During the 1970’s and the 1980’s the Soviet Union was recognized worldwide as being a strong political power, although the Soviet Union was not as it appeared to be. When Mikhail Gorbachev (see Figure 1) was elected General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on 11 March 1985, not one soul could have predicted that in 6 years the Soviet Union would collapse into fifteen separate states. He attempted to make the Soviet system into a democracy, which backfired quickly (Grachev, 1995). The main reasons for the fall of the USSR are economic issues, political issues, psychological factors, and the competition with the West, the leading issue being economic factors. The USSR’s economy eventually turned into a standstill, with no improvement what so ever, and the nation became desperate. The economic factors are linked with the political factors. Such things as dishonesty, propaganda, and secrecy also played a large role in the USSR’s collapse.
Mikhail Gorbachev had a vision for the USSR. He often referred to two words: openness and restructuring (Gill, 1994). Gorbachev fought long and hard to hold on to some form of a union. He preferred a federation, but was flexible enough that if necessary he was ready to settle for a Confederation Union of independent states (Grachev, 1995). The new emergence of strong local governments was a threat for the unity of the country, even so Gorbachev still fought hard to maintain a union. In 1991 Gorbachev (after much persuasion) formed an alliance with the conservatives who wanted to keep the country as a connected whole (Grachev, 1995). Soon after forming, it became obvious that the price of the alliance would be the abandonment of an improvement for the Soviet Union. The reform was the core of what Gorbachev stood for. In April of 1991 the Novo-Ogarevo process hardened the alliance with the formation of the New Union of Sovereign States (USS) (Grachev, 1995). Little did Gorbachev know that the ideas he was putting into place would bring about the collapse of an entire empire.
Gorbachev took advantage and decided to aim his propagandist offensive towards the public opinion, his goal was that his listeners would come away from this broadcasts with considerable amounts of ideas that they would then voice. Gorbachev underlined certain key ideas. The first being a positive real change for the Soviet Union would only come from democracy. Second their society has been extremely militarized, the most militarized in the entire world. Gorbachev wanted to stray away from this title and give focus on other issues that had long been forgotten. Finally one of the most important points was to avoid civil conflict at all costs. Gorbachev was nervous about these conflicts because often times during their meetings people would yell “Down with so-and-so! He should be shot!” (Grachev, 1995, 35).
Consequently the Soviet Union ran into many economic issues, which let to its collapse. First the Soviet Union lost...