This article examines socioeconomic foundations of leftist politics in post-Soviet Russia. It is often argued that the reemergence of left politics is the result of contingent factors connected to transitional crises. While this is one source of strength for the left, there are two more important and enduring sources: a “socialist value culture” among a large majority of Russians, and an emerging pseudo-capitalist system that is creating “traditional” class-based and left-leaning attitudes and affiliations among particular social groups. The article examines the extent of this value culture and the emergence of these attitudes and affiliations through an analysis of statistical data and interviews conducted with Russian workers and intelligentsia figures from 1994–1997.

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