engineers in the Soviet Union became guided by an idee fixe: to avoid at all costs their predecessors' fate. Concern for workers' and the populations' well-being, rational principles of engineering, and planning for the long term were all abandoned in an effort to satisfy the Party's demands for monumental projects, epitomized by Dneprostroi; Magnitostroi, and Belomorstroi, all ultimately monuments to inefficiency. Intellectual impoverishment reinforced moral timidity in the education of engineers, who became increasingly ignorant of the social and economic issues that he and other socialists working in the economy, especially architects, had considered central. As the percentage of Politburo members trained as engineers rose by 1986 to 89 percent, Graham argues that their restricted education influenced their management style and policy preferences; trained to love the mammoth (and economically flawed), they knew nothing of sociology and human psychology. With Soviet society more educated (a Soviet achievement that Graham fails to address), the workers of the 1980s refused to accept the privations of their parents. More and more able to compare their lives with others, the people lost faith in the Soviet system and withdrew their support from the Party and government. Lacking social support, and with a
Canadian-American Slavic Studies – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1994
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