Assess the Importance of Ideological Differences in the Outbreak of the Cold War.

Topics: Soviet Union, Cold War, Communism Pages: 3 (1243 words) Published: September 30, 2012
Assess the importance of ideological differences in the outbreak of the Cold War. The two opposing ideologies of the 20th century were Capitalism and Communism and some consider them to be responsible for the growing tensions of what would later become the Cold War. Capitalism found its home in the West, and specifically in the USA and was based on private ownership, the means of production and the creation of goods or services for profit. It also incorporated competitive markets, wage labour and capital accumulation and was closely linked to democracy, the political ideology that was present in the West, which involves equality of all citizens, freedom of speech and free elections all of which is a drastic contrast to the Soviet ideology. Communism was a revolutionary socialist movement to create a classless, moneyless, and stateless social order structured upon common ownership of the means of production, as well as a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of this social order. The two different ideologies of the USA and the USSR were bound to lead to conflict as they were essentially contradictory but some argue that they might not have been the only cause for the escalating institutionalised hatred between the two countries. For example, there was also the aspect of self-interest, empire building, trying to develop a sphere influence and securing political interest. To a certain extent clashing ideologies might be seen as the driving force behind the outbreak of the Cold War as they caused a sense of alienation between the two superpowers. Also, the different misconceptions that they had of each other were caused by their suspicions of the other ideology. For example the ‘Red Scare’ in the United States was responsible for a much harsher reaction on the part of America to any possibly aggressive actions of the Soviet Union. The United States’ belief in the fact that democracy truly was the better option and rightful political...
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