During the mid-1970s, however, these domestic and international trends were reversed. Of course, Soviet foreign policy may pursue other solutions to its energy problem apart from expansion into oil-rich regions. In the first place, it is difficult to see how the crucial goal of spurring Soviet productivity can be attained without an increase in wages and other incentives for the labor force. If a revolt is brewing among the younger members of the Central Committee and if they succeed in speeding Brezhnev's succession, the push toward changes in the Soviet domestic scene and particularly toward economic experimentation and reform would be much stronger and quicker than that envisaged in the first scenario. Under these conditions, local elites may increasingly assert their own identities and provide difficulties for the central authorities. One must always count on the built-in tendency of the Soviet political system to retain the characteristics and directions typical of the 1970s. Sixth, that the Soviet Union would be able to carry indefinitely the burden of both its expanding role as a global power and its empire without inducing severe economic constraints at home, without violating the existing economic system of planning and management, and without endangering the social and political stability of its home base and empire. Such a prospect becomes all the more likely as contenders in the succession struggle compete for the support of one key group, the military establishment. The Soviets have not yet devised a way to assure even the present inadequate levels of agricultural production without infusions of long-range massive investments. Even our dog was enlisted—when we took him for walks he would run happily to our mortified minder, seeking the treats he was obviously used to getting. The WHO says that in most of the industrialized world, life expectancy was increasing throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s. The economic viability of the East European empire, moreover, depends to a large extent on economic help from and interchange with Western adversaries of the Soviet Union. The degree to which they will occur may have an effect on the allocation policies that the government adopts. The episode—complete with cheap looking wigs, fake glasses, a compass, a street map, and a laughable "Dear Friend" letter—seemed straight out of the Cold War. Excerpt from Peter Hitchens, The Rage Against God (Bloomsbury, 2010), pp. -The Soviet Union has become a global power, feared by friend and foe alike. On the one hand, one detects a sense of security that contrasts with a sense of insecurity-one may say inferiority-of the old generation; yet at the same time their attitude toward the Soviet system is defensive. Tallinn street scenesEstonia. Change in the direction of the balance of military power from that which prevailed in the 1970s is very probable, and the Soviet Union may even be compelled to undertake a new large-scale arms race with the West at a time when it can ill afford the necessary increased expenditures. A set of fascinating photos was taken by Ceri C that documented everyday life of Soviet Union in the early 1980s from his visits as a student.Estonia. Reserved. In the post-Stalin period, the Soviet economy grew at about six percent a year. Nor do I expect them to favor the highly ideological, frantic, campaign-like reforms associated with Khrushchev. This difficulty arises from three sources: (1) the absence of a paralyzing mass terror which would make all sacrifices and demands palatable; (2) the existence of powerful organizational and pressure groups in the decision-making apparatus, complicating the implementation of cutbacks and restraints; and (3) the emergence of new social constraints against such cutbacks. Here are some of the things us American were told about the Soviet Union from the Early 1950s- Mid 1980s. Sixth, the international climate may well be affected by increased use of coercive means to resolve domestic political and economic problems. 4) The Soviet Union will face an energy balance that will affect its economic growth unfavorably, particularly with regard to oil. A Russian policeman guards a protest rally in central Moscow October 30, 2005. We want to hear what you think about this article. 1. 1) In the 1980s the Soviet Union will face a secular decline in the growth rates of its economy in almost all sectors. The Soviet Union exhibits both strengths and weaknesses, assets and liabilities: -Today, more powerful than ever, the Soviet Union is nonetheless more insecure than it has been during the last ten to 15 years. The sharply increased sectoral competition for resources and the dilemmas which it will create are not difficult to envisage. Moreover, because of the decline in long-term growth in other sectors, the unavoidable agricultural fluctuations will have increasing influence on the size of the Soviet GNP. The top end of the Soviet nomenklaturawere given the country’s finest cars, usually in the form of a GAZ Volga (the Soviet equivalent of a Mercedes-Benz), a vehicle luxurious enough for President Vladimir Putin to show off to U.S. President George Bush in 2005. It is a generation that is less likely to accept actual or potential international achievements as substitutes for internal development. Major Martin Manhoff documented every day life in the Soviet Union while he was serving as an assistant army attache at the US Embassy in Moscow from 1952 to 1954. Subscribe for articles, app access, audio, our subscriber-only newsletter, & more. Soviet foreign policy in the 1980s will probably try to serve economic as well as political interests by decoupling the détente with the United States from that with its Western allies. Although the CIA no longer estimates that the U.S.S.R. will be a net oil importer by the mid-1980s and other economists dispute the extent of the projected decline, they agree that Soviet oil production will decline. Should irredentist pressures within Iran lead to a disintegration of the country and its central government, for example, or should leftist forces sympathetic to the Soviet Union assume an important voice in the revolution, then Soviet leaders would be tempted to intervene, their decision reinforced by their own economic and political difficulties. Thus, even if Brezhnev and his contemporaries were to remain in power for another year or two, dramatic alterations of the international and internal environment of the Soviet Union from the time when Brezhnev was at the height of his rule will profoundly influence the perceptions, behavior and policies of the Soviet regime. I do not expect from the new generation of Soviet Party officials the sort of reformist tendencies advanced by Dubcek in Czechoslovakia. -During the 1960s and 1970s, the Soviet Union built its foreign policy on the cornerstone of competitive accommodation with the West, particularly the United States. 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