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Collapse of Socialism in Russia

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COLLAPSE OF SOCIALISM IN RUSSIA

The article discusses the emergence of socialism in Russia and its eventual collapse.

Modern Russia is not what it was a hundred or two hundred years ago. It has evolved from Russian Empire to Soviet Russia and then to Russian Federation, which we commonly called as Modern Russia. It has an entire history how Russian empire became part of USSR in 1915 and then again became independent county in 1991. The Soviet Era is considered as the era of emergence and then eventual demise of socialism. Russia was one part of the Soviet Union (known as Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). It was the union of  Socialist Republics. They were Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. It broke up about 20 years ago and now all these nations run independently. One of those nations is Russia (Russian Federation).

Socialist planned economy combines public ownership and management of the means of production with centralized state planning, and can refer to a broad range of economic systems from the centralized Soviet-style command economy to participatory planning via workplace democracy. In a centrally-planned economy, decisions regarding the quantity of goods and services to be produced as well as the allocation of output (distribution of goods and services) are planned in advanced by a planning agency. This type of economic system was often combined with a one-party political system, and is thus associated with the Communist states of the 20th century. The revolutions in Eastern Europe and the collapse of the ex-USSR have been cited many times as evidence of the "death of socialism."

Soviet state socialism brought rapid economic growth during 1928-75. During those years the country was transformed from a backward, largely agricultural one to an urban industrial society. By the late 1970s Soviet living standards had reached first-world levels in many respects. In the mid-1970s Soviet economic progress slowed down sharply, as indicated both by the economic growth rate and the more difficult-to-measure rate of innovation. Stagnation set in after 1975. Although output still increased every year through 1989, real GNP was growing at only about 2% per year. This stagnation played an important role in Mikhail Gorbachev’s accession to power in 1985, as a representative of the reform wing of the Communist Party leadership. He lost no time in announcing his aim of a serious renovation of Soviet state socialism, a program known by its Russian name perestroika. Gorbachev and his allies viewed lack of democracy, in its broadest sense, as the central problem of the Soviet system, and in 1989-90 new elective institutions were set up across the Soviet Union. Political power was rapidly shifted from the General Secretary and to a new Presidency and elected soviets in the Soviet Union as a whole and in several key republics, including the huge Russian Republic of the Soviet Union, which had three-fourths of the land area and half of the population of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev and his allies saw democratization as necessary to renew socialism and bring out its true potential. But its implementation had huge risks and A group favouring the abandonment of socialism and its replacement by capitalism was rapidly developed, led by former Moscow Communist Party boss Boris Yeltsin. In the space of a few years this group came to power in the Russian Republic, and, from that power base, was able to dismember the Soviet Union. Gorbachev resigned as general secretary in late August, and soon afterward the Party's activities were indefinitely suspended—effectively ending its rule. By the fall, Gorbachev could no longer influence events outside of Moscow, and he was being challenged even there by Yeltsin, who had been elected President of Russia in July 1991.

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