In 1920s the development of " a civil society " took place under vigilant control of the VCP (b) (the Military Communist Party of Bolsheviks) and the OGPU (the United State Political Administration). Any attempts of opposition political activity were stopped. Political parties, except for VKP (b), in the country were missing.
Positions of Bolsheviks in trade unions became stronger. The development of NEPNEP (New Economical Policy) altered functions, forms of work of the trade unions, which got back to the system of voluntary individual membership. The range of functions of trade unions included protection of interests of workers of state, cooperative, private enterprises, participation in management of economy, including discussion of production plans, promotion of nominees on administrative posts, participation in the sanction of labour disputes; direct interference of trade unions in the production management was rejected.
Extensive development of the volunteer societies, the cultural and educational, sports organizations could be observed in the years of NEP. It was totaled over 10 million people consisting in all volunteer societies. Widely developed the chief movement (in the beginning of 1926 over 1200 thousand men), the movement of workers'-and-peasants' correspondents (by August, 1925 - 190 thousand correspondents of the central and local press) etc.
"Marxism - Leninism" held the leading position among ideological, world outlook currents in 1920s. Alternative tendencies at best existed as half legal, at worst their representatives were either imprisoned, or banished from the country. Quite exceptional against this background was the situation of 'smenovehovstvo'.
Passing to NEP brought to life the movement of "smenovehovstvo" (change of milestone), which involved a part of Russian intelligentsia, recognized the deeply Russian character of the revolution, pointed out coincidence of interests of the Soviet authority and the needs of the Russian state, and as considered by the followers of the movement, despite utopianism of the revolutionary goals, it was Bolsheviks who actually cleared the way to evolutionary process towards capitalism. Ideas of "smenovehovstvo" during many years eased coming over of the intelligentsia to the side of the Soviet authority.
Restoration of the industry in 1920s created certain conditions for improvement of the financial position of workers. In 1925-1926 average duration of a working day of industrial workers was 7,4 hours. All workers and employees had the right for an annual paid holiday for not less than two weeks. To 1925-1926 the average salary of workers in the industry made 93,7 % of the pre-war level.However, growth of the living standards in the city was delayed by goods shortage and advance of prices. During all the period of NEP unemployment was increasing. On the eve of the 1st five-year plan the unemployed made 12 % of the number of workers employed in the national economy and employees.
The serious conditional problem for workers was accommodation. According to the data of the census of 1926, 7,8 % of the workers living in Moscow, had less than 2 sq.m. of the area per person, i.e. actually had no space for a bed, 18 % of people in working families had from 2 up to 3 sq.m. per person and only 21,5 % of members of working families had more than 6 sq.m. per person.
The feed of the peasants in the country improved to better, than before the revolution. However, growing discontent of peasants was caused by the goods shortage which they experienced stronger, than townspeople (under general shortage of manufactured goods the bigger part was bought up in places of manufacturing, a little reached village).
The agrarian overpopulation turned to a serious problem: the multi-million mass of the "excess" population subsisted in the country, in essence, latent unemployed, which were hardly making ends meet. Each year hundred thousand of those "were thrown out" by the country to the city, filling up the numbers of the unemployed there.Thus, acceleration of industrialization besides only economic reasons (exhaustion of reserves of the equipment, shortage of goods) was also dictated by social imperatives (growth of the latent and evident unemployment, shortage of accommodation).