Though the USSR collapsed in 1991, the effects of its fall are still felt up to present. Scholars predict that these effects will be felt decades to come and it is only after this period that the real effects of the union’s collapse be felt (Zubok, 2008, p. 15).
One advantage of the fall of the USSR is that after its collapse the USA became the sole superpower in the world. During the time when the USSR was existent, the world was bipolar as the union and the USA formed the leading states globally. Subsequently, after the collapse of the USSR no other country has been able to match up to the strength and might of the United States. This empowerment of the United States is beneficial to the American citizens as it helps boost their economy. For example, suppliers from the USA have more bargaining power in the global market as the fact that their country is a superpower gives them credibility in terms of quality and values.
As stated in the introduction paragraph, not all effects of the fall of the USSR were felt immediately. One such effect is that the collapse of the union facilitated the establishment of a stronger and powerful European Union. The advantages of the USSR’s collapse on the EU can be noted in that the latter has expanded into areas previously held by the USSR. Economists note that the strength of the European Union would be greatly diminished if the Soviet Union was still existent. This is because the USSR territories supply the EU zone with raw materials, mineral wealth and lower manufacturing capacities which help reduce the cost of operating a business in the EU zone (Montaigne & Ludwig, 2001, p. 84). It is necessary to note that countries that broke up from the USSR and joined the EU did so as equal partners and not as ‘little brothers’ like they had been previously referred and treated like in the Soviet Union.
The greatest beneficiary of the fall of the USSR is most likely the People’s Republic of China. While the EU benefited from increased resources and the US from been left as the sole superpower in the world, China had the benefit of getting tested economic and political policies to use. China’s success as an economy is attributed to its recognition of the futility and ineffectiveness of the model applied by the USSR (Montaigne & Ludwig, 2001, p. 79). China has also learnt considerable political lessons from the USSR. The country has limited political openness as this was a key factor that contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Union collapse was also beneficial to world politics in that it helped reduce the tensions that had been there in the global arena especially during the cold war. With only one super power, there was a reduced struggle for authority globally which reduced the likelihood of war between the east and the west. This in turn helped bring about peace.
The fall of the USSR meant one thing, the gaining of sovereignty, autonomy and independence by the member states. After countries like Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia broke away from the union; it meant that they could now come up with development and economic programs that specifically benefited their people. Considering that by the time of the collapse of the USSR the union was not faring well economically, the re-establishment of each state’s economy was hence an advantage. Another important element that was re-established after the fall of the USSR is democracy. The Soviet Union’s leadership had been founded on fear, propaganda and an aspect of dictatorship; collapse of the union returned power to the masses which gave them the ability to control their countries’ leadership. The USSR was led by a single party with the leader of this party automatically assuming leadership of the country; this was violation of basic democratic principles (Dunlop, 1995, p. 61). It is however essential to note that not all former member states of the USSR adapted democratic principles after the union’s fall.
During its existence, the USSR was greatly advocating for the adaptation of communism in other countries. The other super power, the USA, was however opposed to this idea. This was mainly because communism allowed for considerable abuse of power with no repercussions for the leaders. Ideally, communism is supposed to allow equal distribution of resources amongst the citizens; this equal distribution is meant to break the social strata of upper, lower and middle classes. However, since order is needed to ensure the success of society and anarchism never works, communism ends up failing in achieving its objectives. Countries such as the USSR and Tanzania which have tried to practice communism have ended up in worse economic conditions than they were trying to avoid (Priestland, 2010, p. 31). This therefore means that the collapse of the USSR saved the world from communism as the remaining super power believed in liberalism which was good for global economic growth.
Zubok, V.M. (2008). A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev. North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press
Dunlop, J. (1995). The Rise of Russia and the Fall of the Soviet Empire. New York: Routledge
Montaigne, F. & Ludwig, G. (2001). Broken Empire: After the Fall of the USSR. Washington: National Geographic
Priestland, D. (2010). The Red Flag: A History of Communism. New York: Grove Press