What specific modifications did this study of Stalinism imply in order to understand the forms Country Email List of the regime? What issues came to light that had not been addressed before? As a historian, I always Country Email List doubt models. Therefore, what I intended was not to develop an alternative to totalitarianism, but to highlight and Country Email List account for those aspects that this approach did not allow us to see. In that sense, I also did not express my ideas and my analyzes about the functioning of Soviet politics in model terms.
In addressing the question of how society works, the image I offered was that of Country Email List a vast institutional structure created and controlled by the state, and of individuals operating not only within that structure, but in its interstices. In other words, I wanted to reflect that in order to get what they needed for life, people had to take into account Country Email List that official structure and use it voluntarily or involuntarily. For all kinds of things they needed that structure: to obtain consumer goods, to ensure that children receive a proper education, etc. There they operated in the interstices Country Email List through personalistic connections. It is important to stress the importance of the Soviet term ' blat' . Blat is a system of reciprocal exchange of favors:
I have the opportunity to do certain things for you because of my position; you, on the other hand, have Country Email List other opportunities and can do other things for me. But it is not a raw relationship that can be monetized and the Country Email List counterpart does not have to be immediate either. No, it is a continuous balance. In fact, in this economy of favors we consider ourselves friends, although to a certain extent it is an instrumental friendship. That way of Country Email List operating, which I became aware of because I was in the USSR in the 1960s and saw it first hand, was very important, in my opinion, from the beginning.