fall of russian communism



The Reasons for the fall of Socialism/Communism and the Troubles
of Starting the New Democratic System in the Russian Federation "Let\'s
not talk about Communism. Communism was just an idea, just pie in the
sky." Boris Yeltsin (b. 1931), Russian politician, president. Remark
during a visit to the U.S. Quoted in: Independent (London, 13 Sept.
1989).

The fall of the Communist regime in the Soviet Union was more
than a political event. The powerful bond between economics and
politics that was the integral characteristic of the state socialist
system created a situation that was unique for the successor states of
the Soviet Union. The Communist regime was so ingrain in every aspect
of Soviet life that the Russian people were left with little
democratic tradition. Russia faces the seemingly impracticable task of
economic liberalization and democratization. This is combined with the
fact that the new administration must address human rights issues,
such as living conditions and the supply of staple goods in this new
form of administration makes the prospect of a full democratic switch
seemingly impossible.

To fully understand the scope of the transference of governing
power in the Russian Federation, one must first look at the old
Socialist/Communist regime, to see the circumstances under which it
fell gives a good view of why this transference is almost impossible.

In the beginning Communism seemed to the people of Russia as a
utopian ideal. The promise of the elimination of classes, of
guaranteed employment , "The creation of a comprehensive social
security and welfare system for all citizens that would end the
misery of workers once and for all." Lenin\'s own interpretation of the
Marxian critique was that to achieve Communism there would first have
to be a socialist dictatorship to first suppress any dissent or
protest. Through coercive tactics this new government seized power and
in 1917 Lenin came to power. Under his "rule" the Soviet Union
underwent radical changes in it\'s economic doctrines adopting a mixed
economy which was termed the New Economic Policy also referred to as
NEP, this economy called for some private ownership of the means of
production, but the majority of industry was made property of the
people, which meant the majority of the means of production was
controlled by the government. Lenin\'s government made many
achievements. It ended a long civil war against the remnants of the
old Czarist military system and established institutions in
government. During this period, and in fact throughout the majority of
the Communist rule, censorship and the subordination of interest
groups such as trade unions was imposed to stop dissension and
increase conformity to the new governments policies.
Lenin died in 1924, and was quickly followed by Joseph Stalin as
head of the Soviet Communist Party, the oppressive reforms started by
Lenin were continued and at length became completely totalitarian.
Stalin became the most powerful man in Russia. He controlled to bulk
of all the political power and with that he started a ruthless
campaign of removing all opposition to the Communist rule. During this
period called the "Great Purge" Stalin systemically executed anyone
who stood in his path. Millions of people were arrested and either
harassed or killed. The economic status of the Soviet Union was yet
again changed and the entire system became controlled by the
government. All private ownership ended. A mass program of
industrialization was commenced, and the strength of the Soviet
Military was substantially increased. The citizens during this period
endured great hardship. Agricultural production output diminished
resulting in food shortages, these shortages were enha! nce by the
mass exportation of food, this was done to pay for industrial imports.
Stalin also put the production of what he called production goods such
as manufacturing machinery over basic consumer goods such as clothes
and other staples. During this period the Second World War broke out
and drained most of what was left of the already impoverished state.
Yet after the war national unity was strengthened as well is the
Soviet military machine. The Soviet Union became a super power, the
U.S. being the only country more powerful than it.

After the death of Stalin in 1953 Nikita Khrushchev became First
Secretary of the Communist party. Stalin\'s death marked the end of
supreme power for the head