Soviet Asthetics

By July 21, 2017 No Comments

Traveling this week in Estonia, one of the former soviet states.  All the soviet relics (buildings, statuary, monuments) stand out as large, drab, uninspiring, and usually of concrete.  In a word, ugly.

And why not?  The soviet system was not a human institution like the market, which evolved organically to meet the needs of humans interacting voluntarily.  Instead it was a planned, top-down, socially-engineered system which sought to remake humans in some theoretical “new man” image.

It was a system which disliked this species, homo sapiens, and wanted to fundamentally alter it, all the while claiming to love and nurture humans.  Thus, the entire system was based on lies and compulsion.  Wouldn’t it make sense that such a system would produce artifacts which would strike humans as ugly?

There’s an eerie consistency among the gulags, military displays, drab buildings, imposing statues, and KGB memorabilia.  It’s all of a piece and it’s all ugly.