seen it will be hard to imagine what 99% of the Soviet grocery stores looked like (there were no private stores in that country) - and what foods were selling in them.

In my recent book, I described the realities of life in that country. There is a picture of a large grocery store - they were called in that country - Supermarket (Супермаркет), which has just opened in Tyumen. A city in Syberia with half a million people and a history of 400 years, in which I lived 5 years in the early 1980s.

So I was not too lazy to count the number of items of goods that were sold in that large grocery store. And I counted 14 items of goods, including bread, salt, matches and flour. Most of all was selling birch sap - Березовый сок - long sections for chilled goods (the equipment, by the way, was labeled - Made in the USA) were packed with hundreds of 3-liter glass jars with this juice. In 9 out of 10 cities in that country grocery stores looked the same way. And when once or twice a month in one of the Tyumen shops a usual boiled sausage ("Докторская колбаса") was “thrown away for sale” - the queue behind it lined up in 200-300 people. But those who took the line late were in vain. The sausage quickly ended

What did 95 out of 100 Soviet people eat every day?

The main course was fried potatoes, porridge or makaroni. All of this was eaten with a piece of bread and washed down with tea or compote. Ususally no meat in the everyday dishes. Coffee was a scarce product. In the factory canteen, you could buy cutlets (of which cooks stole half of the meat, replacing them with bread) - and soup in meat broth of borsch.
The meat in the stores — any meat — was a big deficit. Somewhere in 1982 in Tyumen local people began getting coupons for meat . 1 kilogram of frozen beef per person per month. One third kilogram was bones. And residents of other cities were jealous of Tyumen citizens for that.
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Nov 2015
And what alcohol was sold in Tyumen in 1970-1980s? In the city there were several shops with the inscription - Wine. ВИНО.

But they usually sold only vodka in them, and only one variety - Moscow Special Vodka. Московская особая водка.

It was allowed to sell from 11 to 19 hours. And I have never seen a queue for vodka less than 30-40 people.
Sometimes besides vodka 1 sort of wine appeared on sale there.


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
The Brezhnev shops were quite something ,
in an Okean ( fish shop ) once I saw only empty boxes on the shelves put there for decoration ,
in the open top freezers in the middle ,there was a few squids not looking too fresh
if one wanted fish there was the market or the very popular activity of river fishing

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