Why Did the Soviet Union Collapse but Not China?
This article explores the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union and why it did not happen in China.
We’ll also discuss the ramifications of this event, including its economic impact.
The Soviet Union was an economic superpower for many years, but it began to unravel in 1989.
Why did the soviet union collapse?
The Soviet Union was a superpower that dominated the world for 70 years.
It helped win World War II, secured a sphere of influence across the globe, and even launched the first man into space.
However, in 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed, leaving fifteen former Communist Party-controlled states independent.
This collapse was caused by a series of systemic problems and preventable disasters.
As the Communist Party’s “Five Year Plans” drove industrialization, the Soviet Union began to experience economic shortages.
With 15 radically different republics and dozens of ethnicities, the Soviet Union had an economic crisis, which left the country in desperate need of aid.
Furthermore, the party was unable to control the military. As the nation’s economic and political crisis worsened, the socialist regime collapsed.
Initially, the Soviet economy had been strong. In fact, it was the second largest in the world.
But as the Soviet economy began to deteriorate, it faced problems that it had not previously faced.
Despite centralized economic planning and decentralized economic power, the Soviet economy was fragile, and the Soviets were forced to implement piecemeal reforms. This led to an inflationary spiral.
In addition, the Soviet economy was highly vulnerable to external shocks, and the sharp drop in oil prices sent it into a tailspin.
In 1991, the Soviet hammer and sickle flag was lowered over the Kremlin.
This was just four months before the collapse of the Soviet Union. The collapse of the Soviet Union led to the removal of Mikhail Gorbachev as president and the election of Boris Yeltsin as the president of a newly independent Russian state.
Fortunately, the entire world watched this transition peacefully.
The Soviet Union’s command economy had high growth rates throughout the 1970s, but it was not without flaws.
Its piecemeal reforms weakened its core institutions, which eventually led to the collapse.
The final nail in the coffin came with the introduction of radical economic liberalization by Mikhail Gorbachev. In addition, localized interests eroded the fabric of centralized control.
The collapse of the Soviet Union provided several lessons. The CCP launched a national campaign to educate its cadres on the collapse of the Soviet Union.
They also forced local government officials to study the lessons learned from the experience.
Why did the soviet union collapse but not china?
There are two reasons why the Soviet Union failed, but China did not. The former was the world’s largest country, with fifteen different republics and dozens of ethnic groups and languages.
The latter had a large population, which was difficult to feed. The USSR did have a huge industrial base, but it was not as advanced as China.
One reason is that the Soviet Union collapsed because of its policies.
The liberal programs of Mikhail Gorbachev’s government supposedly contributed to the collapse.
In reality, these liberal programs had pushed Soviet Russia toward a pluralistic society, ending the Cold War with the United States and working toward a peaceful accommodation with China.
Another reason is because the Soviet Union’s leaders abandoned their original aspiration: serving their people.
Instead, they fought with other nations, threatened their comrades within the socialist bloc, and pursued military expansion.
This included invasions of Afghanistan. The Soviet Union could have sent satellites into space, but failed to do so.
Another reason for the Soviet Union’s failure is that the Soviet Union miscalculated the national identity of the ethnic groups that it took under its wing.
Furthermore, the Soviet Union put political reform before economic reform, which eventually led to the collapse of Communism. The result of this miscalculation was a failure of leadership.
Communist ideology failed to give the Soviet Union a strong national identity.
As a result, it did not gain majority consent when it came to power.
Its General Secretary, Mikhail Gorbachev, did not succeed in his political reforms. In contrast, Deng Xiaoping’s reforms were successful.
Another explanation for the USSR’s failure was that it lacked a strong political system.
The Communist Party lacked the political will to maintain its position, allowing private companies to dominate the economy.
As a result, the Communist Party was unable to maintain its ideological monopoly. Furthermore, Gorbachev’s actions led to economic failure. Moreover, the USSR was not a democratic country.
Ultimately, the Sino-Soviet split was a result of an ideological clash between Khrushchev and Mao Zedong.
Khrushchev’s military stand-down was a betrayal of Marxist-Leninist geopolitics. It led to an escalation of Sino-Soviet disputes.
Why did the soviet union collapse economically?
The Soviet Union was an economic and political union of 15 countries.
Its member states included Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Latvia, Moldova, and Belarus.
Each of these countries had their own government, but they remained part of the Soviet Union. In 1991, the Soviet Union began to collapse economically and politically.
The Soviet economy was held back by its industrial interests and government, but it did not collapse overnight.
The Soviet Union had long been grappling with monetary and economic issues, which ultimately triggered the collapse.
Inflation, in particular, made selling goods more difficult, while the USSR faced persistent shortages and deficits.
Although the Soviet economy was once strong, the economy began to decline when the Soviet Union shifted from an “extensive” economic policy to one that focused on using resources more efficiently.
This led to shortages of essential consumer goods, corruption, and the emergence of a black market within the USSR.
Propaganda warfare was an ongoing issue in the Soviet Union. Propaganda was so pervasive that people grew cynical.
Some even began saying that you can find the truth anywhere but in Pravda or Izvestia.
This propaganda warfare was exacerbated by the propaganda war waged by the West and dissidents in Samizdat.
In addition to propaganda warfare, the Soviet Union spent much of its economy on an arms race with the West, and a culture of war is profitable to capitalism.
In the Soviet Union, many enterprises were operating without a clear concept of profitability or cost.
By contrast, some industries made upwards of 35-40 percent of profits.
Some industries debate whether such profits are socialist. By some accounts, the Soviet economy relied on the gray economy, which was referred to as the “second economy.”
This gray area accounted for nearly 11 percent of the Soviet economy.
The Soviet economy relies on its railway system for transportation and distribution.
However, rail tonnage fell by two percent last year. In addition, a near-record harvest and increased imports placed heavy demands on the Soviet rail system. Consequently, railway officials were scrambling to find trains to move the goods.
Moreover, a dispute between Armenians and Azeris caused shortages of 10,000 rail cars and widespread breakdowns.
Why did the soviet union collapse in 1989?
The collapse of the Soviet Union was a surprise to Western experts, who at the time saw no way that the country could ever fall apart.
Many conservative commentators assumed that the Soviet system was invulnerable to reform, and that the only way to change it was to bring about a revolution from the outside.
However, in reality, the change that eventually shattered the Soviet Union came from within the Communist Party, not from outside.
First, in the spring of 1989, the Soviet Union began exercising limited democracy.
Voters elected a Congress of People’s Deputies. In addition to this, uncensored television coverage allowed citizens to see the Communist leadership in action.
The resulting unrest eventually led to the downfall of the communist government in Warsaw and other countries of the Warsaw Pact.
On December 25th, Mikhail Gorbachev announced his resignation as President of the Soviet Union, and the country’s centralized power collapsed.
Eight other republics joined in the declaration, making the Soviet Union no longer a unitary state.
In December, Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as the country’s president and voted for the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
The collapse of the Soviet Union also impacted the world’s political system.
Though structural factors had corroded the Soviet system over four decades, the Soviet experiment was deemed too unstable to survive for another decade.
Moreover, it raised doubts about the role of the state in shaping society. As a result, the post-Soviet world was less likely to embrace grand plans for social transformation.
The Soviet Union’s collapse is largely a result of the Soviet Union’s failure to implement sweeping political reforms.
Mikhail Gorbachev, the former head of the Communist Party, was forced to implement radical political reforms in his country within three years.
These reforms included decentralization of the economy and democratization of the political system. He also allowed contested elections in the Soviet parliament in spring 1989.
The Soviet Union’s collapse was the most significant geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.
After the collapse, a number of former Soviet republics became independent, some in a multilateral organization. Among these, the Baltic states became part of the European Union, and most Warsaw Pact states joined NATO.