From Brezhnev to Gorbachev
The Brezhnev approach was marked by a limited and pragmatic view of social engineering, an end to revolutions from above, continued restraints on mass terror, a commitment to improved social welfare and a broadening of consultation with specialist groupings and the political elite. Brezhnev decisively rejected tempestuous mass mobilisations or the encouragement of mass initiatives from below. The period was a modest Soviet equivalent of the ‘Great Society’ programme of the 1960s in the United States. The utopian vision of communism was pushed into the distant future and domesticated to suit the regime’s mediocre tastes.