Was the Soviet Union Reformable?

Topics: Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, Communism Pages: 3 (1065 words) Published: May 20, 2013
Was The Post Soviet Union Reformable? (Rewrite)
“The universal meaning of reform is not merely change, but change that betters people’s lives.” (Cohen, Stephen)
In his book, Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives, Steven Cohen addresses in details in chapter 4 about whether the Soviet Union was reformable. Following how Cohen views the NEP, the answer is that he believes that it was. He contends that the evidence that the opposition presents as to the unreformability of Russia is for the most part, evidentially wrong. Cohen’s reasons for believing that the Soviet Union was reformable was aided by the arguments that he wasn’t. It is in rebutting these arguments that Cohen attempts to establish facts about why the Soviet Union could have been saved. On the matter of “original sin” which proffers that the way the Soviet Union came to be was through illegitimately evil ways, and thus was made a forever “absolutely evil without redemptive alternative possibilities of development and thus too fatally flawed to be reformed. Cohen posits that if original sin disqualifies a political or economic system from redemption, how then did the once slave holding America eventually become a leading example of democracy? For over 20 years, the U.S held people captives, and believed it could get beyond that and still be considered a great world power. But Ronald Reagan was campaigning strongly against the USSR and deeming it unsalvageable only three years into Gorbachev’s reforms. A major interpretation by western media according to John D. Nagle is that postcommunism had “restored national independence… and has given new hope to ethnic nationalities that want to restore or expand their political sovereignty…” Nagle 176. This could then prove, that the Soviet Union post-communism could have continued in the same stride to prolong the effects of the reforms meant to change it.

The second commonly held view is that the end of the Soviet Union was proof its unreformability....
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