Was the soviet union totalitarian? The view of soviet dissidents and the reformers of the gorbachev era

Studies in East European Thought 50 (4):247-281 (1998)
The article explains why Soviet dissidents and the reformers of the Gorbachev era chose to characterize the Soviet system as totalitarian. The dissidents and the reformers strongly disagreed among themselves about the origins of Soviet totalitarianism. But both groups stressed the effects of totalitarianism on the individual personality; in doing so, they revealed themselves to be the heirs of the tsarist intelligentsia. Although the concept of totalitarianism probably obscures more than it clarifies when it is applied to regimes like the Nazi and the Soviet, the decision of the dissidents and the reformers to use the term enabled them to clarify their own values and the reasons they felt compelled to criticize the Soviet Union and to call for its radical reform.
Keywords Gorbachev-era reformers  Perestroika  Soviet dissidents  Soviet Union  totalitarianism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/A:1008690818176
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

24 ( #124,740 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #289,836 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.