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Collapse Of The Soviet Union Essay

1685 words - 7 pages

The powerful communist nature of the Soviet Union has been responsible for many conflicts of the twentieth Century. Joseph Stalin, the first leader of Communist Russia, was one of the most powerful and influential men of all history. The Soviet Union was the dominant communist nation during the cold War, and its political beliefs led to multiple conflicts that have shaped the history of the world. Although once a powerful nation, Communist Russia primarily collapsed because of the poor leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev's economic policies permanently damaged the Russian economy and communist way of life. Gorbachev seemed intent on taking early reforms in his years of office in order ...view middle of the document...

Gorbachev recognized that the Soviet Union was not nearly as technologically advanced as the rest of the world and attempted to change this with his new economic policies. Productivity, however, remained low, and the Soviet economic system failed to provide adequate incentives for harder work or for technological innovation. Under Gorbachev, the technological gap and lag of Russia behind the Western world increased. Moreover, Gorbachev continued to emphasize Russia's military even though economic decline was apparent. The citizens of the Soviet Union noticed their poor leadership and began to openly question the efficiency of the system of government under which they lived. One can see that the economic policies of Gorbachev began to turn his own citizens against him, which would in turn lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union.After the death of Stalin the Soviet Union continued to grow in power even though it remained at war with the powerful democracies of the World. When Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in 1985, he instituted a policy of reformation. He wanted to limit the extent of the changes in order for Russia to remain a communist nation, however he also called for radical reformation in order to save the economy of Russia. He accepted the need for glasnost, or openness in debate, and perestroika, or an economic restructuring. Under these policies Soviet citizens were encouraged to openly discuess their perceieved strengths and weaknesses of the nation. This freedom of speech and press conflicted with the previous policies of the rulers of Communist Russia, and contributed to the downfall of the Soviet Union. For example, the Pravada , the official newspaper of the Communist Party began to include reports of known corruption, innefficient labor, and protests against government policy. This free expression of ideas totally contrasted with the communist views of Stalin. In addition, previously banned works of the Western world were published, and music spread from the West to Russia. With all this westernization, Citizens of the Soviet Union began to taste freedoms they had not experienced under Stalin, and began to take a liking to democracy. One can see that the Gorbachev's policy of radical reformCorruption was also an apparent factor that contributed to the downfall of the Soviet Union. Multiple examples of clear corruption presented themselves under the rule of Gorbachev. Since their were little individual benefits from being a good citizen in the Soviet Union, citizens turned to make themselves part of the Communist Party in order to better their standard of living. Alexander Dallin, a citizen of the Soviet Union living under Gorbachev's rule stated:The Soviet Union is infected from top to bottom with corruption-from the worker who gives the storeman a bottle of vodka to get the best job, to the street prostitute, who pays the policeman ten rubles so that he won't prevent her from soliciting clients, to the former member of the...

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