“Democracy is great. But it has to be learned. Some people see democracy as anarchy, and cherish their rights while ignoring their duties.”
The changing policies throughout the 1970’s and 80’s also spawned the changing of attitudes in society, especially amongst the youth. A generation who once looked at society as stagnant, and thought they “knew” everything because the norms were engraved in society now began to question the very foundations they lived on. The schools were teaching an outdated curriculum and the komsomol’s adherence to the communist party caused unease within society, laying the groundwork for a new generation to appear whose values were not shaped by the state. The decades saw a decline in authority within families, the pillars of authority in society to come under question, and the expectations for success to decline rapidly.
Out of this dynamic period the Rocker was born into society, who terrorized the cities at night on their motorcycles, brining chaos and disorder to the streets and causing newfound fear in society. These Rockers, who were fueled by the images in newspapers and television had no respect for authority or their fellow civilians, and viewed themselves as a brotherhood of natural heroes. By reading The “Rockers” you gain insight of the ruthlessness of the rockers, and the fear that they spawned. Within the article, written by a state university student, he explains his interview with taxi cab drivers and their experiences with the rockers. The drivers did not have a positive outlook on the rockers, and told stories of the rockers trying to rob the drivers, their customers, and even attempting to break the windshield of the taxi with a chain. The cab drivers weren’t the only ones with a negative attitude toward the rockers. In a letter to the chairman of the Moscow city council executive committee, a civilian writes “haven’t our Moscow law enforcement bodies fooled around long enough with those “Rockers”? They are really just nasty hoodlums rudely disturbing the citizens and should be dealt with. What have things come to? Gangs of crazy youngsters carry on in the city and we just say, ‘can you believe it’.”
Authorities had no answers to the questions agitating the people, and in fact ignored the problem that was tearing the cities apart, the lack of legitimacy of authority. Traffic police tried to issue tickets to the rockers for disrupting the peace, speeding down the highways, riding without exhaust, driving without a license or license plates, or riding in groups, only to find that the majority of rockers would never even stop. The rockers would simply speed off and continue their disturbances, and as a general rule, never caught.
The changing society of 80’s and 90’s created a generation whose values were being found and formed socially, not forcibly by the state. To quote a rocker “We knew what our future was to be gray and immutable. We grew up in the seventies — that was all we knew. And everyone told us that it was the best, in fact the only possible way. We simply lived the life you laughed about once you had put us to bed and firmly shut the door. No wonder you have turned out to be better prepared for the gust of fresh air which has knocked us off our feet.”