The editors of this collection break new conceptual ground in political science by using the neglected theories of Pareto and Mosca to explain what is readily known -- but rarely acknowledged -- about post- Communist Russia: the former Communist elites have circulated into the new, so-called Democratic elites, so that the Russian people are still being ruled by an aristocracy. In many cases, they are being ruled by the exact same former Communists who ruled them in the despised years of Communist rule. From Boris Yeltsin on down, most Russian leaders, cabinet members, and members of parliament are ex- Communists. The true dissidents, democrats, and anti-Communists did not and still do not have much of a chance to gain power or social influence. This is the theory of the "circulation of elites" applied to a new situation, the development of post-Communist Russia. Shlapentokh, Vanderpool, and Doktorov lay the groundwork for appreciating the contributions in the other essays with this provocative, and I think accurate, conceptual template.
Thus, this book is a refreshing departure from the unrealistic fantasies of Francis Fukuyama The End of History and the Last Man ( New York: Free Press, 1992), which promised us that post-Communist Russia would become democractic, along with the rest of the world, and the world's only remaining problem would be boredom with so much democracy. It is difficult to imagine now, nearly a decade after the fall of Communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, that such musings could have captured the imaginations of most journalists, authors, professors, and analysts concerned with postcommunist development in the early 1990s. But this is precisely what happened. In stark contrast to these hyperoptimistic fantasies, the present book is exactly on