Governing Through Turbulence Essay, Research Paper
The Russian government is a time bomb just waiting to explode, you have a whole country in economic turmoil, and the leaders are frantic to try and diffuse the situation. Two leaders have tried to turn their nations around Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union, and Boris Yeltsin of Russia. Although different it is surprising they both had the same common goal?
Mikhail Gorbachev was born in a small town in the Red Guard district of Stavropol province called Privolnoe. Gorbachev was accepted by the Soviet Union, Moscow State University, also its law school. He graduated in 1955, that is also the year he met and later married his wife named Raisa Maksmimovna Titorenko.
Gorbachev had a dream to help his country change from the Cold War, military superpower to an economic giant. It became evident that Gorbachev was trying to undo 70 years of economic depression and political repression. The way that Socialism had worked was everyone did their job and no one person got rewarded, it was like one big team. The people of Russia started to feel as if why bother with trying to improve their lives if they can?t gain anything. Russian people lost the motivation to strive to be the best, the government owned everything and gave a little to everyone.
Gorbachev tried to change all of this, in 1985 Gorbachev published one of two books, the first one called ?Perestroika? a Russian word meaning reconstruction. It was of sort another revolution that was hitting Russia, Gorbachev was going to totally revamp the Communist system by a series of economic and political reform. There would be new technological advances lead by new trade policies with the rest of the world. To do that, however, he first needed to try and put an end to the cold war.
In 1985 Gorbachev intended Perestroika to be a program of moderate and controlled reform, that would jump start the economy. In the years that followed, there were many serious roadblocks and it became ever so clear that a population that had been ruled by a tyrant, people had little work effort, and it was not easy to believe its government?s new promises. Gorbachev noticed there seemed to be a resistance to his plan, so to counter the resistance he put forward a new plan called ?Glasnost? which meant that the society would be open to criticism by people. Gorbachev believed that by keeping his people informed about true conditions of their economic short-comings he would win their support for persestroika.
The economic failures plaguing the Soviet Union demanded Gorbachev?s immediate attention, he modified the Cold War policies and in 1985 began meeting with Ronald Regan in annual meetings to help reduce the nuclear weapons stock pile in both countries. Through a restructuring of the existing constitution, open elections he also brought a sense of democracy. As democracy grew opponents noticed that communism was just not working and asked for an adoption to a free market economy, exactly what Gorbachev did not want.
Gorbachev started his plan by limiting some of the powers the military officers had, which made the officers furious, for they had done things the same way for so many years and now Gorbachev is taking it away. Gorbachev also started to lose his popularity with the party because he was aligning himself too much to the West, and Russia was giving up a lot of things in the Arms Treaties.
The Russian people never saw any kind of benefit from the remodeling of the Communist system, in fact Gorbachev favored the government?s role in the economy and away from privatization which just slowed thing even more. The Russian economy was not expanding but contracting.
Some of Gorbachev?s other failures where, he was preaching about democratization so much, that the Baltic states started to break away and form there own governments. He is blamed for loosing control over those states, he is also blamed for creating low internal income by slowing the production of oil in Russia.
Finally in August, 1991, some of Gorbachev?s closed supporters decided they have had enough and tried to over through him. The coup lasted for three days and the results could see that the country was in trouble. He survived the turmoil but lost his battle for trying to reconstruct the government and on December 25, 1991 he banned the Soviet Union and resigned.
This opened the doors for yet another leader who saw what Gorbachev did wrong and what needed to be done now. ?Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was born on February 4, 1931 in the village of Butko?. Yeltsin became a man of the people, people could identify with him. He was opposed to corruption and violence. ?Television crews accompanied him as he made his rounds of stores and workplaces and purged incompetent and corrupt officials. By March 1987, he had replaced half of Moscow?s party leaders and had arrested 800 corrupt retail trade officials.? Yeltsin also had a view of change except his change would be economic first then political. After all that the Russian people have been through, Boris Yeltsin is the first freely elected ruler.
Yeltsin created the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) in 1991, and one of the problems that it faced was that the CIS was neither a state or a federation, but a very loose arrangement.
Yeltsin still has many problems, he still spends 4% of Russia?s Gross Domestic Product on the over 1.2 million members of his Army . With the amount of money they have for defense and the amount of people they support it is only a matter of time before the armed forces revolt.
Where would you put some of the soldiers if they get out, there is an approximate unemployment rate of about 50%. What the Russian Government needs is to make more jobs and to bring foreign money into Russia. Pay off its debt and create an economy. It is proven throughout history that the region is continuing to strive for a better life and will not rest until it gets it. Until the government gets rid of corruption and organized crime the economic turmoil will continue no matter who runs the country, whether its democratic or communist.