Soviet Russia: A False Utopia

The Soviet Union formed in 1922 after the Bolsheviks overthrew the Russian Provisional Government, which had lasted about eight months after the eradication of the Russian Empire. The Iron Curtain was placed in 1945 at the end of World War II and was lifted in 1991.  According to Gal Beckerman, author of “Hijacking Their Way Out of Tyranny”, the Iron Curtain was an attempt to disguise Russia’s “orthodox communism” as a perfect utopia and to silence the voice of its citizens.  “…[If] the Bolsheviks had built the perfect society, why would any well-adjusted citizens want to leave, let alone risk their lives to do so?”.  Beckerman writes, “Jews were understandably at the forefront of the emigration battle. Even as they were forbidden to exercise any kind of Jewish identity, they also had no option to assimilate in Soviet society… But the doors were firmly shut; those who requested permission to leave were refused and then ostracized.” Yosef Mendelevich “attracted the eyes of the world” after his failed attempt to commandeer a plain and fly it to Sweden in order to leave Russia and move to Israel. He knew of the possibility of failure but decided that even if he was caught, it would be worth it to have brought the attention of other nations onto this issue. According to Beckerman, Mendelevich’s attempt to defy his government was the beginning to the end of so many people’s suffering. Gradually, more and more Jews were allowed to leave The Soviet Union until eventually, the Iron Curtain fell apart completely. Beckerman demonstrates how Mendelevich was a hero of sorts by risking his life to free himself and many others. In Xenophon’s Constitution Of The Laecidaemonians he writes; “[At] Sparta the most important men show the utmost deference to the magistrates: they pride themselves on their humility, on running instead of walking to answer any call, in the belief that, if they lead, the rest will follow along the path of eager obedience.” (8;2). In contrast to Beckerman, the act of defying one’s government is not something Xenophon approves of. He believes that authority must be revered and honored. I think I live in the same society as the author because I share his appreciation of defying a tyrannical government in order to free its people.

Gabriella, Kaplun

Team Hestia

Beckerman, Gal. “Hijacking their way out of tyranny.” New York Times, 18 June 2010, p. A29(L). New York State Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.¤tPosition=11&docId=GALE%7CA229195999&docType=Correction+notice%2C+Editorial&sort=DA-SORT&contentSegment=&prodId=SPN.SP01&contentSet=GALE%7CA229195999&searchId=R6&userGroupName=nysl_me_brookcol&inPS=true.

4 thoughts on “Soviet Russia: A False Utopia

  1. I love your post it was very informing,and I totally agree with you on defying a government because of it’s corruption in order to free it’s people. I believe if you are going to govern a society you would have to do it the right way and do not mistreat the people because it would only lead to your people hating you or fearing you. But it is not good for your people to do what you say because they fear you, people should do what you say because they love you and it would pay off in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like how detailed you got in this blog post. I also really liked how you used questions to emphasize how much of a false utopia the Soviet Union was. I also agree sometimes you have to defy the government and that you must fight for what’s right to achieve freedom. Great job.


  3. I like your post, it reflects that what is a Utopia for one person isn’t necessarily a Utopia for another that all our wants are different. That while some think eliminating a certain race or ethnicity will make the world better, the race that is being eliminated doesn’t find that vision to be a Utopia.


  4. That while I generally agree with your post. There are issues with any form of government or ideas. When one tries to unify any sort of group of people who are already not homogeneous the result is repression of one, promotion of another and a copying of a third.


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