The Reasons Of The Collapse Of Communism

Communism collapsed for a number of reasons. Everyday items that we use every use today and see as a want rather than a need, are items that they don’t have access to or they are hardly ever available because the government sees no reason to manufacture things that aren’t necessary. Everyone is thought to be equal and the government strips them of their individualism. People were forced to share apartments with multiple people because they’re unable to afford to live by themselves. Politics became a major part of everyone’s lives and it was talked about at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

In a communist country, everyday life is a struggle for its citizens. With no signs of hope of current lifestyles getting better, communism eventually collapsed. One of the main reasons I feel that communism collapsed was that citizens didn’t have much to live happy and healthy lives. On page 13 of How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed by Slavenka Drakulic, she describes one of the stores that she sees. She says “Through the dusty shop window we can see the half-empty shelves, with a few cans of beans pasta, rice, cabbage, vinegar.” She later goes on to say that her friend at one point told her that vinegar and mustard were the only things on shelves. When she says this it describes how hard it is to find more of a variety of foods. And even though they have the food doesn’t mean they like the food. Another reason that I feel that the government tried to take away people’s individualism in chapter three, she talks about how under the law women are seen as equal to men. Drakulic then goes on to say “They worked on construction sites, on highways, in mines in fields and in factories – the communist ideal was a robust woman who didn’t look much different from a man.” In the book, Drakulic explains how her mom would make make-up out of nothing. About how she would use tea to make her hair browner and that she knew how to make her own face mask. The communist leaders at the time thought they had more important things to do other than make cosmetics for women. I think communists do this because they do not want men or women to worry about their appearance or wanting to make their selves look different from each other. In return, people will only want to individualize their selves and stand out even more. The close living conditions allowed for no privacy and in chapter 7 on page 72, Drakulic makes a statement saying “because only when there is no privacy can there be total control.” which is another method to take away someone’s individualism. With no room to do anything and people constantly watching you, there’s no room to be your own person. I feel these two things are a major caused by the communist government collapsing.

I feel like Drakulic’s opinion was biased because she grew up in a communist government. She knew what it was like to live in both a communist government and a noncommunist government. And growing up in a communist government politics were a major part of people’s lives, she was able to develop an opinion about it at a young age. She saw how hard it was to be both a women, and a mothers and how had certain things that were a need were either unavailable or very hard to come by. Things like toilet paper and many other personal products were difficult to find and many times they had to figure out a way to go without it. Women had trouble finding sanitary napkins and when they did they were super grateful when they had found some. Many times young ladies were forced to ask someone for one if they didn’t have one. Not only that but important things like healthy milk were hard to find and the powdered milk they did have were making the babies very sick. Everything they had had to be washed by hand and that was difficult when there were multiple people who were living in one apartment that today would be considered too small for that many people. She saw first hand how many people lived in poverty and couldn’t afford items that they wanted and were only able to look at things they wanted through magazines. These were valid reasons for her to be against communism. I feel that because she had experiences of living in both types of situations, she has a right to be biased with her opinion.

Since reading How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed, it’s clear to see many of the reasons that a Communist government had failed. How if certain things would have been paid attention to then may it wouldn’t have collapsed. But because communist leaders focused on things they saw were important instead of things that the people saw important it failed. In chapter 5 on page 14, Drakulic talks about an American reporter and how the reporter had to tell the reader that many of the people in the Soviet still continued to wash their clothing by hand. I feel that this showed how different the countries were and how uneducated that people were of the situations in other countries. The major poverty in the country and people continue to grow unhappy with how things are led to the collapse. But I feel that the biggest contribution to the collapse is the government’s unwillingness to attend to the small problems that eventually grew into a lot of larger problems. The more that they didn’t pay attention to the issues they eventually became so far out of hand that it was too late to try and fix them. I think it’s important to read about that past so that we don’t continue to repeat things in the future.