No group cheered louder for Soviet reform, had a bigger stake in perestroika, or suffered more in its aftermath than the Russian intelligentsia. Today, nearly a decade after Mikhail Gorbachev unveiled his plan to reform Soviet society, the mood among Russian intellectuals is decidedly gloomy. "The intelligentsia has carried perestroika on its shoulders," laments Yury Shchekochikhin, a noted commentator. "So why does it feel so forlorn, superfluous, and forgotten?" Another commentator warns that the intellectual stratum "has become so thin that in three or four years the current genocide against the intelligentsia will surely wipe it out." Andrei Bitov, one of the country's finest writers, waxes nostalgic about the Brezhnev era and "the golden years of stagnation when. . . people could do something real, like build homes, publish books, and what not.”
Genocide; Intellectuals; Perestroĭka; Raznochintsy (Russian intellectuals)
Politics and Social Change | Sociology | Sociology of Culture
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Shalin, D. N.
Intellectual Culture. In Dmitri Shalin,
Russian Culture at the Crossroads: Paradoxes of Postcommunist Consciousness