The relationship between the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, on the one hand, and the states and ruling parties of Eastern Europe, on the other hand, is becoming increasingly complicated as the decade of the 1980s matures. While the political and economic subservience of Eastern Europe to the Soviet Union may be beneficial for the political elites of the region in many instances, there are elements of dysfunction in the relationship as well. Subservience to an external hegemon is therefore functional for domestic reasons for local political elites whose power would be destroyed or radically reduced without the direct or indirect presence of the hegemon. The states and communist parties of the area all face the contradictory trends of subservience and attempted autonomy, but in different degrees and with different “mixes” of factors. Foreign policy subservience has been functional for political and socio-economic elites as well as the general population.