To What Extent Was the Policy of Peaceful Coexistence a Reflection of Changing Personalities in the Soviet Leadership

1183 Words5 Pages
The Soviet Union was structured to the tastes of the leader at the helm, and so served his interests. The policies in place served not to improve the economic, social or economic fortunes of the entire nation but to concur with the ideological leanings of the leader in office. So was the case with communism. Despite this production model failing utterly to satisfy the basic demands of the ordinary Soviet citizen, it remained in place. They thought a departure from this model would signify a Soviet surrender to the Capitalist West in the ideological war. However, not all policies resulted in failure and devastating suffering (Allen 1964). One notable exception was the policy of Peaceful Coexistence instituted by Khrushchev. Until then, the country had been led by Josef Stalin. Under Stalin’s leadership, many oppressive and rigid policies were put in place. After his death, there was a significant incentive to revise them as they had weakened Soviet standing, both abroad and at home. The United States had outpaced the Soviet Union in the nuclear arms race (Mc Dougall 2000). The Soviet Union was surrounded by United States bases located all over Europe. As a result, the Soviet Union had to buy time so as to catch up with its rival. Peaceful Coexistence was the perfect resort. By declaring its interest in peace, the Soviet Union could fend off any likely attacks from the United States at its weakest hour. By no means was Khrushchev a radical departure from Stalin. However, small changes took place, and they were the embodiment of the policy of Peaceful Coexistence. These small changes and how the person at the top helped brought them about shall be at the centre of this writing. Stalin was a dictator. He used all means, mostly brutal, to achieve his selfish aims. He eliminated enemies at an alarming rate and with great ferocity. Its worth pointing out that the name
Open Document