Vladimir Magun


Dmitri N. Shalin

Document Type


Publication Date


First page number:


Last page number:



Soviet leaders had always taken a keen interest in workers' behavior and labor motives and sought to keep labor morality under strict state control. A complex network of values and regulations was developed for this purpose after the October Revolution of 1917. They were best articulated in the "political economy of socialism" which purported to present a scientific picture of the country's economic life. Textbooks on socialist economy were widely circulated in the Soviet Union and appropriate courses included into a core curriculum for all higher education institutions in the country. Basic tenets of socialist political economy were taught in introductory social science classes in high schools. Leading educators helped popularize the subject, while major research centers in the nation continued to perfect the science of socialist economics. A prominent place in socialist political economy was given to work ethics, labor motives, employment opportunities, reward structure and other characteristics which formed socialist labor culture. In this chapter, I shall examine socialist labor morality, the relationship between the official Soviet blueprints and unofficial realities, the changes that socialist labor culture underwent in recent years, and the emerging trends in labor morality and work ethics in post-Soviet society.


Culture; Economics; Employee motivation; Labor – Philosophy; Russia; Soviet Union; Work ethic


Asian History | Ethics and Political Philosophy | European History | History | Labor Economics | Labor Relations | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Political Economy | Political History | Slavic Languages and Societies | Work, Economy and Organizations