Do you, on average, consider the collapse of the USSR to be more of a good thing or more of a bad thing?

Do you, on average, consider the collapse of the USSR to be more of a good thing or a bad thing?

  • More of a good thing

  • More of a bad thing


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Jul 2017
161
Europe
Geopolitically, It was a good thing for both USA and Europe. The breakup of the USSR had enabled USA to become the only superpower in the world (bipolar world ceased to exist), and Europe on the other hand was able to strengthen its geopolitical clout by accepting all Warsaw Pact countries (former USSR satellite states) into the European Union. Russia had lost influence it once had all over Eastern Europe, while EU become stronger with much more political and economic influence in Europe after the reunification of Germany.
 

Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
4,884
India
The reasons for the collapse of the USSR were largely ethnic, although the economic collapse, of course, sped things up. Economic losses are not as great as it seems, profitable ties are preserved, disadvantageous ones are torn. Even Russia and Ukraine currently have rather active trade, although this looks strange when viewing news feeds.
USSR kept a tap over American hegemony. I am aware many ethnicities resented being ruled by Moscow.
 

Dir

Nov 2015
1,957
Kyiv
Western Ukraine was actually largely Polish before the late 1700s, with Kiev being a notable exception.
- Not certainly in that way.

One part of Western Ukraine - Galichina (Ukrainians call it Eastern Galicia, which was mainly Ukrainian, unlike etnically "Polish" Western Galicia with its center in Krakow) - became part of Poland in the 14th (from 1393) century and remained there until the liquidation of the Polish state under the Third Partition of Poland in 1795, after which Galichina was part of Austria and Austria-Hungary (until 1918).

Before that, Galichina was part of Rus and the Galicia-Volyn principality

Another part of the Western Ukraine - Volynia - in most of its territory since 1393 was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Rus and Zhemoytsky - it also included Kiev lands in the 14th century. In 1569 (according to the Unia of Lublin) Volynia became Polish along with the rest of Ukraine. The only exception was the Chernihiv lands captured by the Moscow tzardom. It owned them in the 16th century, and then they came under Poland.

After the Unia of Lublin which marked the emergence of a federal state - the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth - the whole of then-Ukraine fell under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Poland. After the Third Partition of Poland in 1795 Volynia became a part of the Russian Empire - until 1917
 
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Theodoric

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,931
Yötebory Sveriya
There’s a lot of different directions the USSR could have gone at the end of the 1980s. And I don’t think the way it went was necessarily the best route.

The death of the Totalitarian State was something that had to occur. Opening trade up to the world was another.

But falling into several different states, many of which still have corrupt authoritarian governments, and certain ones still attack European democracy, and the conflicts that have been arising. This is not ideal.

Any way. A couple of things that could have happened:

1. Democratic governments with decreasing levels of authority, and instead a job of protecting the rights of people.
2. The strengthening of actual democratic union forces.
3. State Bureaucracies shouldn’t have been replaced by investment bureaucracies, but rather by the working class ownership of the means of production: Corporations run equally and democratically by unions. I don’t see profit-first, and only serving humanity when it serves profit of shareholders capitalist investment bureaucracies as a big improvement other than it is not one gigantically powerful one: but the current reality is not far from it.
4. Trade unions should not be controlled by the government, but they should be regulated by the government; since the governments should be democratic and representative of the people as a whole. The reason i say they should be regulated is that if the trade unions fail to live up to a particular need, then the government should impose a regulation or duty that the union must fulfill on behalf of the people. They shouldn’t control the trade unions, though, because a government is a generalized unit and won’t have the proper expertise or focus.
5. On planned economy. I don’t feel that a lack of competition and variety is a good thing. But I am not exactly out of favour of economic plans, BUT, it should be such a plan that small businesses can have the opportunity to emerge and have distribution without having to worry about influence from the larger corporations. So, for example, shop chain A can only sell Coca Cola while shop chain B can only sell Fanta. I think this will naturally occur with the removal of any sort of bureaucratic governance over corporations: instead being union democratized and voted on by people who work or had worked in that particular industry... but even under a democratized rule there is the chance of powerful corporations pushing smaller companies to secure their income... This is where the planned economy steps in, allowing the slots for the smaller businesses to emerge without a fear of corporate bullying or aggression: No Star Bucks opening up next door the moment your cafe becomes successful. The Star Bucks should only come in if the the Cafe ownership (its staff) democratically decides on a merger to Star Bucks.
6. On the last point, I use Star Bucks as an example, but IF it is Star Bucks, then at most it is a license paid for and otherwise owned and operated independently of the Star Bucks Western corporation, which has no authority to advertise or influence in any way on behalf of the USSR version.

Anyway, I see this as one of the paths that the USSR could have taken or trended toward in the late 1980s, but ultimately did not. If some countries wanted to turn away from the USSR, they should have been allowed to do so. I don’t necessarily think separatism is as bad as people make it out to be. It complicates relationships, but far from an unmanageable state. The HRE was at its best when it was less unified and centralization was low; in such times, like the Great Interregnum, we got the thriving of free cities and Guilds, cities like medieval Lybeck rising to prominence with some of the wealthiest people in the world (Medici tier). The eventual result of these occurrences was the Hanseatic League. It was only destroyed when nations became a stronger factor.

So, yes, I am a fan of unions and have a great distaste for nationalism; to put it into a Christian framing (I’m not a practicing Christian, I just like the language) it was like accepting the temptation of the devil, governments used nationalism to gain power and stomp out the smaller guys.

Anyway, enough of my rant.
 
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Aug 2019
11
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
I'm not some western fan, especially knowing what UK, French, Belgium and many more have done to their colonies across the globe over centuries of ruling there, what US is doing for past 70+ years, etc, but still i will always take their side in regards of USSR. It's not about communism beacuse i feel same about Russia. Also i can say communism helped them in growing less advanced so while not being main reason for such a turn of events sure it is bad. But this time ideology is not the topic. I would say breakup of Soviet Union is a great thing and important victory of civilised world. Why? Nations of Baltic, Ukraine, Caucausus nations, Central Asian so-called 'Stans that long seeked their independence finally made it. They would not live in those systems were they can't be who they really are. They would be masters of their own fate. Not Russians. Not communist. But Ukrainians. But Estonians. But Georgians. Also those people will finally feel those western values after terrible years of wars, hunger, dying in working camps miles away from their homes, etc. West sure isn't angel. Their development is suspicious, not to say infamous after all crimes in Americas, Africa, Middle East, Asia, but still west is best this world has to offer. Don't get me wrong. I don't have anything againts Russian people. They are actually quite good nation. This is their bad luck. Simple as that.
 
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Theodoric

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,931
Yötebory Sveriya
I think the USSR acting like a big secular republican Czardom was the core of the problem. They didn’t really turn very far away, and instead adopted much of the ways of the Czarists with a brand repackaging. The brutality of the regime has been discussed a lot in the forums that it was inevitable due to the outside pressures - not least of those being the Nazis. Can I say another path would have done them better? I cannot. Only that the ideal picture would have had none of Totalitarian regimes in any part of the world.

The USSR didn’t achieve communism, it didn’t even achieve socialism or democracy, far from it. I won’t argue that it’s black and white that their strategy didn’t have its successes (they went from agrarian to mass transit and spacefaring in a very short time), but the cost was tremendous.

The USSR developed a secular leadership cult. Rather than the Czar’s trick of being the representative of God, the replacement was a lie of progress which included the “necessary evil” of a totalitarian dictatorship to make utopia happen: it’s the same narrative of all tyrants even back to the era of the Athenian Tyrant Peisistratus. So we end up with a “socialism” or “communism” that is antithetical to the original theories. In reality a right-wing bureaucratic command economy. The owners of the means of production was the government, not the working class.

I do think the Russians had the right idea, many of them, but there were a great deal more who understood the framework of the Czardom. It’s kind of like how an increasing number of historians through the 19th and 20th centuries look at Augustus as the first Emperor of Rome, the reality was Rome had already had Emperors for generations, I put the moment they went over the edge back to at least Marius and as early as the era of Scipio. That sort of mentality evolved into Roman society. By the time Augustus came into power, there was a whole generation who already knew a Caesar; and if it wasn’t Caesar it was Antony, or Pompey, or Crassus; they were all actors playing the same role that Augustus gets credit for starting. But even Augustus was a citizen, the first among equals. The process went on until at least Diocletian or perhaps Constantine in the early Dominate period when there was no pretence about the position, if you or I were before the Emperor we would bow to his feet and would not be permitted look at him as we spoke.

Damn my rants. I’m way off track with parallels =)

The point I’ll leave with is that society is comfortable with adopting some semblance of an existing order, and that can evolve slowly over time, but large leaps are less likely. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to break the bonds. It’s happened.

Why did the US rebel against the Empire of Britain? Perhaps it was their distance. The freedom of frontier lifestyle, and then when the pressure came in to reign that in they shook free. Perhaps those early Americans really were cutting the old bonds of comfort.


So, anyway: I think my option (I am one of the few who voted More of a Bad Thing) would be a bit of a third option. That the ideal path of the USSR would be unity, but neither the conservative approach or the direction they took, but rather escaping the bonds of tradition that trapped them and returning to the revolutionary principles that drove them against the Czardom and that system in the first place. It was a real tragedy that they simply replicated it.
 
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Dir

Nov 2015
1,957
Kyiv
Bad in that we no longer have a powerful alternative serving as a check to rampant capitalism.
Russian Bolshevism with its cannibalism was a good alternative to rampant capitalism, isn't it?
 

Dir

Nov 2015
1,957
Kyiv
I think the USSR acting like a big secular republican Czardom was the core of the problem. They didn’t really turn very far away, and instead adopted much of the ways of the Czarists with a brand repackaging. The brutality of the regime has been discussed a lot in the forums that it was inevitable due to the outside pressures - not least of those being the Nazis. Can I say another path would have done them better? I cannot. Only that the ideal picture would have had none of Totalitarian regimes in any part of the world.

The USSR didn’t achieve communism, it didn’t even achieve socialism or democracy, far from it. I won’t argue that it’s black and white that their strategy didn’t have its successes (they went from agrarian to mass transit and spacefaring in a very short time), but the cost was tremendous.

The USSR developed a secular leadership cult. Rather than the Czar’s trick of being the representative of God, the replacement was a lie of progress which included the “necessary evil” of a totalitarian dictatorship to make utopia happen: it’s the same narrative of all tyrants even back to the era of the Athenian Tyrant Peisistratus. So we end up with a “socialism” or “communism” that is antithetical to the original theories. In reality a right-wing bureaucratic command economy. The owners of the means of production was the government, not the working class.

I do think the Russians had the right idea, many of them, but there were a great deal more who understood the framework of the Czardom. It’s kind of like how an increasing number of historians through the 19th and 20th centuries look at Augustus as the first Emperor of Rome, the reality was Rome had already had Emperors for generations, I put the moment they went over the edge back to at least Marius and as early as the era of Scipio. That sort of mentality evolved into Roman society. By the time Augustus came into power, there was a whole generation who already knew a Caesar; and if it wasn’t Caesar it was Antony, or Pompey, or Crassus; they were all actors playing the same role that Augustus gets credit for starting. But even Augustus was a citizen, the first among equals. The process went on until at least Diocletian or perhaps Constantine in the early Dominate period when there was no pretence about the position, if you or I were before the Emperor we would bow to his feet and would not be permitted look at him as we spoke.

Damn my rants. I’m way off track with parallels =)

The point I’ll leave with is that society is comfortable with adopting some semblance of an existing order, and that can evolve slowly over time, but large leaps are less likely. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to break the bonds. It’s happened.

Why did the US rebel against the Empire of Britain? Perhaps it was their distance. The freedom of frontier lifestyle, and then when the pressure came in to reign that in they shook free. Perhaps those early Americans really were cutting the old bonds of comfort.


So, anyway: I think my option (I am one of the few who voted More of a Bad Thing) would be a bit of a third option. That the ideal path of the USSR would be unity, but neither the conservative approach or the direction they took, but rather escaping the bonds of tradition that trapped them and returning to the revolutionary principles that drove them against the Czardom and that system in the first place. It was a real tragedy that they simply replicated it.
ll these attempts in Russia were like an old Soviet joke in which workers stole various details at a Russian military factory. And they tried to make of the details something useful for themselves. But no matter what they did, they did it every time — a machine gun.

So it is here. No matter what the Russians build over the past 100 years, every time they get an analogue of the Moscow tzardom of Ivan the Terrible diluted with the realities of the Russian Empire
 

Zip

Jan 2018
501
Comancheria
ll these attempts in Russia were like an old Soviet joke in which workers stole various details at a Russian military factory. And they tried to make of the details something useful for themselves. But no matter what they did, they did it every time — a machine gun.
The way that joke was told in Chicago it was about a German who worked in a baby buggy factory. He stole parts to make a buggy but it always came out...a machine gun.

Then there was the joke about the Irish kid in Chicago who stopped for confession in the German Catholic church in his neighborhood instead of the Irish one...