The Prague was the era of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia under the domination by the Soviet Union following the Second World War. One of the reformers in this period was Alexander Dubcek who attempted to give additional rights to the people in an act of democratization and incomplete decentralization of the economy. Freedoms granted by these reformers comprised loosening of constraints on travel, speech, and the media. Such reforms, mostly the decentralization of governmental authority, angered the Soviets, and after failed negotiations, they decided to invade Czechoslovakia. Subsequent leaders emerged to restore the economic and political values prior to Dubcek’s rule of the Communist party of Czechoslovakia but failed.
With the end of Stalin’s power, immediate liberalization in the Soviet life was brought. Khrushchev, the communist party leader criticized Stalin’s dictatorial reign, thus signaling a break with the past. His reforms failed because he lacked Stalin’s all-encompassing power (Lorimer, 1997). Moreover, his time in power was manifested by continuous manipulation against the political opponents much more real than that of Stalin. Khrushchev tried reforms in both foreign and domestic policy, but with mixed impacts. During his tenure, global politics became much more compound as the anxiety of the Cold War persisted; he ultimately failed in policies of innovating agriculture, industry, and party politics.
On the other hand, Gorbachev had a plan that comprised of some reforms for the survival of the Soviet Union. He advocated for openness, or more freedom of expression, restructuring the economy with market reforms, and the reforms in the communist party. He believed that his reforms were essential and used his power and leadership in an effort to implement them. However, these reforms were too slow; decentralization of the economy and gradual market reforms failed to maintain pace with people’s demands and the crisis of the time. The attempts to reform the communist party failed as a change was too sluggish to match with events yet he was ever hindered by his will to surrender to the hard-liners so that he could retain power. Further, with the collapse of communism in Europe, reforms in the Soviet Union became improbable since the leaders in these states could not endure the lack of Soviet Union’s support (Lorimer, 1997).
Communism among European states was based on the ideals that wealth is equally distributed among citizens with the reason that everyone is equal. There was no private ownership as the state had the power to own and control all property and enterprises. The system of communism failed because the domination of the Communist Party was illegitimate from the start. It never had a majority support or a legal political basis. Coercion and force were often used to ensure that the party remained powerful. Brainwashing and propaganda were applied to spread communism. Such repressive measures meant that the expansion of communist society and culture was stagnating. Lies and secrecy undermined efficiency eroded the morale of the citizens, and individuals were isolated (Lorimer, 1997). This was combined with the fact that, as a result of Western influences, people in the communist states were beginning to realize their backwardness and predicaments, and thus they opted for a better political system.
ReferencesLorimer Doug, The Collapse of Communism in the USSR: Its Causes and Significance, New York: Resistance Books, 1997.
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