Soviet communism collapsed on its own -- Linda Hilker

August 2, 2018

Please do not give Ronald Reagan and his military policies the only credit for the fall of communism in the Soviet Union, as was suggested recently in Marc Thiessen’s column ” The hypocrisy of the Democratic Russia hawks. ” Even with Reagan’s hawkish policies, the Soviet Union collapsed from within, not from without.

In 1989 when cracks in the Iron Curtain appeared in Berlin, Budapest, Prague and Warsaw, the Russians turned a blind eye and did not respond with military power. Past uprisings -- East Germany (1953), Hungary (1956), Czechoslovakia (1968) and Poland (1982) -- were crushed mightily by the Soviets, but not this time. The Soviets were losing control of Eastern Europe.

By 1991 the Soviet economic system had failed. Communist Party members lived well, but not the average citizen. The regime made promises of the superiority of the communist way of life, but goods and services were sparse. Standards of living were declining. Birth and life expectancy rates were dropping. There was growing restiveness among the many diverse nationalities that comprised the 15 republics of the Soviet Union. By 1993 a new constitution signaled the end of communism.

The Soviet Union imploded on its own volition. Soviet communism as a socioeconomic order had failed.

Linda Hilker, Cross Plains

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