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Warsaw Pact states

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Post 10 Aug 2011, 02:54
I know that the Warsaw pact states were semi dependant on the Soviet Union, but how much freedom did each induvidual State have to make its own laws, economic policies, ect.
Post 10 Aug 2011, 06:00
The Warsaw Pact countries were allowed to make their own domestic policies pretty freely, but this had to be done in a way so that their policies and leadership were still following the Soviet line and did not attempt to do anything to radically alter the system that had been set up in the immediate post-war years under Soviet... erm... guidance.

See Hungary '56 and Czechoslovakia in '68 for examples of what happened when the governments were see as straying away from the Soviet Union's policies too drastically.
Post 10 Aug 2011, 15:39
Was Kruschev any more liberal on the sattelite states then Stalin?
Post 10 Aug 2011, 15:47
Yeah, but Brezhnev wasn't. Gorbachev was really liberal though...

At least he didn't force the GDR to follow his perestroika crap.
Post 10 Aug 2011, 18:34
Khrushchev was more "liberal" in some respects, but the Soviet invasion of Hungary also took place under his watch.
Brezhnev was even less so. Brezhnev Doctrine, Prague Spring/Czechoslovakia, etc.
Post 10 Aug 2011, 19:45
Mabool wrote:
Yeah, but Brezhnev wasn't. Gorbachev was really liberal though...

We'll have to clarify what we mean by 'liberal' here. Gorbachev could be argued to have pressured Eastern Bloc leaders more than Brezhnev, whose intervention in Czechoslovakia in 1968 was an attempt at stopping a perestroika-style counterrevolution, supported by most of the rest of the Eastern Bloc leadership. Gorbachev and the KGB supported the anti-Ceausescu coup in Romania, regularly criticized Zhivkov, Honecker and Husak, and pushed Jaruzelski toward ever-greater political and economic reforms. He was arguably more active in the political delegitimization and destruction of the Eastern Bloc than any actual counterrevolutionary group.

Mabool, don't you remember Gorbachev's role in in the GDR in October 1989?
Last edited by soviet78 on 12 Aug 2011, 21:02, edited 1 time in total.
Post 12 Aug 2011, 19:59
After 1973, the USSR decided to float its oil prices on the world market, effectively doubling the prices they would supply it to Warpac states - forcing them to take out expensive loans from Western European/NATO nations. The USSR managed to get a quick buck though. There was a reasonable degree of trade agreements set up in a way not to dissimilar to the system we had and have now in the "West".
Look at Gomułka's Poland for a fair estimation of just how autonomous most of the nations in the Warpac were, it's more than you assume.

I will have to buy a couple of books about the CMEA and COMECON nations, the uni libraries I have access to are absolutely awful for that kind of thing.
Post 12 Aug 2011, 21:26
EPC wrote:
After 1973, the USSR decided to float its oil prices on the world market, effectively doubling the prices they would supply it to Warpac states - forcing them to take out expensive loans from Western European/NATO nations.

The USSR continued to subsidize Eastern Bloc nations all the way through the mid-1980s actually, and the decision to slow down somewhat after 1982 wasn't out of any desire to 'make a quick buck', but out of internal economic difficulties. Eastern Bloc states took out loans in the 1970s from Western banks as a development strategy -they thought they could use the incoming cash to upgrade their infrastructure and industrial capacities. Unfortunately the strategy didn't work out, partly because much of the money was used for consumer goods purchases, partly because the tools and technology purchased did not have the desired impact on balance of trade with the West, and mainly because of the drying up of the petro-dollars and the subsequent rate hike on the floating interest loans.

There's a relevant chart in an article by Michael Marrese article "CMEA: Effective but Cumbersome Political Economy" in Ellen Comisso and Laura D'Andrea Tyson (eds.) Power, Purpose, and Collective Choice: Economic Strategy in Socialist States (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1986), p.126.:

Implicit subsidies (in millions of 1984 dollars) in Soviet trade with CMEA countries -Baseline calculation:

Bulgaria Czech GDR Hungary Poland Romania Total

1970: -9, 541, 1165, 264, 454, 176; 2589
1971: -26, 606, 1208, 261, 448, 102; 2499
1972: -110, 380, 959, 114, 367, 70; 1,780
1973: 250, 592, 1,284, 351, 566, 28; 3071
1974: 1352, 1669, 2673, 1090, 1340, 59; 8183
1975: 1030, 1361, 1820, 649, 1341, 12; 6213
1976: 1008, 1605, 2223, 672, 1350; 82, 6941
1977: 1022, 1634, 2300, 542, 1307, 96; 6901
1978: 1185, 1494, 2099, 598, 946, 154; 6476
1979: 1655, 1915, 2605, 989, 1705, 169; 9037
1980: 2700, 3399, 3958, 1654, 2974, 303; 14987
1981: 2782, 3534, 4059, 1653, 3234, 289; 15552
1982: 2324, 2917, 3455, 1524, 2611, 277; 13107
1983: 1658, 2374, 2677, 1115, 2019, 322; 10165
1984: 1744, 2425, 2758, 1246, 2148, 379; 10700

As you can see, Marrese's figures actually show a tremendous increase in subsidies after 1973 -more than doubling. By 1980 the USSR was subsidizing the Bloc with about $15 billion a year.

I would recommend purchasing Comisso and Tyson's book if you're interested in COMECON economics -I'll warn you however that it is very dry reading, even for someone interested in the subject.
Post 12 Aug 2011, 21:51
It should be okay, I have read Zaleski's mammoth works into the Soviet plan.
Bought! Thank you, it was only 1p on Amazon, it should be with me by Friday.
I have also just come across and bought this: "Eastern Europe in the World Economy (Cambridge Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies)" - Laszlo Csaba

This too. I'm in love.
Post 06 Sep 2012, 22:05
Ironically, it was socialist Poland's integration into the capitalist financial system that produced Solidarity. And Solidarity ended up sacrificing the Polish working class to that same system.
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