In political science, Marxism–Leninism was the official state ideology of the Soviet Union, of the parties of the Communist International, after their Bolshevisation, is the ideology of Stalinist political parties. As Stalin's synthesis of Leninism, the political praxis of Lenin, of Marxism, the politico-economic theories of Karl Marx, the purpose of Marxism–Leninism is the transformation of a capitalist state into a socialist state, by way of two-stage revolution and led by a vanguard party of professional revolutionaries, drawn from the proletariat. To realise the two-stage transformation of the state, the vanguard party establishes the dictatorship of the proletariat, which determines policy with democratic centralism. Politically, the Marxist–Leninist communist party is the vanguard for the organisation of a capitalist society into a socialist society, the lower stage of socio-economic development, progress towards the upper-stage communist society, stateless and classless. In the late 1920s, after the death of Lenin, Stalin established universal ideologic orthodoxy among the Communist Party, the USSR, the Communist International, with his coinage Marxism–Leninism, a term which redefined theories of Lenin and Marx to establish universal Marxist–Leninist praxis for the exclusive, geopolitical benefit of the USSR.
In the late 1930s, Stalin's official textbook The History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, made the term Marxism–Leninism common, political-science usage among communists and non-communists. Critical of Stalin's political economy and single-party government in the USSR, the Italian Left-communist Amadeo Bordiga said that Marxism–Leninism was a form of political opportunism, which preserved rather than destroyed capitalism, because of the claim that the exchange of commodities would occur under socialism; the American Marxist Raya Dunayevskaya dismissed Marxism–Leninism as a type of state capitalism because: state ownership of the means of production is a form of state capitalism. In 1929, within five years of the death of Lenin, Stalin was the Government of the Soviet Union, a ruler who flouted and applied the socialist principles of Lenin and Marx as political expediencies used to realise his plans for the USSR and for world socialism. Stalin justified his régime's deviations from Lenin's practices with the book Concerning Questions of Leninism, in which Stalin represented Marxism–Leninism as a separate communist ideology, which featured an omniscient leader, hierarchies of one global communist party and communist vanguard parties in each country of the world.
Stalin's interpretations of Lenin and Marx became Stalinism, the official state ideology of the Soviet Union. As the Left Opposition to Stalin within the Communist Party and the Soviet government, Leon Trotsky and the Trotskyists argued that Stalin's Marxist–Leninist ideology contradicted Marxism and Leninism in theory and in practice, thus was illegitimate socialist philosophy for the practical implementation of Socialism in Russia. Moreover, within the Party, the Trotskyists identified their communist ideology as Bolshevik–Leninism, to politically differentiate their ideology from the ideology Stalin used to justify and implement his theory of Socialism in One Country. In Marxist political discourse the term Marxism–Leninism and connoting the theory and praxis of Stalinism, has two usages: praise of Joseph Stalin, by Stalinists who believe Stalin developed Lenin's legacy. Consequent to the Sino-Soviet split, in each socialist country, the Communist Party of China and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union each claimed to be the sole heir-and-successor to Stalin, regarding the correct interpretation of Marxism–Leninism, thus ideological leader of world communism.
In that vein, the History of the People's Republic of China represents Maoism as Mao Zedong's fundamental up-dating and adaptation of Leninism to Chinese conditions, in which revolutionary praxis is primary and ideologic orthodoxy is secondary. The Sino-Albanian split was caused by Socialist Albania's rejection of the PRC's Realpolitik of Sino–American rapprochement the Mao–Nixon meeting, which the anti-revisionist Albanian Labor Party perceived as an ideological betrayal of Mao's own Three Worlds Theory, which excluded such political relations of rapprochement. To the Albanians, the Chinese dealings with the U. S. were a lessening of Mao's practical commitments to proletarian internationalism. Enver Hoxha, the head of the Albanian Labor Party, theorised an anti-revisionist Marxism-Leninism referred to as Hoxhaism, which attempted to retain an'authentic' socialism in comparison to the post-Stalinist Soviet Union
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a Russian and Soviet politician. The eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union, he was General Secretary of its governing Communist Party from 1985 until 1991, he was the country's head of state from 1988 until 1991, serving as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from 1988 to 1989, Chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 1989 to 1990, President of the Soviet Union from 1990 to 1991. Ideologically, he adhered to Marxism-Leninism although by the early 1990s had moved toward social democracy. Of mixed Russian and Ukrainian heritage, Gorbachev was born in Privolnoye, Stavropol Krai to a poor peasant family. Growing up under the rule of Joseph Stalin, in his youth he operated combine harvesters on a collective farm before joining the Communist Party, which governed the Soviet Union as a one-party state according to Marxist-Leninist doctrine. While studying at Moscow State University, he married fellow student Raisa Titarenko in 1953 prior to receiving his law degree in 1955.
Moving to Stavropol, he worked for the Komsomol youth organisation and, after Stalin's death, became a keen proponent of the de-Stalinization reforms of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. He was appointed the First Party Secretary of the Stavropol Regional Committee in 1970, in which position he oversaw construction of the Great Stavropol Canal. In 1974 he moved to Moscow to become First Secretary to the Supreme Soviet and in 1979 became a candidate member of the party's governing Politburo. Within three years of the death of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, following the brief regimes of Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko, the Politburo elected Gorbachev as General Secretary, the de facto head of government, in 1985. Although committed to preserving the Soviet state and to its socialist ideals, Gorbachev believed significant reform was necessary after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, he withdrew from the Soviet–Afghan War and embarked on summits with United States President Ronald Reagan to limit nuclear weapons and end the Cold War.
Domestically, his policy of glasnost allowed for enhanced freedom of speech and press, while his perestroika sought to decentralise economic decision making to improve efficiency. His democratisation measures and formation of the elected Congress of People's Deputies undermined the one-party state. Gorbachev declined to intervene militarily when various Eastern Bloc countries abandoned Marxist-Leninist governance in 1989-90. Internally, growing nationalist sentiment threatened to break-up the Soviet Union, leading Marxist-Leninist hardliners to launch an unsuccessful August 1991 coup against Gorbachev. Out of office, he launched his Gorbachev Foundation, became a vocal critic of Russian Presidents Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin, campaigned for Russia's social-democratic movement. Considered one of the most significant figures of the second half of the 20th century, Gorbachev remains the subject of controversy; the recipient of a wide range of awards—including the Nobel Peace Prize—he was praised for his pivotal role in ending the Cold War, curtailing human rights abuses in the Soviet Union, tolerating both the fall of Marxist–Leninist administrations in eastern and central Europe and the reunification of Germany.
Conversely, in Russia he is derided for not stopping the Soviet collapse, an event which brought a decline in Russia's global influence and precipitated economic crisis. Gorbachev was born on 2 March 1931 in the village of Privolnoye, Stavropol Krai in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, one of the constituent republics of the Soviet Union. At the time, Privolnoye was divided evenly between ethnic Russians and ethnic Ukrainians. Gorbachev's paternal family were ethnic Russians and had moved to the region from Voronezh several generations before, his parents named him Victor, but at the insistence of his mother—a devout Orthodox Christian—he had a secret baptism, where his grandfather christened him Mikhail. His relationship with his father, Sergey Andreyevich Gorbachev, was close, his parents were poor. The Soviet Union was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party, during Gorbachev's childhood was under the leadership of Joseph Stalin. Stalin had initiated a project of mass rural collectivisation which, in keeping with his Marxist-Leninist ideas, he believed would help convert the country into a socialist society.
Gorbachev's maternal grandfather joined the Communist Party and helped form the village's first kolkhoz in 1929, becoming its chair. This farm was twelve miles outside Privolnoye village and when he was three years old, Gorbachev left his parental home and moved into the kolkhoz with his maternal grandparents; the country was experiencing the famine of 1932–33, in which two of Gorbachev's paternal uncles and an aunt died. This was followed by the Great Purge, in which individuals accused of being "enemies of the people"—including those sympathetic to rival interpretations of Marxism like Trotskyism—were arrested and interned in labour camps, if not executed. Both of Gorbachev's grandfathers were arrested—his maternal in 1934 and his paternal in 1937—and both spent time in Gulag labour camps prior to being released. After his December 1938 release, Gorbachev's maternal grandfather discussed having been tortured by the secret pol
Collegium (ancient Rome)
A collegium was any association in ancient Rome with a legal personality. Such associations had various functions. Collegia could function as social clubs, or burial societies; the organization of a collegium was modeled on that of civic governing bodies, the Senate of Rome being the epitome. The meeting hall was known as the curia, the same term as that applied to that of the Roman Senate. By law, only three people were required in order to create a legal collegium; the Roman Emperor Aurelian imposed state control over collegia in the late 3rd Century AD. There were four great religious colleges of Roman priests, in descending order of importance: Pontifices, headed by the Pontifex Maximus, Quindecimviri, Epulones. College of Aesculapius and Hygia List of Ancient Roman Collegia Media related to Ancient Roman collegia at Wikimedia Commons
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic known as the Russian Soviet Republic and the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, as well as being unofficially known as the Russian Federation, Soviet Russia, or Russia, was an independent state from 1917 to 1922, afterwards the largest, most populous and most economically developed of the 15 Soviet socialist republics of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1990 a sovereign part of the Soviet Union with priority of Russian laws over Union-level legislation in 1990 and 1991, during the last two years of the existence of the USSR. The Russian Republic comprised sixteen smaller constituent units of autonomous republics, five autonomous oblasts, ten autonomous okrugs, six krais and forty oblasts. Russians formed the largest ethnic group; the capital of the Russian SFSR was Moscow and the other major urban centers included Leningrad, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Samara. The economy of Russia became industrialized, accounting for about two-thirds of the electricity produced in the USSR.
By 1961, it was the third largest producer of petroleum due to new discoveries in the Volga-Urals region and Siberia, trailing in production to only the United States and Saudi Arabia. In 1974, there were 475 institutes of higher education in the republic providing education in 47 languages to some 23,941,000 students. A network of territorially organized public-health services provided health care. After 1985, the "perestroika" restructuring policies of the Gorbachev administration liberalised the economy, which had become stagnant since the late 1970s under General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, with the introduction of non-state owned enterprises such as cooperatives; the Russian Soviet Republic was proclaimed on 7 November 1917 as a sovereign state and the world's first constitutionally socialist state with the ideology of Communism. The first Constitution was adopted in 1918. In 1922, the Russian SFSR signed the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR setting up of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The 1977 Soviet Constitution stated that "Union Republic is a sovereign state that has united in the Union" and "each Union Republic shall retain the right to secede from the USSR". On 12 June 1990, the Congress of People's Deputies adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty, established separation of powers, established citizenship of Russia and stated that the RSFSR shall retain the right of free secession from the USSR. On 12 June 1991, Boris Yeltsin, supported by the Democratic Russia pro-reform movement, was elected the first and only President of the RSFSR, a post that would become the presidency of the Russian Federation; the August 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt with the temporary brief internment of President Mikhail Gorbachev destabilised the Soviet Union. On 8 December 1991, the heads of Russia and Belarus signed the Belavezha Accords; the agreement declared dissolution of the USSR by its original founding states and established the Commonwealth of Independent States as a loose confederation.
On 12 December, the agreement was ratified by the Supreme Soviet. On 25 December 1991, following the resignation of Gorbachev as President of the Soviet Union, the Russian SFSR was renamed the Russian Federation, with President Yeltsin re-establishing the sovereign and independent state. With the lowering at 12 midnight of the red flag with hammer and sickle design of the now former USSR from the towers of the Kremlin in Moscow on 26 December 1991, the USSR was self-dissolved by the Soviet of the Republics, which by that time was the only functioning chamber of the parliamentary Supreme Soviet. After dissolution of the USSR, Russia declared that it assumed the rights and obligations of the dissolved central Soviet government, including UN membership and permanent membership on the Security Council, but excluding foreign debt and foreign assets of the USSR; the 1978 RSFSR Constitution was amended several times to reflect the transition to democracy, private property and market economy. The new Russian Constitution, coming into effect on 25 December 1993 after a constitutional crisis abolished the Soviet form of government and replaced it with a semi-presidential system.
Under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, the Bolshevik communists established the Soviet state on 7 November 1917 after the interim Russian Provisional Government, most led by opposing democratic socialist Alexander Kerensky, which governed the new Russian Republic after the overthrow of the Russian Empire government of the Romanov imperial dynasty of Czar Nicholas II the previous March, was now itself overthrown during the following October Revolution, the second of t
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the founding and ruling political party of the Soviet Union. The CPSU was the sole governing party of the Soviet Union until 1990, when the Congress of People's Deputies modified Article 6 of the most recent 1977 Soviet constitution, which had granted the CPSU a monopoly over the political system; the party was founded in 1912 by the Bolsheviks, a majority faction detached from the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, led by Vladimir Lenin, who seized power in the October Revolution of 1917. After 74 years, it was dissolved on 29 August 1991 on Soviet territory, soon after a failed coup d'état by hard-line CPSU leaders against Soviet president and party general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev and was outlawed three months on 6 November 1991 in Russian territory; the CPSU was a Communist party, organized on the basis of democratic centralism. This principle, conceived by Lenin, entails democratic and open discussion of policy issues within the party followed by the requirement of total unity in upholding the agreed policies.
The highest body within the CPSU was the Party Congress. When the Congress was not in session, the Central Committee was the highest body; because the Central Committee met twice a year, most day-to-day duties and responsibilities were vested in the Politburo, the Secretariat and the Orgburo. The party leader was the head of government and held the office of either General Secretary, Premier or head of state, or some of the three offices concurrently—but never all three at the same time; the party leader was the de facto chairman of the CPSU Politburo and chief executive of the Soviet Union. The tension between the party and the state for the shifting focus of power was never formally resolved, but in reality the party dominated and a paramount leader always existed. After the founding of the Soviet Union in 1922, Lenin had introduced a mixed economy referred to as the New Economic Policy, which allowed for capitalist practices to resume under the Communist Party dictation in order to develop the necessary conditions for socialism to become a practical pursuit in the economically undeveloped country.
In 1929, as Joseph Stalin became the leader of the party, Marxism–Leninism, a fusion of the original ideas of German philosopher and economic theorist Karl Marx, Lenin, became formalized as the party's guiding ideology and would remain so throughout the rest of its existence. The party pursued state socialism, under which all industries were nationalized and a planned economy was implemented. After recovering from the Second World War, reforms were implemented which decentralized economic planning and liberalized Soviet society in general under Nikita Khrushchev. By 1980, various factors, including the continuing Cold War, ongoing nuclear arms race with the United States and other Western European powers and unaddressed inefficiencies in the economy, led to stagnant economic growth under Alexei Kosygin, further with Leonid Brezhnev and a growing disillusionment. After a younger vigorous Mikhail Gorbachev, assumed leadership in 1985, rapid steps were taken to transform the tottering Soviet economic system in the direction of a market economy once again.
Gorbachev and his allies envisioned the introduction of an economy similar to Lenin's earlier New Economic Policy through a program of "perestroika", or restructuring, but their reforms along with the institution of free multiparty elections led to a decline in the party's power, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the banning of the party by last RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin and subsequent first President of an evolving democratic and free market economy of the successor Russian Federation. A number of causes contributed to CPSU's loss of control and the dissolution of the Soviet Union during the early 1990s; some historians have written that Gorbachev's policy of "glasnost" was the root cause, noting that it weakened the party's control over society. Gorbachev maintained. Others have blamed the economic stagnation and subsequent loss of faith by the general populace in communist ideology. In the final years of the CPSU's existence, the Communist Parties of the federal subjects of Russia were united into the Communist Party of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.
After the CPSU's demise, the Communist Parties of the Union Republics became independent and underwent various separate paths of reform. In Russia, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation emerged and has been regarded as the inheritor of the CPSU's old Bolshevik legacy into the present day. 1912–18:Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party 1918–25:Russian Communist Party 1925–52:All-Union Communist Party 1952–91:Communist Party of the Soviet Union The origin of the CPSU was in the Bolshevik majority faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin, left the party in January 1912 to form a new one at the Prague Party Conference, called the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party – or RSDLP. Prior to the February Revolution, the first phase of the Russian Revolutions of 1917, the party worked underground as organized anti-Tsarist groups. By the time of the revolution, many of the party's central leaders, including Lenin, were in exile. With Emperor Nicholas II, deposed in February 1917, a republic was established and administered by a provisional gove
Eduard Ambrosiyevich Shevardnadze was a Georgian politician and diplomat. He served as First Secretary of the Georgian Communist Party, the de facto leader of Soviet Georgia from 1972 to 1985 and as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. Shevardnadze was responsible for many key decisions in Soviet foreign policy during the Gorbachev Era including reunification of Germany. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, he was President of Georgia from 1992 to 2003, he was forced to retire in 2003 as a consequence of the bloodless Rose Revolution. Shevardnadze started his political career in the late 1940s as a leading member of his local Komsomol organisation, he was appointed its Second Secretary its First Secretary. His rise in the Georgian Soviet hierarchy continued until 1961 when he was demoted after he insulted a senior official. After spending two years in obscurity, Shevardnadze returned as a First Secretary of a Tbilisi city district, was able to charge the Tbilisi First Secretary at the time with corruption.
His anti-corruption work garnered the interest of the Soviet government and Shevardnadze was appointed as First Deputy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Georgian SSR. He would become the head of the internal affairs ministry and was able to charge First Secretary Vasil Mzhavanadze with corruption; as First Secretary, Shevardnadze started several economic reforms, which would spur economic growth in the republic—an uncommon occurrence in the Soviet Union because the country was experiencing a nationwide economic stagnation. Shevardnadze's anti-corruption campaign continued until he resigned from his office as First Secretary. Mikhail Gorbachev appointed Shevardnadze to the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs. From on, with the exception of a brief period between 1990 and 1991, only Gorbachev would outrank Shevardnadze in importance in Soviet foreign policy. In the aftermath of the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991, Shevardnadze returned to the newly independent Georgia, he became the country's head of state following the removal of the country's first president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia.
Shevardnadze was formally elected president in 1995. His presidency was marked by rampant corruption and accusations of nepotism. After allegations of electoral fraud during the 2003 legislative election that led to a series of public protests and demonstrations colloquially known as the Rose Revolution, Shevardnadze was forced to resign, he lived in relative obscurity and published his memoirs. Eduard Shevardnadze was born in Mamati in the Transcaucasian SFSR, Soviet Union, on 25 January 1928, his father Ambrose was a devoted communist and party official. His mother had little respect for the communist government and opposed both Shevardnadze's and his father's party careers. Eduard was a cousin of the Georgian painter and intellectual Dimitri Shevardnadze, purged during Stalinist repressions. In 1937 during the Great Purge, his father, who had abandoned Menshevism for Bolshevism in the mid-1920s, was arrested but was released because of the intervention of an NKVD officer, Ambrose's pupil. In 1948 at the age of twenty, Shevardnadze joined the Georgian Communist Party and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
He rose through the ranks of the Georgian Komsomol and after serving a term as Second Secretary, he became its First Secretary. During his Komsomol First Secretaryship, Shevardnadze met Mikhail Gorbachev for his first time. Shevardnadze said he grew disillusioned with the Soviet political system following Nikita Khrushchev's "Secret Speech" to the 20th CPSU Congress. Like many Soviet people, the crimes perpetrated by Joseph Stalin horrified Shevardnadze, the Soviet government's response to the 1956 Georgian demonstrations shocked him more, he was demoted in 1961 by the Politburo of the Georgian Communist Party after offending a senior official. After his demotion Shevardnadze endured several years of obscurity before returning to attention as a First Secretary of a city district in Tbilisi. Shevardnadze challenged Tbilisi First Secretary Otari Lolashvili, charged him with corruption. Shevardnadze left party work after his appointment as First Deputy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Georgian SSR in 1964.
It was his successful attempt at gaolling Lolashvili, which got him promoted to the post of First Deputyship. In 1965, Shevardnadze was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs of the Georgian SSR. After initiating a successful anti-corruption campaign supported by the Soviet government, Shevardnadze was voted as Second Secretary of the Georgian Communist Party. Shevardnadze's anti-corruption campaign increased public enmity against him. However, these campaigns garnered the interest of the Soviet government, in turn, his promotion to the First Secretaryship after Vasil Mzhavanadze's resignation. In 1951, Shevardnadze married Nanuli Shevardnadze, whose father was killed by the authorities at the height of the purge. At first Nanuli rejected Shevardnadze's marriage proposal, fearing that her family background would ruin Shevardnadze's party career; these fears were well justified. Between July 25, 1972, September 29, 1972, Shevardnadze served the First secretary of the Tbilisi City Committee of the Communist Party of Georgia.
Shevardnadze was appointed to the First Secretaryship of the Georgian Communist Party by the Soviet government. Shevardnadze's rapid rise in Soviet Georgia's p
Détente is the easing of strained relations in a political situation, through verbal communication. The term originates in the time of the Triple Entente and Entente Cordiale in reference to an easing of tensions between England and France who, subsequent to being commingled polities under Norman rule, were warring rivals for the better part of a millennium but pursuant to a policy of détente became enduring allies. In the context of the Cold War, the lessening of tensions between the East and West, along with domestic reform in the Soviet Union, worked together to achieve the end of communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union altogether; the term is most used in reference to a period of general easing of the geo-political tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States. It began in 1969, as a core element of the foreign policy of U. S. president Richard Nixon, in an effort to avoid the collision of nuclear risks. The Nixon administration promoted greater dialogue with the Soviet government, including regular summit meetings and negotiations over arms control and other bilateral agreements.
Détente was known in Russian as разрядка. The period was characterized by the signing of treaties such as the Helsinki Accords. Another treaty, SALT II, was never ratified by the United States. There is still ongoing debate amongst historians as to how successful the détente period was in achieving peace. After the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the two superpowers agreed to install a direct hotline between Washington D. C. and Moscow, enabling leaders of both countries to interact with each other in a time of urgency, reduce the chances that future crises could escalate into an all-out war. The U. S./USSR détente was presented as an applied extension of that thinking. The SALT II pact of the late 1970s continued the work of the SALT I talks, ensuring further reduction in arms by the Soviets and by the U. S; the Helsinki Accords, in which the Soviets promised to grant free elections in Europe, has been called a major concession to ensure peace by the Soviets. Détente ended after the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, which led to the United States boycott of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.
Ronald Reagan's election as president in 1980, based in large part on an anti-détente campaign, marked the close of détente and a return to Cold War tensions. In his first press conference, President Reagan said "Détente's been a one-way street that the Soviet Union has used to pursue its aims." Following this, relations turned sour with the unrest in Poland, end of the SALT II negotiations, the NATO exercise in 1983 that brought the superpowers on the brink of nuclear war. The most obvious manifestation of détente was the series of summits held between the leaders of the two superpowers and the treaties that resulted from these meetings. In the early 1960s, before détente, the Partial Test Ban Treaty had been signed on 5 August 1963. In the decade, the Outer Space Treaty, in January 1967, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, July 1968, were two of the first building blocks of détente; these early treaties were signed all over the globe. The most important treaties were not developed until the Nixon Administration came into office in 1969.
The Political Consultative Committee of the Warsaw Pact sent an offer to the West, urging them to hold a summit on "security and cooperation in Europe". The West agreed and talks began towards actual limits in the nuclear capabilities of the two superpowers; this led to the signing of the SALT I treaty in 1972. This treaty limited each power's nuclear arsenals, though it was rendered out-of-date as a result of the development of MIRVs. In the same year that SALT I was signed, the Biological Weapons Convention and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty were concluded. Talks on SALT II began in 1972. Brezhnev however at the start of the period in his speeches to the Politburo, was intent on using the period of relaxed tensions to prepare for Soviet expansion in the 1980s. In 1975, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe met and produced the Helsinki Accords, a wide-ranging series of agreements on economic and human rights issues; the CSCE was initiated by the USSR. Among other issues, one of the most prevalent and discussed after the conference was that of human rights violations in the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Constitution directly violated the Declaration of Human Rights from the United Nations, this issue became a prominent point of separation between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Carter administration had been supporting human rights groups inside the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev accused the administration of interference in other countries' internal affairs; this prompted intense discussion of whether or not other nations may interfere if basic human rights are being violated, such as freedom of speech and religion. The basic disagreement in the philosophies of a democracy and a single-party was in a state that did not allow for reconciliation of this issue. Furthermore, the Soviets proceeded to defend their internal policies on human rights by attacking American support of countries like South Africa and Chile, which were known to violate many of the same human rights issues. In July of the same year, the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project became the first international space mission, wherein three American astronauts and two Soviet cosmonauts docked their spacecraft and conducted joint experiments.
This mission had been preceded by five years of political negotiation and technical co-operati