Vintage Leftist Leaflet Project
See the end of this post for details on the project.
Leaflet: USSR - Facts and Figures 1982
Over the next two weeks in the lead up to and immediate days after the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution we will be posting some leaflets about the Soviet Union and its accomplishments from the Soviet perspective.
This will be to counter what we can anticipate will be a vast number of articles dismissing or minimizing the Soviet experience and perpetuating American and Western myths and distortions about it.
Many of these will be from people on the left, and it is worth reading Michael Parenti's brilliant essay "Left Anticommunism: the unkindest cut" as an introduction to as to why this is deeply problematic.
Today we look at a booklet of facts and figures about the USSR published in 1982 in the short-lived Andropov era. It shows the incredible strides forward in production, housing, education, healthcare, transit and so forth that were made in the Soviet Union. These facts are especially impressive given what the country experienced and endured during the Second World War (a context seldom acknowledged when looking at Soviet accomplishments in the post-war era).
Note that education and healthcare were all entirely free of charge, that employment and housing were guaranteed by law, and that retirement ages were 60 or lower for all workers.
While there is, of course, much to be critical of, facts like these all have to be evaluated and acknowledged as we seek to learn from, understand and develop a nuanced analysis of the society, economy and government that flowed out of the Great October Socialist Revolution.
(Click on scans to enlarge)
When The Left Chapter began part of what I wanted to do on the blog was to show and highlight vintage public leftist election/political leaflets and booklets. While many of these have been offered with commentary to date, a very large collection of hundreds of them from several different sources remains and to preserve these often quite rare documents we will be posting them on a regular (almost daily) basis now often without or with minimal commentary so that people may have access to them as quickly as possible as an historical resource.
While these will all be leaflets from a variety of different leftist viewpoints and countries, they are being posted as an historical/study resource and the views or opinions expressed in them do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or blogger.
All of these posts (as well as posts made to date) will be listed on the page: Vintage Communist/Socialist Leaflets (which is still being updated with past posts).
If you have any public, vintage leaflets or booklets you would like to contribute to this project please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org