235-253 - Pg. 235-253 notes Stalin died in 1953 leaving...

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Pg. 235-253 notes Stalin died in 1953 leaving strong industrial and military capacity but still had same problems of economic waste, massive political corruption, inefficiency, alcoholism, etc. Future leaders resolved to end the mass terror and imprisonment of Stalin era, yet did not know how to advance “socialist pride” cause, Stalin worship takes backseat. Between 1953-1985 different political groups tried to create a “socialist way of life” 1. Right – Georgii Malenkov – first post-Stalin prime minister. Promoted efficiency, more private enterprise, but was rebuffed by the communists and eclipsed by Nikita Khrushchev 2. “Leftist” - Khrushchev then began “anti-Stalin” campaign to reinforce idea that terror will not happen again under their form of communism a. Instituted massive economic production campaigns, tried to incentivize b. Loose foreign policy, threatened with nuclear weapons, Cuban missile crisis c. Ousted in Politburo coup 3. From 64-82, Leonid Brezhnev presided over orthodox Marxist- Leninist Politburo that resisted any reforms, did little in general besides supporting pro-Soviet regimes worldwide a. Arrested dissidents, censored open criticism, but turned blind eye to corruption, black market, etc b. Planning system in disarray c. Disastrous invasion of Afghanistan, declaration of martial law in Poland in 81 exposed vulnerability of USSR d. Western powers began to confront USSR, end “evil empire”
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4. Gorbachev took over position of General Secretary in 1985 after Brezhnev, Andropov, and Chernenko made USSR a joke a. Had support from both sides (totalitarian and modernization) but nobody knew what to expect, except he still believed in Leninism b. Believed he needed to end corruption, purge old bureaucrats in order to re-kindle enthusiasm for communism c. Campaigned for perestroika (restructuring)
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2009 for the course POLI POLI 211 taught by Professor Sabetti during the Fall '09 term at McGill.

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235-253 - Pg. 235-253 notes Stalin died in 1953 leaving...

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