Why did the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991?

Oct 2014
1,196
California
#2
It was a socialist government run by communist dictators. Socialism is a flawed concept and if it only works at the end of a gun pointed at the people, how good could it be? The Internet, news, and travelers showed people in the Soviet Union they are being shortchanged and with capitalism, they could begin to be more human and enjoy life.
 
Apr 2015
276
San Jose CA
#3
As an aside, when I was in college, the local PBS station rebroadcast the previous night's TV show Vremya (if I am recalling the name correctly) with english subtitles late at night. This would have been in 1989, 1990 time frame.

Being somewhat obsessive, I would watch this most nights. Even though this was during the period of Glasnost, the show had the same basic pattern to it. It would start with interviews with good looking workers at various factories talking about how they had overfilled their quotas yet once again and that true communism had arrived and pictures of combines harvesting vast amounts of wheat etc. Then it would switch to the perfidities of the American imperialists and then finally end with sports.

At the time, the Soviet Union was coming apart and yet they delivered up the same basic propaganda message night after night. Presumably, the exact same message that they had been saying night after night for decades. I thought at the time that no one who lives in the Soviet Union can actually believe this stuff and it turned out no one really did or even cared what was said.
 
Likes: Rovi
Jun 2015
5,571
UK
#4
Reagan caused it. Well in part, he did.

but there were many problems, including economic collapse, member states rebelling, natural and/or environmental disasters (Chernobyl), state bankruptcy and many other issues.
 
Sep 2015
208
An unpleasant place
#5
It was fairly complex, everything from their economy falling apart, nationalist tensions, especially in the Baltics, Perestroika and Glasnost cracking the iron grip of the communist party in people's lives, and American pressure, especially with the ball of pure charisma that was Ronald Reagan leading the way. I also think the stagnated war in Afghanistan and the slow collapse of the Soviet grip on the Warsaw Pact states showed that the USSR's time was running out.
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,836
San Antonio, Tx
#6
One Simple answer: Internal Rot. There's only so much papier mache you can use to cover up the defects before the whole rotten thing collapses of its own weight.
 
Jan 2013
870
Toronto, Canada
#8
It was fairly complex, everything from their economy falling apart, nationalist tensions, especially in the Baltics, Perestroika and Glasnost cracking the iron grip of the communist party in people's lives, and American pressure, especially with the ball of pure charisma that was Ronald Reagan leading the way. I also think the stagnated war in Afghanistan and the slow collapse of the Soviet grip on the Warsaw Pact states showed that the USSR's time was running out.
You're mostly right. I just wanted to point out that Reagan had a rather distinctively American form of charm. His charisma didn't have much of an effect on many foreign audiences.
 
Apr 2014
337
Istanbul Turkey
#9
Their economy simply couldn't go on with centralized tightly controlled quota based communist socialised method of working anymore. On top of that massive armament of Red Army to keep sattalite republics of USSR in check and fear of US /NATO military challenge and massive but complately inefficient aid and subsidiaries to communist and Third World countries around the world drove the stake further in heart of already wrecked Soviet economy. By 1980'ies while Western Bloc was booming in consumerism and productivity with rising standarts of living , Eastern Bloc especially Soviet Russia was dealing queueqes , bureucracy , diminishing production , quotas , rationing and scarcity in every part of economic life. Change of that system and collapse of Soviet regime both politically and economically and socially was inevitable by then.