Mikhail Gorbachev – Perestroika and Glasnost

Mikhail Gorbachev’s background
  • Gorbachev was elected as the General secretary of the USSR in 1985.
  • He was the last selected leader for the Communist.
  • In 1986, he launched his two major policies, Perestroika and Glasnost. Perestroika associates with ‘restructuring’ of everything, whereas Glasnost refers to the ‘openness’ of censorship, so the citizens may partake in their debate.
  • 1988 – announced withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan, and to abandon the Brezhnev Doctrine.
  • 1990 – received a Nobel Peace Prize for ending the Cold War.

Perestroika

This policy was to restructure the Communist Party and make it more responsive to the needs of the people. Perestroika was Gorbachev’sĀ program to restructure the Soviet economy in an attempt to revitalize it. This was required to take measures of private enterprise to promote production, efficiency and higher-quality goods for the people within USSR. To restructure, Gorbachev decentralized the controls over the economy, effectively lessening the government’s role in the decision-making processes of individual enterprises. Perestroika also hoped to improve production levels by bettering the lives of workers, including giving them more recreation time and safer working conditions.

Glasnost

Glasnost was Gorbachev’s policy for the Soviet Union where people could freely express their opinions. This included the removal of censorship from news so that everyone will be able to know what has occurred. With Glasnost, Soviet citizens no longer had to worry about neighbors, friends, and acquaintances turning them in to the KGB for whispering something that could be construed as criticism of the government or its leaders. They no longer had to worry about arrest and exile for a negative thought against the State.

Glasnost allowed the Soviet people to reexamine their history, voice their opinions on governmental policies. However, since censorship was removed, it also had its drawbacks, such as showing the crime rate growing, which wouldn’t have been in the favor of the Government if it causes panic within the people.

 

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