Emancipation from Doublethink? Post-Soviet Political Parties and Leadership
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This study examines the phenomenon of doublethink as a core feature of the "mental software" that continues to define the character of post-Soviet societies. It is revealed in patterns of prevarication and equivocation that characterize the thinking and behavior of both the elites and the masses. Doublethink is also manifested in incongruous values and duplicitous rules that prevail in society. It accounts for the perpetuation of simulative and fake institutions of "façade democracy." Political parties in post-Soviet Ukraine are analyzed as a major example of simulative and imitative institutions. Here, traditional ideology-based party taxonomies prove misleading. Political parties are quasi-virtual entities with the character of "post-Orwellian political machines": they operate in a topsy-turvy world of imitated supply and deluded demand. The study employs three levels of analysis: macro (surveys data and "Tocquevillean" observations); meso (biographical data and political discourse analysis); and micro (in-depth interviews).