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Gorbachev and the Age of Rebuilding - Essay Example

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GORBACHEV AND THE AGE OF REBUILDING INTRODUCTION Mikhael Gorbachev is a Soviet statesman made famous globally by his aggressive and radical methods and means of reform in the Soviet Union. Motivated by the country’s decline in the technological advancement which was essential to international power and status (Graham 1988: p…
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Download file to see previous pages Did he really know what he was doing? Most of the radical reformists generally receive much doubt and unstable support simply because their theories have yet to be tested. It does not come as a surprise that many perceived Gorbachev was moving blind in his pursuit of reforms. But the author firmly believes that he had a clear and well equipped understanding on their position regarding what matters were needed to be reformed. Gorbachev literally grew up inside the sluggish Soviet system, thus he knew which components were hindering them from achieving good economic standing (Mcnair et al. 2005: p. 1). The West perceived him as a liberator and progressive leader with his foreign and domestic policies such as the Perestroika, which means restructuring or rebuilding, and the Glasnost which is literally translated as openness. These reforms were meant to remedy the economic deficiency of Russia and adapt better practices in the hope of making Russia a globally competitive economy. These policies, especially the Perestroika, received the spotlight since the USSR standard of living drastically collapsed together with the economy under his rule, and ultimately it also lead to the dissolution of the USSR. Perestroika is widely believed and argued to be also the main cause of the revolution of Eastern Europe in 1989 and also it contributed to the end of the Cold War (Heauel & Cohen 2009: p. 1). In the aftermath of these events, it is relevant to consider how Gorbachev has come up with such policies and aggressive reforms. Relevant also would be how he devised and schemed the plans to go, and how the plans later on faltered and backfired to Mother Russia despite all the good intentions and virtues that it bannered. The status quo before he came into power should also be put into consideration and also the consequences of the demise and how much should really be the attributed blame to his blunder. The policies of his predecessors, like Khruschchev, where the early stages of Perestroika was likened to his reforms during the 1950s and sixties (Tompson 1993: p. 73), should also be understood. This is necessary so as to learn how he then came to be with his political orientation and of what external factors are at play in influencing and engineering such policies. SHAPING A REFORMIST Before delving deeper into Gorbachev’s policies and reforms, one must first try to understand where he is coming from and how he came to be in power. His early life shaped how he came to be an aggressive reformist who later on became one of the most influential political figures in the XX century. Gorbachev was born into a mixed Russian-Ukrainian family on March 2, 1931 (Ikeda & Gorbachev 2005: p. 11). Early in his childhood, he experienced the Soviet famine of 1932-1933 which claimed the lives of his two sisters (Gorbachev 2006: p. 10). His family started off as poor landless peasants but later on rose to become middle-class farmers because of the Soviet collectivization (Mcnair et al. 2005: p. 1). He recalls that “The peasant labor was very hard. It was back-breaking labor twenty hours a day, with no more than three or four hours of sleep. Yet it did not bring prosperity to the farmers. The only hope was the private plot of land where everything was cultivated to make ends meet somehow” (Gorbachev 1996: p. 36). It can be concluded that he is no stranger to the struggles of the lowest of classes for he experienced the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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