Reader el suggested we discuss how the Soviet regime influenced interpersonal communications. I think this is a very fruitful discussion topic and a subject where I have a lot to say. (And what a surprise, eh?)
If you have any familiarity with the theory of communism, you have to realize that a communist society cannot be created until the very nature of the human beings undergoes a profound transformation. This is why from the very beginning of the USSR´s existence consistent efforts were made to transform people in a way that would make them more amenable to the gradual introduction of the communist elements into their daily lives.
Here is a short list of such measures:
1. Communal living. Families were brought to share one big apartment. This allowed to address the housing shortage, of course, but that was not the most important goal of creating these “communal apartments.” In a communal apartment, between 3 and a dozen families shared the kitchen, the toilet, the hallway and had to take turns using and cleaning these facilities. Such form of co-existence weakened the bonds between members of biological families, destroyed privacy and the contingent individualism. Also, it eroded the sense of personal shame.
2. Only collective forms of spending one´s free time were encouraged. People went on outings, hiking trips, excursions, museum visits in large groups. Again, this eroded family ties, which is something that the regime needed in order to ensure that one´s visceral loyalty to one´s family members would be substituted with the loyalty to the regime that provided all this fun.
3. Housing shortage and the absence of rental apartments ensured that members of several generations would share one small living space. I will let you figure out on your own how one starts feeling about one´s relatives when one has to sleep (and, obviously, have sex) in the same room with one´s parents, children, and often grandparents, too.
So what are the results of such policies?
For one, people tend to have the kind of relationships with their family members where everybody is very close in a really unhealthy way, yet everybody hates each other´s guts. Nobody has the slightest idea of what it means to respect anybody else´s privacy. People tend to be quite shameless and very rude. The respect for private property between family members is non-existent.
As you might well imagine, it will take more than one generation to get rid of these side effects of our social experiment.