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Fall Of The Soviet Union

            "If Vladimir Ilich Lenin was the father of the soviet state, Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev was its gravedigger- (McCauley 344).
             Between 1964 and 1985 many economic reforms were attempted in the Soviet Union. These attempts were efforts to improve a system that was failing to produce adequate economic results. Moreover, they failed to address the fundamental roots of the problem. The Soviet Union was a superpower in terms of its military capabilities but the criteria for a world superpower was moving away from defense capabilities towards economic power. When Mikhail Gorbachev took power in 1985 he instituted his plans of perestroika and glasnost. Gorbachev knew in order for the Soviet Union to survive it needed to abandon the strict socialist policies and attempt to integrate with the rest of the world. He envisioned a system, which was more open and thus allowed more personal freedom. The new personal freedom would spark new incentives and new ideas. Furthermore, perestroika and glasnost would attempt to restructure socialism to a new socialism capable of existing in the world economy. However, the two programs failed for perhaps two reasons. For one, Gorbachev's glasnost policy led to an emergence of voices rejecting his plan. By instituting his policy of glasnost Gorbachev would free up many years of pent up political and personal emotions. The newfound voice of the people allowed them to stand up and criticize Gorbachev policies. Moreover, his reform revealed the problems and flaws with the Soviet system. Secondly, with regards to perestroika, Gorbachev failed to see the consequence of trying to mesh his new socialism with the rest of the world. According to the fundamentals of Socialism described by Marx, socialism was to oppose and challenge capitalism, not coexist with it. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union can be attributed to glasnost and the economic inefficiencies that went along with Gorbachev's attempt to integrate a form of socialism with the rest of the world.

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