The Demise Of Communism Essay

1329 words - 5 pages

"Dear fellow citizens. For the past 40 years on this day you have heard my predecessors utter different variations on the same theme, about how our country is prospering...I do not think you appointed me to this office for me [to] lie to you...Our country is not prospering," (309). So stated Czechoslovakian President Vaclav Havel in his New Year's Day speech of 1990. What he was referring to was the political fallacies that had been fed to the people for so many years to conceal them from the truth of the demise of the country as a result of communism. It was this recognition of the negative consequences of communism that was one of the primary factors in the decline of the Cold War and the main reason that I will be assessing This essay will incorporate both Havel's speech and Mikhail Gorbachev's addresses to the people of Russia in order to evaluate some reasons that the Cold War came to an end through the retrospective views presented by the leaders of these formerly communist states.The end of the Cold War came as both a cause and an effect of the end of Communism in many countries in Europe. Coincidentally, the end of the Cold War seemingly provided a suitable date for the conclusion of Communist ideals in the countries at hand, and for this reason, its a role as one of the causes of the final endings of Communism is understood. With regard to how the Cold War was affected by the end of Communism, I can explain this through first providing a bit of background information. The Cold War was primarily a struggle between the two world powers that came about after the end of the second world war: the USSR and the United States. The USSR, as we all know, was a Communist country, while the United States claimed to be a democratic capitalist society. Much of the Cold War tension came as a result of the clash between these two political ideals. Both countries felt their system was the most beneficial, and in hopes of exposing other countries to one or the other system, much conflict developed between the two superpowers. Now, logically, if one of these two countries were to convert to the other's system of rule, then the reasons for tension ought to cease and the "war" would no longer have a purpose. This is exactly what happened. The demise of Communism marked the end of the Cold War, as, it could perhaps be said that the United States won the "battle" for political influence. Because of this, it is important to identify why Communism was abandoned. The following paragraphs will do just that through Havel and Gorbachev's writings.In the aforementioned quotation by Vaclav Havel, he enforces the seemingly obvious hope that the leader of any nation will in fact be honest to the citizens of his or her country. It was, in fact, quite the opposite situation before the fall of Communism in Czechoslovakia, which coincided with the implementation of Havel as the new president. "The great creative and spiritual potential of our nation is not being used to its...

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