Homo sovieticus: the European journey of the New Man Cover Image

Homo sovieticus: călătoria europeană a Omului Nou
Homo sovieticus: the European journey of the New Man

Author(s): Rada Cristina Irimie
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Editura Institutul European
Keywords: Homo Sovieticus; communism; individual values; social behaviour; capitalism

Summary/Abstract: The legacy of communism did not encounter only major political transformations, but also considerable individual alternations. The present article examines some of the traits of the Soviet man that we think are important. The concept of Homo Sovieticus, the 'new' human type produced by the communist system, represents a critical reference to the average citizen of the Soviet Union. The idea seems to be that years of living in a communist system has produced a personality different from that found in the capitalist countries of the West, while the lack of alternatives turned the universal practice into a mass behavioral structure. Though representing an Eastern political model that collapsed, the idea of the 'soviet man' has interestingly been found in many Central European countries that nowadays identify themselves differently and have a stronger association with the West. In the course of the article, we will revisit the Soviet man model, as well as characteristics connected to Homo Sovieticus, according to political, historical and academic literature. What is even more important is to examine Homo Sovieticus from an inter-cultural perspective. Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland offer examples that help us to understand this inter-cultural challenge. Many Central and European countries seem to lag behind the West because of the communist inheritance that includes features of the Soviet person we examine here. Based on the hypothesis that Homo Sovieticus has a powerful intellectual impact on formerly communist countries, there are concerns regarding their transition to successful market economies, which we will address.

  • Issue Year: II/2014
  • Issue No: 03
  • Page Range: 152-167
  • Page Count: 16