From Homo Sovieticus to Homo Postsovieticus (Part-II)


2019-02-12 18:40 GMT+8


Homo Post-Sovieticus

The collapse of communism in 1990 put an end to the Homo Sovieticus. The massive prison that ran  across three continents was finally liberated. This included about 40 countries restrained in an ideology. Millions of people got acquainted with the world for the first time. While these people were locked up in a closed society, the XX century has fundamentally changed the entire world in terms of technology, ideology, politics, economy, law, and regulations. Thus, these are the uncivilized people who have walked into a new world after a long period of incarceration. For them, the toughest challenge was to socialize and adapt to the new society.

The Homo Sovieticus that peeked through the window into the free world was, first of all, shocked by the technological advancement and wealthy society. Squeezing into Western Berlin at the Brandenburg Gate, millions of Eastern Germans who have been gifted a 100 Deutsche Mark each, despised communism with each passing moment. Polish pedlars, who are considered the founders of traveling sales, began cursing the social system that they lived in for over four decades.

But this admiration of early days did not last long. The social revolution transformed the living environment with each step on the way and let loose of individuals that were unprepared for the new society. This is the downside of a revolution. After the French revolution, the “Escape from Freedom” progress took place as a certain group of people failed to adapt to the free society. The October Revolution was turning the lower social-class people into “Sharikovs”.

In all honesty, the Homo Sovieticus did not meet the standard requirements of an already established free society. Surprised by this strange phenomenon, Milton Friedman wrote about this back in the 80s that the Chinese refugees in Hong Kong, who had the same ethnicity, were incompetent, unemployed, unaccountable, lazy and non-initiative compared to Hong Kong people that grew up in a free society.

Over 20,000 North Koreans migrated to the South via China and Mongolia. In order to socialize them, they were granted citizenship, accommodation, incentives, and jobs; however, it was common for them to be rejected by social life and end up doing illegal activities. They preferred to settle in the northern part of China and earn easy money by intermediating refugees seeking to enter South Korea.

The average wage of eastern Germans stood at around 60 percent of westerns in western firms at first. This particular wage gap still exists after almost three decades. They are not discriminated for their origin of being eastern. It is simply the measurement of their working ability, discipline, and accountability. During these years, about 4 million people fled to the west from Poland alone. Although the value of their labor diminished significantly compared to their home country, they were attracted by higher salaries. Recently, the British Parliament released a statement saying, “We do not have to employ people with high education from Lithuania as cleaners”.

As such, the evolution from Homo Sovieticus to Homo Post-Sovieticus took place. The transition progressed in various ways. From a primitive state to technology, politics, mafia, law, and conspiracies, these people thought of multiple options to improve their social status, becoming an industrial worker from a herder, a free agent from a public servant, a politician from a party member.

There were many cases were ministry staff or political party members would become monks. But no matter how they adapted to the new environment, none of them succeeded in meeting the new social requirements. The years of experiment to create a Soviet person only pushed propagandas and failed to nourish a “normal” socialized person.

A certain group of society immediately turned into an “activist” of crime and illegal activities. While Mongolian burglars were infamous in France and Switzerland, Polish and Yugoslavians were notorious for their scammers and Russians  were frightening everyone with their mobsters. On the other hand, Albanians were ill-famed for human-trafficking and forced prostitution of women and Romanians started to be known for illegal merchandise and beggars.

Over two million refugees migrated to the United States over these years and created a terrifying image called “Russian mafia”. They were all normally disciplined Homo Sovieticus that lived under Socialist norms.

The neo-nazi hysteria of eastern Germans, Russians’ hate towards the west, and Ukrainians’ pride that led to an attack on Russia clearly show how the idea of internationalism installed in Homo Sovieticus was false. Internationalist hostility, such as Kyrgyz people against Uzbeks, Mongolians against China, Azerbaijanis against Armenia and Chinese against Japan, etc, has already overwhelmed rational thinking.

• Socializing and adapting to open society was the toughest challenge for the Homo Sovieticus, the unfortunate bunch of the Soviet era. 

• The years of experiment to create a Soviet person only pushed propagandas and failed to nourish a “normal” socialized person. 

• As a result, the weak and vulnerable Homo Sovieticus turned into a ferocious, impatient, hectic and barbaric Homo Post-Sovieticus.

In the majority of post-communist countries, the state and public organizations, with the exception of military and homeland security, are non-institutionalized and the institutionalized ones are either incompatible in open society or vulnerable, which ultimately spreads corruption, bribery, embezzlement, and theft in the society. This, in turn, stirs up public distress and separation.

Frankly, the majority of Homo Post-Sovieticus thinks about how they are left out of these opportune chances and considers themselves as victims instead of considering the misdeeds of these crimes. It is forbidden to have personal thoughts, express discontent, suggest new ideas, and since there was a heavy sentence in place, they were “well-mannered” in a closed society. There are not many penalty-driven, illogical and wayward protesters in open society.

They look for blames in everything and eventually reach to a conclusion that the old communism was better than the current society. They never acknowledge the simple fact that every post-communist country, in its worst state, is clearly better than the old days. An evident indication was that the public voted Joseph Stalin as the best leaders of all times in Russia and Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania.

Especially the elders, who had a content life in communism and seek “vengeance”, heavily affect the younger generation. Although the times have changed, the young people that never witnessed the “greatness”  of the previous society are having misleading ideas and undervaluing their home country thanks to the privilege of comparing their country with developed countries.

Therefore, a nationalist idea called “pseudo patriotism” is dominating among the public, installing public suspicion, doubt, and paranoia for an enemy. It is maybe related to the fact that everyone regardless of their social classes instinctively longs for the past, their younger and sexually capable self. Karl Marx categorized social development into five formations depending on who is holding the labor instrument. It is not rare for Homo Sovieticus, who have memorized this “theory” without critical thoughts, to think they have taken a step back from socialism and communism, the peak of development, into outdated capitalism, or even feudalism and slavery.

Thus, the weak, vulnerable and loyal to the State and community, Homo Sovieticus with their identical political, artistic and literary views, turned into a Homo Post-Sovieticus, who are ferocious, impatient, hectic, barbaric in terms of morality and ethics, cannot properly assess the environment, think they are above the law, and prefer to live outside the law. It will take a long time for them to become normal civilized citizens of the XXI century. It may require another two to three generations. Homo Post-Sovieticus may just be another phase of the transition.2016.06.01

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