The Russian people generally detest the Soviet regime, but they are not likely to attempt revolution in the for seeable future, according to a study made for the Air Force by the Russian Research Center.
The study aims at assessing "Strategic Psychological Strengths and Vulnerabilities of the Soviet Social System," and is passed on thousands of questionnaires and interviews with Russian enigmas.
The Air Force has used the four year, 900,000 study to justify numerous general conclusions. In the March issue of the Nation's Business," military experts predicted that the fall of Malenkov will have little effect on the future, that the USSR will continue to regard coexistence as temporary, that Russian leaders will continue to "pluck the overripe colonial plums" while waiting for the capitalists to destroy themselves, and that the major objective of Soviet policy today is internal consolidation, not expansion.
Such conclusions are not unreasonable, according to Alex Inkeles, co-author of the report, but the central theme of the ten-million word report is the life of the people rather than Russo-American relations.
Inkeles and Raymond A. Bauer, research assistants at the Research Center, wrote the report with William L. Langer '15, director of the Center.
The Russian worker objects to poverty, pressure to produce, and police terrorism, but he blames his troubles on Soviet headers individually, rather than the welfare state or government control of industry, the study indicates.
The report goes on to note that this discontent does not make the workers less efficient, since they want to justify themselves and also escape criticism. The search for peace of mind also means that few would risk revolutionary plots or sabotage.
Party vs. People
The greatest weakness of the existing regime is the conflict between party ideology and practice and the interests of individuals, the authors believe. They cite strong differences in psychology of workers and party leaders.
Interviews indicated that the mass of the people conform to the traditional picture of a Russian, erratic, stubborn, dependent upon group security, and intensely loyal to the Motherland.
Opposed to this group the researchers found party leaders dominated by ideology and the need to maintain their power. Such men regard police repression, the low standard of living, and the dissatisfaction of the peasants as desirable, when necessary for the long term benefit of the state.
Concessions to People
Despite their contempt for private individuals, the Russian leaders cannot ignore the people, for these are their most valuable asset in fulfilling the aims of history, the report argues. Granting small plots of land to peasants dissatisfied with collective farming is cited as a leading example of this sort of concession.
Yet the agricultural problem is the major structural weakness of the USSR today, the study concludes. Peansants cling to their Jand, while leaders threaten to remove it in order to make Communist theory closer to Soviet practices.
The peasant is described as the "angry man" of Russia, and the government is not likely to placate him, or remove this most hated institution in Russia, the researches decided.
The report also rates the nationality problem as secondary among Soviet problems, and finds national origins of little importance in dealing with Russian life.