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Understanding that meaningful economic change was impossible under the current regime, Gorbachev sought to modify the Soviet state and its stranglehold over the economy.
Nominations for candidates became open and competitive, allowing Soviet citizens to select their own representatives rather than having them appointed by the party.
This marked the end of the one-party state, as other non-communist parties were allowed to stand candidates.
Economic recovery was not possible, Gorbachev argued, with the current level of centralised planning and bureaucratic control. This was a difficult task, given that the Soviet bureaucracy and the Communist Party were populated with conservatives and communist hardliners.
This faction was resistant to any policy that looked like a retreating step towards capitalism.
These economic reforms were accompanied by some political liberalisation and (‘democratisation’).
Frustrated by opposition from within the Communist Party, Gorbachev floated constitutional changes to weaken the party’s grip on government and policy.That democratisation is also the main guarantee that the current processes are irreversible…We want to invigorate the human factor.” As mentioned, sought to revive economic production by weakening Moscow’s centralised stranglehold.The Soviet Union needed “a decisive turn in transferring the national economy to the tracks of intensive development”, Gorbachev told listeners.He also stressed the need for better living conditions for Soviet workers, calling for a “qualitative improvement of the material conditions of his life and work, of his spiritual makeup”., media censorship was relaxed, though not completely abolished.Literature previously banned in the USSR was now permitted.In a forceful speech in May 1985, Gorbachev called for a minimum annual growth of four per cent – but emphasised that this would require changes, some of which would be unpopular.“Those who do not intend to adjust and who are an obstacle to solving these new tasks”, he added “must simply get out of the way”.The main difference was that Soviet firms were controlled by workers’ collectives rather than private owners.These changes did little to improve the ailing Soviet economy so Gorbachev became even more ambitious.