Environmental And Social Disparities Between The United States And Soviet Union During The Cold War

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Environmental and Social Disparities between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War While the tension from the Cold War has faded, the environmental impacts initiated during the global game of chess between the USSR and the U.S remain. Unsurprisingly, both the Soviet Unions’ centrally planned market, and the Americans’ capitalistic market wreaked havoc on environments across the globe. Historians disagree adamantly about the Cold War’s origins, and what country started the conflict. While no official fighting was done between the United States and the Soviet Union on either countries’ sovereign land, both countries hoarded capital and weaponry in preparation for the impending third World War. The direct and indirect effects of the Cold War stretch across the globe, and some will linger for hundreds of thousands of years. While the standoff between Communism and capitalism spurred scientific research, both philosophies were mainly focused on resource maximization. While many people remember the “space race” or the “arms race”, in reality both sets of ideals were in the middle of a “capital race” that would have far-reaching environmental and social effects. The World War was unlike other wars and both countries participated in proxy wars to attempt and get an upper hand. These proxy wars happened in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The central conflict for the Americans was undertaken in the southeastern Asian countries of Korea and Vietnam, while the Soviets attempted to get a foothold in Afghanistan. These wars were predominately fought by poor and hungry indigenous people in isolated rural landscapes. The use of chemical agents, like Agent Orange, by America in Vietnam is a permanent st... ... middle of paper ... ... ideals. Instead, Democracy gives new life to Socialism by giving the marginalized the power of political discourse at the grass root level. Some speculate the Cold War never ended, but instead we are just witnessing a break in the action. However, it is important for citizens of both nations to let go of any preconceived fears or anger. Both Socialism and Capitalism offer benefits to society while also causing ecological and social damages. If both sides could freely discuss their dynamic ideas without any prejudices, a new productive paradigm could be initiated that establishes the social and resource bases needed for equitable and fair development. Works Cited • McNeill, John Robert, and D.C. Washington. Environmental Histories of the Cold War. Washington, D.C.: German Historical Institute, 2010. • Benton, Ted. The Greening of Marxism.1996.

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