Alcohol is the Enemy

Among the external causes of the lack of labor discipline, the Soviet regime gave alcoholism a place of pride. Although alcohol, long a traditional source of recreation to Russian workers, was certainly an important source of labor losses, it also served a convenient way to deflect attention from sources of inefficiency within the socialist system. Workers, and many other members of Soviet society, showed great ingenuity in evading official strictures on alcohol consumption. Production of homebrew (samogon, or self-fire in Russian) was a favorite past time of many; and Russians had inherited a long tradition that enabled to brew fierce liquors from a variety of natural and even industrial products.

Alcohol is the Enemy

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