Eastern Bloc Dominoes

It is certainly interesting how the policies of Gorbachev alongside the will for reformation and change in the Eastern Bloc rapidly brought revolutions, mass protests, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and not long after the total collapse of many Communist countries. I think this was best demonstrated in the revolution in Romania which had a regime described in comparison to other Eastern Bloc countries “related to the nature of Ceausescu’s regime, which made East Germany and Czechoslovakia look like modern, benign dictatorships, and the Polish and Hungarian regimes positively enlightened and benevolent” (327) and this revolution was described as starting near the Hungarian Border. I think the fact that these revolutions and upheavals all happened at once demonstrated the fundamental fragility of the Eastern Bloc by the late 1980s. I would be interested in knowing why the Eastern Bloc collapsed so suddenly while other countries that called themselves communist lasted longer or still exist today.

2 Replies to “Eastern Bloc Dominoes”

  1. I wrote about Romania in my own blog post and actually used the same quote (I promise I didn’t read yours first) perhaps highlighting the unique position of Romania in relation to the rest of the Eastern Bloc. I think that I agree largely with the piece written by Jacques Levesque that the fragility of the Eastern Bloc has existed for quite some time but the permissiveness of the Soviet Union was present and being explored by dissidents throughout the Soviet Union. There also seemed to be an interest in the various Communist leaders in the Eastern Bloc in reform that at least provided a starting place that was not there previously.

    Bringing up the Communist nations who didn’t fall at this time is also really interesting. I think (because I don’t know) that the situations in Cuba and China were largely different–Fidel Castro was still leading something of a cult of personality with the United States disabling economic or diplomatic transfers, and of course, China had just experienced the Tiananmen Square events.

  2. I think that Gorbachev accepting these capitalist policies and intertwining them with the little “communist” forms of government during this time was very detrimental to many Eastern states and the Soviet Union itself. I think in a sense this was a type of Domino effect, as above, the Soviet Union did to themselves to create revolutions, protest, and upheavals. I would also be interested in looking into deeper causes and effects on Gorbachev policies.

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