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HIS2117 (26)


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Corinne Gaudin

• Specifically refers to all the economic,political changes in Russia,refers to restructuring • Goes much farther than glasnost,actual restructuring of the system • Gross givens about history ⿞The soviet union was brought down by a mass population declaring the system was illegitimate ⿞But this is incomplete and oversimplified about what happened ⿞The was discontent but it was about the hypocrisies of the government ⿞Most people still believed that the states fundamental responsibility was to guarantee a minimum economic security for everyone ⿞The discontent emerged during the end of Gorbachev's rule and were aimed against the policy of perestroika Election to Congress • The conservatives,the established elites,won a majority in the congress of peoples deputies • The hard liners and reformers won in cities • Gorbachev elected president at the first meeting,and the congress became the legislature of the soviet union • But the creation of this congress brought forth a contradiction: ⿞The congress made the laws of the soviet union but the authority to pass the laws did not give them the power and resources to implement them,it was still the party and government that could ignore laws ⿞Constitution issue:article 6 of 1977 const.had reasserted that the party directs and sets policy for the who makes the laws in the country? ⿞For six ,oaths discussion in congress bogged down about the constitution • The was a danger that this whole idea of democratisation would drown in the swamp of political discussion • There were real problems but they just kept talking,people got frustrated • Finally Gorbachev realised that this dead end had to be resolved,maybe by disempowering the communist party • The voting opens the door to a multi party state,with free competition between different parties • This is even more important the creation of elections and people's congress • Early 1990 Gorbachev gathered the central committee and asked it to remove article 6 from the constitution, and the central committee agreed ⿞Why? Because Gorbachev was the leader and he was able to convince them Perestroika and Economic Reforms • The purpose of all of these reforms was to restructure the economic system,to make it better • Gorbachev's goals were not unlike kruschev's,to refocus attention on the part of the economy that served how well people lived instead of heavy industry • But quickly the reforms went far beyond what he had imagined • What NEP showed for Gorbachev was that within communism you could have market mechanisms,opening the possibility of small private enterprises,reducing the authority and power and reach of central planning,all while retaining control over the commanding heights of the economy • This was done by three big laws ⿞Law on state enterprises:was put in place June 1987 to be implemented my jan 1989 ‣ Stipulated that most state enterprises had to change over to strict cost accounting and self financing ‣ The idea was to revive incentive and productivity ‣ But Gorbachev wouldn't actually cut off subsidies if business couldn't preform because he couldn't risk unemployment of people ‣ and because only some laws had changed there was lots of confusion so people could do whatever ‣ because of fixed prices,all input goods set by state,and output set by state,they could only produce certain goods at a loss,so they would just stop producing them,such as soap ‣ This brought successive shortages of goods that had never been in shortage before (except maybe WWII) ‣ This severely undermined the popularity of reforms ‣ Gorbachev quickly realised this was a problem,so he used hard currency reserves to import goods ‣ The soviet union now had to take out loans,and for the first time had debt with the IMF ⿞How do you fix the agriculture issues? ‣ By 1980 the sovi
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