Collapse of the Communist regimes
Communism proved to be an experiment that was doomed to be failure. There were two reasons for this. Firstly, the theoretic model created by Marx was an utopist one. It was both too short and vague. But its main problem was that it intended to develop a better world by destroying private property, which means abolishing one of the fundamental human rights. Secondly, and probably the more important, is the contradiction between the theory and the real circumstances in which the system is put into practice. While Marx thought communism was suitable for strong capitalist states, the actual communism was applied to countries where capitalism was just at the commencement, where the number of workers was still reduced and the poorly developed economy was based on agriculture. Not having a complete theoretic basis, the communism suffered interpretations that led to brutal human rights violation and to real human dramas.
Most scientists who approached the issue of communism collapse claim that there are four reasons for it:
1. Economic problems
The communist economy started as a very successful type, the rhythm of development being accelerated. However, it did not last for long, as starting from 1980, it dramatically slows down. It became obvious that the communist world was not only incapable to reach the level of the Western states, but it was doing the opposite, except China. The development rhythm was not the only economical problem. Communist countries were no longer able to offer enough products for its citizens. The two major features of the communist economy were the causes of this: planned economy and artificial industrialization. Moreover, investing in heavy industry meant following Stalin's example but also walking against the wind. For instance, white everywhere else in the world authorities were emphasizing the service industry, in the communist states were interested in less productive domains. The 80's brought a serious economical crisis on USSR and Poland. As a result of Russia's downfall, all the states that were under its domination were affected. Actually, these countries had no buyers for their products, as they were only allowed to exchange products in the Soviet space, where the resources were almost inexistent. Another cause of this crisis was the fact that the capitalist states demanded for less and less products from the Soviets.
2. The competition against the Occident
Despite the previous co-operation, the period after The Second World War brought a deep separation between the Allies and USSR. The western leaders were totally against communism and, as Stalin had not forgotten their implication in the civil war, he focused on ensuring USSR security by total isolation from the Occident.
The Cold War, especially the crisis of Cuba, added to the completion between East and West the military side, which took the form of the arms race. To tell the truth, the Soviet retreat from Cuba was seen as a humiliation not only of Stalin, but also of the Soviet people. In consequence, Nikita Khrushchev's successors decided that a similar event can not take place again. As a result, more and more money were invested in similar purposes, so that Russia became almost as equipped as USA. The side effect of this was that other communist states in Europe followed Russia in this activity so most of the financial resources of these poorly developed countries were wasted.
Another side of this competition was the one of conquering the space, which was almost equally expensive as the weapons race. All these were dramatically reducing USSR strength.
3. Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev was the President of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. He started a process of change: perestroika, regarding economy, and glasnost, regarding stately organization. These changes were meant to save the USSR, but the result was the opposite. He was not the system's savior, but his destroyer. The fact that he encouraged Eastern states to achieve their goals had not the expected result, but ended up the communist period in this region.
4. Opposing forces
The communists had enemies from the start. The opposition against communism took different shapes such as protest or rebellion acts. Some of the most important are the ones that took place in Western Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia in 1953, URSS in 1962, Poland in 1956 and 1970, Yugoslavia 1971 and 1981, and Romania in 1977 and 1987. More over, there were also some extreme attacks against socialism, such as revolutionary actions in Hungary 1956 and Czechoslovakia 1968. The authorities' response to these protests was as impressive as brutal, the army's implication having as a result numerous victims.
Another way of expressing the disagreement with communist system was the one of running away from communist countries. This option was largely preferred by educated people, who got this way the right and power to criticize the system by means of works of art.
The communist system left strong scars on humans who experienced it. The process of going back to democracy proves to be a hard one. This is why communism in one of the debatable themes in contemporaneous societies. It seems that getting rid of the communist memories is harder them forgetting any other totalitarian system. The effects of this ideology put into practice in an inappropriate manner are so profound that many generations will fell them.