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Parasitic and shadow elements in the period of Khrushchev Thaw

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2022. Vol. 11. No. 4. Pp. 306-314.
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Khaziev R. A.
Bashkir State University
32 Zaki Validi Street, 450076 Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia


The author of the article analyzes the underground activities of participants of the “second economy” in the Urals of the period of N. S. Khrushchev. The author is concretizing that in the post-Stalin period the shortage of goods and services was still a characteristic feature of the daily life of the country’s population, is revealing the emergence of a new social phenomenon in the years of Khrushchev’s reforms in the form of an unspoken public acceptance of private economic initiative, which manifested itself in the underground self-organization of “shadow” outside state control. Some of the democratization of the “Khrushchev thaw” became the starting point for the clash between Soviet institutions and “parasitic” elements, who wished to live “better and richer”. It is shown that the worldview and institutional settings of the Stalinist era of “belt tightening” gradually lost their relevance among the masses. They became unspoken adherents of socialist consumerism. Khrushchev’s reformist breakthrough alleviated but did not solve the economic difficulties of the Soviet system, which stoically realized its claims to absolute political, economic and ideological dominance over the country’s citizens. The Soviet state, by all available administrative and legal means, by intensifying social activities to “strengthen political ties with the people”, by promptly using a huge propaganda media empire tried not only to neutralize but also to discredit in the mass consciousness “speculators of all stripes”, identifying them as the “pariahs” of the socialist states.


  • • Khrushchev thaw
  • • shadow economy
  • • deficit
  • • cronyism
  • • black market
  • • planned economy
  • • distribution
  • • speculation


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