Comrade Stalin wanted you to be happy. Soviet leadership claimed after the first Five-Year Plan that step one, “elimination of capitalist elements,” was done. Now it was time to create new people—beautiful ones. “Life has become better, life has become more cheerful,” went one slogan, repeated around the Soviet Union and hung from the gates of Gorky Park to invite Moscow to come out and play. The miraculous abundance that the bourgeoisie kept to themselves would be shared with the whole working people. Moscow was to be lit up brighter than any of the bourgeois capitals, filled with elegant and joyful proletarian youth. It would be like capitalism, only better.
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