Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

The Communist Concept of the "Bright Future"

Dr Olga Velikanova.

Representations of the future are part of any worldview. In opposition to the Christian notion of the Apocalypse, the Enlightenment paradigm suggested the idea of a bright future. In the beginning of the 2Oth century, many people all over the world were under the impression that freedom and justice existed in the world and that imperfection could be overcome through social and technical progress. Faith in Progress was one of the most effective consolations for humans affected by fears of modernization. This global upsurge of utopian hopes and faith in progress was embodied in the anticipation of a socialist miracle. In socialist myth the value of the future was strongly emphasized. My paper studies the parameters of the Communist concept of the bright future in opposition to the liberal ideologies – collective (rather than individual) salvation, the narrative of sacrifices, and short-term orientation. This paper will use new archival documents to study popular visions of the socialist future, including abundance, brotherhood, love and equity.


Dr Olga Velikanova  (Canada)
resident fellow
Centre for Russian and East European Studies
University of Toronto

I received my Kandidat in history from Saint Petersburg State University in 1993 and had lectured on Soviet history at the European University in Saint Petersburg, Russia. I am the author of two monographs on leader's cult in Soviet Russia and numerous articles in Russian, English, German, Spanish, Hungarian, Finnish.

  • Representations
  • Communism
  • Russia
  • Future
  • Popular visions

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)