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  1. Over the past decade, we've experienced some extraordinary economic and monetary events... yet, on the surface, at least, everything appears to continue much as before. It feels as if the tangible effects from the political and economic situation only expose themselves in subtle ways - and, if one were disinterested, one might even fail to notice changes. This left me thinking about the 'big picture' - wondering if civil society is (gradually) shifting towards some new paradigm... a 'new way of thinking' that will result in new ways of conducting one's life - with new kinds of opportunities and challenges. Having identified this powerful, if ill-explained and inadequately researched idea... I turned my attention to the task of identifying any new paradigms... with the ultimate goal of forecasting their effects. A snag is that massive, global, monetary "stimulus" is unprecedented... which has prompted me to want to find out about other examples of significant economic paradigm shifts. One of my first thoughts was "The USSR" - because (during the 20th century, especially) Russian civil society must have been very different to my contemporary experiences in Britain. I was recommended to read "The Russian Economy From Lenin to Putin" by Steven Rosefielde. It is interesting, but not quite what I'd hoped it would be - from the title... the economics it addresses is more 'textbook theorem' than 'colourful history.' Can anyone recommend apt material on Russia? Are there other examples of civil societies which, either underwent massive changes - or, perhaps, are (or were) significantly different to the perspective one gets from the secular West? Am I alone in being inquisitive about such things?
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