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The Economic Collapse of the Soviet Union
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Previous Figure Next Figure. Email or Customer ID. Forgot password? Old Password. New Password. Password Changed Successfully Your password has been changed. Reform communism s doomed to fail? Scott Partridge. Why were attempts to reform East European communism in the s doomed to end in failure? Why therefore, considering the liberal atmosphere in Communist countries of Eastern Europe during the early s, was top-down, intra-systemic reform doomed to fail?
Despite focusing on economic reforms as a result, any reform proved extremely difficult given the all encumbering nature of politics. Consequently, the intrinsic tie between economic and political reform must be evaluated, as well as whether reform would have succeeded if theoretically economics could be decoupled from politics. This will naturally lead to evaluation of the non-negotiable leading role of the Party and allegiance with the USSR, whilst providing an understanding as to why politics could not be altered and using Czechoslovakia as a case study due to the significance of military intervention to end reforms in This will explain why reform Communism in the s was doomed to end in failure.
Economic Reforms In Eastern Europe And The Soviet Union
Economic reforms were intrinsically political Economic decline in Agriculture; the slowing of industrial growth; and the decline of GNP in the early s 4 urged countries to re-launch their economies. Given the relaxation of ideology and commitment to improving consumer goods which the New Course established, Eastern European states thought that they had a certain amount of free reign within economics, however the intrinsic link between economics and politics sharply limited the effects of reform. Saxonberg provides a broad dialectical model representing the interaction between economics and politics.
He puts forth that economic crisis within a satellite state was met with the decision to reform by the USSR central Party. In turn these reforms failed, either due to the 1 th Khrushchev, Nikita. As a result the superstructure would either liberalize or oppress. To further understand the link between economics and politics central planning institutions must be evaluated. Comecon was floundering as growing rhetoric for self-sufficiency arose as well as reluctance to specialize in one area of the economy — such as agriculture in Romania — grew ever stronger. Consequently subsequent economic reform intended to give enterprise managers greater latitude in decision making, however the reality was somewhat different.
Eastern Europe since Palgrave Macmillan, p.
Politics in Eastern Europe Wiley, p. Trade unions were also permitted, as were strikes. Therefore economic reforms within satellite states attempting to increase autonomy led to un- intentional political effects.
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Primarily, Schopflin argues free markets implied that interests would have to be recognized and thus individual rights would emerge. An example of this would be the failure of the Hungarian attempt to give unions veto rights, as they were closely controlled by the Party.
Though the use of obligatory planning indicators and control over resources was reduced, the attempt at consolidation between state controlled and competitive market resources was ineffective, as the associated VVB had no prior information about the relative price of goods and consequently no way of calculating profit and therefore planning.
Recentralisation took place in and the 13 Ibid, p. Creating an independent market sphere would be virtuous of Capitalism and was therefore unquestionable. Thus strict limitations entrenched by the Communist economic system, which emphasised central planning, would have led to failure of economic reform during the s even if it was possible to decouple economics and politics.
The leading role of the Party Despite re-definition of the leading role to allow for a degree of controlled autonomy following the New Course and de-Stalinisation, this was delimited to economics due to a significant limitation of de-Stalinisation; the maintained enshrinement of the leading role of the Party. Communist states were unable to amend the political system of Marxism-Leninism as the leading role was non-negotiable. Thus, recognition that Communist economics cannot be separated from politics implies that the reforms during the s were doomed to end in failure.
Disregarding the probable failure of Czechoslovakian economic reform — the Central Committee had permitted a regulated planned market economy, but by the tightening of wage controls and reintroduction of state restrictions were re-established 20 — Czechoslovakian reforms represented the only active breach into both the economic and the political sphere and thus both an indirect and direct challenge to the leading role of the Party and allegiance with the USSR during the s.
Therefore it is significant to explain why reform failed in Czechoslovakia. Looking toward foreign markets directly contradicts the sacrosanctity of the political relationship and the allegiance with the USSR.