The Fall of Communism in Russia/Soviet Union
Uploaded by abc on Jan 03, 2000
Communism in the USSR was doomed from the onset. Communism was condemned due to lack of support from other nations, condemned due to corruption within its leadership, condemned due to the moral weakness of humanity, making what is perfect on paper, ineffective in the real world. The end of this system was very violent. It left one of the two most powerful nations in the world fearful of what was to come.
Communism can either be called a concept or system of society. In a society that follows the communist beliefs groups own the major resources and means of production, rather than a certain individual. In theory, Communism is to provide equal work, and benefits to all in a specific society. Communism is derived from many ancient resources, including Plato’s Republic and early Christian communities. In 1917, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in their Communist Manifesto finalized the philosophy of Communism. ("Communism," Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 98 Encyclopedia)
In the beginning, people in Russia thought of Communism as a utopian ideal. (Funk & Wagnall’s) The elimination of social classes, and guaranteed employment sounded outstanding to the people who lived in Russia. Communism did call for a role of socialist dictatorship to help control any form of protest. Through persuasive tactics this new government seized power and in 1917 Vladimir Ilich Lenin came to power. Under his control the Soviet Union underwent many radical changes that led to the development of NEP (New Economic Policy). This policy called for some private ownership of the means of production and business. Still the government controlled the majority of production. Throughout Lenin’s government there were many achievements. It ended a long civil war against the remnants of the old Czarist military system and established institutions in government. He later died in 1924, and was quickly succeeded.
In 1924 Joseph Stalin became head of the Soviet Communist Party. He soon became the most powerful man in Russia. He ran the Soviet Union with brut power, removing all that opposed him and the Communist beliefs. This time period was known as the "Great Purge." Stalin systemically executed anyone who stood in his path. Stalin had millions of people arrested and killed. The government once again changed in its economic status. All private ownership was ended. Industrialization commenced, and the strength of the Soviet’s Military significantly increased. The only downfall was agriculture production slowly diminished. This eventually led to...