In 1986 when the Chernobyl reactor melted down, the Communist party decided to make an attempt at keeping it out of the media and give little warning to the civilians as to what was about to happen. This blatant disregard for human safety is what led Mikhail Gorbachev to push for glasnost, or openness, in all public media. This newfound concept of openness is what led the citizens to start pushing for the reconstruction of their government and economy. Taking on fixing such a damaged economy, however, was a much larger task than those he had taken on previously (Brower & Sanders. 2006). Although it took a lot of getting used to, the citizens recognized that their lives would be much more improved if they could just stick it out. This shrunk the communist society more every day.
The concept of a command economy did not fit very well at all into the plans Gorbachev had for the government. He felt that the people should be able to have more say in the way their government is being ran. This idealization goes against nearly everything about a communist government and economy.
Once these new ideas were introduced by Gorbachev, the decline of communism happened fairly quickly. Once given the opportunity to have a say in who held a seat in the government, the people overwhelmingly chose candidates who were the complete opposite of the communist leaders they were used to. Although Gorbachev’s promises were next to perfection in the eyes of citizens and onlookers worldwide, some felt he was too good to be true and felt as though his motives and persistence should be questions (Allison. 1988). It is safe to say that communist leaders felt as though their hands were tied seeing as once the citizens were given a say, they went against communism.
- Allison, G. T. (1988). Testing Gorbachev. Foreign Affairs, 67(1), 18-32.
- Brower, D. R., & Sanders, T. (2006). The world in the twentieth century: from empires to nations. Pearson/Prentice Hall.