The collapse of the Soviet Union There is a lengthy discussion of the collapse of the Soviet Union, which Castells argues had actually been more successful economically than is often thought nowadays. The Soviet Union actually survived a series of major disasters, from the civil war after the Revolution and the purges of the Stalin period to the Second World War (in which 25 million Soviet citizens died) – and still managed to re-house almost the entire population and gain a technological lead over the US in space research by the mid-1950s. The collapse of the Soviet Union, Castells argues, came about not because socialism itself was inherently flawed, but because the Soviet version of it, with heavy state control, was unable to manage the transition to the new informational economy. This was because the economic growth which made victory in the Second World War possible was based on state planning which was
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