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Writing Assignment 2

Writing Assignment 2 - Gorbachev(p 497 Also the people were...

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Writing Assignment Glasnost, the policy of openness and less censorship along with freedom of information, strikes me as Gorbachev's biggest political mistake. The primary goal of this policy was to increase publicity about shortcomings, thus reducing the power of the small circle of apparatchiks who had absolute control of the economy. By highlighting the past or current mistakes being made, Gorbachev felt that the Soviet people would back reforms like perestroika (p. 482). However, unintended consequences resulted and the Communist Party lost its strong control on the media. The media began to expose the weaknesses of the Soviet system. For instance, the media disputed the reliability of Soviet economic statistics and revealed that the Soviet labor productivity was among the lowest in the industrialized world (p. 485). Also, on a televised session of Congress, a truck driver from Kharkov criticized Raisa Gorbachev's influence and a worker from Leningrad brought up the expensive country houses being built for
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Unformatted text preview: Gorbachev (p. 497). Also, the people were able to discover considerably more about the atrocities of the administration of Joseph Stalin , including the purges and the execution of thousands (p. 489). This began to undermine the faith of the public in the Soviet system. Once Gorbachev allowed more public expression and legitimized aspirations toward democracy and autonomy, the frictions between more consolidated and self-conscious nations and the drawbacks of the Soviet regime resulted in various separate fights for more local control among the non-Russian republics (p. 493, p. 495). Consequently, the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe collapsed (p. 501). Thanks to glasnost the people had lost their fear of the Communist Party (p. 496). The Soviet system had been through harder times in the past than what occurred in the late 1980s, but once a policy of openness had been put in place from above, it moved rapidly out of the grip of its architect, Mikhail Gorbachev....
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