The topic that I chose to write about is the Cold War. This war was between the USA “Free World” and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) “communist Block” lasted from 1947 to 1991. Basically, there were tensions between the two nations because they were both feeling threatened by each other’s advances in nuclear weapons.
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For all of the years that we were in the cold war, it was just a big competition between the two. Both made propaganda that made themselves out to be the “good guys” and pointed fingers at each other for being the “bad guys.” So, who was right?
First, the USSR communist bloc consisted of many socialists. Socialists believed that the free market was bad and that the government should be in complete control of everything that the citizens own and have, including property. By doing this, the nation would be regulated. There would not be people who are extremely rich are poor, but there would be more of a happy medium and everyone would be equal. They believed that private property made it difficult for there to be unity in the nation. Their proposition was that there be a tax put on the wealthier people so that the poor and needy can be taken care of. This view is understandable. In many ways, the USSR was similar to Robyn Hood in the fact that he took money from the rich, but gave it to the poor in order for them to get the help they needed. However, I do see an issue in their views because no one is truly free to do what they want or live how they want to live. Everyone is stuck at the same level an there is no room for growth in the economy because everyone is getting paid around the same amount and is only allowed to be given what they need.
On the other hand, the US believed the polar opposite of what these socialists believed. Adam Smith and John Locke were the inspirers of the beliefs held by the free world. Adam Smith taught that the free market should be guided by the “invisible hand,” not the government. The invisible hand is where the prices of goods are set to whatever the majority of the people will buy them at. Therefore, the people act as an “invisible hand” that guides what the prices should be. John Locke taught that the three things that our government must protect is our life, liberty, and our property. Without these things, we do not truly have freedom or order in our nation. They saw the USSR as controlling and depriving their people from freedom.
Now that the background on why these two countries were bickering, it is much easier to understand why each nation did what they did during the cold war. These two nations were semi-avoiding each other by not having a giant war, but instead having little wars that they fought I other countries called surrogate wars. An example of a surrogate war would be the Vietnam war.
Another conflict that happened was the Cuban Missile Crisis. America was placing missiles in Cuba, which was an obvious threat to the USSR. So, they fought back (in that passive aggressive, avoiding actual conflict way) by putting missiles in Cuba. For 13 days, everyone in the world was panicking over the fact that these missiles could go off at any time. How could they not have known that they were bluffing? I feel like the US and the USSR are both singing, “I can do anything you can do better, I can do anything better than you.”
In the end, the cold war was just a bunch of little surrogate wars instead of giant nuclear bombs going off because everyone was too scared to play that card. The war is very important though because it created more peace between all the nations involved. The communist countries can live the way they want to live without getting in the way of what the free world nations believe. This means that they no longer have to compete and argue who is right or wrong. Neither one is “right,” but they are both just focused on two different things. The communists want to make sure that everyone in the nation is taken care of and has what they need, while the capitalists just want a government that allows them to be able to be as free as necessary and lead their own live.
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