In the article The Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe by Carol Skalnif Leff, the repercussions of the cold war in Eastern Europe have been analysed. The Communist Society of Europe was jolted by the Cold War; the emergence and then failure of the Soviet Unoin lead to a change in the societal set up in Europe, especially in Eastern Europe. Many European states were looking for integration in the global economy and with the Western Europe as well. These nations experienced economic depression as they were not ready for the transition. These European nations lobbied to get into International Organisations like NATO and EU. These associations give importance to free trade within member countries; the import and export duties are relaxed by the economic treaties.
The aim of the Eastern European countries was to replicate the economic, social and political success stories of the Western Europe. The transition was from a communist state to an authoritarian or a socialist state; the effects of this sudden change brought about upheavals in the short run. According to the writer the countries “may find themselves suspended in limbo between the former authoritarian politics and legitimate democracy.”(Carol Skalknif, The Chez and Slovak Republic, p 274). In the year 1989 the world witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall; it meant the end of the communist era in Eastern Europe. Communist Dictatorship of forty years was outdone. The change in leadership in Soviet Union brought about reforms to gain popular support in Europe; but the rebellious activities continued. The movement spread to Slovakia and Czechoslovakia; people demanded a change in the government system. The Protestants were victorious in Romania and Bulgaria. Soon the Soviet Union also witnessed dissolution bringing an end to the Cold War. Romania witnessed a transition from communism to democracy and a market based economy; the transition was extremely difficult as there was lack of preparedness.
The interesting facts of the change and upheavals were the emergence of different forms of government; some countries scrapped the changes and an authoritarian government was established. In some countries the Military continued to exercise great control; democracy was not fully implemented. The government was overpowered by the army in many spheres; the result was continuous anarchy and economic crisis. The author has studied and presented a real aftermath of the rebellious situation in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. The wave of political and social change destroyed the forty years of strong Communist Power in Europe. It lead to the fall of the so called super power the, Soviet Union. The after effects of the revolution are worse than the Communist Era; the corrupt process of privatisation has added to joblessness and hampered social progress. The Transition countries have been witnessing deteriorating living standards and poverty. The Post communist citizens are losing faith in liberal democracy and western style of capitalisation. Natives are grieving ad regretting the demise of Communism as only a few are benefitting from the transition.
The article addresses the after effects of the Cold War in Europe; trade has increased and has become cheaper within associations. The economy has witnessed a common currency throughout Europe. But somewhere a part of the Communist ideology is being missed by the general public as they face a grim and uncertain employment situation especially during the Great Depression. Had the transition been smooth and not overnight the economy would have benefited.
Carol Skalnif Leff .The Collapse of Communism Eastern Europe. The Present in Perspective. The Chez and Slovak Republics Nation Versus state.1997. Pg 273 – 274.