BY FABIO RAFAEL FIALLO
The crumbling of the Soviet bloc in the late 1980s demonstrated two things: One, that deep-seated economic inefficiencies could force a political system to implode; and two, that such an implosion could be hastened by the ideological obstinacy of its leaders.
The state’s mismanagement of the economy — exacerbated by the Cold War arms race against the U.S and the cost of the invasion of Afghanistan – left in tatters the once powerful Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Thus, in 1985, when Mikhail Gorbachev succeeded the visionless and ideologically-corseted Konstantin Chernenko at the summit of power in the USSR, he couldn’t but realize that the Soviet system lacked economic oxygen to continue playing a superpower. Four years later, the Berlin Wall crumbled.