Problems Resulting From The Fall Of Communism

Essay, Research Paper The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and in The Soviet Union has presented an array of new opportunities but also problems for much of this region. Although, with this collapse the opportunity

Essay, Research Paper

The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and in The Soviet

Union has presented an array of new opportunities but also problems

for much of this region. Although, with this collapse the opportunity

arises to establish a democratic government and a market economy

exists, the process has shown to be a slow one. With the attempt to

restore civil liberties and the hope of enjoying the standard of living

similar to that of Western Europe, communist parties are still in

existence (under new names and titles), and Eastern Europe is still

struggling to become free both economically and politically.

The problems facing Eastern Europe and The Soviet Union are

both political and economic. First, economically this region is falling

apart. Unemployment is widespread and most of the plants and

factories run by the communists are gone. As a result of being poor

and unemployed, hundreds of thousands of people have migrated

from Eastern to Western Europe in hopes of finding work. This has

led to much resentment, especially from countries such as Germany.

Outbreaks of opposition and physical violence have erupted leading to

increased ethnic tension. In turn, immigration is being restricted in

many of the Western countries.

In addition to the economic troubles, there is an environmental

effect. Many of the closed down plants and factories are so polluting

that they have left many areas virtually unlivable. This pollution has

left the former communist nations with some of the worst

environmental problems in the world. This has in turn contributed to

the immigration problem.

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The nations of Western Europe, facing high costs themselves

related to the collapse of communism, are hesitant to send any relief

funds to the East. This is especially true in Germany, where costs of

their own unification have been very high. East Germany and West

Germany are still at odds over state aid that has been mostly directed

to the East. Other parts of Europe, being in an economic slump

themselves lack the resources to aid Eastern Europeans. A fear that

Eastern Europe?s economic difficulties could negatively affect their

own economy, has also led to a fear of economic integration.

Political challenges are also a major problem resulting from the

collapse of communism. Civil war continues to be seen in Yugoslavia

and ethnic violence occurs daily. The Czechs and the Slovaks divided

Czechoslovakia into two separate nations in 1993. The liberty and

freedom offered by the end of a communist government has tended to

be mostly for the pursuit of personal ethnic goals which in turn has

led to turmoil. After World War II, West Germany and Austria

developed strong democratic governments but because of strong

communist histories, other nations have not followed suit. They

continue to resist a democracy, settling instead as distinct political

units. They do not realize that with disorder, economic stagnation

and ethnic competition, a democracy cannot be successful.

The collapse of European communism has had other

implications as well. It has put a halt to the development of European

socialism. After the 1870?s, Marxism dominated Europe. The

Bolshevik victory validated it and the policies of Lenin and Stalin

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extended the ideas all throughout Europe. Now, with communism

over, the economic and political socialist policies and ideas have

collapsed. As a result, Marxism and socialism in general has basically

been discredited. It has been and will be very difficult for these

former communist nations, after being under a socialist premise for so

long, to realize the benefits of markets, economic decentralization and

political democracy.

In addition, the fall of communism has profoundly altered

international relations with Europe. With the Warsaw Pact gone,

NATO is in need of reform. NATO, with the primary function to deter

Soviet attack on Western Europe, has now become outdated. Many

believe it should be kept alive to prevent international disorder but it

has failed to play an effective role in Yugoslavia. This has left doubts

as to its effectiveness to aid in problems that occur in Europe. There

is also the problem with Russia?s disapproval regarding the expansion

of NATO. Many Eastern European nations now want to be a part of

NATO for future protection but because of Russia?s strong disapproval

for the expansion, this must be done slowly and carefully.

In conclusion, the collapse of communism has presented

opportunity but also disarray in much of Europe. Governmental and

economic tension continue to plague this region. The process of

political and economic turn around is proving to be a very long, slow

process. However, it would be a clear mistake to only discuss the fall

of communism in terms of economic stagnation and consumer strife.

The Eastern Europeans now have a chance for the civil liberties that

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we take for granted everyday. Hopefully, the problems presenting

today in this nation will slowly begin to turn around. Then, they too

can enjoy the king of lifestyle and opportunities that our democracy

has established. The fact that an end has come to communism is a

hopeful and unbelievable occurrence. One that could in fact take us

one step closer to world peace.

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