Democratization in Russia under Gorbachev, 1985–91: The by Anne White

By Anne White

Self-help corporations and charities have been the main a number of, yet least-studied of strain teams to emerge in the course of perestroika . This e-book examines the social exclusion skilled prior to 1985 by way of non-working voters, experiences the pre-1985 disabled people's circulate and its quite a few unofficial, yet non-dissident firms, discusses why the Gorbachev management followed the non-Soviet idea of 'charity', analyses the failure of neighborhood specialists after 1985 to stave off pluralism and defeat the voluntary firms, and assesses how effectively the latter equipped the principles of a civil society.

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Additional info for Democratization in Russia under Gorbachev, 1985–91: The Birth of a Voluntary Sector

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36 The ardour with which the privilege issue was taken up under perestroika bears out Gorbachev's comments. Public resentment inevitably fed into scepticism about the ideological justifications for privilege employed by the party leadership. In a parallel process, declining public faith in the ideology in general meant that official explanations were less likely to be believed in the first place. The existence of privilege was not easy to combine with the egalitarian implications of 'communism'.

The societies were managed to a large extent by disabled people themselves but naturally subject to CPSU control. They provided employment, housing, educational and other facilities. The societies had a strong work ethic and tried to make members feel that they had a role to play in constructing socialism, although the very facilities provided tended to segregate blind and deaf people from the rest of society. 19 VOS and VOG were regarded with envy by people with other disabilities, who often agreed that employment was the key to status in society, and who also wished to be able to run their own affairs.

44 The metaphors used by disabled people and journalists - such as describing residential homes as 'almshouses' - reinforced the image of official 30 Democratization in Russia Under Gorbachev charity. Such perceptions help explain the relative ease with which the authorities accepted the concept of charity, under Gorbachev, as a partial solution to social problems. The most important practical legitimating factor of the Brezhnev regime was the social contract: the unstated agreement between rulers and ruled, especially Slav manual workers, that economic rights - in particular, full employment - would be guaranteed in exchange for the forfeit of political rights.

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