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Soviet Union Table of Contents

Soviet Union


The CPSU placed stringent requirements on its membership. Party members had to work indefatigably on the party's behalf, actively participate in the political life of the country, and set a moral and political example for those who were not members of the party. Despite these obligations, the benefits of membership compelled many to join the party. Membership in the CPSU was a requirement for career advancement. In addition, a career in the party could also serve as a means for upward mobility from the working class or peasantry into white-collar positions. Moreover, for those interested in political activities, the party was a vehicle for political participation.

Party members had a duty to increase their political knowledge and qualifications. Such efforts indicated a willingness to make a career of party work. The CPSU has set up a series of party schools whose courses range in difficulty from the elementary to the advanced. These schools were located at the local, intermediate, and all-union levels of the political system. Training in party schools strengthened the ideological, political, and administrative abilities of party members, especially officials of the CPSU apparatus. Although the stated purpose of party training was to better equip party members to perform their jobs, it acted as one additional means to promote a common outlook and ideological perspective among members of the party apparatus.

Data as of May 1989