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  • The death of Stalin marked a turning point in the government's ideology. The Beginning of De-Stalinization.
  • Down with Stalin, Down with terror.
  • Embarking on De-Stalinization, Khruschev, Stalin's successor as party leader in 1955, rejected utilizing terror for political control and allowed sporadic libralization.
  • Political Repression: Individuals who expressed dissenting views where harassed, arrested or exiled. The Brezhnev regime was bureaucratic and conservative and sought to maintain existing power structures.
  • Khrushchev's successor, Brezhnev,who headed the party from 1964-1982, partially reversed the process of De-Stalinization.
  • Russian citizens in the Brezhnev era enjoyed free social services (recreational services and medicare), low prices for transport, housing and basic goods as well as increased wages for "worst-off" citizens relative to the "better-off" portions of the population; all in exchange for political compliance.
  • However, as the tactic social contract-era went on, the methods of political leadership became increasingly ineffective at addressing Soviet society's problems. There was little improvement in standards of living, economic growth rates declined and the country's natural wealth was wasted.
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