Was Mikhail Gorbachev responsible for the fall of communism in Russia?
Mikhail Gorbachev was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. He was a powerhouse and an effective leader who turned Russia around by improving the economy through his domestic reforms [Perestroika (restructuring), Glasnost (openness)] and ending the cold war. Although Gorbachev was born during the reign of the communist government and was elected by the politburo he was responsible for rupturing the Soviet Union and communist government. However, to avoid revolution, Gorbachev could not just add western influenced policies to a conservative and communist government he would have to earn the trust of the people by improving the USSR and then gradually start displaying the flaws of communism to the public and then start implementing new pragmatic western based policies to the Soviet Union. This was completed by utilizing a very interesting unplanned step-by-step process.
Step one was to earn the trust of the people by improving the country economically, but with new western unorthodox ways. This would show the people the power of western governmental methods. To earn the trust of the people Gorbachev immediately started calling for fast paced technological modernization and increased agricultural and industrial productivity. This lightened the hopes of the public but Mikhail had to gain more approval from the public but display western methods simultaneously. This led him to introduce a political reform termed Glasnost, which means openness. Glasnost gave new western-based freedoms to the people like more freedom of speech. This also gave the press more freedom, which opened the public’s eyes to the flaws of communism. Glasnost also gave businesses far more independence from government and state ministries then they had in the past. This was a more left sided policy, which encouraged the workers to form small businesses like hair saloons and...
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