The Collapse of the Soviet Union

  • 🎬 Video
  • ℹ️ Description

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was founded following the October Revolution in Russia in 1917 by Vladimir Lenin. Lenin's successor Joseph Stalin is believed to be responsible for up to 30 million deaths due to his policy of purging dissidents, mismanagement of food sourcing, and divide and conquer tactics. After helping the Western Powers defeat Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan in the Second World War - historically known to Russians as The Great Patriotic War - the Soviet Union was a rival to the west who feared its expansion, for a 45 year period known as The Cold War. When Mikhail Gorbachev became the Soviet leader in 1985 he relaxed policies of speech suppression and introduced more free market principles, as well as introducing democratic elections for the congress members. This led to secession movements brewing, first in its European states, then eventually Central Asia and Russia itself, and all 15 republics gained their independence by 1991, before Gorbachev officially dissolved the Soviet Union on Christmas Day. Today the USSR's legacy lives on in its former territories, involved in conflicts still unresolved to this day.

Footage in video is from both documentaries listed in end credits.

💬 Comments

Looking forward to the video on veganism

Author — John Ellis Bush Bush


The success of Stalin - the man who used to boast that he conquered the United States "from the plow to the atomic bomb in just a generation" - compared to Gorbachev's failure shows that a socialist economy is unable to function with a minimum of efficiency without requiring a massive dose of political violence. In an attempt to reform a decadent regime, Gorbachev moved faster with the process of economic opening in the hope of removing the predictable resistance that the Soviet bureaucracy would create to economic reform measures, as thorough proof with the failed attempt. coup d'état in August 1991 - which ended up precipitating the final crisis of socialism and the dissolution of the USSR itself

Its Chinese parallel - Deng Xiaoping - adopted a logic diametrically opposed to that of Gorbachev: it prioritized the achievement of economic prosperity (adopting in practice capitalism) precisely to delay any attempt at political opening, as was evident with the acceleration of the economy. reforms after the Tiananmen Square massacre.

It is important to note that it was Karl Marx himself who, in his Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, discerned the scenario in which the conditions for a social revolution process are formed, describing it as follows:

“At a certain stage in its development, the material productive forces of society contradict existing production relations or - which is only their legal expression - with the property relations in which they have been active until then. From the forms of development of the productive forces, these relations are transformed into fetters of them. So, it is a time of social revolution. '*

By rejecting the pursuit of profit maximization as an instrument to stimulate innovation, socialist countries ended up condemning themselves to obsolescence. Thus, they lost the chance to incorporate the productivity gains made possible by technological progress. That is why the capitalist countries managed to provide a greater rise in the standard of living of their population, even without pursuing the egalitarian ideal. Therefore, until the “final crisis of socialism” (to paraphrase K. Marx's own definitions once again), it was only a matter of time. But religious fanatics do not give up on their faith, even against the indisputable proof of the facts, which completely refute it!

* Reproduced according to MARX, K. Preface to the Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, organized by Florestan Fernandes and published under the title K. Marx: Theory and historical process of the social revolution, In Marx & Engels, Great Social Scientists Collection, History, vol. 36. São Paulo: Ática, 1983. p. 232. Commemorative edition of the centenary of Karl Marx's death.

Author — Héber Pelágio