Talk:Perestroika

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Poor Grammar and Syntax in Womens activism section[edit]

This section contains a lot of quite poor english, and whilst I do understand that many working on this article only have english as a second language, it does make it an awkward and difficult read. Perhaps if someone with good english skills wants to clean up and clarify that section, it would be greatly apreciated. Sadly I cant really work out what a few of the parts mean :( 59.167.111.154 (talk) 23:23, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Neutrality of Article?[edit]

I read this article through and afterward felt that I had received a very negative overall review of Gorbachev's policies and their effects. Not being an expert on the subject of politics during the Soviet years, I can't be a neutral judge myself -plus I was 14 years old in '85. However, it does seem to me like Gorbachev's government, and his initiative strategy toward modernizing the economy and opening up to dissent and freedom of information, was considered quite revolutionary and was a major precursor to the ultimate fall of the communist government. This article alludes to that, but it seems very negative toward the whole process and highly critical of Gorbachev at some points. I only base my opinions as such on the fact that he was, in the west at least, regarded very highly for his efforts and portrayed as a "new hope" for the end of the Cold War as it was.

Regardless of whether or not his policies caused economic turmoil, they DID somehow contribute to a new thinking, both within the Soviet Union at that time, and outside, at least in the US, which led to a revolution and total upheaval of the communist world in the early 90s.

In short, I just assume that this article was written by someone who wasn't fond of Mikhael Gorbachev's Perestroika programs, and therefore it reads as less than neutral. AT least to little ol' me...... Dmodlin71 (talk) 06:21, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I did not write this article, but I believe it reflects the actual situation surprisingly well. It does seem to be written by Russians who lived through the described period in USSR - not by some "experts" from "brookings institutions". I think that although Perestroyka was overall a positive thing and almost inevitable, it did turn out a complete failure in terms of economy. It was a real economic collapse to all respects. Just as most of people in Russia loved Gorbachev in 1987 and admired him, everybody hated him in 1990-91. It is true that he did not foresee the results of what he started. You can just read his speeches of 1986-87 - if you can find it now. He did not expect things to go that far. His economic policy was completely naive, a futile attempt to combine absolutely incompatible things which resulted in a full-scale economic disaster with far-going consequences, including break-up of the USSR.
I would add another, perhaps less important but still significant Gorbachev's mistake: at some point he started to trust Western leaders too much - as most of people in Russia did at that time. It took years to realize that all those were pursuing their own narrow interests, nothing or very little about universal freedom or democracy, and by no means were interested in any serious economic progress in Russia.
So, perestroyka was clearly a failure. But it did start a tremendous transformation in Russia and in the world. Despite what some people think, this transformation is still far from over. Alexander0807 (talk) 01:31, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

The article appears biased because there is no info on why Gorbachev sought reform in the first place. Whether or not Perestroika worked, on its face the article implies that the USSR would still be intact today, that the Soviet Republics would be better off economically, if Gorbachev had not sought reform. Obviously, that is not a neutral viewpoint. On the contrary, its mind-blowing revisionism. (It's hard to imagine a more shocking opinion.) Any discussion of Gorbachev that leaves out any mention of the problems in the old system he tried to correct is highly problematic. I don't doubt the facts offered in the article. But I'd say the article is egregiously incomplete. Info on Gorbachev's reasons for reform could fix the neutrality problem.Ten-K (talk) 04:28, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

I agree that this article needs to be revised in order to provide a more complete picture of perestroika. The article lacks a thorough discussion of why Gorbachev felt a need to implement political and economic reforms. Kishlanksy, Geary, and O'Brien (2008) state that one of the reasons for Gorbachev’s Perestroika campaign was because the Soviet citizens were beginning to realize the “disparities in the standards of living between capitalist and communist worlds”, and the Soviet Union had began to lag behind other countries economically. Public opinion shows that the majority of Russian citizens who supported Perestroika did so because there was a “low standard of living” and a “ scarcity of goods and services” (Gorkshkov, 2006). Adding the reasons and history behind the reforms to the article would give readers a more complete picture of what was Gorbachev hoped to achieve, and also a better point of reference in evaluating the effectiveness of the reformsAlso, the article seems to lack a key scholarly debate about how successful Perestroika was in modernizing the Soviet Union. While some scholars note that the economic reforms under perestroika were “ineffectual” and “failing” (Kaiser, 1991), other scholars see that there was indeed a strong need for reform and that perestroika was not completely unsuccessful. An example of this debate is shown in a survey taken twenty years after the concept of Perestroika was put into place, showing the present day attitudes of Russians to the legacy of Perestroika. Public opinion reveals that almost half of the citizens believe that reforms were necessary, and agree with Perestroika. Also in this same survey it explains that the generation of Russians “who have grown up and become socialized to the post-Gorbachev era ten to give a substantial more positive rating to perestroika than does the generation of their fathers and grandfathers” (Gorkshkov, 2006). Given this information, it seems that the Wikipedia article would benefit from adding a section about the controversy surrounding the legacy of Perestroika from both a scholarly and public viewpoint.

References 1) Kishlanksy, M., Geary, M., & O'Brien, P. (2008). Civilization in the west, 7th edition, volume c. Pearson Longman 2) Gorshkov, M. (2006). Perestroika Through the Eyes of Russians: Twenty Years Later. Russian Social Science Review, 47(1), 4-72. Candapanda (talk) 18:12, 17 April 2010 (UTC)candapanda

This article does not read as neutral. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.50.152.253 (talk) 11:32, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Education After Prestroika - Bad section[edit]

This section is both poorly written and poorly sourced. Not sure what else to say about that other than it is in great need of improvement! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.178.216.165 (talk) 21:04, 15 August 2013 (UTC)


It's a year later and still bad! 80.43.91.14 (talk) 08:21, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Alexander Zinovyev Quote[edit]

Could it be that the quote at the end of this article was translated by babelfish? It barely makes sense.

Red Plum

First sentence[edit]

The first sentence of this article doesn't make any sense to me. Can someone who knows more about this than I fix it? — Timwi 11:58, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The Law on Cooperatives - when?[edit]

Could it be stated once forever when The Law on Cooperatives was enacted? In 1987 or 1988? Quick googling shown both dates (though 1987 more often). Pavel Vozenilek 01:51, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

What is the "Right wing"?[edit]

Right wing is such an ambiguous term, it's meaning changes with current government. But the clause it mentioned is not tied to some particualr time. I guess here it means Communist conservatives or something, but I thouth today it means free-market liberalism, see Union of Right ForcesGnomz007(?) 22:38, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

It is very specific term related to communist parties that should have explaining article. Pavel Vozenilek 23:49, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

the card system[edit]

How about mention of the card system - not sure what is the English for it - but during Perestroika the most notable thing were limits on all food. You had to get some fixed number of "cards" every month (карточки) and could buy only the amount of meat/fruit/vodka how many card-tokens you had left. Gnomz007(?) 00:21, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

"Rations" is the English word —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nik42 (talkcontribs) 04:12, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Rationing is the English term for the system generally. Multitran translates rationing in several ways, one of which is
"карточная система рационирование" (literally, "the card system for rationing"; per babelfish and guessing) --Jtir 18:28, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

"eviscerate"?[edit]

Somehow, I don't think the author meant "eviscerate". What could he really have meant?

Conspiracy theories[edit]

I have no doubt that conspiracy theories exist over the Gorbachev reforms, and while it is nice that a Soviet emigre claims "with 94% accuracy" to have predicted the fall of the Soviet Union, I don't really think it has a place in this article. Golitsyn also claimed that this was a long-term plan for the Soviet Union to pretend to disintegrate in order to defeat the USA, and there does not seem to be much evidence for it to date. Also, if he is such a major factor in perestroika, I find it interesting that the Russian-language article has not bothered with a conspiracy theory (but maybe is is because of a conspriacy)! I have removed this section.

Could it be replaced by a summary of perestroika and its effects? I would be interested to see an historical comparison between perestroika and the Deng Xiaoping economic reforms in China: why the latter worked (without democratic reforms) while the former failed (with democratic reforms).

Konchevnik81 11:46, 20 December 2006 (UTC)Konchevnik81

OK, I took the liberty of adding those sections myself. Everyone, please feel free to add and edit them to bring them up to standard. Konchevnik81 13:47, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

"Unforeseen results of reform"[edit]

This section is weak... Citations MUST be added since it sounds far too much like conjecture or "original research". Also, importantly, it does not distinguish clearly between the Gorbachev period and post-Gorbachev. This is critical since many more far-reaching reforms took place in 1991 and post-1991, whilst this article seems to imply that Perestroika has been the only reform and is therefore the only source of the economic failures in the current states of the former USSR. 82.22.74.68 09:48, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Soviet GDP had declined by 17 percent[edit]

Since when. Since 1985? Someone who knows please tell it

--194.251.240.116 (talk) 14:02, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

This figure seems to come from an unreferenced report on www.globalsecurity.org. Published analyses (such as those of Marshall Goldman) indicate that Soviet GDP fell 10-15 percent in 1991 on what it had been a year earlier; that is, 1991 GDP was 10-15 percent less than 1990 GDP. Official Soviet statistics reported a fall of 2 percent in GDP in 1990. 1990 was the first recorded fall in Soviet GDP since 1945. Of course, it is open to debate just what any of this means, as any valuations of Soviet GDP are largely academic and speculative endeavours. Konchevnik81 (talk)
Could you be more specific about these sources (www.globalsecurity.org, Marshall Goldman)? --Jtir (talk) 14:56, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Were vodka sales of that importance?[edit]

The article mentions declined tax revenues from alcohol sales, but doesn't refer to more important factors such as world oil prices. I find this misleading. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 195.212.29.171 (talk) 10:16, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Arguably vodka sales played an important role in perestroika. Vodka tax revenue accounted for some 100 billion rubles in annual tax receipts to the Soviet government, and calculations of the crackdown in vodka sales estimate that it cost the government 100-200 billion rubles in revenue. This helped to increase the government budget deficit and worsen inflation. The crackdown on alcohol also embittered much of the population to Gorbachev's reforms, and caused some of the first scarcities in consumer goods as sugar disappeared from shelves, much of it going to illegal alcohol distilling. Oil prices were also important to the general state of government budget deficits, but both oil prices and vodka sales should be treated with equal importance. Konchevnik81 (talk) 02:46, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
This would be a great addition to the article. Do you know of some sources that could be cited for the role of vodka? --Jtir (talk) 15:00, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

A possible source. http://books.google.com/books?id=TRcNAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA100&lpg=PA100&dq=Uskoreniye&source=bl&ots=OFgLOP_sHZ&sig=HxXhpZ3YPMYWUZv6y7lArETy7n0&hl=en&ei=1A6SSsGhDov8tgfZ_MDOBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9#v=onepage&q=Uskoreniye&f=false On page 106-107 it references vodka sales. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.110.96.204 (talk) 04:01, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

poor section?[edit]

The section "References in Pop-Culture" appears to have very little effect and relation to Perestroika. The grammar also appears to be by a 12-year old. Abort, Retry, Fail? -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs 07:45, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

I concur and removed the section. Pointless and unrelated imho.--MartinezMD (talk) 01:58, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

File:Perestroika.jpg Nominated for speedy Deletion[edit]

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ridiculous embedded non-encylopedic statements[edit]

Like "Previously, freedom had meant recognition of the Marxist–Leninist regime. Now, however, freedom meant escaping all constraints." This article needs some serious attention from someone concerned with Wikipedia standards and practices. 69.122.244.46 (talk) 19:09, 15 February 2014 (UTC)