Membership Has Its Privileges

For the average Soviet citizen, one of the most galling aspects of the current political order is not that it is predicated on a bankrupt ideology but that it is so manifestly inegalitarian. In what is supposedly a classless society, life for the masses is a ceaseless hustle to acquire the most basic goods while for party bigwigs, the nomenklatura, it is relatively sweet, thanks to their access to all manner of worldly offerings. With resentments over these inequities rapidly growing as the economy deteriorates, Central Committee members last week reportedly did something that privileged elites rarely do: they voted to...

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