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The Internal and External and Factors That Shaped the Collapse of the Soviet Union - Essay Example

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The Soviet Union emerged out of the turbulent World War One as a revolutionary pariah state that soon evolved with rapid speed into a military giant with enormous influence beyond it boarders; an ideological model with conceivably secure and stable economy emulated by more than a third of the world’s population , at least for a time in history…
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The Internal and External and Factors That Shaped the Collapse of the Soviet Union
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"The Internal and External and Factors That Shaped the Collapse of the Soviet Union"

Download file to see previous pages Instinctively, the swift collapse of the Soviet polity caught many by surprise. As it was then, the astonishing fragmentation divides scholars right in the middle with little consensus over the triggering bullets. The dominant perspective point fingers at the American massive spending and the moral clarity under Ronald Regan as economically and ideologically bankrupting to the communist planned economy. On the flip side, the deterministic view argues that the collapse of the Soviet Republic was an inevitable occurrence due to the intrinsic inbuilt contractions of its managerial economics. But, what exactly were the real causes of the USSR disintegration? This paper examines the long-standing structural dynamics as well as the short term political catalysts behind the deterioration and the subsequent collapse of the hitherto well regarded Soviet empire. The stunning disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 is often heralded by most academics from the West as a triumphant victory of democracy and capitalism, as though the occurrence was a direct outcome of the combined Reagan -Thatcher ideological missiles. While this analytical stance may look somewhat self-congratulatory relative to the measurable facts, circumstantial evidence of the internal political dynamics of the Soviet state itself and its relations with the outside world tend to heighten affirmation of the same. Valerie Bunce concurs “the collapse of communism was not only abrupt, but inevitably long in the making”, and that the short term factors only provided fodder to the long term structural factors (p.xi). To begin with, the collapse of the Soviet Union was much a consequential effect of poor managerial aspects of the political system. According to the Marxist-Leninist ideology, the Communist Party was the vanguard of the proletariat. As such, its control of the political system was supreme, unquestionable and more so totalitarian; the party monopolized management of the state resources as well as all the undertakings of the society on behalf of the “universal, working class”-a multi-faceted ideological, conditional decorum of the communist system, at least at the expectation level. In practice, however, the party was firmly under the stewardship of a unique socio-political stratum namely the ‘nomenklatura’; the privileged party bureaucrats with preferential access to the state resources (McCauley, 2001, p. 86). With political legitimacy hinging on the ideological principles of the Marxist-Leninist canon underpinned by the coercive terror engineered by Stalin and operated through the security forces, the system “manufactured” leaders appropriate to it. So buttressed by sweet fear and intimidation that the subsequent leadership, those who disliked Stalin’s commanding tone included, could not quite disassociate with the world Stalin had created; yet a tone that upheld the system. Before Gorbachev’s initiation of perestroika in 1985, successive leadership beginning with Nikita Khrushchev-the immediate Stalin’s successor, made numerous changes to the system. With gradual ‘abandonment of mass political terror’, the subsequent regimes basically lost the original Stalinist control grips on society (Dallin and Lapidise 1995, p. 675). The consequential effect was an individualistic retreat into long-term cultural transformations that further weakened the founding principles of the Soviet system. Despite of the upsurge ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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