Policy Comparison between Mikhail Gorbachev and Deng Xiaoping

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Policy Comparison between Mikhail Gorbachev and Deng Xiaoping

The Soviet Union, under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev and the People’s Republic of China under Deng Xiaoping, faced a common problem, and that is an economic crisis. The two countries were communist, and they needed to come up with strategies to revive their economies.

The People’s Republic of China under the leadership of Deng prioritized their main goal to structure a socialist government which got well to the rest of the world. To ensure a speedy economic recovery, the Chinese government allowed the commercial exchange without government regulation for all transactions that were less than five million US dollars, a process which ensured less red tape to go through compared when the government intervened. According to Deng, the bourgeoisie in China were the root of societal problems as they created a gap between the rich and poor. To make sure that the economic policy would be a success, Deng considered that a complete dictatorship would be the only way to go, as he believed that the rise of the bourgeoisie class was as a result of the failure of the government, allowing people to take control (Chang). Deng saw that with a complete dictatorship, the government could institute income taxes, limiting the amount of money that any prosperous individual could possess. Also, the government could persuade successful people to make donations towards developmental projects such as better roads and schools. According to Deng, this approach would take time before the establishment of true communism, and the primary goal was to ward off poverty through raising the GDP of China.

On the other hand, Gorbachev introduced perestroika reform, arguing that there were spongers and people who followed the system correctly, thereby taking advantage of this type of socialism (Melville and Gail). At the time, there was virtually no unemployment in the Soviet Union. Therefore, even people who were fired for being unproductive would easily land another job, and this, according to Gorbachev, was pulling the Soviet Union down. As a result, he believed that with the perestroika reform, the level of national responsibility would rise, and through this, everyone would rise to the task of making communism work. Gorbachev wanted to combine socialism with democracy by giving the people more freedom to increase their happiness by increasing opens and transparency in government.

However, Deng’s policy of a total dictatorship worked as it was more developmental oriented, while the glasnost policy reform failed as it gave people power to control the economy. A capitalist nation had no power over communism.

Works Cited

Chang, Maria Hsia. “The Thought of Deng Xiaoping.” Communist and Post-Communist Studies 29.4 (1996): 377-394.

Melville, Andrei, and Gail W. Lapidus. The glasnost papers: Voices on reform from Moscow. Routledge, 2019.