Tony Simpson argues that the Soviet system collapsed because it was not able to compete with the USA in the space and arms race in the 1980s (M Star September 2).
I don't think that was what brought an end to the system. In fact after I had made two visits to Russia during that decade I was able to argue successfully at the Billingham debating society that the Soviet system would endure.
I had not understood the significance of what law students in Leningrad were telling me. Apparently membership of the Communist Party was no longer the passport to career success.
It is my view that the demise of the Soviet system came about because the critical mass of leaders not embroiled in politics, the nomenclatura had come to the view the system was not producing the opportunities they sought to succeed and earn more.
The change was an inside job, a sort of palace revolution. It would not have been possible if democracy had been more firmly established.