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имени первого Президента России Б.Н.Ельцина

The Early Soviet Society as a Social Project: Ideas, Mechanisms of Implementation, Results of Construction

Supported by Russian Science Foundation, grant No 16-18-10106

About project
The early Soviet history (1918-1930s) is a unique experience of social engineering aimed at building a new society. The construction of reality (a concept designed by the contemporary sociologists Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann) is a modelling of the world, based on ideal conceptions of how it should be. When applied to Soviet Russia these ideas were formulated in the program documents of the RSDLP (b), in the works of Marx, Lenin, Stalin and other communist theorists. Historically, the project of social construction covered more than 20 years. The subjects of the social construction were the power and party ideologists, the object was the Russian society; as mechanisms was used the whole range of power tools, including legislation, taxes, censor-ship, the system of security services to ensure the safety authority. A special role in the social construction was assigned to education, science, art that influenced the consciousness and the worldview. Propaganda and agitation were the main instruments of social construction, subjugating all major news channels – newspapers, radio, and cinema. A social project under consideration has gone through several stages, which differ in their implementation mechanisms: the radical model (military communism); liberal model (economic stratification), and a totalitarian model, in which was implemented Stalin's plan of build socialism with reliance on violence. The construction of a new society in its principal parts completed by the end of the 1930s. The leading force of the Communist Party and party organs, as well as a system of nomenclature that penetrated and controlled all the society was fixed. The formal completion of the temporary borders of the Soviet project was the adoption of the 1936 Constitution, which enshrined a new political, social and economic structure of the society. The results of a social construction: - in the economic sphere: the creation of a new routine administrative command economy model; - in politics: the emergence of the Soviet form of government under the strict control of the Communist Party; - in social sphere: the formation of a simplified trinomial structure of the society, which included two classes, workers and collective farmers, as well as socially diverse group of employees, which was denoted by the term "layer"; - in culture: the creation of a special type of Soviet culture - a controlled, deterministic ideologi-cally subordinate to the interests of power. The result of the social construction was markedly different from the original plans and ideas that allows to put the thesis about the existence of objective social limits of construction for different objects (economic, social, cultural, etc.), as well as to draw conclusions on the required conditions and prerequisites for effective social construction. Thus, the main objective of this project is an attempt to consider the processes of "building socialism" in the 1918-1936 through the prism of the ideas of social engineering as an experience of the construction of an "ideal" society. In the course of the research project is scheduled to weigh the ideas underlying the communist design and its results; clarify the natural limits of social engineering; identify the relationship and interaction of the objectives and mechanisms of the social con-struction and their mutual transformation.

The project was running from 2016 to 2018 and is now completed.