chapter  6
8 Pages

Policy Toward Key Social Groups Workers and Creative Intelligentsia

WithVladimir Shlapentokh

From the beginning of Soviet rule, the leaders elaborated a sophisticated social policy toward the major groups of the population, combining propagandists dogmas with pragmatic decision making. Besides the nomenklatura, the two most important groups of the population were the workers and the creative intelligentsia. Supporting the workers served the long-term interests of the Bolsheviks as well. The political elite feared the workers more than any other group in society. Early in its history, the regime introduced affirmative action policies for workers and later for peasants. The leadership saw the promotion and advancement of the creative intelligentsia as a very important policy for the regime. More importantly, the leaders valued social mobility as a form of political stabilization. However, in the 1970s, when social mobility declined in the USSR, dissatisfaction with life was highest among the young and well-educated.