I created this question a while ago, and edited it a few times to improve quality and clarity because well, sometimes questions are hard. In spite of this the question has remained closed because it is "primarily opinion based".

This is frankly very frustrating because it appears that those who have closed it have done this simply because the subject is hard and outside of their expertise. At least, in its present state I cannot see what justifies the claim it is "primarily opinion based" when it is about the evolution of a political process.

This is clearly an inquiry which can rely upon evidence from archives and analysis of social circumstance which can explain outcomes one way or another.

  • I cannot see what justifies the claim it is "primarily opinion based" - Me either; clearly, a gross (mis)application of (in)justice ! It does qualify as trivial, though, inasmuch as, at least, in its present state, it contains its own answer: Ceausescu started his personality cult (inspired by Kim Il-sung's) around 1971.
    – Lucian
    Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 10:31

1 Answer 1


My answer is of limited value since I don't vote except in unusual circumstances.

I've read the question repeatedly, but the subjective terms in the title distract me from the attempts to define the terms within the question. The title sets the expectation that the question will be an exploration of subjective opinion and that conditions how I read the question. (I believe the title is or should be the question and the question should be the title). Looking over the edit history it appears that you have done substantial work to demonstrate preliminary research and to try to define the terms, but I'm not sure that the terms are defined in a way that will support an authoritative answer. I might suggest:

Why did Russia de-Stalinize while Romania started a personality cult around Ceaușescu?

The term "my premise" can also be a danger signal. Unfortunately while that term is used by people who have thought long and hard, done research formulated a premise, stated it formally, subjected it to initial tests and then revealed it to the world for acid testing, the same phrase is used by people who have done none of those things. The first type of question is interesting and worthy of effort; the second is none of those things. Gresham's law as applied to information causes us to assume that the second is true unless we see evidence of the first.

I might suggest (I admit that I haven't thought this through deeply this is off the top of my head

Soviet leaders seemed to alternate between progressive and regressive policy. From Stalin's purges to Khrushchev's thaw, from Brezhnev's freeze to Gorbachev's openness... and then a coup to try and stop Gorbachev.

The general character of repressive policy became less severe each time. Brezhnev's repression never went as far as Stalin's, and Andropov's rule included the first publication of economic facts and anti-corruption efforts. Furthermore, each time liberalization went further than it had before. This does suggest a slow but continual liberalization since the death of Stalin and appointment of Khrushchev.

If it were possible to support these conclusions with evidence (Can you cite a summary of the Brezhnev freeze vs Gorbachev's openness?) that would go a long way to conveying the amount of thought in the question.

The question is hard; the answer may not be known and if it is known, it may require a book length answer. There are ways for H:SE to provide answers in those cases, but it is difficult.

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    This is insightful, thank you, though, can you also give me a concrete example of how the title could be better to imply a less subjective expectation? Same with, what should "my premise" be replaced with?
    – user17846
    Commented Sep 30, 2019 at 10:24
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    When editing a question, you really shouldn't neglect the title. A surprising (and appalling) amount of people think the title is your question, and don't bother reading the text of the question.
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Commented Sep 30, 2019 at 13:54
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    @T.E.D.: Not sure if you are being sarcastic or not - but on the presumption not: I always regard the title as the question to be answered - and the body as simply explanatory backup and outline of research already performed. If there is a conflict between the two I will VtC - always. Now I will undoubtedly be publicly humiliated for not recognizing your obvious ironic intent - but will steadfastly invoke Poe's Law in defense. Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 8:23
  • @PieterGeerkens warning, I am not being sarcastic or ironic: maybe this is because English is not my native language, maybe because of my programming background and similarity of terms to html tags - but I was of the impression that in question form the field named "title", as per dictionary definition, is for a descriptive name, and the field named "body" is for (again, dictionary definition) the main, principal part of the question. Am I wrong here? Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 10:45
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    I don't think there is a fundamental disagreement in the points you are making. Beyond all the semiotic noise, we all agree that the question should be clearly represented in both the Title and the Body. (SE overloads the term "question" to refer to both the textual artifact consisting of the Title, the Body and sometimes the comments, and the epistemic deficit that causes OP to create a textual artifact. Any semiotic friction between the textual artifact and the epistemic deficit reduces the probability and quality of the answers)
    – MCW Mod
    Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 10:49
  • @DanilaSmirnov: I addressed the comment to @T.E.D. deliberately - so that it would be clear that he was the referent for "you" in the first sentence of the comment. It's unclear how you would interpret the "you" as being yourself - as you don't seem to even be on the thread for either this question or this answer. Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 16:44
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    @PieterGeerkens um, sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you adressed me. I just happened to read T.E.D.'s comment as a non-ironic statement, remember a bunch of questions with non-question titles, and think "that's kinda right, title should describe the question, but not necessarily carry all of information needed to answer the question" and then saw your comment that seems (to me) to imply that a title should be a self-contained question... Sorry if I misunderstood you. Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 17:22
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    @DanilaSmirnov: I was prepared to be publicly humiliated for not recognizing the ironic intent; I was not prepared to be publicly humiliated for recognizing the ironic intent (intended or otherwise). ;-) Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 19:19

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