Essay Example on Communism: The Union of Soviet Socialists Republics and Beyond

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1824 Words
Date:  2023-03-02

Communism provides for a social, political, and economic system where ownership of property is allocated to the community, and people receive the share of the property based on their contributions. The Union of Soviet Socialists Republics, commonly referred to as the Soviet Union, was a socialist state built on communist thinking. While the Soviet Union was powerful between the 1920s and 1990s because it supported a single-party system. Although there was skepticism regarding the ability of the Soviet Union being pro-democracy despite implementing the single-party system, the leaders of the movement defended that the region was the home of real democracy. However, the system did not favor the growth of the economy. Consequently, the economy failed. To make matters worse, Soviet Satellite movements began to aspire to independence. After the collapse of communism and the Soviet Union, efforts by some leaders to establish democracy failed. On the contrary, efforts by other leaders to develop autocracy prevailed. Therefore, the paper provides an analysis of the aftermath of the collapse of communism and the Soviet Union. The paper argues that some of the leaders who established democracy failed because they did not accurately translate the people's decisions into legislations and were not responsive to the decentralized system of parliamentary democracy. On the other hand, efforts by other leaders to establish autocracy prevailed because it was easy for both the leaders and ordinary citizens to relate and adopt. The paper begins with a literature review of scholarly sources on the topic.

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The origin of the definition of democracy is traced to Greece. According to this proponent, democracy was derived from two Greek words, "Demos," meaning the ordinary people and "Kratos," which means power. In this understanding, democracy means the strength of the people in matters of leadership and governance. The people may decide to exercise control directly or indirectly through the elected leaders, also known as representative democracy. Autocratic governments, on the other side, are types of government where a single leader has absolute power over his/her subjects. A dictatorship is a form of autocracy. Communism is a social, political, economic, and cultural ideology, in which there is no formation of social classes, and the means of production are collectively shared among the people. Democratic and autocratic ideologies have been embraced by leaders of states involved in the Soviet Union. However, there have always been a reluctance to embrace democracy among former members of the Soviet Union because of the perception that it is a Western phenomenon that is used to encourage interference of domestic affairs by international affairs mainly perpetrated by the West.

According to Bernhard & Kubik, 2016, the theory of politics memory focuses on the methods used to record and remember historical events1. As such, it argues that people remember and record history based on wide range factors, including popular culture and social norms. After the theory of political memory, the paper explains the historical events during communism like the fracturing of the Hungarian historical memory, 1989 contested legacy in Poland, competition in the Slovakia Party, and the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany, and the politics of former Yugoslavia. The book is essential to the research on how the collapse of Communism and the Soviet Union led to the collapse of democracy. It helps in tracing the key events that led to the collapse of communism and establish a possible connection between them and failed democracy afterward.

In another book by Deudney & Ikenberry, 2009, the fall of Communism significantly influenced the beginning of the emergence of democracy in some states 2. The book traces the history of democracy during the classical, medieval, and modern timer. In contemporary times, the authors connect contemporary democracy to the aftermath of the Cold War and the rise of socialists' republics of the Eastern Bloc. The content of this book that relates to this research involves the shifted from Communism to democracy. The paper focuses on how Czechoslovakia Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria. As such, the book is essential to this research because it shows how some countries succeeded in creating democracy, yet others failed.

Another scholar, Huynh, 1986, explains that Communism began from a group of intellectuals who were persecuted by the French government3. They were put in a cell and it is from this point that the communist movement emerged in the country. By 1975, the campaign had grown into a massive party which had unrivaled power. Therefore, the author argues that the Vietnamese Communism is a result of anti-imperialism movement and communist movement in the international community. As such, the author believes that the Vietnamese Communism as a product of graft involving foreign ideas and imposed on local ideologies. The book is essential to this research because it shows the factors that led to Communism and the Soviet Union. Also, it shows the basis for the rejection of communist ideas, which may have contributed to the failure of democracy.

In 2006, Klingemann, Fuchs & Zielonka wrote on democracy and political culture in Eastern Europe4. The book focuses on the shift in political culture in countries after the fall of Communism. The authors investigate if subjective political orientations of democracy influenced the development of the system in regions like the Eastern and Central Europe. The book examines the subject using the findings of the project, the World Values Survey, done by twenty political scientists. The project focussed one establishing the differences and similarities in the cultural, structural, and structural conditions that led to the development-or lack of development of democracies after the collapse of Communism and the Soviet Union. Klingemenn, Fuchs, and Zielonka argue that the fall of Communism and the Soviet Union led to the fall of democracy, especially in Eastern Europe. Also, the author argues that some leaders failed in building democracy because they were not democrats hence could not build systems that did not align with their political, social, economic beliefs. The book is essential to this research because it shows the role of ideologies after Communism, which negatively affected the abilities of some leaders to establish democracy and strengthened the abilities of some to establish autocracy.

Additionally, Lee, 2004, wrote on the autocracy and dictatorship between the emergence and fall of the Soviet Union and Communism5. Lee argues that autocracy in Russia as a result of the interconnection between regimes and ideologies. Although the general content of the book relates to the research topic, the section that relates to the research question involves the comparison between Marxist-Leninism and autocracy. As such, the book is essential to this research because it shows autocratic ideologies and Marxism-Leninism.

Besides, Plokhy, 2015, explains the events that led to the fall of the Soviet Union and the impacts it left on Russia6. The author argues that the current state within the states formerly aligned to the Soviet Union is strongly connected to the dramatic events that occurred during and after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Specifically, the author focuses on Russia and how the country has struggled to defend its interests through waging for hybrid wars, weaponizing its monopoly in energy supplies, and a flexible system of political control. The book is important to this topic because it shows the position of countries like Russia post the fall of the Soviet Union and Communism hence explaining why democracy succeeded in the country but failed in other former members of the union.

Mason, 2019, focuses on the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe in 19687. The region was attacked by Soviet-led forces hence eliminating hopes that the region could continue to be successful in totalitarian and central planning. The author argues that the collapse of communism was a significant historical event in history because it marked by robust industrial revolution conversion of chemical energy into electricity, transformation in the media industry, and realization of the importance of data. Therefore, the book is essential because it helps in the analysis of the factors that led to the fall of Communism and the Soviet Union. Also, it is crucial to this research because it shows the changes that occurred in states involved in capitalism, communism, and non-aligned states that may have influenced the success of democracy and autocracy after the fall of communism and the Soviet Union.

Prizel, 1999, investigates why some nations succeeded in their political and economic transformations while others failed after communism8. The author connects the lack of success of political and economic changes in some countries after the collapse of communism to an imbalance in power. The book three arguments to support the position. The first position argues that countries in the West, especially the United States, attempted to isolate Russia by co-opting the latter's allies to the seemingly 'Western sphere of influence.' The second position argues that countries formerly aligned to the Soviet Union like Russia attempted to implement the neo-expansionist strategy, which has negatively influenced the success of democracy. The third position, which is the author's stand, provides that the fall of communism led to the development of 'assertive sovereignty.' It shows that the end of communism influenced former Soviet Union countries to define their domestic foreign policies hence do not conform to subordination, which has led to autocratic systems. The book is essential to this research because it shows how clearly defined domestic and foreign policies and lack of subordination contributed to some leaders succeeding in establishing autocracy.

Robinson. 2015 investigates the interaction between internal and international politics, which influenced the development of autocratic and democratic rules within the Eurasian region9. The author argues that the fall of communism and the Soviet Union led to the development of partial inclusion of the former states aligned to the Soviet Union into the European sphere of influence. However, this has caused a problem with the Russian integration on customs and economic unions. Consequently, the country started working on transforming its system in the country as well as in other countries. For example, the country created models for liberal and sovereign democracy. The book is vital to this research because it shows the history of democracy after the fall of communism and the Soviet Union. It provides a reference for establishing the leaders who decided to create democracy and those who chose autocracy. As it helps in understanding how democracy failed in some countries and autocracy prevailed in others after the fall of communism and the Soviet Union.


Lastly, Sakwa, 2012, investigates the rise and fall of the Soviet Union between 1919 and 199110. The author begins with historical perspectives like Tsarits, Stalinism, and Brezhnev regimes. The second section focusses on the institutions of governments that aligned with the communism ideologies like the justice system, security apparatus, local government, and the military system. The third section focuses on the theoretical approaches that were used to implement the Soviet Policies like the shift to pluralism, gender politics, and the significance of ideologies. The fourth section focuses on the critical areas of Soviet policies like nationality politics, defense, and foreign policies. The last section provides the rea...

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