CN 4-19-11

CN 4-19-11 - 4/19/11 World History: The Dissolution of the...

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4/19/11 World History: The Dissolution of the Cold War Order The Soviet Crisis of the 1980s Internal o Domestic political, ideological, social considerations o Facing a crisis of legitimacy People were increasingly aware of the problems society was facing o Economically The USSR was falling farther and farther behind Soviet system proves inefficient As communists they have abolished the profit motive for people and under Stalin it was the fear motive In Post Stalinist era the USSR stopped using wide scale exiling or killing as a practice Soviet economy deteriorated where the standing joke in late USSR “We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us” o Technologically: USSR industrial plant built in the 30s 40s and 50s in a Stalinist model Based now more on information technology The USSR simply cannot keep up due to technological backwardness and concern USSR rulers had with control of information EX: common ways of opposition to saminzadt which was underground manuscripts USSR wanted every single piece of paper that came out of a copier to be accounted for to keep from circulating “illegal” materials
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It really slows things down In 40’s you could argue the capitalist and soviet countries are doing the same thing By the 80’s it’s clear that the soviet economy is a whole nother kind of thing than the capitalist economy o Chernobyl disaster Caused by unreasonable demands for power imposed by regime on obsolete and poorly maintained equipment Since soviet gov has concealed magnitude of disaster for a long time it added to the crisis of legitimacy in the soviet state Ordinary soviets are aware of the economic gap between USSR and capitalist country If you look at entire world in the 80’s the soviets were living in the upper ½ Being made worse with spread of information technology EX: E germany is easy to get W German tv they’re living pretty well in W germany…w e have nothing why do we have nothing? o Answer is communism o Communism is a materialistic doctrine that provides pplw ith better material life if it’s not doing that it has issues o Furthermore USSR afterall was not just the USSR it was heir to Russian empire o Unlike other great European empires built in 19 th century the Russian empire was never colonized land empire o Non-russians were increasingly interested in self determination Questioning of Moscow because they are Russian
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External o USSR’s deteriorating international position o International organization is also working aginst USSR o Soviet involvement in Afghanistan Soviets became involved in Afghanistan to protect allied communist government Brezhnev doctrine The more confrontational policy against USSR started late in the Carter Administration Ended with US supplying money and weaposn to the Anti-soviet Afghans Quite explicitly put to Americans as revenge of Vietnam Arming insurgents was a successful policy
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This note was uploaded on 09/13/2011 for the course PSC 1001 taught by Professor Dickson during the Spring '11 term at GWU.

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CN 4-19-11 - 4/19/11 World History: The Dissolution of the...

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