The publicist and writer Maria Shapovalova writes about why the changes that many dreamed of in Soviet times did not take place in our country and in the foreseeable future will not take place:
“Such large-scale events as the collapse of the USSR have many reasons. (From my point of view, it is more interesting to analyze the reasons for the almost 70-year stability of the Soviet regime: how and thanks to what it was able to exist for so long in general.) But the fact is that there was no popular resistance to the collapse of the Union and the completion of the "socialist project"".
Despite the perestroika attempts by the authorities to reform Soviet socialism before giving it a "human face", the population's belief in the possibility of a better future under the previous system has fizzled out. The conditional West served as a model for the desired reorganization, about which the citizens of the USSR knew that there was more freedom and material wealth. They wanted both. They did not even doubt that freedom with material wealth exists only in combination.
Let's fix this moment, because now we are not talking about the consequences of the changes that have taken place, but only about why the changes have taken place.
Why did no one oppose them? Why was no one afraid to lose their usual order and way of life? Can it be argued that the citizens of the USSR had absolutely nothing to lose but chains, and therefore they easily threw them away?
Let's be honest that the poor late Soviet stability did not threaten anyone with starvation. At the same time, there was a system of any social guarantees in it, communal services worked, etc. It can be assumed that the "learned-helpless" and politically naive average Soviet person did not realize that the zeroing of the state nullifies all its obligations towards citizens. But it is important that the average person was not afraid of losing all this together with the Soviet state.
This mass sentiment is unusual because, normally, economic decline is more likely to force the middle majority to maintain what it is and hold on to fading "elements of stability." The uncertainty about the consequences of any changes, the average majority scares: "it would not get worse!" There is, however, at least one reason why these fears did not prevail in late Soviet society.
In the mass consciousness at that time there was just no frightening uncertainty of the post-Soviet future: the model of capitalist life seemed to stand in full view before our eyes!
Since the time of the Thaw, the eyes of the Soviet people were turned to the West: there was no "state horror" of the KGB, the leading role of the party and the need to conform to the moral character of the builder of communism. But there were high-quality things, the best music, "a hundred varieties of sausage", chewing gum, Coca-Cola, jeans, the sexual revolution and much more that in the USSR you can't buy or get it for any money. Separately, the concept of "freedom" in this coveted list might not have been - it was implied in everything that the Soviet person was deprived of.
This presence of a role model outside the "Iron Curtain" destroyed the fear of loss of stability in the Soviet masses.
Would someone ask then: “What do you want, like in France (England, USA...)? - ten out of ten would have shouted - "Yes, we want!!!" And there would be no shadow of doubt on their faces.
I will not disclose here the content of self-deception. I will not tell you why, what and how the "West" was naively idealized by the Soviet inhabitants. I will only allow myself to hint that the attitude of freedom to the list of "Western goods" has not been comprehended by the post-Soviet peoples until now. At the same time, I will add that it has become even more difficult to comprehend it today. And it is hardly even possible at this stage of world madness.
From the above, the main conclusion is that changes like the collapse of the Soviet project with the collapse of the socialist system are impossible in the near historical perspective. Because the majority in any of the states and communities do not have a reference point to overcome the fear of change.
There is no such reference point not only in reality, not only in the idealized idea of reality - it does not even exist as a fantasy. There is nothing like an image of a better future. There is only one in which a person is a source of a dangerous infection to another person, and an attempt at rapprochement is equivalent to an attempted murder.
For now, all that remains is to dream of a vaccine against covid, which would allow in a year or two, or at least five years later, to get out of captivity and take off the veil. Dream without sticking out and getting used to prohibitions and restrictions for the sake of survival. Preserving, as much as possible, at least what is.
"Do you want it like in France (Germany, USA, Canada, Italy ...)?" - No! We want it like a year ago !!!..."