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After NewspeakLanguage Culture and Politics in Russia from Gorbachev to Putin$
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Michael S. Gorham

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452628

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452628.001.0001

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Glasnost Unleashed

Glasnost Unleashed

Language Ideologies in the Gorbachev Revolution

Chapter:
(p.48) 2 Glasnost Unleashed
Source:
After Newspeak
Author(s):

Michael S. Gorham

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801452628.003.0003

This chapter looks at the concept of “glasnost” in the Gorbachev era, noting how its ambiguity both ensured the success of the policy and served as a rhetorical flash point in the battle between reform-minded democrats and members of the Soviet bureaucracy, or apparatchiks. In his original use of the term, Mikhail Gorbachev viewed glasnost as a mechanism that, through the more open publicity of various state-related facts and information, would disturb the entrenched party–state bureaucracy, beat back the growing economic stagnation, and give rise to a new form of what he repeatedly called “democratic socialism”—a concept that still envisioned a single-party state run by the Communist Party. Thus, glasnost served as a new party–state ideology that promoted criticism and self-criticism as a means of reviving a stagnant party apparatus and giving a new sense of empowerment to the people—a heightened sense of interest in a restructured socialism.

Keywords:   glasnost, Gorbachev era, Soviet bureaucracy, apparatchiks, Mikhail Gorbachev, party-state bureaucracy, democratic socialism, Communist Party

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