Segments in this Video

China and Britain Move Away from Socialism (02:50)


This segment introduces Deng Chow Ping's reform efforts in China, particularly economic reforms. In the West, Margaret Thatcher privatizes many of the nationalized industries in her first efforts to overturn socialistic policies.

Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev (02:37)

Ronald Reagan, like Thatcher and Deng Chow Ping, moves towards the right in rejection socialism. In 1980, Polish workers go on strike, proving the power of the Solidarity movement. Gorbachev's attempt to revive socialism would prove fateful.

Gorbachev and the Soviet Economy (03:19)

In 1985, Gorbachev realizes the Soviet system is cruel and inefficient, and that state ownership of the economy is the heart of the problem. Perestroika is Gorbachev's attempt to clear a path to true socialism.

China Under Mao (03:27)

In China, Mao uses the Red Guard to throw out the communist leaders and intellectuals, but the resultant chaos disenchants the Chinese about an ideological utopia that can solve their problems.

China: De-Collectivization and Economic Growth (03:22)

In 1978, Chinese communes are de-collectivized, allowing peasants to keep their own crops, and ushering in a decade of economic growth and prosperity. The communistic political system, however, changes very little.

Tiananmen Square Massacre (02:23)

In 1989, Gorbachev 's visit to Beijing is greeted by 1 million Chinese protesters in Tiananmen Square, demanding an end to communist rule. Deng orders troops to clear the Square by military means, ending any hope of political reform.

Political Reform and Glasnost (04:50)

The two radical reformers Deng and Gorbachev set out to rescue socialism through economic and political reform. Gorbachev introduces glasnost--a concept of openness. Pressures from within and without force acceleration of change in the USSR.

End of Communist Power in USSR (04:05)

In Poland, the victory of the Solidarity-led coalition in 1989 marks the beginning of the end of the Eastern Bloc. Many Soviet republics assert their independence, but when communist aides stage a coup, citizens resist. Boris Yeltsin steps up.

Tony Blair and the New Labor Party (05:28)

After the collapse of communism, social democratic parties make a comeback across Europe, yet these parties look less like the socialism of the past. Tony Blair emerges as the most daring revisionist. This segment includes a brief history of Blair.

Tony Blair: From Socialism to Capitalism (04:28)

The policies of Tony Blair's New Labor Party were far from socialistic in nature, and appeared more capitalistic.

Is Socialism Dead? (04:54)

In this segment, experts and dignitaries from Europe and the U.S. discuss the future of socialism. Many feel that socialist ideas can still play a significant role in politics.

Social Democracy (01:50)

At the turn of the century, Social Democrats occupy most European seats of governments, though their policies show little resemblance to their socialist forebears.

Social Democracy in Israel (03:36)

Israel's kibbutzim come closest to a social democracy, yet residents at Ginosar question whether they can call themselves a kibbutzim anymore. Children of the kibbutz did not grow up as socialists and reject the kibbutz concept.

Capitalism and the End of Israel's Kibbutzim (05:00)

To keep skilled workers, Ginosar and other kibbutzim pay salaries at market value, and even import foreign workers. Like most of the world, Ginosar embraces capitalism with the highest value placed on money itself.

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Tearing Down the Wall: The Decline of Socialism

Part of the Series : Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism
DVD Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Did the Soviet Union collapse under external pressure or its own weight? What enabled free market forces to assert themselves in China? Is socialism dead, or has it simply evolved? This program addresses these and other questions, focusing on the political, cultural, and economic factors behind the fall of the iron curtain regimes. Outlining the Cultural Revolution and its consequences, the emergence of the Reagan and Thatcher administrations, and the backfiring of the Soviet coup in 1991, the program demonstrates in detail how governments across the world abandoned socialism—some entirely, while others have maintained a tenuous façade. (58 minutes)

Length: 58 minutes

Item#: BVL35666

ISBN: 978-1-4213-4530-7

Copyright date: ©2005

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

“The documentary is filled with well edited, well chosen historical film clips and images. A group of elite scholars are interviewed throughout the series, providing excellent insights and extensive details.... The series is to be applauded for its superb level of detail, while showing linkages between events.... [Tearing Down the Wall] does an especially thorough breakdown of Gorbachev’s progressive initiatives and their consequences. Highly recommended.” —Educational Media Reviews Online

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