In the thirty-year period since the collapse of the Soviet Union there has been no clear explanation of what actually happened. Today, in a situation of chronic polarization, both the official ideology and the opposition admit that the twentieth century’s “greatest achievement/crime” was profoundly “ours” by nature, but it somehow perished due to external factors, such as the arms race and globalization. We will attempt to place the Soviet trajectory of development through catching-up—with typical features such as state planning, urbanization, militarism, futurism and officialdom, repressions and the cult of personality—alongside analogous trajectories relating to other countries. What happened to all of these trajectories at the end of the twentieth century? What kind of processes merged in the significant years 1968 and 1989? Why did the communist regime fall in the Soviet Union, but not in China? What do the terms “post-Soviet” and “postmodernism” mean in this light? And, looking ahead, how might that which comes after the postmodern look?