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Of all Soviet leaders, Nikita Khrushchev (1894–1971) had perhaps the most colorful personality. Lacking formal education, he was able to achieve a meteoric career rise from a village shepherd to the leader of a world superpower, emerging, by the mid-1950s, as the country’s undisputed leader and Stalin’s successor.

Like thousands of other young Russian peasants he had left the countryside hoping to find a better life in the city. On the eve of the revolution, as many other workers, he enthusiastically accepted the Bolsheviks’ simple black-and-white vision of society. Based on class hatred, it divided the world into “us,” the workers, and “them,” the bourgeoisie and landowners. By taking power from the exploiters and crushing their resistance, the workers would somehow manage to build a shining paradise on earth.

Khrushchev's communist fundamentalism to a great extent explains his populism and the overoptimistic and utopian objectives he was so keen about. He believed that socialism, when cleansed of Stalinist distortions, would be able to prove its historic superiority over capitalism. However, Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin and his quest for “socialism with a human face” failed to create conditions for genuine democracy in the party and the country.

Khrushchev committed many mistakes and misjudgments during his period in power. His competence as the leader of a world superpower was often in question. His political style was dubbed by his opponents “voluntarism,” that is, policy making in a willful, foolish, and erratic manner. Khrushchev was notorious for advocating harebrained schemes and chasing impractical ideas, such as his insistence on massive expansion of the sown areas of maize, including territories beyond the Arctic Circle. (A popular joke commented on this obsession of his thus: “We shouldn’t let Khrushchev go to the moon — he would plant maize there.”)

In October 1964 the party-state nomenklatura rebelled against the troublesome leader. Practically the whole of the Politburo of the Central Committee conspired against him. Confronted by the hostile majority, Khrushchev was forced to resign. He was permitted to remain in Moscow, where he lived as a private citizen until his death in 1971.

Jokes about Khrushchev are often related to his attempts to reform the economy, especially to introduce maize (corn) and other harebrained schemes. He was even called kukuruznik (maizeman). Other jokes address crop failures due to mismanagement of the agriculture, his innovations in urban architecture, his confrontation with the US while importing US consumer goods, his promises to build communism within 20 years, or just his baldness, rude manners, and womanizing ambitions. Unlike other Soviet leaders, in jokes he is always harmless.

Why was Khrushchev deseated?
Because of the Seven "C"s: Cult of personality, Communism, China, Cuban Crisis, Corn, and Cuzka's mother.

(In Russian this is the seven "K"s. To "show somebody Kuzka's mother" is a Russian idiom meaning "to give somebody a hard time". Khrushchev had used this phrase during a speech at the United Nations General Assembly referring to the Tsar Bomba test over Novaya Zemlya).

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