On my FB feed I came across an article that tries to put together a down-to-the-bottom story of how communism was actually overthrown in the USSR from within and,together with it, the whole world socialist system, the lynchpin of which was the USSR.
Based on interviews with insider veterans, this article argues that
the overthrow of the communist regime in the USSR originated or was
mainly harbored within the KGB and that's the phase of the transition
already started at least under Andropov already. The first off-shore,
shell companies were found back in 1981, 1984. The early form of the
plan (one of its key teams was led by Chubais) foresaw a Pinochet-like
dictatorship for the transition (counter-revolution). From the very
beginning, it was neo-liberalism (in its Russian form) which was
adopted the model to pursue to the exclusion of all the other
alternatives, including the "Swedish model," which for the KGB was for
some reason not interesting (too sensible?).
template was also strictly oriented against the communist party as an
organization. The KGB believed that the party outlived itself. Thus to
change the system, the original expectation was that the communist party
would be banned and dissolved and, in case the trade union would
resist, they too would be abolished.
The only thing, which, in the article, indicates any of the possible
reasons of why the KGB became attached to neo-liberalism within the
communist system is that, as people with exclusive access to Western
ideas and schools at that time, they came to believe that ne-liberalism
was the most modern of available systems and that all the others were in
that regard outdated.
In the face of the tremendous scope of the
task, in the end, the KGB decided to strike a compromise with the other
factions of the elites or nomeklatura provided that they agreed to
embrace the new liberal order.
August Coup was for most part a phony, orchestrated coup, which allowed
Gorbachev to disband the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which was
the main goal. The 1993 shelling of the parliament was forcible
suppression of resistance to the regime change
from elected deputies (the article also says as much on this). The
article argues that the main (but not sole) force for the regime change
was, indeed, in the KGB.
The August (largely phony) "coup" allowed Gorbi and the new liberal ex-communists (still communists formally though) to dissolve the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which had nothing to do with the coup anyway. But some reason was needed. Had the Communist Party not been outlawed, the dissolution of the USSR in the next few months might have a tiny bit harder, though, since the party was much of a huge corpse anyway. Not much. But precaution needed to be taken.
After the story moves close to our more recent time, the article also says: "Поэтому и фамилия у него все-таки Путин. Он, я думаю, обеспечил
максимальный уровень западничества, на который была согласна силовая
элита, которая, в свою очередь, обеспечивает проведение модернизации." The article thus argues here that Putin's goal was to achieve maxim possible Westernization of Russia, which the new post- and anti-communist elite built around the KGB, which turned to oligarchy, would be able to stomach and support.
article says that by 2000 the only two real candidates for Russian
president were two KGB officers--Primakov and Putin. Primakov became
one wants to go back further, you can start with Stalin who effectively
ossified the party and changed it into a dead order-executing machine.
However, when we talk of how the USSR and its communism were destroyed
in the 1980s, 1990s, then the story above is directly relevant.
Gorbachev was no dupe. Only those who believed him were.