chapter  14
15 Pages


WithVladimir Shlapentokh

The sudden changes undermined the entire country's belief in the nomenklatura, Soviet managers in industry and agriculture, and all levels of the leadership hierarchy, as well as the ideological and moral legitimization of their power. The ultimate cause of the state's disintegration was the collapse of the Communist Party (the core of Russian statehood). The political reforms, combined with the intentional demolition of the official ideology, brought the system to the brink of total collapse. The weakening of the state, the party, and the official ideology, along with the legalization of private property and the lack of control over the process of privatization, led to an eruption of crime and corruption. Perhaps the most dangerous consequence of the low work discipline was the increasing number of major technological disasters in the country. The explosion of nationalism and the Kremlin's failure to unify the empire underscored once again that the empire was ultimately based on coercion and fear of the center.