Fall of Communism Reasons

To the general public one of the greatest shocks at the end of the twentieth century was the demise of the power of the Soviet Union. “The greatest surprise of the end of the twentieth century has been the suddenness and completeness of the Soviet system's collapse. “(Malia, 1993, p.80)   In effect the ‘fall’ of the Soviet Union meant that communism as a working and viable social and economic reality had in fact failed.   In the years since the decline of the Soviet Union as a communist state and its adoption of more open and free market principles, there have been numerous studies, reports and conjecture on the reason or reasons for the failure of communism in this particular instance. This essay will give a brief introduction to communism. It will then discuss the various factors/reasons which combined to bring about the collapse of Communism. It will examine each of these factors and evaluate the effect of each with some supporting examples.
Communism is based on the ideas and teachings of Karl Marx as modified by Lenin. At its most basic, the ideal of communism is a system in which everyone is seen as equal and wealth is distributed equally among the people. There is no private ownership. The state owns and controls all enterprises and property. The state is run by one leading elite. The Soviet model of communism was based on these ideals. All opposition parties were banned although parties who were sympathetic to communism and who shared the communist ideals were allowed. All power was concentrated into the hands of the Communist party. Free press and civil liberties were suppressed. Censorship and propaganda were widely used. There was state ownership of the economy. No private enterprise was allowed. There was a collectivization of agriculture. The Communist Party invaded and controlled every aspect of political, social, cultural and economic life. It was a tyrannical state with complete Communist control over all facets of life.  
The reasons given for the...