After the Second World War emergence of the Soviet Union as a superpower was largely due to its planned economy as well its military might. The Soviet system encompasses a highly centralized hierarchical political system along with an emphasis on a state-regulated economy. However, we must briefly touch upon the history of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) to properly understand the 'soviet system' and its impact.
Socialist Revolution (1917) the USSR came into the focus of the world community after the socialist revolution in 1917. During the early part of the 20th century, Russia started to witness a nationwide crisis in the industry and all sectors of the economy. The October Revolution in Petrograd overthrew the Russian Provisional Government and gave power to the local Soviets dominated by Bolsheviks.
As the revolution was not universally recognized outside of Petrograd, it eventually resulted in Russian Covil War (1917-1922). Lenin, as head of the Bolsheviks, led the Red Army to victory in the Russian Civil War, and it culminated in the establishment of the world's first official socialist state, the Soviet Union in 1922.
Socialism and the role of Communist party
The Bolshevik revolution inspired the ideals of socialism and stress the need for an egalitarian society.
- State ownership of means of production became the norm in the Soviet Union
- Planned economy and the role of the state as the most dominant institution became the features of the USSR;
- The Soviet political system revolved around the Communist Party and no other political party or opposition was allowed in USSR.
The embracement of socialist principles by the Soviet State only led to its international isolation.
A question must come to our mind why the second-largest powerful nation of the world Soviet Union disintegrated. There are many causes behind the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
One of the main causes of the Soviet Union's disintegration is the internal weakness of its economic and political system. The worsening economic crisis in the Soviet led to a shortage of day-to-day perishable necessary goods. This led to a lot of unrest among the people. People started losing confidence and expressing doubt about the government. The cause of the economic shortage in the Soviet is that a major portion of the nation's income was spent on the maintenance of nuclear and strategic arms as well as for developing and upgrading artificial satellites. At the same time, people became aware of the economic progress of western nations. Comparing the economy of the Soviet Union with other western countries, the people felt that the Capitalist western countries were economically much more developed. Hence people lost confidence in the Soviet Union.