The chronological frameworks of the essay are the 1980-1991 period. This period of time was chosen to show how the Soviet Union had been developing for the last 10 years of its existence. It is necessary to characterize not only the M. Gorbachevs perestroika, but premises either.
The sources of the paper are one book, two articles, and two Internet sources. There are Z. Brzezinski The Grand Chessboard, K. Stoner-Weiss & M. McFaul Domestic and International Influences on the Collapse of the Soviet Union (1991) and Russias Initial Transition to Democracy (1993), B.S. Slantchev National Security Stategy: Evil Empire, 1980-1991, L. Aron Everything You think You Know About the Collapse of the Soviet Union Is Wrong and the article from the site of the U.S. Department of State The Collapse of the Soviet Union. The using of these sources is explained by the historical significance of these scientific works, the relevance and suitability to the topic, as well as the credibility of publications and articles.
At the beginning of 80ths, Soviet society had been suffering from the psychological discomfort and limitation of the freedom of thought. For example, young people had hidden gramophone records of Western singers, met and quietly protested against the USSR regime. Creative and intellectuals and scientists had to get the real democracy and individual liberty.
In November 1982, the death of Brezhnev when Andropov had become to power encouraged people to think about the opportunity to live better. But it was more difficult than it had expected. For the short period of Andropovs power, he made effort to restructure political elite. He also dismissed the most offensive statesmen and held the rotation program of the governmental authority. Simultaneously, he maintained the position of official Soviet ideology. The representatives of opposition and the dissident movement were defeated by the KGB and they ceased to exist. But in February 1984 the sudden death of Andropov was the reason to stop the plan to transform the Soviet society.
After the election in March 1985, M. Gorbachev became the new General Secretary of the USSR revived the hope for real change in policy, economy and social order. His inspired speeches showed the Soviet Union and the whole world his determination to start renovation in the country. M. Gorbachev was the most liberal leader of the USSR ever that played a key role in the history.
In April 1985, the plenary session of the Communist Party initiated the beginning of a slow, cautious reforms aimed at the step-by-step restoration of the existing system. Gorbachev faced the main problem which was a wide gap between US economic and Soviet one. During 1971-1985 there was a decreasing of the economic growth index. The growth rate of national income in 8th five-year plan was 41%, in 9th 28%, in 10th 21%, in 11th 17%. The increasing of labor productivity in 8th five-year plan was 37%, in in 9th 25%, in 10th 17%.
The reasons for the protracted crisis in the economy laid in the repeated structure of the national economy, as well as in absence of the motivation to work better. The new government should have taken this fact into consideration and made positive changes. For the first time, on the XVII Congress of the Communist Party the issue raised properly to turn the USSRs face into the consumer production and to activate the human factor. But Gorbachevs method of trials and errors was completely the wrong strategy.
One of his methods was to force out the old mechanism to spin faster using Soviet ideology. But it wasnt enough as the only 1/7 of the production assets of consumer goods was involved. Thus, the government decided to start a little industrialization in order to modernize a backward light industry. However, everything ended in failure on the first stage. The Soviet light industry hadnt waited for investments, new equipment, materials and technologies.
Then, the government cut the purchase of consumer goods and contributed currency funds to the purchase of equipment abroad. In the result, these actions werent successful either. Due to lack of production space, considerable part of equipment had remained in warehouses and open air. Other part was installed but it had broken down frequently. Production process slowed down through the incorrect exploitation, lack of spares, and low-quality materials.
It was obviously that the economical increase was impossible without incentives for producers. Then, the government took a decision to give self-supporting independence to enterprises. However, only limited freedom had turned the right of uncontrolled expenses of governmental funds which led to the inflation, reduction of outputs and sharp growth of money supply.
In addition, the increase of wages had no effect on the final output of consumer products, because money paid both to producers of goods and all others. But this moment had not the positive consequences. Without reducing the expenses, in the center and locally they had developed social programs, saved up the inflation money. In the result, such actions undermined trade, industry, and consumer sector.
Political factor played no less important role in the Soviet Union collapse. From the outset, Mr. Gorbachev showed himself as an experienced and educated politician. In order to maintain the power and to justify his struggle the old party guard ideologically, he was forced to declare a course for the renewal of socialism and Communist Party. In April 1985, he decided to reshuffle governmental personnel. At the Central Committee the full members of Political Bureau became Mr. Gorbachevs supporters. There were Ligachev, Ryzhkov, and Chebrikov who put together The Gorbachev majority. Party leaders of the regions and republics dismissed one after another. Mr. Ligachev led the cleaning process of statesmen, and he had coped with his commitment for two years. In general, during the 1985-1988 Mr. Gorbachev absolutely changed the state apparatus representatives and formed renewed the USSR. This new political elite had irrefutable evidence of the communist ideological global crisis approach of division in the USSR, and tried to slow down these destructive processes through the implementation of the concept perestroika.
Along with the government reshuffle, political society and culture changed as well. Mostly, it became apparent in the fight against corruption and nomenclature. However, management and implementation of the governmental reforms remained legislative. In fact, it was a reform of the Communist Party through the system of the party government bodies.
Decisions of the extraordinary session of the Supreme Soviet of the eleventh convocation which held November 29 December 1 in 1988 included the restructure of the higher authority and governance in the country, the reestablishment of the Congress of Peoples Deputies and giving them real state power, as well as changing the electoral system, especially administration of alternative election basis.
In 1989, there were radical changes, especially in the political structure of society. During March and April, a huge election company Peoples Deputies was held. The possibility to nominate several alternative candidates gave Soviet citizens to elect one or several of them. For example, for 2250 posts there were nominated 9505 candidates.
One the third of peoples deputies elected from NGOs. It allowed the communists, as the most massive social organization, to have the majority in the parliament. It was announced as an achievement that the communists had 87% versus 71.5% the previous convocation. On this basis, it was a loud conclusion that under the conditions of a choice freedom it was confirmed by the partys authority.
98.8% of voters from 1500 territorial and districts in the USSR participated on the election held on March 26 in 1989.As it seemed, these elections were a notable improvement in society towards democracy. The whole country had been following the work of Congress. It became the reason of the reduction of productivity.
First Peoples Deputy Congress was a bright political event in the Soviet Union. It was the first time in the history of the country. Now we can perceive it with irony of those battles in Congress, but then it was the victory of democracy. There was a lack of practical results of the Congress. Particularly, they elected the new Supreme Soviet, decided a few common regulations such as the Regulation of the main directions of the USSR domestic and foreign policy.
The discussions at the Second Peoples Deputies Congress which held on 12-24 December 1989 was more practical in comparison with the first one. The Second Congress adopted 36 legislative acts, including 5 laws and 26 enactments. One of the main issues on the agenda of the Second Congress was to discuss the measures regarding the economic improvement. They discussed the issues of the struggle against the organized crime. The Congress observed the report of the Commission devoted to the foreign policy issues and domestic ones.
At the beginning of the First Peoples Deputies Congress, many people relied on the prospects of the better life. In fact, there were some misunderstanding between the words and deals. The First Congress called the game of democracy as it was. And at the Second one people werent s...
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