Its amazing how influential the media can be, even in an authoritative Soviet society. The media, in the modern age, may be one of the most dominant industries. Throughout history it has been the source and cause of information, both domestic and abroad, and revolution, respectively.
With the Soviet youth obtaining more access to the media, and being able to see how the youth of western societies get to live compared to the backwards social environment they were born into, it should not surprise anyone that civil disobedience and the desire to rebel against established norms came about amongst younger generations.
Very interesting post on a topic that probably goes overlooked more often then not. Soviets just seem to have a knack for instituting policies that end up backfiring and hurting them in some sort of way, whether it be politically, socially, or economically, and in this case, the attempted ban on alcohol was detrimental to all three of these factors.
Very interesting post. Its amazing that Gorbachev tried to use this national tragedy as a opportunity to strike out against the west and how they reacted to an incident that happened in Soviet territory. Again, Gorbachev’s attempt to make this disaster seem like a footnote in an isolated region continues the overarching theme of the Soviet Union covering up their own blunders no matter how irresponsible, reckless, or important that society knows the truth.
It goes without question that the Chernobyl disaster goes down as one of the worst, if not the worst, tragedies in Russian history to date. It’s immediate and later effects on the Russian economy and population would prove to be extremely detrimental in the years leading up to and the years after the fall of the Soviet Union.
It truly is a shame that a friendly and world renowned event such as the Olympics would be disrupted as a result of one nations aggression against another during the time period, whether the reasons were valid or not. And the fact that back to back Olympics were undermined due to political differences shows the arrogance and immaturity of the nations involved. The Olympics, no matter where they are held, for the most part, should be a time of international unity and cooperation, not an opportunity to pull off a politically motivated stunt to try and revere dominance over someone else.
This just goes to show that the Soviet’s continuous manipulation of other nations and obsession with furthering its “buffer zone”, this time to the south, was, as you said, another nail in the coffin of the Soviet Union. This failure in Afghanistan, which the Soviets perceived would be a quick and easy invasion, made it clear to the world that the SU was spreading itself to thin and wasting resources, money, and lives ended up puncturing the domestic economy, and leading citizens to question the state that Soviet Union was in.
This is one of the topics I find most interesting in Soviet history since it was one of the first instances that truly showed the struggle the SU was having domestically and abroad. Also, this was the first time since WWII that actual Soviet troops invaded another nation. The SU usually used proxies to do their military bidding. You may be aware of this, but if I recall correctly, the US did not directly supply the Afghans. They secretly purchased all of the captured Soviet weapons that the Israeli’s had acquired over time. They then funneled these weapons into Egypt and Pakistan, who in turn, delivered them to the Al Qaeda.
I feel that it was only a matter of time until the youth began to question and challenge the old soviet ways. To little social reform took place over the decades that the SU has existed, and personally, I feel it is innate for younger generations to challenge an authority that they are forced to accept and adhere to. In “The Second Treatise of Government” by John Locke, he expresses that younger generations should not be forced to accept the government and society of their parents. It is up to them to decide if they will agree with it or call for reform, due to the fact that in the decades to come, society will be controlled by them, not that of their parents. Soviet authoritarianism was one of many factors that led to its demise and eventual downfall
Its amazing that even though Khrushchev introduced a “thaw”, where censorship was decreases, yet at the same time, he called for the reduction of the Orthodox Church, which as you said, played a huge role in Russian lives. It seems that he uncensored things that wouldn’t rival or affect his power, such as freeing Gulag prisoners, and instead, limited religion which could wield threatening power to his legitimacy if it were to see differently then him.