The justifications of Soviet inequality on the part of the sympathetic intellectuals followed the official Soviet line, which amounted to the Soviet version of true meritocracy. Among the main appeals of Soviet society the sense of purpose and the invigorating social values seem almost equal in importance to social justice and egalitarianism. The Western intellectuals' perception of the Soviet prisons and their judgment of the Soviet penal system is one of the most fascinating aspects of the pilgrimages. While in general the wholesome attitudes and sense of community prevailing among the Soviet people were linked both to the soundness of the Russian character and to the beneficial social transformations permeating the masses, sometimes more specific explanations were offered. Possibly such exhibit-institutions were in part created to satisfy the more idealistic aspirations of the Soviet leaders themselves, to prove that humane institutional innovation was after all taking place.